Interestingly enough, I do not find myself talking about cancel culture. Even when assessing stories like Gina Carano being fired by Disney, my own analysis debated whether the situation was a blessing in disguise for her, rather than lamenting cancel culture. I am far more focused on Big Tech censorship. But rather than complain about it, my focus has always been to explore its scope and find solutions. I bring this up in light of a recent JD Greear tweet that seems to be targeted at people like myself.
There’s a lot going on in this tweet. So lets break down the first sentence. The people JD Greear is talking about are “Christians who rail against cancel culture.” This is key. Who is this demographic? More often than not, it consists of political conservatives. After all, those in the woke mob welcome cancel culture. JD Greear is saying that this demographic is canceling their church membership over disagreement with church leadership within the past year. JD Greear is trying to denote hypocrisy here. He is trying to suggest that these people who complain about cancel culture gladly “cancel” their pastor over what he later states is a minor disagreement.
This misunderstands what exactly cancel culture is. Cancel culture is not market forces. Cancel culture is mob forces. Market forces are “I do not like this company or person for whatever reason, so I will not spend money there.” Mob forces are “I do not like this company or person, so I will destroy their livelihood or go along with those who want to.” A further distinction that needs to be made is that presentism, the logical/ historical fallacy of applying current standards of behavior to the past is an element of cancel culture. This fallacy is generally the driving engine of cancel culture, and the contemporary standards are determined by Critical Theory or “anti-comedy.”
Lastly he claims that what pastors and their churches are being canceled for is rather insignificant. So this begs the question, did the churchgoers have time in the last year to cancel their church membership over trite matters? I do not believe we had the luxury of leaving churches over music, carpet color, dress, child care, or other trite matters. Instead, churchgoers left because the of the church shutting down, imposing CDC guidelines (coronafascism), embracing homosexuality and transgenderism, embracing Black Lives Matter and Critical Race Theory.
Running through that list, I maintain that churches sinned by shutting down. They conceded that the government is head of the church by doing so and showed an unwillingness to suffer even an ounce for the faith. They did not do their own research and were deceived like Eve. For context, JD Greear championed closing down his megachurch, along with Andy Stanley. Eventually this sin evolved from being deceived to being defiant. If someone left a church over this, it’s really the church leaving them. Ideally, the members should have fought a church shutdown, even hosting their own in person worship gathering if the church leadership refused. Alas, if this does not occur, the fault lies with church leadership.
Imposing CDC guidelines is another contentious issue that is in part indicative of broader issues. Masks are largely the soteriological works of the Branch Covidians to make themselves feel morally superior. They do not work, as Rational Ground has documented countless times. Moreover, the federal government has acted according to what benefits Big Pharma the most as opposed to actual science. Curtailing the use of inexpensive prophylactics, financially incentivizing putting Medicare patients on ventilators, holding out for an expensive medicine (Remdesivir) which does not work, and pushing for multiple vaccines which look to evolve into a yearly industry all profit notoriously corrupt industries. The statement “trust the science” is inherently unscientific, and it does not actually reflect America’s public policy. Therefore, a church to impose such policy is not acting on science, but simply letting the government guide their ecclesiology. To think, an unsaved man who’s curious about God would be turned away from the church because he does not want to put a mask on. That’s called putting a barrier in front of the gospel. That’s not a decision I would want to defend before God.
I included homosexuality and transgenderism as these are ongoing concerns and legitimate reasons why someone would leave a church. After all, JD Greear is the one who famously said “God whispers about sexual sin” to add additional context.
The death of George Floyd caused the elite sectors of society to push Critical Race Theory on the masses without evidence of racism surrounding George Floyd’s death. The church sold out to this, big time. I speak from experience on this one. I know multiple families who left a church over the affirmative push of White Fragility on the congregation. The Social Justice Gospel is a false religion. The Christian would do well to not be in a church that preaches a false gospel. That is no trite manner.
There is one more group that needs to be addressed: people who are culturally Christian but not actually saved. There are numerous parts of the country where church is just something people do, a tradition. A cultural shift I am observing is the increasing irrelevance of legacy entertainment. The Super Bowl’s ratings drop is just part of a larger trend where American society is increasingly fragmented in its cultural identity. With the amount of people who stopped watching church livestreams and failed to attend when if their church reopened, perhaps their is a sense that the local church is indistinct from these other institutions, especially as it relates to the aforementioned issues.
One last thing to consider is the personal context surrounding JD Greear. It would seem that his megachurch has hemorrhaged members. Is JD Greear feeling the financial pain of people leaving his church, thus feels the need to call out the hypocrisy in said departures?