Cynthia L. Eppley
Cancel Culture 4
When we were little our mothers may have told us: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
But now we have moved on from childish things.
While we cannot be naive, there must be other ways to deal with life.
A Better Way
Col 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
How Can we Stand?
Rather than promoting hatred and vitriol, can we stand in horseshoes?
Can we be includers?
“If you are standing with other women in a circle and there is a woman standing alone in your circle’s vicinity–the thing to do is notice her, smile at her, move over a bit and say, “Hi, come join us!” Even if she decides to to join your circle–even if she looks at you like you’re crazy–inviting her is still the thing to do. Widen you’re circles. All the time. Also: Horseshoes are better than circles. Leave space. Always leave space. Horseshoes of friends > Circles of friends. Glennon Doyle
This was posted on Facebook over a year ago, and yet it rings even more true today. (Maternal Mental Health Research Collaborative—MMHRC)
Micro Scale: The Personal Level
Reflecting back from Cancel Culture 3 ( Cancel Culture 3) if our tendency is to sin, then we would be wise to seek Scripture in how we interact with others. We must examine ourselves.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
To answer before listening—that is folly and shame.
The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.
In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines.
Entire books have been written on communication. In our vitriolic culture, Scripture speaks into out hearts.
John Piper recently posted an article that was timely:
John Piper, 08/03/2020
Brokenhearted Boldness: A Christian Alternative to Outrage Culture
Without a broken heart, our boldness can become brash, harsh, severe, cruel, angry, impatient, and obnoxious—all in the name of Christian courage. https;//www.desiringgod.org/articles/brokenhearted-boldness?
“Today, the need I see for Christian boldness is a little different. It’s not so much that evangelicals are grasping for so-called “Christian America.” Rather, it’s our being drawn into the callout culture, the outrage culture, the cancel culture, the coddled culture. However you name it, it is very angry. And behind the relative safety of social media, it is very bold.
This boldness is seldom beautiful. But some Christian culture warriors are drawn into it and shaped by it, with the result that their boldness is distorted toward the brash, angry, contentious, coarse, snide, and obnoxious. What is needed is not less boldness. No. The world is not suffering from too much boldness in the cause of truth. Rather, what’s missing is the beauty of brokenhearted boldness.
But we know something of our own sinfulness and how quickly we can strike back in the name of boldness. Our prayer is that God would spare us from the distortion of the courage he made to be beautiful, by creating something even more beautiful: brokenhearted boldness.”
Macro Scale: Brokenhearted Boldness
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Can we be broken by this life but pour out our life for others? This would be Jesus’ mission.
And in the midst of Cancel Culture, anger, violence, riots and hurt—what can we do in a practical sense?
Youth Life Foundation of Richmond http://ylfr.org
My friend, Heather Goodlett, saw this need in inner city Richmond. And she answered the call.
“The Youth Life Foundation of Richmond operates Learning Centers to develop leaders by making long-term investments in children from at-risk communities. By supporting students academically, developing their character from a young age, raising expectations, and investing in their lives through committed mentoring relationships, these youth will rise above their circumstances to become tomorrow’s leaders.
“Heather began teaching at Glen Lea Elementary School in the fall of 2000 where she was a Title One-Reading teacher and yearned for real change in the futures of her students. In 2000, Mrs. Goodlett became aware of the Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation (DGYLF) and Learning Centers in Washington, D.C. She soon began the process of fact-finding, researching, and relationship building, and in late 2001 attended a National Training Institute for DGYLF to begin launching an affiliate program in Richmond.
“The Youth Life Foundation of Richmond was founded in August 2002 and in 2003 became an affiliate of the Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation (DGYLF), a proven education and leadership development program started by former Washington Redskin football player Darrell Green. The first Youth Life Foundation of Richmond Learning Center began operating in the Delmont Plaza Apartments, a government-subsidized community in eastern Henrico County, in July 2003.
Heather Goodlett, the founder, was a Title One Reading teacher at Glen Lea Elementary School. She desired to develop a program that could make a long-term commitment to help the children and their families, and ultimately rebuild their community. With the help of the owners of Delmont Plaza Apartments and numerous private donors, this vision became a reality.
In 2008, YLFR opened our second center in the Highland Park community partnering with the Northside Outreach Center. In March 2013, we started a Middle and High School program in Northminster Church called LC Remix. The following year, YLFR started a third after-school elementary program at this church now called Atlee Church Northside Campus in September of 2014. In September 2017, YLFR expanded once again – this time to the Southside of Richmond. Southwood Learning Center for elementary students opened in Redemption Hill Church’s building, The 400.
We currently serve about 50 families and 90 children – and our growth continues.”
Micro and Macro Together
On a micro scale, and on a macro scale: Where can our lives reflect Jesus and where can we be His hands and His feet?
Where can we make a practical difference in someone’s life? In Richmond? In Washington? In Philadelphia? In our neighborhood?
In our violent world right now? This may be the perfect answer.