Wokery in the Church of Scotland
Woke is the slang term used as a byword for social awareness. It means being alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice. Wokery can be described as claiming offence by social and cultural warriors without any discrimination for context, intent or reasoning.
A circular has recently been sent out from 121 George Street. Here is an extract.
‘The Church of Scotland is forming an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group as we strive to shape strategies and tailored projects fit for the whole Church in this very important area. This group’s focus will be to ensure that the culture, policies and practices of the Church reflect our values in general, and the values of equality and inclusion in particular, based on the “protected characteristics” set out in the Equality Act 2010 (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation).
They never learn.
The circular mentions ‘our values in general’. What are these? Are they based on the Church’s Declaratory Articles? Do they reflect the founding principles of the Reformation? Are they Biblical? Are they moral, spiritual? Do they connect with and reflect Christianity of the centuries? Are they faithful to Jesus Christ? The Church of Scotland’s fawning over political correctness has damaged it irreversibly. Founding principles have been abandoned. Little distinct Christian identity remains. The Church offers no alternative, no Gospel, no Christian challenge to contemporary understanding and mores. And here it is again immersing itself in post modern cultural wokery. It offers no theology, no spirituality, no confession and no disagreement with nor even any evaluation of the extremities of intersectionality, critical race theory, post colonial theory and queer theory.
Intersectionality is the theory that race, class, gender, and other individual characteristics intersect with one another and overlap, and that all injustices are interconnected. Critical race theory holds that the law and legal institutions are inherently racist and that race itself, instead of being biologically grounded and natural, is a socially constructed concept that is used by white people to further their economic and political interests at the expense of people of colour. Post colonial theory is the critical academic study of the cultural legacy of colonialism and imperialism, focusing on the human consequences of the control and exploitation of colonised people and their lands. Queer theory studies the oppressive power of dominant norms, particularly those relating to sexuality, and the misery they cause to those who cannot or do not wish to live according to those norms. At the core of these theories is a complete rejection of objective knowledge including all European learning and scientific knowledge, the knowledge that gave us modern medicine, built skyscrapers, took men to the moon, the knowledge that makes iPhones and personal computers, these and other bases of contemporary western life. Religions with universal values and applications are also discarded and their claims rejected.
Christianity is unique. It begins from outside the parameters of normal human experience in the resurrection of Jesus. It is thus unassailable in its essence and purpose which is the betterment of the human condition in relation to our Maker through this specific personalised revealed knowledge. ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. There is no commandment greater than these’ (Mark 12 : 30 – 31). These are the recorded words of Jesus. Christianity’s message of love and reconciliation is universally applicable. Its message of redemption through Jesus Christ’s death means that no human conduct or sin is beyond saving. The Church’s sacraments are efficacious and offered without prejudice to everyone in this world. Christianity communicates the Gospel of universals. Jesus is the Son of God for all time and for everyone. Christianity's global presence affirms its purpose.
Not according to post modernism however. Its proponents say that all knowledge is cultural and therefore relative and dispensable. That includes the collected learning of European civilisation. Christianity is not a western construct. Its bedrock was Judaism in the middle east. Post modern theories exclude Judaism and Christianity’s claims of eternal dimension and ongoing relevance. What is happening is described as cultural war. Where does the Church of Scotland stand on this perspective? It accepts the underlying ideas of post modernism and it enacts these in its statements and appointments.
Christianity has to stand up for its inherited truth and values in the 21st century. These are normative for humanity’s survival. There will always be differences and relativities but a standard must remain by which to assess these. The divergences cannot become the defining standards themselves. That has happened however and the Church of Scotland far from being faithful to its own origins has succumbed once again to thoughtless adoption of a particularly extreme and geographically localised anarchy of the mind.