If you think woke culture or “Wokeism,” with its attendant cancel culture, isn’t going to bother Christians, the Church, Christianity, or Christ himself, you should think again.
“Woke” people often consider themselves or at least those they purport to represent, victims. Consequently, they seem to be offended by nearly everything. That’s bad enough, but the real problem begins with their penchant for wanting to silence or cancel everything and everyone with which or with whom they disagree, turning them into bullies.
In an incredibly short time, woke religiosity has garnered a wave of White guilt being confessed in religious forms: kneeling, washing feet, chanted mantras, weeping, lengthy impassioned confessions, white fragility, cash reparations, groveling, White people in general acting more offended than the victim, apologizing for mostly phantom offenses, new vocabulary like “I must do better,” “white privilege,” “systemic racism,” “white supremacy,” “allyship,” ritual chastisement, invented “cultural appropriation.”
Bullies are never satisfied, never placated. No amount of agreement, apology, acquiescence, or appeasement is enough. Bullies always demand more.
This is barely scratching the surface, and it’s just beginning. There will be much more to come. But people throwing rocks at Christianity is nothing new.
Jesus said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also” (John 15:18-20).
Remember The Beatles’ John Lennon in 1966? He said, “We’re more popular than Jesus.” The remark spawned considerable reaction in the United States, but little ultimately came of it. Enormously talented, arrogant, and confused young men are part and parcel to rock and roll then and since. It’s a “chasing after the wind.”
What’s new in 2020, though, is not just a few “out-there” irreligious individuals attacking Christianity or the Church, it’s the degree to which this is becoming a new normal in American culture, often accepted if not promulgated by Big Media and/or Big Social Media and other cultural elites. Anti-Christian bias is growing.
And some within the Church are buying-in to woke culture. “‘Woke’ Christian leaders and pastors today are jumping on the ‘hype train’ of what culture is currently applauding. But they don't really look at what the hype train is connected to. For example, many of the things culture applauds are connected to relativism, abortion, transgenderism, the breakup of the nuclear family.” Woke-within the Church is more dangerous than Woke-without.
Woke culture stems from a non-Christian worldview. It’s a matter of pre-theoretical assumptions and values. So woke people have internalized their views. This isn’t just a political movement; it’s a cultural revolution.
Biblically Christian values regarding sexual morality and gender definition make Christians and the Church by definition enemies of Wokeism. Christian perspectives on race, work, property, and economics, liberty, family, law and order, education and culture, in part or in whole are at odds with woke philosophy. This means woke people will attempt to “cancel” aspects of the Church, Christian nonprofit organizations, and Christian colleges and universities. It’s going to happen. It is happening.
During March to August and continuing, First Amendment freedoms of speech and religion were already being trampled by overreaching state officials in the name of public health. Now these unalienable rights are beginning to be sacrificed to the new religion of woke orthodoxy that brooks no disagreement, operates without grace, offers no forgiveness, and provides no redemption, just condemnation and destruction of reputations, careers, lives.
How shall we then live? Christians and the Church need to be ready to give an answer of their hope (1 Peter 3:15), which means:
- Be informed about the issues,
- Be able to apply your Christian worldview to these issues,
- Be humble in speaking the truth in love, with gentleness and respect,
- Be forgiving as Christ forgave us,
- Be aware that suffering, harassment, possibly persecution could come your way for what you believe,
- Be confident and strong in the Lord, for He is Sovereign.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020
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