Clergy are taught to “meet people where they are.” So are psychotherapists. The difference is tat professionals are trained to care for people’s psychological health have a central responsibility to help people grow, and in particular to grow more independent of their counselors. In contrast, the central responsibility of clergy has been to comfort people, which fosters an increasing dependence on counselors and on the community of the church. This may be called inculcating “spiritual growth,” but it can amount to encouraging addiction to the comforts to be found in the arms of the faithful, the surest way of keeping one’s parishioners where they are – needy and trusting and obedient. So if, as many clergy tell us, their congregations are not ready for the truth, not strong enough for the truth, their own practices are in part responsible for this frailty.
–Daniel Dennett and Linda LaScola, Caught in the Pulpit pg 197