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Cancel culture is a recent phenomenon that has taken over social media and has become a dominant force in shaping public opinion. It is a way of publicly rejecting and boycotting someone for something they have said or done that offends a particular group of people. Until recently, I never really understood or even bothered to further investigate what the term means because trying to keep up with all the slang, terms, and expressions on social media can often not only become tiresome but at the end of some of those research quests, I will discover that I have wasted my time on something that neither uplifted me nor helped me grow intellectually. Cancel culture was one of those things I couldn’t be bothered to further investigate because what is considered “culture” nowadays often does not correspond with my beliefs and very often neither with basic human decency. I had a “No, thanks. No need to find out what that means!” – attitude towards this topic until I started watching round table discussions, interviews, and reading articles about it. Then I had an aha moment – not necessarily a positive one. Rather, an aha moment of I knew it wouldn’t be anything pleasant, and for sure it is not. Let’s dive into why cancel culture is toxic and not for the child of God.
What is Cancel Culture?
A brief explanation for those who still don’t know what the term means. “Cancel culture”, according to the Cambridge dictionary is: “a way of behaving in a society or group, especially on social media, in which it is common to completely reject and stop supporting someone because they have said or done something that offends you.” In simple terms, if someone says or does something you don’t like, you do everything in your power to make sure others don’t like that person either by publicly and repeatedly saying negative things about that person. What a demonstration of how powerful our words can be whether positive or negative. The outcome is that the person in question is negatively affected in their professional and personal life because they’ve been made an example of and in some cases even completely excluded from specific circles. Hmm, doesn’t sound like something I want to be part of or associate myself with! Do you? Let’s look at why cancel culture is not for the child of God.
The Consequence of Not Forgiving
The overarching problem with “cancel culture justice” is that it is often based on personal opinions and subjective interpretations, leading to a lack of forgiveness and understanding. Forgiveness is a key aspect of the Christian faith, and it’s something that we should all strive to embody in our daily lives. Cancel culture seems to be the exact opposite, with people quick to judge and slow to forgive. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT The consequences of this can be seen in the way that people are treated when they are “canceled.” They are often subjected to public shaming and ostracized by their peers, which can lead to severe emotional and psychological distress. In some cases, the person may even lose their job or face other serious consequences as a result of being “canceled.” Cancel culture has become one of the greatest distractions from self-reflection. It’s easy to focus on other people’s flaws and mistakes, but it’s much harder to examine our own lives and see what needs improvement. The perfect escape from our problems is focusing on other people’s problems. Instead of canceling others, we should take the time to look at ourselves and see what we can do to make a positive impact on the world.
The Power of Love and the Importance of Grace
Love and understanding are powerful tools that can help us build better relationships with others. Instead of canceling someone for their mistakes, we should try to understand where they’re coming from and extend a hand of forgiveness. This doesn’t mean that we condone or excuse harmful behavior, but it does mean that we’re willing to see the humanity in others, even when they’ve made mistakes. By showing love and understanding, we can help others grow and learn from their mistakes, rather than simply punishing them and pushing them away.
Ultimately, cancel culture fails to recognize the importance of grace and mercy. As Christians, we are called to be merciful and show grace to others, just as God has shown grace to us. We should never forget that everyone is human, and everyone makes mistakes. Instead of canceling someone, we should show them grace and help them to grow and learn from their mistakes. This is the way that we can truly make a positive impact on the world and promote love and understanding.
Can a Christian be Canceled?
The short answer is “No, a child of God cannot be canceled!”. In my opinion, the first mistake in this whole scenario is the assumption that anybody can cancel anything that is associated with another person. I mean, how can someone have the power to cancel someone when they are not the source that sustains them?! Therefore, the whole concept of even allowing anyone to determine the success or failure of someone’s career, business, or life as a whole is complete nonsense. Especially, from the perspective of those who feel the need to cancel someone because of their words or actions. In Christianity we are called to correct in love and to forgive others, not to seek vengeance and destroy the other person. “Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:13-14 GNB
There is nobody that hasn’t at least once said or done something that they regretted or were sorry for afterward. Imagine someone would have now set out to come after you because of that mistake. So, let’s not get too comfortable scrolling through our phones or sitting in front of our computers ruling judgment over others.
God is the Only One to Pass Judgement
In conclusion, it saddens me to see that some people just seem to anticipate other people’s mistakes to make themselves feel better. Judging others is a great distraction from looking at yourself, your life, and what needs to be corrected and fixed about you. The truth is, there’s very minimal benefit in that – none. Cancel culture is such a destructive force in society that promotes division and undermines the principles of love, forgiveness, and understanding. As Christians, we should reject this form of “justice” and instead focus on self-reflection, love, and grace. By doing so, we can help to build a better world and promote love, kindness, and understanding in our communities. Uplift, inspire, and help another person do better instead of going the extra mile to make them feel small because of a mistake they made. At the same time, always remember that those chosen by God cannot be canceled by anybody!