Professor Richard Dawkins is encouraging children to blaspheme the Holy Spirit on his website, Christian Voice has learned.
On www.richarddawkins.net the campaigning atheist has republished 'the blasphemy challenge' by a youth group calling itself 'Rational Responders'.
The idea, which dates from December 2006, is that anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit on video on YouTube is rewarded with a free copy of a DVD called 'The God Who Wasn't There'.
According to 'The Rational Response Squad', their campaign is 'to entice young people to publicly renounce any belief' in what they describe as 'the sky God' of Christianity. Their knowledge of Christian theology is not much better than Mohammed's when he was writing the Koran. After relegating God to 'the sky' they venture that Christians believe the Holy Spirit 'dwells on earth as God's representative'.
But the campaign claims to go further than foster renunciations of belief. It 'encourages participants to commit what Christian doctrine calls the only unforgivable sin - blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.'
Comments on the same page start with a couple of writers saying 'I deny the Holy Spirit' before one 'Kergillian' accuses the campaign of being crass and points out that if atheists do indeed deny God, then blaspheming that which does not exist is just a game. Another comment adds 'childish' and a third 'puerile and senseless'.
Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said today:
'Dawkins thinks that by encouraging young people to blaspheme the Holy Spirit he can keep them out of the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom of a God in whom he claims not to believe.
'A superficial look at Luke 12:10 would appear to indicate that speaking a word against the Holy Spirit is enough to commit the said blasphemy and remain unforgiven, but Matthew 12:22-32 and Mark 3:20-30 set the Lord's remark in context.
'To blaspheme the Holy Spirit, it is necessary to ascribe Jesus's casting out of a demon to Satan rather than to the Holy Spirit. Some would say it was only relevant during our Lord's time on earth and such a sin can not now be committed. It is certainly clear from the text that the Lord's fire, as it were, was turned on a group of unbelieving Pharisees who were watching the event.
'However we read the passage, merely saying 'I deny the Holy Spirit' doesn't come close to what the Pharisees did and would appear to be entirely forgivable. It is not actually blaspheming the Holy Spirit. The crucial point however, is that Richard Dawkins thinks it is, and that he is trying to convince young people in particular to commit a sin against a God in whom he does not believe and for them to surmise they will never be forgiven by the same God whom he says does not exist.
'Is that rational or is it rather than a peculiar combination of wickedness and madness? Has the evolutionary biologist lost the plot?
'If Dawkins were a Satanist, it would make sense to seem to block the path of redemption. As someone who claims to be a rationalist, even for the evangelical atheist which is Dawkins, it just looks malicious, loony, ill-informed and stupid in equal measure.
'I believe God will forgive those kids who have been enticed to join this latest fad if they turn to Jesus Christ and believe in His saving work. Even Richard Dawkins himself can turn off the road to hell and seek the forgiveness of the same Jesus he hates so much. God is that big and that gracious!'