The best news we have heard in a long time is that Robert Schuller’s palace of varieties, aka The Crystal Cathedral, has filed for bankruptcy! Great! Let’s hope their trashy TV programs go off air sometime soon. So much for the alleged “power of positive thinking.” Maybe Schuller and his buddies need to grit their teeth and pray more positively, to any assorted deities that they think may be listening. Unfortunately the begowned one- anyone bidding for Schuller’s robes?- is unlikely to be out of business- business being the operative word. His wealthy buddies range from Rupert Murdoch, who got his awful sham of a spiritual show onto British TV, to Rick Warren, C. Peter Wagner etc.But as Sandy Simpson wrote: “The point is that positive thinking is busted.
“ Why do I say that? Because I'm sure they weren't all sitting around positively thinking and confessing that they wanted to go bankrupt! Not only is this practice patently unbiblical, it also doesn't work outside of "Christendumb". All you have to do is tune into the cooking competition shows to see any number of ego-bloated people who positively think they are going to win and then take a well-deserved nosedive. That is one of the reasons I watch those shows ... to see people who are complete postmodern narcissists take a hard fall from pride. However, they never seem to learn their lesson as I am sure Schuller and his other heretical buddies won't either.”
I endorse our friend Jacob Prasch’s remarks on hearing the news of the crystal “catastrophe” (ho ho ho):” Fallen, fallen is Babylon The Great – may Saddleback, Willow Creek and TBN be next.”And so say all of us! I often wondered when Pat and I wrote our book Goodbye America, Goodbye Britain, what would happen to all the name it and claim it, positive confession, prosperity-teaching churches when the financial roof fell in, as it is now about to do in America.Will their God of prosperity get the blame when their cars and homes are repossessed? I think we will soon find out. I’m glad our church building is an old hut that should have been knocked down years ago. We don’t owe a cent on it.
Here’s part of the story of the Californian tragedy……
Crystal Cathedral megachurch files for bankruptcy
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. – Crystal Cathedral, the megachurch birthplace of the televangelist show "Hour of Power," filed for bankruptcy Monday in Southern California after struggling to emerge from debt that exceeds $43 million.
In addition to a $36 million mortgage, the Orange County-based church owes $7.5 million to several hundred vendors for services ranging from advertising to the use of live animals in Easter and Christmas services.
The church had been negotiating a repayment plan with vendors, but several filed lawsuits seeking quicker payment, which prompted a coalition formed by creditors to fall apart.
"Tough times never last, every storm comes to an end. Right now, people need to hear that message more than ever," Sheila Schuller Coleman, the Cathedral's senior pastor and daughter of the founder, told reporters outside the worship hall decked with a soaring glass spire. (Family business, huh? AF)
"Everybody is hurting today. We are no exception," she said.
The church, founded in the mid-1950s by the Rev. Robert H. Schuller Sr., has already ordered major layoffs, cut the number of stations airing the "Hour of Power" and sold property to stay afloat.
In addition, the 10,000-member church canceled this year's "Glory of Easter" pageant, which attracts thousands of visitors and is a regional holiday staple.
The church was founded at a drive-in theater and attracted congregants with its sermons on the power of positive thinking. Its worship hall opened in 1970 and remains an architectural wonder and tourist destination.
The "Hour of Power" telecast, filmed in the cathedral's main sanctuary, at one point attracted 1.3 million viewers in 156 countries.Church leaders said the Crystal Cathedral's Sunday services and weekly-telecast "Hour of Power" will continue while in bankruptcy.
Other megachurches have also suffered from the downturn and reduced charitable giving.
Crystal Cathedral saw revenue drop roughly 30 percent in 2009 and simply couldn't slash expenses quickly enough to avoid accruing the debt, said Jim Penner, a church pastor and executive producer of the "Hour of Power."
Vendors owed money by the church formed a committee in April and agreed to a moratorium to negotiate a repayment plan with the Crystal Cathedral. But after several filed lawsuits and obtained writs of attachment to try to collect their cash, it was difficult to keep the group together, Penner said.
Now, the church is avoiding credit entirely and spends only the roughly $2 million it receives each month in donations and revenue, Penner said. The church still hopes to pay all of the vendors back in full, he said.
"What we're doing now is we're trying to walk what we preach, we're paying cash for things as we go," he said.
Alan concludes: It would take a heart of stone not to laugh.