2 Timothy 4:3 "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry".

Friday, July 4, 2008

Why is Ray Comfort preaching at a Prosperity Church Conference?

Ray Comfort, of the ministry Living Waters, is a great man of God. He loves the Lord very much and is willing to risk much in order to win the lost in our country, and around the world. He will literally go anywhere to preach the Gospel; which is why I was not surprised he would be preaching at a prosperity conference. "Where else" I thought "could he reach thousands of false converts under one roof? " And the miraculous preaching of the law and the Gospel will be in the hearing of guys like Rod Parsley and Jesse Duplantis!"

Ray was called to task so to speak over at Slice of Laodecia and Apprising Ministries by my friends Ingrid and Ken. Their concern is that Ray is in a sense tacitly approving of the prosperity Gospel by being advertised as being a part of this conference. They both desire for Ray to take this evangelistic opportunity to tear down the false teaching of Prosperity. While I agree that the prosperity gospel is no gospel at all, in fact it is from the pit of Hell, that is not Ray's ministry. Ray is an evangelist, and it is his passion that all people might be saved. Ray answered in a letter published over at Slice of Laodecia
Dear Brother and Sister:

You and I both love our Savior, and because we have been forgiven much, we share a passion to see lost souls saved from Hell. It is the highest honor and greatest duty of the Christian to proclaim the saving Gospel. That has been my passion for thirty years.

Because of my profound concern that souls are saved for the glory of God, I have spoken in nearly a thousand churches, not from one particular denomination, but from almost every denomination. I believe this has happened because I believe our churches are filled with false converts because we have moved away from biblical evangelism. The fields are white for the harvest, and those fields are frequently inside of evangelical churches of all denominations.

I have never turned down any request to speak because I thought that the church’s doctrine was unbiblical. In fact, they are the invitations I have gladly accepted because I know that false conversions are the fruit of their heretical doctrines. Unsaved people sit in pews in the millions in this country because they have never heard the biblical gospel–and I have to say with Paul, “How will they hear without a preacher?”

What I have been doing for all these years has been below the radar screen of public scrutiny, until recently. Suddenly the spotlights are on and I am targeted (and fired at) as one that is endorsing false doctrine.

I am not and have never been a prosperity preacher. I think it is a great error to say that Jesus was rich, etc., or to come to Him for wealth. I preach the simple gospel of Jesus Christ crucified for the sin of the world. That is the heart and soul of my preaching and teaching.

May I implore you, dear friend–what would you do? Imagine you were invited to speak at an event or church where false teaching has created false converts. You know that a thousand people will hear a true Gospel presentation from your lips. Would you turn down the invitation?

I know that not everyone agrees with me on this issue. Please, consider my ministry, and my heart. I know we can disagree on this issue and still love one another, can’t we?

And so, I will continue to preach open air to anyone who will listen, to preach at atheist conventions if I am invited, and to preach to those who are deceived by false doctrine. That may mean that my so-called reputation will be marred, and that I will feel the pain of what is commonly called “friendly fire.” I simply wanted you to understand my heart. Thank you for considering this.

Ray Comfort

I love Ray, and I also love both Ingrid and Ken. I disagree with Ken and Ingrid and parts of their take on this event. I believe that Ray has a ministry that is hyper focussed on saving the lost, and in 39 years of ministry, this is what He has done wherever he has gone. I think a guy like Paul Washer, Ken Silva, or even Todd Friel would be so bold, as apologists, to stand in the sanctuary (to which they would not be invited) to go after the false teaching of prosperity. And by the way, Ken and Ingrid do an excellent job of this over at their blog sites! We should (and I have) attack heretical and false teaching and expose it from our pulpits. But the most important thing we can speak of from our pulpits is the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ to the glory of GOD!

Pray for Ray's message at this conference, and pray for Ray. My prayer is that the seed scattered by the power of the Holy Spirit will find its root in prepared hearts. God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, can water and grow the seed planted, and weed out the false teaching. Amen?


Rick Frueh said...

John - I see your perspective, however I cannot agree. This conference isfilled with people who will hear Comfort's gospel and assume it is another aspect of the other speakers. He gives credibilty to heretics without lovingly addressing their false teachings.

Would you be alright with Ray preaching at MacLarens "Everything Must Change" conference? If so, then there is no parameters as long as you preach the gospel. Does it not seem strange to you that he was invited back? Remember, Paul was sometimes stoned and imprisoned not only because he preached the gospel, but because he addressed the heresy of the Judaisers who attempted to mesh law and grace.

If Comfort had addressed the significant hereises of the health and wealth heretics, he would not have been asked back. His presence at the conference muddies the waters if he doesn't address the pertinent issues.

Pastorboy said...

I see and understand your perspective, but I do not agree.

If God can grab a fallen, wretched man like myself who was steeped in false religion and self righteousness, He can grab anyone. According to your own testimony, you heard the seed from Billy Grahams lips and the Holy Spirit did the rest! What if Billy Graham was just like other preachers, and spoke only on the ills of abortion, prostitution, and drugs instead of the wonderful Gospel- would you have been converted that night?

I believe in the power of God, I believe despite our perceptions to the contrary, God can use His word preached in a den a wolves to convert as many as he would have converted. When you preach as Ray does in the open air, you know the seed only has a 25% chance on hitting 'good' soil. If there are thousands of people at that conference, think of how many can be reached with the truth!

jazzact13 said...

--Would you be alright with Ray preaching at MacLarens "Everything Must Change" conference? --

Fat chance of that happening, but if by some clerical error he should be invited, I'd be all for it.

--If so, then there is no parameters as long as you preach the gospel.--

That's debatable, but even if so, what is the problem?

--If Comfort had addressed the significant hereises of the health and wealth heretics, he would not have been asked back. His presence at the conference muddies the waters if he doesn't address the pertinent issues.--

Perhaps you have a bit of a point. On the other hand, I don't think the Apostles at Pentacost went out of their way to speak against the temple leaders at that time, and they still went to the Temple for some time after Pentacost.

There is a certain iffy-ness about this, I admit, but if such wofers are going to invite someone like Comfort to speak, so be it. Maybe some good will come from what would otherwise be almost completely unredeemable.