Not Woke is Not Enough

Not Woke is Not Enough

R.C. Sproul once said, “The cultural revolution of the 1960’s was similar to the French Revolution in that its goal was to bring radical change to the forms, structures, values, and ethics of the status quo. It sought to bring in a New Age with the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Now the dawn of the New Age is long past. Aquarius is now at high noon.”[1] He wrote those words only six years ago, which means that Aquarius is still at high noon. It means that the dawning of the Pagan Age is still long past. Sproul’s words beckon the question, “Why did it take Aquarius reaching high noon for the Reformed and Evangelical Church to get so hot and bothered by it?”

You can see the growth of the New Religion in covenantal terms (Adam, Abraham, Moses, David). The cultural revolution of the 60’s was the Adamic Administration, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth with hippy love.” John Lennon supplied the Abrahamic promises—

Imagine there’s no heaven. it’s easy if you try
No hell below us, above us only sky 

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one

I have spoken of the recent rise of Social Justice as the Mosaic Administration of Paganism. The New Religion has reached its Mount Sinai, and down from that unholy mountain has come the creature-law of intersectionality, critical theory, and all of that social justice tomfoolery. Adherents of the new religion have heard, and they believe, that if they simply obey these laws, then they will enter the Promised Land. A significant step toward a Pagan Davidic Administration can be seen with the recent Orwellian governmental tyranny as the state begins to enforce iniquitous and arbitrary standards. Some Christians are already denying any necessity for human law to accord with divine revelation and preparing to obey whatever despotic mandates civil authority decrees. The point is, we are a good deal down the line and if you’re going to fight well, then it helps to know where you are on the battlefield.

Over the past few years, the Evangelical and Reformed world has been full of debate, literature, conferences, and statements surrounding social justice, critical theory, wokeness, etc. It is clear where some leaders and organizations stand. It is not entirely clear which side of the fault line others are on. Neither is it clear, depending on how broad you draw the lines, whether the woke or the un-woke have more numbers. But, it is clear that you could now write the book Not Woke Church and likely sell a good number of copies. In the first place, let us praise the Lord. Amen to the church identifying idols and staying away from them. And in the second place, caution is in order. For there is now a market for Not Woke. And Big Eva knows a market when she sees one.

But we must know repentance and hard work more than markets. Aquarius never should have made it to high noon. If we had been walking in the true light, then there would have been no room for the dawning of another. If we had done biblical justice, then there would have been no room for social justice. If we had cooked up Christian community, then there would have been no taste for the faux allegiances sold along all of those intersections. If we had been clothed in the armor of God in battle array against the forces of darkness, then we wouldn’t have safe places for the training of ministers on our seminary campuses. If we had been adorning the doctrine of God with true manhood and womanhood, then the North American Mission Board wouldn’t be supporting all of the women preachers. And if we had confessed and taught that Jesus is King of Kings, then there would be no talk about governmentally mandated pinwheels.

We need a return to the root (Christ) and a flourishing of the fruit (Christ’s kingdom).

So Not Woke is not enough. If you don’t like the function of wokeness, then you must also despise the organ of wokeness. If you don’t like the function of wokeness, then you must want the function of Christ’s kingdom. And if you want the function of Christ’s kingdom, then you must have the organ of that kingdom. It is the organ that gives rise to the function—”In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”[2]

Many evangelicals are just coming to realize that they don’t like the function of paganism. They want the function of Christianity. They want things to be the way they were in those bygone good-ole days when we paid attention to the laws of nature and nature’s God. But, we have not perceived the root of the matter. We are far too superficial. We have not identified either of the organs at play. One of those organs is the living Christ, and a return to Him is the only way out of the mess we are in. The other of those organs is the devil himself and his various idols, which like their leader are all broken and doomed.

There are plenty of Americans who are Not Woke and Not Christian. And that should be enough to prove the point that Not Woke is not enough. Yes, there is a place for cobelligerents. But, do not mistake a cobelligerent for an ally; and do not think that Christless Conservatives know the way out of the pit we are in. The way out is Christ and His kingdom. The former precedes the latter and the latter must follow the former. Many want the latter without the former and others want the former without the latter. But neither of those options will do.

In short, we need a return to the root (Christ) and a flourishing of the fruit (Christ’s kingdom). We need this amid the flourishing of paganism and its rotten fruit. We need this while many unbelieving conservatives want the fruit without the root; and many evangelical Christians want the root without the fruit. The message is the same to both of these groups: Not Woke is not enough. You must awake—”Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will shine upon you” (Ephesians 5:14). Then, being awake, you must go on with living.

We have had many leaders who, like Azariah, have failed to press the crown rights of King Jesus all the way out to the high places—”And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. Nevertheless, the high places were not taken away. The people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places” (2 Kings 15:3-4). What we are experiencing is not the rise of new idols. It is rather the metastasizing of the idols which we have permitted out on the high places for years. Saying that you will not offer their drink offerings of blood is good, but it is not enough.

It is time to cut down the groves. And set up altars over every square inch to the living God.

To that end, pray for the Institute of Public Theology. Classes have begun this very week. The Lord has gathered men who appear to have understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do (1 Chronicles 12:32).

[1] Foreward to The Other Worldview by Peter Jones.

[2] C. S. Lewis, Abolition of Man

Follow Jared Longshore:

Jared served in pastoral ministry since 2007, he has earned MDiv and PhD degrees from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He is also a member of the Evangelical Theological Society. He and his wife Heather have seven children.
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