The feedback from the Andrew Harvey weekend has not all been positive. Andrew's presentation is that of a fire and brimstone preacher, and his message carries a little of the fear and damnation of that type of church. I knew as I sat in church yesterday watching him rage across the stage that there would be some negative reaction. Here is what I expected:
1. People flashing back to the church they couldn't get away from fast enough.
2. People offended by his political views.
3. People offended by his message that we'd better wake up because things are looking pretty damn bad.
4. People who didn't want to hear his message that our kind of New Age church thinks all we have to do is be happy and everything will fall into place.
Some of those things came out in the emails, but not all. I think people have been reasonable about their objections. The church is not the place to tell people how to vote. To vote, maybe, but not how. Church yesterday was not relaxing. I would almost bet that not a single person left feeling peaceful and serene. Our minister speaks softly and soothingly, and this was about as far away from his style as you can get. And even I don't want to think about how bad things are.
But I'll stick with my final opinion about the weekend. It shook things up. For people to get up this morning and start composing emails about how they felt, that is good! Thoughtful reaction springs from thoughtful contemplation. That, to me, means the weekend was a success.
(If you'd like to read some of the emails, you can go to the Spiritual Gifts Study blog but I would appreciate it if you would just read, not comment, as this is the facilitators forum, not the general readership.)