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.