Members of the Crystal Cathedral choir say they’re offended by an anti-gay document they’ve been asked to sign.
The “Crystal Cathedral Worship Choir and Worship Team Covenant,” recently handed out to choir members of the Garden Grove, Calif., megachurch, asks them to acknowledge that same-sex relationships are not acceptable to Christians.
The covenant states in part: “I understand that in an era where images of family relationship and personal sexuality are often confused, Crystal Cathedral Ministries believes that it is important to teach and model the biblical view. 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.”
Long-time church members told the Orange County Register this is the first time the cathedral has taken a firm stand against homosexuality and they are disturbed by it.
Ann Moore Waltz, the Cathedral’s first soloist, told the newspaper, “If I were still in the choir and if that was presented to me, and if a gay person had walked out, I would have walked out with him or her. If you are a Christian group and people come to you, you should be a good servant, love them and shine the light of Jesus on them – regardless of who they are.”
A 19-year member of the choir said she would quit if forced to sign the covenant.
“I have already told them I won't sign it,” the choir member, who asked not to be identified, told the Register. “We have had gays in the choir before. I’m not gay. But I don’t believe in what they’re saying.”
Sheila Schuller Coleman, daughter of the founder and senior pastor of the Crystal Cathedral, issued a statement saying the document is intended to “clarify expectations placed on them as ministry leaders.”
The Crystal Cathedral filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last October after cutting 150 staff members and losing half of its 10,000 members. A family feud over salaries led to the walkout of Robert A. Schuller, the son of founder Robert H. Schuller.