I was thinking about the developing cancel culture and how this is contrary to followers of Christ. While the reaction is understandable—even reasonable—this response alienates the very principles by which we profess to live.
Though I defend there is inherent morality in all but the most debase of people, there is a principle in the world to keep dying, to kill, to prevent the Fallen from being born again—as a society, to withhold forgiveness. The Mob serves as jury and Memory the judge—let each man kill the thing he loves, but do not let him die, says the self and the other selves. Who we see is who is, there is no renewal, no grace for him, and therefore, eternal condemnation and permanence of being.
Do not live, says a crowd of stones.
Time can’t rewind, but it can be wrought, wrestled, murdered. Behold, I am making all things new, says He, where a created eternity has no memory of your death, but only of your newness.
In a great conversation, the Christ tells Nicodemus he must be born again—all we have done in this life has resulted in the casualties of spirit, soul, and body.
The selfish have canceled the addict, the mentally ill, the rich, the poor, the afflicted.
Others have said, according to their pain and disgust, there is a man who is beyond life. A woman who has caused distress to a child deserves the suffering she has inflicted. The canceling of the soul of the murderer/rapist is a moral obligation.
Comrade, you are not wrong. But this side of justice is for the body, only.
We have laws on this side of reality that rightfully deal with the justice of the sins of this reality—but there is another life which says that the soul-canceling of the oppressed is just as severe as the soul-canceling of the guilty, and the offer of the Christ to give a new life to all is a difficult thing understand, but no so much if we realize that, without rebirth, all have the same condition. We all die. Whether in the act of law or the injustice of disease, you will die.
The principle of this death is inherent in our dispensing of judgment—there is no redemption offered to the cultural worst. But someone higher than us has extended mercy, if desired, to anyone.
If you are a follower of Christ, a walker after this man’s teachings, and claim to have his life in you and don’t yet understand all your sacrifices are filthy without love, you have yet to grasp the basic tenet of how forgiveness is a redemptive act of divine memory—you have no concept of a new thing, only a whitewashed version of conditional penance.
And to the suffering, neglected, lonely, and self-loathing creature, you don’t need anyone’s permission to live, only the desire to believe that no person can give that to you but Christ. Anyone who thinks they have reached the point of not needing perpetual mercy is as darkened as the soul who considers themselves beyond it.
We indeed can have peace with God, but we should learn to seek it with each other. We are commanded to forgive, not because we are commanded to be free of pain or unaffected by it, but to recognize forgiveness is a divine act of grace from God himself, not a willful act of emotion or intellect. You can do nothing of yourselves, not even this. Especially not this.
Who would or could forgive someone who raped a child? Tortured innocents for greed or sport? No one. No one would. Only God can see or love the worst soul—and this is why forgiveness is so incomprehensible and stark to those who see it truly from another person. It makes no sense, but then again, the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing (I Corinthians 1:18).
This is the love of Christians we are supposed to be known by—this is the love that is different from the world’s. There are few who will not feed the poor, but there are many who will judge them. What person meets face-to-face with the addict and won’t listen to their story, but who won’t condemn the collective users to the fates they are thought deserved? Who will say to the murderer, the fondler of small children, the trafficker of humans—you have a life that is not these things, a condition where Memory only knows you as you were newly made? Our love, our capacity for mercy, is supposed to look revolutionary. In the world of judgements, there is an understandable scale of evil, but to God, all are equally deserving of mercy.
Not everyone will receive how you live or what you say, but that is nothing. To those who hear, let them hear.
Please love well, comrades.