In my day, cancelled was something that happened to a postage stamp or a sitcom with poor ratings. Such is no longer the case. The “Cancel culture” it seems, entered the nation’s collective consciousness some say around 2017, after the idea of “canceling” celebrities for problematic actions or statements became popular. According to Mirriam Webster, to cancel someone (usually a celebrity or other well-known figure) means to stop giving support to that person…The reason for cancellation can vary, but it usually is due to the person in question having expressed an objectionable opinion, or having conducted themselves in a way that is unacceptable, so that continuing to patronize that person’s work leaves a bitter taste.
Mike Lindell, the founder of My Pillow was recently called a “snake oil salesman” during an interview on CNN with anchor Anderson Cooper. Lindell told my friend Todd Starnes that he has “been ambushed before” and is “very used to it.” He said he was under the impression that he was going on Cooper’s show to talk about the developments in the race for a COVID-19 cure, but was sandbagged with a “23-minute attack.” Lindell continued, “They’re not going to ‘cancel culture’ me. “I’m not going to ever change what I believe in,” God bless you My Pillow guy!
Jim Denison wrote recently in The Christian Post, “Cancel culture is rooted in the postmodern assertion that all truth claims are individual and subjective. Each of us interprets our experiences of the world in ways that are unique to us. As a result, we are told, there can be no such thing as “objective” truth. Conventional wisdom therefore claims that there is only “your truth” and “my truth.” (Of course, to deny objective truth is to make an objective truth claim.) As Ravi Zacharias noted, “With no fact as a referent, what is normative is purely a matter of preference.” Tolerance is therefore the great value of our society. We are told that we must tolerate and affirm any behavior that does not harm others. However, our “tolerant” culture is highly intolerant of anyone it perceives to be intolerant. Cancel culture is just the latest expression of this contradiction.
Jesus reminded his followers, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” Paul added his warning: “All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” It was Francis Chan I believe who
said, “Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers.” I’ve heard it said, if the Devil isn’t mad at you, you are probably doing something wrong!
I read years ago that when the president of Gordon College, R. Judson Carlberg, was driving along the ocean near his home in Massachusetts when he saw two stately 17th-century sailing ships. They were replicas that were built for a movie being filmed nearby. “The breeze was stiff,” Carlberg reported, “straining the rigging and the crews. Yet each ship stayed the course and didn’t capsize.” He explained the secret of their stability. “Beneath the waterline each had a deep, heavy keel—a part you don’t see.” The keel was essential for keeping the vessel steady in rough weather. What is it that holds us steady when fierce winds are blowing across life’s sea? What keeps us from capsizing when we are under stress and tension? What enables us to sail on, despite the strain? It’s the stabilizing keel of faith in our sovereign God. It’s our unseen relationship with Christ.
As He commanded the wind and the waves on the Sea of Galilee, He also controls the storms and squalls of life that threaten to sink us or drive us off course. Our faith in Christ is an “anchor of the soul” If the world seems to be spinning out of control and just when you get one thing accomplished another springs to the forefront of your life, it’s good to have an anchor! The good news is that no one can cancel the truth, no one can cancel the power of God and no one can cancel word of God. Here was the secret to David’s courage: “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken” Each of us can do the same.
The cancel culture is unreasonable and for that matter out of control. Tony Perkins writes, “As Americans, we can’t afford to be passive about this leftist revolutionary agenda… There is no appeasement. There is only courage or surrender. And only one will guarantee that our country and freedom survive!” It occurs to me that those who follow in our footsteps are counting on each of us to stand and faithful as Christians and Americans. You cannot cancel the greatness of America and you sure can’t cancel Jesus! Just ask the Devil… he tried that once!
This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper
Tim Throckmorton is the Midwest Director of Ministry for the Family Research Council. He can be reached at 740-935-1406