Sunday, March 21, 2010

TV Preachers: Robert H. Schuller

There's a lot to be said for "TV Preachers." When I was 40, I moved from NJ to CA. I had been "un-churched" for a few decades, during my alcoholic days, and had just sobered up. I had been raised Catholic but was still adrift from the 17 years of drinking. For a few months, I went on a Sunday morning TV Preacher marathon, every week. Back then, I developed a short list of ministers who uplifted me and encouraged me. Some, I even sent donations to. Of about 15 back then, I only know of about half a dozen still doing their shows.

Anyhow, it has been a long time since I did that. It was wonderful to turn on the TV and get a dose of what I needed - spiritual guidance. Eventually, because of the words of Reverend Robert H. Schuller, of Crystal Cathedral fame, I registered at my local Catholic parish. Still, I tuned in to him from time to time. During those days, I often bought his books. I still have quite a few of them and rely on their messages even today. That was back in the 1980s.

This is a little mixed up tonight. I wasn't planning on discussing Robert H. Schuller, but rather, another minister. I will take that up tomorrow, now that I'm on this track. The Lord has ways of guiding me, nudging me into areas I don't always expect. So, maybe there's someone out there who needs to read this.

What he said back then, about being un-churched, was that he appreciated viewers watching his show and listening to him, but that it was still to their benefit to join a good church. There was no replacing being in the midst of a service filled with like-minded people.

He was right. My reason in those days for not going back to my own church was rather childish. I kept thinking about all the folks I knew who went to church and still sinned. I kept thinking about the things I totally disagreed with in my church's rules and regulations and guidance.

Then one morning, I realized that I really missed an organized community. I realized that, as far as the "hypocritical" church-goers went, they were only humans, sinners like me, not claiming they were perfect, but instead, trying to get a weekly gift of grace so they could try once more to live as God wanted them to, to start over with a fresh week. That was to be admired, giving up their hour to be there in the church of their choice.

I also realized that as for the disagreement with church policy, I had many friends and relatives who I disagreed with but it didn't stop me from seeing them, enjoying them, even heeding some of their advice, and loving them.

Robert H. Schuller may have lost a potential parishioner, but probably saved my soul . How nice is that? He still has an hour's show on some Cable and Satellite stations, the Hour of Power.

Father, if anyone is reading this and on the verge of coming back to you, but holding off for any of the reasons above, I pray that these words reach their hearts. And please, always, always bless Reverend Robert H. Schuller.

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