All right— I keep telling me I have said enough. Please don’t publish this. I am just getting it off my chest. I hope this is the last commentary because as noted below, I am outa here.

I am not a Facebook user, but I looked where directed and all I can say is—— yikes,  of course Hour of Power now looks like an Oprah wannabe! It’s no coincidence,  and it is not going away.  Bobby knows what the competition is doing,  and there is no doubt he is in the game.  Media culture has had its way with him and he has experienced heavy duty power at last.  It is unlikely he will be easily deflected or removed since this ministry is the best—or only— horse he can hope to ride to fame.

He rightly is following his calling. The congregation (?)  has to decide whether it wants to be the horse. A horse seldom is asked its opinion but horses have been known to throw unacceptable riders.  If nothing else,  human horses will just go find a better pasture.

I think I finally better understand a basic fact about religious leaders.  Bobby’s overall theology has struck me as sound,  what I like to hear.  Initially I was impressed and encouraged.  But theology is not faith;  It is not inherently spiritual.  It is a human construct,  a learned  (as in “acquired”)  one,  that attempts to begin to deal with the Unknowable, Yahweh.  While Bobby’s is remarkably well-informed, thoughtful and sincere,  it also is lopsided, incomplete, even insensitive. His enforced nod to worship as a human need in engaging with the Creator is not convincing, and reveals a disconcerting level of complacence. Beneath the disarmingly offhand manner and self-effacement is a headstrong, if inexperienced,  man with a narrow agenda,  certain he is absolutely Right. New costume and stage set; same old dangerous deal.

One remarkable and important insight I gained from his well of wisdom is that what feeds anger is ‘being right.’  In fact,  upon reflection,  most of the trouble we humans get into is based on disagreement over who is righter.  No one will prove righter than Bobby,  so a tough moment of truth lies ahead of the Shepherd’s Grove congregation.

How badly all of this hubris has tainted the Schuller heritage!!  I used to believe it was the best example of Christian behavior on the screen.  I know we all fall short of the glory of God.  Especially church leaders I suppose—it is a dangerous profession,  to presume to be God’s deputy of Rightness on earth—it is so easy for the very Devil to slip ugly notions of superiority into the little slits of a soul,  until they become mahogany paneling.  One radio pastor I heard years ago made a very good observation, something to the effect of the devil coming in like flies through tiny breaks in the back door screen.

Thus I am off to a different pasture. If Robert Vernon Schuller had felt like greeting me congenially the moment we were a foot apart following his church service (2006), he could have changed the world.*

I pray that Shepherd’s Grove receives and implements God’s guidance and wisdom in the coming months of bitter oppositions and hard decisions.

Susan Green – Alfred Station, NY

* I forget if I sent the comment on our visit there. As we departed, he totally ignored us old folks, perhaps 50-60 campus guests who had flocked to his Sunday service, dazzled with his previous evening’s talk.

PS: on the radio I just heard that the architect Antonio Gaudí referred to architecture as frozen music. Perfect.


More on a Critical Analysis

by Susan Green

Posted: January 3, 2015


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Note: Although the author requested Pens-Opinion not publish her latest submission, we contacted her and asked that she reconsider. Below is a quote from her email reply.

“All right, publish it. I never expected a reaction like this, but I felt a compulsion to do it so I hope and pray it is God’s idea, using me and not the other way around.”

We feel the author, a long time Hour of Power viewer from across the continent has keen powers of obser-vation and the ability to “tell it like it is” without couching her words.