Can I be honest?
I was guilty of enjoying cancel culture.
For those who don’t know, “cancel culture” is the phenomenon that occurs when people, especially celebrities and those with popularity, act inappropriately (like being openly racist) and being exposed (which tends to lead to them being fired from their jobs, outcasted by society, etc).
Every time a new “hashtag” started up on Twitter (one where I knew a racist said something they shouldn’t have, which I knew because it was usually something like #BarbequeBecky), I’d start going down the rabbit hole, looking for the one person who discovered their name and job. I knew it wouldn’t be long before their employer put out a statement.
And I really used to enjoy that.
See, we can be tempted to revel in Cancel Culture. Who doesn’t enjoy seeing injustice corrected?
But we can’t enjoy it to the point where WE become the oppressors. Christians have a higher calling. We’re called to GRACE; both to RECEIVE it and EXTEND it.
I realized I had a problem when a woman in Phoenix went on a racist rant at a gas station. She was being racist to a hispanic lady and telling her to go back to her country (which…well, don’t even get me started on how Arizona used to be owned by Mexico, so TECHNICALLY she’s always been in her country, but anyway…)
There I was, scrolling on Twitter, waiting to find out what her name was. They found that she was married and her husband and her went to a local Presbyterian church.
“GOOD“, I thought. “More fake Christians being exposed for who they really are. Get these WOLVES out of here!”
But soon after, her husband went on the news to explain that his wife was suffering from a mental illness and had been for a while. He began to cry and apologize for her behavior. You could tell he was truly ashamed of what she had done. Suddenly, it made sense why he was a deacon at that church.
She wasn’t a blatant racist. She had mental issues (and most likely had some dementia).
Now look…I am not saying that we should just accept apologies from people and move on. If someone rapes someone, no matter how sorry they are for what they’ve done, they committed a crime and must serve the time for that crime. If someone murders another person, no amount of tears will bring that life back.
But the idea of completely canceling someone over a mistake they made isn’t just wrong, it’s UNBIBLICAL.
I mean, do we cancel the Apostle Paul? He murdered Christians.
It doesn’t get worse than that.
Christians do not get to “cancel” people. God doesn’t give us that option.
A perfect example of this would be John Crist. Christians LOVED him. He was a funny guy who made videos Christians could relate to and share with one another for a good laugh.
Then it came out that he did some not so funny things.
A whole movement started to get him cancelled. I don’t think people really had to do much there, but he was immediately cancelled. His tour, his Netflix special, and his livelihood were all cancelled within days.
I don’t know John Crist, and I don’t know to what length he has truly repented of his sins, but let’s say he really was convicted, began working on himself, and is now a better man.
Do we cancel him forever? Is he no longer allowed to make jokes?
Again, if he’s paid his debts (whatever those may be)…do we cancel him?
I think the answer is no. We don’t get to cancel people. We can cancel their positions (a serial adulterer shouldn’t be a pastor until he’s proven he’s repented), but we can not cancel PEOPLE.
This isn’t in response to any particular person being cancelled at the moment. As I said earlier, for those who have committed crimes against others, I believe they owe a debt to society that needs to be paid (whether it’s financially or through serving time for their crimes). But for people who simply made mistakes by saying the wrong things (EX: Louie Giglio) or made “mistakes” by not correcting someone the way we think they should have (EX; Lecrae), I don’t believe completely cancelling them solves anything.
We can have conversations with people without completely cancelling them. That IS possible.
God grants salvation to whom He wishes, regardless of their past. We don’t get to pick and choose who gets to Heaven and who doesn’t: Only God has that kind of power.
That said, God can soften whichever heart He wishes to, at any point. Whether it be a president you don’t like, a celebrity you can’t stand, a false teacher, etc. God can open the eyes of anyone He chooses.
He did it to Paul.
He can do it John Crist.
So, can we cancel “cancel culture” already?
Can we grant forgiveness for mistakes? Can we introduce the world to radical grace, the kind that Jesus extended to us when we were still dead in our own sins?
Because GRACE didn’t cancel YOU.
If you want to throw the first stone, be my guest, but the Pharisees dropped their stones when Jesus made that statement to them and they walked away.
I suggest you do the same because you don’t have a stone to throw.
We’re called to GRACE, to receive it and to give it.
Let’s answer that call brothers and sisters.
Grace and Peace,