Scott on July 1, 2008 at 9:58 am
** UPDATE ** (July 3, 2008)
Ingrid Schlueter and I have been emailing this morning. I emailed her to ask whether she planned on discussing Ray Comfort’s participation in the Inspiring Excellence conference, a conference sponsored by and promoting the teachings of Word Faith/Prosperity proponents. Her response was positive and congenial. She asked why I did not contact her earlier to inquire about her position on this matter, and she was right to do so. Before discussing my assumption that she (and others) would be silent on the matter, I should have attempted to contact her directly. I was wrong not to do so. I extended my apologies to her and I acknowledge here that I was wrong to jump the gun in this situation. Ingrid has given me permission to reprint her response here:
Very interesting. It is possible that we actually may agree on something. I am working on this very issue as we speak after having behind the scenes conversations about this with several involved. Please give me a chance to actually get this together in a post I am preparing. I wholeheartedly agree with you, do not support Ray on this, and feel his presence gives an endorsement to these Word-Faith heretics who have harmed so many. I am having to rush because I had several other posts at Slice today and am hosting the show in San Antonio this afternoon for the third straight day in a row. I was actually emailing back and forth on this issue during commercials on KSLR between show segments. That’s how seriously I take it. Please stay tuned as I will be putting something up tonight after 6pm Central if I am able to compose something by then. Why didn’t you write me first and ask before posting? Don’t assume because something doesn’t go up immediately that I’m on the other side of it. I first heard about this yesterday when someone emailed me the link to the event Ray is speaking at. I can only do so much in a short amount of time.
Ingrid’s post just went up a short time ago. It can be read here.
** END UPDATE **
Ray Comfort and his Way of the Master radio/television/evangelism organization are beloved of many of those involved in “online discernment.” Two days ago, John took Comfort to task for his appalling behavior towards others when he goes out witnessing at the Huntington Beach Pier in SoCal.
To be clear, I don’t have a problem with the idea of evangelism. The ODM’s who laud Ray Comfort like to pretend that those people who disagree with Comfort’s WotM method are, in fact, disagreeing with the overall idea of evangelism in general. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s just that many of us disagree with the pervasive belief/attitude among the ODMs that the WotM method is really the only true/valid approach to share the gospel with an unbelieving world. I believe that direct confrontation was certainly A METHOD employed by the Master, but it was not THE METHOD of the Master to the exclusion of every other approach.
But that is another post for another time. This post isn’t about a discussion of methods of evangelism. It is about something that Rick Frueh pointed out this morning in a comment he left here on Verum Serum. (Thanks for the heads-up Rick!) It appears as though Mr. Comfort is appearing at a conference called “Inspiring Excellence 2008.” What is interesting is that he is appearing at this conference with a rogue’s gallery of the prosperity gospel – Rod Parsley, John Avanzini, Jesse Duplantis, etc.
I KNOW that the peeps over at SLICE, CRN, etc have great concerns about the prosperity gospel and its pervasive influences in the Church. This is one area where we are all in complete agreement. I am just curious why it is that Ray Comfort can appear with and partner with these teachers of false doctrine and still be in good standing with the ODMs. Why am I not hearing or reading any sort of outcry related to Comfort’s willingness to cozy up to those teaching faulty doctrine. If Rob Bell appears at an event here the Dali Lama is also appearing, the ODM’s freak out. If Chris Rosebrough goes and meets with Rick Warren, the other ODM’s begin to wonder if Chris is selling out or if he might be falling under the sway of the evil Warren. If Shirley Dobson appears on Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power program to plug the National Day of Prayer, they devote A LOT of blog space to ripping her apart for aligning herself with the theologically suspect Schuller.
So how long it will it take for them to jump on Comfort and his alliance with these prosperity-shilling, Bible-twisting, name-it-and-claim-it teaching hucksters?
I won’t hold my breath, but it sure would be nice if they could actually demonstrate critical thinkings skills and impartial analysis and then apply their standards equally to both “sides.”
Perhaps I am asking/expecting too much. I guess I’ll have to wait and see.
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