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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Ray's definition of a real christian

When mudskipper asked:
Can someone tell me how I can experience God experientially?
I want to have an experience like Ray had"

stranger.strange.land gave a standard reply invoking guilt and fear. And then added:
"But this is a crucial point. You will then either harden your conscience to what you have experienced, or you will be broken and see Jesus (through the preaching of the gospel) as your only hope."

stranger is correct. The kind of emotional breakdown that follows the understanding of the christian concept of sin and guilt, and the release from that because of jesus' sacrifice brings about an overwhelming emotional response. I know because I have experienced it, and I suspect, so have some of the Raytractors.

Interestingly, at the baptist church I used to attend we were warned against relying on feelings and emotions. We were taught to put faith first, and feelings would follow. if we chased the feelings we would eventually be disappointed and, like relationships that founder after the first bloom of romance is gone we could spend out time forever searching to recapture that emotional "rush".

After years of being deeply entrenched in fundamental Baptist doctrine, a slow drift away from the church and its influence allowed me to re-assess. I saw that I was basically no different from your average joe in the street, and yet I was supposed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The internet, atheist blogs, and particularly Ex-Christian.net allowed me to break free from a guilt-ridden, supersticion-based way of living.

But here a core doctrine of Ray Comfort and his Rayniacs. I was what they would call a "false convert" How can they ever know if they will turn out to be false converts too? the parable of the sower gives examples of plants that grew up healthy before they were choked with weeds. On top of the guilt must be this constant fear of loss of faith, of backsliding.

On the one hand they accuse us of being blind because we can never know jesus personally like they do, of not having faith. And yet they must also be aware that because of the failings of our minds and senses, "knowledge" based on the emotional, based on things we have "felt" must be the most fragile, and ephemeral of all.

9 comments:

  1. That's it though. Ray Comfort seems to be using a method of false conversion as well. I've heard many apologists rebuke Ray's method, saying that a simple "sinners prayer" doesn't lead to salvation, and most people return to their normal lives after a few days or so.

    So, perhaps Ray Comfort is the master of false conversion. I mean, a false convert doesn't know he is a false convert because he thinks he is right...right?

    I stick with my explanation of false convert being ALL christians, because their beliefs are false.

    Great post. I enjoy hovering over at the Ex-Christian forums, it's good to know you're not the only one.

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  2. Ah, I remember Ex-Christian.net, it got me thinking about atheism too. You bring up a good point, "how does Ray know he's not a false convert?". I'm sure he has seen very loyal christians fall away from the faith, how can he be sure he's not one of them?

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  3. RS,

    Exactly, be beating people down and making them feel guilty for not being perfect, Ray only scares people into being Christians and that usually doesn't last long. The feeling of unnecessary guilt wears off as people return to reality.

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  4. We know that Ray doesn't have a problem with lying. I think it's a safe bet that he lies about being a Christian.

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  5. My question was a little disingenuous .

    I have a perverted and morbid fascination with watching crazy people try and convince me to be crazy too. It's a bit like watching horror movies.

    I think I'll go to church tomorrow. Maybe there'll be some naive Christian hotty who I can play mind games with.

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  6. Mudskipper,

    You're alright by me.

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  7. Lance,

    Are you implying that our friendly theist Ray Comfort is only in it for the money?

    That's absurd! That's never happened! What's next? Pedophile Priests?

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  8. Are you implying that our friendly theist Ray Comfort is only in it for the money?

    Hey, I get some crrraaazy ideas in my head sometimes!

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  9. RS, I think you are on to something. Ray might be the anti-Christ going around producing bunches of false converts.

    The other thing I noticed about the responses to Mudskipper's questions was that he was told he could experience god experientially in 3 different ways:

    1- Watch a video about hell. That's not an experiential experience of anything except watching a video.

    2- Go listen to someone preach about the bible and have a breakdown over it. That's not an experiential experience of anything except listening to someone preach and having a breakdown.

    3- Die. I'm not even going there.


    So, once again we have learned that their god is just not real. It it were then someone could have given MudSkip a way to experience god and not have experiences that have nothing to do with god and everything to do with everyday experiences.

    That argue themselves into a corner and don't even realize it.

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