Choose ‘Cultivate-Culture’ Over ‘Cancel-Culture’
What is cancel-culture? Ask a young adult or teen for their definition! This is a familiar part of their culture. Wikipedia defines it as “a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – either online on social media, in the real world, or both. Those who are subject to this ostracism are said to be ‘canceled.”’ This cancel-culture allows people to feel justified in attacking people with which they disagree. In fact it dehumanizes them. If they believe ______, then I will have nothing to do with them.
God calls us to be different. He calls us to “love your enemies” (Matt. 5:44) Jesus himself prayed, “Father forgive them” (Luke 23:34) over those who were crucifying Him. This is the heart of cultivate-culture! Brothers and sisters, let us follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Let us glorify God by being counter-cultural in the way we value people, forgive people, and refuse to cancel those with which we disagree. Instead, we pray for them. We cultivate instead of cancel. Cultivate means to prepare the ground before planting to increase growth. Therefore cultivate-culture means to recognize that God wants to prepare everyone’s heart to receive the truth of the gospel, and bear fruit of the Spirit. The very people who hurt us, like us, NEED Jesus to cultivate their hearts. First our hearts are cultivated for the seed of the Gospel to take root, but then, for the tree of faith to bear fruit. Jesus teaches us cultivate-culture in an unusual parable:
6 And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ 8 And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. 9 Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’” Luke 13:6-9
So, when you are tempted to “cancel” someone because they have hurt you, remember that God created them. Jesus died for them. Who are you to chop down their tree? Jesus would rather you get your hands dirty and shovel some manure instead!
Director of Youth & Young Adults