Waves of wokeness lapping at a firm foundation - Glasshouse Christian College

Waves of wokeness lapping at a firm foundation



  • September 1, 2022

In the early 1990’s I began working for a building company that constructed high-end, waterfront homes in Sydney. When I met with the Builder for the first time, he showed me the architectural drawings of the new house we were about to build.  As a 21-year-old, I was completely overwhelmed with the detail in the engineered drawings for the foundations. The builder carefully began to explain to me the importance of the foundations. This multi-million-dollar structure would soon be built on the foreshore of Gymea Bay and would need to withstand the erosion of wind and waves on a daily basis. While I thoroughly enjoyed working with exotic timbers and other expensive materials, I quickly grew to appreciate the prominence of the firm foundation, the concrete and steel, upon which it would be built.

Interestingly, this week, I found myself discussing with some year 9 students how advertisers can strategically use people’s fears to sell a product or idea. The condition of F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out) and F.O.B.C. (fear of being cancelled) highlighted another type of foundation (beliefs and values) that must be able to withstand the erosion that comes from a different type of weathering commonly known as ‘wokeness’.

What once began as an awareness of social justice issues, racism and inequality, ‘wokeness’ has quickly developed into so much more, challenging long-held traditional values and morals, accompanied by an insistence of not just accepting, but also celebrating new, progressive and sometimes extreme beliefs.

You might have also recognised the weathering of the wokeness culture lapping at your faith foundations as you watch the latest TV series, Hollywood blockbuster, favourite sport, news and even advertisements. As one student observed, “I just want to watch a show but instead I feel like I’m being force-fed a diet of what I’m supposed to believe.” It was a profound insight from a teenager who also mentioned the consequence of being cancelled on social media platforms if these values aren’t embraced.

Unfortunately, these observations ring true from my experience also, and they’re no longer subtle. For many people, this causes an uncomfortable rub against their long-held Judeo/ Christian values that helped shape our nation as well as our Christian Colleges. There was once a time when people were free to believe what they wanted, and respected those who differed, but now if you don’t believe what’s trending in the culture, you could be cancelled!

So, what’s going on and where on earth is this heading? Should people just compromise their beliefs or respectfully maintain their convictions? More importantly, what will the world look like in the future for our children’s children if ‘wokeness’ and ‘cancel culture’ gets their way in reshaping our world and its values?

Three examples in history

There are three examples in history that come to mind where people have been faced with a trending culture that wanted to cancel them. The outcomes where interesting:

Martin Luther

  • In the 1500’s, the prevailing culture tried to cancel Martin Luther’s foundational beliefs.
  • He’s known for saying, “From the beginning of my Reformation I have asked God to send me neither dreams, nor visions, nor angels, but to give me the right understanding of His Word, the Holy Scriptures; for as long as I have God’s Word, I know that I am walking in His way and that I shall not fall into any error or delusion.”
  • He stood firm in his convictions and didn’t compromise, even though they tried to cancel him.
  • He was instrumental in the Protestant Reformation. There are now approximately 1 billion Protestants in the world.

William Wilberforce

  • In the early 1800’s, the prevailing culture tried to cancel William Wilberforce’s foundational beliefs.
  • He’s known for saying, “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.” And “What a difference it would be if our system of morality were based on the Bible instead of the standards devised by cultural Christians.”
  • He stood firm in his convictions and didn’t compromise, even though they tried to cancel him.
  • He was instrumental in the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire.

Jesus Christ

  • In approximately 30A.D. the prevailing culture tried to cancel Jesus Christ.
  • He’s known for saying, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
  • He stood firm and didn’t compromise, even though they tried to cancel Him.
  • He spoke the truth in love, told His followers to pray for their enemies and then died for those who tried to silence Him.
  • He was instrumental in establishing the forgiveness of sins, eternal life and is Himself the foundation for all Christian organisations around the world including Christian Colleges and the values that they teach.
  • He now has more than 2.5 billion followers, and He doesn’t use social media.

In an era when the high tide of wokeness is coming in fast and the fear factor of being cancelled is ever present how should we respond?

Firm in our convictions, with grace and truth.


“…but in your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” 1 Peter 3:15

Andrew Lucas, Acting Head of Christian Studies.

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