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Ep. 312 A Cancel Culture Manipulates Everyone to See Things as They Do

Ep. 312 A Cancel Culture Manipulates Everyone to See Things As They Do

Shows Main Idea – The cancel culture is a leaderless mob of like-minded activists who use manipulative tactics to browbeat everyone else into conforming to their dictates. Because there is no leader, it makes it hard to push against them. It’s an idea, worldview, presupposition, or concept that anyone may use to attack those who are not like them. Understanding this culture is imperative, and knowing how to combat it is essential.

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Show Notes

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What Is It?

After a term becomes ubiquitous, there is a temptation to map that term over anything that looks like the original intent of the term. We have many illustrations of this, e.g., Kleenex or abuse.

  • Every toxic person is not part of the cancel culture.
  • Every person who disagrees with you is not part of the cancel culture.

The most precise way to think about the cancel culture is to understand it according to what is happening in our culture, i.e., Mr. Potato Head, Dr. Seuss, Aunt Jamima, Uncle Ben, Gina Carrano, Goya Beans, statues, monuments, renaming of high schools, etc.

  • Though the cancel culture has many clones and look-alikes, it’s a specific, horrific thing that is happening to society, writ large. It’s a leaderless phenomenon attempting to socially engineer society into a very specific kind of utopian groupthink. The real cancel culture is progressive in their politics, critical race theorists, and accents on immutable characteristics, specifically race.

What It Is Not

Ministries canceling someone is not precisely the cancel culture, though it iterates similarly.

  • There are authoritarian, toxic environments that demand lockstep allegiance or they will “cancel” you.
    • Of course, it would be accurate to suggest that in their smallish world, there is a cancel culture.
      • Historically, we’ve called that an authoritarian, toxic environment, not a cancel culture.
  • Churches that discipline their members biblically are not the cancel culture.
    • Even if they discipline a person unbiblically, it’s not the cancel culture.
  • Friends who “unfriend” others are not—necessarily—part of the cancel culture.

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Interpretive Miscues

There is a danger in putting every fracture in a relationship in the bucket of the cancel culture.

  • You might misinterpret what is happening in actuality.
  • In worst-case situations, you might take on the role of a victim of the cancel culture, which will only complicate whatever happened to you.
    • E.g., one person from IABC blocking me from a social media account.
    • E.g., a BCC leader no longer associating with me because of something I said.
    • E.g., a national leader separating from me because I spoke out against MacArthur.

The cancel culture is a culture that tries to manipulate you into conforming to their beliefs, and they will not tolerate alternate opinions. But every person or organization that separates from you is not the cancel culture.

Call to Action

  1. If someone unfriends you or a culture cancels you, the first thing you want to do is self-assess (Matthew 7:3-5).
    1. Do they have a point?
    2. Are they right—even in a small way?
    3. What can you do to change if you need to change?
    4. What can you learn from the interaction?
  2. Are you tempted to take on the role of a victim? Do not do this.
    1. You may hurt for a season, but if you don’t snap out of it, you will don the mantel of a victim and turn into a bitter soul who will defile others.
  3. Are you tempted to give up your autonomy?
    1. There is a temptation to conform to someone’s dictates when they are wrong—assuming they are.
    2. If your ambition, reputation, or fear of others’ opinions manage how you think, you will (1) lose your agency, (2) become less than what God intends you to be, and (3) sabotage the power that could have been in your message.
  4. Christian counselors, bloggers, ministers do this regularly.
    1. They “suck up” to the organization, group, ministry, or individual, hoping they will receive a bump up the ladder.
    2. Thus, they don’t cause waves, conform to the standard, and never speak out when they see something wrong.
    3. Their selfish ambition or fear is so thick and blinding that they are willing to “sell their souls” for ministry profit, whether it’s reputation, money, fame, power, or all four.
  5. Do not do that.
    1. Settle for less acceptance and advancement if it means maintaining your integrity.
    2. Choose to ride outside the camp (Hebrews 13:13) if the “cost of fellowship” compromises the things you believe God is teaching you and wants you to teach others.
      1. Of course, vet your perspectives with competent friends, but if you know what you know to be true and received affirmation in the proper community, do not shrink its efficacy because you want to be part of the group.

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