International Blasphemy Day-A Christian Response

Today is International Blasphemy Day, sponsored by the Center for Inquiry. The Center’s mission is “to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist value.” As part of the day’s celebration the CFI is sponsoring a blasphemy contest, inviting people to submit poems, phrases and statements that are blasphemous.

I have written a brief article about this for a more general audience at Examiner.com that you can access here.

While the creation of this “holiday” may tempt believers to become indignant and to feel persecuted, I don’t think those are the best responses that we should have. Al Mohler gets it just right when he counsels Christians to “take no offense” at the establishment of this day.

Refuse to play into the game plan of those sponsoring International Blasphemy Day. The Lord Jesus Christ was and is despised and rejected of men. Our Lord bore the scorn heaped upon him by his enemies. Christianity is not an honor religion. Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are not commanded to defend his honor, but to be willing to share in the scorn directed to him. Is the servant greater than his master?

Rather than offense, we should take pity–genuine pity. The kind that Jesus had for Jerusalem when He looked over the city and wept because of their unbelief. “How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing” (Luke 13:34). Sometimes we get lulled to sleep about the true spiritual condition of those outside of Christ. With the increasing secularization of our culture, events like the International Blasphemy Day ought to rouse us from such delusions.

A second response we ought to have is hope. Not the kind of hope that arises out of unbelief that something will or could happen, but biblical hope–the kind that is confident about the future because of the past. Hope that is biblical takes the promises of God and makes them present blessings because in Christ–through His life, death and resurrection–every last one of them is “Yes!” and “Amen!” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

The hope that belongs to every Christian on Blasphemy Day is this: First, we are confident that blasphemers can be converted. They can be conquered by grace and swayed by the gospel to become loyal followers of Christ and servants of God. Such was Paul. Such was I and, if you are a Christian today, such were you. So don’t hate blasphemers or dismiss as hopeless. They aren’t! God can change them. He has been doing so throughout history.

Secondly, we are confident that one day every blasphemer will bow to Jesus as Lord. Either they will do so while there is still opportunity to receive forgiveness and new life in Him through faith, or they will bow in terror and endless sorrow on the day of judgment. But we can be sure “that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).

Christ will not be undone by blasphemers. He will conquer them either by His grace or His justice. This is our hope–our confidence. And we should live as those who are thus assured.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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