Ray Comfort

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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

Together with Kirk Cameron, Ray produces The Way of the Master series of TV, radio, and internet articles without either having theological or formal training.

Links to summaries and refutations of The Way of the Master episodes are at the bottom of this page.

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

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.

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.

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. 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) 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.


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.

View towards Atheists

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)

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.

Favorite arguments

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 frighten people over hell. .

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. 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 avoid Hell. [1] 2

Gospel Tracts

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.

  • Saving Yourself Some Pain a gospel tract by Ray Comfort, presented to new Christians as well as non-Christians.
    • 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.
  • Scientific Facts of the Bible which is basically a shortened version of Ray's book Scientific Facts in the Bible.

Debate with the Rational Response Squad

For more information, see an entire article on RationalWiki that provides a walkthrough and point-by-point rebuttal to WOTM: Rational Response Squad debate with Way of the Master

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

For more information, see an entire article on RationalWiki that provides a walkthrough and point-by-point rebuttal to WOTM: The Atheist Experience debates Ray Comfort

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

Books

Ray Comfort has written many Christian books including:


External links

  • "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).
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

Cast
Ray Comfort — Kirk Cameron
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