- Born in 1926 to an Iowan family of Dutch descent, Robert Schuller was reared in the Reformed Church in America. He entered the pastorate in 1951 at Hope Church in Chicago, which over the next four years grew from 38 to 400 members. In 1955, his denomination sent him to Orange County, California to establish a new church there. After trying unsuccessfully to rent numerous facilities, Schuller finally rented the Orange County Drive-In Theater for Sunday mornings. Schuller went from door to door inviting people to come to his church, and asking them what type of church they would like to attend. He began to see his church as a mission, a place where non-Christians would feel comfortable enough to come in and then later "accept Jesus." How would he do this? By preaching only positive things!
Schuller credits close friend Norman Vincent Peale "with fine tuning his own positive faith and laying the foundation for his own Possibility Thinking that was to come." In September of 1959, ground-breaking ceremonies were held at the location of the present church property in Garden Grove, California. The Crystal Cathedral was completed in 1980, from which Schuller now tapes his weekly service and later broadcasts on his weekly "Hour of Power" television show (begun in 1970). This cathedral is a vast golden edifice with 10,000 windows, huge video screens, and a 10-foot tall angel hovering from the roof on a rope of gold. He has built up a congregation of over 9,500 members in a church that cost over $20 million. The "Tower of Power" television ministry makes more than $50 million a year and is beamed to about 20 million viewers in more than 180 countries. Schuller claims to receive between thirty and forty thousand letters a week and has a mailing list of over one million people. He has authored more than 25 books, several of them national best sellers. (Source: "A Profile of Robert Schuller," by J.P. Gudel, Forward, Spring 1985.) - Schuller's false teaching is an extremely serious matter in light of his wide influence. His is the most popular religion television broadcast in America. His books sell by the millions. He appears with presidents.
His "self-esteem Christianity" has been adopted by multitudes. These believe they are Christians and attend churches; but in reality, they worship a false christ and follow a false gospel. Robert Schuller and his mentor, the late Norman Vincent Peale, are two of the key culprits in promoting this error. Schuller reinterprets the doctrines of the Word of God to conform with his self-esteem philosophy. His Christ is a Jesus who provides men with self-esteem. Schuller's gospel is the replacement of negative self concepts with positive ones. To Schuller, sin is merely the lack of self-esteem. To Schuller, the greatest evil is to call men sinners in a Biblical fashion and thereby injure their self-esteem. Schuller is a universalist who believes that all people are the children of God. His goal is to help each person understand and enjoy this "fact."
Bottom line, Schuller's message is that there is no need for one to recognize his own personal sin, no need for repentance, and no need for the crucifixion of self. In fact, concerning the latter point, Schuller teaches just the opposite philosophy -- that self is to be exalted -- which is nothing less than an outright denial of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: (a) Personal Sin?: "What do I mean by sin? Answer: Any human condition or act that robs God of glory by stripping one of his children of their right to divine dignity. I could offer another complementing answer: Sin is that deep lack of trust that separates me from God and leaves me with a sense of shame and unworthiness. I can offer still another answer: Sin is any act or thought that robs myself or another human being of his or her self-esteem" (Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p. 14). In a 10/5/84 letter to Christianity Today, Schuller wrote, "I don't think anything has been done in the name of Christ and under the banner of Christianity that has proven more destructive to human personality and hence counterproductive to the evangelism enterprise than the often crude, uncouth, and unchristian strategy of attempting to make people aware of their lost and sinful condition" (cf. Romans 1:18-3:20). (b) Repentance?: In response to a question from Paul Crouch on Crouch's TBN 12/8/87 television show, concerning critic's claims that Schuller doesn't preach repentance, Schuller responded, "I preach repentance so positively, most people don't recognize it" (cf. Ezekiel 18:30-32). (c) Denial of Self?: One of Schuller's books, Self-Love: The Dynamic Force of Success, took Eric Fromm's humanistic self-love teachings and brought them into the church. In Self-Esteem: The New Reformation (Word Books, 1982), Schuller teaches that: (1) the church's problem is that it has had a God-centered theology for centuries, when it needs a man-centered one; (2) we're not bad, merely badly informed about how good we are; (3) it would be an insult to the integrity of any human being to call him a sinner; and (4) "Jesus knew His worth; His success fed His self-esteem. He suffered the cross to sanctify His self-esteem and He bore the cross to sanctify your self-esteem. The cross will sanctify the ego trip" (p. 115) (cf. Matt. 16:24). (See attached reports for more analysis and quotes from Self-Esteem: The New Reformation) [Schuller further amplified this latter thought on the 8/12/80 Phil Donahue Show; Schuller said, "Jesus had an ego. He said, 'I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.' Wow, what an ego trip He was on!"] - The following are highlights from an 11/92 radio interview with Robert Schuller; it provides a good snapshot summary of Schuller's perverted gospel of self: QUESTIONER: Dr. Schuller, did you write "The unsaved person cannot perceive himself as worthy of divine grace and hence rejects it."? SCHULLER: I may have said that because I am inclined to believe very definitely that the person who is lost and unsaved is afraid of the light. The person who is only used to darkness is afraid of the light and I think unsaved people do not consider themselves worthy enough; I think that's absolutely true, "While we were yet sinners Christ died for us." QUESTIONER: But not while we were "worthy" Christ died for us? SCHULLER: Listen, if Christ had died for somebody who wasn't worth anything that would have been a lousy deal. God is a good steward and he teaches us to be good stewards. God knows the worst sinner is worth saving so that he would die on a cross for us. QUESTIONER: But if we are worth it, then it is not grace, it's merit. SCHULLER: No, no. It means that we are still creatures of God, we are still sons of God. We have value. We still have value. QUESTIONER: Would you be willing to address your congregation as a group as sinners? SCHULLER: No I don't think I need to do that. ... My only concern is: I don't want to drive them farther away than they are! ... I do let people know how great their sins and miseries are. How do I do that? I don't do that by standing in a pulpit and telling them they're sinners. ... The way I do it is ask questions. Are you happy? Do you have problems, what are they? So then I come across as somebody who cares about them ... So the way I preach sin is by calling to attention what it does to them here and now, and their need for divine grace! ... I believe in heaven. I believe in hell. But I don't know what happens there. I don't take it literally that it's a fire that never stops burning.
QUESTIONER: As Jesus said it was?
SCHULLER: Jesus was not literal.
QUESTIONER: Justified from what? The wrath of God? SCHULLER: Oh! I'll never use that language. QUESTIONER: But the Bible does.
SCHULLER: Yes, the Bible does, but the Bible is ... a contradiction: Old Testament -- Law, New Testament -- Grace. Jesus is a contradiction; totally human and totally God. QUESTIONER: Of course we would say that the dual nature of Christ is a "mystery" but not a contradiction. SCHULLER: It is a contradiction, but you know what? Contradictions are ultimate points of creativity... QUESTIONER: How could the cross, as you write, "sanctify the ego trip," and make us proud, in the light of passages that say, "I hate pride and arrogance (Prov. 8:13), "Pride goes before destruction" (Prov. 16:18),"The Lord detests all the proud" (Prov. 16:5), "Do not be proud" (Rom. 12:16), "Love does not boast, it is not proud" (1 Cor. 13:4). In fact Paul warns Timothy that in the last days men "will be lovers of themselves" (2 Tim. 3:2). ... Why should we do anything to encourage people to become "lovers of themselves" if Paul in fact warned others that that would be the state of godlessness in the last days?
SCHULLER: I hope you don't [preach this] because you could do a lot of damage to a lot of beautiful people. ... if you preach that text, oh man, I sure hope you give it the kind of interpretation that I do or, I'll tell you, you'll drive them farther away and they'll be madder than hell at you and they'll turn the Bible off, and they'll switch you off, and they'll turn on the rock music and Madonna. Just because it's in the Bible doesn't mean you should preach it. ... it is so difficult to preach some of those texts and not come across as lacking humility ... QUESTIONER: Dr. Schuller, what do we tell someone who says, "I'm already happy and fulfilled, so why do I need the gospel?" SCHULLER: I don't know ... I can't relate to that. QUESTIONER: Ought we to pray, "Our father in heaven, honorable is our name"? SCHULLER: (Silence) QUESTIONER: That's a legitimate question? SCHULLER: It may be a legitimate question but I think it's kind of a dumb question because I don't teach that. Ask someone who teaches it. QUESTIONER: Well you wrote it on page 69 of Self-Esteem: The New Reformation. SCHULLER: You know what, I'm tired now. You're laying so many heavy trips on me, and I wasn't prepared for this. -
Since Schuller will not preach from the pulpit the gospel of repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ, nor teach from the Bible, what then is the message he propagates? Los Angeles Times staff writer Bella Stumbo, after an extended interview with Schuller, wrote: "In short, Robert Schuller believes that God placed him on this Earth to preach possibility thinking" ("The Gospel of Success," 5/29/83, Los Angeles Times, p. 24). To underscore just how "vitally important" this message is, Schuller once wrote: "I believe in positive thinking. It is almost as important as the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (Michael Nason and Donna Nason, Robert Schuller: The Inside Story, 1983, p. 152). - Schuller's "possibility thinking" replaces truth. It doesn't matter what or whom one believes, but only that one be positive. He argues that Biblical doctrine may have communicated to people in the past, but to our generation it seems so "negative" and offensive that it turns people off. So what is needed now is a "positive" gospel that everyone can accept. In an article in The Orange County Register, Schuller berated preachers "who spew forth their angry, hate-filled sermons of fire and brimstone." Explaining that the way to "tell the good religion from the bad religion" is whether it is "positive," Schuller exhorted "religious leaders ... whatever their theology ... to articulate their faith in positive terms." He then called for a "massive, united effort by leaders of all religions" to proclaim "the positive power ... of world-community-building religious values." (Emphases added.) For Schuller, then, "faith" is a power of the mind and "God" is merely a placebo that helps one "believe" and thereby activate mind power. For example, on an Amway tape, Schuller exults, "You don't know the power you have within you! ... You make the world into anything you choose." It is Babel again, only in a more sophisticated form. The power of thinking becomes the magic stairway that leads to the paradise where all one's wishes can be fulfilled -- nothing but an "evangelical" form of Christian Science or Science of Mind! (6/93, The Berean Call). - For one who doesn't use the Bible much, it shouldn't surprise us when we hear how Schuller has distorted it, usually in order to justify his theological positions. For instance, what does Schuller say Jesus really meant when He taught His disciples to pray for their "daily bread" (Matt. 6:11)? "'Give us our daily bread.' What does the word bread mean? Bread refers to life's basic needs. God doesn't promise that we will have the crust. ... What is the crust that God offers? We call it possibility thinking. 'Give us this day our daily bread.' God will give us what we need. And what is that? It is creative, inspiring, possibility-pregnant ideas" (Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, pp. 80,82). Schuller is guilty of even more blatant distortion when he equates the "rivers of living water" that Jesus referred to in John 7:38 with self-esteem: "And I can feel the self-esteem rising all around me and within me, 'Rivers of living water shall flow from the inmost being of anyone who believes in me' (John 7:38, TLB). I'll really feel good about myself" (Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p. 80). - The prime focus of Schuller's ministry continues today to be the self-esteem of the individual. This was reflected in most of his earlier books, but was never specifically formulated until 1982, when he wrote SELF-ESTEEM: THE NEW REFORMATION. Schuller believes that virtually every problem a person has, every ill that plagues society, all sin and evil in the world, is a result of people having low self-esteem. Therefore, our greatest need is to have our self-esteem increased: "Self-esteem then, or 'pride in being a human being,' is the single greatest need facing the human race today. ... I strongly suggest that self-love is the ultimate will of man -- that what you really want more than anything else in the world is the awareness that you are a worthy person. ... Do not fear pride: the easiest job God has is to humble us. God's almost impossible task is to keep us believing every hour of every day how great we are as his sons and daughters on planet earth." So, why didn't the early Church preach a theology of self-esteem? They were virtually surrounded by non-believers, people whose greatest need, according to Schuller, was to have their self-esteem lifted. However, the early Church followed the example of Paul, and preached "Christ and Him crucified," not any gospel of self-esteem (e.g., 1 Cor. 2:2; 1:18,23; Rom. 3:10-18). We find no examples in the preaching of the apostles that man's basic problem was a low self-esteem. Instead we find that it is a need for forgiveness of his sins.] - It's doubtful that Schuller even knows what the gospel is. Schuller says: "Is there any possibility of a person being, quote -- saved -- unquote, without accepting Jesus Christ in a way evangelicals preach it today? My answer is, I don't know. That's the honest to God truth. But I believe in the sovereignty of God and the sovereignty of Jesus Christ. I hope so. Is it possible to be saved without making public repentance? I think so. On the cross, Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.' He didn't say, 'Father, forgive them because they repented.' Jesus has a different theology of salvation than most preachers." (Reported in O Timothy.) - Robert Schuller has proudly said: "...what sets me apart from fundamentalists [is that they] are trying to convert everybody to believe how they believe. ... We know the things the major faiths can agree on. We try to focus on those without offending those with different view-points. ..." Schuller's connections include or have included Soviet sycophant Armand Hammer; the cult of Unity; media magnate Rupert Murdoch, who's financing Schuller TV in Europe; Napolean Hill's associate W. Clement Stone (like the deceased Norman Vincent Peale, Schuller's mentor, a 33rd degree Mason), who put up the funds to send out over 250,000 copies of Self-Esteem: The New Reformation to pastors and seminary professors; "Course In Miracles" promoter Gerald Jampolsky; Amway; etc. (3/23/89, USA Today). - With the "opening" of the Iron Curtain, Schuller was invited to appear on Soviet television. Schuller said regarding this opportunity: "In 15 minutes, the only thing I could try to accomplish was to increase their perception of a personal and positive God." Similarly, the 9/29/90 edition of the Houston Chronicle reported the following: "Of all the big-name Protestant ministers moving behind what used to be the Iron Curtain, the Rev. Robert Schuller ... might prove to be the most palatable. With the diplomatic help of industrialist Armand Hammer, a long-time friend of the Soviets, Schuller delivered upbeat messages twice on Soviet television in recent months and hopes to begin a monthly television program before the end of the year. As he does in this country, Schuller indicated he would talk mainly to non-believers, emphasizing a self-esteem message not heavily laden with 'Jesus talk' ..." (Emphases added.) - Proof of Schuller's promotion of New Age teachings and teachers is his article in the Summer 1986 issue of Possibilities magazine. As well as the central message being that 'all is God and God is all,' the article also declared that, "The Christ Spirit dwells in every human being, whether the person knows it or not" (p. 12).
In the past, Schuller has also given his Hour of Power pulpit to a long list of New Agers, cultists, and occultists, ranging from Gerald Jampolsky (who uses A Course in Miracles, dictated by a demon posing as Jesus), to influential Mormon leader, Jack Anderson. (Reported in the 1/88 and 2/88 issues of the CIB Bulletin.) Schuller has even commended all forms of Eastern meditation such as TM, Zen Buddhism, and yoga as valid methods for "the harnessing, by human means, of God's divine laws. ..." Schuller has also addressed Unity ministers in Kansas City, not only stating that he agreed with their teachings (which, among other things, reject the gospel of Christ, and teach Yoga, reincarnation, and other New Age philosophies), but he also commended Unity and offered his success techniques to help Unity grow larger. In an address to a Unity congregation in Warren, Michigan, Schuller's motivational talk presented Jesus as "the greatest Possibility Thinker of all time!" (Reported in the 1/88 issue of the CIB Bulletin.) - Schuller has sympathized with Catholicism in the past. In 1972, Schuller "invited Catholic Bishop Fulton J. Sheen to his pulpit and joined with Catholic bishops at their Mass at the Annual Mary's Hour at the Los Angeles Sports Arena" (David Beale, S.B.C. House on the Sand, p. 144). During the Pope's visit to Los Angeles in 1987, Schuller "played the papal hoopla on [his church's] giant-sized screen for people to come watch." Schuller said: "It's time for Protestants to go to the shepherd [Pope] and say 'what do we have to do to come home?'" (11/15/87, Calvary Contender). When Schuller was planning for the building of his Crystal Cathedral, he made a special trip to Rome to ask the Pope's blessing on the building plans (Foundation, March-April 1990). In 1985, the Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association and Tyndale House Publishers jointly published What Christians Can Learn from One Another about Evangelizing Adults, which contained a chapter by Billy Graham. The book called for greater cooperation between Protestants and Catholics in so-called evangelism, and also included articles by Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Robert Schuller, Bill Bright, Jack Wyrtzen, and others (Flirting With Rome, p. 31). - Those who still believe Schuller is an evangelical should consider the fact that the Roman Catholic Cardinal for Los Angeles, Roger Mahony, was Schuller's honored guest at his church and on his television program on 3/22/92. The content of Dr. Schuller's messages and those of most of his pulpit guests should make it clear that his ministry is leading people away from the truth of the Gospel. (Foundation, July-August 1992) Schuller also frequently speaks at conferences with Roman Catholic priests and bishops. He spoke at the "Washington for Jesus" rally on 4/28/80, with priests John Bertolucci, John Randall, and Michael Scanlon. In 10/87, Schuller spoke at a Roman Catholic conference called the Jesus Day VII, in Chicago. Catholic priests Matthew Fox, John Powell, and Richard McBrien also spoke (National & International Religion Report, 9/21/87). In 8/88, Schuller participated in the ecumenical Congress '88 in Chicago. The Archbishop of Chicago at the time, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, brought the opening address of the Congress, and was introduced as a "warm, caring, Christ-honoring, Christ-like brother" (Frank Bumpus, "New Evangelicals United with Catholics and Liberals," FBF News Bltn., Nov-Dec 1988). - Schuller joined David Yonggi Cho in Sicily for the country's first Church Growth Conference in March 1998, visiting Pope John Paul II en route to the conference. The May 1998 issue of Powerlines, Schuller's monthly newsletter, highlights his church growth conference with Cho and his meeting with Pope John Paul II in Rome. According to the newsletter, "it was the fourth time Dr. Schuller and the Pope had met, hand-to-hand, heart-to-heart at the Vatican." The article also added a brief note concerning the discussion between the Pope and Schuller: "When the Schullers met Pope John Paul II in March, the Pope expressed interest in how our churches could work together to take part in the Vatican's preparations for the Jubilee celebrations of Christianity's third millennium in the year 2000." Pope John Paul II also blessed Mrs. Schuller, an act which Robert Schuller said may have caused his wife to be healed five days later when Mrs. Schuller suffered a mild heart attack. "How could Arvella help but be healed when the Crystal Cathedral Congregation is praying for her, and after she had received private blessings from the Pope and a special visit from the pastor of the largest Protestant church in the world, David Yonggi Cho," Schuller said. Both the Pope and David Yonggi Cho are leading millions of people astray by the false doctrines they propagate, and Schuller is perfectly comfortable commending these men as servants of God! (Source: May-June 1998, Foundation magazine.) - As one of 16 writers who responded to Pope John Paul's Crossing of the Threshold of Hope book, in a new book, A Reader's Companion to Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Robert Schuller said (p. 163): "God has promised salvation to all of us. But only when we realize that we have been saved and we accept God's love do we open ourselves to Jesus Christ ..." He speaks of experiencing "the Christ within" us, and "innermost potential." He said "meaning" lies in a God who is committed to our happiness, and that belief in God helps us become possibility thinkers. Schuller said: "When we know we have been redeemed and we know we are part of God's family, we are ready to dream that great divine dream of building the kingdom of God in the world." (Source: 5/97, Sword and Trumpet.) - Schuller boasted to Billy Graham that "thousands of pastors and hundreds of rabbis and ... over a million Muslims a week" watch his Hour of Power television program. Schuller, whose Crystal Cathedral houses offices for "Christians and Muslims for Peace," told Imam Alfred Mohammed of the Muslim American Society that "if he [Schuller] came back in 100 years and found his descendants Muslims, it wouldn't bother him. ..." Apparently, Schuller is unconcerned that Islam denies that Jesus is God and that He died for our sins (someone else died on the Cross in His place), offers a gospel of good works for salvation, and death in jihad as the only sure way to the Muslim's "heaven," where the faithful are rewarded with rivers of wine (which they are not permitted on earth) and harems of beautiful virgins. (Source: 5/98, TBC.) ["Muslims for Peace" is quite a misnomer considering Muslims lay claim to their "peace" when they earn "points" on their eternal scorecards for killing Jews and Christians.] - Over 100 churches, led by Schuller, banded together in 1992 to form Churches United in Global Missions (CUGM), "seeking to address the needs of humanity and our environment." It is currently made up primarily of mega-church pastors, but membership is open to any size church which can pay the annual dues of $1,000. "The aim is to lure baby boomers back to church by welcoming all comers regardless of their beliefs and appealing to their lack of theological convictions." Thus far we are unaware of any Catholic or Orthodox members in CUGM, but CUGM's declaration affirms that it seeks "a spirit of unity that is truly Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Evangelical, and Charismatic." The CUGM network does include charismatic, Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran, and Methodist churches. (Originally reported in the 5/1/92, Calvary Contender.) - Since 1970, Schuller has operated the Robert Schuller Institute for Successful Church Leadership, with more than 20,000 church leaders having attended. One previous attendee testifies that: "The institute is a place where you have an encounter with God, where God gives the instructions, where lives are transformed and you leave with a lift" (magazine advertisement for the 1/93 seminar). More than eighty homosexual and lesbian pastors and lay leaders from the Metropolitan Community Churches participated in 1997's Institute. (Source: Record, Spring 1997). The January 25-28, 1999 meeting features "Father" Hank Albietz as a workshop speaker. In reply to a query to the Crystal Cathedral, Holly Lovas wrote: "Father Hank is a Roman Catholic priest from St. Patrick Church, Bellefontaine, OH. ... We are lucky to have him speak this year on goal setting in the ministry." (Source: 11/15/98, Calvary Contender.) - In the 7/93 Charisma, Argentine preacher Juan Carlos Ortiz said Schuller asked him in 1990 to start a Hispanic congregation from Schuller's Crystal Cathedral. Ortiz was a prominent charismatic movement leader in the 1970s, and has insisted on associating with Catholics and mainline Protestants. At the Crystal Cathedral, Ortiz still courts Catholics, lays hands on parishioners to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and says some speak in tongues. He says Schuller respects people's self-esteem, and "doesn't scold them from the pulpit by saying they are sinners" (7/15/93, Calvary Contender). - Despite Schuller's unbiblical, heretical, and often blasphemous message, Schuller's 1000th Anniversary television show (The Hour of Power, aired on April 2, 1989), presented film clip testimonies from seventeen of Schuller's fans, including: Billy Graham (suggested to Schuller in 1969, "Bob, why don't you think of telecasting your services.") Former presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan (the latter of whom said, "Your possibility thinking messages have brought self-esteem to millions.") Skip Humphrey (Hubert's son) ("... teaching us positive thinking and self-esteem.") Entertainers Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, Sheryll Ladd, and Ricky Schroeder. Norman Vincent Peale, Mother Teresa, and Coretta Scott King ("three spiritual greats") (Schuller's son said of Peale, he was "responsible for dad's possibility thinking.") Schuller spent a considerable amount of time praising Billy Graham and Norman Vincent Peale (Positive Mental Attitude), and stated his "indebtedness to our brothers and sisters of Roman Catholic faith in the great family of believers." (He also billed his ministry as, "the only worldwide telecast of a Protestant and ecumenical ministry.") Schuller offered a gift premium, "to keep you believing in the Great Believer, Who believes in us ... believe in the God Who believes in you ... Be a believer in belief and believe in the Great Believer. Someday you'll be in heaven because you believed in the Great Believer." Schuller also changed the words to "Rise Up Great Men of God," in order to proclaim his self-love message, and closed the show by singing "Dream the Impossible Dream." [In a later interview with USA Today, Schuller was asked about the fact that Sammy Davis was Jewish. Schuller said, "That's what sets me apart from fundamentalists who are trying to convert everybody to believe how they believe. My role is as a churchman. ... We know the things the major faiths can agree on. We try to focus on those without offending those with different viewpoints, or without compromising the integrity of my own Christian commitment" (6/89, Chalcedon Report).] - In his broadcast on 1/16/94, Robert Schuller was in tears. He was talking about the 12/24/93 death of Norman Vincent Peale. Schuller told how Peale had been his inspiration and mentor and how he had started the positive thinking movement. Schuller then said he had swallowed it: "Hook, line, and sinker." [Peale was a 33rd degree Mason who rejected the Christian doctrine of sin, the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, and justification by faith alone in the merits of Christ. Although he used Christian terminology and rhetoric, in a sense his theology had little to do with Christianity, because it had little to do with sin and redemption. Although he may never have heard of the fourth-century heresy called Pelagianism, he was a thorough Pelagian -- that is, someone who believes that human nature is essentially good and that human beings are saved by developing their inner potential (2/7/94, Christian News).] - On 1/28/94, Schuller appeared on Larry King Live to promote his new book, Achieve Your True Potential Through Power Thinking or Power Thoughts. Schuller said: "Forty years ago in 1953, the seminal book was published, The Power of Positive Thinking. Twenty years later, a book was published, Move Ahead with Possibility Thinking, and now 20 years later in 1993, there's a book Achieve Your True Potential Through Power Thinking or Power Thoughts. So it's from positive thinking to possibility thinking, to power thinking, and each is a level. ... Positive thinking says, 'Hey. I am somebody. I can do it.' Possibility thinking picks up on it and says, 'Okay, how is it possible and how can we make it possible,' and power thinking says, 'Okay. I am. I can. It's possible. Okay, let's you and me do it. Let's just make it happen.'... I sum up this in a sentence. Faith plus focus plus follow through equals achievement, and many people fail because they just don't have the faith in themselves, and others have the faith in themselves, but they don't focus. "... chapter three is the process of power thinking, seven levels to the process of thinking power thoughts. First level is potentialize, second level is prioritize, the third is possibilitize ... you know, my first studies were all of psychology. ... I'm not the first to say this, 'if you can believe it, you can achieve it.' But what I am saying in this book, a line that I had never used before ...'You're not free -- I'm not free until I believe in me.' ... I picked up my pen and wrote a quote: 'In the beginning' ... Ideas generate energy. Once there was a power thought, and we are designed by the Creator, the Power Thinker of all, we are designed to be power thought processors to receive power thoughts, catalogue, compute them, evaluate them, reject them or accept and generate other power thoughts. It's very exciting. ... the secret of conquering the invasion of negative thoughts is to keep your mind focused actively on your dream, ...You know, this book, Larry, I think if it can be grasped and communicated, is the answer to the violence that we face today. ... "Back to self esteem. The first person ever to write a textbook of self-esteem theology. This came out of my studies with Victor Frankl. [Frankl was an unbelieving Jewish psychiatrist who developed a psychotherapeutic type of "treatment" called logotherapy. Frankl placed much emphasis on man's search for "meaning."] We're going back 22 years ago, and I asked Victor Frankl, 'Put it to me in a nutshell. What is the single heart of a person that makes him a human being?' 'Well' he said, 'Freud said it's will to pleasure. Adler said it's will to power. I say it's will to meaning ... one thing no one can ever take from me and that's my ultimate freedom to choose how I will react to what happens to me.' That, I think, is part of the greatest sentence spoken by a living human being in this century." - A recent interview on CNN's "Larry King Live" television broadcast once again reveals just how far Schuller has fallen from the orthodox teaching of Scripture. The 12/19/98 broadcast of "Larry King Live Weekend" featured a panel of United States senators who discussed the implications of the House of Representatives' impeachment vote against President Clinton. Toward the end of the broadcast, King interviewed Robert Schuller, asking him if this was a time for national prayer (italics added): SCHULLER: You know, it surely is. I think it's probably providential that this comes at just the day before Larry King is going to be Robert Schuller's guest and you will offer your first public prayer in the Crystal Cathedral. KING: What does the nation do with something like this? What would you say to people? It's a sad day. SCHULLER: It's a sad day, and people are hurting, and they're hurting on all sides. What does this mean? A hurt internally is an indication that we have spiritual needs that we're not totally personally adequate to handle all alone, which means we all need God. We have to find God in our own way, God lives in people. KING: But Democrats say they believe in God and Republicans say they believe in God ... and they're angry, and people are being hurt and we're meddling into lives. SCHULLER: Which means we need -- we need Ramadan. We need Christmas. We need Hanukkah. This is the time of the year when all human beings should realize, leave us alone into our whims and fantasies and prejudices and hatreds and insecurities and fears and prejudices and we can be very mean people. People can be real mean. This is the time to come clean and be kind and civil. King proceeded to ask Schuller what advice he would give to the Democratic Senators and others who are angry about the impeachment of President Clinton: SCHULLER: I'd say to them, go to your knees and try prayer.
I think that when Larry King writes a book called Powerful Prayers, as you did -- and I'm so proud to have my name as a foreword to it. When you call people to look at prayer, that's what we need -- in your own way. The idea that people need to "find God in their own way" because "God lives in people" is completely contrary to Scripture. Schuller's universalistic theology, while popular today among the majority of liberal churches and even many so-called evangelical churches, is an abomination to God and is a false gospel. The Word of God teaches that all men are sinners and in rebellion against God, and that Jesus Christ is "the way, the truth, and the life." It is also sad that Schuller promotes King's latest book on prayer, for the ["Jewish"] King is a self-professed agnostic. (Excerpted and/or adapted from the Jan-Feb 1999, Foundation.) - Schuller has no problem roughing up a flight attendant when things don't go his way. According to an Associated Press story, Schuller "roughed up" a United Airlines flight attendant after he refused to hang up Schuller's garment bag and then later refused to serve him fruit without cheese. Schuller reportedly stood up and grabbed and shook the attendant by the shoulders. Schuller was traveling to New York City, on the June 28, 1997 cross-country flight, to speak at the memorial service of Betty Shabazz, the widow of Malcolm X. Schuller denied assaulting the flight attendant, but admitted that he might have touched him. An airline representative said Schuller "made physical contact with the flight attendant and the flight attendant was injured." The attendant went on medical leave following the episode, claiming physical pain consistent with whiplash. Schuller indicated that he was making attempts for reconciliation with the man. In August of 1997, Schuller pleaded not guilty to a count of misdemeanor assault, but then read an apology in court and agreed to pay an $1,100 fine and undergo a six-month diversion program. Perhaps the most incredible aspect of the incident was Schuller's declaration of moral innocence -- "I'm very proud of who I am. I am innocent. I have not broken a single one of the Ten Commandments. I have not broken any of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and so I'm proud of my faith and message," Schuller said at a July 1 news conference after the incident. (Source: 4Q 1997, PFO The Quarterly Journal.) - Promise Keepers is the gigantic new (1991) "men's movement" among professing evangelical Christians. Its roots are Catholic and charismatic to the core. PK's contradictory stand on homosexuality; its promotion of secular psychology; its unscriptural feminizing of men; its depiction of Jesus as a "phallic messiah" tempted to perform homosexual acts; and its ecumenical and unbiblical teachings should dissuade any true Christian from participating. Promise Keepers is proving to be one of the most ungodly and misleading movements in the annals of Christian history. Nonetheless, Robert Schuller is a promoter of PK as evidenced by his hosting local PK men's conferences in his church. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Schuller's words to the tune "Rise Up Great Men of God: People, people, everywhere, Each a jewel, fair and rare. Wake up world! Lost in fear! Jesus calls to hope and cheer. People, people, round the earth, Hunger for a deep self-worth. See the cross, the Holy Sign, Shape your life by this design. People, people, will you dare, Venture forth in noble prayer? Claim your heritage divine, Born to be a star to shine. Christ my Savior, help me see, This grand possibility. Saved from sin's indignity, Saved to love eternally.
Biblical Discernment Ministries P.O. Box 679 Bedford, IN 47421-0679
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