More than a sex covenant?

The Los Angeles Times has joined the chorus of news organizations reporting on the Crystal Cathedral's controversial choir covenant.

I complained Wednesday that the matter had blown into a full-scale national media brouhaha without a single current choir member being quoted by name.

I wish I could report that the Times benefited from my enlightening post and took my advice.

Nope, didn't happen.

Instead, we have another shallow report focused on the covenant's statement that "sexual intimacy is intended by God to only be within the bonds of marriage, between one man and one woman." And we have another story with no choir members quoted.

Even the Times' headline leaves a lot to be desired:

Crystal Covenant sex covenant stirs controversy

Sex covenant?

Read the entire document. Is it a sex covenant? Or, just perhaps, is it a more wide-ranging doctrinal statement than that?

Indeed, beyond a mere church debate over homosexuality, the covenant seems to be part of an ongoing Crystal Cathedral dispute involving doctrine, a disgruntled former choir director and the clash of past and present in the post-Robert H. Schuller era. To wit:

On Wednesday, church founder Robert H. Schuller said he strongly disapproved of the covenant because it goes against what he has built his church upon.

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

In the comments section of my original post, someone named tmatt called attention to an element of this news story that I neglected:

I think one other point must be stressed.

The Crystal Cathedral has long been known as a pioneer of a kind of vague, foggy, optimistic, post-doctrinal approach to Christianity. ... Many critics of the church have -- over the decades -- considered this bad and an open door to trouble.

It appears that, facing decline and struggle, the congregation's leaders have decided to veer back toward Christian doctrine, as defined by most Christians through the ages.

That's an interesting story. Maybe it could be covered?

Maybe indeed.

Or maybe tmatt's just preaching to the GetReligion choir. (Sorry, couldn't resist that line.)

Please respect our Commenting Policy