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Way of the Master
Links to summaries and refutations of The Way of the Master episodes are at the bottom of this page.
Ray Comfort runs a blog called 'The Atheist Central'. The blog was initially called 'Comfort Food', however it was later renamed to 'The Soapbox' as 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".
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.
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 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." [Editor's note: Citation needed or this quote will be deleted by 11/15/11.]
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. 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. " 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.
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." (Reference needed)
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.
Ray believes there are three "irrefutable" evidences for God.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Comfort still uses it, however, and promotes it in his Atheist Test tract.
- 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.  2
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 were wrong).
Appearance on The Atheist Experience
Ray Comfort has written many Christian books including:
- Nothing Created Everything: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution
- You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think: Answers to Questions from Angry Skeptics
- How to Know God Exists: Scientific Proof of God
- Evolution: A Fairy Tale for Grownups
- God Doesn't Believe in Atheists: Proof That the Atheist Doesn't Exist
- Hell's Best Kept Secret
- Scientific Facts in the Bible: 100 Reasons to Believe the Bible is Supernatural in Origin
- The Evidence Bible: Irrefutable Evidence for the Thinking Mind
- Defender's Guide for Life's Toughest Questions
- The School Of Biblical Evangelism
- Intelligent Design Vs. Evolution: Letters to an Atheist
- How to Bring Your Children to Christ..& Keep Them There: Avoiding the Tragedy of False Conversion
- Out of the Comfort Zone
- Overcoming Panic Attacks
- The World's Greatest Preachers
- Wesley Gold
- What Did Jesus Do? : A Call to Return to the Biblical Gospel
- How to Live Forever Without Being Religious
- What Hollywood Believes: An Intimate Look at the Faith of the Famous
- Thanks a Million!
- Hollywood Be Thy Name
- Russia Will Attack Israel
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).
- "The Raytractors" now at "WeAreSMRT", Ray Comfort's Detractors, a community of atheists and theists who critique and respond to Ray and the Way of the Master.
- Ray Comfort As of 19th October 2011 this RationalWiki article duplicates quite a bit of material from here, editors at both sites are working to improve the situation.
- Atheist Central, Ray Comfort's weblog (former title: Comfort Food).
- Rational Response Squad debate with Way of the Master at Rational Wiki
- The Atheist Experience debates Ray Comfort at Rational Wiki
- This is as very long article for people who want to learn a great deal about Ray Comfort
|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. Islam 2. Mormonism 3. Witchcraft 4. Buddhism 5. Roman Catholicism 6. What Hollywood Believes 7. New Age 8. Humanism 9. What America Believes 10. Jehovah's Witness 11. Judaism 12. Spiritual Battle 13. Hinduism
|Ray Comfort — Kirk Cameron|