You may not be a Christian, and may want to say “I’m not canceling them in the name of Jesus,” and that’s fine. If you want to read this just to know what Christianity is REALLY about, then read on.
However, if you are a Christian, I just want you to know that this article is going to pull from some Bible verses; and I encourage you to grab yours and read the entire passage for context and to check if I am interpreting it correctly.
I’ve heard a lot said about “Cancel culture” on the internet and in the media lately. This goes deep. All the way to “unforgiveness,” which was explicitly endorsed on The Breakfast Club by DJ Envee. DJ Envee has never claimed to be a Christian so I believe it would be wrong of me to hold him to a standard he does not claim to ascribe to. That is God’s job. However, without judging Christians, I want to remind Christians who echo these same sentiments that this is NOT consistent with the God we profess to serve.
Let me start by saying that both Kanye West, and Omarosa have professed to be Christian at one point or another. Which means they are both in the process of “working out their salvation” (Philippians 2:12). So, I believe everything I am about to say applies directly to them for this reason.
First of all, the main reason people are “canceling” these individuals is because they seem to apparently be aligning themselves with “racist” ideologies. They stood behind Trump at various points during this controversial presidency. Trump has committed some heinous acts (like endorsing the restraining of children in animal cages), and supported White nationalists/supremacists which directly threatens Blacks and non-White ethnic groups health, welfare and safety. So, the belief is that any Black person who supports him should lose all Black support and deserve Black ridicule and hatred.
I have to politely disagree with this sentiment, and here’s why:
There, but for the grace of God, go you and I. When judging someone else based on their thought processes, we are not only censoring and thought-policing, we are also making a firm statement that “I would never do a thing like that.” The Bible (and psychology) would say differently. The Bible clearly warns us against boasting about tomorrow when it says in James chapter 4:
14 ...you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
You don’t know what you’re going to do tomorrow. No matter how firm your conviction is today, you have no idea what you would do if you were in their positions. Not only that, but I become really uncomfortable with any Black person who participates in the American system (or any system where Blacks are mistreated solely based on their race), who turn around and demean other Black people based on the decisions they make within said system. We are all trying to make it out here. For more on my thoughts about this, you may read my post titled We Need Kanye West. In it I detail how every Black person in this system is just as guilty as Kanye is for propping up White supremacy.
As Christians, we should also question our swiftness to “cancel” other Christians. The Bible says we have all sinned (and continue to sin) against a Holy God. (Romans 3:23) It also commands us not to judge one another when it says in Matthew chapter 7:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Now, you may also say “I’m not judging them in the name of Christianity,” I’m judging them in the name of Blackness!
To that, I will say something now that will also indict myself:
It is unGodly to esteem your racial identity above your Christian identity.
It indicts me, because I have done that, and do it very often. However, the Bible tells us in Galatians 3:28 :
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Canceling Kanye West and Omarosa reminds me of how many evangelical Christians want to cancel LaCrae for doing song collaborations with some hard mainstream rappers (even though LaCrae never uses any foul language himself in these collaborations, and still raps about God).
The main reason I am writing this is because this morning I was reading Romans 14, and it really impressed on my heart how God does not want us (Christians) to go around judging one another based on superficial things like culture and preferences. Those things are highly irrelevant, and can impede God’s purposes of the Gospel being preached and His glory being made known.
The passages that had the biggest impact on me were:
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
When it says “stop passing judgement on one another” this passage is specifically talking about with regards to superficial cultural practices and preferences that are not explicitly condemned in scripture. Instead of this, the passage tells us that we should be doing things that promote the privilege of right standing with God of our Christian brothers and sisters. For example, this verse:
15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love.Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died.
Meaning, what is most important is that your brother or sister’s salvation be in tact. This passage speaks both to those who believe in a course of action and those who oppose it. Both are a matter of preference, but the only thing either of them should be concerned about should be the other person’s standing with God.
Many people who “cancel” these celebrities, have never once prayed for any of them. How can you have any feelings one way or the other about how someone else lives their life if you have never actively done anything to promote that person’s welfare in Christ...not even prayed for them!
If you want to know more of my thoughts on this, I made a video a while back about why I believe Christians should be praying for their favorite celebrities:
Now, I am not saying that we should only extend this grace to Christians. Even in the above video, I clearly state that we should pray for ANY celebrity we find ourselves worrying about. In other online posts I have spoken about praying for CEOs of companies that have a disproportional impact on society like Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.
It’s not about condemning anyone, or even judging anyone. It is about doing our Christian duty as described in Scripture. It is about living authentically as a true Christian. It is about knowing the Word of God, and living by it.