Robert A. Schuller, the son of televangelist Robert H. Schuller, didn’t talk to his family much in the months after he resigned from The Crystal Cathedral in 2008—and he didn’t follow the saga around the church bankruptcy on purpose.
Now that the dust has settled, Schuller is sharing his heart about the health of his father and his relationship with is family, and offering some encouraging words for others going through difficult transitions.
Charisma News caught up with Schuller, author of the new book When You are Down to Nothing, God Is Up to Something, in the second of this two-part series. Click here to read part one, “Schuller Discusses What Went Wrong at Crystal Cathedral.”
Charisma News: Was it really hard to watch your dad go through all the accusations and loss in the drama surrounding the Crystal Cathedral? Some were saying your father has dementia and there were many rumors flying around. What’s the truth?
Schuller: My father is 85 years old. He’ll be 86 in just a few months and for the past few years he’s definitely had memory loss. He hasn’t had control of his emotions very well. He doesn’t know how to solve problems. He’s confused about different things and my understanding is that’s really a form of dementia.
When I was a young man in the Crystal Cathedral, my dad was very intuitive and immediately active as far as the order of worship is concerned. We would be in worship and he would nudge me and say “Robert, you’ve got to get up there.” Because of the taping, it was important for us to be in place. So when the music stopped, you started speaking immediately. A second on television is an eternity. By the time I left the cathedral in 2008 he couldn’t follow the program. He didn’t know it was time for him to go up on the pulpit. He would ask me numerous times until I finally would coach him, saying “It’s time for you to go up now, Dad.” He definitely suffered from memory loss and the other signs of dementia.
Charisma News: I’ve read there was a time when you were not talking to your family. What is that relationship like now?
Schuller: I have a good relationship with my parents. We recently went over to my father’s house with my new grandsons. We had four generations in the picture. My grandson’s name is Robert. He’s Robert the fourth.
Charisma News: So what advice would you give then to other people who suddenly find themselves having change direction and take a new path in life?
Schuller: First of all, be open to the hand of God. Number two, do anything to do something. In other words, don’t sit on your hands and do nothing. It’s better to do anything than to do nothing as long as it’s morally and spiritually upright. So you have to be active and moving. God will guide and direct you in ways you cannot comprehend.
Charisma News: Any closing thoughts?
Schuller: This is a time in our society that I never experienced before in my life. Since World War II, we experienced job growth to the tune of 10 million jobs a decade up until the first decade of this millennium. We saw negative job growth in the first decade of this millennium. As a result of that, we have a lot of catching up to do as a nation to maintain the economic strengths that we have enjoyed for the last 60 years.
There are a lot of people who are finding themselves in positions and in situations where the job they’ve had for the last 30 years is no longer there and it’s not coming back. They really need to understand that it’s time to reinvent themselves and allow God to move in their lives to expand beyond what borders they have today.
At the same time, we have physical realities. Unfortunately, people have to deal with devastating issues in their health and in their relationships. Regardless of what you are dealing with today, if you find yourself feeling like you have nothing just remember that God is truly up to something.
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