What Would We Do if Christianity Gets "Canceled"?
- Cally Logan Author
- 2021 15 Mar
It is becoming nearly a daily occurrence to turn on your television or scroll through the internet and see something or someone being “canceled.” This trend has become exceedingly popular in the past several months with many different instances from individuals to corporations to toys.
The question arises, what would we do if Christianity or Biblical beliefs are canceled? Are we preparing our hearts to come under fire from the culture around us?
What Is Cancel Culture?
The idea behind "Cancel Culture" is one of an attempt to socially reject and at times shun someone or something. The term comes from the wording used for when a television show is canceled or ceases to be produced.
In recent years society first sought to highlight the clear need for change and reform amongst certain sexist or racist companies or entities. These early emphasized examples were clearly in need of altering their ways of life, and were clearly against anything good or admirable.
Over time, however, culture has come to quickly cancel out anything they do not agree with. People can be very fickle and if they do not approve of something or someone they will seek to find a reason to find issue with them. Classic toys, even restaurants have all recently been targeted for cancelation, so really nothing is beyond the threat.
This leads to many questions, such as, is this new to only our modern world? With just about anything being canceled these days, what will we do if our faith is canceled by the changing moods of culture?
Is This a New Trend?
In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon wisely concluded that there is nothing new under the sun, meaning that the actions and motives of mankind have a way of repeating or at least echoing the past. Events happening today are not much different than events that have occurred in the past.
Specific phrasing of language has changed, but the changing hearts and moods of men are the same as ever, and that is evident through many stories in the Bible. Some rulers or groups in the Bible clearly had motives against God and faced far more than social judgement, but instead a ruling from God. Think of how King Nebuchadnezzar was very corrupt, and how it was evident that he needed to alter his ways, but how God worked to lead him to make much-needed changes in his life.
Or consider how many righteous men were the object of ridicule, attack, and oftentimes violence for their stance in standing with and for the Lord. This is not something new, but it is something followers of Christ need to have a clear view on how to be in line with what God deems correct.
From "Hosanna, Save Us" to "Crucify Him!"
Jesus Himself was no stranger to what we would modernly phrase as being canceled. Consider how on Palm Sunday He rode into Jerusalem with crowds cheering His praises, shouting, “Hosanna in the Highest” praising Him as the promised Savior.
The roars of cheers would within days be hushed by those who sought to stop Jesus with loud, jeering taunts.
These cries would call for His execution when days before He had been praised as Lord. This was not His first experience having a dramatic shift of opinion of Him among crowds.
In Luke 4 when He comes to read before the people in His hometown of Nazareth it explains in verse 22, “All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips” and then within moments the demeanor changing to the group chasing Him out of town towards a cliff in verses 29-30. This is proof that the same people who cheer you on in one moment can be the same ones mocking you when the status quo changes.
Albeit the shifting tides of opinion concerning Him, Jesus never caved. He boldly lived, spoke, and carried out the life He came to earth to live.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/beerphotographer
Remember That the World Will Hate You
Should we be surprised if the world comes up against us as Christians if it came up against Jesus Himself? Recall the words Jesus spoke in John 15:18-20, ““If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.”
Jesus warned of the risk we take in following Him, that in choosing to follow Him we choose to not be of this world any longer. Because of that fact it is in many ways inevitable that we will be at some point hated, persecuted, and rejected for His sake.
Biblical beliefs are almost always guaranteed to have opposition, and likely before the wave of cancel culture is over there will be more parts of the Bible or people who stand for God’s Word attacked. Several examples of this have already been occurring among noble and sincere Christians speaking up and being met with criticism and mocking for their expressions of faith.
Rooted Biblical convictions are also being blasted for not adapting to modern ideas. Yet, what a promise we can hold firm to that this life we live on Earth is but a breath in the reality of Eternity in Christ. Yes, the world will not understand you, yes, the world will seek to cancel you, but if you are following Christ, all that truly matters is what God says of you, not man.
How Should Christians Respond?
Culture and the ways of the world are often counter to the heart of God. Jesus warned His followers of this, yet we are still given the choice to follow Him or to cave to the urgings of the time.
Cancel culture is not exclusively against God, but when cancel culture seeks to cancel or oppose the Word of God we must remain firm in our faith. Jesus did not cave to the Pharisees when they combatted His teachings, and God gave strength to Elijah to remain firm in his commitment to the One true God despite the threats that awaited him.
In the same way, we can take the people, ideas, or things that culture is rejecting before the Lord and see what aligns with the Word of God. In doing so it will be evident what simply is the world rejecting something God would deem good and aligned with His heart.
If we give it careful thought we will recall that some of what is canceled by the world is really something needing to seek realignment and forgiveness, and in that we can know how to be active in prayer. In considering each instance in prayer we not only can have a firmer ground to stand, but we find ourselves before the Lord to ask His heart on matters rather than relying on our own strength.
We can also take the opportunities where we can to express love and encouragement to become more like Jesus in our own actions. Christianity is about love and not being of this world, and we ought to intentionally live that out daily. At the end of the day, it matters more what God says of an issue than what man does.
We should ask ourselves in each circumstance, am I trying to earn the approval of man or of God?
A Call to All Christians
Not every person, event, or idea that cancel culture seeks to cease will be something against God, but every circumstance is an opportunity to become aware and conscious that God’s opinion should be where we make our commitment to stand firm.
It is imperative that as we see our brothers and sisters who do face ridicule for speaking up for the Lord that we surround them and uplift them. We are to be the body of Christ unified and this includes helping to support the other parts of the body. They need our love as brethren in Christ to encourage them to fight the good fight.
Rest in knowing God’s view of you is worth far more than the shifting tides of the world. Remember 1 Samuel 16:7, God cares about the heart and intention of man, not the opinions Twitter holds of him.
After all is said and done it will be the word of the Lord that stands the test of time, even when culture seeks to cancel.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Prostock-Studio
Cally Logan is an author and US History teacher from Richmond, Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys mentoring youth and spending time in nature. Her book, Hang on in There, Girl! Will be available everywhere on April 1, 2022. Check her out on Instagram and Twitter, @CallyLogan and TikTok Cally_Logan.