Cancel Culture is Contrary to Christianity

Daily Reading: (John 8:3-6):

“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.”  

Today we’ll find that cancel culture is nothing new and it is actually an ancient practice, at its core is contrary to the Spirit of Jesus.

So, what is cancel culture? Webster’s dictionary defines it as: the practice or tendency of engaging in mass canceling as a way of expressing disapproval and exerting social pressure.[1]  In Scripture we will see the ancient practice of engaging in an attempt of mass canceling (someone) by exerting social pressure to do so in John chapter 8.

“At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.” (John 8:2-4).

Now if there ever was a Biblical moment where someone has been publicly shamed with the intention of permanently canceling someone else this is that moment. Did this woman do something wrong? Absolutely! Should her entire life be over because of it? The crowds think so.

Are things that are called out publicly today about what others have said or done in the past wrong too? Yes! In the same way, the women caught in adultery was also guilty.

“In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” The question for us should be how should we respond as well?

“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7b). Jesus uses the Law as it’s intended purpose, to expose sin, to show us up that none of us in ourselves was righteous. 

Jesus essentially says, “go ahead, you self-righteous religious leaders and cast the guilty verdict by stoning her if you yourself aren’t guilty of violating the Law too.”

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

The word “condemnation” in the original Greek means “condemning sentence”. That is exactly what the cancel culture brings- they are after something they can condemn someone else with.

How different would it look like if our desire when someone has messed up would be that they move forward as a changed repentant person of the wrong they did, instead of trying to oversee their destruction? Jesus has a message to the people who just witnessed cancel culture 2,000 years ago” “When Jesus spoke again to the people (the very same people), He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus is the Light that brings the lost out of darkness (John 8:12). 

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). The only reason we are not condemned is that we are in Christ Jesus. Jesus is the only requirement to remove our condemnation. So, Romans 8:1 only means something, when you have done wrong, because that is when the gift of no condemnation matters to you when you should be condemned. God’s desire is for us to not live a lifestyle of sin, “go now and leave your life of sin” The power to do this comes when you first receive the gift of no condemnation.

The only way for people to go and sin no more, wouldn’t this be what you want cancel culture? The only way for people to be empowered in their life, to walk in peace, joy and faith, and to live the abundant life that Jesus came to give us is to understand that there is now no condemnation in Christ. When we understand that God does not condemn us in Christ, it allows us to stop condemning ourselves. And then when we understand that God does not condemn us in Christ, we will stop condemning others.


[1] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cancel%20culture

What is the fear of God?

What is the Fear of God?

Daily Reading: (1 Peter 2:17):

“Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.”

The phrase “fear of God” is found only 10 times in the Bible. 8 in the Old Testament and 2 in the New. 80% is Old Testament Law. When you go with just “fear God” instead of “fear of God”, that phrase is found a total of 21 times. 16 times it is in the Old Testament 5 times in the New. There are some other derivatives such as “fear Him” but they all are talking about fearing God. Is this something that believers should do?

In our verse from 1 Peter 2:17 in the context around this verse, Peter is elevating the respect, the awe, we are to have toward God. He uses the Greek word (phobeō)- which can mean to reverence, venerate.

What is the fear of God for New Testament believers? It is revering and not being afraid of God but worshipping Him (1 Peter 2:17).

How do I know that for sure? Because Jesus said so. What did Jesus say when He was tempted by Satan? Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only” (Matthew 4:10).

Unless you are studying a side-by-side comparison with what Jesus said compared to the verse He just quoted, you would miss the word change. Jesus made a New Covenant change.“ Fear the Lord your God, serve Him only,” is the text He quoted in Deuteronomy 6:13a.

When we worship the Lord, we are really, “fearing the Lord.” We are not afraid of God, it is just that our worship is born out of reverence and awe of God. This is what Peter was saying all along. 

Here is another common mistake placed on believers: “fear the wrath of God.” Why? There is no condemnation for you in Christ. Fear causes you to run and hide. When you did something bad when you did you run to tell your parents the bad thing that you did? Probably not, but that is what you should have done, and that is what I am trying to teach my kids. Like Adam in the Eve in the Garden they hide from God. They were afraid. The devil wants you to fear God, so you won’t receive from God.

Jesus died on the cross to reconcile man to God and so that we might live free from the fear of punishment. According to John the beloved disciple of Jesus Christ, it is wrong to fear God’s judgments (1 John 4:15-19). If we fear God’s judgments it means we don’t understand His love!

“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear (awe): For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28-29).

We finally have the fear of God translated correctly. The fear of God that the self-righteous have is that God will judge them for not being righteous enough. The fear of God that the Christ-righteous have is awe and reverence that God has qualified them to share in the Kingdom. It is amazing that God is on our side and we therefore cannot be shaken or moved and our awesome God will judge our enemies with fire!

One last verse from the Old Testament: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).

I picked this verse because in the New Testament fear was written in the Greek, so earlier we had a Greek word used (phobeō). Now since we are in the Old Testament in Proverbs, it isn’t written in Greek but in Hebrew.  The Hebrew word for fear is “yir’â”: respect, reverence, piety, revered.

Time spent marveling in how awesome God is (worship), is the beginning of wisdom. If you want to be wise, spend time with God (Proverbs 9:10). The “fear of the Lord” in the new covenant of grace is about honoring, worshipping, and reverencing God our Father through spending time receiving from Him.

Worship Him and all your fears will fade away in the light of His glory and grace. “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15 NKJV).