For a couple of years now, Americans have been assaulted by an extremely self-righteous, quasi-religious, quasi-scientific fad best described as Wokeness. It is derived from Critical Race Theory which posits that those who are oppressed are more aware (woke) of right and wrong than those who are oppressing. It leaves the empirical and scientific world by even saying a person can be labeled an oppressor or the oppressed simply due to their race, gender, sexual orientation, or a million other essential or accidental characteristics.
This religion (it certainly cannot be called a philosophical or scientific viewpoint since it hinges everything on the abstract idea of ‘moral authority and judgement’) probably originated with good intentions. Like a 9th grader’s English assignment, it exudes naive fantasies of communes and evil business owners. Practitioners of this religion seem completely unaware of the explicit racism that occurs and has occurred in every single community on earth! Not to excuse it, but to blame ‘white’ people (whatever that means) is quite an insult to other cultures which rose in power and prestige in the past or currently and have various invasions, oppressions, and abuse of power themselves.
If being oppressed immediately qualifies someone as being “woke,” being an oppressor unquestionably means one is unawake. Just play along. It all evens out unfortunately. The evidence suggests no one is really woke out there. I can absolutely promise you that all human beings participate in some sort of severe oppression, maybe not as part of a group but certainly as an individual. People are the same everywhere. Do not let anyone fool you. Hurting others is what we do best.
There is one who was oppressed yet not an oppressor. There is one who qualifies as woke: Jesus. He fits the bill, if that is what you need, ethnically and religiously. He lived as a Jew under Roman rule. He lived as a Galilean under Jerusalem’s authority. Most importantly, He lived as an innocent person under the rule of hypocrites. He lived as a minority of one among the homogenous sinners now and then.
Was He oppressed; you ask? Well, they nailed Him to a cross, punished Him for a crime He did not commit. Yet, He did not protest. I certainly would have. His friends ran away. He knew the depth of loneliness as He even exclaimed that His Father in Heaven had forsaken Him. Yet, as Isaiah says, “He was killed for our transgressions!” Jesus did not come to condemn ugly, oppressing, racist, narcissist mankind. He came to forgive us, to wash us with His blood, to take our punishment, to awaken us from our sleep.
Unlike the self-righteous woke preachers pointing fingers at everyone but themselves, Jesus had the right and authority to do so. He called people out. Ironically, the people who got it were the ones that knew they deserved to have a finger pointed at them. They awoke to grace, not self-righteousness. They awoke to wonder at God’s forgiveness, not to pointing their fingers at others. They awoke to being welcomed in the family of God. As He says in John 3:16, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall never die. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save it!
Being woke by Jesus results in the realization of sin, pain, and suffering, even racism. While the response might be to make things better, it is ultimately to kneel before the Lord in repentance only to be embraced by forgiveness… and to tell others about this loving God who forgives our sleepy sinful self!