What Would a Woke Christian Do (WWWCD)?

Is it just I, or do the times when Jesus ministered seem very different from ours?

5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

7Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

Jesus Heals Many

14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. (Matthew 8)

First, we have a centurion with a servant who boasts that he has authority to boss people around. Does that put Jesus off? No. Instead, he marvels at the centurion’s faith.

Would a social justice warrior be so insensitive to the power relationships, the intersectionality, that pervaded Roman society and that assumed a high ranking military official should have servants and bark orders at them?

Or how about Peter’s mother-in-law (leaving aside that the first pope was married)? Yes, it’s a genuine act of kindness for Jesus to heal the woman without being asked. But what’s up with Peter’s mother-in-law feeling the need to wait on Jesus as soon as she recovered? Why not tell Peter, who later had to learn to feed sheep, to feed his Lord?

Or maybe our standards of equality, justice, politeness, and social rank are not the Lord’s.

22 thoughts on “What Would a Woke Christian Do (WWWCD)?

  1. Thabiti A. explains just how simple and essential wokeness is for the church:

    Woke Church?

    This has massive implications for local church ministries in communities of color. Churches must understand the need to reconstitute the whole person with biblical teaching responsive to the lived realities of those communities. In simpler words, our approach to discipleship must simultaneously repair the psychic and social destruction done to the identities/personhood of Black people while recognizing and equipping them to counter the social and political realities that contribute to that destruction in the first place. We have to teach people how to be their ethnic selves in a way that’s consistent with the Bible and how to live fruitfully in contexts that don’t affirm their ethnic selves. Hence, we need a “woke church.”


    (Pretty sure some community college sociology teacher wants is shtick back)


  2. The more the church focuses on race, the more it may hurt racial relations as well as heal them. Races are different, all people deserve respect, and we should play nice and inclusive. The way towards that end, however, may not be blather about affirming your ethnic self and social injustice. Any more than the answer to assertive males may not be an overdose of Jordan Peterson and tears about white male disenfranchisement. I continue to think 95% of high profile voices need to fade after their initial hurrahs … as well as 98% of TGC’s and CT’s entire websites and all of the creaky Vatican apparatus.


  3. I’m already in a vile mood since my wife is in the process of doing a major, ruthless cleaning in the basement – my one and only “man cave” – calling me down there frequently to interrogate about why I want this, why I’m saving that, etc., so I probably shouldn’t even be posting this right now. But here goes:

    Why do people think it’s necessary to adopt slang words from a sub-culture, especially ones that are morphed from legitimate english and twisted into another meaning – like “woke.” I had to look it up in the Urban Dictionary to understand the new definition. Is this just a way that eeevangelicals think they’re being hip? I can only imagine what Scott Clark would have to say about this with his Grammar Guerrilla posts


  4. George says: Why do people think it’s necessary to adopt slang words from a sub-culture, especially ones that are morphed from legitimate english and twisted into another meaning – like “woke.”

    Didn’t Jesus coin the concept and lay out the meaning?
    -all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says,“Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead
    -Wake up and strengthen the things that remain


  5. Huh? Maybe it’s the dust in the basement that’s affecting my mind, but what do these NT quotes you’ve sort-of given have anything to do with morphing contemporary jive talk into the regular dialog of the church? Maybe one could argue that the use of koine greek in the authorship of the gospels and epistles was the equivalent of modern day street-talk, but what would the ancient Greeks and Romans have thought about that kind of ordinary usage when they were used to hearing orators using the classical version of the language in their theaters?

    Can’t we expect to agree to use a medium in which at least half way, educated, and intelligent people would agree to use instead of depending on a sub-culture language? There are many of those on the Web and on these blogs, of course, but the e-e-e-vangelicals seem to want to capitulate to the lower language forms for reasons of “cultural relevance”.


  6. Oh, I was just partly saying in a different way what you and DG’s post is partly saying (I think).
    Sardis, eg, likely appeared very ‘woke’ in that culture, yet Jesus said they were ‘asleep’ (dead).


  7. D.G.,
    Not all questions that are used to answer question actually answer questions. So I will ask again: First, what are the standards for justice and equality to which you are referring?


  8. “Not all questions that are used to answer a question actually answer questions.” Excellent! I am going to have to use this, along with “Not all questions that are used to answer a question are actually questions.” Also “vis-à-vis,” “quid pro quo,” and “that begs the question!” It should be obvious I was debate club captain.


  9. D.G.,
    Do you see the irony of your statement. You criticize for talking about the matters that you claim the Bible is silent on and yet you celebrate Oakeshott for doing the same? Preferential treatment based on political personal predispositions?

    But not all agree that Oakeshoot has separated politics from religion. Read the following quote about Oakeshott (see pg 31 of http://www.academia.edu/18214551/Oakeshotts_Wise_Defense_Christianity_as_a_Civilization ):

    So it would seem that the least we can say is that Oakeshott had a view of Christianity that was deeply implicated in the way he thought about history and tradition; reason; and moral, political, and poetic experience. We might not be unjustified in thinking that his views on tradition and history, reason, morals, politics, and aesthetic experience were, in turn, deeply implicated in his thoughts on Christianity


  10. D.G.,
    BTW, the first few lines should read:

    Do you see the irony of your statement. You criticize me for talking about the matters that you claim the Bible is silent on and yet you celebrate Oakeshott for doing the same? Preferential treatment based on political personal predispositions?


  11. That’s because DGH understands which matters require a warrant from Scripture (faith and worship) and which do not (all else).

    If only there were some handy explanation of these matters for those willing to make a modicum of effort…


  12. Curt, I criticize you for assuming that the social justice matters about which you prattle come from the Bible. If you want to talk like a secular lefty, great. Let’s have that chat. But all of your prophetic witness is bunk.


  13. D.G.,
    I’ve Discrete Math and I don’t remember any valid logical argument that consists solely of insults. Authoritarian argue that way, but not those who employ logic to create valid arguments.


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