By Scott HIlgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross
We have a conservative and even Christian culture right now that is turning hard against anything that can be described with the term “woke.”
The obvious ones are the cultural topics around women’s issues that blur into issues about transgender rights that blur into issues about toxic masculinity. Movies and television shows seem to endlessly work these kinds of issues into their storylines while corporations work to champion various causes.
As they do this, boycotts are encouraged and a tactic is used that once seemed to largely only come from ‘the left’–cancellation. Cancel culture is becoming more widely used.
We have to be so careful that as woke agendas spread and efforts to push back against them grow, that somehow we don’t start canceling what Jesus teaches us that sometimes seems to go against our conservative values.
Anything from the pulpit that pushes us to support the poor can begin to sound like it follows a liberal view. Anything that pushes us to be kind to those who are different from us, even if they are trampling on our political freedoms, can begin to sound like it follows a liberal view. For the cowboy crowd, where strength, courage, toughness and independence are encouraged, anything that sounds like it pushes behavior we think of as weak, can lead us to want to rebel and push back.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
In a culture pushing back against what we consider ‘woke’, Paul admitting to his weakness begins to sound woke as well.
It’s easy to rebel against the idea of being content with weakness and taking insults. It’s easy to miss just who Paul is and what he is really telling us.
Paul turned his life around from being a persecutor of Christians to a someone who converted others to Christianity. Strength. He was shipwrecked and imprisoned awaiting death, yet continued to preach love and forgiveness. Strength.
Boasting in weakness? Strength!
Because it shows the world around us that when we are weak, and we all suffer times when we can’t handle a difficult circumstance, God’s grace toward us and His power to get us through that situation are made clear to others, giving them a chance to find a saving faith in Jesus. For us to be made strong by God, we first have to experience being weak.
In the months ahead, the worst thing we could do to our salvation and others’ is to start rejecting some of the teachings of Jesus because we don’t like it when he tells us to turn the other cheek or be kind to the person that hurt us.
It’s good for Christians to fight for their rights in freedoms, whatever country they are from. It’s best to do it while putting Jesus first.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.