Cancel Culture – the Good and the Bad
I don’t like what you said, so you should be fired from your job, run out town, and shamed into isolation.
Cancel culture has moved us far from reasonable discussions about differing opinions. If someone doesn’t like what you’ve said, regardless of how long ago you said it, they immediately harness the power of social media to “cancel” not just your words, but you!
We now have corporate executives resigning from senior positions because decades-old interviews come to light that include politically incorrect sentiments, a CEO battling a boycott of his company because he praised the president of the United States, and statues being destroyed because they depict a portion of history no longer approved by the current culture.
Silencing those who disagree with us, no matter what side of an argument we’re on, is dangerous. When we refuse to hear anything we don’t already agree with, we are also refusing to consider—even for a moment—that we need to have room to grow, mature in wisdom, and occasionally change our mind on any given topic.
So is cancel culture ever a good thing? Is there ever a time when cancel culture is something we should openly celebrate?
A Good Kind of Cancel Culture
I can think of one. Consider the words of the hymn, “O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing”:
O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace.
. . .
He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean;
His blood availed for me.
Christians have the assurance that Christ has canceled the power of sin in their life. Consider these verses:
- “Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity” (Psalm 32:2 ESV).
- “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25).
- “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 ESV).
- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (II Corinthians 5:17 ESV).
Christians know the joy of having their sin canceled, covered by the blood shed by Christ in His sacrificial death for us. In a way, Christianity is the original cancel culture!
How about you?
Are you a beneficiary of this original cancel culture?