THE END OF THE SCHULLER DYNASTY
The Final Curtain (October 2013)
The final curtain came down this weekend on the "Hour of Power" TV service from the Crystal cathedral.
Amongst the congregation were family and friends but Dr Robert H. Schuller Snr. was not present
The final benediction before the doors closed was from Schuller’s son, Robert A. Schuller.
Future services will be held at the Shepherds Grove. The Ionic cathedral will become part of the Catholic Orange diocese for the area and be renamed "Christ cathedral."
It is unclear if Murdoch's organization that funds the SKY programme shown each Sunday (in which the above was aired) in Europe, will finance the new venture, at the new location.
The End Of The Schuller Dynasty (November 2012)
Last week the acrimony between Robert Schuller Snr. (86) and the board of the cathedral reached the bankruptcy court in California.
He claims that the cathedral owes him millions of dollars for using his written material without his consent, and that he signed nothing over to the cathedral board.
The Schullers have now severed all links with the cathedral and no longer serve on the board or act as goodwill ambassadors it seems. Earlier more bizarrely an e-mail request was made by the cathedral elders for food supplies to be sent to the Schullers.
Mrs Schuller Snr is recovering from pneumonia. No cards were requested and no salty foods, just fruit dishes or sweet dishes however, and egg quiches it seems would be acceptable. And all donors could leave the food parcels at the cathedral tower where it would be collected by a limo driver!
Today the cathedral still operates but with a scaled down orchestra and choir, and acting as MC for The Hour of Power is volunteer pastor Bobby Schuller III.
In 2015 the use of the cathedral will finally revert back to its new owners the Catholic diocese of Orange County. It is unclear what their future plans for the building will be.
In 2010 the cathedral board filled for bankruptcy, stay tuned for further developments.
Catholic Church Buys Crystal Cathedral (November 2011)
Crystal cathedral, that Masonic looking icon of the Californian religious system, has now been sold.
Bankruptcy forced the Schuller family board to seek a new buyer and after a court wrangle, the Catholic diocese of Orange County snapped it up for $57.5 million dollars.
It is unclear where the present congregation will meet to worship and how the popular "Hour of Power" televising show will continue.
Said the Catholic Bishop of Orange after the decision to acquire the 40-acre property: "It will become a true centre for our catholic community."
Schuller Snr. has always been hugely ecumenical in his faith, once flying to Rome with the proposed plans of the then cathedral, to receive a blessing from Pope John Paul II. He also allowed statues amongst others of the television celebrity, Bishop Fulton Sheen to be located inside the Cathedral.
Finally we say to the congregation and choir that salvation will never be found in chrome glass or brick.
Schuller Junior To Make Comeback (November 2010)
In the late summer of 2008 Schuller Jnr. quietly disappeared from the Crystal Cathedral's "pastoral team." Now over two years on, Junior told a Canadian TV interviewer, how his sister and brother-in-law (also both in full time "ministry") informed him that his sermons were not "anointed" and therefore he would be "relegated" to non-Sunday services. His father and their "church board" backed this decision, which in essence meant he was sacked. This forced his resignation and since then he has been preparing to launch his own "Christian TV network" with help from his son-in-law, the founder of Godtube, no less! One will have to wait and see whether or not his network will air The Hour Of Power.
Oldest Daughter One Step Nearer To Final Takeover (12 July 2010)
Sheila Schuller Coleman, the eldest daughter of Robert and Arvella Schuller, was today officially "ordained" into the "ministry" as "senior pastor." Since her brother's abrupt "removal" nearly two years ago, she has been "helping out" and "filing in" with the "services." With her father now up in years it looks quite likely she will be the sole heir to his multi-million dollar enterprise and his obvious successor.
Schuller Jnr. Fired (27 October 2008)
The shock announcement that Robert Schuller Snr. has disposed of the religious services of his son, Schuller Jnr, landed like a thunderbolt in the evangelical world this morning.
We may never know the true reason but as a casual viewer of The Hour of Power (actually only for the splendid music segment), certain actions by the son, as seen on TV, did cause us to wonder what was going on. For example, the discarding of the purple cassock and gold medallion and later interviewing guests from the congregation as well as the extended role of Donna, his attractive second wife, may have brought palpitations to Schuller Snr's more "orthodox" views, even though he has long supported and even ordained women into front line "ministry."
Who knows? It seems there may also have been different doctrinal issues at stake too.
One has to wonder that when the keys of the cathedral were passed to the son a few years ago, certain other powers were held back that allowed Schuller Snr. to fire his son.
I remember when my old parish priest Canon Bill was asked about a new priest arriving to take up clerical duties at the church, where it seems the serving priest was still in residence. He was asked whose is in control? Well he said, "Whoever has the cheque book has the clout."
So it seems money still talks even in families. Nothing changes does it?
So we will continue to casually watch for any new future developments in the Crystal Cathedral and elsewhere with great interest. And enjoy the music.
Every Sunday morning, just after dawn, The Hour of Power is broadcast all over Europe on Sky One, courtesy of Rupert Murdock. For according to Schuller Snr, when the channel was first launched, Murdock phoned him and told him that he wanted the 6am slot on Sunday's to be given to "religious programmes," and he insisted that The Hour of Power would be that chosen broadcast. Schuller informed Murdock he couldn't afford the fee, so Murdock offered to pay the cost and has done so ever since. One doesn't have to wonder who ultimately benefits from this.
This month the religious reigns of power passed from Schuller Sr. to his son Schuller Jr. The transition we are informed passed smoothly.
Last week in front of millions of devout faithful television viewers, the young Robert Schuller and his wife knelt in prayer before selected elders and accepted through tears the future call offered to them to escort this multi-million dollar empire in to the unknown future, and perhaps maybe beyond by a third generation Schuller.
As the newly installed "senior pastor" (a title that is not biblical) of the magnificent Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, Schuller Jr. must now chart an acceptable passage laid down by his father that embraces the "feel good Christianity" method that is so easily accepted and promoted by Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, Joel Osteen and many other apostates.
Schuller Sr., of Dutch ancestry, arrived in Southern California from Chicago in 1955 and immediately set up an original church ministry in a vacant drive-in movie house. Or as the Catholic Archbishop Fulton Sheen once remarked about this form of worship: "Just bring your pew with you the next time you come to church." He meant of course a parked car. The amazing thing is it seemed to function and within 30 years the "Cathedral of Glass" - the flagship of Schuller's ministry - would soon grace the skyline of Garden Grove; no mean achievement I have to concede.
Incidentally Schuller Sr. would later commission three life-sized statues (perhaps in stone or wood?), of the three men who had influenced and helped him in his early days as pastor in Southern California. They would be Fulton Sheen, Billy Graham and Norman Vincent Peale. He also, it is claimed, sought the late pope's personal "blessing" upon newly prepared building plans of the Crystal Cathedral. But then I suspect that Schuller was always a strong supporter of the ecumenical movement that is so prevalent and dangerous in the world today. And there we at Ex-Catholics for Christ must fortunately part company with both the Schuller's of Garden Grove on this issue.
We view the growing ecumenical and inter-faith experiment as just a short step to the prelude of the prophesised coming of the antichrist and his religious partner, the false prophet. We at this ministry have no time for it, as we see its growing tentacles as ensnaring most religious crusades in the world today. Just remember all future dominions of religious, political and economic power, will rest in the soiled Satanic hands of the antichrist. But wasn't all of this once witnessed and confirmed by the Apostle John in the the Book of Revelation? And if you haven't read it yet, why not start now. Time might be much shorter than you possibly think!
But one has to feel some concern for the younger Schuller (although I must take exception to his tasteless golfing jokes that included Jesus!) Because Schuller Jr., it is claimed by media pundits, "Is stiffer in front of the camera," unlike it seems his popular and charismatic father who could and did bring millions of followers and dollars in to the Cathedral; and who would later buy into his positive related television sermons.
Yet he younger Schuller does hope, he says, to grow into the future technology of Ipods and web-cams and believes he can increase The Hour of Power existing membership to a million+ by 2015, or if not before!
This has caused Gary McIntosh at the Talbot school of theology at Biola University to say:
"The truth is I think a lot of people are questioning whether or not this is going to work."
Well time, we have to suggest, can only tell of how things will map out at the Crystal Cathedral.
But for now the elder Schuller - a sprightly 79 years old - would only comment to the press on the promotion of his son by saying:
"Whether he's less that I am or more than I am, I don't know and I don't care. It's a God thing as far as I'm concerned."
So there speaks the voice of the Cathedral!
In conclusion, any proposed financial transition of power, as we know from one person to another, is always an arduous task. Even more so I suggest concerning church property. However Franklin Graham, as reported by the media, has fortunately accepted the challenge offered to him by his illustrious father to succeed him in leading his ministry. But even Franklin has modified some of the popular format once established by Graham Sr., in the popular long running The Hour of Decision.
Instead we shall just have to watch and see how this Schuller legacy from father to son will successfully develop if it is to succeed. However, in the mean time, the rapture may just come and remove the waiting saints. Then the antichrist unleashes his terrible decree upon a world that seems in our opinion only too happy to offer him everything he demands or wants, without restriction!
When a "ministry"/big business church rakes in over $60 million a year, one shouldn't be too surprised to see the stars of the show (Schuller, Sr., Jr. and wife, Donna) are immaculately well groomed and turned out. For this father, son and now second wife team each enjoys capped (polished) teeth, manicured nails, lovely tanned skins and beautifully styled hairdos. The cost of this weekly trip to the beauty parlour must cost them hundreds of dollars (1 Pet 3:3.)
Father and son both boast of their love of golf, holidaying and fishing. But did not John warn Christians against loving the things of the world (1 John 2:15.) And Paul would echo this by he desire to see saints focus on things above, not tangled with the vain things of this fallen world (Col. 3:2.)
This ecumenical church has got to be the most "show-business" and "seeker-sensitive" anywhere in the world. Each week, "acts" and "performers" are booked to sing, play, speak or just turn up. Characters like self-professed agnostic Larry King, whose latest wife is a practicing Mormon, is allowed to come on and plug his book, or the late Milton Berle have each graced the stage of this California 'church/theatre/film set.' Yet with such multi-millionaires filling the 60-minute time slot, which is the only "Christian programme" to air for free throughout the whole world, one 5-year-old boy, posted to Schuller Jr. five one-dollar bills, to put towards the cost of producing the programme. This hand written letter was shown to all to see - no doubt to encourage others to send money in - yet this million-air family shouldn't need to beg or plead for money from children, why can't they fund their lavish cathedral themselves by selling off their expensive properties and getting proper jobs.
And we mustn't forget Schuller Sr. who recently told his TV audience that he didn't care what denomination or religion one was in, they would still be welcome to send donations into his cathedral!
One thing that all these "feel-good churches" have in common is this: they only want successful and wealthy people on their programmes. Those that have done well for themselves and overcame all odds, and of course believe in God or a god, are welcomed with open arms. Those that haven't been given the "lucky breaks" or have messed up their lives need not apply.
Also interestingly to note is what the cameras in Crystal Cathedral choose to highlight, and what they don't. For example, when Schuller Jr. was inaugurated into the family business, several close-ups were taken of his tears of joy running down his face, yet when his father passed his "medallion" to his son, not one close-up was offered. Why, one wonders? Might it be that a masonic or secret image is embossed on this expensive gold medallion? Many spectators believe the Schuller's are Freemasons.
A final observation that I have made would be the similarities the laity in his church have with those in the Catholic church: No Bibles are used during these "services."
Not only is this church a two-tier system (laity and clergy) but also when one of the Schuller's reads from the Bible, they don't invite those in the pews to open their Bible's and read (check) with them. They don't encourage the laity and the laity don't take the initiative either, so let's hope what the clergy are feeding them is correct. And yet when I've watched them reading from the Bible, the verses they quote are normally taken out of context. Yet with very, very few members of the laity reading along, they take it for granted that what they hear is correct-very foolish and very dangerous.
Paul the Apostle wrote empathically to Timothy and vicariously to all Christians:
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15.)
Patrick and James
(7th March 2006)