Every once in a while, Dave (being a retired preacher) feels the need to pontificate. After all, it's hard to go cold turkey. To scratch this itch, he has created High Tolerance--an e-letter touching on all things worldly (or whatever grabs his attention at the moment).
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July 7, 2021
In the years leading up to the American Revolution, a religious revival swept across the British colonies. It was led by Christian preachers such as George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards and has become known historically as the Great Awakening. A plethora of descriptions of the Awakening and its resulting effects have been widely documented over the years, so I won’t attempt to replow that ground here. Suffice it to say, it was equivalent to a spiritual earthquake or a transcendent tidal wave across, what would become, the United States of America.
While we point to leading men such as Whitefield and Edwards, any authentic revival is Spirit-led—not manmade. If the Holy Spirit of God doesn’t send revival, there is no awakening. As human beings, we can only respond if the Lord touches our hearts. Anything less is imitation—or worse, counterfeit.
In our country today, we seem to have a counterfeit religion on the rise. I’m certainly not the first to recognize this, and I hope I won’t be the last. You may have heard an increasing clamor about a new name for what’s taking place around us. The new term is, the “Great Awokening.”
I’m sure you’ve been inundated with info about becoming and being “woke,” so I won’t bore you with a detailed definition of what that is. You’re surrounded by it, so you are probably well aware of its tenets. And maybe you consider yourself woke. If so, you probably bristled at my description of woke-ism as a religion.
Consider this, however. Historian and atheist, Niall Ferguson, has observed that woke-ism displays many of the characteristics of a religion. Salvation is involved as well as a membership of the elect (the woke). There is persecution of heretics (anyone who disagrees with the precepts of woke-ism). He states that they have “elaborate rituals of speech that can only be pursued by the believers.” In short, it is very cult-like.
Many Christians (including myself) have referred to this new Awokening as a religion. But when an atheist sees the same things we’re noticing, I tend to stand up and take extra heed to what he’s saying. The problem with the Great Awokening is that, when one injects political ideologies with deep religious fervor, horrifying things can occur.
Christianity has generally (although, not always) maintained a separation between religion and matters of the state. Some political ideologies (such as Communism) however, have been imbued with the intense devoutness one normally reserves for religion. As a consequence, millions of people were persecuted, “re-educated,” and all-too-often murdered. Marx was the prophet, socialism was the religion.
Naziism is another stark example. In Germany, Hitler was considered a redeemer. He was actually referred to by that term. As a result, millions of Jews died. Some redeemer…
We have a president who has stated many times that the biggest threat to this nation is white supremacy. I respectfully disagree. Undoubtedly, there are a few white supremacists running around. I don’t know any, but I suppose they’re out there somewhere. I suspect they would be easily rooted out if we knew who they were.
I humbly propose a different line of thinking. In my opinion, the people posing the largest threat to our nation are the “woke supremacists.” Woke Supremacy (a term cleverly coined by U.S. Senator Tim Scott) is quickly devouring our country. Woke supremacy is an attitude—nay, a belief—that free speech must be silenced if it is contrary to the thought of the woke supremacist.
Woke supremacy is antithetical to Christianity, to the traditional family, and to reason. Woke supremacists look to the State rather than God for their utopian solutions. This ideology spawns fruit like the cancel culture, “The Drag Queen Story Hour” for children, and gender reassignment for preschoolers.
All this and more is done through emotional appeals. Reason seems to go out the window as the woke adopt opinions that defy logic. For example, they will tell you to make an informed decision while they control social media which withholds much of the information you need to make that decision. Heaven forbid your conclusion is in opposition to theirs. They will come after you with a zeal that will make your head spin.
The Church of Woke (as some are now calling it) has its own army of evangelists. This is fortified by an army of educators, a regiment of protestors, and (if deemed necessary) battalions of rioters. If you criticize them, you will be labeled. Labeled as what? Racist, homophobic, hater, etc.—you choose. Actually, they’ll choose.
People like me are criticized because we believe Jesus walked on water and turned water into wine. Yet, the woke crowd believes they can solve crime by eliminating the police. They believe they can create a utopian society by dividing us up into tribes. They believe they can create unity through group identity. I guess every religion has faith in one miracle or another.
Maybe the worst attribute of the woke is the fact that they believe they are utterly correct and everyone else is dangerously wrong. They appear to be on a pathway that leads to the elimination of any ideology or person who stands in their way. It sounds a bit like history repeating itself.
The prophet Isaiah once told Israel, “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.” (Isaiah 5:21) We should probably pass this wisdom along to the Church of the Woke. Unfortunately, they don’t believe in the Bible. Yet, it’s worth a try.
Even if they won’t listen, however, the time has passed when we can say or do nothing. Without a doubt, we should take a stand against the ideologies and philosophies they are espousing. Just shaking our heads and asking, “What is this world coming to?” will no longer do. Theirs is a different gospel—an imitation. Don’t settle for less than the real thing.