Wokeism is a mind virus that destroys everything it touches.
At Biola University in California, one of the nation's largest centers of Christian education and theological thought, at least one trustee has caught the virus.
In a recent virtual conference on racial reconciliation, pastor and trustee Adam Edgerly vigorously defended Critical Race Theory and its Marxist class model that divides everyone into intersectional boxes.
You can watch all of his arguments in this Twitter thread, but we'll go through some of the more absurd ones here.
First, here's Edgerly saying that the early church community saw "justice" when the apostles decided to chose Hellenized Jews to serve widows among them:
The first glaring problem here is that CRT demands we be framed by our race as "oppressed" and "oppressor." Edgerly argues that the Greek widows were the ones systemically oppressed within this institution of the church.
The problem is, this ignores the wider ways intersectionalism could be applied in society.
The Hellenized Jews were those that had adopted Greek culture, many of whom had lived in Egypt following the period of exile. Because these Jews had adopted the culture of the "colonizing" Greeks and Romans, they enjoyed greater "privilege" across the empire.
Therefore, the attempt to paint the Hellenized Jews as somehow "oppressed" by the Hebraic Jews in the way that "whiteness" oppresses minorities today is nonsense.
Second, as the Apostle Paul makes clear, both in the early church and across time, in Jesus there is neither "Greek nor Jew." Jesus himself chose "oppressors" like the tax collector Matthew and called the "colonizing" Roman centurion the greatest example of faith he had ever seen.
We can appreciate and discuss cultural differences and tensions, but Scripture doesn't frame race the way socialistic CRT does – not by a freaking long shot.
Speaking of the Apostle Paul, did you know he was super woke??
Look at the Apostle Paul from an intersectional point of view. He would declare boldly, "I am a Jew, of the tribe of Benjamin, raised in Tarsus, studied under Gamaliel, in the city of Jerusalem, Pharisee of Pharisees," etc., right?
He is using in what a modern-day sense is called an intersectional approach to describing his own identity.
[Narrator: This was not at all what Paul meant in his discourse in Philippians 3]
He embraces his Jewish heritage, he embraces his tribal heritage. He embraces his family line. He embraces his hometown of Tarsus. He embraces the university that he went to in Jerusalem and the professor that he studied under, Gamaliel. And he recognizes that all those things have shaped his thinking.
He also embraced the fact that he was an artisan, a business, a tentmaker, and that he was single. And so those things, he described himself that way. But if you think that way when you read his writing, you will see those characteristics of his identity showing up in the way he encounters God. And it gives him a unique perspective that he shares with us in scripture.
I mean, sure, Paul says in the very next verses of Philippians 3 that he considers all these things crap (the original Greek is comparable to the S-word) and total loss compared to knowing Jesus.
But we can't be bothered with silly things like the main point of a passage.
If that's not bad enough, Edgerly went further still!
He tried to fit Mary the mother of Jesus into the CRT mold:
You do the same thing with Mary. Now you've got a single girl, from a poor family, who is now a single mom, with all that that means. She is a colonized person living under Roman oppression. Now read the Magnificat, her poem to God, and her declaration of God overturning unjust people and sending the rich away while he blesses the poor, and you got a deeper understanding of who Mary is and why she thinks and talks the way she does.
That's an example of this tool of thought coming out of Critical Race Theory called intersectionality informing even the way we understand scripture.
This is horrible exposition of the Word.
It reeks of eisegesis.
Mary never says she saw herself as an oppressed POC victim under the boot of oppressive colonizers. Yeah, the Romans were pretty dang evil. Thank God empires like it fell through the Gospel and have been replaced by so many free democracies working to better protect people's God-given rights (like 'Murica).
To place Mary in this mold is to impose your worldview on Scripture, not the other way around. Mary was not a single mom. She had a loving fiancee who married her and cared for her before she gave birth.
Although she probably wasn't an ancient millionaire, the Bible doesn't say Mary or her family were super poor, either. Mary is able to travel to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who is married to Zechariah, a priest serving in the Temple in Jerusalem. She does not fit the American mold of single-inner-city-mom-being-oppressed-by-white-Republicans that's being painted here.
This is the most important clause in this whole diatribe:
...Intersectionality informing even the way we understand scripture.
There you have it: Edgerly, like so many men in history before him, is saying we should see the Bible through popular ideologies, not the other way around.