Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. - Romans 13:1-7 (ESV)
The world of American politics is a dirty, corrupt game. Instead of staking a claim to a position and the trying to earn support for that position we see political sides devolve into personal attacks on the other side instead of showing why your side is superior. The key to winning appears to be who can create the best false narrative that can demonize the opponent into submission. Quick example would be the notion that Al Gore in 2000 had an issue with truth telling. The false narrative that was created was that he claimed to have invented the Internet and that the book Love Story was based on his marriage. It turns out that Gore did back the initial funding for the Arpanet, which would become the Internet. As for Love Story, the author confirmed that the characters in the story were loosely based upon the Gores. These truths did not matter in the election as the narrative held. With the advent of 24-hour opinion news, the narrative is hammered into our collective brain until we accepted it is fact.
Somewhere around 2017 the term cancel culture made its way into the mainstream. Some folks on the right were becoming upset that people held them to account for things they said in the past. So a conservative speaker would find themselves canceled from a speaking engagement on a college campus because had a history of making their living by being racist and suddenly they were "victims" of this made-up nonsense of a cancel culture. I say nonsense because that is what it is. The notion that people should be held to account for their words is not novel. Neither is the art of "canceling" someone for those words. In 2003 there was a country music group known as the Dixie Chicks who said they were embarrassed to have President Bush as a Texas native because of the impending Iraq War. The problem was that country music fans were mostly right wing politically and they supported the war and the Republican president. The Chicks soon found themselves canceled with great impunity as radio stations refused to play their music. No one cried cancel culture because that misses the point. America is great because the Dixie Chicks can say what they want and people can respond as they feel. To the credit of President Bush he said at the time that freedom is a two way street and they could say whatever they wanted to. Not so much today as the battle for ideas has been turned over to clever catch phrases instead of the truth. There is no such thing as cancel culture. There is the same old dynamic that has always existed - your words matter. The political forces on the right however still lean on the false narrative like a crutch because it is always easier to smear your opponent that debate them and now the NAR dominionist church has jumped on the victimized bandwagon crying woe is me! Just perusing Charisma News today, I saw three main articles devoted to embracing the cancel culture false narrative. One of them is linked above. This is from Shane Idleman; who is a rabid NAR dominionist. Idleman likens this cancel culture false narrative to a virus infecting the church. Let us reason together once more.
"By now, most know what cancel culture is: Something you did in your past will be used to silence, stop and "cancel" you. Whether it's Mike Lindell, whose pillow company lost many retailers after he publicly questioned the election, or Goya Foods, who upset people when they thanked former President Trump, the cancel culture doesn't tolerate opposing views. So much for being tolerant. Do you see the irony? The cancel culture protects Cuties on Netflix and loves Cardi B lyrics, but its proponents can't stand Bible verses, worship songs or views that oppose them. Dr. Seuss is bad; Dumbo is a racist, and Speedy Gonzales offends. Granted, things from the past may need to be changed from time to time, but if you focus on children's books and cartoon characters and say nothing against child porn, human trafficking, little kids being intentionally confused about their gender or the killing of innocent children in the womb, you've lost all credibility." - Shane Idleman
This is what happens when someone, even an alleged pastor, watches too much propaganda disguised as news. As already outlined, there is no such thing as cancel culture. It is a false narrative used politically to bludgeon your opponent with false accusations. Even Shane's definition here makes no sense. Should we not be accountable for what we have said or done in the past? Let's go through his laundry list of complaints. Mike Lindell is the Loony Tunes My Pillow guy. The issue was not that he publicly questioned the election. It is that he lied repeatedly about the election. He lied about other US companies, destroying their reputation and business, all for his political goals. In response, some retailers walked away from him because they did not want to be in business with such a reprehensible human being. Last time I checked that was their right as companies within our capitalistic society. He was not being canceled - he was being held to account for his lies. The president of Goya Foods did not merely thank the president Shane. He used his public platform to attack our democracy by asserting that Trump was still president after it was proven over and over again that he was not. This is what political forces do though. They lie about what other people said or did and the scream cancel culture when no one is being canceled. They are just being held to account for things they said. The question is why a pastor would engage in the same political lies? Why state that it is about opposing views while misrepresenting what was actually said? And then you will preach the Gospel? From the same lying mouth? Why would anyone believe you about Jesus if you are willing to lie about the My Pillow huckster or Goya Foods? No one canceled Dr. Suess - the publisher decided on his own that six books contained racist images and would no longer be published. The same goes for Dumbo but let's pause there to examine the ridiculous stupidity of this false narrative. The leader of a group in the original Dumbo tale was named Jim Crow! The same name that was used for segregation laws in this country! Is Shane suggesting that we should leave that as is? Talk about losing all credibility.
"I am not especially surprised by the actions of the world; it is simply being true to its fallen nature. Rather, it's the actions of the so-called church that are disturbing. In 2020, the cancel culture in the church became a reality for me. I was scheduled to speak at a church in Palos Verdes, California, but when the assistant pastor found out that my political views differed from his, he complained to the elders, and just like that, I was canceled--never mind the fact that my message didn't even touch on politics. Listen to it and let me know if a church should cancel this type of message or if it's exactly what we need to hear. I received another surprise in May 2020. I had been corresponding with Pastor Jack Hibbs about opening our church on May 31. Once we decided to open, I was shocked by how many pastors came against us. I even shared with one prominent pastor in my area how happy I was when Pastor John MacArthur and the elders at Grace Community Church also opened. To my utter dismay, he wasn't happy at all. By this time, the shenanigans and the agendas of many political leaders were becoming apparent). We not only had a legitimate virus to deal with but agendas and ulterior motives working against us as well. Would churches capitulate and use Romans 13 out of context, or would they meet to fast, pray and contend for the truth? Would they be cowards or watchmen? Around this time, our local newspaper also canceled my articles, which had been featured for over a decade. Many liberal Christians no doubt complained and swayed the editor. Facebook also shadow banned me, causing our audience to drop from a quarter-million people per month to around ten thousand. Apparently, my views didn't fit their narratives. They, along with YouTube, also banned my video on vaccines and immunity and removed some of my sermons." - Shane Idleman