Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ray Comfort's EV style

So, the internet's down in my house and I'm writing this in a McDonald's.  Hope it works tonight.

This is more on the 180 video, which I loved and would gladly use at Refuge.  I at least might watch it again and write down the questions in the order Ray asks them.

There has been talk from Phil Johnson, Tim Challies, and the Thirsty Theologian about Ray not presenting the Gospel properly.  The Thirsty Theologian gave the biggest insult by saying Charles Finney would give a big "amen."  If I was Ray Comfort and read that, I'd seriously reconsider my tactics.

Now Charles Finney, a full-blown Pelagian, did not believe man had original sin or that Christ's death saved us.  Christ was a great moral example about how we can live for God by our own means.  So, he would use any method to emotionally trick people into accepting Christ, but years later, those commitments didn't last.  He set the bar for modern evangelism today, (evangelism is shortened to EV).  Billy Graham, though not a heretic, uses those new measures, and yes, I agree, Ray Comfort does, too.

Now Ray Comfort is a great guy, and his tactics may work for him, and I know he's a Calvinist, or at least a Spurgeon fan, but his tactics definitely lack faith in the Holy Spirit's influence.  He approaches people on Rodeo Drive and asks them questions and eventually intimidates them into accepting Christ and switching to Pro-life (I don't mind the latter part at all), but will their commitment last till next year?  Will it even last till tomorrow?  Now, if he gave them an address to a church or his e-mail where he could follow up and disciple them, it could work, but not just a drive-by-shooting method (although God can use any means to draw people to Christ). 

A true Calvinist, who believes that salvation cannot happen using human methods, will form friendships with someone.  They will get to know the person.  if they are philosophical people, usually conversations will lead to what we believe and I'll positively say what I believe and hope that they can do the math and see how it contradicts their beliefs.  At Refuge, I try to remember, but sometimes fail, to pray with the client, share a Scripture, and hopefully explain the penal substitutionary atonement.  They can't be saved unless they accept Christ's death and resurrection on their behalf.  They can't be saved without his Name.  And they can't be awakened to accept Christ unless I preach Scripture to them.  Above all, only praying to God, will he move to save them, and even my praying is God's motion to save them.  I say no words without the Holy Spirit.  But I will get nowhere if I try to approach someone at McDonald's and force them to commit before they are ready.

But still, I'm so glad for Ray's video and how viral it's gone.  That in itself is God working through silly humans and despite us.  I'm glad he does it through me or I'd never get anything done.

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