An Open Letter to Ray Comfort

Introduction: What follows is an e-mail that I recently sent to evangelist Ray Comfort of The Way of the Master Ministries. For many years, I have appreciated Ray’s ministry and evangelistic efforts, but because Ray is planning to unequally yoke himself with Word of Faith heretics in order to create a platform for preaching the gospel (an “ends justifies the means” mentality) at the 2008 Inspiring Excellence Conference, I decided to respond with a loving but earnest e-mail. Please pray that this brother will either take a stand and expose these heretics for what they are and warn the conference attendees of the false gospel of “health and wealth” or that he will decline his invitation to speak at this conference. I would also encourage you to express your concern by sending a loving, thoughtful, yet earnest e-mail to Ray Comfort at: general@wayofthemaster.com

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Dear Brother Comfort,

I must first say that I and the people of our church have greatly benefited from your ministry through the years. Thus, the intention of my writing to your ministry is for no other purpose but to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). It has come to my attention through the Slice of Laodicea blog that on July 13-20th, you will be preaching at the 2008 Inspiring Excellence Conference alongside the known Word of Faith teachers John Avanzini, Jesse Duplantis, Mike Murdock, and Rod Parsley.

It is well known that all of the above men are associated with the Word of Faith heresy and have actively taught it in the past. As you already know, most Word of Faith teachers teach that we can become incarnated gods just like Jesus. Kenneth Copeland said, “don’t be disturbed when people accuse you of thinking you are God…the more you get to be like Me, the more they are going to think that way of you. They crucified Me for claiming that I was God. But I didn’t claim I was God. I just claimed I walked with Him and that He was with Me” Kenneth Copeland, “Take Time to Pray,” Believer’s Voice of Victory, #15, 2 February 1987, p. 9.

All of this of course is an explicit denial of the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. Word of Faith heretics mix their heretical doctrine of God with ideas from the mind sciences, occult metaphysics, and also have a convenient “give to get scheme” known as the “health and wealth gospel”; all of which is combined in such a way that undermines the true, biblical gospel of Jesus Christ.

Please remember that the attendees at this conference will be swallowing this poison, and if you do not either separate yourself from these men or use this as a platform to explicitly expose them as heretics, these people will stay right where they are, drinking this spiritual poison. That’s why the Apostle Paul said that a heretic should be rejected by the church after one or two warnings (Titus 3:10-11). This warning has already been given by R.C. Sproul and Michael Horton, but instead of repenting because of their loving admonition, they were cursed to hell by these men. The poisonous false gospel of Word of Faith heresy spreads like cancer and as such, you know full well that those who preach a false gospel will be accursed (Galatians 1:6-9). Unless you are planning on clearly and lovingly confronting these men for their heresy, I can find no biblical warrant for attending this conference, even for evangelistic purposes. Your failure to do so will only add to the confusion already prevalent in the church and will cause a dangerous mixture of truth and error. The Protestant Reformer Martin Luther said,

Though we be active in the battle, if we are not fighting where the battle is the hottest, we are traitors to the cause.

Brother Comfort, I pray that you’ll use this opportunity to expose these false teachers for what they are in accordance with Scripture (Jude 3), or avoid partnering with them “in ministry” so as to be obedient to 2 Corinthians 6:14-18,

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 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. 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. 18 “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.


I will be praying for you my dear brother.

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63 Comments on “An Open Letter to Ray Comfort”

  1. Big Al Says:

    Ray’s preaching at a WOF church revealed to me I was a false convert

    I “accepted Jesus” in 1977 praying a sinners prayer from a Christian book in my office. I visited many churches but everywhere I visited I found a very lukewarm church. I ended up believing the faith message. I went to a local bible college and became a licensed and ordained minister of the Gospel “WOF style”. Soon afterwards I became the administrator of a WOF church with about a thousand members. After that I pastored a small church for about 2 years. I started watching The Way of the Master program in 05′ on TBN and thought it was great but did not fully grasp the underlying message. In March of 2006 in a motel room with my laptop I went to a faith church website to watch one of my favorite faith teachers. To my surprise I noticed that Ray Comfort had taught at their conference. I decided to watch the 2 messages that Ray taught. The first was Hell’s best kept Secret. This message raised my eyebrow and my curiosity. I knew it was scripturally correct and wondered why I had never heard this kind of message before. The next night I watched “True and False Conversion”. As I listened to Ray describe, plainly and scripturally, what a Christian was and was not, I fell under conviction for my sin. I was under a powerful conviction for 3 days crying out to God in repentance and begging for God to save me. I trembled before Him, realizing that I believed I was saved, but after examining myself scripturally, I knew I was LOST! How could I be deceived for 27 years, I had read the bible many, many times, studied it, meditated on it, loved it and preached it, I was horrified!

    I thank God that Ray went to that faith church. Today, because of the faithful preaching of the word of God and by God’s grace I am truly changed. My life has been radically different. I am very sensitive to sin and now the fruit of Gods spirit is growing in me. I have taught the way of the master class at my church and regularly share my faith. I am also of the reformed faith now. My family has also been dramatically changed with many coming to true faith in Christ. I am very thankful to Ray for being obedient to God and thankful to God for redeeming me out of my deception.

    This was my request to Ray:

    REQUEST:
    Ray, please continue to be kind, patient, and understanding to those who do not understand the gospel, people like me. A. W. Tozer and Leonard Ravenhill both were bemoaning the fact that the church in America was almost lost in the 60’s. When I came to church in the late 70’s I wanted to know God and all I found was falsehood. When I was a teenager I went to a Baptist church and was asked to leave by the other youth because I didn’t fit in their “click”. I left, no one cared. When I “accepted Jesus” in 77 I went to a Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal church and finally stayed at a Baptist church. I again was unwelcome and found no one serious about reading and living the scriptures. I heard the faith message on the radio and thought, at last someone who loves the bible and is willing to believe it. I had no understanding to properly interpret the bible and after a while trusted these teachers. There are many people in all these doctrinally wrong churches, in “word of faith churches” who sincerely want to know God and unknowingly went into a place called church and were led astray. Please continue what you do and continue to reach out to help all who are false converts.

    ——————————————————————————–
    Gas prices getting you down? Search AOL Autos for fuel-efficient used cars.

  2. Dustin Says:

    Brother Al,

    Thank you for your riveting testimony. Notice that I don’t have a problem with Ray teaching and preaching at this conference per se; what I have a problem with is his convenient refusal to directly confront the root cause of these false conversions head on; namely, the false, Word of Faith gospel. It is necessary to lay the axe to the root of the tree and not try to trim the branches instead. This is what Ray will be doing if he avoids directly confronting and exposing the false theology of the men he’ll be sharing the platform with.

    Scripture clearly teaches that he is either to confront these men to the face, expose their false gospel, and call them to repentance (Jude 3), or he is to completely avoid sharing the platform with them. There is to be no fence-straddling and sharing the stage with false teachers unless you use the stage as an opportunity to reprove, rebuke, and call them to repentance. Anything else is giving a tacit endorsement to the heretics and assumes an unbiblical, secular, “the ends justifies the means” mentality. This type of pragmatic mindset is absolutely *killing* the purity of the church and the gospel. Again, I pray that brother Ray will use this opportunity to expose these false teachers for what they are in accordance with Scripture (Jude 3), or avoid partnering with them “in ministry” so as to be obedient to 2 Corinthians 6:14-18,

    Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 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. 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. 18 “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.


  3. […] An Open Letter to Ray Comfort Do not be bound together with unbelievers; … 17 “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. […]

  4. D.L. Kane Says:

    I have been reading Ray’s Blog (recently renamed “Soap Box”) for the past 6 months and have occassionally commented on it. Many, many concerns and many hours of prayer regarding his ministry. I recently told Ray that my work was done and that I would pray that mature men of God would come along side him and that the Holy Spirit would open his heart to their exhortation and rebuke. He never posted that last comment of mine and I continue to pray.

    For what it’s worth, I believe the problem (one of them anyway and the most important) is “what is truly most important to Ray”–God’s Glory or the salvation of souls? I admit that that is a question to ponder–especially since Paul expressed, “As long as the Gospel is being preached”. However, I think that the perponderance of God’s Word would strongly support the position that we are NOT TO COMPROMISE THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL for any reason and that our highest and most fervent desire is that our actions bring glory to God and affirm and confirm the truth of the gospel message–at any cost.

    Should he accept an invitation to preach at the upcoming conference? ABSOLUTELY! – But, only if he intends to PREACH THE TRUTH and to use that opporutnity to expose the errors of the false teachers present. He needs to truly examine his heart and pray that God will give his wisdom. It is clearly God’s glory that is most important to God. God gets no glory when a man wearying the name of Christ, does not expose a false gospel when given such a wonderful opportunity to do so.

    Thank you and I thak te Lord that men like you have taken the time and cared enough to write your letter to Ray.

    Blessings to you my brother,
    D.L. Kane

  5. Coram Deo Says:

    I’m still looking for ONE scriptural precedent wherein ministers of the gospel placed preconditions or caveats upon the faithful proclamation of the gospel under ANY circumstances, or where any believer or group of believers are exhorted in the scriptures to place certain demands or conditions upon another believer in advance of the ministering of the gospel. It seems that something this important wouldn’t have been overlooked in the Bible say, for example, when the Lord Jesus Christ gave the Great Commission.

    And although I think I have an explanation that I’ll go into later, I’m still a bit confused as to why some sovereign grace Christians apparently seem to believe that the Lord God Omnipotent is so powerless and thoughtless that He would miraculously regenerate His elect by the power of the faithful proclamation of His eternal gospel of grace and then simply abandon His child to languish and “drink poison” and thus be unfaithful to His promise to finish the good work that He has begun (Philippians 1:6). Can someone help me out here? What love is this? Amazing grace?

    The power of the eternal gospel of grace is more than sufficient to overcome all the wiles and deceits of the enemy by God’s power alone. Have faith.

    Finally if one wishes to quote Jude 3 then let’s please read on down through verses 21-23 and let’s be obedient to the WHOLE COUNSEL of God. The same goes for 2 Cor. 6:14-18 – the WoF cultists aren’t in the church so in its proper context this application fails the test as well – that is of course unless one were to consider the fact that 2 Cor is a FOLLOW UP to 1 Cor in which case we can look back and see another possibility (the one which I personally think is actually in play in this whole dust up) which is that Ray’s attendance at the conference is causing his brothers and sisters who are weaker in the faith to stumble (1 Cor 10:27-28). In this case Ray’s appearance definitely is given scriptural grounds for pause but in all other complaints lodged thus far the charges are simply out of context non-sequiturs and unbiblical straw man arguments.

    If someone actually wants to make a compelling case as to why Ray shouldn’t preach the gospel at the WoF conference then someone should write to him and tell him that they’re weak in their faith and it will cause them to stumble if he does so.

    In Christ,
    CD

  6. Coram Deo Says:

    If someone actually wants to make a compelling case as to why Ray shouldn’t preach the gospel (or “appear with” or “share the platform with” or whatever) at the WoF conference then someone should write to him and tell him that they’re weak in their faith and it will cause them to stumble if he does so.

    In Christ,
    CD

  7. D.L. Kane Says:

    Coram Deo – Very provoking comment. How lovely it would be if that was all it would take. One would like to think so. I suppose I have become somewhat cynical (after months of reading his posts and his comments and responses to his readers). I fear that would have no impact on him whatsoever. Sad, but, perhaps true — great point to ponder, however, and I do pray that someone might (in all sincerity) be so led to write such a letter to him.

    What a huge responsibility it is to represent Christ and the Gospel and to have such a powerful influence on those who wear Christ’s name. So many look to him for wisdom, counsel, guidance and truth.

    Interestingly enough, Paul Washer will be sharing the platform with Ray Comfort in Georgia in October. Of course, he may not be invited back.
    Awesome and fearful responsibility.

  8. Coram Deo Says:

    D.L. Kane,

    I actually attempted to post two comments in this thread, one was much more detailed rebuttal and the latter a brief summation of the final thrust of my argument.

    Interestingly only the brief summation appeared, the Lord knows why.

    In Him,
    CD

  9. Diane Says:

    On No! Here we go again. My 85 yr old unsaved Mom and I that is. Every time she sees Ray and Kirk on TBN she tells me they are only out for money just like the rest of “them” and she shuts everything out. It only takes one glance at the poster of Ray with “them” for her to say, “See. I told you he was one of them!”. What a stumbling block! Wonder how many other unsaved people will see it like this?


  10. […] As gently as we know how, and because this is not an isolated event, Apprising Ministries shares some further thoughts on a critical matter. Strange Baptist Fire has also weighed in today with a heartfelt open letter to Ray Comfort as well. […]

  11. Ken Silva Says:

    This is the third time Ray is speaking at IEC. Look at the vigorous denunciations (I’m being kind) on TBN toward their critics aka “heretic hunters”. Then consider Ray’s been asked back yet again.

    You tell me if he’s confronted these unbelievers who dare teach Christ’s work at the Cross was not done, that He had to die spiritually, be punished in Hell by Satan, and then be “born again.”

    The Biblical case against this is clear in 2 Cor. 6:14-15 and 2 John 10-11. Maybe those who argue Ray is right to violate the Word of God are the ones who do not trust the sovereignty of God.

    Perhaps those pernicious Word Faith wolves are exactly where God wants them after they have hardened their heart toward Him. Maybe those in the audience are exactly where God wants them for following teachers who scratch their itching ears.

    Maybe if we obey what God has said re. partnering with the inregenerate–regardless of pure motives–He will draw His own out where they could hear Ray in the open air, which is his forte.

    Twice already Ray has been at IEC and no one knew about it. So maybe it really was God Who exposed it this time.

  12. Steve S. Says:

    Mr. Comfort

    I hope that this is being done in love but what I want to do is basically stir up in you a terrified feeling of the eventual judgment of God against your actions. Honestly, I am more concerned for others than I am for your soul.

    Preaching the gospel is good. This is not an issue. Disregarding other equally important and damningly clear scriptures is the issue. The scriptures that apply to these men that you will be ministering and fellowshipping with are found in Galatians, 2nd Peter, and Jude. They are associated with fallen angels that have no hope of redemption (this is just a fact I am not starting a theological argument).

    Whatever else you may have done in your life you will answer to God for the world wide public event you are involving yourself and all who have supported and loved you in.

    I am telling this to you now before it happens, woe to you if you proceed as reported. I have no special insight it is a certainty according to the simplicity of the scriptures.

  13. Eric O Says:

    I’m checking this site and others in hopes of reading a valid response from Mr. Comfort. I did read his other response.

    Let’s all keep in mind that Mr. comfort is a brother in Christ who has proven himself over the years to be a worthy workman dedicated to the work of Christ in the field God placed him in.

    I’m also at a total loss for understanding his current plans and past actions with regard to this issue. I want a biblical answer from him supporting his actions.

    WE will all have to answer to God for our actions, not sure questioning the condition of his Soul is necessary at this point considering his reputation and ministry to date. Might be best to wait for his direct reply before such talk.

    We can voice our call for him to answer the issue.

    Eric

  14. John Thompson Says:

    Just Rays appearance with the WOF crowd will substantiate their heresy to many of his listeners. Kind of an endorsement. I really push the “Evidence Bible” in our church and the “Way of the Master” method of witnessing also. I am really disappointed. “Only those who persevere to the end will be saved” Pray for Ray!! Pastor John

  15. Coram Deo Says:

    Maybe I’m just terribly dense on this matter, and perhaps a loving brother or sister in the Lord out there can help me to understand, but I’m still looking for ONE scriptural precedent wherein ministers of the gospel EVER placed preconditions or caveats upon the faithful proclamation of the eternal gospel of grace under ANY circumstances; or perhaps for ONE scriptural case wherein any believer or group of believers are exhorted in the scriptures to place certain “in advance” demands or prerequisites upon another believer prior to his ministering of the gospel. It seems to me that something this important wouldn’t have been overlooked in the Bible say, for example, when the Lord Jesus Christ gave the Great Commission. Bravo to those who are willing and able to boldly stand on the infallible Word of God and faithfully proclaim His pure and eternal gospel of grace at every opportunity and especially in the face of opposition – whatever its source – for they are being faithful to King Jesus and His Great Commission to the praise of His glory alone forever and evermore.

    I’m also still a bit confused as to why some sovereign grace Christians apparently seem to believe that the Lord God Omnipotent is so powerless and thoughtless that He would miraculously regenerate His elect through the faithful proclamation of His eternal gospel of grace and then simply abandon His child to languish and “drink spiritual poison” allowing them to languish underneath false teaching and thus be unfaithful to His promise to finish the good work that He has begun (Philippians 1:6). Can someone help me out here? What love is this? What happened to sovereign grace?

    Why has the conception of the absolutely sovereign One True and Living God of the Holy Bible become so small as to think that the power of His eternal gospel of grace needs a little help from sinful men to REALLY get the point across because, well, you know, people are REALLY deceived by Satan?

    When did the church begin believing the lie that Satan’s power of deception is greater than the One True and Living God’s gospel power of salvation? Our God is God. Our God reigns. He sits in the heavens and does as He pleases (Psalm 115:3). When did the church begin ascribing God’s attributes to the enemy?

    The power of the eternal gospel of grace is more than sufficient to overcome all the wiles and deceits of the enemy by God’s power alone. Have faith.

    The eternal gospel of grace faithfully presented is sufficient and it is God’s chosen means whereby sinners are supernaturally and miraculously converted to faith in Jesus Christ by grace through faith in Him alone. God’s power to save His elect from every kingdom, tribe, tongue and nation is omnipotent and is able to save His chosen to the uttermost.

    It seems to me that if one wishes to quote Jude 3 (as some have) as a proof text against those who would boldly and faithfully proclaim the eternal gospel to ANYONE, ANYWHERE then let’s please continue to read on down through verses 21-23 and then let’s be obedient to the WHOLE COUNSEL of God. The same goes for 2 Cor. 6:14-18 – I think all discerning, orthodox, Bible-believing Christians would agree the WoF cultists aren’t in the church so in its proper context this application fails the proof text test as well as this text is clearly referring to brothers and sisters inside the church who are living in sinful immorality and does not refer to those outside the church – even if they claim to be “true Christians” (i.e. Mormons and JW’s). Lastly 2 John 10-11 has exactly nothing to do with the situation at hand because the admonishment herein is to not receive such people into the church (and at the time of writing most likely admonished against receiving such into the house churches in a spirit of Christian hospitality and fellowship which cannot be applied to unbelievers) which is the exact reverse of faithfully going out into the world and preaching the gospel unto unsaved false believers (such as WoF cultists) with a bold and unflinching faith that God will save those whom He has elected by His sovereign grace and power alone.

    In Christ,
    CD

  16. sbrogden Says:

    I sent the following to email@livingwaters.com on 4 July:

    I was excited to receive the email announcing the academy this fall and started making plans to attend. I’ve been greatly blessed and encouraged by the ministry of Ray Comfort since my wife brought home an audio tape of “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” several years ago. I sent out the invite to this training to many men and my dear wife of nearly 30 years said “Go!”

    But in the course of my normal review of news and praying about spending $600 on this or sending Bibles to China (which is my top priority), I ran across reports of Ray Comfort repeatedly cavorting with false teachers such as Kenneth Copeland, Rod Parsley, Mike Murdock, Jesse Duplantis, and others (http://www.inspiringexcellence.org/IE08Speakers.htm and http://www.apprising.org/archives/2008/07/on_ray_comfort.html).

    I am greatly disappointed. I know not the hearts of these men, but their teaching is certainly not square with Scripture. I cannot see my way clear to spend money nor time with such folk.

    From what I’ve heard from Way of the Master via myriad outlets, the teaching is rock solid and Biblical. But keeping company with apostates is cause for concern – it cannot help but affect those who do so.

    If Mr. Comfort insists on keeping company with such folk, it puts a serious cloud of concern over the entire Way of the Master ministry. I cannot be a part of it.

  17. Steve S. Says:

    Preaching the gospel is not a guaranty to oneself or others that a person has been regenerated. It is not that easy. You must be born again. Far from questioning Comfort’s actual possession of eternal life I have disqualified it as an issue for my comments on his conduct (please read again if you are following this).

    It is not surprising that a person such as Big Al could be saved through the preaching of the gospel as preaching the gospel is the means God has chosen to save people. With all due respect to all, our Sovereign God can save persons apart from WOF conferences (including Big Al and someone should teach him this). Actually each one that has been elected will be called, justified ect… Not one will be lost. Not one. That is one of the good reasons to obey the entire testimony of scripture and avoid well reasoned manipulations of any sort. Please remember we may actually be living in the days of deception. Let us not be overt or covert deceivers.

    If these WOF men have been cursed by God let us tell them this and disassociate even as Peter condemned the false prophet and great one Simon of Samaria to perdition (apparently without missing a beat). Would the loving Peter have shared a stage with an unrepentant Simon? Again and again?

    Very likely instead of this Peter like death threat (eternal death at that) they’re interaction will be closer to making clever comments and repartee in the hospitality room and they may even quote scriptures to amuse each other in the rioting. If nothing else these men are charming and one would be hard pressed to spoil the fun. Do you think Duplantis would invite you back if you told him he was condemned to the mist of darkness forever? I think Duplatis has anathematized persons under the sound of his voice that did not believe in his visions and trip to heaven. And I mean tell Duplantis he is certainly damned with the full power and damning seriousness of the Holy Spirit? This is love based on certain knowledge. We do in fact know the condition of his soul and the scriptures have been given for this purpose.

    Aside from this let me address the non-issue. Comfort must assure his salvation like everyone else. One thing he will do for himself in performing this is demonstrate a love for the truth and an ambition to please God alone.

    Many will be harmed by a man so loved disregarding the truth. He may be just one more of many that proceed this way in these times. One hopes not.

  18. Big Al Says:

    Steve, I know that our Sovereign God can save and does save when and how He chooses. I don’t know why you would assume I didn’t know that. My statement simply told how God used the preaching of the gospel at a WoF church to bring me to conviction and salvation. There are many false converts in the WoF movement. God was kind and sent the message to me and others who had ears to hear. That’s what God did!

  19. Big Al Says:

    The message I heard Ray teach at the WoF church convicted me greatly. When he taught he didn’t change his message in the least! The message True and False conversion is extremely contrary to what is taught at the WoF churches. “Easy Believeism” and “life enhancement” are their doctrines and Ray blew it out of the water with Hell’s best kept secret (using the law) and True and False conversion (true repentence brings true salvation). He was very forthright in his proclamation of the Gospel!

  20. Diane Says:

    Think of the even greater impact Ray could have by backing out of the event and publically explaining why…because these guys preach a different gospel (spell it out for them and their followers)…then present the real gospel…

  21. Steve S. Says:

    Jude began to write of the common salvation but found it needful to change his intention. It was that important. Comfort and others that fellowship with false teachers need to take this epistle to heart. Jude, who some hold was the half brother of the Lord, and men like him would not have been welcomed back to the false prophet conference to speak of the common salvation. They would not have publically hugged these men or given them the right hand of fellowship. Jude was evidently not even on visiting terms with these false teachers having soundly cursed them. Jude would not have his picture up there with Duplantis for those that are called by God the Father and preserved in Jesus Christ to see. This is abhorrent to the conscience. God bless you Big Al. I was retrieved from the WOF teachings also and thank God for His mercy. Diane has a good idea and it would glorify God if it was done with the full severity of the scriptures and contrition.

  22. Eric O Says:

    I’ve written WOTM and asked for an answer with no response.

    Has anyone heard of a second response which addresses the issue?

    Does anyone know anyone with ties to WOTM who can find out if they are going to ignore this or give an answer?

    Eric

  23. Ken Silva Says:

    Eric,

    To answer your question above I will tell you that both Ingrid Schlueter and me wrote to WOTM about this. In fact, I was the one who privately notified WOTM first, and then Ingrid, that I had found out about this conference from monitoring a website very critical of WOTM, SoL, and AM.

    This was about 2 days before SoL and then AM posted publicly. Ethically I cannot give you my contact at WOTM, whom I had emailed with before, but you’d definitely recognize their name. In a nutshell: They thanked me for informing WOTM and told me they had not heard of this.

    Later they wrote back and said: “Ray was invited and didn’t know about any other speakers. He accepted without knowledge of anyone else.” I encouraged them, because of these critics, it would be a good idea for Ray to issue a public statement as to what his intent was in going to this conference.

    At that time I didn’t know this is now the third time Comfort is going there. That I found out through another critic’s website when a link to the conference archives clearly proves this. So I wrote my contact in a clear nonconfrontational way. I simply told my contact that this doesn’t look good and appears to be in conflict with what I was told earlier. Then I asked if they would look into it.

    When they made the choice not to respond further I then posted on this sad issue. The Lord knows I tell the truth that if they had simply given me a public statement I would have published it without any further comment.

    It’s important to note that Ray’s response was issued at the behest of a friend of Comfort’s and is not to Ingrid or me. I tell you this in order to urge you not to hold your breath for any further responses. Sadly, I think the whole matter will simply blow over and the only people who take the hit will be Apprising Ministries and Slice of Laodicea for being “harsh and unloving.”

    But the truth is both Ingrid and myself privately did all that we could to keep this issue from becoming the public issue it now is. I personally do not like being painted as a bad guy in this because I was the one who tried to reach out to WOTM with pastoral advice. But apparently I’m not a big enough “name” to warrant their interest.

  24. Eric O Says:

    Thanks pastor Silva,

    I’m extremely “putoff” with WOTM’s lack of responding (I understand he did give a response, but without answering the issue) and something just doesn’t add up. With the comments Todd (radio WOTM) has made over time regarding the Todd Bentley fiasco. It just goes against the image WOTM has given over the years, it simply makes no sense that they don’t answer what is clearly a legitimate question (when you factor in positions they take against folks like Bentley). It leaves me wondering if something else is going on. Surly more people than not are scratching their heads.
    I suppose one lesson for me is to trust God to work on the hearts of men.

  25. Ken Silva Says:

    You’re welcome Eric and please feel free to email me and to call me Ken. 🙂

    Indeed God does work on the hearts of men and He will also use men in the process as well. That’s sometimes a tough thing. Frankly, I’m disappointed in Todd Friel but I’m pretty sure he couldn’t care less what I think.

    I will say that if Rick Warren was on that same Website advertising that he was going to speak there more people than the very few in this instance would have spoken out. Maybe the Lord was after exposing the “politics” within evangelicalism.

    As I have said a couple of radio programs now, in my opinion evangelicalism is in as much a need of a reformation as when Luther stood on this planet hammer in hand. Sadly, I fear the compromise shown by Ray and WOTM in this matter is only the tip of a very large iceberg of apostasy.

  26. Dustin Says:

    Friends,

    Thank you for all your responses. I especially appreciate Big Al, Steve, and Ken Silva’s comments and insights. I think that Ken hit the nail on the head with this comment:

    “Sadly, I fear the compromise shown by Ray and WOTM in this matter is only the tip of a very large iceberg of apostasy.”

    Indeed, we are, in my opinion, going to enter an age of apostasy or God is going to grant true, heaven-borne revival. If the latter, then praise the merciful Sovereign from whom all blessings flow. If the former, then woe to the “Church of Laodicea.”.

  27. Ken Silva Says:

    Dustin,

    I’m glad I was able to lend a hand. And I sure hope I am wrong.

    May the Lord send us real Heaven-baptized revival; however, to be honest in what I personally sense, I’m afraid we’re going to have more 1 Peter 4:17 judgments.

  28. Dustin Says:

    Brother Ken,

    “. . . however, to be honest in what I personally sense, I’m afraid we’re going to have more 1 Peter 4:17 judgments.”

    Indeed you may be right and I tend to lean in that direction myself.

  29. Ken Silva Says:

    Dustin,

    *shaking my head rapidly back and forth*

    No, no; you’re doing this right. You’re supposed to tell me I’m wrong so that I won’t have to go and actually begin preach this. 😉

  30. Dustin Says:

    Ken,

    “No, no; you’re doing this right. You’re supposed to tell me I’m wrong so that I won’t have to go and actually begin preach this.”

    O.k. then, you’re wrong and you’re a hellbound heretic for rejecting the WOF peeps. 🙂

  31. Dustin Says:

    Is that more like it brother Ken?

  32. Ken Silva Says:

    Dustin,

    Ah yes, now I can feel the love just like I do from my dear loving brothers here: The Double Standard?

  33. Eric O Says:

    “Truth matters” website has a link to a video with Justin Peters who gives a short presentation on the word faith folks. Nice if someone could get this to the WOTM folks so they can see who they are partnering with.
    Eric

  34. LovestheLord Says:

    Ken Copeland said that in 1987? What has he said since? I’m sure he doesn’t still teach that. Have you ever changed your mind about something you believe?

    If a good teacher avoids being seen with someone who says something wrong, I’m sure he’d ***avoid all of us!***

    As for the prosperity doctrine being false, go to a Bible website, choose several different versions, look up the words: *** give, receive, prosper, bless,*** and see if God doesn’t want to give as we give, and more.

    Granted, He has already given me so much, I hate to ask for anything. But He still blesses and I still give.

    You can’t outgive the Lord.

    That shouldn’t be our motive; yes, “It’s more blessed to give than receive.” But look up those words and see what you find. You’ll be surprised.

    And if you aren’t careful, you’ll be blessed!

    Good grief.

  35. LovestheLord Says:

    Question about the name of this website.

    I understand that it makes the point that it’s different from another website.

    I just wonder why you would choose as a name, something that is so offensive to the Lord that it resulted in death for those who employed it.

    Leviticus 10
    1And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.

    2And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.

    3Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.

    Verse 3 even shows that it is not holy to the Lord, who will be glorified, instead.

    So, please forgive me, and please explain if I’m missing something here.

    Thank you.

  36. Ken Silva Says:

    LovestheLord,

    “Ken Copeland said that in 1987? What has he said since? I’m sure he doesn’t still teach that. Have you ever changed your mind about something you believe?”

    No doubt. Everyone does. But Copeland’s got the same problem his fellow false teachers over in the apostate Roman Catholic Church have–they claim the doctrine they allegedly may change their mind about was originally from God.

    Last I checked, the Lord you say you love doesn’t change His mind. You see the problem now? Copeland claimed “revelation knowledge” from God when he taught/teaches the stupid things he taught/teaches. And somebody’s lying. My guess is it’s Copeland.

    “If a good teacher avoids being seen with someone who says something wrong, I’m sure he’d ***avoid all of us!***” Loks good at first site LtL but no one has said Comfort shouldn’t be “seen” with these heretics.

    What we have said is he hould not have been in their advertising unless it was specified that he was speaking against what these fools (Biblically) teach. It is beyond question that Ray is NOT a Word Faith teacher.

    That said, this is now his third year sharing the platform with these wolves who are likely unregenerate. 1) It is highly unlikely Ray has confronted them on a level they have noticed, and 2) it’s obvious that they personally have not responded to his Gospel presentation.

    I offer it is because God is not empowering it because Ray is wrong to keep going there. Remember, no one responds to the Gospel of Jesus Christ unless God the Holy Spirit regenerates them. And this no matter how “perfect” our presentation might be. Best we stick to doing things God’s way.

  37. Mark Spence Says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if something great is happening behind the scenes with one of the WOF teachers that Ray can’t bring to the public. I’m prone to give him the benefit of doubt right now.

  38. Darrin Says:

    Re: # 32 – website name
    Check out “About This Site” on main page.
    Not sure if the moderators have time to respond to this – I’m not one – but, yes, the name is odd, but not inappropriate, in my opinion. And thankfully the baptistfire site is offline as a result.
    “I just wonder why you would choose as a name, something that is so offensive to the Lord that it resulted in death for those who employed it.”
    Exactly. The erroneous doctrines taught and believed in much of our modern Protestant church, including much of the SBC, are offensive to the Lord and hazard death for the adherents. Thus the efforts of this site have ensued.

  39. Ken Silva Says:

    “I’m prone to give him the benefit of doubt right now.”

    As his personal assistant “for many years” this doesn’t exactly come as a shock. But for three years now of Ray allowing himself to be publicly advertised along with these blasphemers is a bit much.

    Not to mention the misinformation which was given to me when I tried privately and discreetly to warn WOTM that this had now been discovered by critics.

    And it didn’t take Word Faith wolves three years to damn Walter Martin when he spoke out against their teachings.

  40. Mark Spence Says:

    “But for three years now of Ray allowing himself to be publicly advertised along with these blasphemers is a bit much.”
    Says who? It’s obvious you’ve never dealt with this kind of a situation yourself. I personally know some of the teachers whom YOU respect greatly have encouraged Ray to stay on track. Ray has no relationship with any of these guys except one who confided in him about something personal. Ray has turned down meals to hang out with them. He simply won’t do it.

    Ray is far from adhering to their doctrine. The third season of Ray’s TV show demonstrates a bit where his heart is at with some of the best thinkers around like James White, Phil Johnson, John MacArthur, D James Kennedy, RC Sproul, etc…

    “Not to mention the misinformation which was given to me.”
    No misinformation was given to you friend. Is it possible you simply misunderstood the information that was given to you. Do you really expect someone who answers the phone at our ministry or answers one of the many thousands of emails that come into the ministry each week to have all the information themselves?

    “didn’t take Word Faith wolves three years to damn Walter Martin when he spoke out against their teachings.”
    Is it possible to reach them without poking them in the eye?
    It’s interesting how you get to call the shots on how Ray should approach this situation with these people.
    Seems to me your fighting the wrong battle friend. You at least don’t have all your facts in order, nor are you privy to all the details. …and that’s ok. Ray is surrounded by some great men whom YOU respect that agree 100% with his approach and only after hearing them out did he agree to proceed with this engagement. All I’m saying is there is more than meets the public eye (that includes you), yet you are determined to be in that inner circle or else you will ‘expose Ray as a misguided pawn’. At what point do you “hope all things?”

    For what it’s worth, I wanted to chime in a bit and say you don’t have all the facts nor will you be given them. …and that’s ok.

    I’ll let you have the final word.

    Until His nets are full,
    mark

    Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria, Solus Christus

  41. Ken Silva Says:

    “Says who? It’s obvious you’ve never dealt with this kind of a situation yourself.”

    I do hope you’re not trying to deny that this is the third time Ray has spoken for Thompson because the link from the archive proving it was posted on a website VERY critical of Ray. And the Lord is my witness that I did provide this privately to WOTM almost 2 full days prior to Ingrid Schlueter’s initial post.

    It was only after I was ignored that I later posted the link after Ingrid’s post. Now I can see why I was treated as such. And as far as this conference I wouldn’t allow myself to have to deal with a situation like this.

    “I personally know some of the teachers whom YOU respect greatly have encouraged Ray to stay on track.”

    Argumentum ad populum aside, while I always listen to what people have to say, I am only bound by what the Bible rightly interpreted says. Therefore I can respectfully disagree with said teachers because I am persuaded of the Lord that they are in error concerning this matter.

    “Ray has no relationship with any of these guys except one who confided in him about something personal. Ray has turned down meals to hang out with them. He simply won’t do it.” Straw man. Nobody I am involved with said that he did or even implied otherwise.

    “Ray is far from adhering to their doctrine. The third season of Ray’s TV show demonstrates a bit where his heart is at with some of the best thinkers around like James White, Phil Johnson, John MacArthur, D James Kennedy, RC Sproul, etc…”

    A nice commercial addressing another straw man. No one said Ray does and I have personally and specifically said that I do not believe he does.

    “[Quoting me] ‘Not to mention the misinformation which was given to me.’” No misinformation was given to you friend. Is it possible you simply misunderstood the information that was given to you.”

    Please, I will politely advise you to be very careful here. How do you know what information was given to me? Answer: Based on your comment here, you don’t, friend. But if I have to clear my name I will not hesitate to publish publicly the actual emails, which I still have.

    “Do you really expect someone who answers the phone at our ministry or answers one of the many thousands of emails that come into the ministry each week to have all the information themselves?” Well, as you can see in a case like this if they don’t you’re not acting very wisely. But the person with whom I was dialoguing via email does have personal access to Ray.

    [Quoting me] “‘didn’t take Word Faith wolves three years to damn Walter Martin when he spoke out against their teachings.’ Is it possible to reach them without poking them in the eye?”

    So now you’re going to be foolish enough to take shots at Walter Martin’s integrity? Who said he “poked them in the eye?” You did. That fact is that Martin privately approached them ala Matthew 18, even thouogh he said it really doesn’t apply in the public arena, and was rebuffed rudely. Only then did he publicly attack their doctrine–not them–their doctrine. Sorry, no eye-poking there.

    “It’s interesting how you get to call the shots on how Ray should approach this situation with these people.” Wrong. “I” don’t “get to call” anything; I appealed to the Scripture. And are you saying, 1) I haven’t any right to privately attempt to alert WOTM to this situation; and 2) that Ray is somehow above reproach, friend?

    Well, here’s a news flash for you. 2 Timothy 4:2 is part of my calling as a pastor-teacher, and Ray is just as accountable to the Word of God as any other Christian.

    “Seems to me your fighting the wrong battle friend. You at least don’t have all your facts in order, nor are you privy to all the details. …and that’s ok.” 1) God knows, and a couple of associates also know, my personal anguish over this. All I did after consultation with people close to me was try to privately alert WOTM to critics who were already talking about this and to suggest Ray make a public statement. I did not receive the courtesy of a reply at that point, and Ray didn’t say anything public until after Ingrid–and then later–Apprising Ministries went public.

    And 2) I can, as a last resort, make public these emails–which I have saved–and they will show that I do have my “facts in order.” We also happen to know more on this issue than it appears you think we do. But we not written anything further (until now) because we have more respect Ray than you have mnade clear that WOTM has for us. You, however, are beginning to cause me to seriously reconsider my kindness in this matter.

    “Ray is surrounded by some great men whom YOU respect that agree 100% with his approach and only after hearing them out did he agree to proceed with this engagement.” Answered above.

    “All I’m saying is there is more than meets the public eye (that includes you), yet you are determined to be in that inner circle or else you will ‘expose Ray as a misguided pawn’. At what point do you ‘hope all things?'”

    This is a false judgment because you have zero idea of my motivation in writing. Please know that I feel you’re welcome to your views but the fact is that you couldn’t be more wrong. I will also admonish you to repent for judging another’s heart.

    Also I think it’s most interesting to see spiritual pride come emerging from Comfort’s personal assistant when all I did was to try and help privately. I think it’s important to note here that the day before this discussion I personally posted “An Appeal from Ray Comfort and Living Waters” at CRN. But it was the source at WOTM who left me no choice in this matter but to go public. And You may rest assured that now I completely see that I’m not worthy.

    “For what it’s worth, I wanted to chime in a bit and say you don’t have all the facts nor will you be given them. …and that’s ok.” Oh, you’ve made it abundantly clear that someone like myself who once considered myself a friend of WOTM now understands fully what is thought of me.

    “I’ll let you have the final word.” As you wish. Sadly I must tell you I am afraid that based on our “conversation” here this isn’t over–“A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a citadel.” (Proverbs 18:19)

  42. Mark Spence Says:

    insert deep sigh here. Mind you I’m not rolling my eyes. At face value, If I didn’t have all the facts I would agree with your initial contention.

    God is sovereign. May His will be done. God bless

    mark

  43. Ken Silva Says:

    “God is sovereign.” Yes my brother, He is.

    “May His will be done.” Amen.

  44. Dustin Says:

    Brother Mark,

    I want to thank you for coming into this blog’s combox and graciously expressing your concerns. My motivation in posting this blog article was also borne out of Christian concern and love for Ray Comfort and his ministry. I understand your’s and Ray’s motivation to preach the gospel at every opportunity, for I too am an open-air preacher, a pastor of a local church, and I am very, very eager to see souls brought into the Kingdom through the powerful preaching of the gospel.

    However, *willingly* and *knowingly* sharing the platform and yoking with known false teachers for the purpose getting the gospel to a large proportion of lost people is the very thing that Paul explicitly condemned in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. While Ray’s motivation in getting the gospel to as many people as possible is indeed a glorious and wonderful goal, the way in which he chose to do so is reflective of his being influenced by the secular “ends justifies the means” philosophy; the very philosophy that is regularly denounced on the Way of the Master Radio program and the one that is also responsible for the market-driven mentality that is so prevalent in many modern “evangelical” churches.

    Personally, I have turned down many an opportunity to speak in various venues because doing so would have violated 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. Turning these opportunities down has caused me to lose many opportunities for preaching the gospel. However, I cannot trade the commands of Scripture for a short moment of being unequally yoked with heretics while I have my fingers crossed behind my back while patiently waiting to eventually see my *true* motive fulfilled, which is to secretly bring in the gospel to those who otherwise might not hear it. The reason I don’t do so is because I know that God is sovereign in salvation, and that He will get His gospel to elect without me having to compromise one part of Scripture in order to be obedient to another. Such “situation ethics” are unknown to the Christian worldview. You see brother Mark, as James White is fond of saying in times like this, “theology matters”.

    In my honest opinion, brother Ray would actually do better to be outside the auditorium preaching open-air *against* the heresies of these men rather than openly yoking himself with them in order to gain an uninterrupted platform for the sake of preaching the gospel. Thus, as I’ve said already, I pray that brother Ray will use this opportunity to openly and publicly expose these false teachers for what they are in accordance with Scripture (Jude 3), or avoid partnering with them “in ministry” so as to be obedient to 2 Corinthians 6:14-18,

    Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 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. 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. 18 “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty..

    With much love in the Lamb,

    Dustin S. Segers, Elder
    Shepherds Fellowship of Greensboro
    A Sovereign Grace Baptist Church
    http://www.graceinthetriad.com
    http://www.graceinthetriad.blogspot.com
    pastordustin@gmail.com

  45. Eric O Says:

    From a fan of WOTM,

    What disturbs me about this whole issue is that WOTM was given a clear BIBLICAL position against partnering with false prophets. I’m asking myself, why in the world WOTM does not simply give a clear BIBLICAL response.

    I’ve written WOTM and not a word from them answering the issue. I simply can not think of a clear BIBLICAL reason for the partnership. I did get a short response which had absolutely nothing to do with answering the question. Just as Ray’s response DID NOT answer the issue.

    Is Mr. Spence a member of the WOTM ministry? AS he defends them, please answer how the previous BIBLICAL reason against him partnering with false prophets does not apply. (The original public letter sent from this website). WOTM is a public ministry; doesn’t it owe the listening public a clear BIBLICAL answer? Perhaps Mr. Spence can give a BIBLICAL response.

    The bottom line is that it does not matter what we “think” or feel” is the right position, we need to have that position backed up with clear BIBLICAL principles.

    Still very confused,
    Eric

  46. Ken Silva Says:

    Dustin,

    In my opinion very well stated.

    Eric,

    “I’ve written WOTM and not a word from them answering the issue.”

    Here’s you answer. Spence: “I wanted to chime in a bit and say you don’t have all the facts nor will you be given them.”

    “Is Mr. Spence a member of the WOTM ministry?” Yes.

    From his website he is: “the Dean of Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort’s School of Biblical Evangelism where he currently administers to about 10,000 students… Mark has been the personal assistant to Ray Comfort for nearly a decade.”

  47. Mark Spence Says:

    Dustin & Eric,

    Thank you for your graciousness. I will be happy to hang around as long as the conversation remains cordial and my schedule permits.

    Interesting thoughts. Let me chew through them and the texts you’ve purported.

    Let me assure you partnering with heretics is the last thing Ray or I desire to do.

    Question: How does one practically & Biblically reach the people in these pews and the leaders behind the podiums?

    Thanks in advance.

    mark


  48. […] Pastor Dustin S. Segers of Shepherd’s Fellowship of Greensboro published An Open Letter to Ray Comfort a few days ago over Strange Baptist Fire. Today there was an interesting exchange between Mark Spence and Ken Silva in the comments section of that post. Apprising Ministries publishes this revealing discussion for you here. […]

  49. Diane Says:

    Question: How does one practically & Biblically reach the people in these pews and the leaders behind the podiums?

    Great question, Mark…and glad to see you here answering questions.

    I think the best way to reach those leaders is to sit down with them and explain with the authority of scripture exactly why you cannot take them up on their offer to speak. That way you have their undivided attention and can hold a conversation rather than hoping they heard you preach before it was their turn to speak. You reach the people the same way you reach the lost Catholics or the lost who are at the Todd Bentley ‘revival’.

  50. Dustin Says:

    Brother Mark,

    First, let me say how much I appreciate your willingness to take some time out of your already busy schedule to interact with me (us) regarding this issue. I too am a very, very busy man with 35 hour/week secular employment, a ministry, working on a second seminary degree, a four year old, a two week old, and a beautiful wife. So, I feel the time crunch too brother! Nevertheless, I’m going to take the time to interact with you because I think this issue is this important.

    Second, I have no other option but to extend a gracious, earnest, and loving attitude towards you and Ray. I have not only followed his ministry, but yours as well; and have long considered you an excellent example of what a clear, compelling, and convicting open-air preacher should sound and act like. I even posted some of your open-air YouTube preaching clips on our church blog as a means of encouraging the saints in our fellowship to emulate some of your apologetic and evangelistic strategies when interacting with hecklers during open-air preaching or one-on-one witnessing. I even spoke to you on the phone several years ago asking for some pointers about open-air and you were very, very helpful, kind, and charitable. I only wish I had the time to express how much our small flock has benefited from the WOTM and Living Waters Ministries through the years. Thus, my love for the Sovereign King Jesus and my love for you guys motivates me to write what I have already written. Thus, you can expect a cordial and sincere, yet earnest (when needed) tone from me.

    You asked:

    Question: How does one practically & Biblically reach the people in these pews and the leaders behind the podiums?

    This is a good question brother, and I think it is easily answered by following the Way of the Master (pun intended) :-). Let’s see what His method was for dealing with known religious charlatans, false teachers, and heretics:

    1. When Jesus preached in the temple on one occasion it was full of apostate false teachers. Nevertheless, his message was as follows:

    “My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” Mat 21:13

    And to the religious, conservative, *Bible-believing* and Bible-twisting false teachers of Christ’s day He “poked them in the eye” with this one by calling these false teachers and their followers “sons of hell”:

    NAU Matthew 23:15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

    NAU Matthew 23:17 “You fools and blind men! . . .”

    Jesus was quick to call these false teachers “fools and blind men” in verse 17 above.

    He goes on to call them “blind guides” that will not “escape the condemnation of hell”; thus clearly stating that they had no light in them spiritually speaking nor could they lead others to the truth because of their spiritual blindness:

    NAU Matthew 23:24-33 “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! 25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 “You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 “So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 “So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 “Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

    Our dear Lord also was quick to publicly expose and warn the general populus of the heretical false teaching of His day when He said:

    “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees” Matt. 16:16

    Here’s the problem brother Mark: Ray will participate in this WoF heresy-fest and not give the slightest impression there is anything wrong with their heretical doctrine because when you expose people publicly for their heresy you don’t get invited back to speak at their annual heresy-fest. But when it came to “The Way of the Master” as seen in the Biblical examples above, no-one walked away from the preaching of Christ Jesus without fully being warned that these false teachers were dangerous, hypocritical, spiritually blind, and only able to lead men straight to hell (Matt. 23:15). These false teachers also never invited Jesus to their “annual meetings”. I wonder why?

    The 64 million dollar question is this: Is brother Ray going to follow *this part* of The Way of the Master?

    If he really wants to do evangelism like Jesus did it, then he must clearly warn these people that they are under false teachers and heretical teaching that will surely lead them to hell. Otherwise it simply is not “The Way of the Master”. Remember, I’m taking the time to tell you this at 11:30 p.m. because I love you and appreciate the work you guys are doing for the Lord! If Ray persists in sharing the platform with heretics without clearly rebuking them and thus avoids following “The Way of the Master”, the very thing his and your ministry strives to do; then he is being undiscerning and foolish and best and dangerously hypocritical at worst. Scripture commands all Christians to avoid false teachers/heretics. For it says:

    NAU 1 Corinthians 5:11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler– not even to eat with such a one.

    In other words, if they are professing, yet pseudo-Christians, which certainly includes WoF heretics who are full of “greed”, “idolatry”, and are “swindler[s]” then Ray is **commanded** by God to “not even to eat with such a one.” Mark, this doesn’t mean just sharing the Lord’s Supper with them, it means any type of association whatsoever!

    Do you remember reading and studying about when Billy Graham faithfully preached the gospel in the early 1950’s when only a few years later, when given the opportunity, he was found preaching, sharing the stage with, and “associating” with Roman Catholic religious leaders when all the while he purposefully avoided warning the masses that Roman Catholicism is a false religion that sends people to hell? Did Billy Graham follow “The Way of the Master” when it came to sharing the stage, associating with, and rubbing shoulders with the Romanists just so that he could create another venue in which to “preach the gospel”? No, and I don’t see how what Ray is doing is any different.

    As I’ve said many times now, my prayer is that Ray will (1) follow “The Way of the Master” and fully warn these people about these false teachers and their heretical, soul-damning teachings or (2) decline to attend this conference altogether. Biblically, he has no other option. Anything else is clear disobedience to the Scriptures.

    If brother Ray wants to influence people with the truth (including WoF teachers, friends, and acquaintances), he can preach open-air and in other non-compromising venues, or visit with these people individually and privately in order to expose their heresies out of love for their eternal souls, trusting that the Lord will save His people from their sins because all that the Father gives to the Son will *infallibly* come to the Son (Matt. 1:21; John 6:37). That’s true confidence in evangelism and that is “The Way of the Master”!

    I lovingly close with these convicting words from Ezekiel. I pray that they will grip your soul the way that they have gripped mine.

    NAU Ezekiel 3:17-21 “Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me. 18 “When I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 “Yet if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself. 20 “Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 “However, if you have warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself.”

  51. Mark Spence Says:

    Ken,

    It definitely was not my intention to come across harsh or to convey the message that you are my enemy or an enemy of WoTM. I simply wanted to share with you that you are missing some information on what is happening behind the scenes with one of the WOF leaders. That is all. I love your works and enjoying reading your articles.

    God Bless.
    mark

  52. Mark Spence Says:

    Dustin,

    Well written and worded. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to dialogue with me concerning this. Armchair quarterbacks with no civility and charity, especially in Christianity, irk me to no end. I really appreciate the tone by which you conveyed yourself. I agree with you at face value with what you had to say. I did not attend this trip with Ray. I plan on listening to it when given the chance. I’m sure others are as well.

    Is it possible to deliver a message that is both truthful and direct without being unnecessarily offensive? Jesus has the ability to know the hearts and destiny of His circle of hearers. We do not. I know Ray would like to be wise in His approach. I have no problem with calling people out. If you have watched me open air preach then you are aware of this.

    Blessings,
    mark


  53. My response is addressed to Coram Deo,

    This is of course, nothing new to the American church; conservative pastors such as Charles Stanley, Ed Young and James Merritt have been broadcasting over TBN for many years. They have even offered words of praise to the owners and hosts, Paul and Jan Crouch. And seeing television as a “platform,” we can say that these conservatives have “shared the platform” with the likes of Benny Hinn, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland and his wife, Gloria, Fred Pryce, and so forth. And there is no greater false prophet in the land than Benny Hinn.

    But does the fact that these men are blatantly false teachers and prophets preclude Stanley and “the boys” of the SBC from utilizing TBN as a venue for the gospel? Are there any examples from Scripture where a true preacher of the gospel was forbidden from joining in with such men as Hinn and the rest?

    The health and wealth gospel of all these false teachers goes contrary to the teachings of the Word of God. For instance, in I Timothy, chapter 6, Paul is exhorting Timothy concerning the false teachers of their day who were preaching the gospel for gain (3-12), “who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.” And after expanding on the heresy of the health and wealth gospel he commands Timothy, “But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith…” Withdraw and flee.

    Has anyone ever noticed that what the Bible clearly forbids is exactly what these men and women of the word of faith/health and wealth gospel proclaim as being God’s will for everyone? “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (vv.9-10). When the Word of God plainly says that those who simply “desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare…” the word of faith teachers actually teach their followers to desire to be rich and to love money! Incredible!

    And, by the way, their philosophy for wealth is this, “I get mine from you; you get yours from God.”

    In writing to another pastor, Titus, Paul says, “Reject a divisive man (a “heretic” in some versions) after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned” (3:10). The men appearing with Ray Comfort have been admonished by men such as Hank Hanegraff and James Merritt and even Ken Silva and his co-workers at his blog. Reject.

    Paul in dealing with the Judaizers who were reeking havoc in the churches at Galatia wrote, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (1:8-9). The “other gospel which is not another” was the damnable heresy that said that in order for one to be a follower of Christ that one must first keep the law of Moses and be circumcised. That was the other gospel that the Galatians were tempted with.

    Note that Paul broadened the application of another gospel when he said “any” other gospel. Anything else that contradicts the gospel, is another gospel. And the bearers of such a gospel are anathema, accursed. This includes the word of faith teachers, the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Islam. There certainly is to be no sharing of the platform with these false religions.

    Any sharing of platforms with Rod Parsley and Jessie Duplantis and the other false teachers that will be speaking at this conference might be viewed by some as a minor concession or an innocuous compromise; and not all compromise is bad. But is it innocuous in this case? I propose that it is not.

    Jumping into the middle of the context (be sure to read the context for yourself) we find in Galatians 2, beginning with v.3, “Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.” And why did Paul and Titus not “yield submission even for an hour?” Because these Jewish Christians in Jerusalem were at this point in church history debating whether or not Gentiles should be circumcised according to the law of Moses. And with the added pressure of the “false brethren secretly brought in” another gospel could have easily removed the true gospel from continuing with those who were to later hear it. Those followers of the Copelands and the Duplantis’s and Rod Parsley and Benny Hinn hear a different gospel every day of every week. Let these preachers of another gospel be anathema.

    What harm can possibly come from just preaching from the same platform as the heretics speaking at this conference? It is yielding to them and their gospel. And yielding to their gospel perverts the truth of the gospel and does indeed give legitimacy to their gospel. That for no other reason should prevent Ray Comfort from sharing the platform with these men. And furthermore, if you visit Comfort’s web page you will see where he says of himself that he leaves doctrine to local pastors to sort out, he doesn’t bother with it. He should.

    One more. Ephesians 5:3-14 is the passage. And of the people Paul describes as not having an inheritance in the Kingdom of God he writes, “Therefore do not be partakers with them.” They are darkness. Not “in darkness” or “of the darkness,” but they are darkness. We are not. And we are not to partake with them.

    And as far as Sovereign God being omnipotent and perfectly capable of taking care of such matters Himself in His way, this is His way. Sovereign God has charged His people with exposing the false teachers and false prophets of their day. It is our responsibility. It is the responsibility of every God-called man of God and every disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ to watch over the church of God which He purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:25-31). That’s what Peter urged his readers to do (I Pet. 5:1-4). And it was of these false prophets and false teachers that he warned his readers of in his second letter (2:1-3).

    Okay. One more (again). At the end of his second letter Peter writes these words to Christians who could possibly be hurt by “the wicked:” “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked.” This is God’s ordained way for the church to address heresies and wickedness when it comes to the door of the church. He doesn’t zap the wicked to help us avoid conflict. Rather He has ordained that we grow by dealing with these problems in the fulness of the Spirit as well as expose and stop the progress of darkness.

    Coram Deo, I am not satisfied with my response, you may not be as well. There is so much more in the Word that I could have referred to in my comment. But to err on the side of compromise with the false teachers while thinking that this is a great opportunity to preach the gospel seems to me to be a very serious error, and dangerous. And everything I can recall from the Word of God tells me that this is not a little thing Ray Comfort is about to do. Compromise paints truth and heresy in an equal light.

  54. Eric O Says:

    I’d like to make a suggestion,

    In that Brother Spence has opened himself to commenting on this issue thru this Blog and we know that many times e-mails are not the best way to communicate, maybe it’s possible for Dustin, ken and Mark to set up a phone conversation and hash this out.

    For instance, Mr. Spence’s last comment still has me scratching my head. All I want is a clear BIBLICAL defense; he didn’t give one in this reply. Is that because he doesn’t want to give one or is he thinking thru it. What I would have liked to have heard was something to the effect

    “I agree with you at face value with what you had to say.and on face value I would also tell Brother Comfort not to go, I agree the scripture is very clear on this matter. Give me some time to gather my thoughts and give you the BIBLICAL reason why we at WOTM don’t think these BIBLICAL principles apply to brother Comfort”.

    My point being, if I were on the phone with brother Spence, I could ask him what he means with his statement “I agree with you at face value with what you had to say” without being left frustrated and thinking that once again the DIRECT issue isn’t being addressed BIBLICALLY.

    The reason I suggest three of you have the conversation, is so that if one misunderstands the other, the third person helps in clarification. After the conversation you three can post an agreed statement and put this issue to rest.

    Eric


  55. Coram Deo,

    The Bible does tell us “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (I Jn. 4:4), but there is an inherent weakness in man that we must be constantly aware of. And while there is absolutely no comparison between God’s power and Satan’s, we can be foiled by the enemy.

    “Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works. You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words” (2 Tim. 4:14-15). And “Therefore we wanted to come to you–even I, Paul, time and again–but Satan hindered us” (I Thess. 2:18). God is sovereign and omnipotent, we are not. And God has sovereignly ordained it to be this way.

    “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Eph. 6:10-13). The implication from these verses is that if a believer does not put on the whole armor of God he has placed himself in a position where he is vulnerable to the devil’s wiles.

    “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall…(read the entire context). Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry” (I Cor. 10:12-14). The context has to do with the Hebrews’ temptations in the wilderness and their fall into idolatry (vv. 1-10), and then Paul writes “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (v. 11). Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” The word of faith teachers are idolators, they are covetous (Eph. 5:5; Col. 3:5), and we are to flee idolatry lest we fall.

    The Word of God does put restrictions on ministers and with whom they share the platform. Paul told Timothy to avoid association with the false teachers who were teaching that covetousness was good, greed was good, “From such withdraw yourself” (I Tim. 6:3-11).

    Again, Paul told Timothy, preacher to preacher, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Tim. 3:1-5). It does seem that Paul put some restrictions on Timothy concerning with whom he was to minister as well as to whom he was to preach.

  56. Mark Spence Says:

    Well said Eric O.

    I have some pressing deadlines to meet with the third season of our TV show within the next three to four days. I can gather my thoughts during this time as well. Feel free to give me a call and we can discuss this.

    email me a couple of dates and times that would work for you both.

    Because of Him,
    mark

  57. Dustin Says:

    Brother Mark,

    I am grateful to God that you are more than willing to discuss this issue over the phone and seek to come to a biblical solution. I am very busy today with work and two pastoral counseling sessions, but I would like to see if you are willing to discuss this, say, maybe early tomorrow afternoon (@ 1:30 p.m. EST). That would be @ 10:30 a.m. your time. If that time is not good for you because it is too soon, I will be available at 10:00 a.m. Monday morning, 7-21-08. However, that might be too early for brother Mark.

    I will e-mail brother Ken Silva and ask him if he is willing to do some type of conference call as well, especially since I think his information is critical to this issue, and may provide some valuable information.

    NOTE TO BLOG READERS: This phone conference will *NOT* be an opportunity to gang up on and crucify Mark Spence or Ray Comfort. This will be a time where we will respectfully and courteously listen to each other without interrupting each other. We will seek to show one another Christian love and respect, although we may end up strongly disagreeing with one another. I hope and pray that we come away agreeing and that true biblical change is made for the better all for the Glory of God! This is what true Christian blogging should do, incite God-glorifying change instead of slinging mud for the sake of slinging mud.

    My number is (336) 848-7197. I am currently (@ 3:45 p.m. EST) going into my second pastoral counseling session for this afternoon. I will be free from 6:00 p.m. EST and onward.

    I look forward to working through this difficulty to the glory of Christ Jesus.

    With much Love in Christ,

    Dustin S. Segers, Elder
    Shepherd’s Fellowship of Greensboro
    A Sovereign Grace Baptist Church
    http://www.graceinthetriad.com

  58. genembridges Says:

    But does the fact that these men are blatantly false teachers and prophets preclude Stanley and “the boys” of the SBC from utilizing TBN as a venue for the gospel? Are there any examples from Scripture where a true preacher of the gospel was forbidden from joining in with such men as Hinn and the rest?

    I’ve stayed out of this discussion for some time, since I’ve been taking a blogging break until mid-August, but now I will interject my two cents:

    The short answer is “Yes.” Without going into great detail, the WoF doctrines, in aggregate, amount to a form of Gnosticism. Let’s just take the whole idea that God, according to Gnostic teachers, were capable of giving personal “prophecies” to people about what to do in their day to day lives. They produce false miracles and call them godly. When corrected by others they rebuff doctrinal and ethical correction. I’ve even heard and read Joyce Meyer say that she preaches grace and not law, equating “doctrine” and “law,” and ignoring what Paul meant by distinguishing between law and grace. Given that this sort of teaching is perpetually condemned in Scripture and we are all, leaders and laity alike, told not to associate with them, there are certainly many examples for “the Boys” in the SBC to follow.

    Now, that said, this goes to a much larger issue. “The Boys” in the SBC make much on the giving records of their churches. On the one hand, they often give to the Cooperative Program (CP) qua CP in smaller percentages of their budgets than smaller churches. On the other, they give greater dollars total (being larger churches) and justify their lower percentages by trying to weasel around it by saying they give to other missions programs.

    But that’s not the wider problem. The wider problem is that more doctrinally orthodox ministries like WOTM and those of these SBC churches wind up, more often than not, having to use TBN/TCT as a means to broadcast. So, the reason that these individuals wind up on the Crouches program is often related to the fact that they need to have good relations with their ministries or else lose the means to broadcast to a very wide audience. Take where Dustin and I live in NC. Familynet is no longer with us. TCT and INSP are the only games in town. Of the two the local affiliate for religious broadcasting iS TCT. If Dustin and SFoG ever wanted to broadcast on anything other than cable access, they’d wind up having to go through TCT. That’s a big problem. It’s not a decision everybody judges the same way. Dustin and Sterling would not do it. On the other hand, there’s a small Reformed/Sov. Grace ministry in SC that has chosen to do it. They provide one and only one program locally here at 3pm on Saturdays. God bless them for preaching the gospel and teaching the doctrines of grace in that half hour program. They, and only they, have been on there, and that’s CLEARLY by God’s providence telling the viewers about the difference between a true and false gospel. We should pray for these dear people. They aren’t going to be on the Crouches program unless a miracle from heaven itself lends it, and if they are, they’ll tell them they’re false teachers, for this man has been now, for several months, telling the viewers about the “gospel” of easy believism, etc. and teaching the truth.

    But in our area, since Dustin is local things could get different. I’d love to see him on the local “Ask the Pastor” program. I’ve seen LOH (lots o’ heresy) and bad theology taught on that program for years now – but would that really be profitable. What would he do? Pastor Smith gives an Arminian answer, or worse a WoF answer to a question only to have the host say, “Anybody else?” I can see Dustin now, “Well, yes, I must differ with Pastor Smith here…” So, all that would result is controversy. You have to have a “bully pulpit” where no other POV is taught to do it, as this church in SC does.

    But that’s still not the wider problem, for I say all of that to say this: We’ve simply handed over Religous TV broadcasting to the Buffoons who run TBN for too long. That’s a money issue. That said, it should remind us that, while TV is a useful tool – that’s ALL it is. The God-ordained ordinary means for teaching isn’t broadcast media run by giant corporations. It’s the local church and ministries that are accountable to the local church. IMO, FBC Atlanta is on the right track in many ways in that regard, but they should take a proper stand and ditch their TBN associations – as should Coral Ridge Presbyterian, etc. They should, IMO, follow Kay Arthur and RC Sproul’s lead and go directly to Direct TV and, in the case of the SBC churches, get their act backs back together. If they can give so much money to the CP and CP causes, then surely they can set up a better venue, a more doctrinally stringen venue, to do their broadcasting, even if that means they have to work with – shock, horror, PRESBYTERIANS. However, given the current Landmark tendencies that are festering in the Convention, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. So, what does one do? We don’t have to reinvent the wheel – we just do what God has given us the model for doing – working at the local church level. When TV is gone, the churches will remain.

  59. strangebaptistfire Says:

    Gene,

    Thanks for your thoughts my brother. Great to hear from you!


  60. Did Ray ever respond to you? What did he preach at the conference?

  61. Amy Says:

    I spoke candidly with Phil Johnson about my concerns in learning of Ray’s error in sharing a platform. His reply was very succinct and he promised me that it is for those very concerns that neither he nor John MacArthur endorse nor work with Ray. He said that if he continues, he will personally go down there to LW and confront him! Now, just last May (2014), Ray was back on TBN with apostate Billy Graham’s ecumenical preacher-son; Frank Graham!!! Reading the above comments and listening to my own discernment, more importantly, *following God’s Word*, what he is doing is trying to place gold on a dung heap, pearls before swine… I mean these are not of the elect and the Lord will draw out the true elect & predestined on His own and because he is sovereign. It’s not at all that those who follow these heretics will be led astray, no, it’s Ray’s disobedience in NOT once confronting nor admonishing in love, these heretics and yet…. We are called to ONLY admonish *FELLOW BROTHERS/SISTERS*! So there you have it crystal clear: Ray is trying to preach the gospel to the non-elect heretical false teachers in the hopes of ministering to the few deceived false converts within it but still, it is obvious we are NOT to have anything to do with them in any way shape or form – there are no ‘grey’ areas! If you know of new information regarding Ray’s more recent acts please post about it. Mr. Johnson hasn’t gotten back to me yet – he’s very very busy. I was a false convert in the Foursquare church and it was pastor MacArthur’s sites that convicted me!
    Amy in OR


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