When I first saw the title to this book, I didn't really know what to think. I actually thought negatively toward it, because I thought the title betrayed a way of looking at or doing church that was just trendy. I thought it was going to be about making a church seeker-friendly and adding more of a show and attraction.
I was wrong.
I had never heard of Eric Mason prior to this book. But I am thankful for Eric. I am thankful for his story. I am thankful for his courage in sharing his story and his challenge without holding anything back. I am thankful for his conviction and his leadership.
Race is not something that I've really ever had to deal with. I'm a white, lower/middle-middle class male. I grew up in a primarily white area, worked for the past 4+ years in a primarily white setting and context, and haven't really dealt much with racial tensions or divides. I've been silent, and I've been ignorant.
Woke Church is, first of all, an excellent book. Eric does a wonderful job presenting the problem, and not from a victim mentality but simply reality. He doesn't leave the problem as the end, but presents a compelling solution that every person, male or female, and every race can get on board with.
God calls people. He doesn't call particular races or genders or social statuses. God calls the outcast, the broken, the widow, the orphan, the CEO, the success, the failure, the homeless, the yacht owner. God calls people. As people, created in the image and likeness of God, we all have the same worth and dignity. Let's live that out.
The Church historically has not handled these things well. But if the Church is going to be the Church, we have to be willing to stand up for injustice in race, gender, slavery, immigration, child-brides, and every other place in this world where injustice exists.
Micah 6:8 is a great summary of what the Church must be about, because it was near and dear to the heart of Jesus and is integral to the Gospel message:
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
That is our challenge. As we live out the Great Commission, it must be attached to acting justly and loving mercy and walking humbly with our God.
Thank you, Eric, for opening my mind and heart to this conversation. This is just the beginning of the journey for me.