The Rise of Woker-Than-Thou Evangelicalism

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Bert Perry's picture

....what to make of this, as Johnson really doesn't flesh things out beyond a few talking points and a link to a guy on Twitter who sees no contradiction between LGBT..... activism and the Gospel.  How significant is he, etc..?  To be fair, there's only so much you can say on a blog, but a bit more fleshing out would be welcome.

And really, there is a side where I have to wonder if "my tribe" (and I implicate myself here too) is at a certain point so "white" that we have trouble relating to those who aren't.  Some discard Biblical truth, yes, and others are showing us our blind side.  

Darrell Post's picture

Always appreciate men like Johnson sounding alarms of warning like this. 

Joel Shaffer's picture

I have mixed feelings about Phil's article concerning "Wokeness."   People boasting of their "Wokeness" is not only strange, but prideful such as Ray Ortlund beating his chest in twitter letting everyone know that he was labeled as "Woke"    I think Phil is on to something by pointing the silliness of "woker-than-thou."   However, by lumping the TGC and TFG (MLK 50) people who have used the term "wokeness" with LGBTQ "wokeness" in the LGBTQ-affirming churches and insinuating that all of them drink from the same leftist ideologies such as Black Liberation Theology, Intersectional Feminism, and Critical Race Theory is off-base as well. It comes across as a string of logical fallacies such as a false comparison, hasty generalization, and straw-man arguments.  By the way,  Dr. Eric Mason (one of the speakers at MLK 50 and TGC member) who is coming out with a book called, "the Woke Church: an urgent call for Christians in America to confront Racism and Injustice" does not base "Wokeness" on some sociological tenant, but rather being aware of blind spot sins in our culture, such as racism and social injustice. Here is an article that fully explains his position on being "Woke" when he spoke at his alma mater (Dallas Theological Seminary).  http://www.gospelherald.com/articles/68823/20161213/dr-eric-mason-on-wha...

When it comes to dealing with the issue of race, so many sociological labels get thrown around without alot of listening.  One side lobs sociological label grenades such as Cultural Marxism, Critical Race Theory, White Guilt, and Victimhood  while the other side lobs sociological-label grenades such as White Privilege, White Fragility, Implicit Bias, and Wokeness (or lack of Wokeness) to define what is going on in our fragmented/broken culture and there is not a lot listening or empathy going on in our conversations, including the echo chamber of Pyromaniacs.  Phil needs to be careful that in his critique of these Christians allowing ungodly leftist political theory to compromise their Christian faith that he is not allowing ungodly right-wing political theory to compromise his Christian faith as well.

Also, let me share a few pokes that I believe need to be said to both sides of the race debate within the Church.  As much as I have publicly stated and defended on Sharper Iron my belief in the reality of "White Privilege" in America, not every racial issue boils down to whether one has privilege or not.  And  the phrase "check your privilege" has been used by People of Color as a flight or fight response in hard conversations with white people and sadly all it does is shut down conversations on race where people/Christians don't see eye-to-eye.   

On the other side, many White Christians cannot discern the difference between a Person of Color being a victim of racism who desires social change and a person having their entire identity defined by being a victim. One can have their identity entirely rooted in Christ and believe they have been victimized by racism without resorting to their identity being defined by victimhood.   

Being "quick to listen and slow to speak" when it comes to talking about racial issues has to be a major step or else these conversations are worthless.  

Paul Henebury's picture

Short as the piece is, I believe Johnson is spot on in his observations.  We need to be called back, not called forward.  I see troubled times ahead.  

Dr. Paul Henebury

I am Founder of Telos Ministries, and Senior Pastor at Agape Bible Church in N. Ca.

Steve Davis's picture

In my view our nation is hopelessly divided. Although we all need more awareness of all things, we will never be aware enough to satisfy others. In the end, it is the gospel that transcends our differences whether ethnic, economical or otherwise. And it gives us our true identity. Much of it is demographics. Many people live in communities where this is mostly theory, where there is little contact with the other. And that's okay. We all have different contexts.But I really don't care to borrow the descriptive "woke."  In my context, in an urban area, I'm often the minority and find discrimination goes both ways. 

Jim Welch's picture

I am wondering if there will be any ramifications for future conferences.  I have been challenged at Shepherd's Conference over the years.  Will be interesting to see what happens. 

Steve, your observations are right on, I think.  Prejudice is in the heart of the natural man.