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Are the Woke Primed for a Great Awakening? Part 2: Shaking Up the Woke

A researcher scoured the Internet looking for evidence that ‘the Woke’ are primed for a Great Awakening. She found little. Data for the last couple years is scarce because it’s hard to study groups when there are none. Manufactured panic and mandated quarantines disbanded corporations, communities, and congregations. The ol’ divide and conquer tactic seemed evident: separate a few from the herd and they’ll be easy to pick off. Typically, the slaughter continues until there’s no longer a herd.

Absent current data, we look at history to forecast trends. If conditions are the same, history should repeat itself; that is, of course, ‘if the Lord tarries and the Creek don’t rise,’ as American frontiersman would say. Today’s Christians know that the Lord doesn’t ‘tarry’–He knows exactly when He’s coming, but to the point, if we examine cultural conditions around past revivals, we can see that the Woke may indeed be primed for a Great Awakening.

The tripwire is cultural conditions–chaotic ones. Every generation thinks its cultural conditions are bad. Today’s culture looks a lot like Sodom’s. Early 18th century citizens were spurred into the first Great Awakening due to “the increasing secularization of society and against the corporate and materialistic nature of the principal churches of American society.”[1] Like the ancient Ephesus Church, Christians had lost their newlywed-type love for God and culture had re-descended into chaos.

Chaotic cultural conditions during the Civil War. Southern families experienced scarcity and inflation that grew to 9000% by the war’s end. Families on both sides were torn apart physically by conscription, and emotionally by political affiliation. Besides dying in battle, Civil War soldiers died of disease and wounds. Cultural conditions were ripe for Revival. The result was the Second Great Awakening.

Chaotic cultural conditions during WWII. Americans at home experienced rationing while their young men were on foreign soil being killed in unprecedented numbers by modern weapons. In a move worse than forced Covid quarantines but also rooted in fear, the US government put 726,000 Japanese Americans into internment camps. Americans who had lived in blissful comfort and security before the war learned what godless people will do to innocents, and with the atom bomb, America itself was responsible for raining death on thousands. Cultural conditions were ripe for Revival. The result was that, as our gracious God would have it, revival fires began in Germany with one small evangelical congregation.

Chaotic cultural conditions during the Vietnam Conflict. More than 58,000 Americans died in a fight our government would not permit them to win. That, combined with racial injustice and the assassination of a courageous civil rights leader / minister not many years after the president’s assassination, made for a chaotic culture. In frustration, many young people protested with sit-ins, demonstrations, and riots. Some used illicit drugs to take ‘trips’ to escape the tumult; some didn’t survive their chemical vacations. Cultural conditions were ripe for Revival. The result was another Great Awakening, more commonly known as the Jesus People Movement.

Even in what some may think of as ‘idyllic’ Colonial America, cultural conditions before the first Great Awakening were ripe for Revival. Jonathan Edwards, an evangelist who preached courageously into that chaotic culture, later wrote that the revival began among the young people before spreading to the adults.

Before every revival outbreak, the Church has HUMBLED itself, BEGGED God, and SEARCHED God’s Word for His will. They’ve clung to II Chronicles 7:14, a verse that begins with a condition. “IF my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

While we don’t have solid data that the Woke are primed for a great awakening, we can compare notes from history. We can see that current cultural conditions are ripe for one and that revivals have historically begun with young people. We can look around and see what the Woke also see: things are bad. Maybe bad enough to shake them up. Maybe bad enough to wake up the Church to start praying.

We can pray with one ear cocked for the trumpet blast that signals our deliverance. We can beg God to give us a Great Awakening so that when He comes, we can take thousands—no, millions–of Wokesters with us.

[1] Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Great Awakening.” Encyclopedia Britannica, September 1, 2022.

About The Author, Steve BErger

Steve is known for his straight talk in dealing with various hot-topic cultural issues that many pastors avoid. He serves on the Executive and Pastoral Advisory Boards for Promise Keepers International, and the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast Board. Whether preaching or writing, in great joy or pain, Steve longs to be a proclaimer of the grace and hope that Jesus came to offer. Since June of 1987, he has been married to Sarah, the love of his life, and together, they have four beautiful children and four grandchildren.