Resurrection Road | Are You A Part of the Cancel Culture?

Discovering To Respond To Cancel Culture As A Christian

James Greer
Apr 3, 2022    32m
Join us in today's message as Brother James leads us in discovering how to respond to cancel culture as a Christian. Don't allow the actions of those against God's Word to influence you, but let the Word of God and His act be an even bigger influence in your life. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer: [00:00:00] Wow. Morning, Journey Church. Did that praise team rock the house or what? Hey, just, you know, we're called a multi-denominal church that focuses on Christ. Amen? But hey, the Baptist message says, Journey Church and all the megachurches in Louisiana was fifth in baptism. Amen? So congratulations, Journey Church. Y'all are rocking the house. Hey, I want to talk today about something a little bit different. It's called cancel culture. You hear a lot of talk about that today. And as we're talking about the road to the resurrection, a lot of people don't even know what that means. What it means is really a sign of a public boycott sometimes or a social support or withdrawal of an organization. Cancel culture can be a mass withdrawal of support of a public figure, which is kind of what happened to Jesus. It can be a mass shaming. And it really did happen to Jesus. It happened with the, the priests did it. You're going to find out that they disapproved of Jesus and wanted others to withdraw and bring shame to Him. That's cancel culture. The people did it. One week they were saying, Hosanna, Hosanna, you're the king. The next week they were saying, crucify Him, crucify Him. And they withdrew from Him and they tried to get people to be ashamed of Him. That's what cancel culture is. Pilate, y'all saw him where he said just wash his hands. That's good. But let me tell you what you can do.

James Greer: [00:01:39] You can't just wash your hands of things. You'd like to, but you can't. Pilate acted like he was just going to wash his hands from the matter. When God calls you to do something and you don't do it, that doesn't relieve you of your responsibility. You're still responsible to do what God calls you do, even when you don't do it. Pilate was still guilty and had to suffer the consequences of doing it. We don't want to be part of the cancel culture. But the strange thing about cancel culture, it didn't just start. It happened in Jesus' day. See, that's what put Jesus on the cross. But see, really what happened, it's happening today if you'll watch society. It's all going against that. We have political cancel culture. We got people going through cancel culture. But let me tell you what happened. The cancel culture that put Christ on the cross was planned by God, and it turned around for our salvation. And they were all afraid. But after the resurrection, they were willing to make a stand and even die for Christ. Amen? Then turn the world around after that very thing happened. And see, a lot of that's happening today. And what you're going to find, you're going to find Christians finally going to start making a stand for Christ. Amen? Now let's look at this. Look at Jesus before Pilate, the road to the resurrection.

James Greer: [00:03:07] And let's look. It's getting there soon. Easter is coming. Easter Sunday, now we're going to have a 5:00 service on Saturday and then we'll have our regular services on Sunday. Now, Jesus stood before the governor and the governor asked Him, be very careful, saying, Are you the king of the Jews? And Jesus said to him, It is as you say. One of the most important questions you'll ever ask yourself is, Who do you say Jesus is? I mean, that's the question. Who do you say Jesus is? In other words, if I ask you a question, would you say He's a good teacher, He's a nice person, He's a good example, He's a friend? I mean, really and truly, who do you say He is? I mean, you might say He's one of the above. Or do you say no, man, I'm all in. He's the risen Savior. He's the one that saved me and my sins. He's the king of my heart. He's the ruler of my life. See, in Romans 10:9 to 11, it says this. If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. Say Lord. And you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be what? Saved. Now, that's important. For it is written, for it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it's with your mouth that you profess your faith and you're saved. Did you know every time we see somebody baptized, before they're baptized, we're in the back and we go through that again?

James Greer: [00:04:52] Because it's with your mouth, you profess. But there's something you got to understand about the Lord. I think sometimes pastors and other people that were helping lead them to the Lord, there's something that we miss sometimes. When it said, You confess that He is Lord, it means you're confessing that He is the master, the authority. He's ultimate in control of your life. And if we don't explain that correctly, the main reason that there's so many Christians that are out of control is because you're trying to be in control. Now this is really important. It can change your life. Many people, I'm afraid, miss the understanding of salvation. They miss salvation is because they say they just believe in Jesus. But the Bible says, You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe and tremble. So it's not simply believing that there is God. There's not simply believing there's Jesus. It's believing and surrendering your life that He's the authority and He's in control. In other words, Jesus has got to be the authority and control of your life. Because then, see, when things get out of control, no problem. I'll just give them over to the one that's in control with Jesus, and it can never be out of control. See, that's the great thing about being a Christian. If you're really a Christian, things are never out of control because you're with the one that's always in control.

James Greer: [00:06:19] And when your life is out of control, you give it to Jesus who's in control and He takes the things are out of control and turns around to in control and turns around for good. When Jesus was put on the cross and you thought all the people, Pilate, all the people, the elders, all the priests, you thought it was totally out of control. God was just using that for His very purpose, to put Him on the cross where we could all be saved. Amen? It was never out of control. So listen, listen. Who do you profess Christ is? The most important question you'll ever ask in your life. Who do you personally say Christ is? Listen. Self-control can cause other people to be out of control. Self-control can cause other people to be out of control. Jesus was so, listen, in control because He knew His Father was total control. In other words, Jesus went before Pilate and He knew they were fixing to crucify Him and put Him on the cross. He had already settled it in the Garden of Gethsemane. So now, when He was before the chief priest and the elders, He could be in self-control, even though it looked like everybody else was out of control because He knew His Father had it in control. It's one of the best examples why you as a Christian, when things look like they're out of control, you can be in control.

James Greer: [00:07:52] Look, verse 12 of Matthew, it says this. And while He was being accused by the chief priest and the elders, He answered nothing. He didn't say a word because He knew God was in control. Then Pilate said to Him, Did you not hear all the many things that were testified against you? In other words, didn't you hear all this? But you know, He answered him not a word. Look what it says then. So the governor that should have been in control marveled. He was surprised. He couldn't believe that Jesus didn't say anything. You know, I know what this is like. I have a son. I'm not going to tell you what his name is. Gary. And Gary, sometimes he'd do things he shouldn't do, and sometimes I'd really get upset with him. And when I'd get upset, I'd call him on the phone. And sometimes I'd raise my voice. Not like y'all. Y'all are Christians. Y'all don't do that. And I'd call him on the phone, and I'd raise my voice and I'd get loud. And when I'd really get loud, I would start kind of screaming. He would hang the phone up. Can you imagine when you're upset and you're mad and they hang the phone up? Do you know what that does? One time his truck, he ran into a tree. He wasn't even supposed to be driving yet. So anyway, so I called him on phone. I'm screaming and hollering.

James Greer: [00:09:32] I said, Gary, what in the world- Click. Gary, do not ever hang the phone up again. Click. When I call you and you hang up, that makes me madder. Click. I called. I said, Gary. He said, Dad, every time you scream, I'm going to hang up. I'm totally out of control. He said, Do you want to talk now? I said, Yeah, I want to talk. I'd like to talk in person and kill you. But you talking about out of control. He would not talk to me when I was out of control. He would hang the phone up, and he would wait till I was in control. It was his fault. But it was my fault. For what? Being out of control. But, man. So he taught me you got to learn to be in control. But, Jesus, it was not His fault. And they marveled at how He could be so calm and in control in the midst of what was facing Him. Jesus knew that His Father was in control and He was - You ready? He was only using Pilate and the priests and the mob to accomplish His purpose. And what's a wonderful about that, listen, the insight, listen, sometimes the best thing you can do is say nothing. Sometimes when people are out of control, sometimes the best you can do is say what? Nothing. A soft answer what? Turns away wrath. But man, that's hard to do. Amen? Did you know in Matthew 12:19, it says, Beloved, do not avenge yourself.

James Greer: [00:11:19] Why give place to wrath? For vengeance is not yours. It's mine. I will repay, sayeth the Lord. Did you know that Jesus didn't say anything? And I'll teach you later why everybody was so upset with Jesus. The priests, the elders, the religious people, what they were upset was Jesus was getting so popular, and we'll talk about it later, that they were worried about losing their power and their money. The very thing that they were worried about losing, they lost because of what they did. Listen very close. The very thing you're trying to keep from Jesus and you're protecting it so much and you're afraid to give it up, you'll probably lose it. I can remember there was a time about 15 years ago, something happened. And people were talking, saying things that I had done that I hadn't done. My family said, please, please, would you clear the air? And I said, for some reason, I decided not to do it. It had to do with the ministry, and I had done nothing. And I said, I'm just not going to do it. And I didn't do it year after year. About three or four years later, God cleared the air. All the people that had said something had scattered. A lot of them lost their families because the air and all that time. I don't always do that. Many times you say something, I'm going to say something back. But that particular time, I can remember that. It takes a lot of self-control to say nothing.

James Greer: [00:13:00] But that's the great thing about Christians. You got the Holy Spirit. It tells you in Galatians 5. God's Spirit, He makes us loving. You need love? You need the Holy Spirit. Makes us happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful. I mean the Holy Spirit, man. Gentle, self-controlled. There's no law against behaving in any of these ways. God said, Listen, I gave you the Holy Spirit where you can live this way. See, because Jesus' self-control and His calmness and His quietness, Pilate almost lost control. He began to fear what the Jews would do. He'd fear what Jesus was going to do. He feared who Jesus was. He was the very one that was supposed to be in control. And now he's losing control and Jesus is fulfilling the prophecy. See, God's Word is always going to come true. It said it way back in Isaiah 53:7. He was oppressed and He was afflicted. Yet He opened not His mouth, and He was led as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before shearers, He was silent. See, Jesus was filling the prophecy. Yet anybody can be out of control. I mean, anybody can scream and shout and cuss. Did you know that? It's easy to lose your control. It's very difficult to be controlled. The real Christian, the person that's filled with the Holy Spirit is the one that's in control, not the one that's out of control.

James Greer: [00:14:31] Now was me, it depends on what day it is. Like today, man, Sundays, most of the time on Sundays right before I preach, Praise God. I'm in control. Amen? Mondays is tough. But I'm just telling you, anybody can be out of control. You don't impress me because you're out of control. You're don't impress me because you're screaming, you're hollering, you're cussing your wife and your kids. You impress me when the worst things abound and you're still in control and you're still trying to love and you're still trying to care. The real truth when Gary wrecked that truck, that isn't the time I was out of control. First thing I wanted to know is make sure he was okay. I could get another truck. I can't get another son. That's the real truth. See, that makes the difference. I can tell you something else for insight. If you drink too much too long, do drugs too much, you're going to say things and do things you wish you wouldn't. That's when you say things. That's when you do things. That's when you get out of control. Be filled with the Holy Spirit and you'll say the right things and do the right things. Third, we're all a type of Barabbas. You saw him up there with Jesus and Barabbas. We're all that type of person. See, now at the feast of the governors, there's a custom to release to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. Customs are always a great thing to do.

James Greer: [00:15:51] They're not always right. And at that time, they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. We're all a type of Barabbas. We're all sinners. We've all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, Whom do you want to release to you, Barabbas or Jesus who you call the Christ? I mean, they're saying it's Jesus. It's the one you call Christ. Because a couple of weeks ago, they were saying, Hey, Hosanna, Hosanna! You know? Another sinner though like Barabbas, he couldn't save us from our sins. Only a sinless Jesus Christ could pay the price. Now, let me remind you of something. Let me remind you of the danger of jealousy. Because it said, for he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy. They knew the real reason that Jesus was handed over was because of jealousy. They were jealous of Jesus because they were scared to lose their power and their influence. See, they were rich. The priests and the elders, the people were bringing money in and they said, Man, I'm fixing to lose my influence. I'm afraid I'm going to lose my power. And jealousy is a desire to deprive another person of their pleasures and to draw him away from you. That's what the priests and elders were doing. See, the priests and the elders because of jealousy, because of - You ready? Jesus' popularity. The priests and elders were jealous because of Jesus' popularity.

James Greer: [00:17:33] Being popular, having possessions, having power, being good looking. I never had that problem. But it causes other people to be jealous. I mean, you do realize if you're popular and you're good looking, that could cause other people to be jealous? If you have a lot of possessions, if you're in a good position, it causes other people to be jealous. Actually, the real truth, what happened to Jesus Christ, He had become so popular, there were so many people began to follow Him, the priests and the elders said, Listen, we're going to lose our position. We're going to lose our power. We're going to lose our money. Let's have Him put to death. That's what really happened to Jesus. You got to be careful. You got to be careful who you follow. You got to be careful with jealousy can do. Jealousy is when you have all that you ought to have, but you still want what somebody else has. That's what they did. They had all they needed, but they wanted what somebody. Jealousy can lead to - ready, ready? - physical and spiritual harm. Jealousy will not only destroy you and your relationships if you don't allow God to get in control, it'll destroy both. Fifth, remember this. Doing nothing does not free you from your God-given responsibility and judgment. There's a lot of people think, hey, I know I should do it, but I'm not going to do it. So that frees me from my responsibility.

James Greer: [00:19:00] That doesn't do it. Pilate said, Hey, I'm going to wash my hands of this and that's going to free me. No, no. Pilate had the responsibility to do what's right. He in his heart knew that Jesus should not be put on the cross. Now, let me tell you what he didn't know. God had already said it was going to happen. But if Pilate would have let Him go, which he should have, somebody else would have done what God said. But what I want you to know, when you don't do what God called you do, that doesn't free you from your responsibility. It said, listen, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, he's sitting on the human judgment seat. Only God sits on the ultimate judgment seat. Amen? And his wife said to him, saying, Have nothing to do with this just man. She's saying, He's just. For I've suffered many things today in a dream because of Him. Listen, God calls even the enemy to say He's a just man. But then it says, But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. Okay. You ready? That's what cancel culture is doing today. It's trying to get you to withdraw support from the right things. See, that wasn't necessarily the majority of the people. That was the people with the loudest voice. They had the loudest voice and they're screaming. They're screaming the wrong things. And don't you let what other people say or do and decide what you should do.

James Greer: [00:20:24] And as young people, you've got to be really careful who you're following. Just because a lot of people are screaming and saying, let's do this and let's do that, that doesn't mean it's right. God's Word is what's right. Right? Don't go with the cancel culture. Just because a lot of people are being disrespectful to the teachers, to the leaders, to the police doesn't mean you have to do that. Amen? That's cancel culture. Just because some people dress a certain way, you don't have to dress that way. Look at the way I used to dress. It doesn't influence you. You don't have to dress like I used to dress. See me over there? Me and my wife? See that leisure suit? See the way me and Scott are together? Now, y'all dress like that today? And y'all have one of those suits? Nobody has one of those suits? I had one. Who said that? Amen, brother. But do you see how easy we can follow the way we dress, the way we look, the way we act? Dressing one is one thing. Our hair is one thing. Look, you ready? Our behavior and our actions are different. It's one thing how you dress. That's what I love about our church. Do you know it doesn't matter what you look like, doesn't matter what your hair is, doesn't matter how you dress, you know, you're welcome here and loved here?

James Greer: [00:21:49] But I'm warning you about the cancel culture today just trying to get you to behave the wrong way when God's Word says something else. See, the problem is when you do that, you won't be happy. The psalmist says, Before I suffered, when I did wrong, but now I obey the Word. See, the governor answered and he said to them, Which of the two do you want me to release? And they said, Barabbas. You know, this happens today. I'm not just preaching on cancel culture. I'm trying to get you to understand what's happening in society today. They pick up criminals and they put them in jail. And what does cancel culture say? Let them out of jail. I want you to see what's happening, but I want you to see the end. See, we're putting criminals in jail and cancel culture is saying, let them out of jail. And Pilate said to them, what then shall we do with Jesus who is called the Christ? And they said, Let us crucify Him. That's when you withdraw support from the right people. We have less people professing Jesus Christ today than we've ever had in history. Be careful. Then the governor said, What evil has He done? But they cried all the more, saying, Let's crucify Him. They don't really understand what's right and wrong. Cancel culture doesn't understand what's right and wrong. We got a Supreme Court justice is going to be confirmed.

James Greer: [00:23:34] And they asked her the other day, What's a woman? Well, they're deciding that in court right now. I used to go to the hospital. I don't go that much now. We have a lot of associate pastors to go. And every time I go to a hospital, everybody wait outside, wait outside, wait outside, wait outside. And now, most of the time, they know, hey, and they'd come outside and they said, Oh, it's a boy. Yeah, it's a boy or it's a girl. I've never had a doctor yet say, Hey, I don't know. I'm going to call to find out what the court says. Now I'm not a lawyer. I'm not a lawyer. Let me give y'all a secret. What they do is they look between the legs of that baby and they decide it's a boy or girl. Amen? Y'all can decide. Y'all didn't know I was that smart, did you? So but that's what cancel culture is telling you that you don't even know. But you can find out. Amen? Y'all just learned something today. Yeah. Y'all didn't even go to college to find that out. What Pilate saw that they couldn't prevail against all, but rather that there would be, it really means turmoil would be raised. He took water and he washed his hands before them, the multitude and said, Hey, I'm innocent of the blood of this just man. You see to it. Now, listen, you can't just do that. You can't just say, Hey, I'm going to live in turmoil.

James Greer: [00:25:06] Y'all are going to have turmoil, and I'm going to be innocent, even though I was the ultimate authority in the situation. But when you have cancel culture, guess what you have? You got turmoil. Do you think that we have more turmoil in the United States than we've ever had in our life? Amen. Yeah. See, doing nothing does not eliminate or excuse you from your sin. But let me tell you, doing nothing actually turn what God already had planned. Jesus Christ went to the cross, but He rose on the third day. And now the disciples and even many of the priests started following Him, and they made a stand for Christ. And He took everything that looked bad and He turned it around to something good. And what you see going on in the world today, ultimately, when you start making a stand for Christ, He's in control, He's in control of your life and you don't have to worry about it. Amen? But don't do nothing. Don't do nothing. You can't get away with doing nothing. And Jesus gave us a great example with the talents. Jesus said, Hey, I gave [inaudible], but He gave one talent to one person. And he said, Hey, the Lord came back and said, you're a hard man. You reap what haven't sown and gather what you haven't gathered. And He said, I was afraid, Pilate was afraid. He said, I took your talent and I hid it in the ground.

James Greer: [00:26:23] Jesus said, You're a lazy servant. The reason that many people don't do what Jesus called them to do. You ready? Because they're lazy. They do everything else in the world, but they can't do what God called them do. He said, You knew that I reaped what I had now sown, you gathered where you had not scattered. You ought at least take it and put it in a bank where I could have gotten interest. He said, take the talent from the one that God has won. You give it to the one that has ten. See, the people that are busy doing God's business are the ones that seem like they can always be the ones you count on to do more. But listen to this. He was making excuses for why he didn't do what God called him to do. He sums it up in verse 30, and he says this. Cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness where there'll be weeping and gnashing of teeth. When God's called you to do something and you don't do it like Pilate did, you can't excuse your responsibilities. You can't do nothing and make excuses. God said, when I call you to do something. I've heard people say this. Why don't you come to church? Somebody hurt my feelings. So you're coming to church for him or her? I can't tell you how many times I heard that said. Or somebody didn't speak to me or the pastor cussed too much.

James Greer: [00:27:51] I don't know. I mean. And so you're coming to church for that reason? Somebody said, I'm too busy to come to church. I can't remove your busyness. What God calls you to do and you're not doing it, see, you better be careful because see, there's no in between. God says in Matthew 12:30, He who is against me, He who is not with me is against me. And he who does not gather with me scatters abroad. See, you got to make up your mind. Are you going to be with Him or against Him? There's only two. There's only a Heaven and hell. There's no in between. So in closing, look, look, who do you say Jesus is? Most important question in your life. Is He your Savior? Is He your Lord? Is He the one you're going to give control to when things get out of control? Because nothing's ever out of His control. Some of you need to say today, Hey, man, He's my Savior. I'm going to Heaven. But I need to give Him control of my life. Every time that things start to seem like they're going to get out of control, I'm going to give them to the one that's ultimately in control because they're never out of control for Him. He'll take it and use it for the good. Jesus was so in control, He got Pilate upset. Maybe what I need is to be filled with God's Spirit where I'm more loving, happy and peaceful, and patient, kind and good and faithful.

James Greer: [00:29:33] And I mean, I just need the fruits of the spirit like never before. I need gentleness. I need self-control. Maybe you're struggling with jealousy and you see the danger of jealousy. It was jealousy that put Jesus on the cross, but it was God who allowed it to bring it about. See, jealousy really is birthed out a lack of trust and faith in God. Understand doing nothing doesn't free you from the judgment of God. Maybe God called you to teach. Maybe God called you to a small group, to be a part of a small group. Maybe called you to serve in a certain spot. Everybody has a next step. I was with somebody this week and they lost a loved one. They said, They took their ultimate next step. They took their next step and went to Heaven. I hope you're ready to take the ultimate next step, which is to go to Heaven. And if you haven't, I pray that you'd do that. I hope that you let Jesus Christ be in control of your life, the ultimate authority. Whatever He says that you're willing to do. I hope today if you came in and you're really troubled and pressured and stressed, that you'll let one of these people pray with you and you say, hey, listen, I think I've accepted Jesus as my Savior, but I really haven't let Him be in control of my life. And I'm going through these problems and have this stress in my life.

James Greer: [00:31:16] And Jesus was calm right in the midst of being crucified. And that was the reason, because He knew that His Father was in control. And if you're saved, you're His child. He's your daddy, and He wants to be in control of your life. He wants you to give it to Him today. So whatever's going on in your life today, I pray that you let Him have His will and His way. Would stand and let me pray for you? God, I thank you that Jesus went to the cross. They didn't take Him. He gave His life up, gave it up for me and you. I pray for those that are here today, maybe it's somebody hasn't accepted Him as Savior and Lord, today they would settle that. They believe that it was Jesus as their Savior. But today, they want to make Him the Lord of their lives, the controller of their lives. They want to give their problems to Him, their pressures to Him, knowing that He can take control even when their life seems like it's out of control. Maybe they want to join the church. Maybe they want to follow through in baptism. Maybe they haven't been baptized since they really knew they were saved. Maybe they want to come and pray with somebody or for somebody. Whatever God lays upon their heart, God, I pray they let you have your way in their lives. I pray it in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360