The Foolishness of the Blasphemy Challenge

Since it was featured on one of those evening news shows awhile ago, I feel obliged to talk about the blasphemy challenge. As I understand it, the group known as the Rational Response Squad together with Brian Flemming, the maker of the completely irrational film The God Who Wasn't There, have put out a challenge to atheists everywhere to record a video to "publicly renounce any belief in the sky God of Christianity" by committing the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, i.e., the unforgivable sin. (Of course, it is always the way with these people to be disrespectful and insulting in everything they do, so the reference to the "sky God" is not unexpected.) These really sad videos are then posted on YouTube and you can see a collection of them here.

Personally, I'm sure that these atheists think that what they are doing is cute. They view it like saying "I don't believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny or Richard Dawkins" because they believe that there is no reprisal to come. Personally, I don't know if there will be a reprisal either from other people or from God, but since God is very patient (sometimes waiting hundreds of years before taking action) I expect that it will be a very long time before we know whether there are any repercussions to these poor souls who take the time to record these really stupid videos. (Someone should keep track.)

And, of course, if what they are doing really does represent blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, i.e., the unforgivable sin (I don't think it does), then Flemming and his compatriots are really doing a great evil to many individuals who are simply too ignorant of the facts to make up their own minds. (Luke 17:1-2 was written for people like Flemming.) In my view, watching the videos is like going to the site of a catastrophe and looking at the people who have died that are lying in a line on the ground. I feel really bad for all these people who are setting their minds against God at the encouragement of a bunch of people who don't know or care about them. Very sad.

Sad, however, is not foolish, and the blasphemy challenge is an exercise in foolishness.

What is particularly fascinating about the blasphemy challenge is that these people have decided that the best way to make the point is to commit blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (and have all of these poor lemmings follow them) assuring themselves that if they're wrong about the non-existence of God as taught in Christianity that they will certainly end up in hell and they cannot change their minds later (when wisdom shows them that they are incredibly wrong). It's like saying, "I'm so sure that I can fly, that I'm not going to simply jump out of a tree to prove it, I'm going to jump off the edge of the Grand Canyon." Well, that's all well and good if you're absolutely convinced you can fly, but if you maintain any semblance of doubt, then isn't it wiser to jump out of a tree where you might survive than off a 2000 foot cliff? Do you have to commit the unpardonable sin to establish your non-belief or is there a better, safer way to do it?

For their part, I'm sure they would respond that the use of the unpardonable sin proves how certain they are that Christianity is false. However, since they know that it is impossible to establish with absolute certainty that God exists or doesn't exist (I think that given an objective hearing a reasonable person would be convinced that He does), their decision to commit the unforgiveable sin shows a lack of wisdom that is absolutely astounding. I mean, seriously, given that they cannot know for certain that God doesn't exist or that Christianity isn't real (their supposedly rational thoughts may lead them to that conclusion but it is apparent that many rational people have come to completely different conclusions), this is like the cinema mad scientist who conducts experiments on himself without taking heed of the potential and serious downsides. Who would do that but a fool? Yet, those who take up the blasphemy challenge (and more importantly, those who lead others to it) are so convinced of what they cannot know that they ignore the warnings by people of equal (and possibly superior) intelligence of potentially dire consequences and dive into potential disaster head-first.

Foolishness -- that's what it is; simply foolishness.


Helge said…
Still, you have to give them credit for not being afraid. I see great pride and courage in them as they boldly deny the holy ghost.
BK said…
Yes, they deserve the same credit for not being afraid as the person who jumps out of an airplane without a parachute.
Frank Walton said…
Uh, yeah, they're not afraid to publicly display their disrespect toward Christianity. You don't see that happening in America. No sirree! Anyway, if you guys are interested I just stared a blogsite specifically against the Blasphemy Challenge here.

We try to give all the up to date info on the "challenge."

Vince Amnot said…
I have contemplated the 'blashemy of the Holy Spirit' many times over the years. The thing that occurs to me is that in order to blaspheme the Holy Spirit you need to know him. I doubt that any of these people have knowledge of the Holy Spirit and therefore are really incapable of blaspheming him, only disrespecting him. It just makes God sad. This is also why I believe that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is such a rare thing. Once you have come to know him, his love, his goodness it is so hard to run on him, and reject him.
BK said…

I agree wholeheartedly. I think that you do have to recognize that the Spirit is there and moving and still blaspheme him to commit this particular sin.

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