I just finished leading a four-week program at youth group on "cancel culture." While "canceling" has been around for a while in modern society (think TV shows, weather impacts to outdoor events, or even hitting the wrong button on your computer), it has unfortunately become more of a cultural phenomenon rather than a cautious, one-time action. In our world, we are quick to dismiss people we disagree with, and if we let those disagreements get the best of us, we may say or do things that contribute to people being destroyed or "canceled" from society. In my lessons, I focused on four different types of people we want to cancel, but instead are called to love. We are called to love those that aren't like us, those in need, those we envy, and those we want to hate. Why? Well, God started and completed "cancel culture" long ago.
In Colossians 2:13-15, the Apostle Paul writes, "When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." Paul reminds us that the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ completely canceled our sins and our obedience to laws that as humans, we will break. Written as a charge to the aftermath of our canceled sin, Paul says later in Colossians 3:2, "Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things."
God could have chosen to cancel His people when they disobeyed, but that's not the story or divine nature of God. God loves His people, and because of it, He sent his only Son to die on a cross for our sins so that we may one day be reunited with Him in eternity. God didn't cancel the person, He canceled the sin. When we are tempted to cancel people in our society, we are forgetting the canceling was already done. Setting our minds on things above, we can instead share the Good News (Gospel) with our brothers and sisters in Christ so that we can be brought together in unity to affirm what Jesus said in John 17:23, "I in them and you in me." Many have tried, but there’s no canceling that!