Flirting With Blasphemy
Many Christians are scared to death of committing blasphemy.
That’s why we do weird things like buy more items at the convenience store just so the total on our receipt doesn’t equal $6.66. I’m not sure what the implications would be if we just left the total at $6.66. I’m pretty sure that a receipt total is NOT the mark of the beast due to the fact that, according to Revelation, the mark of the beast will be all up on you. Granted, I don’t spend much time studying books on eschatology, but I think my reasoning here is pretty sound.
Regardless of whether or not a $6.66 receipt is the true mark of the beast, there are a lot of Christians who tread very lightly so as not to blaspheme God. They live in fear of it. I know this because in my short time as a pastor I’ve had to talk a couple people down from a ledge regarding this issue.
So if you live in fear of blaspheming God, allow me to debunk a few myths for you:
4 Myths Regarding Blasphemy
$6.66 Receipts Aren’t Blasphemy. It’s true, sometimes 666 is used as a sign of evil, but most of the time it’s just a freakin’ number. If you’re at the convenience store and your receipt totals $6.66, it doesn’t mean anything blasphemous; it means you bought a couple bottles of soda and a bag of pizza-flavored Combos. So relax. Eat your Combos in peace knowing that Satan hasn’t chosen you to join his army.
Doubt is not blasphemy. I don’t care how strong your faith is (or isn’t), we all doubt. We all have those moments when we wonder if what we believe is actually true. Thomas, who was an apostle of Jesus, doubted the resurrection. In fact, he kinda refused to believe it. But Jesus didn’t flip out about it. He just showed Thomas His hands and His side and that was that. If you’re struggling with doubt, it’s cool. Keep looking for truth. You’ll find it.
Embarrassment is not blasphemy. We’ve all had those moments where we’re kinda ashamed to admit we’re Christians. We don’t want people to think we’re judgmental or weird or homophobic, so we keep the “Jesus badge” tucked under our shirt so no one can see it. Then later on we feel guilty for not proudly proclaiming our faith and we worry that we’ve done something unforgivable.
Jonah ran away from God. Peter denied Christ three times; he even cursed at some folks who were trying to identify him as a disciple! These dudes were embarrassed, but Jonah ended up being an important prophet and Peter started the Church as we know it.
Embarrassment isn’t blasphemy. Quit worrying.
Anger is not blasphemy. I have a friend who has a very short fuse. It doesn’t take much for him to get really frustrated and amped up. He came to me a lot for advice because he would take his anger out on God, often cursing Him out with his thoughts. My friend was worried that he had committed an unforgivable sin by taking his anger out on God the way he did, but I told him to relax. God can handle it.
We often use Job as an example of how we should be patient during trials and difficulties. But if you read the book of Job, you’ll find that Job was pretty hacked off about the whole situation. In fact, for the entire book Job yells at God while his buddies tell him to put a cork in it. When God finally shows up, he gives Job a good scolding before giving all his stuff back.
The point: God can handle your anger.
Finally, if you’re worried that you’ve blasphemed God, you haven’t. In fact, all my thoughts on whether or not you’ve committed blasphemy can be wrapped up in that last statement. If you’re worried about it, then you haven’t. When we see instances of the Pharisees blaspheming Jesus in the New Testament (which they did several times) you can see that they absolutely refused to believe that Jesus is God. This is unforgivable, not because God can’t forgive, but because the Pharisees’ hearts were so hardened they didn’t want forgiveness.
Therefore, if you’re worried that you’ve committed an unforgivable sin towards God, you haven’t because your worry is a sign that you care. You wouldn’t feel any conviction otherwise.
Have you ever worried that you’ve committed an unforgivable sin? Do you buy extra stuff at supermarkets when your receipt totals $6.66? Let’s talk about it!