Today is International Blasphemy Rights Day. Blasphemy is the act of speaking irreverently about God or sacred things. In centuries past, it was a very serious crime, and it still is today in some countries. International Blasphemy Rights Day was introduced in 2009 by the Center for Inquiry based in Amherst, New York. As far as I can determine, it exists and is international only because they said so. The reason they give for establishing this day is to support free speech and the right to criticize or satirize religion. One would think from the name of their organization, that the purpose for criticism would be to determine the truth, but on the front page of their website today, Ronald Lindsay, the president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry says that if you aren’t sure how to commemorate the day, “just state that there is no god”. That doesn’t sound like inquiry to me. What if there really is a god?
In Acts 17:10-11 Paul and Silas left Thessalonica and went to Berea to preach the good news about Jesus Christ. Whereas many of the Thessalonians had incited trouble and riotous behaviour among the crowds, the Bereans were commended for being open-minded. In some versions, open-minded is translated as receptive, fair-minded, noble-minded or of noble character. They eagerly received the message, but that does not mean that they were naïve or simple-minded. They were open to learning and to admitting that there might be something that they didn’t already know. They didn’t just accept it at face value though. They searched the scriptures to see if what Paul and Silas were saying really was true. At that time, the scriptures consisted of what we now know as the Old Testament; the New Testament didn’t exist yet. Paul and Silas taught from the Old Testament to show the people that the scriptures pointed to Jesus. Since the Jews had been waiting for a Messiah, their two choices were to believe that the Messiah could be Jesus, or to believe that it couldn’t be. The Bereans believed that it could be, but they studied the scriptures to confirm if it was true.
God has nothing against inquiring minds. He is not afraid of our questions. By all means seek the truth. In order to do that, however, you need to be open to the possibility that you do not already fully understand all the answers. If you were open to that, I would suggest that you pray for God to reveal Himself to you as you continue on your quest. God promises that you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart. (Deuteronomy 4:29, Jeremiah 29:13)