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The Way of the Master

Christian evangelist Ray Comfort is known for his use of fear as a tool to gain converts. While he is not the only one by a long shot who uses this tool, he is one of the more notable culprits.

Comfort and his completely straight heterosexual partner Kirk Cameron (aka Mike Seaver from Growing Pains) like to go around to spring break hotspots and harass (in a non-sexual manner) young, drunk, and attractive college students with the Ten Commandments.

Once they find people young enough to have never watched Growing Pains and have no idea who Mike Seaver was, they start the interrogation. The questions are moral questions which coincide with some of the Ten Commandments. For example, their first question is usually, “Have you ever lied?” To this most college aged people confess that they have on some occasion of another.

This is where Comfort starts getting really excited. He whips out his Bible and points to the Ten Commandments with his erect finger and asks, “You are a self-confessed liar and the Bible says, ‘Thou shall not bear false witness.’”

Most drunk college students are left without protection. They have no idea what to say while Comfort and Cameron shoot their loud all over the young student, “The Bible is Gods law and you broke that law and God is the judge. You’re guilty. You’re a criminal. You belong in Hell, but 2000 years ago Jesus paid your fine. So God can dismiss your case legally because Jesus suffered, died, and rose from the dead on the third day. Now you need to accept the sacrifice or burn in everlasting Hell.” The choice is clear, either be a Christian or Burn in Hell for all eternity, no pressure.

What’s wrong with this line of rhetoric? The list is a long one. First, Comfort and his boy-toy Cameron are preying on those who they believe can’t defend themselves adequately. They seem to enjoy harassing drunken college students who are not expecting to be bombarded with these types of questions. They are exploiting these people and preying on the vulnerable.

Second, when they bring out the Ten Commandments, they rarely talk about the Commandments that are obviously ridiculous. They don’t go around and ask college students if they have ever worked on a Saturday or coveted their neighbor’s ox.

Third, they have presented zero evidence that these commandments are “God’s Laws” or even that this God of theirs exists. There is no evidence for Hell and no evidence that someone will spend eternity there for breaking any of these Commandments.

Fourth, they are creating a problem that doesn’t exist and then presenting the only way out which conveniently is to join their cult.

Fifth, they are using fear to terrorize their victim into doing what they want them to do. There is a word for that… I wonder what that word might be? Umm…

Sixth, they introduce the flawed concept of vicarious redemption of wrongdoing. This last one is a dozy and will be the subject of an upcoming blog. It is an issue which concerns all of Christianity.

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  • katherine

    Its just insanity pure and simple.

    One of the biggest problems with Christianity is this notion of forgiveness. Even if there was a God and “he” was concerned with both immorality and just random morally neutral behaviors, why would the sacrifice of innocents enable forgiveness for God? Is God really less capable than a mere human? I mean, I can forgive people without the blood of anyone involved, why couldn’t God? The only explanation would be that God has chosen to only forgive after someone innocent is slaughtered first. Its his choice of procedures and it says something horrific about his character. Fortunately that’s all he is – a character that people invented.

  • http://www.poweressence.com/ Maxwell Jennings

    The ways of the master baiters: Toss out a line riddled with fear tactics and set the hook with the promise of the only way to be saved.

  • http://www.myspace.com/rothtalltales Tralf

    All snake oil salesman work from this recipe:

    1. Find a rube.
    2. Convince them they have a problem.
    3. Convince the rube that the salesman has the answer to that problem which didn’t exist a moment ago.
    4. Get their money and leave.

    I know there’s a money angle in there somewhere, with Comfort and his washed-up actor chimp. If we took all the money out of being a religious huckster, the problem would disappear tomorrow.

    Randy

  • Derynie

    I don’t know. if you haven’t been indoctrinated by the time you are a college student, I think it’s a little late in the game. I don’t see how these scare tactics would work on a drunken college student. Even when I was a Christian, drunken, college student I probably would have just flashed them my boobs and told them off. Not that either one of those two fools would be looking at my boobs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. *cough*gay*cough*. If they keep trying that tactic, they might end up with a black eye or two. Drunken college students are pretty obstinate.

    • Diana

      I would live to turn on the news in the morning and see those two with matching shiners because they harassed the wrong drunker.

      It would make my day, I love seeing terrorists get what’s coming to them.

  • Kevin

    I’m not even sure that the bible is explicitly against lying. The old testament commandment forbids ‘bearing false witness’, which, to be sure involves lying, but only in the circumstance of supplying testimony against another person.

    Plus, ‘sinless’ Jesus lies several times in the bible:
    In John 7:8-10 Jesus said he wasn’t going to the feast and then as soon as the others left, he went to the feast in secret.

    Jesus tells the high priest that he (the priest) would see his (Jesus’) return
    - Mark 14:61-62

    He told three disciples that they would (live to) see his return
    - Matt 16;28

    He told the disciples he would return before they had preached throughout Palestine
    - Matt 10:23

    The generation living at that time
    (circa 30 Christian era)
    was to be still be alive when “all these things” took place
    - Mark 13:3-30

    Those who crucified him will see him return (2nd time) “with their own eyes”
    - Revelation 1:7