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Author Topic: Words of wisdom from Ray Comfort  (Read 7831 times)
soul dreamer
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« on: September 27, 2006, 05:10:48 am »

Stirring words that I found at:
http://www.livingwaters.com/columns_ray/
 

Nathan's heart went out to King David. The king had made some bad decisions. Even though he wasn't actually aware of it, he had messed up, and God wanted to help him. David had had an affair, and then he tried to remedy the problem himself. What had happened was unfortunate, and the prophet saw his job as one who was there to help bring some sort of healing to the situation.

He began his message by gently explaining to the king the good news that there was something missing from his life. That missing piece was "real and lasting peace," or as someone once put it, there was a "God-shaped vacuum" in his heart. It was the good news that God had a wonderful plan for the king's life, and that He wanted him to experience that plan.

What the prophet was steering towards was a moment of "decision." Would the king respond to this incredible offer that God had made him, or would he reject it?

To help the king, Nathan psychologically prepared him by telling him what he was going to do. He had said that in a few moments he would want him to respond by coming forward. The prophet had learned that this would help the king move closer to the decision he needed to make.

To help further, Nathan had David and the guards that stood around his throne, close their eyes. This would help to make sure that the king felt a little less self-conscious about his decision when he did come forward.

David, like King Saul, had a personal musician close by, so as Nathan continued to speak, he nodded to the musician to begin to play some appropriate music. Even though the song was very moving, there was no movement from David. Nathan nodded to the skilled performer to play the tune again and then again as he pleaded with David to respond.

To help him further, the prophet let him know that if he did come he had prearranged with one of the king's guards to come forward with him--to stand alongside him in support.

Still the king didn't make a move. Nathan gently reminded him that no one was watching him, and that every eye was closed. He again spoke of the incredible offer God had made to him.

Suddenly, it seemed that David was convinced about this new life that could be his, if he would just respond. He began to move slowly forward, and as he did, one of the closest guards gently took him by the arm and walked with him.

It was a very emotional moment. It was so touching that the rest of the guards couldn't contain themselves. They burst into joyful applause. David smiled slightly at their gesture of support. The guards smiled. So did Nathan. There was great joy. This is what it is all about . . .

Not quite. What Nathan really did is recorded in 2 Samuel 12:1-14.

[See the next post for what really happenned.]
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soul dreamer
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2006, 05:12:02 am »

What Really Happenned:  (Ray continues writing below.)

God hadn't instructed Nathan to talk to the king about a "God-shaped vacuum in his heart," or to talk about real peace, or of improving his life. He was there to reprove a devious murderer who had despised God's commandment and committed adultery with another man's wife. As a married man, the king had burned in lust after another woman, and knowing that she herself was married, he had illicit sexual intercourse with her, caused her to become pregnant with his child, and then as if that wasn't bad enough, he had her loving and faithful husband murdered, and married her himself. He had carefully covered his terrible sin, but as far as God was concerned, his wicked hands were dripping with innocent blood.

What an awful betrayal it would have been if the prophet had reduced the king's horrible crimes against a holy God to insignificance, by talking to him about a new and better life that could be his.

But Nathan didn't pervert the message. He told the king about a man who stole another man's pet lamb and slaughtered it, and when David became indignant, he said, "You are that man!" Then he said, "Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord!" and when David cried, "I have sinned," Nathan then gave him the good news of God's mercy and grace.

There was no mention of a vacuum in the heart, no music to stir the emotions, no deceptive psychological manipulation, no closing of the eyes to make things easier. David was a devious law-breaker. He was a conniving criminal. He was a man who had deliberately violated the moral Law, but God was willing to show him mercy.

It was the king's breach of God's Law that shaped the prophet's message, and it's the sinner's breach of that same Law that should shape our message. We too have the same commission--to "reprove and rebuke" those who have despised God. We are to preach the Word, be in season and out of season, and to "reprove, rebuke and exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" (2 Timothy 4:2). In the sight of God every sinner is a devious criminal, but neither the Church nor the world will see that as being true without the Law to show sin as being "exceedingly sinful" (see Romans 7:7-13).

The sinner enthrones himself as a king, enrobed in the filthy garments of self-righteousness. He commits adultery in his lust-filled heart. His throat is an open sepulcher. His mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. There is no fear of God before his eyes. He lies, steals, blasphemes and hides murder in his heart--and in doing so he sins against a holy God and stores up His wrath. He has a desperately wicked heart, and a multitude of sins which he thinks his Creator doesn't see. The Bible tells us that God is filled with indignation and wrath, and promises that He will bring tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that does evil (see Romans 2:5-9).

We have such a wicked heart, without the light of the Law we reduce sin to insignificance and trivialize the claims of the Divine Prosecution. The modern message is a betrayal of our commission, and a victory for the enemy. Like the Pharisees, many contemporary preachers prefer their traditions to the truth of God's Word. They cling to the security blanket of closed eyes, emotional music, psychological manipulation, misguidedly pleading with wicked criminals about the promise of a wonderful new life in Christ.

Such folly is perhaps the greatest deception of the last days. It is to do the work of the enemy, by planting tares alongside the wheat. An unbiblical Law-less gospel will almost certainly produce lawless converts--"workers of iniquity" who the Bible warns will be cast out of the gates of Heaven into the waiting jaws of Hell (see Matthew 7:21-24).

A forsaking of biblical evangelism has left our churches looking and acting just like the world. This has happened because our pulpits have reduced the glorious gospel of God's grace to a 30-minute low budget infomercial, peddling the Word of God as a competing product for life enhancement.

If you have been trusted with a pulpit, or if you are someone who cares about the lost, please stop this insanity. Don't think of the use of the Law as a "method," or look for "results" as a legitimate criterion to measure its worth. Our churches are filled with misleading "results." The impressive numbers are the product of unbiblical methods. The use of the Law brings the knowledge of sin... Jesus and Paul used it, (see Luke 10:17, Romans 2:20-24). Ask the question "Is this principle biblical?," and if it is, instigate it, and then leave the numbers game up to God.
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Oscar
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2006, 10:46:47 am »

Rick,

Ray Comfort spoke at a men's gathering at our church.

Although he did not use the David and Nathan passage, his message was essentially the same. 

After he finished, I wondered if he had a screw loose.

When I read the David/Nathan passage I had a couple of different reactions:

1. It was amusing.  I laughed at some of his analogies with Billy
Graham crusade practices.

2. I was a good example of a gross misapplication of scripture.  The passage has absolutely nothing to do with evangelism.  First, David is already a believer.  Second, Nathan is an OT prophet of God, not an evangelist.  Third, David was already in a covenant relationship with God, and had broken that covenant.  Finally, the message was not, "For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son."  It was "You have sinned and your son will die because of what you did".

Hardly a gospel message, wouldn't you say?

3. If the Bible teaches that this is actually the way we are supposed to preach the gospel, why didn't Comfort just use one of the NT passages where this is taught.  Could it be that there aren't any???

Yes, Jesus, Paul and other Biblical figures used the law.  But remember, God has written His law in every man's heart as well.  Men know they are sinners even before they hear it from the Bible.  They just lie about it.

Blessings,

Tom

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Jem
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2006, 11:25:51 pm »

Amen Tom I had the same thoughts and you beat me to it.

Ray Comfort has always made me uncomfortable--which he would probably say is his job--because he spends a lot of time belittling how other people do things, before he gets around to his iron-clad, comes-with-a-guarantee way of doing things.

It is not his fault, I suppose that he reminds me of someone else, but when I hear his name I tend to pull our my ten foot pole to keep him away from the God shaped vacuum I have in my heart;)
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soul dreamer
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2006, 02:03:39 am »

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Jam. 4:6).

If people already know they are sinners worthy of judgment, then Ray shares God’s message of grace (including Jn 3:16, Lk. 15 – the gracious Father who hugs the repentant son, etc.).  (I know this about Ray from recent personal experience with him on the Huntington Beach pier.)

But many people are ignorant of God’s indictment against sin.  Many people profess to be “good enough to go to heaven,” because they are comparing themselves with one another.  As in the days of the apostle Paul, people often are “ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God” (Rom. 10:3).  The most loving act toward the proud is to inform them of some aspects of the Lord’s holy law, because “the law is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ” (Gal. 3:24).  Proud people need to be informed that even if they keep the whole law, and then fail in some detail, “they are guilty of all” (Jam. 2:10).  And so Paul “reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, and Felix trembled…” (Ac 24:25).  Paul did not get a “decision for Christ” from proud Felix that day, but Paul was aiming for conversion, and so should we.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2006, 03:36:35 am by Rick Samuel » Logged
Jem
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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2006, 03:39:47 am »

Hey Rick,

I don't have any problem with what you said as a whole, but what you quoted about David and Nathan was, as Tom pointed out, not an evangelist preaching to a pagan; it was a believer exhorting a believer. Ray took it out of context. That is not what that passage is about.

When Ray says, "A forsaking of biblical evangelism has left our churches looking and acting just like the world. This has happened because our pulpits have reduced the glorious gospel of God's grace to a 30-minute low budget infomercial, peddling the Word of God as a competing product for life enhancement."

That's not what my church does. Nor is it what many of the churches around me do. Yes, some do, but Ray is trying to indict the whole body of Christ. Is God so small that only Ray gets the "heavenly vision.?" I understand what Ray is saying, but I have seen people really saved, truly turn away from sin when some preacher was preaching from the NT and--oops--he forgot to mention the decalogue. God is not confined to Ray Comfort's methods, as nice as they may be.


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Oscar
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2006, 03:58:11 am »

Rick,

You wrote:
Quote
As in the days of the apostle Paul, people often are “ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God” (Rom. 10:3). 

As you know, Paul was writing of the unbelieving Jews.  These folks lived their lives studying, memorizing, interpreting, and practicing the Law of God.  They knew its details far better than Ray Comfort does.

Yet they were self-righteous.  It does not seem that the mere declaration of the Law to someone automatically prepares them to acknowledge Christ.

What's your take on this?

If you will read Acts 17:22-34, you will see that when Paul was preaching to a Gentile audience, he did not begin by attempting to convict them of sin by declaring the law.  He began with their own religion and philosophy.  He did mention judgement, but still did not give an exposition of the Law.

Seems to me that the apostle Paul knew a little about "biblical evangelism".

Did he need someone who thinks like Ray Comfort to straighten him out?

Blessings,

Tom

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