So Carl Trueman got banned from youtube recently. It would be super easy to get on a moral high horse about the totalitarian tech giants, or progressive left, or the oversensitivity of the progressive snowflakes. It would be easily because there are few who are as well reasoned, educated, and gentle as Trueman. However, I would be able to add little to what has already been said in excess. And even in what I will write I am 99.9% certain that someone recently has said the same thing better than I. However, it occurred to me the real reason that there is such a slew of silenced, cancelled or blocked conservatives or dissenters from the orthodoxy is simply because, in many cases they are well reasoned or just plain correct.
Let us assume first the position of correctness, I’ll take well reasoned next. What Trueman was saying was simply true.
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” – John Adams
Truth is a threat to peddlers of, and believers in, lies. As Christians we believe the Truth. Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He simply can not be effectively argued against, therefore he must be shouted down or refused an audience. In a way we should not be surprised that the cancellation comes. Even in the case of popular conservatives who would be seen as a nominal or un-christian. There is a bedrock of truth in what they would say, and that is a danger to the lie so even in such small doses they too must be shut down.
Secondly, we’ll take reason. The truth is stated and the evidence for its veracity is presented. This has the effect of edifying those present that they are not alone and there are good reasons for why they believe the truth they believe. But clear reasoning is also a threat to lies, for the adherent to a falsehood their world is taken apart brick by brick and the truth is erected in its place. There is a reason college students spend so much time pulling fire alarms and screaming over speakers they have never even heard. They intuitively know to give a hearing to reason will cause their house of cards to wobble if not collapse. They are being as honest as the children I teach who refuse to believe in Christ because they know they will have to give up their sins. Lost men love lies, they love sin, they are idolaters.
I wonder if the astonishment of conservatives that watch silencing and cancelations has some basis in that they didn’t really believe their message had any power and were shocked and surprised when it did.
Ultimately the kind of treatment that is seen commonly should not come as a surprise. Except for perhaps how long it took the left to catch on. but thus has it ever been. Stephen found it out the hard way. He could not be argued with and so the Sanhedrin had him killed. I hold to the view that he was debating Saul the golden student of Gamaliel and when Saul realized he lost he cheated by having Stephen killed. But that loss ate away at him which is why you see such escalation in his assaults on the early church, “breathing threats and violence.” This is why mobs are never satisfied with just one silencing, they know they have lost, so they continue to breath threats and violence. Ironically, little did Saul know that he too would be silenced and canceled in Emmaus in short order, become Paul and suffer much more of the same across his missionary journeys. Paul was a danger to the prevailing beliefs because he knew and preached the truth. In the same way, as holders of the truth there should be no surprise when we are assaulted, we are a clear and present danger to the lie and the spirit of this age. The only difference between our days and the past is the disdain for the truth is no longer cloaked behind smiles and talk of tolerance. The quiet part has been said out loud and that was deemed a good thing.