Cancel culture ∙

Cancel culture

“I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!” – John 9:25

Isaiah 5:20-21

 20 Woe to those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.

 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever.

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.

Certain assumptions 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.

Most would agree that it is necessary to call out bigotry. But who decides what bigotry 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 obligatory 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 the 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.

It brings to mind the oft-repeated phrase used by Shakespeare in his plays. “Off with his head” (Henry VI, Queen Margaret).

The sentiment was likely popularized and became part of modern English slang through Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. The Queen of Hearts. The Queen was a vile monarch, filled with blind fury and quick to give death sentences at the slightest provocation. She repeatedly commands “off with his head,” “her head,” or “their heads!”

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 as well? Are they Bibliophobic and Christphobic?

Cancel culture has created a toxic environment of fear. The opportunity for dissenting views, education, and unity is 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 vary, 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. In other terms, they are absolutely sure that there are no absolutes.

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 Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.

Ecclesiastes 8:11 When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong.


When the Word of God calls something evil, it is evil. When it labels something as bitter no one can make it sweet. The Father is our absolute authority (Stanley).

Father help me to accept and consistently live by Your moral absolutes. Spare me from rushing to judgment regarding those with whom I disagree.


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.

Isaiah 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 think themselves so clever.

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

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 the Father’s vocabulary but not His dictionary (Wiersbe).

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

“People in any generation can senselessly and defiantly reject the idea that they are doing wrong because they have no moral anchor” (Gary V. Smith). Good things are reinterpreted as evil. Evil, immoral acts are twisted into what appears to be good.

“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” (Gary V. Smith).

In New Testament times, most Jewish leaders were opposed to the Lord Jesus Christ. They were convinced that He was a sinner. When He healed a man born blind, rather than respond in faith to the miracle and worship Him, they called out the blind man and canceled 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 and ostracized him from the synagogue. The Lord Jesus Christ found him and spoke with him.

John 9:39 Then Jesus said, “I entered this world to render judgment – to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”

In modern terms, we would say, the Lord Jesus Christ came to expose “wrong thinking.” He tore off the mask of misjudgment, misperception, and misunderstanding. He judged righteously through the lens of reality and Truth. He turned darkness into light (Isaiah 42:16). He encouraged people to recognize and accept the good when they see it and reject what is evil and paltry.

“Those who admit that they do not see are given sight. But those who insist that they can see perfectly, without the Lord Jesus, are confirmed in their blindness” (William MacDonald).

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12

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

 12 Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.

¯\_()_/¯ 9-22

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