Earlier this year, a group of atheists who labeled themselves “The Rational Response Quad” posed “The Blasphemy Challenge.” Joined by filmmaker Brian Flemming, who directed The God Who Wasn’t There, a documentary that seeks to disprove the existence of God, one of the founders of RationalResponders.com encouraged users to post videos of themselves committing what Mark 3:28–29 calls the “eternal sin.” Though interpretations of the verse are disputed, the atheists asked users to verbally deny God and blaspheme the Holy Spirit. The verse reads, “Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven all their sins and all the blasphemies they utter. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin” (TNIV). Hundreds responded, posting on YouTube videos of themselves committing what some call the “unforgivable sin.”
The campaign led to heightened publicity for the group. In an interview with ABC’s Nightline, one of the group’s founders said, "Initially we wanted to find a way to allow atheists to come out of the closet, speak up and show other people that there are people that think like this.” The ploy worked. It also garnered a response from Christians, and even landed them a televised debate (which you can see here) with evangelists Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort.
But atheists and politicians aren’t the only ones using viral video to spread their message. Browse through the YouTube archives and you’ll find dozens of tech-savvy churches that have used the sharing site to broadcast their own message of faith. From sermons and worship services to comedy sketches that convey a biblical message, hundreds of clips show the impact the online video revolution is having on Christianity.
With dorm-room stars being born every day, camera-wielding politicos shaping national elections and faith groups using the forum to spread their own message, YouTube is quickly becoming the mouthpiece for the masses.