Should "woke culture" be a part of your family's culture? We take a hard look at this mindset and explain why you should carefully evaluate the voices that you allow to speak into your family.
In the past few years, there has been ever increasing pressure from certain voices in our culture advocating 'wokeness' as a way to see the world.
But just what is being woke, and is this a healthy mindset for your family or business to accept?
Steve Alessi continues our conversation from Season 2, Episode 5 with Allen C. Paul, a member of our podcast team, to better define what our families' response to “wokeness” should be, and how we should guide our families through these cultural shifts.
This conversation will give you a sound and biblical perspective on how to talk with your family about the cultural issues of our day, so that you never compromise the values that will help your family to thrive.
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Steve Alessi 0:09
Welcome to the family business podcast where today we, again are discussing family matters or at least conversations that we should be having in the family. Because let's face it, family is everyone's business. And what we're doing in our family business podcast, Allen, is we're sharing information and saying things that we don't have a chance on Sunday to say from the platform. So let me start this particular subject matter today with this comment, okay, and I'm gonna lean on you to help me navigate through the weeds of all of this.
Allen Paul 0:47
Steve Alessi 0:48
I'm 60. So maybe I'm out of the loop. Alright?
Allen Paul 0:52
I'm right behind you in terms of loopness,so...
Steve Alessi 0:55
Here we go. I will say it right off the tap... top, I'm not woke on woke. I need some some input here. And here's my my open to this. When I started hearing about a woke culture, a woke society, people who are woke, and then the term being used against people that were evidently not in the know of something that they were labeled as not being woke, and almost criticized for it. It caused me trouble from the get go. I just couldn't buy into the whole woke thing. And I'm usually pretty fair and understanding. I try to be anyway. But with this, I just couldn't get connected with it, not to get on the side of it, or get against it, preach against it, I was just kind of letting things play out. Holding my tongue before something should be said, until I started to see more and more how this whole woke term was being used as a bat against people that did not necessarily agree with what people in leadership, or perceived leadership in our country, socially anyhow, and culturally, theHollywood elites, and so forth, if we didn't agree with their thoughts or so and so, then we were labeled as not being woke. So that's what I felt like "wait, we need a little balance here." And everything should be balanced.
Allen Paul 2:55
Steve Alessi 2:56
So what is the whole issue here? Why should I be woke? or why should I not buy into being woke?
Allen Paul 3:08
Well Pastor, the number one as I mentioned, I am probably just as unwoke about being woke. I mean just throwing the term around even already feels weird, because I think one of the issues is... is once again the...the terms that we use the words, that we use seldom have the ability to really convey what they mean like we throw words around basically is what I'm saying. we throw words and we get words like woke and then obviously before it was what it was, you know, social justice, social justice was the word and now it's Wogan. All these terms get thrown around media and news and I'm like you very much I find myself like sitting by like okay what Let me ask my kids basically my kids wait what what are we talking about again? What's important? Wait, wait, what's this mean? Because the culture is moving so fast. And social media and everything's moving so fast to just get information you alluded to it in another episode. Use you said that we're getting knowledge we're getting some all this knowledge but is it attached to wisdom and so the knowledge is there's wokeness there I need to stay woke or I need to be woke and you're trying to catch up on Twitter Okay, what does that mean now? And then as I started to do my research because I'm a book guy, you know, I like to read I like to go back to the source and figure out okay, what is this and then you find out the people who made the term I don't even know for sure what the term means anymore. So I'm gonna do my back my best background, you know, I love Wikipedia. And, and, and tell you what I've heard. And then we can kind of convey I want to hear your thoughts once you see what it really meant, what was supposed to mean and how people are using it, whether or not it's really applying it to wisdom, whether it really applies to wisdom in terms of what it really means. So long story short, the term for My research comes from the 30s 40s 50s and 60s, it was used by actually was first for, for the music.
Steve Alessi 5:06
You're talking about the 1930s 3040
Allen Paul 5:10
year old no 1930s. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it comes from back then. And it was part of the civil rights movement, that's the first thing I want to say is that we do recognize that there's words that do have a meaning and a purpose. So back then, it was used for a couple of songs protest songs about being woke to the possibility of racial oppression for black people. So that was actually as far as I can tell, if you know, Wikipedia is right, right, that was a legitimate term to say, Hey, guys, keep your eyes open. This could happen there's there's oppression the to stay woke or be woke. So those terms were not just invented in 1020. Okay, so that's the first thing.
Steve Alessi 5:53
However, woke by the way would be connected or similar to being awake to something that maybe you've been snoozing?
Allen Paul 6:00
Exactly. Keep your eyes open, be awake, don't be don't sleep, or I don't be asleep to these factors, the things around you. So the term obviously, makes sense. Yes, it makes sense that you, nobody wants to be asleep and not paying attention. Like we all want to be a awake and paying attention. So that was the idea. for African Americans. Again, when I did the research, it seemed like a pretty good idea, especially given what was happening. And that day and age, however, we all can all fast forward now to 2015 1416, the Black Lives Matter movement, and that's when it started popping up in Twitter again, and here's where it gets problematic. I think and this is where I would live with love again, as you as you be my pastor and me wanting wisdom, not just to be swayed by whatever the last social media hashtag was. Because we started using and I've been a big, you know, this, this scares me a lot when the hash tag pops up. And it's like, oh, everybody else, everybody else is using the hash tag, hash tag. And I want to I want to be I want to be in the in crowd, I'm older guy, I don't want to be left out. So if I want to be hip and pay attention to what's going on and be socially, you know, consistent, I need to start using this term. And then by that time, the term means something totally different, right? So now I think what what really is trying to refer to is an ideology, or a understanding that this is the way the social construct should work. This is how people should see injustice. everything that's happened in the past that people were canceling that people were not canceling the people that have been guilty of certain sins and crimes in the past and how the systemic and justices have infiltrated our system. I'm using all these words, just to kind of throw everything in the pot, because it is now Yeah. So that being said, it means so many different things now that you'd like you said, it's become like a badge. It's like, I wear this badge. And if I wear this badge of being woke, I therefore have some type of like, leg up some kind of understanding of the world, I've been awakened to what's really happening. And that's why it's problematic, because, number one, who woke you up?
Steve Alessi 8:08
What are you awake to?
Allen Paul 8:10
And why, and what exactly are you seeing? There's so many applications to this, but I think the first thing is to be admit to the audience and to each other, that we're trying to define a term that means whatever... what... what...what people want it to mean.
Steve Alessi 8:24
Allen Paul 8:24
Which means, as long as I'm in charge of this mentality, or this ideology, I get to change the rules whenever I want. And as soon as I come around and say, Well, I don't really agree with that. You can just say, Well, no, it means this now and you're wrong, because I'm on the right side of this because I can change whatever it means, to mean what I want it to mean, and if it means that you're wrong, and I'm right, well, then I win.
Steve Alessi 8:46
Allen Paul 8:47
I win. I'm woke and I win. So it's like a way to win an argument before you even get a chance to understand what the arguments about.
Steve Alessi 8:54
That is so true. And I think AP that's why I I struggled with it, because it just didn't hit my spirit the right way, as a... as a man that that chooses to live by biblical principles.
Allen Paul 9:06
Steve Alessi 9:07
I'm aware that those principles that are within me are always there, they're keeping me on the straight and narrow, to the best of my ability. At the same time, they warn me through discernment when something's coming on the scene that just isn't right.
Allen Paul 9:27
Steve Alessi 9:27
there's there's some good about it. But even as a believer, even though all things now in God under grace are permissible to us, are they profitable to us?
Allen Paul 9:41
Steve Alessi 9:42
Scripture speaks about that. That Yeah, you can. You can have now eat any animal. You can eat all meat in Scripture, but is what you're eating - it's permissible, but is it profitable?
Allen Paul 9:52
Steve Alessi 9:53
How much should pork should you be eating how all these things and it's the same with that. As a person that's trying to walk in a Godly way. We can't just buy into this whole woke culture that even as you shared with me earlier, in one of the articles, has become a religion.
Allen Paul 10:14
Steve Alessi 10:15
It's a person's religious affiliation. Which is why, in my heart, I just don't see that I should be connecting with that whole woke culture. Portions of it run contrary to the Kingdom culture.
Allen Paul 10:34
That's why I wanted to see and hear you say it out loud, because I think so many young people are looking for that identity. Again, they're looking for "Where do I land on this thing? I'm hearing all this news about racial injustice." And again, I wanted to put this in a put this in my notes. Justice is God's idea. Okay, the first problem we have with woke culture....
Steve Alessi 10:57
Say it again...
Allen Paul 10:59
Justice is God's idea. You can't have justice without a judge. Yeah. And we so many times in culture are going about what we think is right. And that's why I'm so careful. I hear young people like in my ear right now, as I'm saying this, but what about the true injustices? And yes, we should be fighting, you should be passionate, you should be woke to fighting injustices. But how do you figure out what injustice is? How do you figure out where the line is? When is the time to, like what like Bible says, there's a time to speak? And it's time to refrain from speaking? In Ecclesiastes? That's a principle that's still true in 2021. So if I'm supposed to be passionate about injustice, and fixing rights, and even Bible talks about that, so when do I step up? And when do I need to refrain from speaking and listen and pay attention and say, Wait, maybe I shouldn't just go off the cliff with the rest of the lemmings and, and just run to the first thing that says, "Wait, we need to stay woke, we need to be against this and against that." And I think the key is, again, you talked about that you mentioned this in your notes that you sent to me about being spiritually illiterate. If you don't know what your foundation is...
Steve Alessi 12:10
Allen Paul 12:10
As a believer, as a Christian, someone that again might believe very strongly that we need to protect the orphans and the widows and we need to look after those who are poor, we need to look after people who can't fend for themselves. Again, that's biblical. That's... woke culture didn't invent that. God invented that.
Steve Alessi 12:27
Allen Paul 12:27
So I think it's so important, Pastor, that we... Look, number one like ... like we said, Justice is God's idea. Number two, that we need to know, "Is this woke culture really profitable?" As you said, again, is it really leading our culture toward fixing the problems? Or is it more setting up little gods little "I know everything"'s, I can put you down. And that's one of the funniest, funniest things, Pastor, I see this cultural war thing in Twitter... I don't try to pay attention to Twitter because it drives me crazy. But you do see this kind of like, instant judges rising up. So I tweet something and immediately, everyone can jump on that or something that happened in the past. I didn't want to bring this up, but I gonna bring it up because it kind of goes right to this thing. I recently just discovered, just two days ago, heard of a story about Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss apparently had some problematic writings in the past. So he's next on the list. Okay, he's laughing because this is coming up....
Steve Alessi 13:28
I'm laughing because I was going to use one of Dr. Seuss's poems, at the reception for Christopher , good thing I didn't!
Allen Paul 13:36
You wouldn't have known! You weren't woke! So that's the problem. And I'm not saying again, even when you say it, I feel this, I feel this judge in the back of my head saying, but you don't know. That man might have hurt somebody in the past, something he wrote, might have hurt them, and you're not.... So now you've got this little, you know, voice in your head all the time saying, you know, "be careful, you know, you're not aware." And then when the Bible talks about your eyes being open to truth, I think we need to start with trusting the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to that truth when we need to be revealed to something that hey, don't go there. Don't say this.
Steve Alessi 14:16
Allen Paul 14:16
We're... that's the Holy Spirit's job, to bring that revelation.
Steve Alessi 14:19
Allen Paul 14:20
As believers, it's not the cultures job to show us what and when and how to speak and what needs to be....We need to be aware of and the injustices of the past. And that's why I think we get off. It's because we think we can just accumulate all this knowledge and oh, I'll just know which way to go. I wrote this down from our scripture, that was the first, the first sin. What did Satan come to Eve with? He said, Oh, you know, you're just here by yourself, and you and Adam, and everything's perfect, but you're not aware of something. And what he says is... Scripture, Genesis 3:5 - for God knows that when you eat of it, the fruit, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God knowing good and evil.
Steve Alessi 15:04
Allen Paul 15:04
To me, that's what woke culture promises. To be like God.
Steve Alessi 15:09
Oh, and that's a little G. Yeah. How sad is that kind of God? Oh my goodness, anytime man thinks they can be a god it's a little G and that doesn't get them too far at all.
Allen Paul 15:20
Steve Alessi 15:20
well speak about scripture and a spiritual need to be woke, I wish more people were biblically woke.
Allen Paul 15:35
Steve Alessi 15:36
...to the truths of Scripture, if they're going to be woke to anything, let it be a truth that sustains an individual over the course of their lifetime, not something that's going to shift and change every few years with now what is popular. What they call woke today used to be someone just kind of wanting to agree with the person ahead of them. So they would be they would be, they'd fit in. It was important to be popular to dress this way or have this kind of car or to to say these kinds of things. It was ...it was always trying to live up to some form of acceptance by other people, so you can be in the know, where you could be cool. Yeah, woke is nothing more than that. And it's really sad that people have to go to those kinds of extremes, to try to push on you a value system that's forever changing. And you'll buy into it, even believers.
Allen Paul 16:32
Steve Alessi 16:32
I see, I see believers doing it. Believers, meaning Christians, perceived Christians saying, "You got to be woke to this. We got to change our stance in the church, on homosexuality or on gender issues" or on whatever it is that that we know in Scripture has been a foundational truth from the beginning, that does not change. They're trying to force us to change all so that we can be woke to a culture. And what's scary about that is we would rather be woke to a culture of people we don't know, instead of being woke to the King of kings in the Lord of Lords, who didn't just talk about laying his life down for someone. He laid his life down for us. Why wouldn't we go with his script, with his words, that help us live a life that's going to exceed some of the unqualified voices today?
Allen Paul 17:31
Steve Alessi 17:31
And one thing I always tried to live my life on was never let an unqualified voice speak into my life. Unqualified meaning, they really don't know what they're talking about, because they haven't been through that thing yet. You can't let somebody unqualified, that's the Boogey Man on social media, try to force you to buy into something all that you feel like you are woke, when you can completely, while trying to be woke, be asleep at the wheel of your life.
Allen Paul 18:04
Steve Alessi 18:05
And only look back over your shoulder 10 years down the road, and all you're going to have is regret
Allen Paul 18:11
Another, another scripture immediately, Pastor, when you said that, that you want to....you live your life in a way that you are opening yourself up to the truth of God's Word and how He sees things. Not how you see.... see things or the voice, that unqualified voice. The Bible talks about that right? That people will have itching ears looking for anything to kind of feed their... their.... their mentality in the way that the world sees the world system. The carnal system of the world will always have this shifting sand, the sand castle philosophy that we've been talking about. It will always be moving and will never have a target. I remember when we talked about this back when the... the original onset of the racial divide in 2020, about how.... what do you even call African Americans anymore? Are we Black? Are we Black Americans? That keeps shifting, it keeps moving and now the targets shifted and I don't know where to aim at. And those voices that are trying to tell us the rules, keep changing the rules.
Steve Alessi 19:04
Changing the rules.
Allen Paul 19:05
So I know that that's a frustrating thing, number one. And I love to go back to this when you said looking at the way God sees things. Your principles are based on God's word not on these other voices. Psalm 139:23 and 24... Who gets to decide? And the Bible says "Search me O God and know my heart Try me and know my thoughts." We're looking for God to search us. We're looking for God to pay attention and say "Hey, this needs to be adjusted. This needs to be adjusted." And then God sends Godly people into our lives that confirm that word.
Steve Alessi 19:37
Allen Paul 19:37
And confirm when there does need to be adjustment. But the idea that somebody...again social media, the newest guru, the newest book. I've read so many books, apparently I'm supposed to.... read by now. And I'm a very big reader. And I haven't read these books. And again, you look at this stack as "Like, well you should have read all these books by now...and I can't keep up and I read five or six books a month and I'm like, this is not part of my, it's not what's feeding me now. If God wants me to be fed, I know I will go find the information. You're talking to, you know a huge nerd right now, you're listening to one right now. I am not the guy that's ignoring stuff. I will be as woke as I need to be.
Steve Alessi 20:16
Allen Paul 20:16
But not beyond what God has called me to be. I've been called to be, like you said, woke to the kingdom woke to the understanding of God's word, woke to the principles that never falter. I'm not called to be woke to the latest fad, or even the latest assumption of injustice, because there is Somebody that tells me a lot better than you can. And that's, that's what I hear you say that.
Steve Alessi 20:38
And the people that are trying to lead this charge? A lot of it comes from Hollywood. And what's so scary about that is half of these stars and they're actors now. You can't call them actors and actresses.
Allen Paul 20:54
Yes, thats... yes.
Steve Alessi 20:55
They're actors. We think we know their name, but their Hollywood name is not even their real name.
Allen Paul 21:03
That's true. Exactly .They're they're not woke to their own identity.
Steve Alessi 21:08
They don't even know who they are.
Allen Paul 21:10
Steve Alessi 21:10
And how do they know who they are? They constantly are changing with the roles that they play. And those are the individuals that are going to tell us about how many times we should be married? To where we feel like my gosh, we ...you know, married 30 some odd years now. Oh, I'm so old fashioned. You're not woke, Steve. You're not woke to the today. Today, It's got to be happy.
Allen Paul 21:32
Steve Alessi 21:32
You got to be happy. You know, right there that in itself, you got to be happy. That that's such a lie. You deserve to be happy.
Allen Paul 21:40
Steve Alessi 21:40
That's a lie Allen. You don't deserve to be happy. Nobody deserves to be happy. You deserve to be healthy.
Allen Paul 21:48
Steve Alessi 21:50
That's what you deserve to be, is you deserve to be healthy. And healthy will then bring you to a place where you're happy. But you can try to put on a face like you're happy.
Allen Paul 22:02
Steve Alessi 22:02
But if you're not healthy, you're never really happy.
Allen Paul 22:05
Yeah. And you know where that comes from? The healthiness, is comes from that inner health of knowing who you are and being solid.
Steve Alessi 22:12
Allen Paul 22:12
And we...I'll go back to something you said earlier about how we are we're just searching for the next person to tell us, "oh, you know, follow this fad and follow this fad ... if I'm connected to this person, then everything's okay." Because then I could just like, follow Him and, and follow this lady or follow this media person or whatever. And then now I have this sense of, "Okay, now I'll be happy because they're giving me this sense of identity coming from them," versus knowing that that comes from God. And then as long as you're searching for that happiness, the whole feelings thing? I think you just touched on it. I know, it's gonna be too deep for us to even go into. We could spend 10 podcasts on this. The fact is that this is a mentality. It is a...it is a world system. Yeah, that is attempting to infiltrate both the kingdom of God and people who are on the fence. Let's just put it that way. There's people that are already bought in, they're not going anywhere, unfortunately. But the people who are on the fence are like, Okay, well, which voice should I follow? You know, and the Bible talks about whether you turn to the right or to the left, you will hear a voice saying, Walk, this is the way, Walk in it, right? If we don't start turning more people in the body of Christ, who we're speaking to, to that way, to avoid these other voices that are saying, "Oh, go this way, go that way." They're going to they're going to find ourselves in just so much more trouble than they have to be. And they're going to have to reprogram themselves all over again. You know, hopefully, it's not too late for that. You know what I mean? I think there's a point where you just you've been to... I guess indoctrinated is the right word.
Steve Alessi 23:42
Yeah. Well, I would say I made a statement earlier, don't let unqualified voices speak into your life way. Let me kind of back that up a little bit here. We buy into so many - so much of what people are saying today that we judge them based on what they say. And then we allow them into our life because of what they said.
Allen Paul 24:05
Steve Alessi 24:06
And so they could be saying the greatest things out there, they can write the book on it. But if a person hasn't done it, before saying it, they're not qualified to tell you about it.
Know what I mean?
Allen Paul 24:21
Steve Alessi 24:22
Okay. Don't tell me how to have a happy marriage if you've been married three or four times. And you don't.... you're not qualified. I'm sorry. Great information, put the information out there. But... and I know some people say, Oh, you're so judgmental. No. This is truth, man. You - You can't sit there and just on information alone, live your life, because the information is going to constantly change.
Allen Paul 24:53
Steve Alessi 24:54
Now, qualified people are the people who have done it, then they can tell you about it.
Allen Paul 24:59
Steve Alessi 25:00
Okay, married all these years to my wife? I can tell you how to have a happy marriage. I can also tell you how to mess them up. Because I've gone through both of those experiences while I realized when I was doing things that were wrong, that caused stress in my marriage? I wasn't happy in that marriage. She wasn't happy in that marriage. But then I changed some things. And we learned some things and praise God, we're where we're at today because of those principles. And somebody says, well, it's only the goodness of God. Let me tell you, it's the goodness of God and the principles that God has given us.
Allen Paul 25:32
Steve Alessi 25:32
So I had to correct my wife the other day, she goes, Oh, we're so blessed. God has been so good to us with our, our family and our marriage. I said, true. But God says to us, that we are to abide by His principles, and God will bless us. He's not looking for all the glory for all that. He's saying, I want... here's where I get glory, Steve, I get glory when you walk out my principles, and you then see the fruit and the harvest of it.
Allen Paul 25:55
Steve Alessi 25:55
Okay? Do you know how - this is interesting. 12 tribes of Israel in the Old Testament, Moses is having a problem with an insurrection. Because unqualified voices were trying to speak and saying, Moses and Aaron aren't the ones who have the word. They're not the ones that get the truth. We're the ones that have the truth. And so God says the Moses, we're going to fix this thing once and for all, he says, you get every tribe, one leader of every tribe of the tribe of Israel, and you get their staff and you bring them in to the tent of meeting. Leave them there overnight. Now these staffs were evidently made of some kind of wood. Because the next day when they went back, only one of those staffs were budding. They budded with beautiful flowers. They even had vines on them that had fruit.
Allen Paul 26:53
Steve Alessi 26:54
11 of those staffs, staff that they would walk with, were bare. Only one produced fruit. God says that the one that produces fruit is the one you listen to.
Allen Paul 27:07
Steve Alessi 27:09
And I would say to people, listening to this family broadcast, family business broadcast right now, you better listen to the people that have fruit in their lives. You look on their lives. And if there's no fruit, they're unqualified to speak to you, whether they want you to think they're woke or not.
Allen Paul 27:26
Steve Alessi 27:27
The information alone does not give you fruit on your life. If you don't walk it out and apply it, then you're going to end up bare. And there's too many bare lives, lives that are out there still wanting more. So you know what they do? They keep buying into this, they keep buying into that. And none of it brings them real fulfillment, and real value.
Allen Paul 27:50
And you shall know them by their fruits. That is like that is such a.... again, why - I almost feel weird when I started talking like this, and we're talking like this, because I feel like it should be common sense. I feel like this, like, yeah, of course, you're going to check and vet the people that speak into your life, the deepest parts of your life, whether you're going to get married or not, whether this person's the right spouse or not, whether I should follow this principle of culture, this principle of culture, whether I should buy into this, buy into that, why wouldn't you? Thank God, I had a father and a mother who.... who believe that and I can see the fruit of their lives. 50 years for them. 54 I think now, 54 years of marriage, I can look at them and say, Okay, dad, I think I need to listen to what you got to listen to. I gotta pay attention. I got paid as a Pastor Steven, and now that I'm going on my 25. Like, I'm... the same thing. The fruit is there. It doesn't mean I did everything perfect. But you're right, I made the right choices to correct the things that were wrong. And the only reason I corrected those things in the right way is because I listened to the right voice. Had I listened to the wrong voice, I would have made the wrong.... I would have made even more mistakes.
Trying to correct what was already wrong, which is what I think is happening with the world culture. You're trying to apply the wrong principle to fix something and you're going to end up with the same thing.
Steve Alessi 29:01
Even worse, even worse. Before is the enemy loves that. Yep. Right voices helps us make right choices wrong voices, causes us to make wrong choices. Well today, you really helped me understand what woke is.
Allen Paul 29:14
Did my best.
Steve Alessi 29:15
And I refuse to be woke to the things of this world. I want to be woke to the things of the kingdom. Hope you were encouraged today by our family business podcast.
Chris Alessi 29:27
Thanks for listening to the family business podcast with the Alessis. We appreciate you listening and learning with us as we just shared more about the family business. You know, I bet there's someone you know who can use this kind of advice and encouragement. So make sure to share this episode with them and their family. Because let's face it, family is everyone's business. If you want to be a part of our family, subscribe to the show right now on your favorite app and make sure to download the episodes so you can hear them at any time. Oh and one more thing. One of the best ways to help us spread the word about the Family Business with the Alessis is by reviewing the show on Apple podcasts or your favorite app. So help us out, write a review and join us next time at the Family Business Podcast with the Alessis.