I’m not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic. Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims. Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them “feel bad” about themselves, is a “hater,” a “bigot,” an “oppressor,” and a “victimizer.”
I have a message for this young man and all others who care to listen. That feeling of discomfort you have after listening to a sermon is called a conscience. An altar call is supposed to make you feel bad. It is supposed to make you feel guilty. The goal of many a good sermon is to get you to confess your sins—not coddle you in your selfishness. The primary objective of the Church and the Christian faith is your confession, not your self-actualization.
So here’s my advice:
If you want the chaplain to tell you you’re a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you’re looking for. If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place.
If you’re more interested in playing the “hater” card than you are in confessing your own hate; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn; if you don’t want to feel guilt in your soul when you are guilty of sin; if you want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn’t one of them.
At OKWU, we teach you to be selfless rather than self-centered. We are more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge. We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict. We believe the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin. We don’t believe that you have been victimized every time you feel guilty and we don’t issue “trigger warnings” before altar calls.
Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about others; that the bad feeling you have while listening to a sermon is called guilt; that the way to address it is to repent of everything that’s wrong with you rather than blame others for everything that’s wrong with them. This is a place where you will quickly learn that you need to grow up.
This is not a day care. This is a university.
—Dr. Everett Piper, President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University
My thoughts: the reason this generation needs safe spaces is because they don’t have God. When you have God, you don’t have to be afraid of shame. You can say you were wrong. And it’s not works-based salvation either. Salvation comes through faith. Supernatural, unconditional Grace.
This works-based ethical outlook of our modern era, which leaves no space for redemption, has been frantically trying to stem the resulting tide of self-hating despair.
So they tried to eliminate sin. But a repressed conscience just mutates sin into shame. And shame is the deadliest of all. It’s the devil’s finest tool of control. He uses it to keep us in our place, far away from healing:
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
See what is in there? Fear of shame. Fear of shame is what keeps us from the light.
Let’s bring back the concept of sin. For if we turn our shame back into sin, we can be redeemed.
This generation, with its demands for safe spaces, is the most fragile one in generations. It isn’t that they are babies who can’t grow up. It’s that they’re dying without the light.