The Blasphemy Challenge
Dr. James Emery WhiteJames Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina; President of Serious Times, a ministry which explores the intersection of faith and culture (www.serioustimes.org); and ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture on the Charlotte campus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Dr. White holds the B.S., M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees, along with additional work at Vanderbilt University and Oxford University. He is the author of over a dozen books.
- 2007 Jun 29
I received an email from a female member of our staff at Mecklenburg with the following included:
“I have something for you to read, too, although I have to warn you that it may make you throw up. I literally felt sick after I went on this site and it is definitely hard to get out of your mind when you see it, but it will be a constant reminder of why we do what we do. It’s www.blasphemychallenge.com and these people have asked others to post videos of themselves rejecting God and pretty much daring him to do something about it. In return they get a free DVD titled The God Who Wasn’t There. I didn’t think too much could shock me these days. This was devastating.”
Go to the site. Watch a few of the “blasphemies.”
I had so many different emotions as I watched the mostly-young men and women state their denial of God. A sick, sordid feeling, as if watching something deeply perverted. Genuine fear. An anger toward the authors of the enterprise. Irritation that their attempt to ridicule Christianity didn’t even get what blasphemy was actually about.
But the lasting emotion is the one shared by my colleague in ministry: “it will be a constant reminder of why we do what we do.”
Perhaps more to the point, it will be a reminder to always do what we are doing. And to continue to challenge others to be about it as well.
There is a blasphemy challenge case before us. A real one. To blaspheme the Holy Spirit is to reject His work in our life, and specifically, the work of conversion. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of our sin (John 16:8-10); it is the Holy Spirit who opens our eyes to the truth of Christ (John 15:26); it is the Holy Spirit who moves us to repent and believe – to be born again is to be born of the Spirit (John 3:6-8; Ephesians 2:1-5). This is the unforgivable sin; to ultimately and finally reject the saving work of Christ for our life.
It would be difficult to do any kind of study of the work of the Holy Spirit and not come away convinced that the Holy Spirit is essentially a missionary Spirit. That was the point of Pentecost in the second chapter of Acts. Tongues of different languages were given in order that all could hear and understand the gospel, which was then followed by a crusade where the apostle Peter spoke and over 3,000 came to Christ. One of the defining marks of the early church, and more specifically the Spirit-filled, Spirit-led church, is that people were coming to faith in Christ on a daily basis (Acts 2:47). The entire book of Acts is a missionary book, detailing how the gospel spread from Jerusalem to the entire world.
So what is the real blasphemy challenge? I think it’s called the Great Commission.
James Emery White