Skip to main content

How should Christians respond to "cancel culture?"

With the rise of modern technology and social media platforms in the past decade or so we have seen a vast increase certain ideological groups seeking to cancel, ban, and silence those with different, offensive, or annoying opinions. Most of this has been done in the name of seeking to preserve a "safe environment" for people to engage the internet with less of a risk of being "triggered" by a differing opinion. Though on a historical level the ability to limit certain free speech that incites physical violence or destructive behavior has been pretty much agreed upon by most people. It seems clear that the idea that those who say things which are wrong, offensive, or annoying should be canceled, silenced and sidelined is entirely un-American and ultimately not Christian. 

Cancel culture is demonic and oppressive. It's the same tactic used by the enemy to oppose the gospel around the world. The message of the cross is offensive to those who don't want to admit their need for salvation. If we join a movement of "cancelling that which offends" we will eventually see that very movement seek to cancel the gospel itself. The world wants to cancel Jesus Christ. The Kingdom of God and cancel culture are like oil and water, they don't mix. One proclaims freedom, the other proclaims vigilantism . Believers ought to remain pure from this toxic worldview and instead faithfully proclaim the truth in love. Our message is simple but often offensive: "Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6)."

Galatians 5:11 NLT- "If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended."

It's true that freedom of speech can be a double-edge sword because someone could use free speech to ridicule and emotionally abuse others. However, we must foster a society of adulthood and maturity in which someone is free to say an offensive statement to us, while at the same time we are able to retain our right to freely refute their bad ideas. If we foster a society where cancel culture rules it may temporarily silence the voice of our opponents, but it will eventually silence our voice to refute their wrong viewpoints in the long run.

Most importantly, Jesus never canceled anyone's ability to question him or say evil things in general. He refuted them instead. Cancel culture appears to practice "intellectual laziness" as it seeks to cancel people with opposing or bad opinions. What we should do instead is diligently show how their claims are false or wrong. Seeking to cancel may reveal that we don't want to do the hard work of self education and logical argumentation. If cancel culture is left to grow, it will eventually seek to cancel even the opinions of those who fostered it in the first place. In general, truth wins out when good dialogue is present... So we must preserve the right for people to discuss and debate topics, even controversial ones, so that truth can ultimately be revealed as a result. Otherwise we have a society that redefines truth through merely canceling their opposition.

Everyone agree that inciting violence or destructive behavior is not acceptable. But banning opposing ideas, even offensive ones will create a world of mono-culture rather than multi-culture. A world of robust, differing, and debatable opinions is a world where the best ideas can compete and rise to the top and human beings can learn from one another. Cancel culture is demonic. Cancel culture is unforgiving. Cancel culture is non-redemptive. Cancel culture represents the opposite of the Kingdom of God where freedom, forgiveness, and redemptive dialogue are the defining principle of everything we do. It's time for all Christians to rise up and speak out against this corrosive worldview that will eventually be the death of us all. May God give us wisdom to preserve the right of free expression for generations to come.

Written by: Kyle Bailey, D.Min.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A letter to Modern Christians on Church Attendance...

On March 22nd of 2020 an unprecedented event occurred. This wasn't the first time that a widespread disease afflicted human-kind, nor was it the first time that health measures were taken by a human government in order to mitigate the risk of an epidemic. The unprecedented event that occurred on Sunday, March 22nd of 2020 was the physical absence of worshippers gathering as the visible Church of Jesus Christ in the United States as well as other places around the world. The 10 person gathering limit issued by the Centers for Disease Control led to the widespread closure of house's of worship across the country. Up to that point in Church History there had never been an example of this magnitude in which faithful Christians avoided the physical gathering together to worship Jesus Christ and study His Word in a community of fellowship. The typical reason offered by many Christian leaders in an attempt to justify the temporary closure of churches was something like this, "Chr

Is it ok to let your kids believe in Santa Claus?

"A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head, soon led me to know I had nothing to dread."- Twas' the Night Before Christmas, Clement C. Moore As a kid I was taught that Santa Claus was going to bring me the presents I wished for on Christmas morning. I watched movies and cartoons about Santa riding his sleigh with gifts to give to all of the children around the world. Some of the stories depicted Santa as giving coal to bad kids and toys to good kids and I was told jokingly by my parents that I would "receive coal if I was bad," but it was never made to be a serious threat. Up until around the age of seven I really believed that Santa magically came down the chimney and left presents for my brothers and I, and it never caused me to have any resentment toward my parents for telling me he was real. I saw it as my parents wanting to give me a fun Christmas adventure, a magical experience that my brothers and I could use our imagination with. As I learned