Society has changed radically, even in the last five years. If Christians do not understand where all this is coming from and have not been taught to assess this movement biblically how will they know what to say?
Why we need to open our eyes.
The Catholic writer Noelle Mering gives a helpful and succinct definition of ‘Woke’. She writes: ‘The term woke refers to the state of being alert and attuned to layers of oppression in society’. It is about being on the side of those who are or who see themselves as marginalised and discriminated against. Does that ring any bells for us? Surely, it reminds us of Jesus.
But then it gets subverted. While it began specifically and rightly with racism in mind, it has since broadened its scope to take in other areas where there is now commonly considered to be oppression – including questions of gender, transgender and sexual orientation. This becomes not just a mixed bag, but a can of worms for Christians. As just one indicator of how ‘Woke’ has been mis-focused, it is worth noting that although it is meant to be fighting for justice in society, as far as I know, it has little or nothing to say directly about poverty. The kinds of oppression with which it is concerned are quite selective in a 21st century, libertarian kind of way.
Why do pastors need to be teaching God’s people from Scripture on this subject? And why is it a very urgent matter? Let me give you three reasons.
The Woke agenda is now calling the shots in vast areas of our nation’s political, cultural, educational and working life.
That means that many of those in our congregations are having to confront ‘Woke’ issues in their daily working lives. Many Christians are expected, for example, to join in ‘gay pride’ week at the supermarket where they work. Is that okay? The pervasive influence of ‘Woke’ means that many parents are finding their children coming home from school having met up with a biological girl who is presenting as a boy – and vice versa. How is a parent to handle this?