Saturday, January 9, 2021

Cancel culture and Jesus culture


Culture today has become increasingly crass, impatient, relationally disconnected and conflictual. All of these elements are found in our cancel culture where people we don't like, or those we disagree with are simply "canceled." It is hitting the "defriend" button on Facebook because we disagree with an opinion or simply dropping a friendship and "canceling" them. Those who are canceled become "non people" and are treated as such. 

Cancel culture (or call-out culture) is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles - either online on social media, in the real world, or both. Those who are subject to this ostracism are said to be "canceled." Wikipedia

From a Christian perspective this kind of behavior is antithetical to Jesus culture. In fact, if anyone should be canceled it is you and I who rejected the Savior. Instead of canceling us, Jesus came to save us. When we are obstinate and sinful, He is patient. When we move away from Him, He pursues us. When we disagree with Him and do our own thing, He patiently waits. When as prodigals we come home, He throws a party. 

Think about this. Every person you meet is made in God's Image. They have something of God in them because He chose to create us in His image. When we cancel an individual we are canceling a masterpiece of God - no matter how obnoxious they may be. 

Cancel culture is not Jesus culture. Instead, it is a cheap way to deal with those we don't like, want to listen to, or seek to understand. It cheapens relationships and stunts our own growth as individuals. It makes a mockery of the love we are to have for those around us. It dehumanizes those made in God's image.

Consider these descriptors of the love we are to have toward others in light of today's cancel culture. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

Jesus would wish the following from His people:

  • More patience
  • A spirit of kindness and generosity
  • Valuing others and their opinions
  • Forgiving rather than canceling
  • Personal humility rather than pride
It is not the easy way but it is the Jesus way.

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