I did not grow up in a Christian home. I never attended church or Sunday School, and only found my way to youth group in my later teens. To save a very long story, my mother has always had a simple faith that was at least partly fed by TV. In those days there was no Joyce Meyer on the screen, or Hillsong etc. But Sundays could always be counted on for the “Hour of Power” (straight after a Catholic service that as a child struck me as mysterious and weird). My mother loved Hour of Power, and Dr Robert Schuller. And she supported him financially. We had the gadgets. Keys to positive thinking. Books of promises. A quick google search readily finds a string of quotes from Schuller. I can’t believe I found one I remembered – “Turn your scars into stars“. I am sure we had a key ring, pendant, piece of crystal or something with those words engraved on it. Looking back, it was an apt phrase. In a funny way, it gave us something to hang on to. To hope for. Schuller was certainly a peddler of hope.
I have never watched the show as an adult, and had all but forgotten that chapter of my life until I read on Scott’s blog that the Crystal Cathedral is now bankrupt. The comments on the article from “Christianity Today” were interesting. People seem to be blaming female leadership (Schuller’s daughter), wrong leadership decisions, the need for Schuller Snr to move on. As of tonight, only one comment questioning the validity of the 20th Century church phenomenon captured so well by the crystal cathedral. Time to look outside the glass house.