One thing blatantly obvious in the current environment of cancel culture is an absence of grace, the one key thing that sets Christianity apart, and as we sing Amazing Grace, what’s truly amazing is that there isn’t more grace.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
– Ephesians 2:8-9
Grace as translated in the Bible comes from two different words, according to Centerpoint Church. The first is Chesed, a Hebrew word meaning being delivered from enemies and affliction. The second is Charis, which according to Strong’s Greek means kindness, a favor, or a blessing brought to humankind by Jesus. In other words, grace is God’s salvation. The act of God freely bestowing His blessing on humankind.
Grace is not something we can earn. It is God’s unconditional love given to someone, even to someone who does not deserve it due to sin.
“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.”
As Christians, we are to be imagers of Christ. In that way, just as God shows his love to us through grace, in turn, we are to show love to others by offering them grace.
Cancel culture is a blatant example of the lack of forgiveness and grace in current society. But to receive God’s grace, we can only be worthy if we show grace to others.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
“But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
And forgiveness isn’t just one strike and you’re out. It’s not even three strikes and you’re out. Jesus said:
“Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’
Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.'”
Compare that to cancel culture where with one mistake, someone is banished for life, their career is ruined, with no possibility of forgiveness. Even criminals in our justice system have the possibility of parole. Even that level of grace does not exist in the cancel culture mindset we see today. Instead, what we see is self-righteousness, groupthink and intolerance of diverse opinions. We even see incidences where attempts are made to vilify others by going so far as to violate the eighth commandment which proclaims, ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.’
Twenty-five years ago, Philip Yancey, 71, wrote what has become the 17th most influential Christian book among Evangelicals, titled: What’s So Amazing About Grace?
Recently, Yancey discussed the state of grace in Christianity and America today, during an interview with Religious News Service. Yancey recognized not only the ‘ungrace’ of cancel culture, but also among Christian denominations and churches as well.
“You know, I coined the word ‘ungrace’ in the book,” Yancey said. “And it seems to me ‘ungrace’ is always present, it just takes different forms.”
“We’re still living in that kind of fear-based environment,” Yancey continued. “It seems to me that’s kind of a fatal flaw of our [Christian] movement.”
“I go back to that beautiful discourse in John Chapters 13 to 17, which is Jesus’ last time with his disciples,” Yancey adds. “He washed their feet. And he said to them, this is your stance in the world. You’re a servant, you’re not the leaders. Then he said, you should be known by your love. And you should be known by your unity. Those three things.”
“Let’s remember why we are here,” Yancey concluded. “We love people, we serve and we show them why God’s way is better. Let’s concentrate on that rather than tearing people down or rejecting them or denigrating them in some way.”