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Ray Comfort

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—John 2:16[1]

... make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.

Ray Comfort is a Christian evangelist from New Zealand who co-hosts The Way of the Master radio show alongside his partner Kirk Cameron.


Way of the Master

The Way of the Master is a Christian evangelism ministry founded in 2002, lead by Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron and Todd Friel. The organization, together with Living Waters Publications, produces a television show, a radio show, books, tracts, and training courses.

False comfort

The name "Ray Comfort" may lead people to expect a ray of comfort but they get nothing like that. What Ray Comfort brings is constant struggle to live up to moral standards that no Human being can reach. Moreover those who buy into Comfort's arguments and moral positions, are likely to lose self-respect and develop a deep fear of eternal damnation once it becomes clear that those standards are unobtainable. But of course supporters keep paying out money for Ray's lucrative ministry.

Words of Comfort

Words of Comfort was one of many names for the man's blog, that’s a really original name. The blog was initially called 'Comfort Food', however it was later renamed to 'The Soapbox' since Ray Comfort felt the name to be misleading, as it gave the impression of the blog being a "cozy corner for Christian fun, food, and fellowship"[2].

In 2009, the blog was once again renamed, this time to 'The Atheist Central'. Ray Comfort states that the reason behind the name is because atheists flood towards his blog as bugs would towards a barbecue. [3]

Ray Comfort renamed his site yet again, Words of Comfort and plans to focus less on atheism. [2] Now (early 2014) it's just called Living Waters but wait for the next name change.

Beliefs

Ray Comfort is an evangelical Christian and a Biblical literalist who does not accept evolution. At times he seems to be a Young-Earth creationist, while at others he seems deliberately vague about the age of the universe. In his book Defender's Guide to Life's Toughest Questions, in Chapter 2 on page 57, Ray Comfort hinted he might believe that the Earth does not move. He said this:

The Bible says that the earth is immovable. It cannot be moved. So now is your chance to prove your point. Run outside and move the the earth. Perhaps you and your friends could jump on it, or find a rocky outcrop and push it together. Maybe after that little experiment you will concede that the earth is immovable. So is Scriptures. You can push, twist, pull, and jump on different verses, but the Word of God isn't going to move. It is a rock. It cannot be broken. It will jump you on the last day (see John 12:48). You only twist it to your own destruction (see 2 Peter 3:16).” (page 57)

Modern Geocentrism is what a minority of dense fundamentalists believe. They aren't as few as you might expect and sadly include up to 25% of Americans. [3] Anyway dense fundamentalists are Ray Comfort's supporters so he'd better not offend them. Heliocentrists are more intelligent and are the majority so Ray Comfort had better not offend them either. Well what did Ray Comfort do? He wrote something vague and ambiguous that supports the Bible but isn't clearly Geocentric or Heliocentric. Probably both types of supporters are happy.

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Dude, the Earth moves around the Sun

Newton's law of universal gravitation states that every point mass in the universe attracts every other point mass with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses. So when you jump, the gravity of the Earth attracts (moves) you with a force proportional to the Earth's mass, and you attract (move) the Earth with a force proportional to your size. Ergo, you can move the Earth. It's just not noticeable change in position because your mass is overwhelmingly dwarfed by the Earth. But the math and the laws of physics testify that you indeed can move the Earth. Given that Ray Comfort clearly does not know how the world works, nor is he aware of the malleability of rocks, it comes as no surprise that he does not have a clue what he is talking about. If he does not know what he is talking about when it comes to something as simple as gravity or rocks, we wonder if anybody can trust him to know what he talks about when it comes to Christianity, the Bible and faith.

Ray Comfort wrote that Bible texts saying the earth is immovable mean we cannot move it. [4] The Earth's Gravity was used to alter the paths of spacecraft, see Gravity assist. The Galileo spacecraft used the earth's gravity twice, see Galileo – a change of plan. The Cassini probe also used gravity assist to reach the planet Jupiter. Newton showed Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If the earth's gravity changes the speed and direction of a spacecraft the earth's speed and direction of movement change very slightly. This is real and can be calculated, indeed it's a permanent change, humans have literally moved the earth.

In his live apologetics, Comfort states that once someone is born-again, God forgives them for all their sins. The following is a direct quote: "Once and for all and the moment you trust in him [Jesus Christ] you are completely justified and made right with God, you are made perfect by God's grace. That has nothing to do with living a good life, pleasing God because you can't because you a lying, thieving, adulterer at heart. The only thing you can do is repent and trust in him. The minute you do, in a heartbeat God justifies you. Cleanses you of your sin and you are born again. God gives you a new heart with a new set of desires and you know you are going to escape death and damnation." (Source: Ray Comfort stated this on his Mormonism program when interviewing several Mormons on camera)

Some people find this uncomfortable as it suggests that people can commit terrible sins like rape, murder, even genocide (Hitler) and still get to heaven so long as they repent at the last minute though this point is not unique to Ray Comfort. That message, convert and you will be saved persuades people to become followers of Ray Comfort and to start using/buying his material.

Ray maintains part of the time that the Bible says that we are saved by grace alone and not by works. He quotes Titus and Ephesians 2:8-9, which says that not by works of righteousness, but according to God's mercy. Does the Bible say that salvation is by grace alone and not by works? Should we be baptized? Psalm 62:12 says "For you render to each one according to his works."

Once people have become followers of Ray Comfort they get fearful because they cannot stop sinning. "Merely being sorry for your sins, or confessing them to God won't help you. You must turn from sin (repent), and your faith must be in Jesus Christ alone. " This is also a direct quote and contradicts the above. [4]Should faith be in Jesus or in the Trinity and the whole of Christianity? Unless people can stop themselves sinning their conversion may be what Comfort calls a false conversion and nobody can avoid sinning. So people stay followers of Ray and Kirk and keep on doing what Ray’s system tells them in the desperate hope that they will be saved in spite of every sin.


It seems Ray (and Kirk) do not know the Bible, or sometimes purposely cherry-pick one side of the discrepancies to make other branches of Christianity appear foolish to give their faith more credibility.


Other branches of Christianity believe that both works and faith are required, some believe God has already predetermined your eternal fate, all can find some apparent confirmation for their position in the Bible or other supposed revelation.

View towards Atheists

A great deal of Ray Comfort's work involves opposing atheism, according to Ray,

"An atheist is someone who believes that nothing made everything. He will deny that through gritted teeth, because it is an intellectual embarrassment. But if he says of his Toyota that he has no belief that there was a maker, then he thinks that nothing made it (it just happened), which is a scientific impossibility. So, to remain credible, he falls back on something made everything, but he just doesn’t know what that something was. So he’s not an atheist–he believes in an initial cause.";;

Ray Comfort encourages all Christians to not be intimidated by atheists because "they're not intelligent, The bible says they're fools." [5] And of course Fundamentalist Christians think if that's in the bible it must be true.

Comfort is relying here on a straw man portrayals of atheism, particularly when he falsely claims that atheists believe in nothing. An atheist is somebody who does not believe in any gods, and atheism in itself is not a belief system. The rest of the quote reworks the argument from design. Incidentally we have experience that cars are made in factories, scientists also have evidence that natural forces can create patterns in for example snowflakes and natural selection can account for apparent design in living things. An intelligent designer is not needed.

Favorite arguments

Ray believes there are three "irrefutable" evidences for God.

  1. Creation: Using a coca-cola can as an example, Ray "theorizes" the origin of the can came from billions of years ago, as a Straw man analogy for the Universe coming from the Big Bang. This is, in essence, an argument from design.
  2. Conscience: According to Ray, God put within each of us conscience when God made us in his image. This separates us from the other animals since we have the ability to know right from wrong. But, according to Ray, our conscience has "lost its life on the outside" and each of us are "self-admitted blaspheming, lying, thieving, adulterers at heart" and could only be restored by the Ten Commandments. He then goes on to leverage this by asking "Are you a good person?" See that article for responses.
  3. Conversion: According to Ray, if you believe in God and seek him out, you will find him. "That is the ultimate proof." He invites unbelievers to experience proof of god by personal revelation.

Additional arguments

  • Comfort is fond of the watchmaker argument argument from design. He will sometimes say something along the lines of "If I see a watch, it must have been made by a watchmaker, a loaf of bread by a baker, a building by an engineer, a creation by a creator." He will also say "Creation is 100% Scientific proof there was a creator."
  • Comfort is the original author of the banana argument, in the Way of the Master episode entitled "The Beauty of a Broken Spirit—Atheism". Although he called it "the atheist's worst nightmare" in the episode, he later conceded the weakness of the argument on the Hellbound Alleee show and many different sources show it's false. [6]
  • Comfort is also the original author of the parachute analogy, a variation of Pascal's Wager, where he tries to convince the listener to trust in Jesus as they would trust a parachute.
  • Comfort apparently targets the elderly with mailed greeting cards asking them to predict when they will die, and threatening them with the fear of Hell. [5] 2

Live appearances

Debate with the Rational Response Squad

On May 5, 2007, RRS co-founder Brian Sapient and RRS member Kelly O'Connor participated in a live debate aired on Nightline with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. Comfort and Cameron claimed they were able to show the existence of their god without the use of the Bible and faith (spoiler: they didn't).

Appearance on The Atheist Experience

On 27 March 2011, Ray Comfort was a call-in guest on The Atheist Experience, with hosts Matt Dillahunty and Russell Glasser.

Ray’s future ventures

As of early 2012 Ray is devoting less time to his 180 movie and promised he will return to blogging. His future money-making ventures await revelation though doubtless RationalWiki will comment in due course. Ray’s talent for extracting money from his target audience contrasts paradoxically with the lack of sophistication of his views on, for example bananas. We speculate that Ray may have unusual strengths and weaknesses or that his talents may include concealing real intelligence, see Ray as an intellectual powerhouse from Pharyngula Wiki.

See also

Footnotes

  1. John 2:16
  2. "So, the good news for me is that I will start daily blogging again on January 1st, 2012. However, there will be a big change. The blog will be called “Words of Comfort” and it will have a much broader content than just atheism. " [1] That was posted Thursday, December 22, 2011. Could be those atheists are causing Ray just too many problems on our various atheist websites.
  3. One in four Americans 'don't know the Earth orbits the Sun' and only half believe in evolution
  4. The Defender's Guide for Life's Toughest Questions
  5. Somehow intellectuals?
  6. Ray Comfort's 2006 Hysterical Banana Argument Demonstrates What Creationists Mean By 'Proof'
The Way of the Master
Season One Episodes:

1. The Firefighter   2. The Mirror of the Ten Commandments   3. The Motive of the Sinner   4. The Summary of Salvation   5. Practice What You Preach   6. Idolatry—The Darling Sin of Humanity   7. The Beauty of a Broken Spirit—Atheism   8. WDJD?   9. Blasphemy, Sabbath, Parents   10. Murder   11. Adultery   12. Theft   13. Lie and Covet

Season Two Episodes:

1. God's Wonderful Plan   2. Conscience   3. Alcatraz, Al Capone, Alcohol   4. True and False Conversion   5. When Things Go Wrong   6. The Satanic Influence   7. How to Witness to Someone Who's Homosexual/Gay   8. Evolution   9. How to Witness to a Loved One   10. The Fear of God   11. Ice Breakers—Gospel Tracts   12. The Greatest Gamble  13. How to Get on Fire for God

Season Three Episodes:

1. Battle for the Lost   2. Where Has the Passion Gone?   3. Joe Average   4. Caught in a Lie   5. The Divine Butler   6. Why Christianity?   7. Jehovah's Witness   8. Mormonism   9. Are You A Genius?   10. Last Words of the Rich and Famous   11. How to Find God's Will   12. What Scares You   13. Hollywood Be Thy Name

Cast
Ray Comfort — Kirk Cameron

Written Material

Books

Ray Comfort has written many Christian books including:

Gospel Tracts

Ray Comfort and Way of the Master produce many gospel tracts, which generally include abridged versions of the arguments presented in his books and Way of the master episodes. Some of these tracts are decorated with attention-getting gimmicks, such as optical illusions, fake million dollar bills, penny presses, etc. Most notably:

  • Saving Yourself Some Pain is a gospel tract by Ray Comfort, presented to new Christians and unbelievers. It contains a exhortation for all Christians to be baptized, even though Ray usually claims that sinners are saved only by grace, not by works.
  • Scientific Facts of the Bible is a shortened version of Ray's book, Scientific Facts in the Bible (see above).

External links

Out of date article from Iron Chariots with added material from RationalWiki

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