Recently, a student at Oklahoma Wesleyan University made news when he complained that a sermon preached in a chapel service made him feel “victimized” and uncomfortable. The university’s president, Dr. Everett Piper, wrote an excellent response to this event, and I would like to share a portion of it with you; however, Dr. Piper’s full article entitled, “This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University!” is published at www.okwu.edu and deserves a full read. It succinctly describes and subsequently answers issues in Christian higher education of the millennial generation.
Working with the outstanding students of Indiana Bible College is one of the greatest pleasures of my ministerial life. It’s frightening, however, just how much this generation has unwittingly subscribed to the doctrine of political correctness. Too many millennials have to fight through an inner struggle that pushes them toward the “don’t offend anyone” mentality before they can access the strength and boldness that it takes to preach the Gospel. Preaching Jesus has always been a polarizing act, and it is even more so today. This generation needs our time, our investment and our prayers as they navigate a world that is increasingly hostile to the Bible and its message.
“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’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 that will give you exactly what you want…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, Oklahoma Wesleyan University