|Born||5 December 1949|
Christchurch, New Zealand
|Occupation(s)||Christian evangelist, author, television host|
|Known for||The Way of the Master, Living Waters Publications, Christian evangelism|
Ray Comfort (born 5 December 1949) is a New Zealand-born Christian minister and evangelist who lives in the United States. Comfort started Living Waters Publications, as well as the ministry The Way of the Master, in Bellflower, California, and has written several books.
According to Comfort's autobiography, his parents put "Methodist" on his birth certificate but he was given no religious instruction as a child. Comfort identifies himself as both Christian and Jewish.
In 1989, Comfort accepted an invitation to join the pastoral staff at the non-denominational Calvary Chapel in Southern California.
The Way of the Master ministry
In the mid-1990s Comfort persuaded Kirk Cameron, star of the cancelled hit sitcom Growing Pains, to become an evangelist. In 2002, the pair formed an organization called The Way of the Master, with the intention of teaching the church to more effectively preach the message of evangelical Christianity.
Comfort says that evangelism is the main reason the Christian Church exists and that many of the evangelistic methods used over the last century have produced false conversions to Christianity. Comfort often uses the Ten Commandments to speak about sin before presenting the gospel of Jesus. In the mid-1980s he formulated two sermons entitled "Hell's Best Kept Secret" and "True and False Conversions."
Comfort speaks professionally at churches and evangelism seminars, and preaches in Huntington Beach, California. As well as co-hosting the former The Way of the Master Radio with Kirk Cameron, he is co-host of The Way of the Master Television Show.
In 2006, Comfort recorded a segment for The Way of the Master's television show in which he argued that the banana was "the atheist's nightmare", arguing that it displayed many user-friendly features that were evidence of intelligent design. Comfort retracted the video and claims upon learning that the banana is a result of artificial selection by humans, and that the wild banana (Musa acuminata) is small and unpalatable.
On 13 April 2001, Comfort appeared at the 27th National Convention of American Atheists in Orlando, Florida, where he debated Ron Barrier, the National Spokesperson for American Atheists. Comfort later stated that "they laughed at my humor, and although there was unified mockery at some of the things that I said, I was able to go through the Ten Commandments, the fact of Judgment Day, the reality of Hell, the Cross, and the necessity of repentance, and no one stopped me."
On 5 May 2007, Comfort and Cameron participated in a televised debate with Brian Sapient and Kelly O'Connor of the Rational Response Squad, at Calvary Baptist Church in Manhattan. The debate, which was moderated by Nightline correspondent Martin Bashir, focused on the existence of God, which Comfort claimed he could prove scientifically without relying on the Bible. During the debate, Cameron and Comfort repeatedly referenced the Ten Commandments and denied the theory of evolution.
According to Comfort, he has designed dozens of gospel tracts since the 1970s, and sells millions of Living Waters tracts each year. Some of his tracts are designed to resemble paper money, including fake $100, $1,000 and $1 million bills. Others employ novelties intended to amuse, such as a "ticket to heaven" that invites the reader to tear it if they do not need it; the ticket is printed on a type of plastic, making it difficult to rip. The tracts typically attempt to persuade the reader that on judgment day, they will certainly be found guilty of breaking one or more of the Ten Commandments, and therefore will be sent to hell, unless they say a prayer to acknowledge Christ's substitutionary atonement.
In June 2006, agents of the US Secret Service confiscated thousands of Ray Comfort's "Million Dollar Bill" gospel tracts from Darrel Rundus, president of Great News Network. A federal district court judge ruled that the tracts, which were marked as "not legal tender", did not violate federal law and ordered their return.
In October 2010, The New Zealand Herald reported that elderly people received "appointment cards" by Comfort's California-based publishing company, Living Waters, asking them to fill out information regarding the date and time of their deaths, and advising them to contact evangelists in order to avoid hell. Recipients of these cards expressed anger and horror over receiving them, and contacted police over the matter, with one of them commenting, "It's disgusting. It was quite spooky. I just couldn't comprehend why anyone would ask you to predict the date of your death." The New Zealand Herald summarized a statement from Living Waters spokesperson Lisa Law as saying that "the cards were a way of raising awareness of human mortality in order to spark discussion about Jesus", and that Law "did not know who sent [the tracts]".
Ray Comfort has authored more than 80 books and tracts. His 2009 book You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think, ranked #1 in Amazon.com's atheism and apologetics categories when it debuted in February 2009.
Abridged version of On the Origin of Species
In November 2009, Comfort released an edited and abridged version of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, with a 50-page foreword containing creationist arguments against the theory of evolution. The book was given away for free at selected schools around the United States. Stan Guffey, a biologist at the University of Tennessee, alleged that most of Comfort's foreword was plagiarised from Darwin himself.
According to Comfort's website, "nothing has been removed from Darwin's original work", but Eugenie C. Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), noted that Comfort deleted four chapters by Darwin that described the evidence for evolution, adding that two of the omitted chapters, Chapters 11 and 12, showcased biogeography, some of Darwin's strongest evidence for evolution. She wrote that Comfort's foreword is "a hopeless mess of long-ago-refuted creationist arguments, teeming with misinformation about the science of evolution, populated by legions of strawmen, and exhibiting what can be charitably described as muddled thinking".
On his website, Comfort said that the four chapters were chosen at random to be omitted in order to make the book small enough to be affordable as a giveaway, with the absent chapters available for download, and that the missing chapters were included in the second edition, which had a smaller text size that made printing the entire book as a giveaway affordable. The second edition still lacks Darwin's preface and glossary of terms. The NCSE arranged a campaign at colleges across the US to distribute an analysis of the Comfort introduction, a one-page flier, and "the NCSE Safety Bookmark" in the shape of a banana, a reference to Comfort's flawed presentation of the banana as an argument for the existence of God.
List of books published
- — (1989). Hell's Best Kept Secret. Whitaker House. ISBN 978-0883682067.
- — (1993). God Doesn't Believe in Atheists (revised ed.). Bridge Logos Publishers. ISBN 978-0882709222.
- —; Cameron, Kirk (2006). The Way of the Master. Bridge Logos Publishers. ISBN 978-0882702209.
- — (2008). Evolution: A Fairy Tale for Grownups. Bridge Logos Publishers. ISBN 088270432X.
- — (2008). World Religions in a Nutshell. Bridge Logos Publishers. ISBN 978-0882706696.
- Darwin, Charles (September 2009). Comfort, Ray (ed.). The Origin of Species (150th Anniversary ed.). Bridge Logos Publishers. ISBN 978-0882709192.
- — (2009). You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think: Answers to Questions from Angry Skeptics. WND Books. ISBN 978-1935071068.
- —; LaHaye, Tim (2012). Hitler, God, and the Bible. WND Books. ISBN 978-1936488247.
In 2011, Comfort wrote and produced a 33-minute documentary film called 180: Changing the Heart of a Nation. The film was criticized by The Huffington Post for its comparison of legalized abortion to the Holocaust.
Comfort's 2016 film The Atheist Delusion premiered at the Ark Encounter, a Christian theme park operated by the young Earth creationist organization Answers in Genesis on 22 October 2016.
- The Secrets of Nostradamus Exposed (1995): Writer, producer
- True Fiction (1999): Writer
- The Way of the Master series (2003–14): Self – Host, writer, producer
- 180: Changing the Heart of a Nation (2011): Self, writer, producer
- Genius (2012): Self, writer, director
- Evolution vs. God: Shaking the Foundations of Faith (2013): Self, director
- Noah and the Last Days (2014): Director, producer, writer, self, runner, sound
- Audacity (2015): Writer, executive producer
- The Atheist Delusion (2016): Executive producer
- Exit: The Appeal of Suicide (2017): Narrator, Writer, Executive producer
- 7 Reasons (2019): Self, executive producer
- ^ a b "About Ray Comfort". RayComfortBooks.com. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
- ^ Comfort, Ray (1986). In Search of New Jawbones. Living Waters Publications. ISBN 0908751001, ISBN 9780908751006. Google Books. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- ^ Comfort, Ray (2003). Out of the Comfort Zone: The Authorized Autobiography. Bridge-Logos Publishers. pp. 123, 202. ISBN 978-0-88270-943-7.
- ^ von Busek, Craig. "Ray Comfort: The Evidence Bible". Christian Broadcasting Network. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
I cannot express to you how grateful I am that I am a Christian.
- ^ Comfort, Ray (1 September 2009). Nothing Created Everything: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution. ISBN 978-1-935071-23-5.
Jesus was Jewish. All the disciples were Jewish. The first eight thousand Christians were Jewish. I am Jewish. Christianity came from the home of the Jews.
- ^ Comfort, Ray (3 March 2011). "Atheists Question my Education". Bully Pulpit. Archived from the original on 14 November 2013.
- ^ Bashir, Martin (17 March 2006). "Kirk Cameron, From Sitcom Star to Evangelist". Nightline. p. 3. Archived from the original on 31 March 2006. Retrieved 17 May 2007.
- ^ Comfort, Ray. Hell's Best Kept Secret. WVCY-TV 30. Archived from the original on 14 November 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
- ^ Comfort, Ray (3 March 2012). True & False Conversions. Archived from the original on 8 March 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- ^ "Kirk Cameron and Bananas". Living Waters. 28 April 2006. Archived from the original on 4 July 2015.
- ^ "'Behold, The Atheists' Nightmare!'". HuffPost. Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- ^ Ireland, Michael (16 April 2001). "Atheists National Spokesman Debates Christian Author on Good Friday at National Convention". AssistNews.net. Archived from the original on 30 August 2003. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
- ^ Bashir, Martin (7 May 2007). "The Nightline Face-Off". ABC News. Archived from the original on 2 February 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2009.
- ^ Comfort, Ray (May 2004). Out of the Comfort Zone: The Authorized Autobiography. Bridge-Logos Publishers. p. 21. ISBN 0-88270-943-7.
- ^ "Ticket to Heaven". Living Waters Publications. Archived from the original on 31 January 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- ^ Black, Nathan (2 April 2010). "Million Dollar Bill Gospel Tracts are Legal, Judge Rules". The Christian Post. Archived from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- ^ Carroll, Joanne (31 October 2010). "'Appointment with death' cards shocking for elderly". The New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 10 October 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- ^ "Ray Comfort". Living Waters Publications. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- ^ "Books by Ray Comfort". Amazon.com. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- ^ a b Thompson, Dorothy (16 February 2009). "An Interview with Ray Comfort, Author of You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think". Blogcritics. Retrieved 17 February 2009.
- ^ "Book appeals to atheists, Christians alike". OneNewsNow. 18 February 2009. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- ^ Phan, Katherine T. (14 February 2009). "Christian Evangelist's Book Ranked Bestselling 'Atheist' Item". The Christian Post. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- ^ a b "The Don't Diss Darwin Institute". Analysis and synopsis. National Center for Science Education. 2009. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2009. via Archive.org
- ^ Gilgoff, Dan; Comfort, Ray (29 October 2009). "Exclusive: Ray Comfort Defends His Creationist Edition of 'On the Origin of Species'". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on 2 November 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
- ^ Miller, Laura (23 November 2009). "Creationism vs. atheism: It's on!". Salon. Archived from the original on 28 November 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
- ^ Hall, Rikki (2 December 2009). "[University of Tennessee] Professor Considers Legal Action Over Use of Charles Darwin Bio". Metro Pulse. Scripps Interactive Newspapers Group. Archived from the original on 27 July 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- ^ "Origin into Schools". Living Waters. 2009. Archived from the original on 9 November 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
- ^ Scott, Eugenie (30 October 2009). "How Creationist 'Origin' Distorts Darwin". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on 2 November 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
- ^ "Press Kit: Origin into Schools". Living Waters. 2009. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- ^ Darwin, Charles (September 2009). Comfort, Ray (ed.). The Origin of Species (150th Anniversary ed.). Bridge Logos Publishers. ISBN 978-0882709192.
- ^ "Got Comfort? Get protection! | NCSE". 9 November 2009. Archived from the original on 22 November 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
- ^ Comfort, Ray (26 April 2006). Atheist Nightmare (Video). Archived from the original on 16 January 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2016 – via YouTube.
- ^ "Hell's Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort (Book Review)". South View Chapel. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- ^ a b Lieberman, Tucker (2009). "God Doesn't Believe in Creationists: A Response to the Books of Ray Comfort". Positive Atheism Magazine. Archived from the original on 25 May 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- ^ Speed, John (4 February 2008). "Review: 'The Way of the Master' by Ray Comfort & Kirk Cameron". The Informed Evangelist. Archived from the original on 18 April 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- ^ "Evolution is a Fairy Tale for Grownups, says Man Who Believes in Crocoduck". The Friendly Atheist. Patheos. 17 April 2008. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- ^ "Book Review: "World Religions in a Nutshell: A Compact Guide to Reaching Those of Other Faiths"". The Godless Wolf. February 2013. Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- ^ Kirshenbaum, Sheril (19 November 2009). "On Comfort's "Origin of Species"". Discover Magazine. Kalmbach Publishing. Archived from the original on 18 April 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- ^ Keysor, Joseph (23 April 2012). "Hitler, God, and the Bible (Book Review)". Credo Magazine. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- ^ "'180' Documentary Compares Abortion To Holocaust, Goes Viral Among Pro-Life Groups". HuffPost. 12 October 2011. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
The film, which shows a series of graphic images, is gaining attention not only because of its controversial comparison, but because it highlights 14 people who do not know who Adolf Hitler was
- ^ Malado, Jardine (22 September 2016). "Ray Comfort's 'The Atheist Delusion' movie to premiere at Ark Encounter in October". The Christian Times. Archived from the original on 20 November 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
- ^ Zaimov, Stoyan (27 October 2016). "Ken Ham Celebrates 400K Visitors to Ark Encounter, Says He's on Mission With Ray Comfort to Reach Unbelievers". The Christian Post. Archived from the original on 20 November 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
- ^ Zaimov, Stoyan (26 July 2016). "Evangelist Ray Comfort Tells Atheists 'Hell Is a Very Real Place' Ahead of 'Atheist Delusion' Release". The Christian Post. Archived from the original on 31 July 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
- ^ Law, Jeannie (20 July 2017). "Ray Comfort Releases New Faith-Based Film to Help People Combat Suicidal Thoughts". The Christian Post. Archived from the original on 21 September 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- ^ Living Waters (9 May 2019), 7 Reasons | Full Abortion Movie 2019 (HQ), retrieved 27 May 2019
- Ray Comfort's section of the official Living Waters website
- The Comfort Zone – Ray Comfort's blog
- The Way of the Master – Website for his ministry with Kirk Cameron
- Ray Comfort at IMDb
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