The Great Offense

Forgiveness – Matthew West

Everyday there is a new cancel culture offense, it seems. Last week we heard on the news about Teen Vogue Editor Alexi McCammond. The week before we heard about people offended by Dr Seuss books! The news is constantly reporting another cancellation of another person or company due to their position on a political view, someone they support or what someone did wrong.

The Vogue Offense

Alexi wrote some inappropriate tweets 10 years ago when she was a young and ignorant 17 year old girl. Vogue employees couldn’t forgive her teen indiscretions and created such a condemning environment that Alexi was forced to resign. She wrote some anti-Asian and homophobic tweets. I haven’t read the tweets, but I can imagine that as a teenager, she said some foolish things. Many of us have. I’m sure she never realized the consequences she could face someday in her career when she was young and naive.

Unfortunately, we are now subject to condemnation for anything we have ever said or posted. After all, it’s all out on social media forever; even if we have matured and changed our views. I wonder if her new boss ever considered what this would mean for Alexi and the long term career effects. What would happen if someone looked back at our history to interrogate our mistakes? And what does an average teenager realize that they are saying or writing. What difference would this make? Perhaps they could have given her a work penalty, but an entire career damaged with this company? I think that this is unreasonable.

The Wacky Offense

Another recent offense came from Dr. Seuss. This condemning cancel culture has now canceled six of his books. He is not even alive anymore! So many children read his books in their early education and really loved them. I know I sure did! I believe that anyone can find offense in anything if they really look hard enough. Some of the pictures in his books did include people with chopsticks (Asians) and had their eyes slanted. I don’t know that anyone really meant to offend people, especially children. They could have only been descriptive with what some people look like and how they eat, not to offend anyone. Truthfully, I was very disappointed to hear this.

The Next Great Offense

Waiting, watching, we anticipate the next great offense whether real or perceived all because a minority of our society wears feelings on sleeves with little to no self-reflection that could clue them into what it would be like if their offenses weren’t the accepted views of the day. I find that this is so much what is happening with cancel culture. Instead of truly taking time and realize that not everyone is out to attack us personally, so many are ready to be defensive and attack. I also see a huge lack of balance occurring right now. People are cancelling Dr. Seuss, pulling his books out of libraries and book stores while they continue allowing perverted artists and songs to keep on putting their songs on the radio, and ready to listen to by anyone, including children!

Help and Stop So Much Offense

Our culture would not be so toxic if we would do 3 things! Let’s practice:

  1. Forgiveness and Grace instead of Hate
  2. Unity instead of Division
  3. Balance – Make what is acceptable okay, and what is truly evil, take away!

A Practical Biblical Example

The Bible addressed this directly where Jesus took a very different approach. Scripture shares a story where the Cancel Culture of the day brought before Jesus an adulterous woman who was caught in the act with the intent for her to be canceled. John chapter 8 captures Jesus’ response to the mob waiting to see Jesus condemn her: “Whoever of you who has not sinned may cast the first stone”

The Pharisees and teachers of the law wanted to see Jesus condemn the woman and largely for political reasons. The Pharisees often tried to trick Jesus and see what He would say about certain situations so they could position themselves for more power. Their intent was to control the thinking of the people and the canceled woman would have just been a pawn in their power struggle. Jesus’ response didn’t play their game but instead gave her freedom through forgiveness. They all got up and walked away, one by one because not a one of them was without offense just as none of us are. Jesus then told the woman to “Go and sin no more.”

Look At Our Own Offenses

Sin is not acceptable, yet many of us as sinners, are unwilling to show grace and forgiveness. Some people refuse to look at their own life and realize that they too have done wrong and at one time or another have likely offended someone. They don’t asked themselves; “what if I weren’t forgiven? ” or “What if I lost my job?” To be clear, I’m not saying that people should not consider what another person does and what consequence should be experienced. It does mean though that if there is wrong done, people should not be in too big a hurry to dump something on another without regard if the consequence is appropriate or not. We are all broken human beings and none of us are the judge to condemn a life, a career, a generation.

The True Great Offense

The Great Offense is that we offend God with our sin. He created man and woman for a relationship with Him and He placed Adam and Eve in a perfect place. He told them that they could do all but one thing in the Garden of Eden and that was not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The serpent (Satan) came along and deceived Eve, then Eve gave Adam the fruit and they ate it. From that point on, mankind was broken and that brokenness was passed from generation to generation so that all of us were made offensive. There have been consequences and lack of fellowship with God when mankind sins, because of our nature now.

The difference with God is that He doesn’t cancel us, He redeems us. We can allow God to cancel our sin by what He did through sending His son Jesus to earth and dying for our sin. Through believing and accepting His complete work on the cross, being buried and rising again on the third day, we can be forgiven! We don’t have to continue living with this guilt and condemnation (Romans 8:1). It’s not by canceling each other, but by recognizing our own brokenness that we can have this freedom. Can we please now forgive each other? Can we follow God’s example and forgive other people’s wrongs instead of canceling or ostracizing them, being toxic and refusing to live in division? Can we find balance in our lives and praise good and refuse evil?

Our Future:

With Easter coming in two weeks and Cancel Culture so popular right now; we need to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Christ for the freedom He offers us instead of canceling us for our indiscretions. We must look to the cross, look at our own lives and see how our Christ “canceled” our debts when we trusted Christ. Maybe we can show some grace and forgive what we think deserves punishment.

49 thoughts on “The Great Offense

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  1. One of my favorite testimonials by Matthew West as he prepared/wrote this song. Forgiveness is SOOO important. I’m so grateful for it as it was the only way my husband and I reconciled after 13 years of marriage, a divorce, and the next year, remarrying. Today we celebrate 46 years – the day we first married! How did we forgive each other? Divorce creates so much hate and we had it all….God had us accidentally “collide” into each other after spending an evening in church (not together) and then inviting my husband’s pastor to dinner (in hopes of him talking sense into Bill to not be so mean). We suddenly felt like we were at the foot of the Cross….and suddenly one of us said the word, forgiveness – because HE forgave us both long ago….Such a beautiful moment and we share it whenever we can. It’s in our Marriage Blog posts.

    1. Wow!!! Amazing testimony of forgiveness! I’m so glad that you all forgave and can use your story to impact other people’s lives. I have family who I have forgiven and have learned a lot about the need to forgive through Christ forgiving me! Thank you again for sharing! Please follow my blog at Heartshare.blog! You are a huge encouragement! God bless you as you walk with Him!

  2. I believe the “Lost Cause” narrative is also a “cancel culture” mechanism that whitewashes the truth about racial prejudice and perpetuates those same attitudes today. Certainly people change and should not be held accountable for attitudes they no longer hold. But not if they seek to gloss over sins of the past.

  3. Hi Becky. A very well timed and important post. Thank you. Tolerance and forgiveness is so important. I am so thankful that Jesus replied “Neither do I condemn you.”

  4. Hi Rebecca, Nick here, I dropped by to thank you for following nicksniche&notions. And to say welcome! I hope we have the opportunity to share some thoughts, as time permits.I very much enjoyed reading your post. Although, I have unanswered questions in regard christian living, that doesn’t diminish the wisdom in biblical principles. There is a lot of self righteous finger point and blame. If each of us would take heed to those words, judging ourselves instead of others, and in turn work to better ourselves I think it would help heal our unforgiving world. Thanks again for the follow and hope to hear from you soon.

  5. Hi Rebecca, thank you for following Sound Bite Fiction and thus drawing me here.
    I don’t share your religious beliefs, but nor do I have a problem with them.
    I agree that we, worldwide but,as always, driven by the USA, are now able to find offence where none was ever intended, and judge work from half a century ago by today’s standards.
    I consider Dr Seuss the Shakespeare of children’s literature, and an artist of immense talent.
    He has, as you point out, brought delight to children (and adults) for decades.
    It seems common sense is, sadly, no longer common,

  6. An interesting perspective. Some would say we could stem this hatefulness by not being so chained to social media in the first place. Thank you for sharing and thank you for swinging by the “Ranch” and for the follow. We 💙 visitors and people who are willing to examine all sides.

  7. Thank you for choosing to follow my blog! I really appreciate your support and look forward to reading more of your posts!

  8. Thanks for sharing Becky. I am studying Esther in my devotions right now. I truly believe your writings are written for “such a time as this”!

  9. I really want you to know this is a very very empowering. I’m sharing it if you don’t mind on my Facebook page my Twitter feed I think the world needs to hear this as well as it is on your word press page it is very powerful. Thank you for the encouraging words my friend I’m so impressed with what you’ve written this week as well as other read that I’ve ever read

      1. No thank you for being so brave and speaking the truth totally think this needs to go out to the world I wanna do a podcast on something about this because it bothers me too not sure how I’m going to do it maybe we can collaborate something together I don’t know where you live or anything about you but she wouldn’t be my first guest on my show that I’ve gotten from WordPress maybe we can talk some more let me know your thoughts if you feel comfortable hopefully if you listen to my podcast as well anyways even if you have it that’s all good thank you for feeling comfortable in writing this for the Lord

  10. It was Dr Seuss’s own estate that decided not to publish six of his titles anymore, because they had racially offensive images, the rest of his books are still available. He has not been cancelled. Do you think it’s okay for children to see images of dated racial stereotypes?

      1. The pictures in these books that were taken away were of people eating with chopsticks, with their eyes slanted. I don’t think that was done to make fun or mock. People take things away because there is a constant fear of something made an offense. Why are so many afraid of a Dr Seuss book for little kids but they can put out a Cardi B song with horrific sexual lyrics and do NOTHING? There is no balance! If people don’t constantly make an issue and take offense, there will not be such an issue made. How many years have Dr Seuss books been out and no one had concerns that I ever heard! They were innocent books. I know that only 6 were taken away and by the family, but was there a complaint? Complaints? I never heard any! Until the last couple of years, there were not so many complaints as there are now about companies, people, products. We live on a constant world of complaining and about the wrong things! People are not complaining either about the filth!

      2. Maybe you should think about how Asian people feel about those images… One of the other books no longer being published is” If I ran the Zoo” which includes African men in grass skirts. There has been growing criticism over the years about how he drew black people and Asian people.

        Maybe for once try to see things beyond your white middle-class world and see how other people of different skin colours feel about how their portrayed in various media. Are you able to do that?

        Here’s an article that’s worth reading on the issue: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/mar/07/dr-seuss-books-product-recall-cancel-culture

  11. Hi and nice to meet you. Such a great post and song match!
    Such good thoughts here!
    May I call you by your first name?
    Thanks for your follow… I am now folowing you.
    🙏

  12. This was so good and so timely! I have felt so burdened my cancel culture and the imbalance of it, as you have pointed out. Recently I was reading in the Bible how people would take offense in the last days (I wish I could remember the specific passage). We are definitely living in those days! I love the things you share about that we can do to be different. May God lead others to Him as a result of it.

    1. Let me look up that passage real quick about people taking offense in the last days. 2 Timothy 3:1-9 and Romans 1:19-32. Thank you for your encouraging words!

    2. This is a good example also. Matthew 24:10
      “And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.”
      If that isn’t the days we are living in… 🤔
      ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭24:10‬ ‭😢

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