Cancel Culture - Is This New?
When asking God about Cancel Culture (Or political correctness) I had this feeling that this is a spirit that is not new but was the spirit behind the push for Jesus to be destroyed. People are being stifled at work, online, at home and at school. If we do not express the view of the "culture" there are severe consequences.
What is cancel culture, where does it operate and how did it operate in the days Jesus walked on the earth so a totally innocent man was taken to a brutal death on the cross? It effectively "cancelled" Him ...... but little did Satan know that this plan to kill Jesus was God's plan from the beginning, to redeem us from the curse of sin and be made righteous before God. The result of Jesus' death is that the curse of sin is lifted and we are "conveyed into the kingdom of the Son of His love!". (Colossians 1:13).
In Genesis 3:15 we read:-
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15 NKJV
Before we go any further, it is essential that we realize that God had a plan to deal with sin before Adam and Eve sinned. This passage predicts that there will be a saviour from her Seed (note the capital "S"). Jesus would crush the serpent or Satan's head and he would bite the heel of the "women's seed". The bite was not fatal! For more information about this click HERE.
In an article in Christianpost.com, Jim Denison defines cancel culture as "removing of support for public figures in response to their objectionable behaviour or opinions. This can include boycotts or refusal to promote their work.” Social media is used to produce an outcry that threatens a swift reprisal if its demands are not met. It does not matter how much you know about the topic, how educated you are or even how logical your argument is. If you stand for something and someone does not agree, in this "Cancel Culture" epidemic, you do not argue with them or have a civil debate..... you just cancel them. This means removing them from their workplace, destroying their reputation and shutting down their business. People today are scared of expressing an opinion as they might be cancelled by the mob if it is not popular or politically correct.
The strange world we live in now has a different understanding of truth. My truth and your truth is at loggerheads as there is no one agreed point of truth. Ravi Zacharias said "“With no fact as a referent, what is normative is purely a matter of preference.” Our tolerant society is intolerant of anyone who they think is intolerant. Weird! John 14:6 says "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, ad the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me".
I have two short videos about Cancel Culture that will give you an idea of what it is and how it works.
1. Ben Shapiro - The Problem With Cancel Culture
2. Ben Shapiro - This is the worst case of cancel culture I have seen.
Now you have heard about and seen cancel culture in action, was this something that Jesus experienced? From Matthew 21-28 there is a clear process of the "mob" loving then wanting to "cancel" Jesus. I will quickly go through His journey.
1. Jesus enters Jerusalem in triumph! (Matthew 21:1-11) As the disciples approached Jerusalem they found a donkey and Jesus rode into the city, where the crowd went wild. They threw their prayer shawls and cloaks on the road for the donkey to walk on. Jesus was going to do what they wanted. Mattew 21:8-9.
2. Jesus uprooted the merchants. Matthew 21:12-13. This was not what they expected.
3. The children said "Blessings and praises to the Son of David". This was referring to Jesus being the Messiah. Jesus entered the city with the people excited to welcome him, he pushed over the money changes the thieves and healed all who came near him. This sealed Jesus' fate. This was what the religious community said. Matthew 21:15
4. Jesus taught parables to his critics (The religious). He would not answer what power he operated in. He also taught them two parables that would have infuriated them even more. He taught the Parable Of Two Sons and The Parable of the Rejected Son. Both were about how the religious of the day rejected Jesus. Then he taught the Parable of the Wedding Feast. This was just putting fuel of the already growing blaze!
5. The Pharisees try to entrap Jesus They tried asking Him about taxes, marriage and The Greatest Commandment. Finally, Jesus asked them about the Anointed One and King David calling his own son "The Lord Jehovah". They could not answer so this was the time they stopped asking Jesus questions as they knew they could not beat him with questions. Cancel Culture is warming up!! Matthew 22:15-46
6. Judas agrees to betray Jesus. As they could not beat Jesus with an argument or questioning, they worked with Judas to find him when he was along and deal with him in a different way. They would 'cancel' Him! Mattew 26:14-16
7. Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemene Matthew 26:36-45. This is the key to beating Cancel Culture. Jesus did not run but submitted himself to His Father's will. "Yet what I want is not important, for I only desire to fulfil your plan for me.” Matthew 26:39. TPT
8. Jesus is betrayed. You could say the mob were anonymous and they used force to take Jesus. I love the account of the arrest in John 18:1-11. Jesus still had amazing authority and power. They fell backwards when He said he was the"I Am" which means he said He was God. Even with this awesome power, He still allowed himself to be arrested. Matthew 26:47-56 and John 18:4-6. (6 And the moment Jesus spoke the words, “I am he,” the mob fell backward to the ground! )
9. Jesus is condemned by the religious leaders They tried attacking Jesus with false charges, but He did not fight back. He only responded with the truth. By dawn they resolved that Jesus should be executed, even without a fair trial. They sent Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor. Matthew 26:57-68
10. Pilate condemns Jesus to death There was not one thing that Jesus was convicted of. There was a false trial and Jesus was condemned to death for NO reason. They just hated Jesus because of who he was and what He stood for. He was not guilty. This is an important part of Cancel Culture. You are not guilty of a crime but they mock, beat, ridicule and hurt you until they finally cancel you. Matthew 27:11-32.
11. Jesus cancelled (Killed) on the cross. Yes, Jesus was killed for no reason. Not trial, not crime and He did nothing to hurt these people BUT all they wanted was to kill or cancel Him. This is the same spirit as the Cancel Culture of today. You do not have to be guilty of any crime; if they hate you or what you stand for they will cancel you with as much force as they can. Matthew 27:33-56
12. Jesus was buried and they won! The tomb was sealed and they celebrated. Jesus had been cancelled. Matthew 27:57-66
13. Jesus cannot be cancelled. They did not win after all! There was an earthquake, the stone was rolled away and Jesus rose from the dead! Cancel culture was beaten! Matthew 28:1-10
14. The death of Jesus gives Him ALL Authority As Jesus was without sin, His death meant that His blood now cancels our sin so we can live in a relationship with God for eternity. Instead of cancelling Jesus, Satan helped cancel his grip on us. Jesus now has all authority, and we go in His authority to make disciples. Instead of cancelling Jesus, they gave us complete victory over Satan. By working to cancel Jesus, Satan started the process where he now is being cancelled. Ironic isn't it! Matthew 28:16-20
What Can We Do About Cancel Culture?
Like Jesus, we cannot fight this "Cancel Culture" with what the enemy uses. Instead, we must seek the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom and to fight in the opposite spirit. Jim Denison from the Christian Post and Martin Iles gives ways we should respond to this "cancel culture" as Christians:-
Know your identity. If you know who you are you will have not difficulty understanding what the battle is. If you are a child of God, He will protect you and stand up for you. Read Psalm 91 and Psalm 121.
Walk in integrity. In the story of Esther Mordecai always walked in integrity. Even though Hayman wanted to "cancel" Mordecai" he could not find a way to defeat him because Mordecai walked in integrity.
Focus on your eternal reward NOT the acclaim of the culture. What reward is there when you stand for God's truth and righteousness? The eternal reward is much better than a short reprieve from the evil hatred from those involved in "cancelling" others. It is a paradoxical fact that the less we seek the acclaim of people, the more faithfully we can minister to them. Henri Nouwen noted: “We can really be in the world, involved in the world, and actively engaged in the world precisely because we do not belong to it, precisely because that is not where our dwelling place is. Precisely because our home is in God, we can be in the world and speak words of healing, of confrontation, of invitation, and of challenge.”
Know the facts and the truth. Speak these with grace! Be prepared for them to speak emotionally about what they believe. They often have no facts or twist the facts and omit details to push their message. Move from emotion and stay with the facts. As a result, when we speak truth to culture, we are giving others a gift they desperately need but can find nowhere else. Counter to the postmodern claim that all truth is personal and subjective, which makes evangelism and ministry an “imposition” of our beliefs on others, we are sharing good news that is vital and transforming.
Be led by the Spirit. As we die to our flesh, what they say will not hurt us in the same way and we will be able to stand up against the push of the accusations and lies.
Pray for wisdom and favour from God and men. Pray also for God's protection.
Do not give up your values and Biblical beliefs because you want to have peace. Peacekeepers will do anything, even give up what they believe is right to have peace now. Peacemakers work to have long term peace, even when it means difficulty in the short term.
Persevere courageously. Do not give up, even if it is hard. Here was the secret to David’s courage: “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8)
Pray for those who hurt you. "If there are those who have been speaking or praying against me or seeking to harm me, or have rejected me, I forgive them. (Name them here!) Having forgiven them, I bless them in the name of the lord!"
Stories of Cancel Culture in the Bible
Three are many stories in the Bible where the culture tried to "cancel" God's people. In most stories, God gave the people a strategy and a way forward. The breakthrough often came when the evil became the strongest. Sometimes God allows evil to be fully exposed before he deals with it.
Here are two of my favourite Old Testament "cancel culture" stories!
The Story Of Esther
Esther was involved in saving the Jews when she was placed in the King's palace. She did not know that God had positioned her to stop the "cancel culture" that was set in place to destroy her people. There are key steps she went through for her to get defeated and for her people to be annihilated.
Esther was raised by her uncle, Mordecai.
She was put in the palace as one of the king's wives.
A leader, Hayman, decided to plot against the Jews to totally kill them all just because her uncle, Mordecai, would not bow down to him.
She fasted and prayed and so did her people.
God gave her a strategy. She invited the king, and Hayman, to two banquets.
Hayman was exposed and was hung on the gallows he built for his enemy, Mordecai.
All the Jews were given permission to kill their enemies. Over 70.000 enemies were killed at this time.
Esther and the Jews had the victory and God promoted her and her uncle, Mordecai.
There was a great time of peace.
The Story of King Jehoshaphat
(This is one of my favourite stores in the Bible)
Three armies marched again Jehoshaphat and his people.
He gathered the people around him to seek God.
He prayed " 5 Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, 6 and said: “O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? 7 Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? 8 And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, 9 ‘If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’ 10 And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir—whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them— 11 here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit. 12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” 2 Chronicles 20:5-12.
The prophet Jahaziel was given a strategy. God told them to not be afraid or dismayed of this multitude as the battle is not yours but God's. (2 Chronicles 20:15.) They were told to go out against them but they would not have to fight the battle. The battle was the Lord's.
They arose early in the morning and went out to confront the enemy. He prayed "Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper. " 2 Chronicles 20:20.
They left the city early and were led by people who sang and worshipped God singing "Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever."(2 Chronicles 20:21)
When they arrived where the armies were, they had turned on themselves and had all been killed.
The people around them saw what had happened and the fear of God fell on all their enemies.
How we defeat bad ideas:-
We do not silence them or wish them away.
Should We Stop Other People's Opinions?
Finally, Anne Widdecombe was speaking in a debate in England and gave an excellent overview of why we have a society that listens to all sides of an argument, even when we do not believe what they are talking about. If you have time, I hope this encourages you to think about the importance of listening to others and allowing free speech ... no matter how crazy the other argument.
Finally, correctness in the secular, political realm is not the concern of Christians or the church because “our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will, by the power that enables him, “bring everything under his control” (Philippians 3:20–21). I am looking forward to that day. Come, Lord Jesus!
What does the Bible say about Cancel Culture? https://www.christianpost.com/voices/what-does-the-bible-say-about-cancel-culture.html
Nick Cave slams cancel culture as 'bad religion run amuck. https://www.smh.com.au/culture/music/nick-cave-slams-cancel-culture-as-bad-religion-run-amuck-20200813-p55lfm.html
Martin Iles - Cancel Culture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8P27rabQB0
Shapiro - Worst Cases of Cancel Culture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQha3x-g0LA
he Real Problem With Cancel Culture Shapiro https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY6Z2C-BBPU
Ann Widdecombe | We Should NOT Support No Platforming (8/8) | Oxford Union https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njj_rG_9HKM
What does Genesis 3:15 mean that "he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel"? https://www.gotquestions.org/crush-head-bruise-heel.html