"Against NEGATIVITY" -by Andrew Strom. I had someone else tell me today that the real "me" is quite a bit different to the controversial hard-line guy that sometimes comes across in my writings. People often get the impression that I am a provocative and "abrasive" person - outspoken on issues like "Why I left the Prophetic Movement", 'Toronto' and the state of today's church, etc. They are often surprised when they meet me or interact with me - I am not that "negative" a person. In fact I am positively "FOR" the Harvest, FOR the power of the Holy Spirit, and FOR actively seeking Revival - whatever way God wants to send it. Am I "anti" many of the prophetic people or others that I have disagreed with? -Not at all. Most of them I could happily sit down and discuss things with. I don't go around thinking of new ways to be negative. I have had many people tell me that I am a lot "warmer" than they thought I would be. I simply do not believe in being critical or "anti" for it's own sake. I choose very carefully the issues that I need to be outspoken about. But the rest of the time I am open to all kinds of opinions, people, movements, pastors, leaders, etc, etc. Why be judgmental? Why be quick to write things off? -That is what the Pharisees were like. However, this will not stop me from being outspoken on things that are really important. And it will not stop me preaching about 'Repentance' and the True Gospel either. I will always be strong and direct on those things. But the fact is, without LOVE I am merely a clanging gong and a resounding cymbal. God has dealt with me very strongly in this area over the years. Pretty basic, isn't it? One preacher told me that the first time he spoke with me, he suddenly realized that I was not some negative judgmental hard- liner, and he had to repent before God for the way he had judged me from afar. But frankly, I have to take a lot of blame for this myself. It is obvious that I have allowed an "unbalanced" viewpoint to go across too often, and I have given people the wrong idea. Is it possible to truly have the 'LOVE' of Christ, but still be outspoken and direct on these issues? Yes - I believe it is. We see this in the New Testament all the time. One of the things that has saddened me is that the Forum on our main website - http://www.revivalschool.com - has too often become focused on the "negative". There are many pearls and wonderful postings that turn up on there all the time, but too often the negative has outweighed the positive. It is hard to know what to do about this - without deleting every third posting or so. It has been a bit like the 'wild west' - but I have to be happy that at least many people have been given their say. Yet the harshness and negativity does sadden me at times. I do not mind people disagreeing with each other - but it is the WAY they do it. I used to love debates and arguments myself (-no longer!) but something God showed me years ago was that is is very possible to win the argument yet lose the person. And that was a pretty sobering lesson. Friends, many of us on this List are a bit on the 'intense', "John- the-Baptist" side of things. And we have to face the fact that God has to "crush" a lot of the harshness out of us if He is ever going to use us in a major way. I have had twenty years of "crushing" and I can tell you, it is something that is desperately needed in people like us. -Otherwise we can do such terrible damage to God's precious lambs. The more 'intense' we are, the more this is needed. I think there is something that every one of us needs to look at. We need to turn to 1 Cor 13 (-the 'Love' passage) and ask ourselves, "Is that me?" "Love is patient and kind; Love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; It does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Cor 13:4-7). We could also ask ourselves the same question about the following passage: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Gal 5:22-23). These are familiar passages (-maybe TOO familiar), but take another hard look at them, my friends. Every one of us needs to ask ourselves the question, "Is that me?" -And if not, why not? What do we need to repent of, what do we need to RENOUNCE, to make these passages true of us? There are many of us who need to get before God again, and pray about these things. God bless you all. Kindest regards in Christ, Andrew Strom.