Is Cancel Culture Canceling God?
- Ashley Hooker Contributing Writer
- 2020 5 Nov
The term cancel culture popped on the scene around 2012. In the eight years since then, cancel culture has taken root and continues to grow exponentially. Adults and teens from all walks of life are taking part in this movement.
Cancel culture refers to the idea of “canceling” someone who doesn’t agree with you. The world is now doing most of the canceling on social media. Canceling a person is to be a punishment for a perceived wrong opinion.
Society is now taking the cancel culture movement to new heights. We're not just canceling celebrities and those in prominent positions, we are canceling entire groups of people. Christians are facing a new battle and wonder...how far it will go? What does our voice sound like in all this, and is cancel culture aiming to cancel God?
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The Root of Cancel Culture
While the term cancel culture is fairly new, the roots of this movement run deep. Our world has always dealt with the conventional idea that there are two truths: yours, and mine. If you disagree with mine, then you are wrong and should be eradicated.
The act of canceling a group or person is why we fight wars. It is why we have protests and riots. It is why we read slanderous comments on social media. The root of all of this begins in the Garden of Eden.
We now live in a post-modern world that says no one knows the absolute truth, therefore, we should be tolerant of others with different worldviews and moralities. In a perfectly pluralistic society, this would be true, but the roots of the cancel culture movement are still being watered.
Today, cancel culture is ramping up because of social media. People can post their thoughts or agendas on Facebook or Twitter. It's easier to fight for your cause behind a computer and type remarks that can have exponential consequences to the targeted group or person. Social media has given cancel culture a new outlet. This outlet allows cancel culture to target people or groups around the world in one click.
Cancel Culture and the Christian Voice
Christians are currently experiencing an upswing in attacks of the cancel culture. Christian groups are being targeted because they won’t conform to the world. A current example is the Little Sisters of the Poor. This Catholic group has been providing care for the poor in America for 150 years. They are now headed to the Supreme Court because they refuse to issue birth control coverage.
They have targeted Christian educational institutions such as Notre Dame and East Texas Baptist University for not providing birth control coverage under Obamacare. For-profit companies like Hobby Lobby went to the Supreme Court to plead their case based on their Christian beliefs.
The list could go on and on, but the conclusion is the same. Our sinful nature longs for power and control. The philosophy of if you don’t agree with me, you have no right to speak, is all too prevalent today. The world says: people can believe whatever they want, just don’t push your beliefs on me.
Christians Are Counter-Cultural
Our beliefs push us in a right-wing direction, and that seems to be more unpopular as time marches on. A quote from John and Paul Feinburg’s book Ethics for a Brave New World says “Somebody’s morality is being legislated at all times.”
Christians are being observed and questioned constantly about their beliefs. Christian doctors are being investigated and forced out of their jobs because their morality was legislated and thought to be wrong. In the UK, the morality of Franklin Graham was legislated and an event was canceled because he was to be a keynote speaker.
The Christian voice must be loud yet loving amid this phenomenon. Christ called us to be the salt and light of the world in Matthew 5:16-18. To follow this instruction, we mustn't shy away from taking a stand to avoid any repercussions.
Albert Schweitzer said, “Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now—always.” Christians should pursue wisdom in their personal growth and be like Jesus when sharing that wisdom with the world.
And while the Christian voice needs to be heard, we should also remember the words of Micah 6:8. “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
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Why Is God Being Canceled?
Christians know that they will face persecution and be targeted for the canceling agenda. As people seek to cancel Christians, we must ask an important question. Why is God being canceled?
God is being canceled because the Gospel is offensive.
In John 1:5, it is written that the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness does not understand. When light is shed on the darkness, our sin becomes known. Our human nature doesn’t like that. The human mind believes that if our sin feels good or makes us happy, then it is okay.
This is not true. When Christians attempt to shed light on the sins of the world, we are viewed as bigots, racists, homophobic, or intolerant people. Those views are what is leading the attack on Christians and the God we serve.
How Is God Being Canceled?
The act of canceling a person is essentially canceling God. God is the ultimate authority and judge of all things. When people seek to cancel a person or group based on their religious beliefs, they are trying to take that power away from the only one that can cancel. We are not called to judge, because the Lord understood our sinful nature and knew we are flawed.
God is one of grace and mercy. He loves us as a father loves his children. God is not looking to cancel us. He wants to extend the gift of salvation to all. He desires to redeem us and prepare a place in heaven for each one of us.
Cancel culture seeks the opposite. There is no grace or mercy extended when you become the target.
Cancel culture keeps an account of all your wrongs. This became evident when Neil L. Golightly resigned his position at Boeing due to pressure relating to an article he wrote 30 years prior. Our God gives us a clean slate each time we repent. God doesn’t keep an account of all our wrongs. He extends forgiveness and guides us to be better and better.
Man is sinful. We are flawed and desire to have control. We desire to have power. This desire ultimately leads us to cancel God. There is an effort to cancel anything related to Christianity and to do that, God must be canceled.
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Why God Cannot Be Canceled
Even though the cancel culture movement has gained momentum and power over time, there is one group that it will never cancel. That group is the followers of Christ. John 15:18-19 tells us that when the world hates us, remember it hated Him first. Jesus goes further in these verses and reminds us we are not of this world. He has chosen us out of it.
The world is always going to look for what they believe to be right on Earth. It is not looking for answers with a kingdom-centered approach. Paul wrote in Romans 12:19 that we must leave room for God’s wrath. Our hope and reliance in Christ will make our world a better place.
Our God cannot be canceled because He is the ultimate authority, judge, and jury of all people. While the cancel culture aims to remove Him from society, Christians have the power to pray and speak boldly in His name. If we come together, we can bring about unification instead of division.
When Paul was writing to the Corinthians, he warned them of false teachers. Those teachers were using the gospel to push their own agendas. But in verse two of chapter four, Paul tells us that we are to commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. This means that Christians are to come together in like mind.
The way we live and speak will help others see the glory of God and turn from their sinful ways. Maybe if we seek unification by loving and treating people as Christ did, we can get closer to canceling the cancel-culture.
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Ashley Hooker is a freelance writer who spends her time homeschooling her two children, ministering alongside her husband as he pastors a rural church in West Virginia, and writing about her faith. Currently, she is a contributing author for Journey Christian magazine. She has taken part in mission trips with the NC Baptist Men during the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey in Mississippi and Texas. In her local church, she has served on various committees focusing in the area of evangelism along with traveling to West Virginia and Vermont to share the Gospel. Her dream is to spend her time writing and sharing the love of Christ with all she meets.