Archive for April 24, 2009

Meet the Schullers. So cute back then.

Once upon a time, in a TV far, far away was a chisled-chinned boy named Bobby.

Now, Bobby’s daddy was a famous preacher who decided to hang up the tunic and enjoy his golden years. Bobby took the reins of the “powerful” ministry, dawned the pastor rapper medallion and began preaching on TV, reading biblical prose off teleprompters and giving kitschy anecdotes about people who sound like they just traipsed off the set of “Leave It to Beaver.”

Three years later, Daddy missed his bling and kicked Bobby to the curb. Instead of an amicable “Aw gee, Daddy” parting of the ways, it’s been more like the exodus and the Red Sea.

Daddy lost control – and it seems, his mind. First, it was musical preachers. Then, Junior quit his job and left the church all together. Afterwards, the megachurch began hurting for the tithe it used to get, and the light bill wasn’t getting paid.

And now, we have some musings from Junior’s rather eloquent wifey, which has been captured in the Orange County Register.

Evidently in the story here, Bobby missed the bling too and he is getting his own church and Internet ministry. To which, this proud pontificate shouts, “Bravo!”

What appeared as “Father Knows Best” on TV, is actually a scene from “Gunsmoke” in reality. Family members are firing off opinions at each other and who is left to suffer – as usual in Christendom – the people.

Looks like Daddy needed to read his marquee

Looks like Daddy needed to read his marquee

Pathetic. Ratings were up. Membership was increasing. And pop gets a hankering for his old gig and creates this mess.

It’s shameful, because not only are some people out a good pastor in Junior Schuller, but most folk don’t call the grandiose Crystal Cathedral “home” any longer.

Let’s hear what his bethrothed (and fellow blogger), Donna has to say:

“These days Robert has been very hard at work developing a new Christian ministry, which will allow him the honor of continuing to speak inspiration and hope to the world,” she writes. “He will do this once again spreading the good news of Christ on television and on the World Wide Web. More to come on this very creative and new way of doing ministry when it is time.”

Well, unless he is planning on doing it shirtless from horseback while musing about the Tetramorph, I can’t imagine how much more sensationalized… er, creative TV ministry can get. But, that’s besides the point.

What’s important is Bobby is all grown up now, away from his father’s ecumenical teet and having church on his own… the way it should have been all along. And it seems it runs in the family, as his own son – anyone on the name? anyone? Bobby. I know. I was stunned too – is leading a church and something called the St. Patrick Project.

The ministry itself has seen better days. What once was held in the nurturing bosom of the Crystal Cathedral is now being held at the American Legion Building nearby. A quick hagiograph makes me think Bobby is banishing snakes from his building or teaching the veteran curmudgeons about the Trinity with a Shamrock, but I could be wrong.

However, one thing I am not wrong about is this:

All of this could have been avoided if Robert Schuller acted more like a father and less like a pastor. What’s worse is that folk shunned from the Crystal Cathedral (and other nameless churches around the globe) understand that analogy all too well. Thanks for keeping up the status quo, Pastor.

Junior, make us proud… since you know, Pop is too bitter right now.

timothy-wrightSad, indeed.

I’ve always heard when a couple are married for many years, and one goes home to be with the Lord, the other will leave the Earth not too far behind.

The prolific Gospel soul stirrer, Rev. Timothy Wright, has died at the age of 61.

For many months, The Writing on the Wall chronicled the plight of Rev. Wright since his tragic car crash in July 2008. For a while, it appeared as if the man behind “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” and “You Must Come in at the Door” was going to recover the unthinkable – losing his beloved Betty and his grandson.

Regretfully, that wasn’t the case.

Gospel has lost an icon, and whether you fancy the music, the man made you reconsider. When we first spray tagged the Wall about this, I mentioned my Gospel roots in AM radio. I had the fortune to interview Rev. Wright, and while we played his jam – a personal favorite, “Trouble Don’t Last Always” – I learned a little of the man behind the myth.

Warm. Gentile. Kind. And above all, real.

It was a pleasure meeting him, and will always be a joy listening to him. “Who’s on the Lord’s Side” now? That would be you. Godspeed, brother. Take it away, Patti.