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Where Is Cancel Culture Headed?

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Our society is increasingly obsessed with “canceling” public figures or organizations whose actions, writings, or opinions are considered objectionable and out-of-step with popular, progressive sentiments. Whether the tactic is product boycotts, banning books from Amazon, or forced closings of social media accounts, the goal of this “cancel culture” is to prevent the voicing of unpopular thoughts or ideas. Today, students “cancel” faculty and university presidents they do not agree with. Nations, cities, and textbooks cancel historical figures or historical events that are considered not politically correct. Social media cancels people whose ideas or comments can be even remotely interpreted as offensive. When offenders attempt to clarify the meaning of their comments, the cancel culture often refuses to acknowledge these attempts. All human beings make mistakes and say wrong and unacceptable things, but where is this novel and extreme movement headed?

Cancel-culture attitude normally targets those expressing support for a traditional, Judeo-Christian value. Of course, the motivation to put down, silence, or eliminate enemies and competitors (ideological or otherwise) through war or other means is not new. Yet, as society moves further away from traditional values, we see a culture that is increasingly hateful of anything resembling the morals, standards, and worldview of the Bible. Why is this happening?

Scripture reveals that Satan the devil is the “god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and the one who “works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). Jesus taught that those who love evil will automatically hate the good (John 3:20–21)! As Satan’s time as the ruler of this world runs out, his anger will become more obvious (1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:12). Ultimately, if Satan could have his way, he would convince the peoples of this world to “cancel” God Himself. We must avoid being swept up in the hate-filled ideas and feelings of modern cancel culture. For more on this timely topic, be sure to read our short commentary “Are You a Hater?