Monday, December 7, 2015

Well Said: That feeling of discomfort? It's called a conscience.

This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love. In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.

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.
Amen. Dr. Piper's letter succinctly sums up what it means to be an adult and where it's very easy in today's culture to go off the tracks.

Sad to say, this message applies to a good portion of our adult population as well as to college students.

(Via The Deacon's Bench)


  1. sad to say it's their parents, in other words OUR generation, who taught them those self absorbed ways. We coddled our kids, made sure everyone was nice to them and 'instructed' their teachers on how to teach our child if we felt they were getting the short end of the stick. Shame on us...we've raised selfish know-it-alls.

  2. Yes. And a lot of that has been taken into the culture and reinforced there. But I cannot take on that blame because my kids aren't like that. I was too selfish, for one thing, to coddle them. It was so much nicer for me, and the entire household, when they helped clean the kitchen. And so forth and so on. I'm guilty of many failings, but am glad to say that isn't one of them.

  3. Me either, I raised them to respect and put others first. They all teach and encourage others in their vocations now.