Tag Archives: Ray Comfort

Pray for Penn

I just finished watching the following video with tears in my eyes. Please pray that God would humble the heart of Penn Jillete.

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Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Faith, Life/Death, Witnessing

I Tried to Commit Suicide

My Attempt to Exit

If I can accomplish anything with this blog, I want to let people know that Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven. Part of that is allowing myself to be as transparent as reasonably possible.

In recent posts you have read about my personal struggles with depression, and thankfully that has been an encouragement to more than a few. Granted, some of you might have been confused, for you may be under the impression that a pastor of a church… a man of God… a “reverend”… should never get depressed. However, people from all walks of life – including those who have faith in God – can find themselves depressed, the reasons for which are not always easy to determine.

But what many, if not most of you may be unaware of, is that I actually attempted suicide when I was a teenager. I was within moments of pulling the trigger of a loaded 12-gauge shotgun that I had placed under my chin when my father (I believe prompted by the Holy Spirit) knocked on my bedroom door. That was the only time I came that close, but it was not the last time I seriously considered taking my life.

In the late 1990’s God had to do major surgery to remove the cancer of legalistic pride that had infected me. I had become self-righteous, religious, and prideful of my career, money, and stuff. However, in one fell swoop the Lord took it all away, leaving me with nothing but a faithful wife who I didn’t deserve, and a worried, scared family. Where I ended up was not rock bottom, but a depression that nearly put me six feet under. Suicide was an option in the past, so it became an ever-present option once again.

This is not the place, nor do I have the time, to go into every detail, but it wasn’t the friends and family who begged me to see the light; it wasn’t the multiple times every week of sitting with counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists; it wasn’t the anti-depressants I regularly consumed; and it certainly wasn’t the alcohol I began to use for the first time that released me from the “dungeon of despair.”  What changed it all for me were three main things: first, believing that God still loved me! – despite the times I cursed Him; second, believing the promise that God still had a plan for my life; and thirdly (but most importantly), the unmerited, undeserved, matchless grace of God.

Don’t misunderstand, I’m still recovering. In my personal opinion, based on what I’ve experienced and witnessed, when one crosses that line of attempting suicide, the Enemy will forever keep that temptation in reserve. Therefore, just as I sometimes act judgmentally and legalistic, even though I try not to, faint remembrances of the “suicide option” sometimes filter through my defenses. But it is in those moments that I remind myself of the Truth that set me free from the bondage of sin and death, and it is that golden key – the faithful promises of God – which is big and heavy enough to squash down any intruder.

EXIT, the Movie

This morning I took a few moments, not even 40 minutes, to watch Ray Comfort’s short new film, EXIT: The Appeal of Suicide”. Tears began to fill my eyes as I empathized with the familiar feelings of hopelessness and despair expressed by individuals interviewed in the movie.

However, toward the end of the movie I was able to wipe from my eyes tears of joy as some, not all, came to the realization that life is worth living.

Please, PLEASE!… if nothing more than to help a friend… take a few minutes to click on the link and watch the film below. It’s free, it won’t take long, and might just save a life… maybe even yours.

If you need help, or someone to talk with, please don’t wait. You are not alone in your pain, despite how you feel. There is always hope, always a reason to live, and your life is far more valuable than you realize. Think about it, Someone even allowed Himself to be ripped apart and nailed to a beam of wood so that you wouldn’t have to die!

If you don’t know anywhere else to turn, call 800-273-8255 and speak to someone who can help, or click on their website SuicidePreventionLifeline.org right now!

Your life is priceless, so live it.

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Filed under Christian Living, Christianity, Depression, Life/Death, self-worth

Atheists on Christianity

I wrote the following post back in 2010. Because of some recent conversations and comments, I thought I’d re-post it for this Monday morning.

You know, I was just watching some videos of atheists firing all their best shots at Christians and the belief that there is a God. One such video that you could watch on YouTube is of a debate put on by ABC. The Christians were Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, but I can’t (or don’t care to) remember the names of the others. If there was anything more evident than anything else, it was the snarky, condescending, teenager-ish, even (may I dare say) “b***hy” attitudes of the atheists.  Their attitude was typical of people who hate being told what to do (just like juveniles that argues about everything, even when they know they’re wrong).  It really just made me sad.

Then I looked down at my shirt…

At this moment I am wearing a T-shirt that shows all of the more common, recognizable religious symbols of the world. In the middle is a cross, the symbol of Christianity. What a stark contrast to all the others is the cross! A symbol of death for crimes not committed. A symbol that used to stand for shame, but now for the One who bore our shame. He didn’t have to, you know. What other symbol represents that?  What other symbol offers forgiveness from the very One that suffered unjustly?  What other symbol cries out, “Agape!

Atheism and all of its relatives are on the march, emboldened and encouraged by a world that wants to have it their own way. They are vicious and brash.  They have a chip on their shoulder because of all that “sinner” stuff.  “Even if there is a God, who are you Christians to say you have the only way?” they ask.  

But guess what, this isn’t Burger King; “this is my Father’s world,” and His rules apply. God (the Christian God) will have the final say. And, just like my shirt says, “every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father.”

Just say’n.  

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Filed under General Observations, Uncategorized, World View

Rude Witnessing

Just the other day I read a story about a preacher who got arrested. The reason was not what you probably think. He was not guilty of beating his daughter. He was not found possessing child pornography. No, the only thing he was guilty of was preaching – at a July 4th festival.

Is there anything wrong with preaching at a public festival? No, not really. Here in America our freedom of speech is still protected by the Constitution (for now). Then what was it that got this preacher into trouble? Well, I will get to that in a second, but first…

I have the utmost respect for anyone who can stand on a street corner and preach to a hostile crowd. I have stood on a street in eastern Europe and handed out Bibles, but I didn’t preach. Seeing soldiers with AK-47’s watching me was enough to keep my English to myself. So, don’t get me wrong, if you want to be another Ray Comfort, have at it. God bless you!

The thing that got the festival-crashing preacher in trouble was not the fact that he was preaching in a public place, it was because he was being rude. Yes, I said it. He was being rude.

Justifying Rude Behavior

There are some people in the Christian world who think making people angry is doing God’s work. Some Christians are convinced that they are fulfilling the Great Commission by crashing public events and barking out, “Repent! Repent!” In reality, many just come off as being inconsiderate, impolite, and obnoxious.

In defense of their actions, many street preachers and their followers (but not all) have suggested the following points:

  • “The Gospel is more important than ______.” (whatever is going on that is being interrupted, such as music, fireworks, etc.)
  • “We’re here to get sinners saved, not to make friends.”
  • “100 years from now the crowd will forget [the event], but they will be happy they heard the Gospel.”
  • “The Gospel (and Bible in general) is supposed to offend. Jesus said, ‘They hated me, so they’ll hate you.’ Jesus never held back when He talked to the Pharisees, did He?”

In response, let me share…

A Few Thoughts

First. In Mark 16:15 Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” But in Romans 12:18 we are told, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Even though we are commanded to preach the gospel, we’re not commanded to stir up strife.

Second. Paul told the Romans, “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another (14:19).” Maybe that’s because Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek (Matt. 5:5),” and “Blessed are the peacemakers (Matt. 5:9).”

Third. Even though Jesus never pulled any punches with the Pharisees, it is never recorded where He went to a Pharisee picnic with a bull horn blasting out “Repent, you serpent-breathed, white-washed tombs!” As a matter of fact, as best I can tell, it was the Pharisees who came to Jesus in order to stir up trouble, not the other way around (Matt. 3:7; 15:1; 16:1; 19:3). It should even be noted that all the words Jesus spoke to the Pharisees in Matthew 23 were spoken in the temple (Matt. 21:23), not on the street.

A Matter of Manners

Folks, it’s really a matter of decency, respect, and good manners. Emily Post said, “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others.  If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use.” A Christian should be the most mannerly person in the world! Jesus was never rude or obnoxious, so why should we?

The preacher that got arrested went where people had probably already “staked out” a good place to watch the fireworks display. One person told me, however, “He had the right to speak, and they had the right not to listen…they could have moved.” But really, what kind of message was that sending? Remember, people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care (paraphrasing Zig Ziglar).

The English novelist and war correspondent Maurice Baring is quoted as saying, “Whoever one is, and wherever one is, one is always in the wrong if one is rude.” That should be a lesson to us. It doesn’t matter how great the message or how right the cause, rudeness is the great negator.

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Filed under Christian Maturity, Life Lessons, ministry, Preaching, Uncategorized, Witnessing

When You Think this Blog is Pointless…

Please watch the video linked below…

At the bottom of this post you will find a link. The link is to an internet program hosted by Ray Comfort called On the Box. Please open the link and start watching the program at around the 20 minute mark.

Some people think that the idea of having a blog dedicated to battling legalism is a little extreme, maybe pointless.  Many think that all I would have to talk about is stupid stuff like how long your hair should be, or women wearing pants, or what we eat or drink. How shallow would that be?

The Purpose

The purpose of this blog goes so much deeper. Legalism can damn people to an eternity without God. Just watch this video. Listen to the “de-conversion” testimony of a girl who once believed in God, but later “saw the light” of atheism. Listen to her testimony and see if you can pick out all the boxes she felt she needed to check in order to be a part of the church, even saved.

Many people are drawn into a religious life out of a search for answers. They, like this girl did, find themselves in a time of uncertainty and emotional need. Legalism provides the structure that seemingly give rest and assurance. In reality, legalism builds a faulty foundation that is not based on the grace and mercy of God. Legalism leads people to believe that they have earned something with God, if not simply avoided His condemnation.

Nowhere in this video did this poor girl state that she repented of her sin. Nowhere did she speak of the grace and mercy of a Holy God that provided a ransom for her lost soul. All she spoke of were the emotional, the metaphysical, and the judicial aspects (obeying) of a manipulative, dangerous denomination.  It is no wonder that she fell away, because she never gave a single clue that she found a biblical faith in Jesus Christ. All she talked about was the relationship that she thought she had based on the things that she did to comply.

This is why I hate legalism. Hell will be full of those that thought they could keep the Law.

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/12436109

Eph 2:8-9 KJV – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

1Ti 4:1 KJV – Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

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Filed under Apologetics, God, legalism, salvation

Atheists on Christianity

You know, I was just watching some videos of atheists firing all their best shots at Christians and the belief that there is a God. One such video that you could watch on YouTube is of a debate put on by ABC. The Christians were Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, but I can’t (or don’t care to) remember the names of the others. If there was anything more evident than anything else, it was the snarky, condescending, teenager-ish, even (may I dare say) “b***hy” attitudes of the atheists.  Typical of people that hate being told what to do (just like juveniles that argues about everything, even when they know they’re wrong).  It really just made me sad.

Then I looked down at my shirt…

At this moment I am wearing a T-shirt that shows all of the more common, recognizable religious symbols of the world. In the middle is a cross, the symbol of Christianity. What a stark contrast to all the others is the cross. A symbol of death for crimes not committed. A symbol that used to stand for shame, but now for the One who bore our shame. He didn’t have to, you know. What other symbol represents that?  What other symbol offers forgiveness from the very One that suffered unjustly?  What other symbol cries out, “Agape!

Atheism and all of its relatives are on the march, emboldened and encouraged by a world that wants to have it their own way. They are vicious and brash.  They have a chip on their shoulder because of all that “sinner” stuff, you see.  “Even if there is a God, who are you Christians to say you have the only way,” they ask.  But you know what, this isn’t Burger King, “this is my Father’s world.” His rules apply. He will have the final say. And, just like my shirt says, “every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father.”

Just say’n.  What say ye?

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Filed under General Observations, Uncategorized, World View