Matt Chandler and the Unbearable Weight of Wokeness
The Village Church, pastored by Matt Chandler, is well known for being “woke.” But apparently, that wasn’t enough to satisfy the organizers of the Circles Conference, which is billed as “a three-day creative conference for graphic & UX designers, illustrators, and makers.” David Roark, who is the communications and resources director for The Village Church, was invited to speak at the upcoming conference until it was discovered that he worked for an organization with “openly discriminatory policies and practices towards women and the LGBTQ+ community.”
Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with Chandler and his mega-church knows that the Village is hardly a bastion of alpha-maleness whose members are out prowling the streets looking to bash gays or harass anyone wearing skinny jeans and sipping latte. If anything, The Village Church has gone out of its way to craft a “woke” version of Christianity that will appeal to skinny jean wearing avocado toast eaters, much like Roark himself appears to be.
Like the last passenger on the cultural freight train of faux gospels, the modern evangelical church is increasingly embracing wokeness as if it were a spiritual discipline. Churches, like the Village Church, are increasingly preaching the social gospel rather than the biblical gospel and SBC seminaries are creating “departments of kingdom diversity.” The sad reality of all this cultural capitulation, however, is that it can never be enough to satisfy the spirit of the age. This is evidenced not only in the removal of Roark from a secular design conference, but also in the ridiculous claim by Ellen Page that Hillsong Church is “anti-gay.”
You’re Going to Need a Bigger Woke
In the 1975 Steven Speilberg film, Jaws, upon seeing the size of the Great White Shark they faced, Roy Schneider’s character famously deadpanned “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” In the same way, many woke evangelicals are discovering that they’re going to need a bigger woke because no amount of breathless pandering or Scripture mutilating capitulation will ever satisfy the cultural gestapo. Only a full repudiation of all things biblical and a full embracing of all things profane will do.
As Al Mohler recently discovered, if you feed the social justice animal it won’t be satisfied until it gets free tuition (and even then, it wouldn’t be satisfied.) This should come as no surprise because social justice is not biblical, it is worldly, and the eyes of a man are never satisfied (Proverbs 27:20). Women pastors were not enough, and so we must have gay pastors. Gay pastors aren’t enough, and so we need transgender pastors. And on and on it will go as long as the church continues continue to ride this train
Just as in the movie Jaws, the Great White Shark of social justice cannot be reasoned with, it cannot be appeased with compromises and half-measures, and it will never ever give up until it has the church within the grasp of its ravenous mouth. The solution, therefore, is not to make Faustian bargains with the devil, but rather to drive the devil out from our midst. To abandon all attempts to “improve” the gospel by way of prefixes and instead simply return to the biblical gospel. The gospel that tells us we are all sinners in need of salvation. The gospel that tells us we are all united in Christ. The gospel that tells us that justice would be an eternity in hell for each of us, but that God has given his elect mercy instead.
Like our own natural sin nature, the social justice movement can never be satisfied, only mortified. May God raise up a generation of men with the intestinal fortitude to take off their skinny jeans, put down their avocado toast, and return to the biblical gospel that, contrary to the opinion of the woke “church,” is still the power of God unto salvation.
[Contributed by Bill Perkins]
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