Wokism is not woke. It is deep darkness and spiritual blindness. Jesus Christ is the light of the world.

Jesus makes it very clear. “I am the light of the world.” God becomes a man so that we can see God as our brother. Seeing him, we see the light by which our souls are enlightened. We are by nature spiritually blind. The gospel is foolishness to our way of thinking. Only the Spirit of God can enlighten us. The light by which he enlightens us is Jesus Christ and him crucified. We see God in the suffering of his Son! We can see God! We can see because the blood of Jesus Christ has washed away our sin. Forgiveness of our sins enlightens us. We are “woke”.

The word “woke” has taken on a new meaning in recent years. Merriam Webster defines woke as “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).” It started with race. It quickly moved to include “facts and issues” about persecution of those who identify themselves as LGBTQ. The “important facts and issues” of which the woke are aware are that people of color, LGBTQers, and others suffer under oppression from the white male patriarchy. A Christian man who is devoted to God’s Word, his wife, and his family is surprised to learn that he is part of a system that oppresses people of color, LGBTQers, etc.

Wokism contradicts Christianity, but it could not have arisen apart from a Christian culture. Christianity teaches us that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. We know that every individual human being has inherent value. We know this because we know God. How we view fellow human beings is an outgrowth of how we view God. God created them. God redeemed them. God wants to sanctify them by the washing of water with the Word. What the Church has confessed and taught about God and his love for man—the crown of his creation—is what has taught our civilization about the value of each individual human being. Whether speaking of human rights or natural law (which are really two sides of the same coin), the foundation is in our Triune God who gives us our true value.

It is among us Christians that human life has been valued. It is among us Christians that marriage and the family have been honored. Wokism takes our teaching about the value of the human being and refashions it in two critical ways. First, it replaces personal sin and guilt with corporate and systemic sin and guilt. Second, it forbids God to enter into the conversation and tell us what is right and wrong in regard to the domestic estate.

Sin is always personal and individual. There is such a thing as corporate sin (“I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips,” Isaiah 6:5), but accountability is always an individual matter. God visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children of those who hate him, but it is only if they hate him. He does not punish the children for the sins of their fathers. Sin is personal. While the gospel is proclaimed to all, it is received individually. The just shall live by his faith, not by another’s faith. To speak of sin and guilt as systemic ignores individual responsibility. And if one is deemed to be of the oppressor class, how is he to find redemption? Can a white man choose to become black? In fact, there is no redemption in the woke culture. There is only judgment.

It is only through Christ that anyone is truly enlightened. Without Christ everything is dark because we are blind. Without the obedience of the God-man, Jesus Christ, offered vicariously for us to God, from which God forgives us all our sins, all our efforts to wake ourselves from spiritual blindness and obtain true sight are in vain. The answer to the woke movement is in Christ. God, for Christ’s sake, forgives us all our sins. Those who seek to justify themselves (and to condemn their neighbor) will latch onto whatever achieves this purpose. The woke justify themselves by condemning the unwoke. The unwoke don’t want to be condemned. They want to be accepted by the intelligentsia and the elites of the popular culture. How to do so? Confess to sins they never committed.

The woke movement demands repentance of imaginary sins and forbids repentance of real sins. Consider the acronym: LGBTQ. Every letter identifies a sin that the woke forbid us to call sin. True enlightenment—wokeness, if you will—comes only from being forgiven by God of all your sins. Those who are guilty of LGBTQ sins need to confess those sins to God. They need to know that in Christ they have a Savior who takes our sins upon himself, bears their burden, pays their price, and washes them away by his blood. The woke movement is based on a lie. They are blind to what nature itself teaches is sin. The woke movement is political (as is everything these days), but its source and strength is the devil himself, who loves to dress up self-righteousness and defiance of God in clothing that looks quite respectable. Those who fall prey to this con might believe that they are woke. But they are not. Wokism is not woke. It is deep darkness and spiritual blindness. Jesus Christ is the light of the world.


Rolf Preus

Rev. Rolf Preus is a retired parish Pastor of 41 years.

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