Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Demise of Crystal Cathedral

A decline in attendance and revenue loss over the last decade has led to the demise of the Crystal Cathedral Ministries in Garden Grove, along with its renowned glass cathedral—sold to the Catholic archdiocese for $58 million. At the same time, founder Robert Schuller and his wife resigned from the board amid a dispute over payments due him, just after his daughters had been fired last week: a sad ending to the Schulller dynasty.
          Robert Schuller is well known for his version of prosperity theology: “Possibility Thinking.” In his book, “Self-Esteem: The New Reformation,” Schuller replaced the message of salvation from sin with the message of rescue from low self-esteem, saying, “I realized that every sermon I preach should be designed, not to ‘teach’ or ‘convert’ people, but rather to encourage them, to give them a lift; thus, I have adopted the spirit, style, strategy, and substance of a ‘therapist’ in the pulpit.”
          I believe Schuller's therapeutic teaching was what Paul calls a “different gospel” (Gal. 1:6; 2 Cor. 11;4).  "Different gospels" come and go.  And while "Possibility Thinking" may go the way of the defunct Crystal Cathedral, the gospel of "believe-in-yourself" wont be going away anytime soon: “There will be terrible times in the last days; people will be lovers of self…” (2 Tim. 3:1-2). 

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