The Demise of a Grand Idea

>> Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It’s disquieting to watch the demise of a grand idea.  

Robert Schuller had a dream … of a new way to worship … with a positive message. In 1955, he became pastor of a community church in Garden Grove, CA … that met at a drive-in theater. No one could have imagined that humble beginning would blossom into the church we now know as the Crystal Cathedral.  

That dream has become a nightmare for the Schuller family.  

Bankrupt … the church building has been sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese … and they have three years to find a new home. Robert Schuller has retired … leaving first his son and then his daughter as senior pastor. Last Sunday the daughter announced she was leaving to start her own church. Three other family members have been fired from the ministry by the Board of Directors.  

The saddest sentence in this whole scenario was a quote by Robert Schuller, after giving a statement to the press that he and his wife would not be moving with their daughter to her new ministry.  

“How we express ourselves in worship remains up in the air.”  

He’s 85 and has no church home.  

I’ve watched the drama unfold … and pondered what went wrong. But the bottom line for me is … what dreams do I have … and am I applying myself to keep those dreams on track? I believe there are so many little vicissitudes of life that can side track a grand idea. If Robert Schuller … the guru of positive thinking … can become churchless … then I certainly need to be on guard.

“The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matthew 3:10 (NIV)



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