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How Many Bible Characters Would Be Canceled Today?

In today’s culture, the term “cancel” often references removing celebrities or people in power that have broken set societal rules from mainstream relevance. So, how many Bible characters would be canceled today? And how did God use them anyway?

Contributing Writer
Mar 18, 2022
How Many Bible Characters Would Be Canceled Today?

Many of the Bible characters in the Bible would be canceled today. The term of being “canceled” is extremely popular today. If a person is canceled, they are seen as rejected, unlikable, and a bad person.

In our modern-day society, many people have been canceled such as writer J. K. Rowling, actor Armie Hammer, and singer Brendon Urie. While these different celebrities were canceled for a myriad of different reasons, the overall conclusion was that these stars were canceled because of something they said or did that was offensive.

In this article, we are going to uncover how many Bible characters would be canceled today and how God used them anyway.

1. Sarah

Sarah is a Bible character who would be canceled today. As the wife of Abraham, Sarah often gets placed as being superior to other women in the Bible; however, she is not superior to anyone else. Just because she was Abraham’s wife does not mean she is any more special than anyone else in the Bible.

In fact, Sarah made many mistakes. She badly mistreated Hagar, she was bitter, and she expressed a lack of faith many times (Genesis 16:1-16; Genesis 18:12-15). Hagar was a handmaiden of Sarah, who Sarah gave to be with Abraham when she herself could not have a child.

After Hagar becomes pregnant, Sarah is overwhelmed with anger, hate, and bitterness to the point that she hurts Hagar (Genesis 16:1-6). Sarah also struggled with a lack of faith when God promised that her and Abraham would have a son.

Due to her age and the fact that a long time had elapsed since the time God had made the promise, she doubted. Despite Sarah’s mistreatment of Hagar, her bitterness, and her lack of faith, God still used her.

In the same way, God can still use us despite our bitterness, past mistakes, or lack of faith. Sarah was not perfect, but neither are we. God does not expect us to be perfect, but He does want us to turn to Him.

2. Jacob

Jacob would be another Bible character who would be canceled today. Jacob became Israel and he was the father to the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Before Jacob became Israel, he was Jacob, and his name meant “he deceives” (Genesis 25:26).

Through Jacob’s deception, he stole the birthright and the blessing from his older brother Esau (Genesis 27). Jacob was his mother’s favorite; thus, she would often help him in his schemes. Later in Jacob’s life when he became Israel and had 12 sons through many different women, he played favorites.

Rather than loving all of his children the same, Jacob’s two favorite children were Joseph and Benjamin. Joseph and Benjamin were Jacob’s favorites because they were born of Rachel, who was his favorite wife.

Jacob never loved Leah the same way he loved Rachel, which caused Leah much sorrow. In our present-day culture, Jacob would be canceled because he was a deceiver and played favorites.

Despite Jacob’s great sins, God used him to become the father of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, to which later Jesus would be born of the Tribe of Judah. It is important to remember when we are reading the Bible that the people within its pages are just like us.

They all fall short and mess up. It is common for us to place Bible characters on pedestals because they are in the Bible, but they are not perfect. They are fallen humans just like us. Similar to how God redeemed Jacob’s life, He can redeem ours too.

3. King David

One of the main Bible characters who would be canceled today would be King David. David was said to be a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14); however, David did sin as he committed adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:1-12:9).

David was already married to multiple women when he lusted after Bathsheba. (We don’t know Bathsheba’s compliance here — David, as the king of Israel had the upper hand and control in this situation). Uriah was Bathsheba’s husband, and he was also one of David’s best and most loyal soldiers.

David committed adultery with Bathsheba while Uriah was at war, trying to protect King David and his people. When David found out Bathsheba was pregnant, he tried to trick Uriah to leave the battlefront and come back home to be with his wife.

As soon as Uriah heard the news from David, he told David that he could not leave the battle and be with his wife while his other soldiers were out on the battlefield.

David was upset with Uriah’s answer because he wanted Uriah to come home and sleep with Bathsheba in order for Uriah not to find out about the adultery that had occurred while he was gone.

When Uriah did not return home to be with his wife, David gave orders for Uriah to be placed on the front lines in order for Uriah to be killed in war. Ultimately, Uriah was killed, and it was because of David’s command.

Thus, David not only committed adultery, but he also committed murder. In our modern-day society, David would have been canceled. To commit adultery with another man’s wife and then to murder him would certainly earn a person cancellation within mainstream society.

Despite David’s horrendous acts, God forgave him after David repented. David and Bathsheba’s baby died; however, they later got married and gave birth to Solomon, who God richly blessed. Similar to how David sinned against God, we all have sinned against God at some point in our lives.

Even though we have sinned, if we repent, God will forgive us. David committed adultery and murder, yet God still forgave Him and welcomed David home with open arms.

In the same way, no matter how great our sin is, God can forgive every sin. Even though our sin is great, God’s love is greater.

4. Paul

Paul is another person from the New Testament who would be canceled today. Prior to becoming a follower and Apostle of Jesus Christ, Paul was Saul. Saul was a man who intensely persecuted Christians to the point of imprisoning them and killing them (Acts 8:3; Galatians 1:13).

Saul hated Christians and he saw them as a menace to Judaism. Despite Saul’s bad past, God brought him to know Him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-9). After hearing Jesus’ voice and being blinded, Paul believed in Jesus and converted to Christianity.

Paul later became a great servant of God, though his past always followed him around. Paul describes himself as the “worst of sinners” in his letter to Timothy (1 Timothy 1:15). If Jesus could forgive Paul and use him for His glory, then He can do the same for us.

Regardless of Paul’s past, Jesus was able to use him to help many people come to know Him. If you come from a bad past, do not be afraid because God can still use you. In fact, your testimony will be all the weightier and attest to the saving grace of Jesus in your life.

5. Jesus

I thought it was important to mention that Jesus would definitely be canceled today within our cancellation culture. Jesus would be canceled today because He says that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).

The Lord teaches that He is God through His “I Am” statement that is recorded in the Gospel of John as well as He proving His divinity through His miracles (John 6:35, 8:12, 10:7, 10:11-14, 11:25, 14:6, 15:1).

Since Jesus proclaimed Himself to be God and proved it in His death and resurrection, most people today would cancel Him. In a way, Jesus was canceled in His day as He was sentenced to death even though He had done nothing wrong. It is the same today.

Since Jesus proclaimed Himself to be the only way to salvation, many people today would argue against Him and claim there are many roads to salvation. People today would most likely refer to Jesus as suffering from a mental illness rather than being who He truly is — the Son of God.

Jesus never did anything wrong as He never sinned (1 Peter 2:22; Hebrews 4:15), thus, it would only be reasonable that people would not cancel Him, yet people still do. Jesus would be canceled because people do not like what Jesus had to say.

If Jesus is who He says is, then a life without Him would certainly lead to eternity in hell. Most people do not want to accept this, which is why He would be canceled in modern society. If someone says something that is not something they agree with, they are automatically canceled.

As Christians, we know Jesus should not be canceled because He is the Savior of our souls, and He is God in the flesh (John 1:1). If we accept Him and live our lives in service to Jesus, He can do wonderful things through our lives.

For further reading:

Why Is it Important to Study the Various Characters in the Bible?
How Did a Man after God’s Own Heart Fall So Far into Sin?

How God Met Hagar in Her Deepest Need

What Is the Significance of Paul on Damascus Road?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/inga

Vivian BrickerVivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.

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