Written by Jeremy Stalnecker
Unless you are living under a rock and, because of that rock, you do not have access to the internet, you are aware that we are living in a time of “Cancel Culture”. The events that have brought us to this moment are deeply rooted in both history and a long fought agenda to DEMAND conformity to thought and action as dictated by a small yet powerful group of people and institutions. In a country that has long valued freedom of thought and expression we are now eliminating both by removing anyone who is not playing along. Jobs have been lost, social platforms removed and positions in families destroyed because individuals have dared to be, well, individual. We have even gotten to the point where are eliminating books and movies that don’t fit new cultural “norms”. While questions like, “Who gets to determine what is right and wrong?” and, “When did we vote to give up our constitutional right of free expression?” are very important, as Christians we need to quickly move beyond asking “why” and start asking, “how”.
As the fight to get us back to a place of true individual liberty is raging, we need to decide how we will respond when “Cancel Culture” turns it sights to those who follow Christ, believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, and attempt to view the world through the lens of scripture. The ultimate goal of “Cancel Culture” is to remove any authority not governed by the self-appointed cultural dictators and therefore MUST cancel the expression of beliefs held by American Christians for generations. Thankfully there are some extremely intelligent, deeply devoted Christians who are working to address these issues and we need to do all that we can to support them. We may not be able to stop the attempt to silence Christians, but we can develop strategies that will allow us to live out and communicate the Gospel as commanded by Christ. This needs to be done and needs to be done now before we have no other options.
Believing that God will always provide ways for His followers to faithfully communicate the reason for which Jesus came and died, I would like to provide two words that can help to give perspective as we move forward. This is a much larger conversation but these two words will help us to stand when we are being told to sit down and to speak when wear are told that our worldview is no longer valid.
The first word I would offer is “Conformity”. Conformity is the goal of cancel culture. If we will simply go along with all that we are being told to do, then we will be fine. Think what we are told to think, say what we are told to say, do what we are told to do and BELIEVE what we are told to believe. Conform and everything will be fine. We could, and many have and are, spend quite a bit of time talking about how un-American this is, but there is a much larger problem with conformity than just the Constitutional one.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
If you are a Christian than you have been called to follow God and all that is important to Him. The verses above, in fact, tell us that we are supposed to become a living sacrifice to God which eliminates even the possibility of conformity to the world! This is what all of us must decide as a culture of canceling all that does not conform attempts to silence people of faith: Will we yield to God and fulfill His purpose for our lives or will we conform to a world that has rejected Him since the Garden of Eden?
I said that this is a word that provides perspective so I will not take the time to provide you with a sermon on conformity to Christ over conformity to the world. I will say, before moving on, that it is NOT POSSIBLE to do both. You will have to choose. Follow God and live for Him or conform to a culture that is trying to eliminate Him. It must be one or the other.
The second word that provides perspective on this issue is the word “Truth”. “Cancel Culture” has no interest in truth. Emotion and popular sentiment are the highest virtues of a culture willing to eliminate anyone who does not conform and the first casualty of this thinking is truth.
A few verses:
John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Psalm 15:1 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
In a culture so quick to reject the truth, we must be people who both know the truth and who are willing to speak it regardless of how it is received! The motivation for this speaking of truth should always be love and it will be when we understand that the only way for a broken, hopeless world to be made new is the truth of God and His plan for redeeming the world. We are told to remain silent as a way to demonstrate our love, but only by SPEAKING and LIVING TRUTH are we really expressing the Grace and Love of our Savior. We will be told to sit down and be quit. We MUST stand and speak!
“Cancel Culture” is nothing more than an attempt to enslave society without society knowing that it has been enslaved. In the name of “safety” and “unity” we are told that only approved thoughts, words, and deeds have merit. The reality though, if I may be so bold as to speak of reality, is that freedom of body and soul can only be found in Christ and the fight to eliminate expression is the fight to eliminate Christ so that both body and soul can be controlled. What must Christians do in the face of “Cancel Culture”?