No, We Would Not Call Jesus ‘Woke’
Matthew Dowd, an MSNBC analyst, made the claim last Wednesday that “If Jesus Christ was on the earth today, He would be called a groomer, woke, and a socialist.” He made this outrageous statement during an appearance on Deadline: White House, hosted by Nicolle Wallace. The comment came while they were discussing accusations of “grooming” against a Michigan state senator, Mallory McMorrow, a Democrat, for her opposition to Florida’s HB 1557 — Parental Rights in Education Bill.
What’s a Groomer?
I’m not sure where Mr. Dowd got the crazy idea that we would call Jesus a “groomer” today. Maybe because He said, “Let the little children come to Me” (Mark 10:14)? The parents brought their children to Jesus “that he might touch them” (verse 13). What? Does he think that we conservatives think Jesus was touching them inappropriately? Yes, that’s a preposterous question, but a preposterous statement deserves a preposterous response.
Wikipedia describes child grooming as “befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, and sometimes the family, to lower the child’s inhibitions with the objective of sexual abuse.”
The Urban Dictionary says it like this: “Groomer is someone who builds a relationship, trust, and emotional connection with a child or young person so they can manipulate, exploit, and abuse them.”
Which parts of these definitions does Mr. Dowd think Jesus Christ would do to make us conservatives think He was a “groomer?”
It’s Millstone Time
We’re talking about Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, who said, “Whoever receives … one little child like this for my sake and in my name receives … me. But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in and acknowledge and cleave to me to stumble and sin [that is, who entices him or hinders him in right conduct or thought], it would be better … for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be sunk in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:5-6, AMPC, emphases added)
Strong’s Concordance and Greek Lexicon elaborates on the word “stumble” (or “offend” in some translations) adding, “to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey.” Yeah, like the parents.
That’s exactly what many school districts are doing. They’re keeping the parents in the dark and encouraging small children — as young as kindergartners — not to tell their parents things they discuss in the classroom, like transgender and LGBTQ agendas. Five to eight year-olds! In my opinion, a teacher who discusses such matters with children that small should be taken off in handcuffs. Too severe? Not as severe as “a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be sunk in the depth of the sea.” If Jesus was on earth today, He would most assuredly support Florida HB1557 — the Parental Rights in Education Bill.
”Woke” is a fairly new term and its definition a little dubious because dictionaries haven’t caught up yet. Apparently, it was originally used by liberal activist groups and meant “staying woke” or “conscious of what’s happening.” But the term has been picked up by conservatives to describe those who are engaged in the radical new movements of “systemic” racism, equity (CRT), transgender rights, infanticide, open borders, and the Green New Deal. (Although global warming alarmists have been around a long time, it has never been such a “cult” before.)
When we use the word “woke,” we are describing someone who has been radicalized by these bizarre beliefs. And when these “wokesters” believe in one of the above radical ideas, they generally believe in all of them. It’s as if they’ve had some counterfeit “conversion.”
Using that as a framework, I — or any conservative I know — would never use the word “woke” to describe a single thing Jesus ever did while here on earth. I know my assessment would not change if Jesus’ first-coming to earth was in our generation today, because He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
Would Jesus Have Rebelled Against His Father?
Some of the details would be different. Perhaps at the “Triumphal Entry,” Jesus would have descended from the Mount of Olives on a Harley instead of a donkey (which would have been prophesied as such by the prophet Zechariah). And instead of healing 10 lepers, (Luke 17:12-14) maybe He would have healed 10 AIDS or COVID-19 patients. But Jesus’ ministry would be essentially the same today as it was over 2,000 years ago. But we would not call Him “woke.”
In fact, He would oppose all the radical ideas listed above. He would not support CRT because it divides us. Jesus prayed, “That they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me and I in you.” (John 17:21) He would not support transgender rights because He asked, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female?’” (Matthew 19:4) And infanticide? That’s a no-brainer. Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’” (Matthew 5:21) He then went further and addressed even the attitude behind murder.
Would Jesus Use Caesar to Buy Votes from the Poor?
There are a few verses in scripture that, on the surface, appear to condone socialism, like John the Baptist saying, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.” (Luke 3:11). That sounds like Wealth Redistribution 101.
And there’s Acts 4:32-35: “All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had … . There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.” Ananias and Sapphira even died for deceptively holding back part of the selling price. (Acts 5)
But in these accounts, they were giving to each other or bringing it to the apostles — not the government. It was by their own free will. And Ananias and Sapphira died for “lying to the Holy Spirit,” not for holding back the money. (verses 4-5)
In Matthew 25:14-29, Jesus spoke on the “parable of the talents.” The business owner is clearly a representation of God Himself, so this is a pretty good picture of how God’s economy works, and it’s a perfect model for capitalism. Notice in verse 15 that the man gave three different amounts to three different servants, “to each according to his own ability.” It’s the very antithesis of socialism. If the owner had taken those same eight talents and divided them up equally (or 2.66 talents each), I guarantee you the productivity of even the two good employees would have waned over time. There’s a similar message in the “parable of the ten virgins.” (Matthew 25:1-9)
Isaiah prophesied this about Jesus: “He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” He said nothing about groomer, woke, or socialist.
Nolan Lewallen is a retired pilot of a major airline and lives near Stephenville, Texas, with his wife, Kim. Nolan’s two greatest passions are the Bible and politics. His latest book, The Integration of Church & State: How We Transform “In God We Trust” From Motto to Reality, brings the two together.