ADVERTISING
 
Monday, August 19   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Nick Park
 

Blasphemy, Stephen Fry and the Gospel

The New Testament writers tell us that God’s honour is not something so fragile that it needs to be protected by legal restrictions.

FEATURES AUTHOR Nick Park 10 MAY 2017 17:51 h GMT+1
Stephen Fry, during the interview with RTE in which he attacked the Christian idea of God. / RTE

Christians who get upset about others blaspheming their God are missing the entire point of the Christian Gospel.



The New Testament tells us that the very reason why Jesus came to earth was to be blasphemed. Let’s face it, you can’t really commit any greater blasphemy than spitting in the face of God and then nailing Him to a piece of wood!



By recording this blasphemous treatment of God the Son in all its gory details, the New Testament writers tell us that God’s honour is not something so fragile that it needs to be protected by legal restrictions. The Gospel message is that the love and grace of Jesus is robust enough to transform blasphemy into something worth celebrating. This was the paradox that turned Saul, a self-confessed blasphemer (1 Timothy 1:13), into the apostle Paul.



As a Christian, I obviously disagree with Stephen Fry’s comments about God. However, it is ludicrous that Gardaí (the Irish police) should waste their time and public money investigating whether he should be prosecuted. In a pluralist society, it is inevitable that one person’s firmly held religious (or non-religious) beliefs are blasphemous to somebody else.



For example, it is a core Christian belief that Jesus is God’s Son – yet this would be considered blasphemous by some Muslims. Equally, the core Muslim belief that God has no son is blasphemous to some Christians.



So, are we grown-up enough to discuss our differences? Or are we going to cry for the law to silence anything that might offend us?



Laws against blasphemy stifle genuine debate and, ultimately, that can only harm religious faith and religious freedom. It is not often I find myself agreeing with Senator Ivana Bacik, but she is undoubtedly correct when she states that Ireland’s blasphemy law encourages repressive regimes that use similar legislation to persecute minorities.



Those who truly believe in God should realise that He is big enough to look after Himself without needing any assistance from the Gardaí.



Nick Park, Executive Director, Evangelical Alliance Ireland.



 


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - Blasphemy, Stephen Fry and the Gospel
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process

The Brussels representative of the European Evangelical Alliance offers a Christian perspective on the crisis: “We can’t reduce people to just a number that needs to be controlled”.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference

Evangelical leaders from across Europe meet in Wisla (Poland) to network for mission in a range of fields. The vision is to renew the biblical church and evangelise Europe.

 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Chinese Homecoming Gathering: Thousands say 'we’re one' Chinese Homecoming Gathering: Thousands say 'we’re one'

Christians from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and North America, from different ethnic backgronds, came together to pray for unity as the body of Christ.

 
How have global missions changed over the last century? How have global missions changed over the last century?

The centre of gravity of Christianity has shifted from Europe to Africa, says Nana Yaw Offei Awuku, Director of the Lausanne Younger Leaders Generation initiative.

 
Christian organisations call to pray for new British Prime Minister Christian organisations call to pray for new British Prime Minister

Representatives of the National Day of Prayer, the Evangelical Alliance and CARE express the need for churches to pray for the new leadership of a country divided by Brexit and other issues.

 
Practical ways to direct our hearts toward spiritual growth Practical ways to direct our hearts toward spiritual growth

“It is not our initiative, it is not working for ourselves, it is gazing to Jesus and responding to Him. It is the language of inclining the heart that we see in Psalms”, said  Peter Mead, Director of Cor Deo.

 
Evangelical students from around the world gather in South Africa Evangelical students from around the world gather in South Africa

A short video summary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) World Assembly, July 3-10.

 
GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration” GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration”

850 from 108 countries met for the Global Workplace Forum, June 25-29. The gathering was organised by the Lausanne Movement. “Every workplace is a place of ministry”.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.