One Egyptian-American pastor is speaking out against “woke culture” arguing that the ideology has permeated many evangelical churches in America today.
Dr. Michael Youssef, 72, is the pastor of the 3,000-member Church of The Apostles in Atlanta, Georgia and is also the founder of Leading the Way television ministry. In a recent interview with The Christian Post, Youssef noted how pastors are rapidly embracing “woke culture” in their churches because it’s “popular and appeals to the flesh.”
“Bowing to woke culture allows you to avoid rejection by culture and society,” he explained. “It’s a very, very popular message that is now being preached from many evangelical pulpits; traditionally Bible-believing, Gospel-preaching churches. We have gone so far that it just grieves me to the point that I literally sometimes just weep tears.”
Critical Race Theory (CRT), Youseff says, is one evidence of “woke culture” permeating the church at large as the theory pushes for a worldview that categorizes people into oppressed and oppressor groups on the basis of skin color.
“It’s a very Marxist ideology that people are taking very seriously,” he said. “The idea of the oppressed and the oppressors is not that simple.”
Yousseff, a grandfather of 11, pointed out that private Christian schools in Atlanta are having white children apologizing to black kids, in accordance with CRT.
“Apologizing for what? They are innocent; they haven’t done anything,” the pastor asserted. “It's crazy; it's just going insane.”
Ultimately, Youseff believes that pastors are “the culprits” for leading their congregations away from biblical truth for the sake of popularity.
“I’ve always believed, as goes the pulpit, so goes the pew. As goes the pew, so goes the culture," he said. "As a pastor, I put the full blame on us, right in our laps, because we want to be liked, loved, and followed on social media by millions of people. Pastors are the culprits. We need to be about Jesus, not about being liked, because that is deadly as far as the Gospel of Jesus Christ is concerned.”
“Young pastors must realize that this is a deception,” he contended. “It's very subtle and very clever, but it's a deception nonetheless.”
Youseff, who grew up in Egypt, knows firsthand the pressure to embrace the surrounding culture. Christians in the Middle Eastern country face “severe persecution from Islamic extremists,” Youseff explained. In response, the pastor shared that he was “continually trained at home for how to stand up for the faith and not be deceived.”
“I knew that, though they might offer me jobs, money, prestigious scholarships to convert to Islam, I had to stand strong. So I grew up with it,” he said.
The pastor encourages the next generation of Christians to “expect to be aliens and sojourners.”
“This is not our home,” he stressed. “Jesus places us here to be a light to this dark world, not to be part of the darkness.”
Last week, Youseff published his latest book, Hope for This Present Crisis: The Seven-Step Path to Restoring a World Gone Mad, in which he provides “a diagnosis of the insanity of the current culture and a seven-step prescription for restoring sanity to a world gone mad.”
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.