We have been hearing about “Cancel Culture” for awhile now. I have to admit, when I first heard of people saying they were canceling “this” person or “that” institution or cultural mores, I thought, how ridiculous, you can’t cancel things that we know to be true. My brain couldn’t get beyond the literal definition, as I was trying to make meaning of it. In fact, as I began to understand the abstractness of the concept, I started to realize how very real it was, and how concretely, a small society of people had found a way to make their voices loud enough to truly want to erase the things that we hold true as conservatives in our culture. It’s quite unbelievable, but yet, very real to our times.
It was very real to Jesus’ times, as well. As an example, we can see the grand scheme of Cancel Culture unfold in Mark 11 & 12 when Jesus is in Jerusalem walking around the Temple Mount and the chief priests, teachers of the law and elders (representatives of the three groups which represented the Sanhedrin) all come to him asking, “By what authority are you doing these things?” (Mark 11:28). Of course, this was a direct reference back to Mark 11:17 to them having witnessed his driving out of the buyers, sellers and money changers, proclaiming at the Temple, “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations,” not the “den of thieves” that had taken it over.
Jesus said he would answer them, if they answered first his one question of “by whose authority” was John’s baptism from. It was basically a trick question back to the Sanhedrin for their trick question to him. So they lied, instead, and said they didn’t know. But Jesus knew they were lying to him so he told them the parable of the tenants, instead, in Mark 12. Basically, that parable laid out the history of God sending his prophets to His people with messages of repentance and the One whom they should serve, time and time again, but those prophets were silenced, beaten or killed for the message they brought. And the final messenger, the beloved son and heir of the Father, our Savior Jesus, being “the stone” that the religious leaders of Israel rejected, had now become the “capstone” (cornerstone) and Jesus tells them it was “marvelous in our eyes” (Mark 12:10-11, a direct reference back to Psalm 118:22), “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”
The Sanhedrin would have recognized this because this was a teaching of theirs from Scripture. Old Testament scripture proves New Testament scripture or what we say “scripture proves scripture.” The Sanhedrin had the truth right there, speaking his words from days of old, standing before them, and they hated him. How dare Jesus remind them of history and Scripture. Afterall, they were the lawgivers! It was at this moment that they knew their gig was up. So what did they do? “Then they looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.” (Mark 12:12) and we know at that point their plan was to get rid of him, once and for all, by crucifying him. Cancel Culture. Get rid of the truth so we can still go about our business of robbing God’s people, even in the heart of the Temple.
Well, those of us who are Christians, we know where that temple resides, for those of us who have been grafted into the vine. With the new covenant, our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, and Cancel Culture is alive and well today to destroy any bit of truth that longs to make its way out of our hearts, to the ears that need to hear the truth around us. Jesus, indeed, is the capstone of the church. And our time has come to let our hearts be cleared out of the “den of thieves” which have taken their root in such subtle ways within us. Where have you allowed truth to be canceled in your heart? What lies have you allowed to be bought and sold in your mind and heart? Let Jesus overturn them. Let him drive it all out, so that prayer and the Word of God, dwells in you richly, instead. Be holy and set apart!
Those who promote Cancel Culture are indeed afraid of the Church today. They are looking to cancel us as Christians, remove us from fellowship with one another in our local churches, our private home gatherings, to cancel the encouragement of truth that is taught to us in the Scripture…to sing songs, psalms and hymns to our Savior as one body. Right is wrong and wrong is right, now. We are the problem now, because of our message of Jesus Christ which stands in direct opposition to the lies that have fully infiltrated our American society. They will seek to destroy us as well, in any way that they can. Again, do not be deceived, this is not a battle between us as men and women, this is a spiritual battle that is being waged around us. As Christians we need to love and pray for our enemies, those who seek to do us harm. It is for those who stand against us, that Christ came. We, too, were once like that, darkened in our understanding. None of us is righteous, except through Christ. Pray and keep speaking the truth. For even if we are silenced, the stones will cry out. “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” (1 Peter 2:6) “So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a rested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.” (Isaiah 28:16)
Jesus told Simon Peter after he recognized him as the Son of the living God, “Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:17-18) Indeed, Simon Peter recognized that Jesus was the Son of God. and that Jesus is that rock that the church’s foundation is upon. “Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Selah” (Psalm 61)
Be encouraged my dear friends… the stone that the builders rejected will be the one to cause those who try to cancel truth to stumble. But not those of us who trust in Him. This place is not our home. Long for your eternal dwelling place, instead… in the sanctuary of our God.
In closing, if you have some time today, meditate and worship on the beautiful words of truth of this scripture of Psalm 61, by the music of David & Paul Baloche: Lead Me To The Rock
Be strong, because He is strong and your strength is in Him!
(Photo credit: http://templemountfaithful.org/img/cornerstone.jpg)