“And he spoke terrible words of blasphemy against God, slandering his name and his dwelling–that is, those who dwell in heaven.” Rev 13:6
For Further Reading: Mat 12:31-32; 1 Pet 2:16; Rev 13:5-7
There are some parts of God’s Word that can be particularly difficult to read or accept, especially when its Truth cuts across our own human reason, will and emotions.
Whether we accept it or not, God’s Word cannot be changed. It does not bend to suit the tides of public opinion. Its principles cannot be placed on the altar of compromise. God’s Word remains true and even after this world passes away, it remains. [Mat 24:35]
On January 7th, 2015, ripples of shock, grief and soon anger traveled across most parts of the world at the horrific news of gunmen storming the Paris-based office of French satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 persons and injuring others. It was reported that the crime was an act of terrorism in response to the paper’s repeated portrayal of the prophet Mohammed in a derogatory fashion.
To be exact, Charlie Hebdo was notoriously known, criticised and even loved by some for its scathing attacks on world religions – notably those of Judaism, Christianity and Islam – as well as on political figures from French Presidents to former US Secretaries of State.
The blood bath in Paris sparked unrest in a few other parts of the world where Christians are the minority, with Islamic extremists torching churches and burning Christian schools.
And yet, though the western nations fought back with words “I am Charlie”, signifying that the cowardly acts of these gunmen would not be enough to suppress freedom of speech, still small voices in the desert could be heard crying, “No, I am not Charlie… Charlie was not actually such a nice fellow”.
As Christians, we will repeatedly find ourselves in a tug-o-war. Public persuasion, mostly driven by the media, will tug on our heart strings to get us to join a particular bandwagon. We must, however, investigate for ourselves and weigh what is being said against the Word of God.
We denounce violence, eagerly awaiting the return of the Messiah to usher us into an age of no wars. But we also cannot support those who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and ridicule God’s people.
Apostle Peter tells us, “For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil”.