Evangelicals are going to war against 'woke' ideology because it is an 'existential threat': scholar

Some evangelical churches are sounding the alarm on "woke" people, saying that woke ideology is a threat to the gospel by emphasizing racial differences that pit people against each other, according to Arkansas seminary professor Owen Strachan.

“When you embrace a system like critical race theory or intersectionality that teaches you that people who are in the majority basically are in the wrong — so, for example, that white people by virtue of being part of the white power bloc have privilege, have responsibility, honestly, when we’re not speaking politely, have complicity in oppression — that warps the gospel," Strachan told Religion News Service.

“That is not a gospel conviction," he added. "That’s not taught in Scripture. People who are from the upper tiers of society in the Book of Acts are not condemned for being part of the upper tier of society.”

When it comes to the idea of systemic racism or reparations for past racism, Strachan says that the Bible does not hold people accountable for sins of the past.

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But according to University of Pennsylvania religion scholar and the author of “White Evangelical Racism” Anthea Butler, white evangelical leaders have always faced the dilemma of wanting to bring diversity to the church without disrupting the status quo outside the church.

“On the one hand, evangelicals wanted souls to be saved,” Butler writes in her book. “On the other, they wanted everyone to stay in their places.”

Speaking to Religion News Service, Butler says evangelicals are becoming a minority inside their own bubble, and the racial reckonings in the wake of Floyd’s death have shaken their power.

“They believe it is an existential threat to their nostalgia about America,” Butler said.

Read more at Religion News Service.