My newsfeed has been flooded with Joe Rogan as of late.
The attempt to pressure Spotify to silence him has been a popular topic of conversation. In the midst of the madness, Joe Rogan issued two apologies. One was for spreading misinformation, and the other for using a racial slur.
I do not know Rogan’s heart and will not attempt to impute motives to him, but the circumstances surrounding his apologies press us to evaluate the motivations which produce apologies. Before you are ever tempted to step into the Cult of Social Justice’s confession booth, it is important to be reminded that sometimes saying sorry is sin.
One of the wrong ways to say sorry is to do so for the sake of keeping peace.
In this instance, the person apologizing is not actually sorry for what he has done, but he would rather dissolve tension than fight his cause. In this case, the apology is sinful because it is a lie. It is a failure to be truthful with one’s neighbor (Ephesians 4:25).
Whether it’s a celebrity appeasing a mob, or a husband appeasing his wife, in all circumstances, to apologize without actually being apologetic is a lie, and lying is sin. If you’re not sorry, do not say you’re sorry. Telling lies is one of the worst ways to mend a hostile relationship.
The other wrong motivation for apologizing is fear. Sometimes a person may apologize because he fears the consequences of not doing so. Whether it be getting fired, losing a friend, or being physically harmed, sometimes people apologize because the apology was demanded with a threat.
Certainly it is good to be sympathetic when anyone is in this position, but it is nonetheless true that apologizing in this circumstance is an even greater sin. Not only is this person saying sorry lying, but he is now fearing the world more than God.
Jesus tells us, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
Whenever a person sins out of fear, what they are saying by their actions is that they are far more afraid of offending men than they are of offending God, and that is sin. A healthy fear and reverence of God leads to righteous living no matter the earthly consequences. To apologize from fear is sinful.
Nevertheless, there is obviously an appropriate time to say sorry. If a person does a wrong thing, he should feel conviction and he should apologize. The right motivation to apologize is when you are actually convicted that you did something wrong. If you’ve done something wrong – and you know you’ve done something wrong – then and only then do you have an obligation say you’re sorry.
It’s apparent to anyone who has listened to Rogan that he is no bigot. It’s apparent to anyone who saw his apologetic response to the mob’s attempt to cancel him that his motivation was appeasement.
Rogan would be well served to remember that “He who digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him. A lying tongue hates those it crushes, and a flattering mouth causes ruin” (Proverbs 26:27-28).
Categories: Resisting the Winds