Perhaps you think I misspelt “Woke”? Nah, that’s not the case. You see, being born a white male with blue eyes (I’m ashamed to say),I could hurt the feelings of the oppressed.
Because it would be inconsiderate of me to correct the spelling, since it could be perceived as me wielding my privileged position of power, by the use of language itself against the oppressed. So, let’s stick with “Woke”. Stay with me, I’ll explain the term ‘Woke’ in a moment.
In case you haven’t noticed, our ‘woke’ youth are upset and it seems very angry as well. Angry enough to defy bans on social distancing, to gather in their thousands at BML protests, denounce governments, attack police and cast down a couple of colonial monuments while they’re at it.
This zealotry is global, we don’t have some local grievance but a universal movement of discontent. That should wake us up, oops I mean ‘Woke’ us up.
Although being the most pampered generation in history, nonetheless they feel justified in defying the law, placing tens of thousands of lives at hazard from Covid 19 infection, and erasing our past (a chilling Orwellian portent) because they’re convinced that their activism is virtuous.
The Oppressor &The Oppressed- What’s Going On?
So why do we have the rise of the Virtuous Generation? And what’s the Oppressor/ Oppressed thing?
Well you see universities around the world, which were once bastions of liberal-thought, where you were taught to consider all sides of the debate,have been transformed into schools of Marxist indoctrination, where students are inculcated with a fixed world view, that divides societies into groups, on the basis of identity, and ultimately into two groups “the oppressed and the oppressor”.
This is known as Critical Theory, and it’s coming to a school near you. The BLM movement is one manifestation of Critical Theory. Aka Critical Race Theory.
This fantasy ideology goes something like this. Once upon a time, in our privileged colonial past white people oppressed black people, this oppression is now systemic within our society. Now because the oppression of black people is wrong (true), it is virtuous to denounce your white oppressor status and submit to the moral authority of the oppressed. Now you’ve been awakened. Oops I got it wrong, I meant to say ‘Woke’. It must be my inherent white privilege speaking, I must atone for this reoccurring transgression, by toppling a colonial-oppressor statue somewhere.
Oh! the Bliss of Fatuous Simplicity
Life is complicated, I think you’d agree. Human behaviour is unpredictable and irrational. And yet Critical Theorists aver that we correctly define all arcane human behaviour and societal structures into two groups, the oppressed and the oppressor and their intersectional sub categories. However, to do this they must exclude the vast array of factors which influence our behaviour and our inherent psychological complexity. They can’t be serious?
Sadly, they are. Countless uni students are given this lens with which to view the world. People are either oppressed or oppressors (no shades of grey). In this imaginary world (where pixies abound) there’s a scale of oppression. The non- oppressed (obviously white males with blue eyes) and the binary opposite black females are the oppressed and at the extreme end of the spectrum we’d find the black female lesbian group.
The corollaries which arise from this distorted world view are 1. the more oppressed your group is the more moral authority it has. 2. the more oppressed you are the less moral responsibility you have for your behaviour. Consequently, a white male police officer arresting a black male criminal is morally wrong, because the oppressed is the victim of systemic racial prejudice, and therefore excused of his violent conduct. While under the same lens a white male is by virtue of his birth is a racist, he is complicit with the system of oppression. Redemption is available if he is reprogramed, acknowledges his sin, and surrenders his privilege in order to be ‘woke’. I got it right this time.
What Does the Bible Say about being ‘Woke’
Now correct me if I’m wrong, I contend that the Bible clearly states that every human is created in the image of God. It’sin Genesis chapter 1 I believe. It follows then no matter what skin colour we happen to wear, we’ve all descended from the first human couple bearing the image of the living God, that means we are created equal.
God doesn’t play identity politics. He rebuffs the arbitrary and ridiculous divisions of black vs white, male vs female, wealthy vs poor, capitalist vs socialist or LGBT vs straight. Everyone who is human is His image bearer and as such of equal value.
Sin is effrontery against God’s authority to define how we should behave, with the life and in the world, he’s granted to us. Oppression is wrong, but so is homosexuality and likewise adultery. Lying, envy, malice, hatred and greed (to name just a few) are also wrong. However, for the Critical Theorist the only sin on the table is oppression, there are no others.
Biblical salvation is not only liberation of the oppressed, but extends well beyond this to deliverance from all our moral failures (as aforementioned). God desires to create a ‘clean heart and a right spirit within us’ Ps 51. He demands that we love him with the totality of our being and others as ourselves, regardless of what group they belong to.
God calls all humanity to repent, not just the quasi-oppressors. He has fixed a day when he will judge the world in righteousness. Get ready.
Vic Matthews, has three degrees B.Optom, B.Arts & B. Christian Studies. Is available as a Guest Speaker for your next Church conference or camp. He is a fledgling author, and copywriter.
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Vic Matthews' previous articles may be viewed http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/vic-matthews.html