More than a month ago, atheists began to blaspheme the existence of God on the popular YouTube network. Today, Christians are turning the tables and taking up the challenge to stand up to their faith in Jesus Christ publicly.
"I'd like to personally praise the Lord for all He does for me," said one young participant in the newly launched "Praise the Lord Challenge" on YouTube. "He's done so much for me and I've only known him a few years."
The Praise the Lord Challenge counters a $25,000 (£13,000) campaign launched before Christmas in which atheists, many of whom are young students, videotape their blasphemy, denying the existence of the Trinity. "The Blasphemy Challenge" is giving away 1,001 DVDs of the documentary "The God Who Wasn't There" to participants. The only price, the campaign states, is "your soul".
One respondent departed from religion six years ago, he said in his YouTube taping. His grandfather is a preacher and everyone he is related to is "very Christian". Yet ever since his "freedom from religion", he has not looked back, he said, as he renounced his belief in God.
With YouTube drawing millions of teens and young adults, the Blasphemy Challenge - launched initially as part of the Rational Response Squad's war on Christmas - is aimed at young people. The main target audience is the same for the campaign's opposing side.
Mid-January, Michael Mickey launched his own war against the Blasphemy Challenge on YouTube. Mickey's campaign is appropriately called "The Challenge Blasphemy Project" and under it, the "Praise the Lord Challenge".
"What happens when we take a stand for the Lord?" Mickey said on YouTube, encouraging believers to videotape their love for Christ. "The word of God will bring people to faith in Jesus Christ."
"When we fail to stand," he added, "no good thing comes."
Mickey called on Christians to take a stand for the Word of God.
Only one week has passed since the launch of the Praise the Lord Challenge and a number of Christians have already posted their testimonies, most of them young students.
"I believe every word that's in [the Bible]," said one young respondent as she held the Bible up close to the camera. "Praise God."
"Blasphemy Challenge has seemed to reach a lot of young people, so our hope is we can get youth leaders and pastors ... to try to get young people [particularly] to reach out to that young audience that visits YouTube and demonstrate their faith in the Lord Jesus," said Mickey, according to One News Now.
And the young Christians say they want to make an impact with their message.
"My purpose is to spread the Word and worship Him with every part of me," said one Praise the Lord Challenge respondent. "I've given Him my life, my heart, my very soul. I will never deny my Lord, my Father, my very reason to live."
Christian Youth Challenge YouTube Blasphemy
More than a month ago, atheists began to blaspheme the existence of God on the popular YouTube network. Now young Christians are coming out to stand up for God.
Published 01 February 2007 | Lillian Kwon, Christian Today Correspondent