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Since the year 2020, I have become increasingly aware of politics. Businesses who sell such products ranging from shampoo to clippers to soda have come out in favor of certain politicians. Every time I listen to the news, someone is bashing someone else simply for having a different perspective. Sadly, the hate and politicization witnessed on television has spilled into my everyday living. People in my social circles have also picked up their axes, and anyone who disagrees – let’s just hope they keep their opinions to themselves.
With more and more lines being drawn in the sand, as a Christian I’ve had to ask myself some important questions.
How can I continue to love those who spread hate?
Can I role model love for those around me, no matter our political differences?
Where is my focus: being loving or being right?
These questions help remind me of my priorities as a Christian. As Jesus so effectively outlined, the greatest deeds I can perform as a Christian are through love (Matthew 22:35-40). First, I am to love God, and secondly, I am to love others. More specifically, I am to love other people as I love myself.
“The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39)
This has become especially important when considering what people are calling “cancel culture.” Even the name sounds a bit ominous. Remember the axes I said people are taking up? Well, those axes are not just for show.
The lines are being drawn in the sand because people are being very strict about their social circles. Do anything that causes conflict, and you will be on the opposite side of that line. The issue with this approach is that everyone does something to cause conflict (Romans 3:23). Yet, only certain people get canceled.
Whether on social media, at work, or in social clubs – wherever there are people in today’s America – there is the potential for cancel culture. And where there is cancel culture, there is lack of love.
What Is Cancel Culture?
Despite what some say, cancel culture is not all that complicated, especially coming from a Christian perspective.
The perception that proponents of cancel culture give revolves around ideas of accountability and handing people due consequences for their actions. People are told to take responsibility for the bad things they do in the present and things they did in the past, even years ago.
Common examples are tweets of famous people “resurfacing” and them having to apologize.
As Christians, we know that all of us have sinned and made mistakes. Apologizing is a part of healing our relationships, as is repenting. All of this seems far enough.
Though the reality of cancel culture is much darker. As is often the case, people targeted by cancel culture have done wrong, but only what qualifies as wrong by a specific group of people. Therefore, the offense could be as simple as having a different opinion. People are not canceled for heinous acts such as murder or rape, instead, it is simply for thinking differently.
In the cases of “resurfaced” tweets, what this means is that someone took the effort to search for that information and then bring attention to that. Though most apologize for whatever they said in the past, the end result is usually a ruined reputation. They may be smeared with such labels as racist, transphobic, homophobic; the list goes on.
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Christians are not exempt from cancel culture. We could be on the receiving end or asked to participate. Then we will have to make a decision: to rebuke cancel culture or participate.
This should be an easy question for Christians to consider. Honestly, this should be an easy question for anyone. Let’s ask the question anyway – should Christians participate in cancel culture?