My Take - Pastor's Blog


"A girl who received a book from a young man, read it and said, "What a tiresome book!" The young man said, "Did you notice who wrote it?" She looked at the front page and saw that the love of her life was the author. She began to read it again, and at the end she said, "I never read a greater book." What made the difference? Her relationship to the writer. Look at God. Is He good or evil? It all depends on whether you are single in heart or evil in heart. If you look at Jesus, you may see Him either as a deceiver or as a Savior. What makes the difference? Your attitude, your eye."  Bible Illustrations - Bible Illustrations – Illustrations of Bible Truths.

You and I, at times in our lives or even right now, have not enjoyed the things of God. Particularly, His Book, His Church, His Will & Ways, and His People have all at times been a bore or even an annoyance. The problem we have is that we often do not love God like we should or we do not have the right relationship we should with Him. in order to enjoy the Bible and have the right attitude towards godly things and towards life we are going to have to get to know the Author and Creator – the Lord God of heaven.  He is the designer, creator, and sustainer of all.   He is the one that gives us all things.  Fall in love with Him, and you will fall in love with His Book, you will fall in love with His church, you will fall in love with His people and you will fall in love with His service.

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"I" Can Do All Things?

Philippians 4:13 has been used much in our society today as a popular slogan.  It is varied in its use but the most common way it has been used is on the t-shirts of several sports stars and famous personalities.  The slogan though goes like this: “I CAN DO ALL THINGS.” While some are thankful for it as it is a Bible quote, in reality – it is a watered-down, mis-appropriated and inappropriate statement that gives a false message.

As Believers we should never emphasize what we can do.  It has never been about us but has always been about God.  Obviously, the real quote is “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”  It is our precious Lord who redeemed us from our lost condition by faith and repentance – and has promised to be with us and to bear our burdens and has also empowered us to be faithful in any situation.  To leave God out of Philippians 4:13 takes the TRUTH out of the verse and renders it worthless.

In addition, the context of the Philippians 4:13 shows us that Paul made this statement not in recognition of his successes – but rather in the hardships he endured.  When he wrote this, he was imprisoned in Rome, not knowing what the future held for Him other than this – whether he abounded or was abased, he could be content and give God glory.  Philippians 4:11 is a wonderful verse to help us in our walk with Christ.  It says, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”  So whether in a victory or a setback, Paul knew he could glorify God therein.

I'm glad we have the same God that we can depend on today that Paul had. But I can't do it. I'm not the key, it is through HIM! He is the one that strengthens me through every trial and hardship and keeps me settled when I have a victory because I know that it was He that did it and allowed me to be a part of it. It is not about "I", it is all about "HIM!"

  • Pastor Mark Sage
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Encouragement from Psalms 42 & 43

From my Scripture reading this morning in the section from the Psalms we read a phrase three times in Psalm 42 and 43 with one small variation. It is in Psalms 42:5 & 12 and also 43:5. On its face value alone it such a great reminder that I need to question my souls when it is down. If I am redeemed of God then I have no business being down very long. I can ask for God's help to:

  • Reveal if there is anything I need to repent of and seek forgiveness.
  • Reveal any way wrong attitude I have and confess it to the Lord.
  • Show me if I am harboring any bitterness, anger, or grudge toward someone or concerning a circumstance.
  • Give all of these things over to the Lord once found and allow Him to carry the load.

Then I take a moment to command my own soul. It says here: "...hope thou in God:.." Every moment of every day, I need to command my souls to this position. I cannot excuse, deny, or ignore any sin or feeling that is not right before God. It must be dealt with now and get my should where it needs to be to have the right relationship and attitude with God.

Finally, there is one small deviation in these three verses. Two verses say "I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance" and one says "...who is the help of my countenance, and my God." What a blessing to consider that He is both of those things to us. He is the help and and the health of who I am in this world and my testimony. I want to have the right attitude in this world and toward this world, being the testimony He desires me to be. I cannot do that unless I am walking with Him, staying close to Him, and depending on Him for the help and health of who I am for Him as well. - Pastor Mark Sage

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Preparing for Success in Your Walk with God, in a Basic Way

We have all heard the quotes and the illustrations about being prepared, and they are all good, such as a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln - “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Everyone of us (hopefully) spend time preparing for work, an exam, for an upcoming presentation, etc.

One thing we are often intimidated by is being the godly person that God wants us to be. He commands us to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16) which is a very high calling. When we look at who we are we realize that we have a very long way to go to even start to be who He expects us to be.

Let me encourage you - IT IS NOT AS HARD AS YOU THINK! There are some basic things that each of us can do to become that holy spiritual person. Now, I'm not saying that you need to become a monk which is not what God wants nor is necessarily holy. I am talking about WALKING WITH GOD. If we can learn to walk with God, spend time with God, get to know God, allow Him to change us - then I can become that holy spiritual person that He wants me to be.

Here are some things that can help you be successful. Now these are not spiritual things, but they are basic habits that will help you to be able to walk with God successfully. Now, before we jump into it, walking with God involves many things but all fall into simple categories: Bible reading, prayer, worship (personal, family, and corporate [church]).

Here are some things that I do to make sure I can spend the time; be on time; be rested; be ready to do these things in my life:


  • I go to bed on time, so I can get up on time (we have to be disciplined about this, but our time with God each day is of vital importance)
  • Each night I gather my devotional materials (Bible, prayer list, journal, pen, glasses, iPad for Faithlife church prayer requests, even my back pillow on my reading chair) so I can be ready first thing in the morning.
  • I actually get my coffee set up the night before, my wife's tea kettle and tea bag in her cup ready to go.
  • I sound goofy, but I lay out my work-out clothes for the gym which I do right after my devotions most mornings.
  • I have my phone, iPad and even my computer go to "do not disturb" automatically for my devotion time (1 1/2's roughly for me depending on what time I get up) so there are no distractions from text, notifications, calls or emails.


  • I do all the things above - including laying out my clothing for church (you need to do that for the kids as well) we always did.
  • I also need to make sure I don't overdo Saturday nights. As a matter of fact I rarely schedule something on Saturday evening because I can wear myself out and then I am not 100% for God on Sunday mornings (you would be surprised how many people miss church on Sunday because they gave away their best hours to something else on Saturday and stayed up too late). We've got to give God better.
  • When I worked a secular job, I always gave church the priority and did all I could to request, badger, and get my church service times off. Not always possible for all, but if you pray and try, God will help you.
  • For Wednesday nights we always have our meal planned ahead so we can be at church (still do that today). Lately, we plan a nice cauliflower pizza for after church, there are other times when we would plan a light meal before through a take out order, or cold cuts at home.


  • Everything above, with these additions:
  • You can do it with supper, sit down to eat, read the Word together and pray.
  • Do it before anything else - everything else is a distraction, God's Word is the most important thing for our families, spend time in it.
  • It is a good time to encourage discipline with the kids in their devotional life, you can incorporate a family reading time, and then send the kids to do their personal reading and prayer.

Success in our Walk with God is sometimes just making the necessary preparations to have the time and energy to do what we God wants us to do. This is not a complete list, but just some ideas that can help you draw close to God in 2022.

  • Pastor Mark Sage
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Letter To Mason City Council in Support of Sanctuary City for the Unborn Ordinance

To each of the Mason Council Members & Leadership,

I wanted to thank you, applaud you for the decision that was made last October to make the City of Mason a Sanctuary City for the Unborn. I know that it was a controversial ordinance in some people's eyes - but it was a right one. I am thankful for you and all those that are willing to make right decisions though facing criticism from a “loud” but “small” crowd that looks to make it a “human right” to abort a human child. 

The Bible teaches that the “powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1) which you are for the City of Mason. God has allowed you to have that important position, USE IT WELL! You have within your power to wield for the defenseless or yield to the selfish. It is your responsibility to do what is right - and you should do it no matter the criticism or the cost because that is the oath you took. Right is always right, truth is always truth, and there is nothing more precious than the sanctity and protection of every human life.

  • Right does not become wrong because of financial loss - Right is still right. 
  • Right does not become wrong because of overwhelming criticism - Right is still right.
  • Right does not become wrong because of public/majority/minority opinion - It is still right!

God’s blessing and approval is far more important for the City of Mason than anything else.  Proverbs 14:34 says: 

"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people."

I’m praying for you this evening - I support you along with my members that are Mason residents to make the decision to protect the unborn in your jurisdiction.

Sincerely and Prayerfully, 

Pressing On!

Pastor Mark Sage

Church: (513) 683-6708

Mobile:  (513) 716-2315

Maineville Baptist Church

57 E. Foster-Maineville Rd.

Maineville, OH 45039


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Little Town of Bethlehem

What a blessing this morning to read in my devotions this verse: 

Micah 5:2 "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be

little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me

that is to be ruler in Israel; who goings forth have been from old, from


This small town about six miles southwest of Jerusalem is today a

very small city of 25,000 (Hamilton Township is bigger than that) and at the

time of Christ it is estimated to have had a population of only about 300. Yet that very small town of old is one of the most famous cities of all time, known by the world, musical scores written and sung with it as the subject, and prophesied in God's Word as the Messiah's birthplace, and indeed, the place that our Savior, Jesus Christ, was born.

Outside of Rachel, Jacob's wife being buried there; Ibzan, one of the Judges of Israel being from there, the story of Boaz and Ruth, and Herod’s atrocities in slaying the infants there, it has no other mention in the Bible. But oh, the importance of it. Bethlehem means "house of bread" and Ephratah means "fruitful." Certainly, God knew what this town would mean to Israel and to the world. For it is the birthplace of king David and more importantly – it is the birthplace of the King of kings, and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. Outside of that, there is nothing else of noteworthy significance - but what else does it need to be dear to our hearts. That place of Christ's nativity! It is the place where “the Word became flesh” and yet He and his family had to flee as quickly as they arrived - but would forever be known as the Lord’s birthplace.

Is there application for us outside of that?  I believe in God’s Word there is always application!  God says in Romans 15:4 that through His Scriptures we would have hope.  I think for us, the subject of Bethlehem, that God can’t take an insignificant place, a poor family, even a time of hardship (the fleeing to Egypt and the slaying of the children of Bethlehem) and still make something wonderful out of it and to provide so much to the world shows us something.  We mentioned this verse in a recent message - Ecclesiastes 7:8: “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof:..” In our lives, we may have insignificant start; a less than stellar beginning; even plagued with failures – but it doesn’t matter how you started, what matters is how you finish.  Today, with God’s help, He can make something wonderful with your life when it is submitted completely to His will.  Put Him first, let God have the preeminence He is due.  

I may not have anything memorable about me personally, but when God saves me, is with me, and uses me – my name shall be forever written down, because I have become part of His plan.  What as wondrous thought and lesson even from this “Little town of Bethlehem!”

  • Pastor Mark Sage
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The Most Unusual Thanksgiving

Have you ever been in a tight spot; an uncomfortable situation; a trial or a strange place during Thanksgiving?  One thanksgiving I went to in our first year of marriage was with some relatives of Stephanie.  It was in a nice part of California in a beautiful home.  I was 22, Stephanie was 21 and pregnant with our first daughter, Hannah. It was a delicious meal and nice people.  We finished our first helping and I watched to see who was going to get a second helping (no way was I going to be first).  Finally, another young man got up to go get “seconds”, so Stephanie and I followed and got ours.  It turns out, he only got a glass of water and Stephanie and I returned to the table – and no one else at the entire dinner got another bite to eat – so we sat there and ate while they all watched (at least Stephanie was eating for two, I did not have a good excuse).

While that is a funny story – there are many who go through difficult times during Thanksgiving or other holidays.  I remember in 1983, riding in our 1973 wood paneled Ford Station wagon in the rear facing bench seat heading out to a hopeful Thanksgiving with my siblings, mom, and stepdad, then arriving back home five or so days later, no longer having our stepdad since he passed away on our trip.  It was tough and heartbreaking.  In most of our lifetimes, there will be Thanksgivings like that.  We may feel depressed or lonely because of some loss, stress, or some difficulty.  Can I remind you: IF YOU ARE SAVED AND CHRIST DWELLS WITHIN YOU, YOU HAVE THE MOST PRECIOUS GIFT ANYONE CAN EVER RECEIVE?   You have someone who is dwelling within you that has called you His friend in John 15:15. Jesus Christ has promised you: “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). Don’t forget that this Thanksgiving, you are not alone.  The Lord is there even in the most difficult circumstances.

I’m reminded of the most unusual Thanksgiving in the Bible.  It is found in Jonah 2:9 where Jonah says: “But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.”  Now likely this did not happen on the 4th Thursday of November – but it was from belly of whale, and it was with every bit of sincerity.  Jonah was alone and at the end of his rope, but he came to his senses and realized that though he was in the belly of whale and though he had disobeyed God - his God still deserved thanksgiving.   Today, may you and I be sincere and thank God for what He has done and will continue to do in our lives.  He will be faithful to us and save us.  He will be with us through the good times and even more so in the tough times.  He is always there to comfort, guide, and fellowship with us.  Even in the midst of a difficult time, He is there for you right now.

So, be reminded, that it the midst of your holiday, thought it may be normal or possibly unusual - give God the THANKS He deserves, make it public, unashamed, and sincere that the reason for your Thanksgiving and every Thanksgiving is because of WHAT HE HAS GIVEN TO YOU – SALVATION AND AN ABUDNANT LIFE IN HIM!  Let all know that Christ with you is all that you need and that you can be content with Him.  What a great opportunity we all have to able share that great truth and testify of His goodness today.  I’m not saying you must preach the Gospel today – but let the emphasis be that God is good, He is still on the throne, and your Thanksgiving is for His love and mercy in your life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pastor Mark Sage

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Paul's Loneliness

I’m encouraged by Paul and his example to us because he went through such harrowing situations.  2 Corinthians 11:22-28 is one of the passages that remind us how often he was shipwrecked, beaten, stoned, and even left for dead for the Gospel’s sake.  While some Christians will go through one of those situations in their lifetime, most of us don’t go through what he endured.  He is a great hero of the faith.  

But there is an area where he suffered just like we do that we often forget.  Though he was a great servant of God – Paul’s ministry and service to God often brought about loneliness as well.  Paul was enduring discouragement because he served God and His church he often experienced the loss of his friends and companions.  There were many reasons for this but the two main catalysts were geographical separation and people simply quitting on the ministry or church in general.

Can I remind you that while Paul ministered to people everywhere he went –his focus was the churches of God in various cities.  He knew that the church of God was the “pillar and ground of the truth,” (1 Tim 3:15). He was not making a ministry for himself, rather, he was working for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ through the local church that Christ gave Himself for.  

As Paul is writing 2 Timothy chapter 4, it is from a dark, damp, miserable prison cell.  He goes on to list his present discouragements.  It is interesting that his discouragements did not include what might think.  He did not list the limited substandard food he received or the crowded conditions.  No complaint over the limited or lack of movement, the terrible sanitary situation, or the lack of relief from the cold.  The one thing that was on the heart of Paul was the loss of friends and companions in the Lord.  When left alone to think in weariness and in the midst of a trial, we often do the same.

Notice his words in 2 Timothy 4:9-21.

  • “Do thy diligence to come unto me” – Paul wanted to see Timothy – his son in the faith, to encourage him in his time of trial.
  •  He lists those that had departed (geographically separated), which were faithful servants of God whom he had developed close friendships with, but may never see again.  Those listed were – Crescens, Titus, and Tychicus.
  • Then he mentions those that had departed the faith – Demas, who loved this world more than God; and Alexander the Coppersmith who had done much damage – likely a rebellious person who acted spiritual but was self-centered and took away people from the church.
  • Then there were those he was hopeful for.  He had Luke with him and even looked forward to Mark being used of God again.
  • In the last verse he greets several who had blessed him in the past.

These were highs and lows – good memories and bad.  But then Paul goes on and displays two great attitudes that that kept him on track and should help us today.  

The first was that he held no bitterness or resentment toward any of them.  He even asked God to not lay it to their charge in verse 16.  Oh, that we could have the same spiritual perception that Paul did.  That even though people hurt him and departed from him, he neither held bitterness in his heart, nor did he hold a grudge against them or against the Lord.  He knew that would destroy him.  

The other great example in his attitude that Paul left for us is found in verses 17-18: “Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me… And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”  Paul knew and had experienced in his own life, that though he might be at his lowest point at times, he had the greatest friend in the universe – the one that would always stand by him and always preserve him.   It was the Lord Jesus Christ!  That truth reigned in his life and kept him living for and serving the almighty God of heaven through all his pain, every trial, every setback, every loss, every hurt, all the lonely times and through every sorrow.  

Friend, if you are trusting in Christ alone as your Lord and Savior, you too have the same friend and companion that Paul had.  What a blessing it is to know that no matter what I go through in life, God is there with me, protecting and preserving, and does not allow anything to come my way without his knowledge and allowance.  Oh, spend time with your Lord today, He is there for you.  He wants to comfort you and meet your needs.  

In my darkest times, in my times alone, in times in the wilderness, and even when I have been backslidden, God has always been there for me.  There were times I did not see it, but that was because of my sin – that’s because sin oppresses us.  It strains our relationship with God.  But when I confessed my sin, got back on track, God would always clear my spiritual vision and see that He is with me and still loves me. 

“What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bare; what privilege to carry everything to God ins Prayer.  Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bare.  All because we do not carry – everything to our God in prayer.”

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 

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There is a common expression of this generation, have you heard it? It is: “YOU DO YOU!” Basically it means this – you do what you want to, what is convenient, what is your taste and don’t worry or care about what anyone else thinks as long as you are comfortable. It is a way of justifying someone for their actions that are often wrong or of low or questionable character.

We like to use other phrases that justify who we are such as: “This is just how I am,”or “I don’t have to change for anyone,” or even “Well, this is the way God made me.” Well you may be a sinner, but God did not create you to be in sin and continue therein.

We use phrases like those mentioned about to justify sinful behaviors that have a hold on our lives. It is what people use to justify their overeating or their indulgences in various forms of entertainment whether it be good or bad. It is what causes people to pursue vain and worthless lifestyles and existences that neither provide them any substance in life, income to show, or worthy product or result for their time or effort. It wastes countless hours on video games, television, and social media just because "We Like It!" So, we often will say this to others so we can justify ourselves in our pursuits, "YOU DO YOU!"

My wife and I tease each other sometimes with that statement when she wants to go shopping or I want to go shooting. Now, most things we all do in moderation are fine. If my wife spends a few hours shopping on Saturday or I go shooting at the range once a month, it is not a problem. But if Pastor Sage went shooting for six hours a day, everyday, for five or six days a week, leaving my work undone, my family neglected, and our financial outlook destroyed - and I say to be people, "YOU DO YOU and I'LL DO ME" then that would be a problem.

More important than my own preferences is that it is not just about me. Because I belong to Christ and I have placed my faith in Him as my Lord and Saviour, then everything I do reflects upon Him. I want to challenge you that this attitude of "YOU DO YOU" should never be an attitude a Believer in Christ should ever take. You belong to Christ. You are His. He has a calling for your life and therefore He wants to use you. But when we do for ourselves or what we want, it almost never lines up with what He wants for our lives.

So rather than "YOU DO YOU" how about you practice some better Biblical phrases and live by them:

  1. YOU LIVE FOR GOD - Romans 12:1-2
  2. YOU DIE TO SELF - Matthew 16:24; 1 Corinthians 15:21
  3. YOU CARE FOR OTHERS - Galatians 6:2; Matthew 25:34-37

These are much better mottos for the Christian to live by.

Give everything to and your all for your God, don't follow the world's self-promotion and self-centered attitudes - Give God your very Best and don't settle for your old sinful ways any longer.

- Pastor Mark Sage

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Ten Problems with Being Woke (Worldly Perspective)

I put this in our digital bulletin yesterday, in case you missed it I have shared it here:



2020 has been an incredibly difficult year. But of deeper concern, than even COVID-19, is the growing threat that Critical Race Theory—popularly expressed as being ‘woke’—has had upon much of Western society.

2020 has been an incredibly difficult year. But of deeper concern, than even COVID-19, is the growing threat that Critical Race Theory—popularly expressed as being ‘woke’—has had upon much of Western society. Leftist thinking that was once quarantined within the ivory-towered walls of the universities, has suddenly escaped into the wet-markets of everyday life.

If you don’t know what I’m referring too then take a look at the excellent five-part series by Dr. Owen Strachan titled, Christianity & Wokeness. For a shorter—and far more shocking—example then see the following lecture by Ashleigh Shackleford:

Shackleford describes herself as a queer, non-binary Black fat femme writer, cultural producer, and artist. But note that according to Shackleford all white people are racists, non-humans and even demons! All this simply because of the colour of their skin. While this is obviously an extreme example, the arguments of critical race theory (CRT) are making significant inroads into the evangelical church. For instance, Eternity published an opinion piece earlier this year with the provocative title, ‘I’m a Presbyterian Minister, my wife is Asian, and I’m thinking about white privilege’.

But according to Dr. Strachan—the Associate Professor of Christian Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri—the intellectual under pinning’s of this anti-Christian movement are of grave concern. Indeed, Dr Strachan argues in an article for Patheos that for those who are convinced and committed to being pro-woke, then church discipline should be applied!

What follows is a summary of what Dr Strachan outlines in his lecture Christianity and Wokeness as being the reason for such a strong response:

First, because wokeness perverts the imago Dei. Rather than viewing all of humanity as being inherently equal, wokeness divides everyone into different races. Hence, rather than promoting peace and unity, it instead results in conflict and division. Note that in Genesis 1, while the LORD God made animals and plants “according to their kinds”, He made man and woman alone to be in His image. What’s more, because we are all descendants of Adam and Eve (Acts 17:26Romans 5:12), people from every nation under heaven are fundamentally the same in dignity and value (James 3:9).

Second, because wokeness has a different view of sin. Race, and especially being white, is itself viewed as being wicked rather than our own moral rebellion against a holy and loving God. What’s more, authority systems and structures of any kind are viewed as being wrong while—ironically—establishing new hierarchies which show favouritism to one ethnic group over another.

Third, because wokeness denies the reality of creation order and the goodness of God’s design. According to Strachan, Wokeness is profoundly anti-binary, denying the different roles between men and women (1 Cor. 11:31 Tim. 2:11-15). This affects both domestic and church order.

Fourth, because wokeness foments the sin it seeks to resist and in so doing itself becomes racist. Tragically, being ‘woke’ turns one into the very thing that they set out to oppose. What’s more, wokeness greatly complicates all inter-racial relationships. Just note, for example, the accusations of being a ‘white coloniser’ against Amy-Coney Barrett for adopting children from Haiti:

Ibram X. Kendi, an American author who became the new director of the Centre for Antiracist Research at Boston University in July, railed against Barrett on Twitter for adopting two Black children from Haiti, equating her and her husband to “White colonizers.” 

“Some White colonizers ‘adopted’ Black children. They ‘civilized’ these ‘savage’ children in the ‘superior’ ways of White people, while using them as props in their lifelong pictures of denial, while cutting the biological parents of these children out of the picture of humanity,” 

Fifth, because wokeness reverses the order of Christianity showing compassion only to some. Once again, according to Strachan, Critical Race Theory cannot create a system of virtue and justice and instead, tried to take Christianity captive. This is because wokeness makes individuals the sum of their different groups. We lose the individual and their value as having been made in God’s image. To paraphrase George Orwell’s Animal Farm, some people are seen as being more human than others.

Sixth, because wokeness redefines what Scriptures views as being good and evil (see Isaiah 5:20). This was especially evident in the Black Lives Matter™ movement. As has become clear, it is profoundly anti-Christian. Not only do their founders proudly acknowledge that they are “trained Marxists”, but their own website states that their goals are to: disrupt the natural nuclear family, promotes transgenderism and queerness while being opposed to every form of heternormativity.

Seventh, because wokeness reads cultural events in terms of its dominant narrative, omitting many of the nuances and many counter truths. Just because there are differences between various cultural groups doesn’t prove that it is due to racism. As one quickly learns when doing any form of research, correlation doesn’t equal causation. Thus, we must always beware of simplistic answers that ascribe mono-causality, and in particular, we need to be careful about reading cultural events to reinforce the narrative we have already constructed.

Eighth, because wokeness destabilises the free market and attacks limited government. Strachan refers to the 1619 project by The New York Times, a revolutionary economic approach which depends on a historical revisionist camp called, The New History of Capitalism. This is a recent scholarly movement that seeks to discredit capitalism as being inherently racist. They argue that half of the economic activity that came into the United States in 1836 was based upon the cotton industry and therefore the slave trade. Hence, slavery drives the free market.

However, Phillip Magness from the American Institute for Economic Research argues that the American economy would have grown a much bigger and better free market without slavery. This is because slavery spreads poverty more than prosperity. In short, Strachan says, “Had chattel slavery never taken hold in the United States we would have been richer than we are today! To be pro-free market…doesn’t mean that you are pro-slavery.”

Ninth, because wokeness destabilises truth making it ‘narratival’ rather than absolute. As what has recently been decided with the Academy Awards, minorities must be elevated. Their stories should gain greater prominence and have their ‘truth’ heard. However, God’s truth is true for everyone in all times and in all places. What Francis Schaeffer referred to as ‘True Truth’. Strachan rightly argues that while we want a diverse church we don’t do it thinking that different groups have a greater grip on the truth as others (see John 17:17-19).

Tenth, because wokeness promotes a new system of righteousness and unrighteousness. Ultimately, ‘wokeness’ preaches a different Gospel. It is not just a gospel of good works, but even worse than that, a system of salvation founded upon an ongoing system of penance. Reconciliation can never be achieved for sin can never be atoned. Hence, rather than leading to peace, wokeness only leads to division.

In 2 Corinthians 10 the apostle Paul exhorts believers to “…demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Likewise, in Colossians 2:8 Paul warns, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Thus, Strachan says: ‘Do not sit quietly by as wokeness takes over institutions, universities, groups, friendship networks, and families. This is not a drill. This is not miles away. This is not a vague and distance threat. This is zero hour. By God’s grace, don’t be taken captive.’

That is the challenge that is before us with the temptation of being ‘woke’. Make no mistake, Critical Race Theory is a profoundly anti-Christian philosophy that should be soundly rejected. It undermines or replaces every major doctrinal tenant of Christianity.

Followers of Jesus, however, have been given something far richer, and that is the gracious gift of new birth. We are not merely ‘awake’, but born-again by God’s Spirit. And as such, through His divine power, we have everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1:3).

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