Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame was suspended from that show for remarks he made that were considered homophobic by the LBGTQ community. Some consider him to be the first one canceled by the cancel culture. He has written a book, “Uncanceled: Finding Meaning and Peace in a Culture of Accusations, Shame, and Condemnation. In this book he’s wishing that the cancel culture “sinners” would quit “accusing each other.” To Robertson it’s sinners canceling sinners.
One might respond, isn’t this exactly what Robertson does when he talks about the condemnation of sinners? Isn’t he accusing others of sin? Just to be clear, Robertson isn’t calling for anyone to be silenced or canceled. He’s calling on fellow sinners to come to Jesus for forgiveness. He’ll be the first to admit that he was a vile sinner too. When Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost, he wasn’t being self-righteous or judgmental. He was stating facts that his audience desperately needed to hear in order to repent and be saved.
It has become common to “cancel” someone who won’t conform or approve of behaviors they believe are wrong. Bullying by threats of unfriending or cutting someone off are painful to experience. This is a culture where flaunting sin is common and opposing sin is seen as hate. Unfortunately, the tactic works and many who claim to be Christians imagine themselves as being tolerant when they openly endorse false beliefs and evil behaviors. It’s one thing to be loving and compassionate, kind and respectable, but quite another to approve and enable. After listing sinful behaviors in Romans 1, Paul ends with “they also approve of those who practice them” (vs. 32).
Jesus began His ministry with, “’The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe” (Mark 1:15)! He warned, “…unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:3). He was compassionate to the sinful woman at the well yet confronted her with the truth of her sin (John 4:18).
In the end, Jesus was canceled. He challenged many common practices and traditions of His culture. They hated Him for it. They hated Him to death – the ultimate cancelation. But God uncanceled Him. And He promises to uncancel us as well.