Cancel Culture

This is the modern social attitude that controversial speech or behaviour that is socially unacceptable must be punished through public shaming or withdrawing support from a person or organisation. The result is that the offender’s influence and reputation is cancelled out. It has been born of the inability of an opinion to withstand the scrutiny of thoughtful debate.

However, this hasty and spiteful judgement in retaliation against what is considered offensive or even simply controversial can lead to smeared reputations and ruined careers even though the person has broken no laws or engaged in any nasty behaviour, with little or no opportunity to address the issue or forgiveness and restoration for the alleged offender.

Cancel culture is associated with political correctness (forcing the use of certain words and banning other words to minimize offense) and postmodernism (that asserts all truth claims are subjective with tolerance promoted as a supreme value).

Cancel culture runs counter to Christian culture. As believers, we should not make irrational snap judgements and slander others based on biased information, instead we should be slow to speak, knowing we are accountable for what we say with words having

Hold to your biblical convictions

the power of life and death (Prov 18:21; Mt 12:36; Jas 1:19). Our words should be gracious, saying about others what we would they say about us (Lk 6:31; Col 4:6). The Bible warns against self-righteous judging and fault-finding, suggesting a better approach of making allowances for each other’s faults and extending forgiveness and reconciliation (Mt 7:1; 2 Cor 5:18; Col 3:13). Like Jesus whose mission in life was to restore relationship (between a holy God and lost sinful humanity), we should be known for our gracious loving interaction and speaking the truth in love (Lk 4:22; Eph 4:15; 1 Tim 6:11). Yet, the words of Jesus were truthful and confronting, "Repent otherwise you will perish" (Mt4:17; Lk 13:3). May we have wisdom and courage to also speak the truth of God, remembering we are to obey Him rather than submit to man if there is a conflict of directives (Act 5:29). 

See also: communication, conviction (1), offense, political correctness, postmodernism, words.