Cancel culture or call-out culture is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – whether it be online, on social media, or in person. Those subject to this ostracism are said to have been “cancelled”.
I am amazed at how much “Cancel Culture” has become part of the church in this last year. It really isn’t new, but it wasn’t quite so “formal” as it is now. In the “old days” we simply ignored someone we were angry at, didn’t like, or were trying to punish because they did something we disagreed with.
In the Bible there are some key relational commands given to us.
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
1 Peter 2:17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God,
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
2 Timothy 2:24-25 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,
Romans 15:7 Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.
Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
During this last year there have been the mask wearers and the non-mask wearers, the stay at home isolators and the gatherers, the government obeyers and the government disobeyers, and now there is the vaxers and the non-vaxers.
Having an opinion on any of those is normal and acceptable, but if you “cancel” someone of a different view, it seems that the world’s methods have now replaced God’s in your life despite how strongly you may feel about your position.
Someone accused me of being a bad testimony to unbelievers by our church continuing to meet during the lockdown. I talked to a lot of unbelievers during the lockdown, and the one’s they viewed as having a bad testimony were the ones who treated them like dirt because they disagreed with them.
I talked to a pastor friend, and he said, “I thought a lot of people in our church were my good friends, but I found out that I was their good friend as long as I agreed with them, it didn’t take long for our close friendship of year’s to end when I didn’t wear a mask.”
Someone said to me, “because you don’t wear a mask people will die.” My response was, “maybe, I am not as convinced of that being true as you are, but this is true; I will honor you, forgive you, accept you, and talk nice to you despite the way you are treating me for disagreeing with you.”
We are concerned that the increasing divisiveness in our society, families, and especially within the church body, is a portent of increasing demonic activity in our world. As the darkness descends, we need to all make sure we have enough oil in our lamps to have light until our bridegroom comes for us.