The Cancel Culture

“Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” – John 9:25

Isa 5:20-21

 20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!

Cancel culture, also called callout culture, is the public denouncement of those people or products judged guilty in an effort to ruin their popularity and credibility. What is deemed appropriate or inappropriate is totally determined by the groupthink of those doing the canceling. 

There are certain assumptions that pervade cancel culture. Cancel culture imagines that are two categories of people. Those that are born “woke” (morally progressive) who are good, and those that are not born “woke” who are bad. Could this be rather arrogant and naive? People can and do change in their opinions, views, and ideologies over time. 

While many would agree that it is necessary to call out bigotry, who decides what bigotry really looks like in our society today? Who determines what groups are favored and thus the potential targets of bigotry? Who decides which groups are unfavored? What is deemed appropriate or inappropriate is totally determined by the groupthink of those doing the canceling. It begs the well-worn question: who controls the controllers?

It is important for people to take responsibility for their past actions but cancel culture does not give individuals being called out opportunity to do so. Instead, the real or imagined incriminating evidence is used to simply cancel a person. Apologies are not accepted. There is no opportunity for reconciliation, redemption, or forgiveness. 

Rather than simply holding people accountable, it has become a rationalization to demean, shame, and insult people. Those individuals regarded as unacceptable or problematic are excommunicated from public life. What arrogance! In an attempt to callout real or perceived bigotry, do the cancelers demonstrate that they themselves are bigots? Are they bibliophobic and Christphobic?

Cancel culture has created a toxic environment of fear. The opportunity for dissenting views, education, and unity are lost. It is a form of modern day bullying! Yet bullying is one of the things they attempt to cancel.

What’s really going on?

The Father’s absolutes are just that. They are always true and right, they never very, change, or compromise. The Father gave them to provide a moral compass. 

Modern man has abandoned the concept of moral absolutes entirely. Anything that you think is right is right for you. The only thing that you know for sure is you can’t know anything for sure. Or putting it more oxymoronically, “I’m absolutely sure there are no absolutes,” is often heard in college.

The trouble is that we cannot live without absolutes. Once we abandon the Father’s absolutes, we make up our own. This is nothing new, it has been around for millennia.

Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Ecc 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.

REFLECT & PRAY

When God in His Word calls something evil, it is evil. When He labels a thing bitter [no one] can make it sweet. God is our absolute authority (Stanley).

Father help me to live consistently by your moral absolutes and certainly not rush to judgment regarding those with whom I disagree.    

INSIGHT

The Father’s perspective is often just the opposite of people who are blinded in their moral judgment. People with moral blindness, call evil good and good evil.

Isa 5:20-21

 20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!

A subtle interplay exists between self-deception and arrogance. When people reject God’s authority and absolute standards, they set themselves up as the final and ultimate authority. 

Good things are reinterpreted as evil. Evil, immoral acts are twisted into what appears to be good.

They redefine the meaning of words and rules according to their own preferences. Sin is rationalized. Truth is counterfeited by error and deception. New definitions of sin undermine moral standards. 

People use God’s vocabulary but Not His dictionary (Wiersbe). 

Psalm 12:2 People lie to each other, speaking with flattering lips and deceitful hearts.

Without an absolute standard of divine justice, false human reasoning and uncontrolled passion can rationalize and justify almost any act, particularly if the primary criterion is “Will it benefit me?” When sweet and bitter, light and darkness, and good and evil are relative values based on wishes, whims, and selfish ends, righteousness and justice do not exist (Clendenen). 

In New Testament times, most Jewish leaders were opposed to Jesus. They were convinced that the Lord Jesus Christ was a sinner. When He healed a man born blind, rather than respond in faith to the miracle and worship the Lord Jesus Christ, they called out the blind man and they cancelled him. The blind man retorted, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25). In response they threw him out, ostracizing him from the synagogue. The Lord Jesus found him and spoke with him.

John 9:39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.”

2 Thess 2:11-12

 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,

 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

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