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Is Crystal Cathedral’s sex covenant anti-gay?

Talk back LAThe Crystal Cathedral has asked choir members to sign a controversial "covenant" stating that God intends sex to be between married heterosexuals.

That covenant has angered some current and former choir members who have viewed the document as "anti-gay," though church officials told Times reporter Nicole Santa Cruz that "is not the full intent" of the document.

"It's anyone who has a promiscuous lifestyle," church spokesman John Charles said.

"Crystal Cathedral ministries believes that it is important to teach and model the biblical view," reads the paragraph in the Crystal Cathedral Worship Choir and Worship Team Covenant. "I understand that Crystal Cathedral Ministries teaches that sexual intimacy is intended by God to only be within the bonds of marriage, between one man and one woman."

Document: Read the covenant here.

Senior Pastor Sheila Schuller offered a "sincere" apology Tuesday and noted that the church is "grappling with the challenge of reconciling love and adherence to God's word, even those passages that challenge us." But her father, church founder Robert H. Schuller, told the Orange County Register, which first reported the covenant, that he disagrees with the document because it goes against the principles upon which his church was built.

"I have a reputation worldwide of being tolerant of all people and their views," the senior Schuller said. "I'm too well-educated to criticize a certain religion or group of people for what they believe in. It's called freedom."

What do you think of the church's covenant? Should choir members be asked to sign it? What are your views of Crystal Cathedral, which has filed for bankruptcy and has come under recent criticism for giving hefty payouts and tax allowances for Schuller relatives and church insiders?

Comments () | Archives (54)

A church should not have a covenant with its members not to sin. If you eliminate anyone who sins from your church you will not have ANY members. A church is a place for sinners to gather to learn the word. DON'T sign this, this is Gods church not the pastors, a pastor is only someone who studied the bible and is there to share his knowledge. Do yourselves a favor and study the bible for yourself! A church is only a place to fellowship with others of similar beliefs.

The choir that sings the song of hate is a choir that should be kept quiet!

biblical view???? why do THEY only focus on gays?? how many of them eat shrimp, clam chowder and ham for Easter?? did they NOT read THAT part of the bible?? how many of those people are DIVORCED and remarried?? Jesus spoke VERY harshly about DIVORCE... Who in the HELL do they think THEY are???????!!!!!!?????

if EVERYONE is perfect, and if NO ONE is a sinner, then why bother going church?


Sorry folks, but the Bible is anti-gay -- in behavior only. God loves the sinner, but hates the sin. Don't confuse the two.

1 Corinthians 6:9
Romans 1:24

This is the sad hypocritical nature forced onto good people by modern American Evangelical Christianity. No ability to acknowledge new information, new ideas, evolving senses of the world, or indeed anything other than the enshrined ancient superstitions. Yet they ceded themselves the ability to hate while claiming not to. To claim they're "challenged" and "thinking deeply" about difficulty choices while all the while they're deluded away from the simple truth. Call it what you like, claim what you will, defend as you may. It's intolerance and it's a dying item in modern America. Look at the demographics and talk to young people. This type of exclusionary religion won't last half a generation more. Thank God.

The first thing this document states is that you agree that you are a Christian and you hold the Bible as your authority in all things. That's a really big deal.

Then it goes on to state that "I will seek to be an example of beliefs taught by Crystal Cathedral Ministry under the Lordship of Jesus Christ." Makes sense, since you're singing for them.

THEN it goes on to detail some of those specifics, including their view on sexual promiscuity and gossip, which, my guess, are probably included because they've caused conflict.

I'm a former member of the Crystal Cathedral choir.

The Crystal Cathedral is a huge organization with many volunteers and paid staff members, including singers. They have the right to choose to employ people who believe as they do. They do not have the right to discriminate on the basis of age, race, gender, etc. but they do get to say who they hire and use based on their religion.

This upset was brought by someone who doesn't want to comply with Crystal Cathedral's beliefs about the Bible, and that's okay. But a church has to believe something, and this one is only stating what they believe with this document. They are doing what a church is supposed to do.

A church has the right to request compliance with its ideals, otherwise, it's only a nice social club.

How many of the choir members have ever spoken back to their parents? The Bible states that those children shall be stoned.

Why doesn't the church force it's choir members to sign a covenent against eating shellfish? Or that women choir members are not to question their male counterparts? It seems to me the church has easily given up on all the other sins but they'll be damned if they stop hating the gays. Which is proof in and of itself that there is no God and these people are certainly not his children.

As the Senior Pastor of a progressive, radically inclusive church, I find it so sad that the church has not yet come to understand and celebrate the wonderful gifts that all of God's children bring. At Metropolitan Community Church Los Angeles (www.mccla.org) you are not just welcome, you are celebrated.

If the church is going to take such a stand, at least the covenant should be literate. One has a "role" to serve in a church, not a "roll." Before folks unveil a controversial document, it should at least be proofread by a 5th grader.

All churches should have their tax exempt status removed. This would solve lots of problems.

@Just me.
Former Republican makes an essential point about religion's place and holding it's members accountable for certain things which clearly would be harmful and not conducive to social interaction and comportment.
The religious definition of sins, has been used to abuse other people. The Bible as a whole has been referred to to justify anything from slavery and Jim Crow to the subjugation of women and the entitlement of men. And discrimination on the basis of one's sexual orientation clearly IS harmful and abusive of a minority in the entire of mankind whose offense is in being different, not in betraying anything or anyone.
One condition of the utmost ethical and moral behavior still holds true: treat another as you'd want to be treated.
As long as heterosexuals give themselves every excuse, and ESPECIALLY God and religion to avoid this, then you should be questioned on the consistence of your own religious principle.

I think that the document is a good idea for people that are trying to bring people into the presence of God. I am not against gays living their lives as long as the do not try to change what God created. One man and One woman together in marraige. People seem to forget that the world would be no where without a man providing sperm and the woman providing the egg. So tell me now how can 2 men have children or two woman have children without the other. Men have to provide the sperm that the lesbian woman need to have kids. The men obviously cant have kids. So now back to the covenant. If your going to belive in the Bible, you should hate all sin, and pray for the sinners to come to know God. The bible is the way to eternity and only those whose do everything they can to be christ like will go to Heavan

The Bible has many rules - most of which are not followed any more because they don't make cultural sense in our world. Don't wear clothing of mixed fibers, keep slaves, beat your wife, and other irrelevant regulations. Why is THIS rule the only one congregants are expected to sign a covenant for? This is hatred disguised as religion.

I'm not Jewish so I can eat shellfish. My neighbor is Jeweish and he eats pork. He's not religious. Thank goodness someone is standing up for the Bible (i.e. Shuller's daughter) and what it teaches. I'm surprised Robert is against this document. What kind of a church is this? no wonder they are falling apart-filing bankruptcy. The Bible says when the Lord returns-will he find faith. True faith? Not much. The real church will stand apart from the false ones. The Bible says in the later days there will be a great falling away, and people will be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. We're there.

People who live in crystal cathedrals shouldn't throw stones.

The Crystal Cathedral IS anti-gay: it's part of the Reformed Church in America denomination. Its sister denomination, the Christian Reformed Church, is even MORE anti-gay. Two of their schools in West Michigan, Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, are increasingly threatening their gay students, faculty and staff and making life intolerable for them. My husband's step-sister formerly taught at Hope and was appalled at the behavior. And she has learned from friends who still teach there that it's only getting worse.

This "covenant" should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with these bodies. They all should be on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of hate groups, because they are hateful.

I only hope that this controlling judgmental policy seals the fate of the financially-troubled Crystal Cathedral. They deserve no more money from anybody as they rail and divide. They deserve to go under. Their time has passed.

Thank you Crystal Cathedral for finally standing firm on what the Bible teaches about church leadership! Don't allow the negative external pressure from the media or internal pressure from anyone within your congregation to allow you to deter from God's Word.

There is a lot of confusion out there about who this covenant is intended for. It is for the choir members--the persons responsible for leading the congregation into worship. The key word here is LEAD. You are an example to all those who you are LEADING.

This covenant DOESN'T exclude anyone from ATTENDING the church. One of the reasons that the church exists is to reconcile people to God, no matter what their background is. But as soon as that person wants to leave the pew and step up on stage as a leader, they need to be practicing what they preach or in this case, sing about!

The bible is all over the map with marriage- the old testament condones polygamy, sex with slaves, stoning of non-virgin wives, etc. People who pull out a simple message of heterosexual monogamy on marriage are not being honest about the bible, reveal their own lack of respect and knowledge of its text and are only giving voice out their own ideas. Moreover, their ideas run counter to the very unambiguous teachings of Jesus to love unconditionally, forgive and refraining from judgment when one is not himself free from sin.

Why is it everyone views God as anti-"me" or anti-[insert issue]? God was here first, He made everything, may be we are "anti-God?" The Bible is clear on homosexuality, heterosexuality, where sex is appropriate and speaks on many different issues.
Faith is trusting God no matter how you "feel," and if God's Word offends you, it is only fair that if you want to accuse the church and the Bible of being "anti-[whatever]," it is also fair you look at yourself and see if you have the same tendancies. At the end of the day it was clear to me that when I compared myself to the Bible- I was clearly on the losing end.
Jesus is Lord- we need Him- and humility is the way to realizing that.

I agree with their policy regarding sex,and wish all religions and individual churches would do the same.

Judith, Shuller's daughter is not standing up for the bible at all. She's ignoring the part about how women are property of their father or husband, and that they are not allowed to interact in the church in any way other than going to it

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