Friday, August 27, 2010

Ray Comfort answers a question from one of Tim Challies' readers

This is from a post by Tim Challies' from last year.  C.B.


Q. I often respond to the questions/arguments posed by atheists not so much because I think I can convince them they’re wrong, but because of the undecided people who might be the audience. If atheists claim they are well grounded in reason and logic, and no one stands to oppose them, I’m thinking huge numbers of people will assume that Christians concede the argument. I want people on the fence to know that there are well reasoned, rational arguments in favor of theology. How much time and energy do you think we should spend responding to atheistic claims?

Ray Comfort: I have preached open air (soapbox style) over 5,000 times. This is different from the doomsday street-corner folks that yell at passersby. I try and engage people in healthy discourse.

If you have ever been in a good open air meeting, you will know that at times there’s a sense of excitement, as people ask genuine questions about Christianity. In those situations you often have what is called a “heckler.” He is usually a colorful character who is upset. He is loud and somewhat aggressive. He is the one who attracts the crowd (who’s going to gather around to hear a boring preacher?). It is his presence that holds the crowd long enough for me to share the gospel. While I am directing myself at the heckler, I am also speaking to the crowd.

That’s what’s happening on my blog (“Atheist Central”) where we have more than one nasty “heckler.” They give the blog the life it needs to keep people coming back. But there’s a crowd listening (the blog gets emailed out daily). That’s why I am pleased to have atheists there. As a fisher of men, I don’t mind admitting that I bait them with some attractive morsel, and they usually bite. Most of them have said that they are closed to the gospel, but the others who are on the sidelines may have an open mind. Those are the ones to whom I am speaking—unsaved fence-sitters.

However, when I witness one-to-one to a professing atheist, I am careful to take the time to patiently answer his questions, but not go down rabbit trails. I pray for God’s help daily, because I have a clear agenda—to go through the Ten Commandments to bring the knowledge of sin, then bring the remedy of the gospel and the necessity of faith and repentance. The time and energy I spend on him is dependent on whether or not I discern sincerity on his part.

Ray Comfort


BeamStalk said...


My personal opinion of Ray Comfort from his actions on the blog and else where, is that he is snake in the grass, a wolf among the sheep and roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Go back and weigh his actions and words. said...

Thanks, BeamStalk.

Your opinion is pretty much the same as most of the atheists at AC. I appreciate your input.

I was doing a search for what other Christian ministries had to say about Ray and Living Waters. A key word I used was "criticism." That is how I found this piece from Tim Challies' blog.

I know that you are relatively level-headed, but it is the e-mails I get once in a while and comments on other blogs that try to shame me into joining with them in their condemnation of Ray that make me disinclined to take their charges seriously. Those are the school-yard tactics that I mentioned in my comment to Milo, and I see those who do that as disgustingly immature. Not worth paying attention to.


BeamStalk said...

By the way:

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, - 1 Peter 3:15

The so called rabbit holes, is any question to him. Go back and see how many questions he actually answers and does not take the conversation down some rabbit hole of his own.

Pvblivs said...


     Anyone with enough of a "stage presence" will generate people who try to use dishonest tactics to cause people to join the critics. It doesn't necessarily mean that criticism is unwarranted. I would recommend analyzing the criticism of Ray that comes from those who don't say you're a horrible person just for agreeing with him. said...

Thank you, PVBLIVS, I appreciate what you said.

I have some issues, myself, with some of the things that Ray says, and the way he says them. (Sometimes, admittedly rarely, I have mentioned them at AC. Okay, maybe twice in the last two and a half years ; )

Usually, I just ignore the things that I don't feel are of any use in furthering the Gospel. The current series on demon possession I believe fits into that category. (Ray never answered me about fortune tellers, did he?)

I use the comment pages on AC mainly to promote the Gospel and correct misunderstandings of it, or to put in a good word on behalf of God once in a while when his name has been dishonored or his character held up to derision.

Don't worry, I've been reading other critics. I may post something in the future, but in a way, and in a venue that is not likely to contribute to a "feeding frenzy" by what Ray calls the "Piranah."

Best to you, Pvblivs, and thanks again for your comment.


BeamStalk said...

Pvblivs said...

I would recommend analyzing the criticism of Ray that comes from those who don't say you're a horrible person just for agreeing with him.

Are implying that anyone here has done anything like this? If so, please point out where. If you mean on the blog, then please try to be more specific.

Personally I have never said such a thing, nor would I. Each person stands on their own merit and I quite like Craig and our conversations.