From R.G.: I just finished reading the book One Nation Under Therapy by Sommers and Satel. The book outlines how our “helping culture” has eroded self-reliance. Not necessarily Christian, but there it is a cry for people to develop some thicker skin. Thicker skin (or CS Lewis would say “men with chests”) combined with a sense of duty and orthodoxy would produce some leaders.
Tying this thought to our mission to “develop people” what do you think about issue of the contemporary “helping culture”?
My Response: My experience with feelings and the “helping” culture was shocking. I have witnessed a graduate from a leading seminary pray over the dead (announcing to the family that their loved one is in heaven since he prayed for God to receive his soul even though the man had been dead for several hours), another seminary graduate saying that praying in Jesus’ name or to the Father is offensive (since some people believe God to be a “mother”), and yet another explaining that presenting the gospel to someone is not helpful. This was all done in the name of sparing people’s feelings. When we place people’s feelings above the Truth of the Bible, then we are not helping them at all.
Being a Christian leader means that we must tell the truth in love. We don’t give people a false impression of God, and we don’t compromise the Word.
I think society in general is overly concerned with making people feel less badly about themselves. In our public school system here, the “F” for failure grade has been eliminated. “F” is now “E” because “F” was too harsh for students’ self-esteem. They also don’t use red ink to correct papers since “red” is too negative. I think experiencing failure is healthy and makes us stronger, but that’s only my opinion.