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Not too long ago, Steve Hilton, the host of a political commentary show on FOX News, did a monologue where he said, “The real cure for the ‘woke mind virus’ is in colleges and universities.” His point in the soliloquy was that the current leftist ideology that is infecting society had its origins on college and university campuses as left leaning professors indoctrinated their students, and it can only be countered by right thinking individuals retaking the halls of academia.
The term “woke” originated in African-American vernacular English, and is simply the past tense form of the verb “to be awake.” It was originally used to express the idea of being conscious of racial discrimination in society. As the word gained popularity, it began being used in a broader context by Progressives who wanted to show their solidarity with black Americans. These Progressives then began applying the word as a sign of support for other left-wing causes like cultural appropriation and political correctness. Finally, conservative people began to use the word in an ironic way as an insult to Progressives and progressive causes. It is this last usage that Steve Hilton was utilizing in his commentary.
On a political and cultural level, Hilton was probably right. To push back against the leftist “woke” culture, it will be necessary for conservatives to enter the fray by becoming professors and administrators in the institutions that are at the center of the woke movement. But at a deeper level, it will be necessary to take this to a whole new place.
What must be understood is that the woke mindset is actually an expression of a particular religious point of view – atheistic Naturalism. Naturalism is the belief that the natural universe, operating by natural laws, is the only thing that exists. While “wokeism” doesn’t specifically deal with matters of science, there are moral implications of this belief system that are directly applicable. Since these folks don’t believe in God, there is no place for the origin of any kind of absolute moral beliefs. As such, they must take a relativist approach to morals – that is, they have to make up morality themselves, and base it on their own personal perception of what is right and wrong. They merely deem certain groups to be righteous and others to be evil. They simply reckon conservative ideology to be evil, and their favorite political and social causes to be right. And the only support they have for defending their point of view is the force they can muster by using political power and media manipulation. They do it purely based on the “law of the jungle” – the enforcement of raw power.
Thus, since the root of wokeness is actually spiritual, the cure must go beyond mere social activism. Those who follow this kind of religious belief need to have a change of heart and mind. What is necessary is for them to come to know a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They must first be confronted with the fact that what they believe is actually not even true. Then, they need to hear the truth and be offered the opportunity to accept it – they need to hear the message of the gospel.
We are well beyond the time when Christians can stick their heads in the sand and ignore the evil that is overtaking society. It is time for all believers to learn how to confront the spiritual evil that is all around us, and stand for that truth with great confidence.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.
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