Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Apostle Paul's Response to A First Century Gospel-Destroying Cancel-Culture Wokeness Plague on the Church

The Apostle Paul had woke credentials.  He lists them in Philippians 3 in case anyone might wonder.  No one was more Jew than he was.  He took great advantage of that in Gentile cities when he visited the synagogues first.  If he went to the Gentile first, his hearing with the Jews would be diminished.  If anyone could say, "You ain't Jew," it was Paul.  He attended the top of the Jew only schools.  He could be on speed dial to talk about oppression, because he was raised in the minority environment of Tarsus, a Gentile province.

The plan of God was a Jew and Gentile church.  That was patently clear through Jesus' life and ministry.  That was plain with the Ethiopian in Acts 8 and then crystal in Acts 10 and 11 with Cornelius.  The Old Testament already taught it start to finish especially beginning with the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12) and then the uber-obvious book of Jonah.  Once Paul was converted, born-again, saved, believed the gospel, transformed by Jesus Christ, or purified by faith alone, he set about to preach it to everyone.

Paul comes onto the scene of the first century church in a conspicuous way in Antioch with Barnabas.  That church in Syria exploded with Gentile growth and then sent those their top two leaders on the first missionary journey with Gentiles prominently in mind.  Every stop brought Gentile success.  They were gone for two years and returned to Antioch to find a woke mess back home.  Wokeness occurred all over, following Paul in almost every town, but it arose most in Jerusalem, where Jews were the majority.

The essence of wokeness was subjugation of Gentiles to Jewishness.  The Jews started canceling any fellow Jew for visible association with Gentiles.  Out of fear of retribution, the Apostle Peter submitted to the Jewish demands and wouldn't eat with Gentiles in Antioch.  Being Gentile wasn't villified in Antioch.  It was sufficiently Hellenized, already cosmopolitan.  Gentiles flooded that church.  Yet, the pressure was still enough for Peter to cave to woke interests.

Later in Acts 15, when Peter stood to speak on wokeness to a gathering of Antioch and Jerusalem church members he recounted his experience with Cornelius.  Cornelius believed and received the gift of the Holy Spirit.  He was never circumcized.  He didn't cede to any Jewishness for salvation.  Faith brought every bit of purification Cornelius needed.  He couldn't be any more woke than faith alone.  No Jewishness was required.

Jewish lives mattered, but so did Gentiles.  In many locations Paul preached, Jews rioted because of Paul's general message of faith only.  It was unacceptable.  Jews got violent.  They stoned Paul.  They chased him out of cities.  He never relented.  These Gentiles needed to show solidarity by kneeling to Jewish culture.

Paul withstood Peter to his face over canceling one lunch date.  This act required accedence to Jewishness to the extent that it confused the gospel.  Could Jews enter the kingdom of the promised Messiah by faith alone or by faith plus deferral to Jewishness?  Woke Jews created a list of demands for both Jews and Gentiles.  For one, Jews couldn't enter Gentile homes or eat with them.  Gentiles must be circumcised and observe dietary restriction.  God would not accept Gentiles by genuine faith alone.  Concession must be made to Jewishness.

In Jersualem especially, but also even in the Gentile world, Jews could pressure Gentiles through various means, physical and psychological.  If Jewishness wasn't accepted, the Jews held enough sway still to bring enough Gentiles to attain their demands by force.  They had the numbers, even if they weren't in a majority.  The threat of violence and social shame manipulated those on the margins.  Even if they didn't agree, they dreaded the reproach, so preferred to keep their head down and go along.

Paul never ceded to the pressure of wokeness.  He arrived.  He preached the pure, unadulterated message without the garnish of Jewishness to render it politically correct.  This would acquiesce to what he called "excellency of speech" (1 Corinthians 2:1).  The gospel was good enough.  The church was enough.  Neither he or Jesus attempted social change in their day.  They focused one hundred percent on the future kingdom, not the present one.

Today wokeness has entered the church in very similar fashion as it did in Paul's day.  When Paul encountered it in Antioch, both he and Barnabas made haste to Jerusalem to confront it and excise it.  If allowed to stand, it would have established two gospels, one by works and one by grace.

The new woke gospel teaches group guilt that requires group repentance.  It's not the soul that sinneth that dies, but the race that sinneth.  The former woke gospel added circumcision and the present one adds resignation to racial privilege and a kind of reparation, an adequate penitence for cooperation with wrong outcomes in the past.  Their teeth really are bent because you ate grapes (Jeremiah 31:29).

"To do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God" (Micah 6:8) is hijacked to mean 'genuflect to race.'  Kneel.  Vote for Joe Biden.  Hate Trump.  Post a black meme on blackout Tuesday.  Walk in a protest march.  Talk in an urban dialect.  Allow for liberation theology.  Center kingdom teaching around acceptable social causes.  Blame wrong outcomes on systemic racism.  Admit white privilege.

Those keeping track know that it is more than race, but also gender and sex.  Beleaguered people include same sex and transgender.  And in the end, it really is about choosing whatever identity you want, unchallenged.  This contradicts actual salvation, but this is twisted to the acceptance of it being compassion, honesty, and self-care.  Toleration is compassion.  Authenticity is honesty, that is, not being someone you're not, at least to you.  Self-care is self-love, which has become at the root of loving your neighbor, as yourself, the emphasis being on loving your self.   It is suicide to an entire culture, let alone the church.

Churches pandering to millennials craft their message around wokeness.  They see it as church growth success.  They are making merchandise of the weak, compliant, emotional, and superficial.  I see almost an entire generation of apostasy on a level never seen in the United States.  Christianity subdues itself to the world.


Kent Brandenburg said...


I had deleted your comment, so it was too late to publish, but I want to thank you for your perspective and I'll take it into consideration. I publish only about 10-20% of anonymous comments, and what they have most in common is that they're at least neutral. I'm okay with your dislike of my mention of millennials. My particular point was evangelicals pandering to millennials. Studies/research show that they have a lot in common, this coming from many from all stripes, but scripture is sufficient for methodology. The true gospel is good enough for everyone and should be preached to everyone.

Related to President Trump, I googled your, "real Christians hate Trump." 2 results, but they were very odd. So I tried, "genuine Christians hate Trump," no results. "True Christians hate Trump," zero. It's not trending. You might be relying on a small sample size, anonymous. By the way, I felt a kind of closeness to you when you called me, Kent. It was a moment. Thank you.

People aren't looking to Trump as their pastor or even a Christian. He doesn't look natural saying Two Corinthians and holding up a Bible, one Joe Biden would treat like a cross to a vampire. I would like to explain to you the support genuine Christians have for Trump, but that wasn't my point, and I hope you'll think about my point. You seem to be taking the position that hating Trump is an addition to grace. I hear that among all the things in my list. You might not be reading much outside of right where you are at, but there are those who represent it just like I did. Those both can't be true, just like in Jerusalem they couldn't both be true. Think about it anonymous. I believe you've got bigger issues, heart issues, that you should take into strong consideration. Like Paul said, examine yourself whether you be in the faith. No man can serve two Masters.

Maybe you and I could sit and talk some time soon.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Oh, and I clicked delete right away, but then thought about it, and it was too late. So, it's too late to retrieve, but you remember what you said. I hope you have a good day.

Anonymous said...

Haha Kent,

So I need to examine myself as to whether I am in the faith because:

1) I pointed out that you take potshots at Millenials in every post these days (not sure why but I bet the reason is interesting).

2) I pointed out that Trump is abhorrent, no representation of anything remotely Christian and should not be defended by Christians. No thanks. I am just fine with my faith while doing everything in my power to eliminate Trump and his ilk from the US and publicly condemning him.

I would love to know how you think you can question my faith because of what I wrote because those are my two points and I cannot imagine how either should be a problem for you.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hello Anonymous,

Thanks for coming by again.

Paul commanded everyone in the church at Corinth to examine themselves whether they be in the faith, 2 Cor 13:5. I'm concerned about your salvation. That applies to you too.

Hating Trump isn't a righteous act, neither does it make someone righteous. Who else will you eliminate from the U.S.? What makes a person abhorrent to you? Do you apply that equally to all those who disobey Jesus Christ?

The only time "my faith" appears in the New Testament as the "faith of Christ" is when James says (James 2:18): "I will shew thee my faith by my works." What kind of works was James doing that showed that he possessed saving faith, living faith, not the dead demon faith in the next verse (v. 19)? I think your faith probably is just your faith, not the faith of Christ. If it was the faith of Christ, you would show that by your works.

When is the last time you tried to preach the entire gospel to someone, anonymous, out of love for Christ and in obedience to His Great Commission? Do you take pleasure in those who commit the sins listed in Romans 1:29-32, like the Democrat party platform does? Not just those who practice those sins as a lifestyle, but those who take pleasure in those who do them, v. 32 says, are worthy of death. Is that you? Do you promote these people and what they do? Do you stand against those practicing those sins and preach the gospel to them at every opportunity?

Our Lord Jesus Christ said that true Christian identity is salt and light. Are you salt and light? Salt is a preservative against the corruption of this world. Do you do that or are you living like the world? Are you light? Do you let the light of the nature of God -- His righteousness, His holiness, His truth -- shine from you? If you did, you would be persecuted like Jesus said in the previous verses, that characterize a true believer. Are you being persecuted for righteousness sake? Do men make revile you and say all manner of false accusations against you, like they did the prophets?

Do you worship God with reverence and solemnity, what is require through scripture of the worship of God? In other words, do you present your body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, not conformed to the spirit of this age?

If your faith is the faith of Christ, you wouldn't be going after me like you do, anonymous, especially in the disrespectful, dishonoring way you do. But I still love you anonymous. I'll pray for you out of a heart of love for you.

Andrew said...

Hi anonymous,

Is he abhorrent because he supports sodomy? Please tell us as to your reasons why you think he is abhorrent. What do you think about the investigation into the eight years of abuse from 2008-2016? Do you support the Democratic party? Maybe one of the other Republican candidates? A third party? Are you supporting the overthrow of the Constitution?

Are we not to be allowed to openly question a person's faith? Should such speech be prohibited? These are rhetorical questions, you don't need to answer them. I just wanted to ask them anyway.

Anonymous said...

/me laughs loudly

You people are absurd. You actually question the faith of one who does not agree with you politically. Kent and now Andrew. Pathetic...

If I said that Obama was abhorrent, you would not question my faith. Even though Obama acted more Christian than Trump could possibly find it within himself to act. You can't even see how hypocritical you are. You are so blinded by ideology and politics that you can't find truth if it slaps you in the face. And what in the world does the 2008-2016 investigation into "abuse" have to do with this?

Let me spell it out for you. You can question the faith of whoever you want. And I can find you ridiculous if I want. Deal?

Kent Brandenburg said...


Someone doesn't become a Christian by "acting Christian." Neither of them are Christian. I said to you, examine yourself whether you be in the faith. 2 Corinthians 13:5 commands it. You didn't answer my questions. They, and my post, have nothing to do with politics. My post said woke theology says that hating Trump is being a Christian and you seem to agree. One small point in one paragraph. You just trolled my post, and that isn't Christian. You abhore and hate him. You think that makes you a Christian. No one is a Christian by hating or abhoring either of the last two presidents. You didn't answer my questions or Andrew's. Instead you use reviling and mockery, which isn't CHristian.

Anonymous, I've allowed you to come on and troll, because what I'm saying about your life is connecting with you. You know your are not living a life obedient to scripture. Trump is just a red herring. He's not going to matter one bit when you get into eternity. What you do with Jesus Christ does make a difference. Contact me. You and I can and should talk.

Andrew said...

Hey anonymous,

I was simply asking some questions thinking maybe we'd get some answers and get to a deeper understanding of where you were coming from. If not that, I thought maybe the rhetorical nature of my questions might bring a few necessary things into focus if you didn't read my post or post again. I'm sorry if I came off the wrong way to you.

Your first post just kind of confused me, because I wasn't sure if maybe you agreed that him not standing up against sodomy was the reason. If that happens to be the reason why, then I was going to agree with you. But then, in that case I would ask what alternative do you think is better since you seem to think political action is of urgent importance. I legitimately wanted to know your opinion on this matter before delving any further. But it's ok if you now have nothing to say anymore, I see the moderator has decided not to proceed and I wouldn't go against that.

Kent Brandenburg said...


I'm not going to print your last comment, because of their troll nature. You've nothing edifying in nature. I'm going to refer to your last comment in part to illustrate, and you should take it into consideration. I don't know of one substantive thing that you have said, that was anything beyond name calling and insults. You prove nothing. You said you only told the truth and much of what you said was not. I chose to ignore it, but you now say that you only told the truth, when you told several falsehoods, one after another, like you're accustomed it. It's your normal behavior.

An idealogue says, orange man bad. That's you. You judge everything based just on Trump. Everything. Just the man. It's a crutch, because Trump is an easy target. You can use words like abhorrent, and look sanctimonious without having real sanctity. I'm interested in actual sanctity not showy wokeness.

Right off the top, you say that real Christians hate Trump, also saying you're a real Christian, and now you say you didn't say you hated Trump. There are more than ten, we'll say, falsehoods. You don't answer the questions about Christian living that for a real Christian should be easy. You can abhor and hate Trump and that is your Christianity.