This is the world famous "Crystal Cathedral" in Orange County, California. The prominent architect Philip Johnson designed the main sanctuary building, which was constructed using over 10,000 rectangular panes of glass and its sanctuary seats 2,736 persons. I think it would be fair to say that you would be hard pressed to find another church like it. It may not have as much gold and famous art but it somehow manages to outshine the most opulent Cathedrals of the Catholic Church.
|Somehow it manages to look even bigger from the inside|
Now my parents were kind of big fans (some members of my family still are) so I've had to sit through quite a few episodes of "The Hour of Power" which usually turned out to be far more bland than the name suggested. Now the founding pastor of this megalithic mega church is this guy:
|Rev. Robert H. Schuller|
Just to make it interesting I should point out that the good Reverend here wrote the following book (among many others):
|Amazon still has a few copies! Buy now!|
Chew on that fact for a moment. Now try to comprehend the following. The Chrystal Cathedral is in debt. Lots of debt. How much debt? Well it depends on who you ask but Wiki & others tend to put it at over $40 million. That's a 4 followed by seven zeros. In US dollars, not Zimbabwean dollars. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that it would be a lot of debt for a small country, never mind a single church! Now let's say you are the Reverend Schuller. What do you tell your congregation? Do you say "I'm sorry, we've clearly made some terrible mistakes and we will work hard to get out of this mess?" Turns out that no, instead you go before your congregation and say:
"I need more help from you," Schuller said, according to the Orange County Register. "If you are a tither, become a double-tither. If you are not a tither, become a tither. This ministry has earned your trust. This ministry has earned your help."
Yep, he wants you to give a lot more money to him because "This ministry has earned your trust". Dude! Like WTF?! You say the words but I don't think you understand the sentence you are using. Ending up in tens of millions of dollars worth of debt is the opposite of earning someones trust. When someone is in so much debt that Oprah herself could not bail them out then who in their right mind would trust them with any of their money? Yet this guy wants people to give double and triple the amounts they usually would. During one of the worst recessions in recent history. Thousands are unemployed, houses are being foreclosed on faster than the banks can fill in the paperwork but apparently the trustworthy place to put the little money you have left is in a giant Xmas tree ornament/church. What??!