Despite bankruptcy, a divided congregation and the controversy surrounding music team, the leadership of the Crystal Cathedral is clearly uninterested in any meaningful change. You would think that now, facing liquidation in bankruptcy, would be the time for improvement. But then again . . .
There’s a saying among counselors: Change happens when the pain of of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.
Counselors extol this advice to parents who have trouble establishing boundaries with their teenagers. These parents never punish their children, yet they expect different behaviors. And why should the teenagers change? Life is comfortable. Behavior only changes when an individual experiences punitive measures caused by their actions..
This is the same advice counselors give individuals with a harmful habits like smoking or gambling. You can tell a person that smoking leads to cancer. But, it’s not until a loved one or friend dies of lung cancer that the pain motivates them to change. You can tell a gambler that their life will most likely end in ruin. Unfortunately, it’s not until their family leaves that they’re motivated to change.
What’s this have to do with selling the Crystal Cathedral?
The Crystal Cathedral is one of the most spectacular structures of the world. Yet, the leadership will sell the property to a real estate development company. The advantage to the ministry is that it will continue to lease the property for several years, with a buy-back option. Leaders at the Crystal Cathedral stated their motivation is to pay back creditors.
This abhorrent behavior conveniently hides the perpetual underlying issue among Crystal Cathedral leadership. The leadership (my aunts to be more specific) do not want to relinquish control even AFTER they have failed on an epic national scale. In any U.S. corporation, the leadership would be REMOVED in the face of bankruptcy.
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As long as the current leadership maintains control, there will be no positive change at the Crystal Cathedral. They’re buying time by hawking one of America’s greatest cathedrals. Their actions will only delay the inevitable. It’s like loaning money to a gambler.
For change to transpire, the pain of staying the same must increase. The leadership has not acted as responsible adults who initiate change. Instead, they’ve only delayed the inevitable. And in the process, their actions continue to defame Christianity as they stretched out what little comfort remains in their lives.
No doubt the sale to a developer is in hopes of finding one donor who can write the big check. The gambler is playing the lotto in hopes of a new life. Unfortunately, we know how that movie ends.
To fix the problem, they must be held responsible, man-up and face the music. The leadership had the opportunity to sell the property to another congregation while maintaining the ministry and broadcast indefinitely. But they did not. Rather they chose to sell it to a development company that has the intention of tearing it down for commercial use. After all, the Crystal Cathedral was intended to belong to God and not be parking lot..
So perhaps someone in the congregation, or in the denomination, should start a petition to have the current leadership removed. Because, change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.