Actors, athletes, businesses, CEOs, politicians, even world leaders are getting cancelled. Maybe it’s happened to you. You shared your opinion, or an old post from ten years ago resurfaced, and you’ve been cancelled. It’s happening everywhere every day; jobs are being lost, accounts are being suspended, even revered historical figures who lived centuries ago are being cancelled in one way or another, and they’re not even here to see it! But it’s hard to know what is more troubling: the cause for cancellation or the character of those doing it. Much of the “moral” police force in society is immoral to the core, rejecting the authority of God’s Word, while at the same time attempting to silence those disagreeable voices who may actually confront their sin and lead them to a true morality found in Christ Jesus alone.
But what should be our response to this out-of-control cancel culture all around us? Certainly the answer is not vengeful counter-cancellation. As followers of Christ, we have a valuable opportunity to show the world something remarkably different – Someone remarkably different. Our gracious Savior, the only sinless person who ever lived, did not spend His days upon earth cancelling other people. He actually spent time with cancelled people, such as tax-collectors, prostitutes and lepers. He came not to cancel us but to save us. In fact, He offered a different type of cancellation altogether, one that we desperately need and that will fit us for heaven – the cancellation of our debt of sin (Luk 7:36-50; Col 2:14).
As sinners everywhere are cancelling other sinners, they really aren’t qualified to do so. Only Christ, the sinless Son of God, has the authority to cancel us, and yet He doesn’t! Because of our sin, we all deserve to be cancelled, but instead, Christ offers grace, forgiveness and cleansing. And He gives us His promise: “the one who comes to me I will never send away” (Joh 6:37 NET).
This lost world urgently needs Christ and the promises He offers in grace, including the promise to never cancel us. While cancel culture proponents are presently scrubbing names from buildings and removing them from our history books, Christ is recording names in the Lamb’s Book of Life with the promise that those names will never be blotted out (Rev 3:5). But He is doing some blotting out. He has “blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins” (Isa 44:22 NKJV).
As followers of Christ, does our cancel culture society see Christ in us? Are we people of grace and forgiveness, not only with the lost but with one another? Remember that Peter denied Christ and Thomas doubted Him, but He didn’t cancel them. He graciously acted and spoke in a way that brought them back to Him. Are we quick to forgive or quick to cancel?
The celebrated “tolerance” of our world is quickly evaporating. Diversity of appearance is welcome, but not diversity of opinion, especially if that opinion is based upon the truth of God’s Word. Incredibly, as God Himself is being cancelled, He still offers Himself in grace as the only hope for sin-sick souls. Let’s make sure we represent Him well, even if we do get cancelled.