In the second part of this series, we reviewed the BLM and the LGBT+ movements. In the last part of this series, we look at the Woke Movement and finish up with a conclusion about all that this series has revealed.
The Woke Movement
In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, under “Woke – What to Know,” we read: “Woke is now defined in this dictionary as ‘aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice),’ and identified as U.S. slang. It originated in African American English and gained more widespread use beginning in 2014 as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.” We can see from this how the BLM and wokeness are inter-related, as are all the matters being discussed, which is precisely what this Q&A is highlighting.
Wikipedia makes these observations: “While the term woke initially pertained to issues of racial prejudice and discrimination impacting African Americans, it was appropriated by other activist groups with different causes. Abas Mirzaei, a senior lecturer in branding at Macquarie University says that the term ‘has been cynically applied to everything from soft drink to razors.
“Woke (/ˈwoʊk/ WOHK) is an English adjective meaning ‘alert to racial prejudice and discrimination’ that originated in African-American Vernacular English (AAVE). Beginning in the 2010s, it came to encompass a broader awareness of social inequalities such as sexism, and has also been used as shorthand for American Left ideas involving identity politics and social justice, such as the notion of white privilege and slavery reparations for African Americans.”
We can see from the above that the original meaning came to encompass a broader awareness of different matters that were attached to the original prejudice and discrimination, and we will see that other attachments have been made.
On the “younger.co.uk” website is an article, entitled “What Does ‘Woke’ mean to Britons?” as follows:
“Originally the term referred to a need to wake up to, and stay ‘woke’ to, the realities of Black people’s place in America and the system designed to keep them down. With the term becoming more mainstream recently it evolved to mean a more general sense of awareness to social injustice against all groups, although it remains closely associated with the Black Lives Matter movement.
“To opponents of the social aims of such movements, however, it has become a catch-all term for a certain type of socially liberal ideology they dislike – much as the term ‘political correctness’ can often be.”
In August 2022, on the byfaith.org website is a very long and instructive article, and below are a few excerpts:
“Today, the modern religion of the world is wokeness and when you examine its heart, you find wokeness is divisive and antichrist in nature. Those who embrace woke ideology claim to be distinctly aware of social justice problems and aim to eliminate all inequality. These people ‘awakened’ by the contemporary gospel of ‘justice’ believe this can be achieved by tearing down the old oppressive patriarchal order and by embracing all forms of diversity, inclusion and equity (DIE).
“Burning down buildings or dividing communities through violence is fine to woke protestors because they think it addresses ancient injustices. One famous woke warrior was asked about the violence and stealing within the movement, and replied, ‘I don’t care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store,’ adding, ‘That is reparations, anything they wanted to take, they can take it.’
“The command of Exodus 20:15, ‘You shall not steal,’ is not the only problem woke activists have with God’s Holy Scripture. All those limited Christian definitions in the Bible about human nature and sin, created by God, must be rejected and replaced. In short, they believe we must repent and renounce the gospel.
“All Christians should be committed to ending racism, but that desire does not extend to endorsing an antichrist movement that is in rebellion against God’s expressed will. Be careful what cause you endorse because you may be making God your enemy.
“‘For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted – you may well put up with it!’ – 2 Corinthians 11:4.
“According to progressive woke ideology, God is hindering true justice. The Bible’s precise description of the two sexes is discriminatory for those who identify as one of 68, 69, 70, and counting different gender expressions. The boundaries keep moving in this movement (Proverbs 22:28), but Christ is the anchor of all truth. The Holy Scriptures represent continuing symbols of the oppressive patriarchy, to those who keep inventing a new series of gender-inclusive pronouns, as their feelings or demonic beings guide them.
“Those who ‘go woke’ have been manipulated to believe they are establishing a just order; but they end up defining themselves by what they hate. They fall out with friends, family and colleagues, and hate the country that gave them everything they possess.
“As wokeness is a faith, it additionally has a demonic inquisition of hatred. The woke belief compels you to hate those who disagree with the ‘justice’ you are bringing. You can cancel, despise, spit, harm and kill those who disagree with you because they’re evil. It provides its servants with a pass to abuse those who think differently. Jesus said, ‘The time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service’ – John 16:2.
“In the woke religion, Christian beliefs about justice and truth are supplanted with contemporary doctrines of equality, LGBTQ+, aggressive feminism, anti-capitalism, cultural shame, historical national sin, legacy guilt, claims of privilege, intersectionality, micro-aggression, critical race beliefs, BLM, compelled speech and inclusion of all self-identities; but there’s no tolerance for those who challenge the woke faith. The woke spirit takes a young person who desires to do good and shifts them into a hating machine, an angry, bitter person.”
As we have mentioned previously, the overall discrimination package contains many different issues and situations. It is generally agreed that racial discrimination on its own is wrong. We were all made in the image of God (see Genesis 1:26-27).
However, along with this issue, the promotion of LGBT+ rights are seen by many as justified or acceptable; any opposing view is described as discrimination. However, biblical understanding clearly shows that this type of behaviour is wrong as it is the advancement and ennoblement of conduct of which God clearly disapproves.
Also, in the package generally called “discrimination” is the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLM). They are against racial discrimination which is clearly correct but they then go on much further by adding in their aim to defund the police and are anti-family. On their website we read, “We affirm the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all Black lives along the gender spectrum.” We have seen footballers “taking the knee” in an alleged attempt, in many cases, of supporting BLM and its aims and agenda.
White privilege and slavery together with identity politics and social justice are also inextricably woven into the fabric of this mass of unrest and negativity. Add into the mix, the Politically Correct Brigade which have been around longer than most of those whom we have already discussed, can also be part of this package together with the lack of free speech on these issues if you oppose them, and you have a real broad group of complainants, and often aggressors.
Then we have the Woke brigade many of whom are just waiting to be offended when no offence is meant and who act and behave in a way that Christians must never do.
Throw in abortion and other ungodly practices and you have an eclectic mix of most of the grievances found in society today, with so many of them overlapping into one big complaints package. All of these issues we have covered are inter-connected.
By supporting the general discrimination package, all of the other matters described above are included. It is like voting in an election where candidates may be seen as acceptable because they are against abortion and are pro-marriage but have other views that are not acceptable as part of their political platform. Therefore, voting for them is a non-starter for a true Christian as they would be giving support to views that are unacceptable to God’s Way of Life. We must not be involved with racial discrimination but ensure that we are not involved nor accept the rest of the package that it comes dressed up in. We have to be far more selective than those in the world because of the Way of Life to which we have been called.
We cannot change society nor is it our job to try and do so. It can be so easy to say “everyone to their own” and accept that this is okay because that is the way it has been going for quite some time. But we must be resolute in our own thinking, knowing that all of this antipathy to the Word of God, and the resultant depravity, will be replaced in God’s soon-coming Kingdom. In the meantime, it is an attitude we must have against that which is patently wrong, and which mustn’t infect our Christian beliefs and a mindset that we must have.
We should love the sinner genuinely and hate the sin – a requirement that those without God’s Spirit just cannot comprehend! One example of this may be helpful. A Church member lived opposite two homosexuals who shared a house and one of them had cancer. This member helped the person concerned in a number of ways and for which he was most grateful. He knew that this Church member did not approve of their lifestyle but appreciated the help given. That is a prime example of loving the sinner and hating the sin, which is something opponents of this concept cannot understand.
As Christians, we need to be aware of what is going on in the world today and to watch world events and our own personal spiritual condition. But our attention will not be in the direction of the whole discrimination package and all of its different component parts but in the context of Luke 21:36: “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines discrimination as follows: “…to distinguish by discerning or exposing differences: to recognize or identify as separate and distinct.” And we are separate and distinct from the world as the people of God, by not being involved, supporting or endorsing all of the wrong practices as discussed in this series of Q&As.
We read in James 2:10: “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” Bible.ak.orgmakes these interesting observations: “Lawbreaking, whether civil or religious, doesn’t need to be a breaking of all the laws—one offense is enough to convict the offender. No earthly judge will pardon the breaking of one law simply because the offender has kept many other laws. A chain is broken by the rupture of its weakest link. So, to stumble in one commandment causes the breaking of the whole law for the transgressor.”
Similarly, we might say that the discrimination “package” has to be accepted as a whole and any part of it that is not agreed with, or discarded, can be seen by its adherents as dismissing the whole concept of discrimination, when it is not!
Of course, the big difference between the two descriptions above is that all of God’s laws are to be kept but this “package” of man-made concepts about discrimination is just the words and folly of man, and in many cases, is not in alignment with the Word of God.
In our Q&A about right and wrong: www.globalchurchofgod.co.uk/who-determines-what-is-right-and-wrong/, we quote Dr J Slattery, writing specifically about sexual matters, stating the following:
“‘In today’s culture, right and wrong are sorted through a grid of what we perceive as being the best for ourselves and our fellow humans. Essentially, human beings are now “god,” with the authority to determine our own moral compass. With this type of humanistic worldview, morality is defined as “do no harm.” Ethics and morality are measured by whether or not people are harmed. “She’s not hurting anyone, so how could she be doing something wrong?” From this perspective, Christians who stand against gay marriage, for example, are thought to be doing harm. They are “hurting” people who want to celebrate the gay lifestyle. In contrast, those who want to participate in gay marriage are viewed as doing no harm.’”
Who is the ultimate authority in all moral matters? Is it the created – man – with all of his imperfections and lack of wisdom and Godly knowledge, or is it the Creator God of the Bible who was the One who created us all? The answer is that God reveals what is right and wrong in His Word—the Bible. Put as simply as we can, God decides what is right and wrong in His Word, and that must be our guide to life.
Only God has the right to decide what is good and evil, and much that is part of the “blob” of discrimination is decidedly against the way that God has commanded His people to live!
Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)