January 21, 2023

Subject: Knowing Jesus Christ, Part 3: Message to Cancel Culture – Only Jesus can Heal Your Hurt

MARK 5:28 “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be healed.”

Ed Croteau

Last week’s article examined how Cancel Culture mandates that everyone embrace everyone’s definitions of truth to avoid hurting anyone. Here is a summary of those seven (see last week for more details).

1) Cancel Culture’s “Islamophobia” = “I gave myself a mental slap, because in this day and age, it’s not nice to say things like this (this guy looks like a terrorist).’ I felt kind of embarrassed.” 2) Cancel Culture’s “Free Speech Phobia” = Berkeley students chanted “Speech is violence!” because disagreeing with their politics is an attack on their identity. 3) Cancel Culture’s “Police Phobia” = “Coach Del Rio’s words (‘let’s have a discussion and compare the events of George Floyd riots to the January 6th Capital Riot’) hurt a lot of people in our community.” 4) Cancel Culture’s “Gender Phobia” = University courses and clubs that teach how to challenge subtle sexism, racism, transphobia, and other forms of bias that harm members of our community. 5) Cancel Culture’s “Transphobia” = Defining a woman by biology is “deeply transphobic, condescending and rude.” By denying that men can get pregnant, you are denying trans people exist and you are promoting violence against trans people. 6) Cancel Culture’s “White Guilt” = University courses that teach the sources and manifestations of ‘Angry White Males’ in American society. 7) Cancel Culture’s “CRT” = public school curriculum that teaches how the concept of “white privilege” is responsible for health, economic and social disparities in minority communities.

But notice that Cancel Culture does not heal anyone’s hurt. That’s because in Cancel Culture there is no forgiveness for anyone’s sins against each other – only punishment. Cancel Culture cancels people.

What a stark contrast to Jesus Christ. Throughout the New Testament we read His healing power for your emotional, spiritual and physical hurts. In Mark 5:25-34, in the story of a woman who is ostracized – cancelled – from society because of her illness, we have a powerful example. Let’s follow along.

“Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for 12 years and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.” (Mark 5:25-26).

In his book ‘He Still Moves Stones,’ Pastor Max Lucado explains the toll this physical illness caused: “First, she was physically and financially exhausted (chronic menstrual disorder caused bleeding for 12 years). Second, she suffered even from the doctors who were supposed to heal her. Third, she had spent all her money for the cost of ongoing treatment. Fourth, she awoke every day to suffering, with no cure.”

Pastor Lucado then explains how this physical illness resulted in her being ostracized – cancelled – from the Jewish culture: “Because Jewish culture labeled her ‘unclean,’ she was not allowed to touch her husband (no sexual relations). Nor could she be a mother to her children in normal domestic duties (no washing dishes, no sweeping floors, no preparing meals). Lastly, she was barred from being in public, especially from attending worship at the synagogue.” Her physical hurt became deep emotional hurt. Sound familiar?

But Mark 5:27-28 records her plan to be healed: “When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment; for she said, ‘If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.’”

Mark 5:32-34 explains what happened next: “Jesus looked around to see her who had touched Him. The woman, fearing and trembling, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction.’”

As she makes her way in the crowd toward Jesus, she is a nobody (no money, no clout, no friends). She has nothing to offer Jesus except her need. Why did she risk the wrath of “Cancel Culture” to touch Him?

She was convinced of xx things: 1) He was good, 2) He would keep His promises and 3) He was here in her hometown. In faith, she acted – she sought Him out, no matter what the culture would say or do.

God, who knows everyone’s true heart, knew hers. And her need summoned His help. In fact, Jesus affectionately calls her daughter, which is the only time in the Gospels He calls any woman daughter. As soon as she reached out to Him in faith, Jesus stopped everything – she received His full attention.

If you want a clear contrast between America’s unforgiving Cancel Culture and the kindness and forgiveness of Christ, here it is. The message to Cancel Culture: Only Jesus Christ can heal your hurt.

Ed Croteau is a lay pastor and resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the LS Tribune, on Facebook and his website www.fse.life.