How Cancel Culture Impacts our Desire to Share the Gospel
If you are reading this blog, you probably have an itching sensation to share the word of God. There is just a fire of excitement that keeps building up inside of you, but the flame gets put out every time you try to share the gospel. Instead, there is a group of people splashing water at your flickering flame, therefore making it intimidating to share what the Holy Spirit put inside of you.
The rise of cancel culture has hit an all-time high and now we have found ourselves living in a cancel culture society. But what does this mean and how do you not let it affect your desire to share the word of God?
Well, let’s talk about it.
What is cancel culture?
Let’s begin by really understanding what cancel culture is. Merriam-Webster defines cancel culture as the practice or tendency of engaging in mass canceling as a way of expressing disapproval and exerting social pressure. Wow, that is intense.
Cancel culture is a tricky subject because it’s intended to bring light to things that are bad or morally wrong, but that is not always the case. Most times, we find that cancel culture is used to shoot down an individual’s ideas or beliefs, good or bad, without a second thought.
Cancel culture is quick to judge, fast to anger, immediate to respond, and instant to shut down. With social media at the forefront, the action of canceling becomes more prominent. It is easy to find something to cancel when the entire world full of numerous thoughts, cultures, religions, and personalities are on public online platforms.
Just as canceling pressures those who it is targeting, it also pressures bystanders who do not want to stray away from the popular opinion or fear being canceled themselves. So instead, they join the cancel culture.
How does cancel culture affect me as a Christian?
As Christians, we are called to share the gospel. We desire to bring people to know Christ and share publicly who Jesus is. But some people do not share the same beliefs or disagree with Christianity. This puts sharing the gospel in a vulnerable position as a target for cancel culture to shoot at.
Let’s look at a situation.
You find yourself at a social gathering where you are one of the only Christians present. You see this as an opportunity to share the gospel with a group of people who are majority non-believers. As you share your testimony of who Christ is and what He has done for you, the group quickly shuts down the conversation and does not want anything to do with it.
Bystanders in the group who might have been interested in learning about the gospel quickly conform to the popular opinion and shut down what you were sharing. It becomes a hostile and intimidating conversation, so you let it go and change the subject. You received a negative reaction that you did not expect, and it likely changed your desire to share Christ – both for the moment and perhaps for the foreseeable future.
How do I respond and not let cancel culture affect my desire?
In sticky situations like the one above, it is easy to retreat from the situation and avoid hostility. Let’s face it, nobody wants to take the punches if they don’t have to, but that is not what we are called to do. Instead, we should persevere through the hostility, remember the reward is greater than the battle, and engage with grace.
Persevere through the hostility.
Just as Jesus and many of those who followed Him have been shamed and judged, the Bible makes it clear we should expect the same (see John 15:18). No, this doesn’t mean it is always fun, but it is reality.
In Psalms 25:19-20, David cried out to the Lord, “See how numerous are my enemies and how fiercely they hate me! Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.”
Like David, we must take refuge in God. Don’t let the fear of hostility and canceling stop you from sharing the gospel. The more you publicly share the word, the more vulnerable you are to experience cancel culture. Instead of letting it wither your desire, use it as a reminder that you are doing something right!
Remember the reward is greater than the battle.
Romans 8:18 says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
Staying firm in Christ and sharing the word with non-believers – even if it grabs the attention of cancelers – is far more rewarding than not sharing the gospel and not getting the attention of someone who needs to hear what Christ did for them. You never know when a canceler will become a believer because you stayed firm and shared the gospel.
Keep in mind that people who put down Christianity or cancel it are obstacles to a greater thing, sharing eternal life. There is always an end to an obstacle.
Engage with grace.
Although Christ was publicly shamed for sharing the gospel, He always shared the gospel with grace. Colossians 4:6 says, “let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Start each day with a prayer, that as you encounter people and share the gospel, you are given the grace, wisdom, and the right words during those conversations. Avoid using hostility toward those who disagree with you. Instead, stay true to the word, and let those who oppose know that you are available to them when they decide they are ready to know more about the gospel.
Do not pressure or counter-argue canceling with more canceling, instead use one or more of the tips we offer in what to do when someone says “no” to the gospel.
Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
You share the gospel to help bring people in contact with Christ. Don’t do the same things as the cancel society, instead lift people up and persevere for a purpose greater than yourself, a purpose for eternity.
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