Alright, friends. Buckle up. This one’s a long one.
As one reads my posts, I believe one would consider most of them to be positive. Joy-filled. While this post is also positive and joy-filled, it deals with a hard truth that is offensive to many. As a sinner saved by grace and grace alone, I have been convicted to not remain silent.
I am speaking out against cancel culture.
What is cancel culture? Good ol’ Wikipedia has defined it as “a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles.”
It should come as no shock that we have seen so many celebrities cancelled. After all, celebrities are often placed on pedestals, and due to their “picture perfect” lives, it often appears as though celebrities can do no wrong. Until… Something mars their image. The truth of their past rises to the surface. We discover our favorite Broadway star isn’t as friendly as interviews and stage performances portray. We discover our favorite star athlete with great talent, not to mention a charming smile, has been selling drugs. We find the most cunning, well-spoken politician is a sexual predator. Suddenly, hidden truths and true colors are exposed; picture perfect lives are shattered.
We learn that celebrities are human and, therefore, wretched sinners.
Cancel culture is such a heavy topic. It’s heavy because, while there is SO much evil in our world, our court system is not always just. Sexual predators aren’t always put behind bars. Domestic abusers aren’t always found guilty. In the past, convicted celebrities have received light prison sentences or low fines they don’t struggle to pay.
The hard truth is, the presence of evil has been born within all of us since the entrance of sin in the Garden of Eden. But should we cancel and ostracize those whose sin is exposed, no matter what they may try to do to atone for their wrongdoings?
Then again, can any man make himself right, pure, clean before the Lord by performing good deeds to cover their bad ones? MOST ASSUREDLY NOT!!
I must point to Scripture and an abundance of it, for God’s Word is Life and Light and absolute Truth.
You see, the truth of the matter is that we ALL deserve to be cancelled. NONE of us are good. NONE of us can make ourselves good. Because of the sin unleashed in the garden, because of man’s choice to disobey God and to try to take God’s place of authority, we are ALL born with sin natures. No amount of good deeds will cancel out our sin. This is not a truth many care to hear. Because it means we ALL need the Savior. It means we ALL need Someone higher and mightier than ourselves. It means we are under an ultimate Authority, the Creator. It means we are but specks of dust; we are the created, and, therefore, can never be the Creator.
Acknowledging that we are all wretched sinners also means we must acknowledge that there’s a clear right and a clear wrong. We must abolish the mindset that “whatever’s right for you is right, and whatever’s right for me is right, and we all must accept one another for who we are.” That mindset is a pack of lies being fed to society to make them feel good about themselves. But as those who are God’s children know, God’s Truth is Light that “shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). When darkness is exposed, believe me, it does not feel good! It’s not supposed to.
If the mentality of “whatever’s right for you is right, whatever’s right for me is right” is correct, there isn’t a need for the Savior, is there? If that mentality is correct, our sin natures should be applauded, because that’s just who we are, right? If that mentality is truly correct, cancel culture is unnecessary and futile. Because if I can choose my own definition of “right”, I’m the all-powerful ruler of my own world. If I get to choose my own definition of “right”, everything that makes up who I am, every word that comes out of my mouth, no matter how despicable and evil it might seem to someone else, is right for me.
But you see, we are not the rulers of our own world. We may try to be; we do try to be. But we are not. No, indeed, we are not. This wretched mentality, no matter how widespread and accepted by society, is unbiblical and deceptive at its core.
Hard truth: We are all sinners deserving of death. We all need the Savior’s mercy.
Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”
Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death…”
Ecclesiastes 7:20 – “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins…”
James 2:10 – “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.”
Colossians 3:5-10 – “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.”
Isaiah 64:6 – “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment…”
So then, if all of us deserve to be cancelled, who are we to judge others who deserve to be cancelled? Cancel culture is just another way the world tries, in vain, to take the place of God.
James 4:12- – “There is only one lawgiver and judge, He who is able to save and to destroy…”
Galatians 6:1 – “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you be tempted” (Bolded for emphasis).
John 8:7 – Jesus says to those wanting to stone the adulterous woman, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Ephesians 4:15 – “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ…” (Bolded for emphasis).
Matthew 22:37,39 – “Love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind…love your neighbor as yourself…”
Luke 6:27-28 – “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you…”
*Note: Jesus does not say in the two passages listed above, “Love one another unless they do this or that…” Jesus says to love others. Period. And Christ-followers can only do this by obeying His first and greatest command to love God above all else.* It’s impossible to love others in this way without the saving grace of Jesus–our Redeemer, our Savior, the Forgiver of sins.
I John 4:8 – “…God is love.”
Luke 19:10 – “For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.”
Acts 4:12 – “…there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Cancel culture is wrong because it paints a deceptive picture that there are those who deserve to be cancelled and those who do not. It paints a deceptive picture that some men are good in and of themselves and some men are not, when, in actuality, none of us are good; none of us deserve Grace; none of us deserve to be rescued. When someone is “cancelled”, sinners target another sinner, burying him/her underneath the weight of hate and ridicule without pointing them to the hope and forgiveness found in Christ alone.
Because of our sin, the world was hopeless, BUT GOD, out of His love for us sinners, sent Hope into the world through Jesus, His only Son, so that those who place their faith in Him will possess Hope, the promise of eternal life rather than the punishment of eternal death (See John 3:16).
If that isn’t against cancel culture, I don’t know what is…
As followers of Christ, we are called to continually point others to Christ, both those who are lost and those who are our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Luke 17:3 says, “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.”
May we never forget the warning given in Matthew 7:5: “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye!”
Because I am a sinner saved by grace, I want sinners to experience God’s grace! It breaks my heart when those who are lost have hardened hearts and reject God’s hope and truth. It also breaks my heart when people believe, truly believe, there is no hope for them.
Friend, if that’s you, please, please know…
As long as you have breath in this world, there is hope for you…
If God can transform Saul to Paul, He can and will transform you… If only you’ll surrender your heart to Him.
Romans 10:9 – “…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
There is a holy kingdom where one day sin will live no more. Where one day the evil words we have spoken, the evil thoughts we have thought, the evil actions we have done here on Earth, will be forgotten. Evil won’t even be in our vocabulary. The King of all Kings will one day welcome His children with open arms, and all sorrow will fade forevermore. Cling to Hope!