Ray Comfort

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{{Ray Comfort}}
 
{{Ray Comfort}}
 
'''Ray Comfort''' is a [[Christian]] [[apologist]] from New Zealand who co-hosts ''[[The Way of the Master]]'' radio show alongside his partner [[Kirk Cameron]].
 
'''Ray Comfort''' is a [[Christian]] [[apologist]] from New Zealand who co-hosts ''[[The Way of the Master]]'' radio show alongside his partner [[Kirk Cameron]].
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==Way of the Master==
 
==Way of the Master==
  
Together with [[Kirk Cameron]], Ray produces [[The Way of the Master]] series of TV, radio, and internet material though neither have theological or formal training.
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[[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.
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Links to summaries and refutations of The Way of the Master episodes are at the bottom of this page.
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==Atheist Central==
 
==Atheist Central==
Ray Comfort renamed his blog Atheist Central because so many atheists visited the site, possibly because they felt his arguments were unreasonable and humorous.
 
  
==Beliefs==
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Ray Comfort runs a blog called 'Words of Comfort'. 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".<ref>http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/2008/05/why-name-change.html</ref>
Ray Comfort is an evangelical Christian and a young earth creationist. Ray is a Bible literalist and does not accept evolution and seems vague about the age of the universe.  
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Ray and Kirk do not even give a consistent message, when trying to convert people they maintain that once someone is born-again God forgives them for all their sins. The following is his words exactly: "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." 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.
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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.<ref>http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/2009/08/once-again-despite-title-of-rays-blog.html</ref>
  
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."
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In December 2011, the blog was once again renamed, this time to 'Words of Comfort'. This rename includes a change in direction beginning January 1, 2012.  Ray admitted to not being involved in the blog for the last 6 months, instead using old posts because he was, "bored with atheism".  He vowed to once again begin daily blogging with a wider focus than just atheism.<ref>http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/2011/12/words-of-comfort.html</ref>
  
Once people have become followers of Ray Comfort they get fearful because they cannot stop sinning.  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.
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==Arguments==
  
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* [[Are you a good person?]]
  
It seems Ray (and Kirk) does not know the Bible, or sometimes purposely cherry-picked one side of the discrepancies to make other branches of Christianity appear foolish to give his faith more credibility.
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* The [[Banana argument]]
  
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* The [[Crocoduck]]
  
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* The [[Parachute analogy]]
  
Other branches of Christianity believe that both works and faith is required, some believe God has already predetermined where you end up in the afterlife.
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==Live appearances==
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===Debate with the Rational Response Squad===
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On May 5, 2007, Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron engaged Rational Response Squad members Brian Sapient and Kelly O'Connor in a debate on the existence of God. ABC's Nightline aired the debate online, and a two-part summary was shown on their May 9 broadcast. Comfort and Cameron claimed they were able to prove the existence of the Judeo-Christian god scientifically without the use of the [[Bible]] and [[faith]]. It was also during this debate that the [[crocoduck]] argument was first made.
  
==View towards Atheists==
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===Appearance on ''The Atheist Experience''===
A great deal of Ray Comfort's work is focused on 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)'''
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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 is a rehash of the [[argument from design]].
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==Favorite arguments==
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Ray Comfort has appeared on many [[freethinking]] radio shows. Some arguments come up time and time again (see our articles about these arguments for relevant counter-arguments) in his books, episodes, debates, street preaching, and such. Ray often uses a number of fallacies, such as [[appeal to emotion]], [[argument from ignorance]], [[false dichotomy]], [[straw man]], [[equivocation]], [[ad hominem]], and many more. Ray is also known to [[lie for Jesus]] and to [[Religion provides hope#Religion also provides fear|frighten people]] over [[hell]].
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Ray believes there are three "irrefutable" evidences for God.
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# 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]].
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# 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.
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# 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]].
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===Additional arguments===
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* 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."
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* Comfort is the original author of the [[banana argument]], in the ''[[Way of the Master]]'' episode entitled "[[The Beauty of a Broken Spirit—Atheism (Way of the Master)|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 [http://www.livingwaters.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=231 Atheist Test] tract.
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* 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.
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* Comfort apparently targets the elderly with mailed greeting cards asking them to predict when they will die, and threatening them with the fear of avoid Hell.  [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10684299 ] [http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/10/why_do_you_think_i_call_it_a_d.php 2]
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==Gospel Tracts==
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Ray Comfort and Way of the Master produce many gospel tracts, all of which produce similar or exactly the same repeated argument presented by Ray Comfort in his books and Way of the master episodes. Ray tries to make the tracts appear appealing and desirable, tricking the public to take them and read them later. for instance, Ray prints gospel tracts on optical illusions, fake million dollar bills, penny presses, and such.
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*''Saving Yourself Some Pain'' a gospel tract by Ray Comfort, presented to new Christians as well as non-Christians.
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**Interestingly, Ray includes in Part 8 that a Christian should be baptized. This is important, since Ray constantly says all salvation requires is repentance and saved by grace, not be works. But right here, he shows that Christians should be baptized.
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*''Scientific Facts of the Bible'' which is basically a shortened version of Ray's book [[Scientific Facts in the Bible (book) |Scientific Facts in the Bible]].
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==Debate with the Rational Response Squad==
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: ''For more information, see an entire article on RationalWiki that provides a walkthrough and point-by-point rebuttal to WOTM: [http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Rational_Response_Squad_debate_with_Way_of_the_Master Rational Response Squad debate with Way of the Master]
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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).
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==Appearance on ''The Atheist Experience''==
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: ''For more information, see an entire article on RationalWiki that provides a walkthrough and point-by-point rebuttal to WOTM: [http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/The_Atheist_Experience_debates_Ray_Comfort The Atheist Experience debates Ray Comfort]
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On 27 March 2011, Ray Comfort was a call-in guest on [[The Atheist Experience]], with hosts [[Matt Dillahunty]] and [[Russell Glasser]].
 
On 27 March 2011, Ray Comfort was a call-in guest on [[The Atheist Experience]], with hosts [[Matt Dillahunty]] and [[Russell Glasser]].
  
==Books==
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==Written Material==
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===Books===
 
Ray Comfort has written many Christian books including:
 
Ray Comfort has written many Christian books including:
 
*''[[Nothing Created Everything (book)|Nothing Created Everything]]: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution''
 
*''[[Nothing Created Everything (book)|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''
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*''[[You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think (book)|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 (book)|How to Know God Exists]]: Scientific Proof of God''
 
*''[[How to Know God Exists (book)|How to Know God Exists]]: Scientific Proof of God''
 
*''[http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evolution:_A_Fairy_Tale_for_Grownups Evolution: A Fairy Tale for Grownups]''
 
*''[http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evolution:_A_Fairy_Tale_for_Grownups Evolution: A Fairy Tale for Grownups]''
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*''Russia Will Attack Israel''
 
*''Russia Will Attack Israel''
  
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===Gospel Tracts===
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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:
  
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*''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 [[baptism|baptized]], even though Ray usually claims that sinners are saved only by grace, not by works.
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*''Scientific Facts of the Bible'' is a shortened version of Ray's book, ''Scientific Facts in the Bible'' (see above).
  
==External links==
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==References==
* "[http://raytractors.blogspot.com/ The Raytractors]" now at "[http://www.wearesmrt.com/ WeAreSMRT]", Ray Comfort's Detractors, a community of atheists and theists who critique and respond to Ray and the Way of the Master.
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<references/>
*[http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Ray_Comfort 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.
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* ''[http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/ Atheist Central]'', Ray Comfort's weblog (former title: ''Comfort Food'').
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{{wayofthemaster}}
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==External links==
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*"[http://raytractors.blogspot.com/ The Raytractors]" now at "[http://www.wearesmrt.com/ WeAreSMRT]", Ray Comfort's Detractors, a community of atheists and theists who critique and respond to Ray and the Way of the Master.
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*[http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Ray_Comfort Ray Comfort] on RationalWiki
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*[http://atheism.wikia.com/wiki/The_Way_of_the_Master#See_summary_of_videos_in_this_series Way of the Master] This gives summaries and refutations of individual videos from the series
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*[http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/08/29/ray-comfort-is-a-fraud/ Ray Comfort is a fraud] on Pharyngula
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*[http://atheism.wikia.com/wiki/Long_article_on_Ray_Comfort This is a very long article for people who want to learn a great deal about Ray Comfort]
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*''[http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/ Atheist Central]'', Ray Comfort's weblog (former title: ''Comfort Food'').
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*[http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Rational_Response_Squad_debate_with_Way_of_the_Master Rational Response Squad debate with Way of the Master] at Rational Wiki
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*[http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/The_Atheist_Experience_debates_Ray_Comfort The Atheist Experience debates Ray Comfort] at Rational Wiki
  
[[Category:People|Comfort, Ray]]
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{{DEFAULTSORT:Comfort, Ray}}
[[Category:Christian apologists|Comfort, Ray]]
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[[Category:People]]
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[[Category:Christian apologists]]
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[[Category:Ray Comfort]]

Revision as of 18:11, 12 March 2012

Ray Comfort
Ray Comfort
Born:  December 5, 1949, New Zealand
Residence:  Bellflower, California, USA
Occupation:  Evangelist, Apologist
Religion:  Evangelical Christian
Websites:
Living waters ministries
Atheist central blog

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


Contents

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.

Atheist Central

Ray Comfort runs a blog called 'Words of Comfort'. 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".[1]

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.[2]

In December 2011, the blog was once again renamed, this time to 'Words of Comfort'. This rename includes a change in direction beginning January 1, 2012. Ray admitted to not being involved in the blog for the last 6 months, instead using old posts because he was, "bored with atheism". He vowed to once again begin daily blogging with a wider focus than just atheism.[3]

Arguments

Live appearances

Debate with the Rational Response Squad

On May 5, 2007, Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron engaged Rational Response Squad members Brian Sapient and Kelly O'Connor in a debate on the existence of God. ABC's Nightline aired the debate online, and a two-part summary was shown on their May 9 broadcast. Comfort and Cameron claimed they were able to prove the existence of the Judeo-Christian god scientifically without the use of the Bible and faith. It was also during this debate that the crocoduck argument was first made.

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.

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).

References

  1. http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/2008/05/why-name-change.html
  2. http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/2009/08/once-again-despite-title-of-rays-blog.html
  3. http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/2011/12/words-of-comfort.html

External links

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