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Christians and cancel culture!

Christians and cancel culture!

by Bibi Babtunde-Ikotun and Toyosi Adegunle


Hi everyone, welcome back to this amazing faith and lifestyle blog. I'm sure you've been blessed by the posts here hence your return to read what has been published. You're welcome, you're valued and you're loved. Thank you for coming back and welcome if this is your first time, you'd love it here!

"She is cancelled!" "He is cancelled!" "That company is cancelled!" Well done canceller general of the federation of social media. Let me start by asking you, who gave you the power to cancel people? When were you sworn into the office of cancelling people? Even you acting like you've never cancelled anyone before, I'm talking to you. The fact that you've never cancelled someone verbally or on social media doesn't absolve you if you've cancelled them in your heart. Imagine a giant X mark on someone simply because they did something wrong or maybe despicable or something that you don't agree with or even something the word of God doesn't match with. Still, it's no grounds to cancel anyone.

Let me start by informing you that no have no business cancelling anybody! Yes, you have no business cancelling a believer because they have been washed clean by the Blood of Jesus. And why on earth would you cancel an unbeliever, what is your yardstick for measuring their "goodness"? Is it the same measurement God uses i.e being a new creation? See where I'm going? There is no basis for cancelling unbelievers wrong actions, it's a futile thing to do. Save your energy. Get them saved instead.

I know I know, "It can never be you"! You can never be caught doing something wrong because you don't make mistakes. Right? Who are you kidding, you can be caught doing something wrong! If you have the mindset of I'm above mistakes you may find yourself doing those things you once cancelled other people for. 

1 Corinthians 10:12 (NIV) So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!

You can reach out to those people who fell when they committed adultery or did something corrupt if they thought they'll ever do such. No spirit-led Christian plans to mess up, it just happens when we move our confidence from the Holy Spirit to our flesh. The grace of God is what keeps us standing. If we ever think we're the one standing on our accord, we're only a few steps from falling. Let's be mindful that we're saved and sustained by God's grace.

As believers, we're part of the same body of Christ but we have diverse opinions and outlook on life depending on our denomination, life experiences or even location. You may be thinking, "Am I supposed to roll with an unbeliever or believer that doesn't quite agree with my opinions or lifestyle?". I know this has lingered in the hearts of many believers due to several experiences and passing on of knowledge. 

If you've been reading and don't quite understand what cancel culture mean, I'm sorry. Here's an awesome definition by www.dictionary.com:
Cancel culture refers to the popular practice of withdrawing support for (cancelling) public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive. Cancel culture is generally discussed as being performed on social media in the form of group shaming.
Based on this definition, is it something we Christians should accept in our midst? Don't even think of any answer other than no. You know fully well that Christ did not come to cancel anybody, in fact, He came to cancel our names from the list of sinners. He died to do the exact opposite of cancelling people.

Cancel culture is unaccepted for Christians because it contradicts everything that the love of Christ stands for. That sweet love is what compels us to forgive those who hurt us, ignore mean comments from people and live at peace with all even though deep down you want to fight them. Most times, people would not always believe what you believe, they will not always agree with your opinion or lifestyle, but cancelling them doesn't make anything better, does it?

Have you ever thought about why God chose to save you and call you his own in spite of who you were and things you did, things you believed in, and probably still believe in? God overlooks all your imperfections and brings you closer to him in love unto perfection. It is okay to have a contrary opinion about a person due to some things and you have every right to want to maintain distance from that person as well, but the word of God says wisdom is profitable for direction, hence, let every step you take be a reflection of God's wisdom and love in you. 

Noticing an improper behaviour or point of view from a respectable individual, especially a believer is not an opportunity to shame them publicly or cancel them. If you can, reach out to them privately, communicate your opinions and thoughts in the most decent manner, and trust that obedience and remorse will be wrought in them. Anything not done out of love for man and God is totally not spiritual, we live by the Spirit, not the flesh. 

John 13:34(NIV) "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Let the love of Christ be the lens and template in which you relate with people especially believers that are on the erring side. If you've been cancelled before, the carnal reaction would be to be defensive. But, you should submit to the Holy Spirit. Take correction in love, we all here to help each other grow and continue to conform to the image of Christ. 

This does not mean you can recklessly relate with unbelievers or people with opinions and actions that are not in the way of God, but you are not to shame them either. As you relate with unbelievers, cautiously guard your heart above all things. Don't begin to agree to lofty opinions that are contrary to the word of God even though they "feel" right. We're believers, we're never led by our feelings! Never! However, be conscious of your position in the world as a minister of reconciliation. Your job is to bring man closer to God, it's your assignment.  Walk-in love, watch and pray. 

So to wrap this up, please don't join anyone in cancelling people no matter how hard it gets. I know I know, it's tempting. I wanted to cancel Dbanj this week because his actions were despicable but I held on to the love of God. I condemned his actions as I prayed that he has a contrite heart to make things right. Listen, a time will come where people will be more open about cancelling the church. We're called out anyways hence our standards are different. No matter how it goes, we're separated from the world even though we live in it. 

Edit on 26/06/2020

Someone reached out to me to highlight 1 Corinthians 5 and 6 just in case you were wondering how that fits into this discussion. I had a discussion with an amazing woman I respect and here are some thoughts:

In the culture of cancellation, a person is cancelled for an act they did against us, and the reason for that cancellation is not so that they get restoration, but that they are shamed. In Christianity, the reason to release a person over is so they can be restored. Two totally different things. Let me highlight a verse

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭5:11‬ (‭TPT‬‬) “But now I’m writing to you so that you would exclude from your fellowship anyone who calls himself a fellow believer and practices sexual immorality, or is consumed with greed, or is an idolater, or is verbally abusive or a drunkard or a swindler. Don’t mingle with them or even have a meal with someone like that.”

The bolded part shows that this person made it a PRACTICE to do these things. It means there is a previous history of doing these things, it means that he has been spoken to and reprimanded about these things. And yet still goes on ahead to do them. There is substantiating proof that this person practices these things. This is not a case of a one time mistake, it was a habit.

Cancel culture equals condemnation.

The difference between cancel culture and correction in grace is the motive behind it. Cancel culture seeks to shame(which isn’t biblical, it satisfies our fleshly craving for the justice of revenge). Cancel culture is lawful an eye for an eye.

Correction in grace seeks for restoration. Correction in Grace is just that- extending the hand of fellowship to a brother or sister who has fallen. In fact, the mere fact of calling out the act of the person for the purpose of the person being restored(not just the restoration of the persons who may have been affected by the person’s actions) is grace.

Cancel culture is not balanced, in the sense that it does not seek restoration for the offender and the offended. Because even the offender needs to be restored. 

Grace definitely demands more from us, because of how much we have been given, but more is more for everyone, including the person who committed the crime. So yeah, cancel culture is not a culture of kingdom people. 

There's no room for it.
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Watch my latest video on how I go a job by faith in Canada before I moved If you're waiting on God for a miracle, he'll come through for you! This may be the encouragement you need. 



Comments

  1. Sometimes we Christians find it easy to preach and talk about love but it's sometimes difficult to really live it out. Even to those who we call ourselves the body of Christ. May God help us to unconditionally love ourselves and live it out without hesitationšŸ™

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