Millions of Christians have embraced Robert Schuller’s “positve thinking” theology. Schuller described how his poisitve thinking allwed him to “visualize” the Crystal Cathedral which was erected in 1980.
But the proof of the validity of an idea has to be rooted both in Scripture and in the fruits of that doctrine. For positive thinking fans, the demise of the Crystal Cathedral a bare 31 years after it was erected may be the biggest disappointment.
The entire enterprise is mired in lawsuits and conflict as the Schuller’s threaten to sue the church over intellectual property rights and overcome a family fued between father and son.
Positive thinking was not enough to visualize a way to overcome falling revenues in the wake of a massive recession as revenue dropped and the church failed to attract a younger membership, while some older members were put off by the younger Schuller’s ascent to the pulpit.
If positive thinking was all it took, some argue, then Schuller would have been able to navigate through the current eonomic downturn.
Donations for the church have gone down from over $6.7 million to $4 million and are expected to reach only $3.5 million this year.
The Crystal Cathedral is being sold off in a bidding war between a Catholic Diocese and a local university. The Diocese is offering more money, nearly $58 million, with a right to buy back the property, while the university is ofering $55.5 million and will lease some building to the ministry for $1 per month without a right to buy back the building. The ministry board wants to selll to the university to keep the building in Protestnt hands, while the Schullers favor the Diocese beause it is offering more money.