the bottomline

Cancel This!
Saturday, October 3, 2020 by Dan Allen

The latest thing to be canceled in this Cancel Culture is the period — not a period in time like an age, nor that dreaded period right after lunch in High School especially if it was a Calculus class, but the dot at the end of a sentence.

When I say “canceled,” this is all the rage with mainly younger people (Gen Z and Millennials) who feel that certain parts of history which they don’t like or understand, should be ignored or forgotten. Or there are people with whom they disagree and, therefore, they can cancel them as if that person doesn’t even exist (think J. K. Rowling). “Shunning” was the word used in the location where I used to pastored (Lancaster County). A person would go astray from an old order religious group and they would be shunned—as if they never knew them. It can be quite disturbing in a family setting.

Fortunately, canceling the period will be less traumatic for most unless you are a litterateur, scribe, editor, or one who has a proclivity for punctuation. 

According to a recent article in the New York Post, young people don’t trust anyone who uses a period at the end of a text or in an email. They feel that it’s a sign of aggression. They believe that when one comes to the end of their statement, that’s it—no period needed. In fact, to put a period there can be considered hostile or just plan uncool. Only old people and those out–of–touch do this . . .well, that’s me!

Who knew? We lost our double space at the end of each sentence when computers came along. Now it appears that the period might be in jeopardy. However, it is believed that their beef is limited to social media platforms. Perhaps for book readers and writers it is safe for now.

The idea of canceling something can be rather disturbing for either those who feel they are being canceled or when things in history, which hold meaning, are nullified. We learn from history, don’t we? The oft repeated quote goes: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” 

But here’s something that is canceled and I am eternally grateful. The Bible says that when one receives forgiveness from God by becoming a follower of Jesus, their sins are canceled—dumped into the deepest sea, as far as the east is from the west. So, our transgressions are removed from us, completely forgotten, remembered no more (Micah 7:19; Psalm 103:12). 

Could you imagine what it would be like if those sins were remembered? Say we do just one sin a day. That doesn’t seem so bad. Perhaps we tell a white lie, gossip about someone, or cheat in some small way. Large or small, it’s still a sin. Or maybe we forget to do something that we promised or that God commanded. It’s sin just the same. So, we are bound to sin once–a–day. That would be 365 sins a year and, if someone lives to be 70, you’re talking many thousands of sins. It would be a huge book if they were all recorded—with periods between each one. God, the ultimate Judge would have to throw the book at us, so to speak, or He wouldn’t be just. Well, quite frankly, that’s what He will do to those who are not His followers. They will spend an eternity separated from God because of their unforgiven sin.

But for those who are forgiven and, thus, His children, no longer does He remember their sins. They have been covered by the blood of Christ.

This is the kind of cancel culture I can appreciate—the canceling of all my sins. Has He canceled yours?


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