Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: Woke

Wednesday's Word

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Wednesday, August 22, 2018


The concept of being “woke” is the new thing. Rather the newly refurbished word for an old thing. While researching this topic, I admit that I was less than a little surprised that the term is credited to African American culture. We've seen it in Spike Lee movies from the 80's with Lawrence Fishburne yelling "Wake up" in School Daze. But going further back, woke's origins are attributed to William Melvin Kelley of Harlem, NY. Today it has certainly spread far beyond its exiguous beginnings.
According to Webster’s online dictionary, this is what Woke means - aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)

From as much (or as little) as I’ve seen regarding “woke”, it’s always been in the context of necessity. A need to realize that detrimental consequences are actively aligning themselves against you. To quote Denzel Washington in the titular role of Spike Lee’s, Malcom X - "Ya been hoodwinked! Bamboozled! Led astray!"

Without going too far down road of America’s Civil Right’s issues – It’s pretty easy for me to see how the concept of “woke”- as far as being informed and active to help shine a light on a system of injustice was an absolutely necessary thing. However today, I hear woke in so many contexts that I’m not sure if it still means what it’s supposed to. For instance, there seems to be a faction pushing the idea that a person can’t be woke AND be a Christian. Google it for yourself, just don’t confuse the idea of finding evidence as being comparable to finding truth.

There’s a feminist woke, a social woke, a racial woke, and as a word grows in popularity, so expands the wide scope of its acceptable use. Music and film present an easy and relevant conduit for explaining “woke”, but the association with a vegan chef…not so much.

Ultimately, I agree with the initial premise of why woke is necessary. Situational awareness is a much better than comfortably complacency. However, I’m sure that my embrace of “wokeness” doesn’t fall in line with far-fetched conspiracy theories about how malevolent subversion is lurking around every corner to keep me blinded to the societal cage that my uninformed mind is already trapped in. Especially the idea that a Christian can’t be woke – probably because of the preponderance of the idea that a white Jesus has no other purpose but to establish white dominance while disenfranchising me. On the contrary, even before Mr. Kelley used the term in 1962, The Bible had a similar idea promoted by the Words of Christ “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” which captures the same idea of Kelley's "If you’re woke, you dig it."

Here’s The Word:

Isaiah 50:4 The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.

Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

1 Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

Ephesians 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

The triune God of the Bible; The Father, Son and Holy Spirit has not been hijacked by “the system” to minimalize anyone. It is the love of God and blood of Christ that has been shed abroad to the benefit of everyone. Don’t allow pictures of a white Jesus combined with the story of institutional oppression to be used to forfeit you from receiving God’s grace and salvation through Christ. There are most certainly some good conversations to have about worldliness and the paganization of Christian traditions but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water and don’t dismiss your opportunity to be lead into ALL truth because of someone else’s idea of ‘woke’.


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