Monday, September 26, 2005

Sometimes being positive is just so negative...

I don't usually do this, but I don't know how I can't.


I was reading an article in Newsweek I think, or maybe it was U.S. News and World Report, called What Makes a Televangelist Tick? where the televangelist was trying to explain why he gets criticized so much for being so positive.

Now I don't want to be negative but talk about an adventure in missing point. Or I guess really I could say it more positively, wow, he's really great at completely missing the point.

So, the interviewer asks: "You get criticized a lot for your relentless positivity—why?"

And he responds,

"I think maybe it's because it's not old school. People are used to being beaten down, they're used to [churches] condemning people to make them feel bad so that they'll repent, so they'll know that they're sinners, but I think there's a different approach. The scripture says that it's the goodness of God that leads people to repent, so I take the approach that I'm going to say, "you know what, God is not mad at you; he's already sent his son; the price has been paid, if you'll just accept it.' Maybe some people think I'm not hard enough on 'em, but yet I talk about hard issues, I just do it in a positive way; I do it in a way that says, "Hey, you can overcome—it doesn't matter where you've been or what you've done."

Sometimes when I'm following someone in my car, I won't be paying attention and I'll accidentally get ahead of them. When that happens I have to keep looking in my rear view mirror to see which way they want me to go. From an outsider's perspective it may look like I'm leading but really I'm just following from the front.

To me, that pretty much sums up this quote.

What a perfect example of the way most people think about what it means to be positive and by the way, what it means to be negative. Being positive means telling people "hey you can do it..." Being negative means talking about sin.

So someone comes to the doctor with a massive tumor, being negative means talking to him about it? Um sir, I would tell you that you have a tumor the size of a basketball growing inside you but that's not really very positive is it - let's talk about how nice and sunny it is outside.

Being negative isn't talking about the massive tumor, being negative is making fun of the guy because he has a massive tumor, being negative is not pointing out the fact that there is a way of dealing with the tumor.

Honestly, sometimes being "positive" as the world defines it is the most negative thing you could possibly do.

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