Jump directly to the Content


The image of the "yes-man" in our society is not a good one. The fawning second in command is regularly caricatured in New Yorker magazine cartoons and Hollywood movies. So strong is our abhorrence of this conniving flatterer that almost any kind of obedience or submission is looked down on as unbecoming a real mall or a modern woman.

In a Marlboro-man world, our individual freedom to respond to that "something deep inside you" (which may tell you to quit your job and start a charter fishing boat business) is one of the most cherished values of American civil religion. To give up that independence by willingly or unwillingly submitting to another person rankles us.

The roots of this independence are deep. The frontier image of cheating starvation and death by doing everything for oneself still thrives as a cultural archetype. The all-men-are-created-equal assurances of our constitution have been stretched far beyond their original intent as broad guidelines for lawmakers and have become ...

From Issue:Spring 1986: Worship
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Redemptive Vulnerability
Redemptive Vulnerability
Our leadership should demonstrate God's strength and our weakness.
From the Magazine
Yes, Charisma Has a Place in the Pulpit
Yes, Charisma Has a Place in the Pulpit
But let’s not mistake it for calling.
Editor's Pick
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
Understanding God and our world needs more than bare reason and experience.