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Billy7
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Joined: 2005/8/9
Posts: 61


 Some Questions concerning Ray Comfort's Evangelistic Methods

Today, I listened to an awesome message by Paris Reidhead entitled: The Right use of the Law http://64.34.176.235/sermons/SID0116.mp3. In this message, Bro. Reidhead talks about the difference between having a recollection of sin and being truly convicted of sin. His point was that everyone has a recollection of sins committed, but recollection is not the same as being convicted. He says that being convicted of sin is to not only admit that you are guilty of sin, but to also realize the enormity of the crime of sin and to have a sense of the punishment it deserves.

He goes on to say that the church is full of those who have a recollection of their sin but have never experienced any true conviction of sin. He says this is due to a lack of pastors and evangelist correctly using the law to prepare hearts for the gospel. The preaching of the law should not only define sin (stealing, lying, ect.), but it should also show the real crime of sin (rebellion against a holy God). Once this has been properly done, then the gospel can be presented as the means to turn the rebellious heart back to God.

He also says that when sinners are only caused to recollect their sin instead of being convicted of it, their rebellion cannot truly be broken. The result of which is only a spurious conversion at best, and that for the purpose of escaping hell rather than seeking restoration with God for His sake.

Now having laid some groundwork, I come to the reason for my post: Are guys like Ray Comfort properly using God’s law in their evangelism? Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to judge or sound negative, but as I’ve listened to (and read) some of Ray’s stuff, I’ve had a few red lights go off. Please let me explain.

Ray’s whole deal is to use the law to get people to recollect their sins, (i.e., “have you ever stole anything?…ever told a lie?…ect.). He seems to have developed an evangelistic method or formula that uses the law, but does his method really bring conviction of sin or does it only result in recollection?

Another problem I have with Ray’s method is that he presents the basis for repentance as “to escape from the wrath to come,” at least in the presentations that I’ve heard. Isn’t this the same as saying, “Come to Jesus to escape hell”? That’s clearly a legal basis for desiring salvation. Shouldn’t the basis for our accepting God’s offer of salvation be restoration to right relationship with God, regardless of what happens to us on Judgment Day?

As I said earlier, I don’t mean to sound negative, but as I listened to this message today, I couldn’t help but wonder about Ray’s ministry. Has anyone else noticed this? Could it be that I’m over-scrutinizing our brother’s method?

Peace,
Billy


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Billy Evans

 2005/10/22 23:28Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Some Questions concerning Ray Comfort's Evangelistic Methods

Here's a couple of previous threads that touched on this Billy:

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=6248&forum=36&post_id=&refresh=Go]Law and evangelism[/url]

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=6389&forum=35&post_id=&refresh=Go]ray comfort?[/url]


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Mike Balog

 2005/10/22 23:50Profile
alanrepent
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Joined: 2005/1/13
Posts: 59


 Re:

Billy, what is your method of evangelism?

 2005/10/23 0:57Profile
coops
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Joined: 2004/6/28
Posts: 141


 Re: Some Questions concerning Ray Comfort's Evangelistic Methods

I think it is always important to just remind ourselves that there is no "method" or "plan" of salvation. Reidhead wrote a book called "Finding the Realities of God" which asks "While insisting on a plan of salvation, has the Person of Jesus Christ been neglected?"

In my thinking, I had to draw a line between our methods of evangelism and His Plan of Salvation. Sometimes we dont understand how someone can come to Jesus asking for healing and have her sins forgiven. It doesnt fit into either of those two methods of evangelism.

At some point our responsibility ends and the Holy Spirit's starts. We can't walk someone through every step and make them feel exactly what they need to feel, or know what they need to know. To quote Reidhead again: "Salvation is revelation". We must just be open to the Holy Spirit and ready to do as He leads, so He can use us to bring people to Christ.

In regard to "escaping the wrath to come" I think there is enough in the bible to back that motive up (its half the story: 1. saved from hell and 2. into God), but not quite enough to make it the only way to go. (Why did the woman have her sins forgiven because of her faith? We didn't see conviction there, it was more like humanism. This grace we have been given is scandelous!)

Having said all that, I think in essence Comfort and Reidhead are both onto the same thing: Christianity is not about being happy or our satisfaction, and you can use the law in evangelism, and it is biblical and it works!

God bless :-)


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Coops

 2005/10/23 5:49Profile
coops
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Joined: 2004/6/28
Posts: 141


 recollect / conviction of sins (ray comfort)

Just a quick add-on before dinner...

Quote:
Ray’s whole deal is to use the law to get people to recollect their sins



A little clarity might be useful here, having watched most of the way of the master series, I'd have to say it's probably a little different.

His whole deal is to use the law to convince them of their sinfulness. He does this by example of a few laws which are proved by recollection.

At least thats how I always saw it...
:-)


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Coops

 2005/10/23 5:55Profile
letsgetbusy
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Joined: 2004/9/28
Posts: 957
Cleveland, Georgia

 Re: Some Questions concerning Ray Comfort's Evangelistic Methods

Psalm 19:7 "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple."

"does his method really bring conviction of sin?"

The law must be used rightly. I have the two first seasons of Ray's show on DVD. Kirk and Ray absolutely believe in using the law to bring conviction of sin. Many times over I have seen Ray and others use the law, Scripture, and the person's own words to bring the person to the point of convinction.

I have seen at least three different occasions where the individual has began to have tears because of the use of the law. Comfort teaches his method as an outline, but doesn't insist on using only certain one-liners. I have seen them share their personal testimonies, etc.

Comfort is big on insisting that we must show people that they have offended God to bring conviction. By this I mean that they don't teach to show the person they have broken the 10 Commandments and then present Christ as Saviour without looking for conviction. They have long, meaningful conversations to ensure the person understands the magnitude of their sins before God, and then they present grace. This is why Comfort teaches that the witness should tell the individual that they will stand before a Holy God in thier sinful state, and be condemned in their present state.

"Another problem I have with Ray’s method is that he presents the basis for repentance as “to escape from the wrath to come,” at least in the presentations that I’ve heard. Isn’t this the same as saying, “Come to Jesus to escape hell”?"

Here are some verses on this:

Matthew 3:7b "who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?"

Matthew 23:23 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!...have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone."

Luke 10:20b "rejoice, because your names are written in heaven."

Acts 17:29-31 "God...now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness"

Cor 5:11a "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men"

I think Reidhead tried to explain that in the light of humanism, the gospel has in many cases been altered into, 'Accept Jesus and go to heaven' vs 'You have offended God by your wicked works. Repent and believe the gospel."

I have heard a Ray Comfort sermon where he quotes directly from Reidhead's sermon, 'Ten Shekels and a Shirt.'

If anyone is interested in the particular messages I got my info from, let me know and I will post the sermon or video titles that are downloadable on this site.


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Hal Bachman

 2005/10/23 22:50Profile
ZekeO
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Joined: 2004/7/4
Posts: 1014
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

 Re:

Quote:

"does his method really bring conviction of sin?"

Well that all depends if we are working with the Holy Spirit in bringing the person to Christ.

This raises an intersting question, does the law have any power apart from the annoiting of the Holy Spirit upon it?


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Zeke Oosthuis

 2005/10/24 1:38Profile
coops
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Joined: 2004/6/28
Posts: 141


 Re: anointing of the Holy Spirit

Quote:
does the law have any power apart from the annoiting of the Holy Spirit upon it?

i always thought nothing had power without the anointing of the Holy Spirit? What about [url=http://bible.gospelcom.net/passage/?search=John%2014:6&version=31;]John 14:6[/url]? I thought unless the Holy Spirit was in it, there was no hope! :-)


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Coops

 2005/10/24 4:40Profile
groh_frog
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Joined: 2005/1/5
Posts: 432


 Re:

Right, Baptism of the Holy Spirit...

 2005/10/24 7:05Profile
letsgetbusy
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Joined: 2004/9/28
Posts: 957
Cleveland, Georgia

 Re:

I am familiar with the results of a person who witnesses who has been filled with the Holy Ghost, but remember that the disciples were out telling men that they should repent long before the Holy Ghost was given. Jesus also commanded them to preach the gospel to every creature before he ascended. The same chapter says they went forth and preached everywhere.

I am not discounting the experience of being anointed by the Spirit of God, but after this experience, the individual does not become some sort of a gospel machine. They still need prayer, and a daily relationship with God. The anointed individuals always say, that I have heard of, that they keep the same message, but have multiplied results.

My opinion is that the anointing of the Spirit does not discount searching the Scriptures for the most Biblical method for evangelism. I have yet to hear of someone that was anointed to preach that did not have a burden for the lost.

Maybe you could help me out with an opposing view. Do some believe that once you are anointed that the mode of evangelism will then be evident?


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Hal Bachman

 2005/10/24 8:56Profile





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