Monday, July 24, 2023

Wokeism: A Fire Without Fuel

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Country music superstar Jason Aldean defied the cancel mob to perform “Try That in a Small Town” during a Friday concert as leftists continued to smear and censor the hit song.

This inspired the crowd to shout, "USA! USA! USA!"

Last week, the Episcopal Diocese of Florida was blocked from installing the reportedly popular Rev. Charlie Holt as its bishop after the majority of bishops and standing committees refused to approve him over concerns he is not woke enough. 

This reflects the classic Tale of Two Cities--- part of America demanding less wokeism and part demanding more- the best of times, the worst of times, depending on who you ask. 

Wokeism is on fire in America, but I think it has already begun to burn out. I'll explain why.

Be informed, not misled.

RE: Hollywood and Jason Aldean.

I mentioned the matter of Jason Aldean's song being pulled from the Country Music channel on Friday because the far-left "woke" crowd was demanding it. It was breaking news on Friday morning.

Why was it pulled? Because the woke crowd said, "Pull it."

Aldean’s new single, “Try That In a Small Town,” aggressively attacks recent riots and rising lawlessness in the United States.

What's wrong with that? All the images in the music video were pulled from actual news stories published by the news media. 

Here is a link to the lyrics of the song.

Admittedly, the song is an often confrontational take, with lyrics challenging those who “carjack an old lady at a red light” or “pull a gun on the owner of a liquor store” or “cuss out a cop” to try that in a small town and “see how far ya make it down the road/ around here, we take care of our own.”

In a later verse, Aldean, who was on stage when the worst gun massacre in U.S. history took place at the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017, sings, “Got a gun that my granddad gave me/ They say one day they’re gonna round up/ Well, that [explitive]  might fly in the city/ Good luck.”

Aldean addressed on Twitter the controversy over his song after CMT removed it from circulation.

“I have been accused of releasing a pro-lynching song (a song that has been out since May) and was subject to the comparison that I (direct quote) was not too pleased with the nationwide BLM protests. These references are not only meritless but dangerous,” he said.

Aldean asserted that he never brought race into the song and that he used real news footage.

“NO ONE, including me, wants to continue to see senseless headlines or families ripped apart. … ‘Try That In A Small Town,’ for me, refers to the feeling of a community that I had growing up, where we took care of our neighbors, regardless of differences of background or belief,” he said.

According to far Left Hollywood magazine Variety, critics of the song were also incensed over Aldean filming “in front of a courthouse in Colombia, Tennessee that is well known for having been the site of a lynching of a Black man in the 1920s.” Aldean did not address this controversy.

The point of the Left is simply Jason Aldean is not "woke"; therefore, he is not acceptable.

The Church and Wokeism

A recent example of churches and wokeness was a blatant refusal by the Episcopal Church hierarchy to outright cancel a popular leader to become a bishop because "he is not woke enough."

The Episcopal Diocese of Florida was blocked from installing the popular Rev. Charlie Holt as its bishop after the majority of bishops and standing committees refused to approve him over concerns he is not woke enough.

Too many churches share that same criteria. Not all. But too many.

The "woke" movement is on fire in our country- it is a fire that seems unquenchable. It touches every part and person in our culture. And destroys everything it touches.

The movement, in my opinion, is demonic. And certainly anti-American.

Can it be quenched?

Thousands of GenZers Get Baptized, Make Professions of Faith at Summer Camps

Christian Headlines says reports are coming from all over the country that thousands of young teens are accepting Christ as their personal Savior and are being baptized in water in obedience and public affirmation that they have sold out to Jesus.

Thousands of students have reportedly made professions of faith, got baptized, or accepted calls to ministry at summer camps this year.

"Culture understands and calls them Gen Z, but we have been calling them the revival generation," Shane Pruitt, national Next Gen director with the North American Mission Board, told CBN News.

Despite a recent Pew Research study that found Generation Z is losing their religion, there has been a spiritual awakening among that generation in recent years. Generation Z includes people born between 1997 and 2012.

"In probably the last three years of ministry to young adults, college students, and teenagers, I've seen more and more young people make professions of faith for Jesus in the last 3 years than in my previous almost 20 years of ministry," Pruitt noted.

Clayton King, pastor and founder of Crossroads, also pointed out that there have been more than 1,000 professions of faith so far this summer.

"We've had over 1,100 first-time salvations so far this summer. It's a miracle," King, who is best friends with Pruitt. 

"It's definitely a spiritual awakening," Pruitt added.

Pruitt noted that there has been a move of the Spirit amongst the younger generation despite the increased reports of anxiety, depression, and suicide.

"The pandemic didn't create new problems for Gen Z, but I think it poured gas on some problems that were already there. You have a whole generation who has come to the end of themselves at a much earlier age," Pruitt explained. "They are looking for hope, and they are looking for answers."

"We get to slide in with the gospel and say, 'The hope you are looking for, the truth you're looking for actually has a name, and His name is Jesus,'" he added.

King noted that this group of student campers differs from those in the past, as more are receptive to the Gospel.

"This is a new generation of students," he explained. "A lot of these kids that are coming to camp have either never heard the Gospel, or they've only heard it once or twice, or they've never been told how they can be saved, and so I think that we are dealing with students now that are very different."

There Is a 'Revival in America's Prisons'

Prisoners are accepting Christ, resulting in transformational change in their lives.

CJ Orndorff heads up a prison ministry. 

He says, "The prison system in the beginning, in the founding days of our country, was meant to take the mistakes that a person's making, correct the mistakes, and he's forever a different person," Orndorff said. "Well, it's morphed into a whole money-making business that is dangerous, actually, for the lives of people that get locked up. It creates more criminal activity. And you've heard before of guys going in for something petty, and they come out as seasoned criminals because they've been hanging out with these guys. And that stuff is perpetuated. That doesn't heal the person, it doesn't heal their families, and it doesn't heal their future."

Today's prison system, he said, is "more punishment than it is correction."

"The gospel is the answer to the system's problems," he said. The men and women seen in the docuseries, he said, are "thriving" in their faith.

"It's all about transforming who that person is on the inside," he said. "And we all know that when Jesus changes your heart, He changes your life."

Wokeism is burning out.

The other day, Tucker Carlson told his audience, "I'm reading the Bible...it's the most interesting thing I've done."

Wokeism has pushed America to the edge. People are awakening and looking for alternatives. 

Bloomberg is predicting, "Wokeism Has Peaked."

They say wokeism will remain an influential global movement, but in the U.S., at least, it has already begun to decline.

An op-ed in the New York Times explains why wokeism cannot and will not succeed. It will self-destruct because it is a fire without fuel.

The Times piece concludes: 

This is why Wokeness will fail. For every attempt to cancel certain writers, others will publish them. For every diktat to fix language by replacing some words with others, people will merely find more subversive ways to say the same thing. For every effort to turn high schools and universities into Wokeness factories, there will be efforts to start afresh. Because technology, capital and good ideas move faster than ideology, those efforts will succeed more quickly than their skeptics imagine.

In the long run, Americans have always gotten behind protest movements that make the country more open, more decent, and less divided. What today is called Woke does none of those things. It has no future in the home of the free.

In the meantime, we are called to "work while it is still day, for the night cometh when no man can work."

Heaven and Earth (and wokeism) will pass away, but God's Word will never pass away.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Engaged. Be Prayerful.