Two weeks ago, on May 8, 2021, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) became the first mainline Protestant denomination to elect a transgender bishop.
The Rev. Megan Rohrer, a female who insists on using the pronouns “he” and “him,” was elected to serve as the leader of the Sierra Pacific Synod of the ELCA, by a vote 209 yeas to 207 nays. Rohrer will be installed on September 11 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Walnut Creek, California.
In celebrating her election, the new bishop praised Lutherans for “dismantling” what she called the “unjust” Christian standards set 1,700 years ago at the First Council of Nicaea. In doing so, Rohrer proved herself to be more a minister of the goddess of Woke than of Christ.
In “Wokeism: The New Religion of The West” (ConvergMedia, October 20, 2020), Max Funk argues, “There is a new religion. It is moving like a tidal wave through every facet of western culture, shaping and redefining society as it goes. This religion masquerades under the guise of compassion and justice, but underneath is an evil ideology that is incompatible with western values and incongruent with the Christian worldview.”
Mr. Funk continues: “Wokeism is a religion. Although it has not been organized into any formal religious structure, it has all the functions of religious doctrine. It has a unique epistemology (theory of knowledge), an evaluation of the human condition, and a redemption narrative … The goal of [Wokeism],” says Mr. Funk, “is the complete dismantling and rebuilding of western culture from the ground up.”
Traditional values such as “logic, science, and reason” are replaced by subjective opinions and emotions. This is a worldview of special knowledge rather than self-evident truths; a religion of no reality but my reality; a narcissistic faith grounded in gnosis rather than God’s revelation.
How did we ever get here? How in the name of all that is right and holy did we ever arrive in this science-denying Mad Hatter’s nightmare where “nothing is what it is because everything is what it isn’t?” How in the name of God did we ever come to the point where the Lutheran Church would elect a bishop who thinks she is God?
Mr. Funk proposes an answer. “The rise of secular humanism over the past 70 years created a religion-shaped hole in our culture. Secularism, for all of its cultural dominance, failed to offer a robust philosophy of meaning and purpose. From the ashes of secular humanism, a new civil religion rises. Wokeism offers everything that secularism failed to provide and has quickly filled the God-shaped hole in our culture. It purports its version of truth, justice, righteousness, sin, and judgment.
“It provides its adherents meaning with its meta-narrative. There is a strong communal aspect, and people feel like they are part of something greater than themselves. Also inherent in [Wokeism] is the hypothetical future utopian society liberated from the evils of the current oppressive system. Most of all, Wokeism offers what every sinful human heart deeply longs for, and that is moral justification. [Wokeism tells] people they are acting justly within [an unjust] world.”
Mr. Funk concludes: “Western culture has already reached its tipping point. Critical Theory has become the mainstream social philosophy, and Wokeism has become the new civil religion.” In other words, Mr. Funk is reminding us of a basic law of physics. Vacuums are always filled and the vacuum created by killing the God of the Nicaean Creed will not remain empty. In fact, it is already being filled by shameless goddesses only too eager to grasp the ring of power.
In the Gospel of Luke (chapter 11), Jesus says, “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it [leaves] seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, [and] finds the house swept and [clean], it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”
The lesson here is clear — When you sweep a culture clean, not only of its demons but also of its God, you end up with a situation seven times worse than what you ever had in the first place. Empty houses never remain empty. Confessing your nation’s sins without confessing your nation’s God leaves the house untended, and it will soon be filled with vandals bent on its destruction.
Without the self-evident truths endowed to us by our Creator occupying our “house” (truths that Bishop Rohrer and her celebrants seem so eager to dismantle), we are doomed to suffer the same fate of other nations who have tried this nonsense before us. Or as Dave Rubin has recently said, “I hate to tell you, [but] I think it’s beheading that is the logical conclusion of cancel culture.”
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery) and, most recently, “Grow Up: Life Isn’t Safe, But It’s Good” (Regnery, 2021).