Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bye Bye Schuller!

Remember the Air Farce joke a few years back about the aftermath of World Youth Day in Toronto in 2002?   How several hundred thousand people decided they needed to go answer the call of nature at the same time and the sewage backed up into the furniture store kitty corner from the air force base where the Mass was held?   The late Roger Abbott said it best, "Talk about Holy Shit!"

Well, this item must be right up there because a few days ago but only reported last right, Robert Schuller Sr. was fired from the congregation he founded, the Crystal Cathedral of the Reformed Church in America.  Yup, the Hour of Power has indeed finally come of age and decided it's time to pass the torch to the next generation (that is, if there's anything left for the next generation to assume).  It's claimed that he's only become the "honourary chairman" and therefore a non-voting member of the board, and will still appear on occasion on the TV show (read:   Paid advertisement), but it's a huge rebuke for the 84 year old who made a career of putting a religious spin on the power of attraction.

What was a ministry perhaps third only to Billy Graham and Oral Roberts is facing a crisis of confidence.   Five years ago, Schuller Jr tried taking over but his more doctrinally sound sermons grated the "health and wealth" crowd and he got tossed.   Now Jr's sisters, Sheila Coleman and Gretchen Penner (both of whom apparently have no accredited divinity training whatsoever) have been doing their best to keep the faith (so to speak) but the church already filed for Chapter 11 and the once thirty member board of directors is down to just five.    Jr.'s daughter, Angie Wyatt, is further adding fuel to the fire by saying her grandfather got stabbed in the back the same way her dad was.

That's the problem with mega-churches, even the Catholic ones (and yes, there are mega Catholic churches especially in central Florida).   They get too big too fast, they don't know what to do with all the parishoners and then they get too damn greedy and that's when either a) the family breaks apart, or b) the family circles the wagons when the followers finally smarten up and the IRS has to be called in.

Truly there is no business like show business.   Especially when it comes to religion!

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