10 Ways Woke Culture Is Reframing Civilization

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Joseph Mattera

The book of Genesis recounts how Adam named and categorized the animals, highlighting the profound significance of defining and classifying God’s creation (Gen. 2:19-20). As God’s vice regent, Adam used his act of naming as a powerful assertion of authority, underscoring that the one who defines a thing holds power over it. Throughout history, the control of categories, classifications and definitions has been a critical tool for shaping narratives and influencing the perspectives of entire societies.

Revolutionaries have consistently redefined reality and classifications to control the narrative and advance their agendas.

The French Revolution (1789-1799): The revolutionaries dismantled the feudal system and abolished titles of nobility, redefining citizens as equals to establish a new social order. They also introduced a new calendar, renaming months and resetting the year to Year I, symbolizing a complete break from the past and creating a new identity.

The Russian Revolution (1917): The Bolsheviks restructured society by emphasizing the proletariat (working class) and the bourgeoisie (capitalist class), instigating class warfare. They employed new symbols like the hammer and sickle and terminology like “comrade” to unify and motivate the masses. Their extensive propaganda efforts redefined justice, equality and the role of the state.

Nazi Germany (1933-1945): The Nazi regime redefined racial categories to assert Aryan superiority and justify the persecution of Jews, biblical Christians and other minorities. Through relentless propaganda, they reshaped reality, portraying these groups as subhuman and dangerous. Nazi education policies indoctrinated the youth with these distorted values and racial theories. Today, Western nations are experiencing a profound revolutionary transformation under the “woke” ideology banner

This new wave of cultural redefinition is occurring in the following ways:

1.The inverted covenant with the earth. The rainbow, a sacred biblical symbol of God’s covenant with the earth, has been inverted by the LGBTQ+ community to illustrate its attempt to influence the whole earth as part of woke ideology to reframe the foundational covenantal structure of the earth (Gen. 9:13). 

2. Binary gender to gender fluidity. Traditional, biblically defined gender roles are being replaced with fluid concepts of gender. Genesis 1:27 indicates God designed the human race with the construct of binary gender to represent His image.

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    Entities such as Facebook have recognized an extensive list of gender options to accommodate the diverse ways people identify. The most recent updates show that Facebook provides over 70 different gender options.

    3. The redefinition of marriage. In the beginning, God united one man and one woman in holy matrimony, a union reaffirmed by the Lord Jesus and upheld by Western civilization following the advent of Christianity (Gen. 2:21-24, Matt. 19:4-6). This divine design of marriage has been foundational to societal stability and moral order.

      However, woke ideology has progressively sought to challenge and redefine this sacred institution, culminating in the progressive-leaning Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015, which constitutionally codified same-sex marriage as the law of the land in the United States.

      4. Biblical justice to critical race theory. The biblical notion of justice is being supplanted by CRT, which emphasizes systemic oppression and racial categorization. Scripture teaches that our identity is found in being children of God through Christ, not in our skin color or ethnicity (Gal. 3:28). The gospel unites us as one body in Christ, transcending racial and ethnic divisions.

        In contrast, woke ideology views reality primarily through the lens of skin color and victimization, promoting division and fostering resentment. As believers, we must reject this worldview and uphold the biblical principle that all are equal before God, striving for true justice and reconciliation through the gospel’s transformative power.

        5. Personal responsibility to state dependency. The biblical principle of personal responsibility, as outlined in Galatians 6:7-8, is being eroded by a progressive woke ideology that fosters reliance on the state. This ideology resembles a “nanny” state, assuming responsibility for every aspect of its citizens’ lives.

          Scripture teaches that individuals reap what they sow and are accountable for their actions. In contrast, the increasing dependency on state intervention undermines personal responsibility and initiative, leading to a culture where the state is seen as the ultimate provider and caretaker. Thus, progressive ideology has the upper hand in controlling and defining civilization. 

          6. Meritocracy to victimocracy. A Western culture that once celebrated merit and achievement is shifting toward one prioritizing victimhood. In a meritocracy, individuals are recognized and rewarded based on their abilities, hard work and accomplishments, fostering a society of innovation and excellence. However, the rise of victimhood culture places greater emphasis on perceived oppression and grievances, often rewarding those who claim victim status over those who demonstrate competence and effort. 

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            7. Culture of service to culture of entitlement. The biblical call to serve others is increasingly overshadowed by a culture of entitlement, where personal demands and rights are prioritized over communal responsibility and selfless service (Mark 10:45). This shift fosters a societal expectation of receiving benefits without corresponding duties.

              8. Highlighting days and months of the year. Special emphasis is placed on certain days and months to saturate society with woke ideologies espoused by particular groups, including: Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31), International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (May 17), Pride Month (June), LGBT History Month (October), National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11), Transgender Awareness Week (second week of November), Transgender Day of Remembrance (Nov. 20).

                9. Education. Schools and universities are increasingly becoming centers of ideological indoctrination rather than bastions of serious, ordered learning. From celebrating drag queen story hours for small children to teaching anti-American revisionist history in universities, woke ideology is rebranding reality and shaping the minds of the next generation of cultural elites. This shift in education prioritizes ideological conformity over critical thinking, undermining the foundational principles of education. 

                  10. Politics and law. The Biden administration has utilized taxpayer dollars to promote woke ideology both domestically and internationally. For example, the administration spent $4.6 million to support LGBT projects abroad, including organizing drag shows in Ecuador and funding advocacy groups in multiple countries to promote LGBT causes.

                    Additionally, the Department of Education has proposed grants that prioritize teaching CRT and related themes, reshaping American history curricula to emphasize systemic oppression and racial biases.

                    These transformations represent a significant reclassification of societal norms and values, challenging long-standing biblical principles and profoundly reshaping civilization.

                    My prayer is that Christ-followers will once again take the lead as futurists, thought leaders and cultural trend designers who participate with Jesus in the renewal of all things, based on the kingdom of God. 

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                    Dr. Joseph Mattera is an internationally known author, consultant and theologian whose mission is to influence leaders who influence culture. He is the founding pastor of Resurrection Church and leads several organizations, including the U.S. Coalition of Apostolic Leaders and Christ Covenant Coalition.

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