Are you Woke? What is the Woke movement? A fact sheet.                         By Jack Kettler 

An exercise in “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17 NKJV)

From Barnes' Notes on the Bible on Proverbs 27:17:

“The proverb expresses the gain of mutual counsel as found in clear, well-defined thoughts. Two minds, thus acting on each other, become more acute.” (1)

What is a definition of Woke?

Woke is a term that has come into the mainstream from what can be called African American English. It is a term, which refers to an awareness of social justice and in particular racial issues. The “woke” movement began in the African American community and the acceptance of black liberation theology, another name for Marxism. The movement has expanded into other perceived social justice areas. In brief, “woke” is the term used to explain an awakening to issues of race, gender, and sexual injustice.

Supposedly historic Christians have been ignorant and in the dark about these issues. In reality, traditional Christians have dealt with these issues as individual sins rather than group rights or identity politics. 

Is woke-ism a new fad like the Emergent Church Movement? Promoters of woke-ism are progressively theologically liberal on issues like LGBTQ rights, the environment, and racial inequality, and see themselves as social justice warriors. From the inroads this movement has made into evangelicalism, woke-ism has the hallmarks of faddism.

If you read the Christian contemporary woke leaders it becomes quickly apparent they only have a superficial knowledge of the Bible. Proponents of woke-ism and historic traditional Christian apologetics have substantial differences as proof. Woke-ism operates on assumptions, which are not too be questioned they are supposedly self-evident. If you do not agree with the assumption, you are not “woke.” How convenient and how circular.  

Woke-ism made possible by Post-Modern thought:

Up until the mid-twentieth century post, enlightenment or modernist thinking was still dominant. As evident from the ministries like that of Francis A. Schaeffer and L'abri in Switzerland.  Christians during this time were concerned with the intellectual validation and defense of the Christian faith. 

Postmodernism cannot be better explained than by Gene Edward Veith, Jr.:

“In postmodernism, the intellect is replaced by will, reason by emotion, and morality by relativism. Reality is nothing more than a social construct; truth equals power. Your identity comes from a group. Postmodernism is characterized by fragmentation, indeterminacy, and a distrust of all universalizing (worldviews) and power structures (the establishment). It is a worldview that denies all worldviews (“stories”). In a nutshell, postmodernism says there are no universal truths valid for all people. Instead, individuals are locked into the limited perspective of their own race, gender or ethnic group. It is Nietzsche in full bloom.

Although postmodernists tend to reject traditional morality, they can still be very moralistic. They will defend their “rights” to do what they want with puritanical zeal. Furthermore, they seem to feel that they have a right not to be criticized for what they are doing. They want not only license but approval. Thus, tolerance becomes the cardinal virtue. Under the postmodernist way of thinking, the principle of cultural diversity means that every like-minded group constitutes a culture that must be considered as good as any other culture. The postmodernist sins are being judgmental, being narrow-minded, thinking that you have the only truth, and trying to enforce your values on anyone else. Those who question the postmodernist dogma that “there are no absolutes” are excluded from the canons of tolerance. The only wrong idea is to believe in truth; the only sin is to believe in sin.” (2)

Post-Modern thought gave up on these pursuits, abandoning theological and intellectual precision. The adherents of woke-ism have abandoned historic church confessions and the biblical theology of sin and the need for redemption.

There is nothing in woke-ism literature about repenting from individual sins unless you are white, conservative, a capitalist, and heterosexual. Woke-ism is progressive, a movement of the political and theological left. 

Instead, the investigator finds assertions about social injustice that are based upon nothing more than unproven assumptions and appeals to selective data, which are not to be questioned.

As said earlier, if the assumptions are questioned, the critic is dismissed as not being “woke.” The “woke-er” argues in a circle, themselves, being the standard of interpretation. With this spectacular intellectual decline, the stage is set for a massive rise in new cultic groups forming on nothing more than following a slick lip artist leader who can arouse the emotions.

“To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28, 29)


1.      Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Proverbs, Vol. 6 p.103.

2.      Gene Edward Veith, Jr., Postmodern Times, p. 195-196.

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: