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  • Clay Burgess

Shame, Cancel, and Christ

We live in a culture of gotcha, shame, and cancel. If you are caught doing something that violates someone’s cultural norms then—gotcha! You have been found out and not only are exposed, but you are also shamed because of your view or opinion. Sadly, there is seemingly no middle ground, civility, or grace today. The prevailing view seems to be if you disagree with me, you must be eliminated completely.


In a recent example, Gina Carano, of the Disney series The Mandalorian, expressed some of her political views on Twitter. The resulting trend on Twitter was, #FireGinaCarano. Wow, disagreement escalates to you must be removed from your job. Here is the flow as I see it. Gotcha—I caught you disagreeing with me. Shame—I must go public and ridicule you for what you think, believe, or said. Cancel—You must be removed, destroyed, and eliminated for being such a detriment to society!


Here is the real problem: We are all sinners (Romans 3:23). Not only are we sinners, but we are talented sinners. We invent new ways to sin all the time (Romans 1:29-31). Left in this state, our trajectory is toward death. We are in a desperate situation and we need help. We have been caught in our sin which leads to shame. We deserved to be canceled, but we need grace. We need someone who will extend us grace and offer us some hope for the future. We need a Savior!


One of the great facets of the Gospel is that our sin is canceled by the blood of Jesus. Consider the words in Colossians 2:13-14—

13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

That is good news for which to be thankful! Though we deserved death, to be canceled, Jesus takes the penalty due us and cancels it instead! We have been forgiven and our sin has been removed as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12)! Let’s model that grace for a world that is bent on playing “gotcha,” shaming, and canceling fellow humans. Now more than ever, people need some hope! Hope that their sins can be canceled without them being canceled as well.

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