The coddling of the Presbyterian pew...

Error message

A brother forwarded a link to an Atlantic Monthly piece titled "The Coddling of the American Mind" reporting on the prevalence of emotionally pampered college students who are using emotional blackmail to imprison their profs and fellow students. It's an excellent article...

Here's an excerpt:

This new climate is slowly being institutionalized, and is affecting what can be said in the classroom, even as a basis for discussion. During the 2014–15 school year, for instance, the deans and department chairs at the 10 University of California system schools were presented by administrators at faculty leader-training sessions with examples of microaggressions. The list of offensive statements included: “America is the land of opportunity” and “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.”

...The current movement is largely about emotional well-being. presumes an extraordinary fragility of the collegiate psyche, and therefore elevates the goal of protecting students from psychological harm. The ultimate aim, it seems, is to turn campuses into “safe spaces” where young adults are shielded from words and ideas that make some uncomfortable.

This imprisonment has prevailed in our churches for several decades, now. Reformed worship today is effeminate, and therefore insipid. It must never rise above the fears of the wives of session members to manly faith and zeal. The "grace" movement in preaching and pastoral care is our denial of Jesus' warning that the Kingdom of God is suffering violence, and violent men are seizing it by force. We say, "Oh no. Oh, oh no. The Kingdom of God must be brought in gracefully so soft and effeminate men will feel safe enough to cuddle up."

What the Atlantic describes is a feminized society where God isn't feared because women are. And those women have raised our children who are now off at college having grown up without their emotional wellbeing ever being threatened by any such thing as a father bearing some infinitesimal resemblance to the Father Almighty.

Knowing which side of their bread is buttered, seminaries produce grads who have been trained to lead in such a way that Mother sans Father, Woman sans man feels secure. Imagine what WIC would do if they'd never seen the imprecatory psalms and someone tried to get them into the Trinity Hymnal.

By God's mercy, our congregation has been blessed with elders' wives who never try to manipulate the elders and pastors away from risk, discipline, or zeal.

Life is terribly risky, especially at worship. God made it that way and we must never allow ourselves and our children to be corrupted by preachers and church musicians who deny the danger.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!