Being Woke

If you’re against it, you have no clue what you are talking about

Jeremy Zerby
4 min readJan 17, 2023
Photo by furkanfdemir from Pexels.

And just like that, Mark Driscoll is back at it again. I just talked about him on this week’s edition of “JZ and the Amazing Technicolor Podcast”, and I had thought that maybe he was sort of fading and merely making controversy in his own neck of the woods but largely off the map.

I could not have been more mistaken.

This week, he is back at it, as usual, on Twitter, which seems to have become the platform of choice for much of the scum of the internet. This time, and I believe he has targeted them before, he is going after “woke” Christians and those who are deconstructing their faith.

On the second group, he had this to say:

Dear deconstructing “Christian”: Just like you couldn’t be friends with me if you hated my wife, you don’t get to have a relationship with Jesus if you hate His church.

I am not going to spend a lot of time on this one, a discussion on deconstruction is for another day. But, basically, those who are going through a period of deconstruction are individuals who has faced some kind of tragedy or spiritual abuse and have been hurt in a such a way that they are questioning whether or not the whole thing is even true.

And plenty of these people find themselves coming back to Christianity at some point, after a journey of self-discovery. Maybe it is not back to the same expression of it that they left behind, but they find that they simply cannot throw the whole thing out, for one reason or another. They are not any less of a Christian for this. What “Pastor” Mark misses here is that these deconstrusting Christians are doing exactly what the Scriptures tell a discerning believer to do:

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)

I could make some snarky comment about Mark not wanting the Bible to get in the way of his Christianity, but I think you get the idea.

This is a very similar line of argument that he has made against “woke” Christians. In fact, he says that young people are trying to be “woke Christians. And there is no such thing as a hyphenated Christianity. A demonic Christianity. Which is what Critical Theory is” (you can listen to his thinking here, if you really don’t believe me).

Stepping outside of Christianity, this is the same sort of argument that Conservatives in a general sense are making against being “woke”. And it shows that they very clearly do not have a clue what they are talking about.

The word “woke” that men like Ron Desantis and Mark Driscoll and others like to throw around has roots in…wait for it…African American Vernacular English and specifically refers to being alert to racial prejudice and discrimination.

Let me say that again, and you take a moment let it sink in.

“Woke” means being alert to racial prejudice and discrimination.

By Driscoll’s line of thinking, I guess every black person who has been discriminated against and is aware of it and sees it is going to hell.

Anti-woke ideology finds itself sitting smack dab in the middle of blatant racism.

A recent focus group of Swing voters in Florida conducted by Axios and Engagious/Schlesinger found that they do not even know what Desantis means when he says things like, “Florida is where woke goes to die.” So, either Desantis himself also does not know what it means or…

Being woke is actually a very good thing. For us to move forward as a society, we have to be aware of racism and discrimination. Whether that be race or gender or religious-based discrimination. As long as we refuse to acknowledge it, we will never do anything about making it stop.

It is true, though, that woke has come to encompass more than just racial prejudice. The meaning has expanded to include other prejudice as well, particularly with regard to the LGBTQIA+ community. But it still centered in being aware of discrimination. And if you are aware of discrimination that is taking place, you have two options, and there is no middle ground here: you can work to put a stop to it or you can ignore it and thereby perpetuate it.

But I guess, actually, there is a third way here, which seems to be the way of our current Republican representatives. You can actively practice it and try to codify discrimination in the law.

Being woke is fine. It is good. It is right. And those who are putting themselves out there as being against it are also putting themselves in a rather precarious position. And they need to be called out for it.



Jeremy Zerby

Hermeneutics, religion, pop psychology, self-help, and culture. They are all connected, and I am here to explain how.