These are some comments for folks or pastors who are involved in a modern or “Woke” Christianity in the belief that they are being cool. The reality is that our times are quite hot where everything is in question and everyone is suspect of something. How can there be substantial church growth when a new philosophy has emerged that proclaims, ‘The only truth is what I believe is true.’ The obvious magna example of this is the Pope’s proclamation that Atheists can also get to heaven. If this were true, what can we say about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
This is really an affirmation of the belief that ‘I do not have any sin.’ Obviously, then Jesus was not needed. However, the reality is that we are all born sinners due to mankind’s original turning against God. It also speaks of one of mankind’s terrible inheritances, the banishment into Hell for unforgiven sins. Note that Hell was created for the fallen angels, not for humans who were destined for a heavenly life. Our failure to accept God’s commands for a happy life yielded a Hellish future with the original fallen angels and a demon or two.
This belief of being pure-born also masks the wonderful love of the heavenly Father in sacrificing His Son so that mankind can be redeemed by acceptance of our Lord. Have you ever considered the reverse—what love Jesus has by bringing us to the Father? This really opens the question of who we really are. If you did not answer, “A child of God,” then you don’t really know. John expands this by writing, “The reason the world does not recognize us is that it never recognized the Son” (1 John 3:1). I penciled in my Bible, “Do we recognize ourselves?”
You cannot be ‘Woke’ and think about Hell; ‘wokeness’ is happening worldwide to keep the tithes rolling in. People today do not want to hear about Hell despite everything around them falling apart. Even the magnificent American Constitution has become a political football, something to play with.
Perhaps you have received some criticism and want to return to something deep like moral theology. Do you think anyone cares anymore? The media has kept us so informed about unspeakable things that some clergy have elicited and performed. Some other pastors may want to talk about the lives of different Roman saints. Why not talk about the lives of the saints sitting before you or next to you? Scripture clearly indicates that all believers are called saints, as we imitate Jesus.
Some people will say, “How can I imitate Jesus; He was God, wasn’t He?” The impression is that walking around, Jesus had the God button OFF, and when He worked a miracle, He turned the button ON. For this to be true, He would not have been truly man, and His redemption would have been flawed. How then did He do it, and how are we supposed to follow Him and do the same things? Anyone asking that is not familiar with Paul’s letter to the Philippians where it states that Jesus put His Godhead aside. The simple answer is that He was filled with the Spirit. Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, and afterward, the Holy Spirit came upon Him, as is explained in the third chapter of Matthew’s gospel. Jesus then started to preach and worked His first miracle at the marriage feast in Cana (John Chapter 2).
Scripture shows the relationship of people who only received the baptism of John and were later baptized with the Holy Spirit like Jesus. It is incredible that so many Christians are unknowledgeable about the gifts that are received in the Spirit baptism. How are we supposed to follow Him and do the same things? These gifts enable the believer to work through the Holy Spirit as the gifts are then used to build the kingdom. Paul clarifies this for us when he mentions that “The kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power” (1 Corinthians 4:20). He also reminds us,” I do not want you to be in ignorance about spiritual gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:1).
Another area a pastor has to deal with is those folks who don’t believe they are good at praying or whether their prayers are heard by God. Tell them of the power of the Holy Spirit in the gift of tongues where the Holy Spirit prays through the person to the Father. In addition, people should be taught that they can pray with people and not just for people. If we are to follow Jesus, we have to be like Him and pray being mindful that there is no such thing as a bad prayer.
One of the older tenets was “to carry your cross,” which came from Jesus saying, “Take up your cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:25). Most of the crosses we carry are crosses (plural) we ourselves have made (wayward spouses, sick children, money for school, or whatever). Have you ever considered that the crosses we try to carry make us so overburdened that our eyes are looking down and not on Jesus?
There seems to be a conflict here as we examine 1 Peter 5:7, which says, “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you. How can we carry crosses and yet cast our cares on the Lord? There is only one cross Jesus asks us to carry, and it is to trust Him. This trust in God is an ancient scriptural issue: “He who trusts in the living God will prosper” – followed immediately by “He who trusts in himself is a fool” (Proverbs 28:25). “Trust in the Lord forever” (Isaiah 26:4). “We trust in the living God” (1 Timothy 4:10). Only Jesus can handle our everyday problems.
People should be aware that they are worthy, not because of who or what they are, but because of what Jesus has done for us. We have only to accept His redemption and place our trust in Him as He leads us daily to our Father. Our companion and guide is the Holy Spirit, who not only leads us and keeps us on the path, but gives us the gifts to help us and others along the way.
Forget ‘wokery’ or cool evangelism. Enrich lives as people realize who they are, what they are, and the richness of a daily walk with Jesus at our side guiding us to the Father, with the Father’s arm around us guiding us to His Son, and with the Holy Spirit nurturing, inspiring, and empowering us.
Believers today, as always, love their church but are frightened and confused about the pestilences worldwide; Mother Earth talk; Climate control; inflation; abuse; one-world religion, and so on. These are human worries; believers should be conscious that God is aware of everything and that all this everyday nonsense was predicted two thousand years ago. We are just the first generation where many ancient prophecies are being realized, as listed in Matthew 24 and the Book of Revelation. This coming together is called the End Times just before Jesus returns. Are you going to continue being ‘cool’ and suffer the terrible lifestyle in the Tribulation period, or are you going to watch the struggles from a heavenly position after the Rapture when Christ removes His followers?
Believers need to know who they are and the richness of a daily walk with Jesus at our side guiding us to the Father, with the Father’s arm around us guiding us to His Son, and with the Holy Spirit nurturing, inspiring, and empowering us. People need to be loved and realize who they really are, how much they are loved, and how close the Father wants His children to be with Him.