The Lord Is Good, Safe… and Dangerous

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(The Imaginative Conservative)Jesus is the only final safety we have in the world. We need to convey that truth.But we also need to convey that what He asks of those who want this safety is something that is simultaneously absolutely dangerous to us here and now, in all senses of the word.

A friendly acquaintance on X—the social media platform formerly known as Twitter—was describing how Jesus created “safe spaces” for those around him. She’s a successful founder of a classical academy and a serious Protestant Christian. The Lord, she insisted, always made people feel safe. Was she right?

I understood what she was going for. As a classical Christian educator, she has an interest in creating an environment in which students can learn by trying out ideas freely. She wants teachers who can build the trust of these students that they will be taken seriously and will not be punished for getting things wrong—even if they misunderstand serious moral and theological ideas. And she wants to connect what she’s doing to what Jesus the Teacher does for us.

Yet I couldn’t resist arguing with her about this since I don’t think she appreciates what “safe space” means now. In today’s parlance, “safe spaces” are the exact opposite of what she’s talking about. Safe spaces are not where one can be free to get things wrong. Safe spaces are where one is not allowed to say things that contradict the current narratives. In other words, a modern “safe space” for discourse is one in which students are not allowed to hear thoughts such as: men cannot be women and vice versa, same-sex sexual behavior is not morally okay and opposite-sex sexual behavior is not morally okay outside of marriage, and Jesus is the Lord above all other lords and the only way to salvation. All such ideas—and many others like them—are not allowed to be said because they make people feel “unsafe.”

In other words, what she and I both want is not a safe space in the modern sense, but an unsafe space where people can say things that are actually…

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