This is another one of those classic passages that we look towards when we’re trying talking about how to live with each other. And, again, as such, we might be prone to quickly move past it.
But it’s an interesting passage, especially in light of our current political and cultural climate.
Cancel Culture: "Cancel culture refers to the popular practice of withdrawing support for (canceling) public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive. Cancel culture is generally discussed as being performed on social media in the form of group shaming."
Cancel Culture is interesting because it requires very little of the one doing the cancelling.
It’s a rapid whipping up of a group of people when something aggrieves us.
In sharp contrast, however, we see that the gospel is in reverse.
It’s interesting the amount of work that the person who is offended has to do.
They’re the one that has to go meet with the person, and then explain how they’ve been offended
If the person doesn’t listen, then they have to go find two or three other people, reschedule a time to meet, and explain things again.
If they don’t listen the second time, then there’s a chance to listen to the whole church. Only then is the person cancelled.
Literally, the only responsibility of the person who has committed the sin is to listen.
It’s not even repent! It’s just listen. Maybe there’s a thought there that to really listen may be to take to heart, and we can question if someone does something repeatedly if they’re truly listening, but literally, it’s just “if they listen to you, then you’ve gained one."
THIS IS NOT SATISFYING.
And perhaps it’s not supposed to be, for us.
This is primarily about love.
All of the possible things we could be slighted for, according to Paul, can be boiled down to someone not loving their neighbor.
So why would we seek to jump to cancelling someone if we’re really trying to love them?
Instead, all of the work that we put in, all of the ways that we have to be vulnerable to help someone understand that they haven’t loved us, is one of the most loving things we can do.
I don’t see 2020 being a time where we going to have a bunch of love being spread. Instead, it’ll be vindictive, ugly, and driven towards cancelling others. And that’s something both sides do.
What if the most Christ like thing we can do (who gave all of himself in acts of love over brokenness) might be to reverse our own conviction and be willing to be vulnerable. To let someone know they hurt us not for the sake of vengeance, but for helping them love as well.