Culture,  Current Events,  Mathew Backholer

Cancel Culture and Faith: Is Woke Broke?

Have you ever said or written anything offensive? Was it honestly terrible, toxic and bigoted? Or was it simply an opinion, a different perspective or an inconvenient fact? Just because someone says they’re offended doesn’t mean they’re right. Feelings don’t define truth. However, none of us is perfect, and we all make mistakes and need forgiveness. The disciple James wrote: ‘We all stumble in many things’ (James 3:2). But on the other hand, “You cannot please everybody all the time,” as the old saying declares.

Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” Jesus replied, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more”

– John 8:10-11

In recent years, cancel culture has emerged as a weapon to destroy people. It’s the antithesis of Christian forgiveness. Followers of this new woke ideology have destroyed lives and careers, just because people have exercised their right to freedom of speech. Shouldn’t truth speak to power? Didn’t the Bible’s prophets announce inconvenient truths to the elite?

In the woke movement, dissenters are treated like heretics, whose careers need to be symbolically burnt at the stake. The divisive tone of wokeness is tearing society apart. Jesus taught reconciliation, not cancelling. He preached the power of repentance and forgiveness.

When you pick up a stone to cancel someone and join the mob, ask yourself if Jesus would join you?

But the woke are not seeking reconciliation. The new thought police have dragged up things people have said, written or acted, from twenty years ago! It’s the new inquisition. This has not been undertaken in the name of equality, balance or even justice, but for being on the apparent wrong side of the fence to the inquisitors. It may be as simple as an opposing view, or a cherished religious belief, one which our forefathers held dear and which is soundly biblical and unchanging, which we also adhere to, or which science and DNA confirm.

Wokeness does not promote reconciliation, but division

Some celebrities, sports personalities, leaders of corporations, authors, actors, godly Christian leaders, or others may have made a mistake in the past, or present, but is it right to try and ruin their future? Some have been suspended from work for a few weeks, whilst others have been fired or their contracts cancelled, whilst the woke have boycotted businesses in the name of cancel culture which represents selective forgiveness.

Jesus never joined the mob to destroy others

The woke thought police see the sawdust in another’s eye, but not the plank in their own. We all suffer from this. How many times has someone accused another of a certain offence, only to be found guilty of the same thing! We mustn’t create a society where only those who hold the same views as us are considered perfect and free from blame, but all outside of our groupthink are condemned (forgiveness for us, judgment for you).

Jesus said, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish”

– Luke 13:2-5

There was a woman caught in adultery by the Scribes and Pharisees. They brought her to Jesus, yet not the man, who was equally guilty of sin. They wanted Jesus to judge and condemn her to death based on Moses’ Law; but after some time He said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first” (John 8:7). Those who heard were convicted by their own conscience, knowing they had all failed in the past and the oldest began to leave first until no one was left. Jesus acknowledged her sin of adultery, but told her, “go and sin no more.”

Jesus did not stone, cancel or blacklist her. He offered her repentance, forgiveness and a fresh start

Jesus Christ, the Son of God does not condemn humanity; then why should society, in the name of political correctness, woke politics and cancel culture ruin people’s lives for an offence they may, or may not have committed? Woke is broke, because it is not biblically sound, but comes from the pit. It is not concerned about forgiveness and love, but anger and hatred. It is divisive in nature.

Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved”

– John 3:16-17

The Psalmist wrote: ‘As far as the east is from the west, so far has God removed our transgressions from us’ (Psalm 103:12). We should extend the gracious hand of forgiveness to others because God does this for us. After all, there goes me bar the grace of God. If we presume to judge another, then with the measure we use, it will be measured back to us (Matthew 7:1-2). That is a stark warning for us all.

The disciples were flawed but never cancelled by Jesus

Peter denied the Lord Jesus, whilst Thomas doubted His resurrection and Saul (later known as Paul) persecuted His followers even unto death! Yet all were forgiven and used to advance the Kingdom of God. Imagine if the early Church had cancelled them! In addition, the Church did not remind them of their past wrongs.

Churches are hospitals; but to help those who are sick, we must be free to identify sin and preach the healing hope of repentance

It is a good job that God is not woke; He will not cancel us for our confessed and forsaken sins! All people need to be forgiven, they need the right to grow, to make their mistakes and be forgiven.

Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus replied, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven”

– Matthew 18:21-22

James wrote: ‘Mercy triumphs over judgment’ (James 2:13). Jesus said, “Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them” (Matthew 7:12). We are told ‘to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. For we ourselves were once also foolish…living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another’ (Titus 3:2-3).

Do not speak evil of one another

James wrote: ‘Do not speak evil of one another, brethren’ (James 4:11), whilst the apostle Paul set a higher standard in that love ‘thinks no evil’ (1 Corinthians 13:5). God does not look on the outward appearance and judge, but He is interested in the heart which should be entirely given over to Him.

By Mathew Backholer. Find out about Mathew’s books here.