A person enters Awaken Church in Chula Vista. Awaken is planning to establish a church in Coronado, but it has been met with resistance. Staff photo by Dennis Wagner.

Mike Yeager’s justification of the Awaken Church ignores the central issue.

It is not an ordinary, normal Christian church. 

Awaken’s Jesus is a sword carrying, political creature intent on creating a theocracy and imposing his political will and military power on those who oppose him. This is a perfect description of Yeager’s hero and superior, the Founder of Awaken: Jurgen Matthesius, a firebrand who Yeager and his followers seem to blindly worship. 

Awaken’s views are diametrically opposed to the New Testament description of Jesus – a preacher of love not hate, of acceptance, not intolerance, and of separation of church and state (“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s,” “My kingdom is not of this world”).  Jesus preached caring for the poor and humble – and despaired for the eternal souls of the rich and arrogant. (“It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”).  Christ was neither arrogant nor an angry tyrant. 

In contrast, Matthesius displays the characteristics of an arrogant and angry tyrant.  He calls residents who oppose his agenda “demoniacs” and vows to drive them out of town. On the dark social media platform named GETTR, he calls those he dislikes “vile and demonic” and engages  in strange conspiracy theories and election denialism. He has reposted calls for torture and public executions. 

Yeager says politics is about “matters of the people.” 

After watching Awaken sermons on their website, “matters of the people” (such as world climate disasters, third-world hunger, shortage of basic resources including food and water) are not mentioned.

But Awaken is brazen when it comes to radically extremist politics and its desire to control local and national elections.  Matthesius endlessly asserts on social media that “right now it’s only the liars and idiots  who believe Biden won the election legitimately” – a violation of church and state.

And showing its true colors, Awaken hosts the Reawaken America Tour, a traveling show of angry political extremists that include QANON supporters, Nazi sympathizers, and White Christian Nationalists. 

Awaken is part of a militaristic, theocratic, intolerant, conspiracy theory promoting ‘Christian Nationalist’ movement that is attempting to infiltrate Coronado and the nation by pretending to be something it is not – a normal Christian church.  As Sinclair Lewis put it: “Fascism will come to America wrapped in a flag and bearing a cross.”  

Mr. Yeager’s whitewashing of Awaken should not lull anyone into believing it is just an ordinary Christian church that means well and will do no harm. Awaken is part financial scammers, part political extremists, part theocratic wannabes, part conspiracy theorists, part worshippers of a false prophet.

This is a toxic brew and a recipe for disaster. It’s no surprise that more than 900 residents have already signed a petition to protect Coronado from its dangerous attempt to invade and take over our community.

John Pottridge is a Coronado resident.

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John Pottridge is a Coronado resident.