I have seen many people (both here on this site and on others I’ve been to) defending Ray Comfort and his decision to go and speak at these Word of Faith conferences for three years straight now, without any sort of rebuke or correction to the distorted doctrines and heretical teachers he has chosen to associate with. The problem to many of us who truly respect Ray as a man of God and appreciate the Way of the Master ministry is that he has yoked himself with unbelievers and chosen to allow by his silence the continued propagation of doctrines and teachings that will lead people straight to hell, missing opportunities to save souls but retaining opportunities for further speaking engagements.
What will you say? That Ray Comfort is exempt and excused from correcting the body of believers gathered before him at a Word of Faith conference because Jesus said do not cast your pearls before swine? Or because he has no responsibility to correct false teaching or to expose deception because that responsibility only belongs to the Holy Spirit!? Or perhaps because Proverbs warns against reproving a scoffer?
Proverbs 9:7-10 states:
Pro 9:7 He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself.
Pro 9:8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, Reprove a wise man and he will love you.
Pro 9:9 Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.
Pro 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
But does that totally remove all responsibility from the shoulders of a minister of God’s truth? And do those passages even really apply to this situation? I don’t think so.
Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”
Mat 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.
Mat 7:14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Mat 7:15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
Mat 7:16 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?
Mat 7:17 “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.
Mat 7:18 “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.
Mat 7:19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Mat 7:20 “So then, you will know them by their fruits.
Mat 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
Mat 7:22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
Mat 7:23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’
And Jude wrote to warn those with whom he shared fellowship in the faith:
Jud 1:3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
Jud 1:4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jud 1:5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.
Jud 1:6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day–
Jud 1:7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Jud 1:8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.
Jud 1:9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”
Jud 1:10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.
Jud 1:11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion.
Jud 1:12 These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted;
Jud 1:13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.
Jud 1:14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones,
Jud 1:15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
Jud 1:16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.
Jud 1:17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jud 1:18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.”
Jud 1:19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.
Jud 1:20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,
Jud 1:21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
Jud 1:22 And have mercy on those who doubt;
Jud 1:23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
Jud 1:24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,
Jud 1:25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
2Co 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
2Co 6:15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
2Co 6:16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
2Co 6:17 “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.
2Co 6:18 “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.
But perhaps the most convicting scripture comes from the pen of John to his fellow ministers of the gospel:
2Jn 1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.
2Jn 1:8 Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.
2Jn 1:9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.
2Jn 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting;
2Jn 1:11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.
Now, let me make it very plain that although this (collective) conversation has focused a lot on Ray Comfort and something he has done (or rather failed to do), the real conversation and concern neither begins nor ends with Ray Comfort and the Inspiring Excellence Conference. The critical point that I really hope does not get lost in all the discussion is that as ministers and witnesses for Christ, we ALL need to be prepared to present the gospel, to correct error, and to rightly divide the Word of Truth–even (and perhaps most especially) in the dens of wolves. Indeed, this is what Jesus did as he spoke amongst the Pharisees, as well as Steven when he was stoned to death, and Peter, Paul, and John throughout their earthly ministries. It was the way of the prophets before Christ came in the flesh, as well as Moses, Abraham, Joshua, Joseph, and so many others. We are all men and we all have our flaws. We all have sinned, and all fallen short.
It is not my motivation to speak against Ray Comfort or to make him look bad. I hope that we all recognize that any one of us could have made the same choice he made, despite the reasons for it. But just as we learn from the failures as much as the successes in the lives of the great men and women in the Bible, the same can be said for those alive today. May we all learn and grow from our own mistakes without dwelling to long on any of another. I hope that throughout all that has taken place Ray has reconsidered his association with the Wolves of Faith teachers, who–as the Word above rightly says–cause division amongst the brethren. And I hope as well that he is fully forgiven and restored in (and by) the body of Christ should he break his ties with those who spread heresies and false doctrines.
Peace & Blessings (most especially to you, Mr. Comfort)~