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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Morals of Ray - Making Waves In Christian Waters

A little more bopping around on the interweb provided me with some more juicy tidbits. Seems Ray has been taking some "friendly fire" recently. A Reader's Digest account follows.

Ray earned himself an invitation to speak at the Inspiring Excellence Conference during this past July 13th-20th at Family Harvest Church in Tinley Park, Illinois. This was Ray's third time speaking at this annual event. By now one would think that he would be well acquainted with the messages and methods of said church.

A blogger at strangebaptistfire.com saw that Ray was slated to share the stage with "known Word of Faith teachers John Avanzini, Jesse Duplantis, Mike Murdock, and Rod Parsley." Word of Faith teachers espouse a "doctrine of prosperity," these are the con artists who elicit donations from hapless followers while promising them that they are actually making an investment which will soon bear fruit in their own wealth. Upon realizing all of this, an open letter was sent to Ray urging him to call off his speaking engagement on July 7th. In Ray's response, he simply says that he still intends to make his appearance because "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?"

So off Ray goes to do his little dance with known con artists. Luckilly, a blogger at "Slice of Laodicia" was in close proximity to the conference and decieded to attend to find out exactly what Ray had gotten himself mixed up in. I quote her blog post here:

The service began with the gospel choir and lead singers on stage kicking things into high gear. The band got people on their feet and the assemblage raised the roof as the colored gel lights flashed. After about 35-40 minutes of this, everyone was told to sit down. The main lights had been off until this point. Suddenly, heavy metal music was cranked and the lights all came on as the screens at the side of the stage began to flash the words “INCREASE INCREASE INCREASE”. Giant balloons fell from the ceiling onto our heads—these were enormous balloons–and ushers began to throw what appeared to be money at us in the seats and into the aisles. Children and adults made a mad scramble to collect what they could. They were actually throwing the fake million dollar bill tracts from Ray Comfort. No particular explanation was given for this exercise, and the service carried on with announcements.
[She also posts a series of mp3's in which Avanzini preaches his doctorine of "reverse entrapement" which he was divinly inspired of on the spot. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]

After witnessing this atrocity (I imagine one of the conferences to be like sitting in a room with a thousand Terry Burtons) Ingrid sent an email to Ray inquiring as to how he could associate himself with known swindlers. Ray, in absolutely classic Ray Comfort fashion, responded with:

Ingrid, I have an important question for you.

If you were there at the conference, did you or your husband stand up and publicly warn these people about these false teachers? You know much more about them than I do. I haven’t studied what they preach. You have. People who disagree with politicians have the courage to speak out at political rallies, and they get their voice heard. I have done that at an abortion meeting, and got the message across.

Where in the fuck does he get the nerve? Ingrid's response:

No, Ray. My husband and I did not start shouting out because the uniformed ushers less than three feet from us would have removed us within 30 seconds, and nobody would have heard anything. You, Ray, had the microphone. You had the speaker’s platform. You had the authority and name recognition and opportunity. That’s why we were so concerned in the first place. The names of the speakers at the church were flashed on a sign out front of the church; a sign that thousands of cars see every day on Interstate 80 that runs past the church. We can’t legitimize these men, no matter how godly our motives.

These are the morals of the man that we have routinely claim that atheist's are moralless, sin crazy, society destroyers. A man who will instantaneously jump upon anyone who criticizes him.

A longer and more thorough rehash of the events from a Christian point of view can be found on

A good article detailing Mike Murdocks spending practices can be found in this Fort Worth Telegram page. Seems that even now when we know so much about Ray's spending practices, we probably know very little.

And in closing, I feel that I should just clarify exactly what is at issue here. Ray Comforts message was never accused of being unbiblical in the "Word of Faith" way on any of the websites I visited. Each author stated that they approved of and would stand behind his teachings. What is at issue is the fact that Ray has absolutely no trouble what so ever in sharing a stage with conmen and made no attempt to alert any in attendance that their money was being swindled out of them.


  1. Very interesting.
    Nice work, Ace.

    I love watching the bickering going on between the different cults.

  2. Another excellent post, Ace.

    "Suddenly, heavy metal music was cranked and the lights all came on as the screens at the side of the stage began to flash the words “INCREASE INCREASE INCREASE”.

    I just have to get this of my chest - as a life long Metal fan I find extremely offensive when Christains co-opt True Metal's (TM) and our Darklord's world-view and make their shitty Christo-Metal

  3. He got the chance to do his own preaching in front of a larger, different crowd. Free publicity. I wonder what his fee was for speaking there?

  4. According to Ray, Rufus, he didn't collect a speaking fee.

    Of course, there may have been other "financial compensations"...we have no way of knowing. But one thing is clear: even if Ray didn't receive dime one, and even had to pay his own way there, he'd gladly do it, for the opportunity to spread his particular brand of spiritual infection to a captive audience of people that have already demonstrated themselves to be weak-willed enough to fall for such poisonous ideologies.

  5. Ray Comfort vs. Ingrid Schleuter is almost better than tiger vs. crocodile. Almost.

  6. In the NO, RAY COMFORT THE ISSUE IS NOT CLOSED article, Ray is quoted as saying:

    So we moved to Huntington Beach and for the last two-and-a-half years I’ve taken a team—every Saturday—to Huntington [Beach] and preached Christ crucified. I would rather stay at home on a Saturday afternoon and watch sport[s] on television; but compassion won’t let me. It’ll cost you, it’ll cost me. It’ll cost us our time and our energies.

    I recently took a road trip that ended up in the Los Angeles area. I actually added a day onto my vacation so that I would be able to go to Huntington Beach on Saturday afternoon to see Ray Comfort. He was not there. I asked a lady working the information booth if she'd heard of Ray, and I described him as a New Zealander with a moustache who "performed" there. She asked me if he was with a church, and I just said yes. She then told me that she'd seen him, and that I was in the right place, but he only shows up occasionally.

    Take that for what it's worth.

  7. After reading that Fort Telegram piece I would openly question whether Ray was given a "Love Offering", a Christmas bonus, or a Birthday bonus, and that was the reason he felt he couldn't back out. From the "Word Faith" perspective, its a pretty nice deal. Ray puts on a good show and he doesn't compete for gullible suckers.

  8. Wolves come in different colors too, you know...

  9. This from the man who doesn't want to be called "religious" and doesn't want anything to do with religion, and explained his position thusly on May 30, 2008:

    "....I want to distance myself from the hypocrisy, the greed, the pedophilia, and the dead tradition of religion....."

    This gives a score of Ray One, Religion Three, as I'm reasonably certain there was no pedophilia taking place in that auditorium that day. (As for backstage, well, who knows....)


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