Certain rights are guaranteed in this country—freedom of religion, the right to assemble and freedom of speech, for example. But a storm is brewing today that threatens to blow away those rights. We are experiencing “cancel culture.”
In a cancel culture, you have the right to say what you believe, but most people keep their mouths shut because an intolerant mob will attack you if you say something they disagree with. The mob determines how everyone should think.
British author J.K. Rowling is the latest example of a “canceled” celebrity. Even though she’s considered leftist in her views, she recently dared to defy the official code of political correctness. She refused to agree with the statement “Trans women are women” because she feels men who undergo sex-change operations or take hormones don’t share the same life experiences of women who are born female and live as women. For this, the transgender community hurled every nasty word in the book at Rowling when they attacked her on Twitter.
This form of intolerance isn’t new. Remember King Nebuchadnezzar? He was the granddaddy of all thought control. He demanded that everyone in his kingdom bow to his golden idol. But Daniel’s three brave friends—Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego—refused to submit. The king threw them in his overheated furnace, but the three Hebrew boys miraculously emerged from the fire without even the smell of smoke.
Today a growing group of university professors, liberal journalists, Hollywood elites, government leaders and tech CEOs have created a new idol. They hate Christianity because of its moral boundaries. They reject the idea of an all-powerful God, and they want to replace Him with the all-powerful state.
The heat has been turned up in Nebuchadnezzar’s oven. You will be tempted to keep your mouth shut because the intolerant mob will attack you if you talk about your faith (which they consider “narrow minded”) or your moral values (which they say are “hateful”).
This shouldn’t surprise us. Paul told Timothy: “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12, NASB).
I’ve noticed there are certain topics that always trigger the mob. If you say these six things on social media, in workplace conversations or even in a sermon, you may be shamed, reported to the “thought police” or even fired:
God created the world. Nobody on an American university campus today is allowed to question the official doctrine of evolution. Scoffers will cancel you if you believe in the fairy tale of a wise Creator.
Marriage was created for one man and one woman. If you don’t believe God sanctions gay marriage, you will be labeled homophobic. Never mind if I love gay people as individuals. If I don’t promote the gay lifestyle, I will be discredited.
Sex is intended for marriage. When I was a kid, most families on TV shows had a mother, a father and children. But the culture manipulators changed all that—and HBO and other media made gratuitous sex the norm. We went from Father Knows Best to Californication in 50 years.
Abortion is the killing of an unborn child. When African American pro-life activist Alveda King reminds people that Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger promoted abortion to reduce the Black population, her comments are ignored. Today, “Black lives matter” doesn’t apply to Black babies.
There are only two genders. Even though we are daily reminded to believe in science when it comes to COVID-19 masks, science is thrown out the window when it comes to biology. Today, we are expected to applaud when a person announces he is a she, or she is a he, or when someone “feels” they have no gender at all.
Jesus Christ is Lord. This phrase got many Christians killed in the first century. Nero couldn’t tolerate Christians because they wouldn’t bow down to him. Yet in the face of persecution, the early apostles said, “For we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).
Don’t bow to the idol. Ask God to give you a stronger spine so you can stand straight when cancel culture pressures you to conform.
J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years and now serves as contributing editor. He directs The Mordecai Project (themordecaiproject.org), an international ministry that protects women and girls from gender-based violence. His latest book is Set My Heart on Fire (Charisma House).
This article was excerpted from the October issue of Charisma magazine. If you don’t subscribe to Charisma, click here to get every issue delivered to your mailbox. During this time of change, your subscription is a vote of confidence for the kind of Spirit-filled content we offer. In the same way you would support a ministry with a donation, subscribing is your way to support Charisma. Also, we encourage you to give gift subscriptions at shop.charismamag.com, and share our articles on social media.