“First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.”
Martin Niemoller – 1892-1984, Lutheran pastor who initially supported Adolph Hitler but was later imprisoned at Dachau for his opposition to the Nazi regime. In his later life, Niemoller stated that he had once met directly with Hitler and was assured the Nazi government would not take away religious liberties so he remained silent as other groups were oppressed or worse under this horrific regime. He would later regret that he did not speak up earlier – but once they began to crack down on his church and those like his, it was too late.
This message is not in any way comparing our culture with that of the Nazi regime – and I want to make that very clear – I do not believe we will see anything comparable to Hitler until the antichrist is in control. But this is a wake up call to anyone that believes a culture that is allowed to oppress people over their personal views, based only upon the fact that they disagree, is a culture that will eventually turn on everyone. The coined phrase of “cancel culture” that we see today reflects this cannibalistic trend – contradictory in it’s very nature – by which it will ultimately devour the very people that promote it. This faction of society will tell you on the one hand, moral values are not homeostasis but in fact are relative to the accepted norms of the day. But on the other hand, they will eagerly bring Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and many more, from their bygone era, into today and apply 21st century “values” onto them – and by not measuring up – they cancel them.
This is nothing new, in fact, moral relativism as a philosophical expression can be traced back to hundreds of years before Christ. Moral relativism encompasses views and arguments that people in various cultures have held over thousands of years. For example, the ancient Jaina Anekantavada principle of Mahavira as far back as 550 BC stated one’s interpretation of truth and reality were inherently linked to their diverse points of view, therefore no single point of view could be considered as complete truth.
Fast forward to the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche from the 19th century, where he espoused the belief that good and bad are relative terms and thus the importance and value society places on them are also relative. He went as far as to say that the proposal of morality itself could be a danger within a society and therefore should be developed and modified over time, keeping those purported values relative to who we are and what we, as individuals, consider to be true, equal, good and bad without any regard to foundational moral laws.
Little by little, ever so nuanced, words and phrases are introduced and become the standard of the day. Take the word “equity” for example. Certainly not a knew word, many have known it as a value – such as a home’s equity – but how many have noticed it’s new placement. If you pay attention, you will notice that what was once described as equality – in regards to racial and social justice – is now being touted as equity. You might say, “what’s the difference?” or “sounds similar so why should I care?”
Unless you are pushing for a socialist/communist system, whereby government replaces God, and your freedoms are only that which government allows – then you should take notice and yes, you should care. While most everyone has supported equality, whereby every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents, progressive socialists are pushing the agenda of equity, that each person has different circumstances and therefore requires allocations of resources and opportunities specific to the individual or group to reach an equal outcome. Do you see the difference?
The overriding change behind this progressive blitz is the removal of debate. If a person stands up against the socialist/communist agenda being pushed from within our own Congress, the cancel culture activists will not honor your differing opinion, they will categorize you – a fascist, intolerant bigot, deplorable, alt-right evangelical, you name it – then they will cancel you.
This should not come as a surprise, certainly not to those that are dedicated followers of Christ, the Bible has explained these times in great detail. Read these words from Peter the disciple as he also quotes from Proverbs of the old testament.
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And,
“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” (Proverbs 11:31)
So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. 1 Peter 4:12-19
In these words you can see how high the bar is set for believers. Not only are we to expect persecution, but we should consider ourselves blessed and praise God that we bear the name of Christian. In addition, we should remain committed to the Lord and continue to be a light among darkness.
Our calling is to remain transformed through Christ, not conformed to this world, and to share that good news of salvation in this lost world. When the cancel culture comes after believers, we have to stand firm in our faith, knowing that they cannot cancel the Word of God. They can cancel you and me but they can never cancel the Truth – Jesus Christ, our savior – the way, the truth and the life. They will reject the truth, and for believers, when you have shared the truth, you move on – and when rejected – you should kick the dust from your feet as you depart. They will be given over to their own evil desires and woe to them that reject the true Love of our Creator.
Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be sober-minded and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy. If you appeal to the Father who judges impartially according to each one’s work, you are to conduct yourselves in reverence during your time living as strangers. For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was revealed in these last times for you. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 1 Peter 1:13-21
To everyone reading we offer the truth of redemption and stand ready to share that with you. If you have not accepted Jesus into your heart, please reach out to us with your questions and concerns and let us pray for you. To believers, we are here for you as well, to offer support through prayer, and to help you in sharing the good news in your own community. Reach out to us and request our free business-sized ministry cards that will help you share your faith with those in your own community. Become part of our Community Missions Team today.
Don’t allow yourself to become discouraged by what you see in this fallen world, don’t look back and spend your time dwelling on days gone by, keep your eyes fixed on the prize and keep your mind focused on God. Be prayerful and stay in the Word – it will never be cancelled.
“The grass withers, the flowers fade,
but the word of our God remains forever.” Isaiah 40:8
John Stephen Frey, Director and Senior Editor, Life Beyond Horizons Ministry