Archive for January 8, 2009

Ever since Dad got back in the family televangelism business, all hell has broken loose.

  1. Robert Schuller divorced his son from the famed “Hour of Power” broadcast
  2. Next, we discover Dad would rather play musical pulpiteering chairs rather than have his son preach one more lukewarm sermon
  3. Then, we discover Junior Schuller would rather fly the coop than watch this mess
Yeah, that's an average Sunday service these days

Yeah, that's an average Sunday service these days

And so, it seems the economy… wait, scratch that… the tithe-paying parishoners of the Crystal Cathedral have had enough of this hullabaloo and decided to let their money do the talking. Or actually, not according to the Orange County Register.

The megachurch has put a price tag of $34 million for the [ministry HQ] building at 13280 Chapman Ave., which is zoned for office, medical and educational uses, Cathedral spokesman John Charles said today. The ministry wants to sell the office building and lease it back for three years after the sale is completed, he said.

Yeah, of course the talking head is going to spout blather like an oil derrick to fight the rumor mill about the ministry not going bankrupt, but what else could it be?

Robert Schuller built this pioneering ministry – and the first-ever megachurch – from the ground up. He then retires to Cabo or wherever crustasean televangelists go for their twilight years and gives Junior Schuller the keys to the kingdom. Unexpectedly, Dad swipes those keys back and now this?! Yeah, it’s Churchin the street sense.

“Yes, we have had trouble like all other churches and organizations raising money over the last several months,” he said. “We’re all dealing with the economic downturn.”

True, but we aren’t all dealing with a family affair from the Twilight Zone. Shameful this is happening. That ministry has cast its crowns in heaven in bulk. You may not have appreciated the pablum, but the preacher was certainly used of God.

The Schullers could used some prayer if you have the time.

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In church or revival meetings from time to time, I have sang a beautiful song penned by the great Kent Henry, “I want to be more like you.”

I mean it when I sing it, but could I really do it? You know, all that turn the other cheek and love your neighbor as yourself stuff. Seriously, what if you don’t like yourself that much? Your neighbors don’t have much of a shot… but I digress.

wwjd-for-realMeet Rev. Ed Dobson of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Ed decided after a life of service for the Lord wasn’t enough. He wanted to take that song out for a spin, actually live like Jesus for a full year and got much more than he bargained.

His summation of the year-long mirror imagery: “I’ve concluded that I am a follower, but I’m not a very good one,” Dobson said. “If you get serious about the Bible, it will really mess you up.”

Seriously?! That’s the sage counsel you derived on this life experience. What was so different?

He has witnessed for Jesus in bars, picked up strangers needing rides and voted for a Democrat who he believes best reflects Christ’s teachings. During recent Christmas celebrations, as Christians worshipped the Christ child born in a manger, Dobson appreciated more than ever the man who preached love, only to die on a cross.

Ah, there’s the ubiquitous rub. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so. More about this in this riveting article.

“Jesus is a very troubling individual,” Dobson said. Jesus’ troubling teachings influenced him to vote for Barack Obama — his first vote for a Democrat for president. Though disagreeing with Obama on abortion, he said, “I felt, as an individual, he was closer to the spirit of Jesus’ teachings than anyone else. (Obama) was a community organizer, so he was into the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed, which Jesus is very much into.”

In short, the person who takes the seat at the hallowed Resolute Desk should always sit there thinking about the people that voted for him (or her), not about the starched suits who fly over head like vultures waiting for their photo-op. That politics and partisanship. But in my own utopia, the president should live like Jesus too.

So if you love the Lord, and secretly voted for that other guy, don’t feel bad. Maybe Jesus would have registered as an Independent and done the same thing. You know, in his mind, it’s WW-G-D?

No, you read that correctly – this isn’t a story about teen pregnancy or condoms passed out in school.

It’s about what you think should occur when teenagers are serious about their walk with the Lord – they keep their pants on, at least according to FOX News.

Religious teens lose their virginity later than those who are not religious — waiting on average three years longer than their peers, a recent study reported.

abstinenceHuzzah! This “wait until marriage” thing isn’t foolproof, but at least it gives you a goal, right?

According to many, as also noted in the story, virginity pledges don’t matter. Curiosity killed more than the cat, it gave it catnip, caused it walk backwards and act like it has rabies… and then, you know, it died.

Janet Rosenbaum, a post doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, wrote in this month’s issue of “Pediatrics” that those with strong religious backgrounds became sexually active at about 21 on average —regardless if they took a pledge to remain a virgin until marriage.

Being a teenager is tough enough, then add raging hormones to the mix, and that struggle becomes off the chain. That’s the thing about sex, it’s supposed to feel good and most teenagers think puppy love is the real deal, and as married folk know full well – it sooo is not.

Love, a true agape love, is about sacrifice, honor and selflessness… all of which is not included on a pre-pubescent tryst in the back seat of your Dad’s AMC Pacer. But hey, at least, the Christian teenagers have three more years to reconsider their options for dating, marriage and their profile on eHarmony.