The Bible teaches that we are to forgive others who fall into wrongdoing and work to restore that person, it’s also a cornerstone of our justice system, yet cancel culture is condemning people without the possibility of forgiveness.
A phenomenon is growing that was never experienced in the past – cancel culture. It is largely a product of social media. It is an astounding power that never existed to this degree before the Internet.
Cancel culture is a form of social justice which convicts people via accusation. Cancel culture convicts in the square of public opinion. It’s an immediate guilty sentence. There is no due process. No discovery of evidence. No trial. No impartial judge.
Even more problematic, their efforts result in a very real career-execution for the accused.
The name “cancel culture” came about because the accused is “canceled” everywhere they had a presence. It starts with their career. They may lose their employment, agent, contracts, etc. Their livelihood is ruined and the ability to provide for themselves or their families is erased in the blink of an eye. These repercussions are all based upon accusations, which may or may not be true, without any due process of law.
An old proverb (not from the Bible), says: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” There are two main meanings. The first is that the people who have good intentions fail to take action. But the second meaning is more appropriate to cancel culture, which is, good intentions can lead to actions that have unintended consequences or are ultimately evil.
It should be noted that Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) who have created cancel culture and work at canceling people have good intentions. Someone does something bad and they want to see justice done. This is not a new human desire. But that’s exactly why we have a legal system that was designed to deal with problems in a fair and balanced way.
The actions taken by the Social Justice Warriors in cancel culture often amount to a virtual-based witch hunt.
Tragically, in the history of real-world witch hunts, they had good intentions to, even doing so, misguided, in the name of religion. There are definitely parallels here in cancel culture.
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
– Jesus (Luke 6:37)
The worst thing about cancel culture is that it appears to be void of forgiveness. Unlike a real court of law, the penalty in cancel culture has only one punishment it issues: a life sentence. Often, the angry mob of SWJs appears to lack the desire to rehabilitate the accused. Once you are canceled – there is no road to redemption – you are never coming back.
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”
– Galatians 6:1
The Bible instructs us that we need to forgive others. Our the US legal system is based on that concept, which seeks to redeem those likely to be redeemable, while also keeping the public safe from the most dangerous individuals. That’s why those convicted of a crime have the ability to receive parole, shortened sentences for good behavior, as well as programs to help guide criminals back towards being a responsible citizen.
Giving his interpretation and insight on Galatians 6:1, Bible scholar Charles Ellicott wrote: “Be charitable to the fallen, for you, too, may fall yourselves. Sympathize with each other. Indulge in no delusions as to your own superiority.”
In other words, don’t be so quick to judge and convict others when they make a mistake. A temptation in life could lead you to make mistakes.
“Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.”
–2 Thessalonians 3:15
The overarching message of Galatians 6: 1 and 2 Thessalonians 3: 15 is that, rather than claiming to be better than others, and standing by with a superior attitude, you need to get involved in helping improve of the person who makes a mistake. Warn them. Get them on the right path.
You can’t steer someone to be better if you shun them altogether. Even worse, when you condemn them to the point that they lose their career and ability to survive, you perpetuate another kind of evil. It is now you that is causing harm. Leave earthly judgment to earthly-appointed judges.
When you cancel someone, you take an action that is more likely to send them down an even darker path. You force them into a position of desperation and despair. That’s not a loving action. That’s not an action that promotes improvement or rehabilitation.
Cancel culture needs to be canceled and replaced with a culture of love and forgiveness.
Jesus spoke repeatedly about forgiveness. It was a major theme of his message. A major point was that God will not forgive us if we cannot learn to forgive others. Expecting forgiveness from God when being not willing to forgive others is a hypocritical stance.
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.