Cancel culture. A few years ago, I didn’t even know those words could be combined in a way that would make sense. Now, I hear them spoken all the time.
If you haven’t heard of cancel culture, here’s the deal. If you don’t agree with a celebrity or business and their opinion, you “cancel” them. It’s basically a modern-day boycott—on steroids.
Choosing not to spend your time or your money on a product or style of entertainment is, obviously, fine. Using the snooze or mute buttons on social media to reduce the noise? Probably mentally healthy. But cancel culture carries the connotation of not simply and calmly disagreeing but completely rejecting a person. Oh, and shaming them on social media and destroying their reputation.
Cancel culture hangs on to the sin and gets rid of the person, leaving no room for compassion, mercy, grace, forgiveness, or restoration.
Deep down, aren’t we all afraid of this? After all, we’ve all said and done stupid things—whether in public or private, in the past or the present—that could leave us open to being judged, shamed, and cancelled by others.
Want to know something that sounds hypocritical?
I love cancel culture.
Not the one I just described that exists in society but the opposite kind that exists in Christianity.
It’s the one where, “when you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13,14).
Thanks to Jesus, Christianity’s cancel culture gets rid of the mistakes, shame, and guilt and hangs on to the person, leaving only room for compassion, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and restoration.
That’s a pretty great kind of cancel culture. That’s the kind of culture that quiets the noise (both internal and external) and changes everything.
If you believe in Jesus, God’s cancel culture helps you create a culture that brings people together. That’s because instead of spewing anger, you “love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
If you don’t know much about Jesus or believe in him yet, talk to the people in your life who do. Ask them how faith has changed their lives. See how Jesus’ kind of cancel culture promises you will never be abandoned.
P.S. I know some of you might have been hurt or cancelled by the very people whom God called to love you. That makes me sad, and I’m sorry that happened to you. Please don’t let that stop you from learning more about Jesus.
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor who loves deeply and still uses the snooze and mute features occasionally on social media.