5 Biblical Responses To Cancel Culture
Things that get canceled: meetings, TV shows, trips, subscriptions, or events. Apparently people can be canceled too.
What’s cancel culture?
If cancel culture had a theme song, it would be Porky Pig’s famous closing line: “That's all folks.” It means The End—minus the happily ever after.
Cancel culture severs relationships. To “cancel” someone means that you stop supporting them.
Who/what gets canceled:
- Celebrities or actors
- Bands or musicians
- Influential leaders
- Brands and businesses
- Television shows or movies
Why they get canceled: because you disagree with their opinion or find their expressions unacceptable.
Examples of things canceled:
- Fans of a particular band stop listening to their music due to a song with racist lyrics.
- Individuals will not support a political candidate after their offensive reaction to a situation.
- Viewers boycott a television show because it exploits young girls.
- Patrons don’t spend their money on a specific brand that misaligns with their views on freedom of speech.
How to cancel someone or something:
- Declare it on your social media accounts
- Express what you believe and why you disagree with the canceled person/thing
- Use hashtags
- Stop giving your time, money, or attention to that person/thing
- Discourage those around you from supporting that individual or brand
5 biblical responses to cancel culture
Before you jump on the bandwagon of the cancel culture, consider how your faith in Jesus Christ could impact your decisions, opinions, and conversations.
The book of Proverbs lists that gossip “betrays confidence” and “separates close friends,” like splitting the hole right out of a donut. Biblical wisdom clearly contrasts a creature of gossip with one of trustworthy character, even suggesting that we avoid that type of friend.
The New Testament also records gossip as a trait of someone not led by the Holy Spirit, as a person who stirs up dissension and discord better the baking soda and vinegar of a junior high science project.
Horses are led by their mouths. Ships are steered by a small rudder. A fire is birthed from a small spark. And we, as humans, are easily led by our tongue.
Let’s recall the wise words of James before we open our mouths (or type out our digital message): the tongue “is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”
“This should not be.” How should it be? When we do open our mouths to speak, let our words overflow with grace in the same way that the Promised Land overflowed with milk and honey.
Grace means that we get what we don’t deserve. When Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, He granted us a life that we didn’t deserve. And oh how powerful His action was, is, and will forever be!
Similarly, we can have a significant impact by offering grace to the recipients of cancel culture. Do they deserve the backlash for something said ten years earlier? Do they deserve the slander over their reaction to a situation from the past?
What does grace look like? Not canceling someone. Offering another chance. Or extending an olive branch of forgiveness.
In addition to grace, our words should drip with forgiveness the way a tree drips with water after a rain shower. Haven’t we all made past mistakes, miscalculated a situation, made dumb errors in our youth, or allowed verbal slips to tumble out in our conversations?
Thankfully, people change. Jesus forgave our past sins, and will forgive our present and future sins as well. Because of our salvation, we change from a life of flesh into a life of the Spirit. Can we allow room in the cancel culture for forgiveness, growth, and change? Can we trust someone’s honest apology and spur them toward integrity?
When we approach canceling with grace and forgiveness, we draw near with a posture of humility. A meekness that accepts humanity’s sin and revels in the grace and forgiveness and hope of our Savior. We can enter the situation with a desire to understand instead of a passion to win, be right, or to satisfy our prideful way.
Rather than be a selfish judge, humility allows us to be an observer and student. Imagine the power behind such an approach! How could humility shift this cancel culture?
Finally, this progression leads to relationship. It opens the door to Truth and hope. Tense words, bitter grudges, and unfair conclusions were the old deadbolts that tightly secured the door closed. But grace and forgiveness open the door to Truth, hope, and sanctification.
To care for the “cancelers” and the “canceled”
Rather than band together with the gang of cancel culture, let’s be nontraditional rebels who value conversations over judgement, who seek resolution instead of our own way, and who engage in meaningful relationships instead of power trips.
Let’s find healthy ways to express our opinions that don't rely on shaming others, casting them out of their position, or sparing no room for grace, forgiveness, and change.
Can’t stop the canceling?
It’s easy to just be another snowflake that gets entangled with the growing snowball that’s building momentum. But we don’t have to stick with the trends of popular culture.
If you’re enamored with the building avalanche of cancel culture, our team can be a force that halts the increasing velocity. We can delicately peel your snowflake away from the bunch and show you the destruction left in the wake of the downhill ride. We can remind you of your identity in Christ and walk beside you in freedom to love others as God loves you.
Ready to detangle yourself from cancel culture? We’re ready to help. Call us today.
Clinical Director and Co-Owner at Redeemed Life Counseling