Is The Lutheran Church Going Woke?

Friday Bible Study March 18, 2022

Pastors Michael Walther and Scott Adle

Podcast Also Available

Dr. Gregory Schulz wrote an article titled  “Woke Dysphoria at Concordia” arguing that the "woke" worldview has made inroads at Concordia University Wisconsin. Dr. Schulz was also interviewed on the radio program Issues, Etc. where he further explained his concerns. Concordia University Wisconsin's Presidential Prospectus says that the new president should be focused on "equity and inclusion" and "diversity in all its myriad forms." It also says that the next president should pursue "Lutheran" diversity.  What exactly does that mean? Are there problems with wokeism at our Lutheran universities, schools and churches? What should we do to respond to cultural trends in a Biblical and Confessional way?

These are my notes for the video/audio Bible Study:

  1. Smoke/Fire? I see some smoke, but I’m not sure how big the fire is. I listened to the Issues Etc. interview. When asked about examples of this dysphoria, he pointed to some students from the Black Student Union who seemed sympathetic to CRT. He said they were echoing what they heard in the classroom. Could be. But it could also be what they’re seeing in the news and reading on the internet. He also pointed to someone who advised not using the Lord’s Prayer because it was too patriarchal. I talked to one recent graduate who said that he had not heard of any woke ideology from the faculty.
  2. The Presidential Prospectus says that the new president will take a “Lutheran approach to diversity.” This is really the main question. What exactly is that? 
  3. Take a Bold Stand Now. Be Prepared to Suffer.
    Many schools and churches seem to be slow to respond to cultural sins. They keep things “under the radar.” This could affect donations! I suspect that some care more about their salaries and buildings and are just waiting to see where the culture is going. They will change their “confession” if they find themselves really being persecuted. Many younger Christians are truly “flying under the radar” to keep from losing their jobs. (Look for a vocation that is more immune to this.) If a church does not address sin specifically from the pulpit, the people will not address it with their families, friends, or neighbors. Flying under the radar is a good way, eventually, to crash.
  4. A Lutheran Approach to Diversity 
    First (Diversity of Age, Gender, Social Status, Economic Status, Language, Nation, etc.): “God so loved the world…” (John 3.16); “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

    Second: (Not a Diversity of Doctrine): “Make disciples of all nations… teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.“ (Matthew 28.19); “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14.15); “Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name.” (Romans 1:5).

    Third: (What We Reject of Woke Diversity):
    1. Guilt By Association - All white people and those who have benefited from capitalism (Asians, Indians, Africans) are racists and oppressors. “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” (Ezekiel 18:20)

    2. Acceptance of LGBTQism - “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality… For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3, 7-8) Are there any sexual sins left? [CRT is a variant of CT which originally argued for the liberation of the poor and sexually oppressed people (Marx and Freud).]

    3. Marxist Goals of the Destruction of the Family and Church as Teachers of the Right of Property Ownership - “You shall not steal.” (Exodus 20:15); “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.” (Ephesians 4:28). 
  5. Christian Education - Mission School vs. Seminary:
    * Could a child whose mother was an exotic dancer come to our school? Muslim? Mormon? Sikh? Atheist? 
    * Schools need a clear confession of faith that all faculty affirm.
    * Freedom of speech allows students to disagree. (I have told some kids to put notes on their tests: “This is what you taught, but it’s not what I believe.”)
    * Students don’t have the right to change the school’s confession of faith and must agree to live and learn within the framework of that confession. Think about this before you enroll. 
    * If I were a student at a Catholic school…
    - Could I publicly contend for the Lutheran confession of faith? Probably.
    - Could I witness to other students? Probably.
    - Could I condemn the school’s confession and protest it? No.
    - Could I try to sabotage and try to disrupt the school’s mission? No.