Funniest statement about witnessing for Christ I’ve read all week.

So I’m reading this article on Agape Press about a show on the Trinity Broadcast Network called The Way of the Master brought to us by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron (yes, the Kirk Cameron) that “equips Christians to witness biblically and effectively” to non-Christians. Seems the show has won a couple of awards from the National Religious Broadcasters group and so the dynamic duo behind the show are planning on offering up an “intensive discipleship training course” for churches to use to train their congregations on how to go out and “effectively share their faith with others” because apparently they feel that not enough Christians are getting punched in the mouth these days.

Anyway, you get all the way down to the second to last paragraph and we get this little gem of a quote that confirms what I’ve been saying about these folks for years. Namely, that there’s not too much intelligence involved in the arguments these folks try to use.

Comfort explains that in each episode, “We give a teaching and talk about how the conscience can be pricked by the use of the Commandments. Then we take it to the streets and show how you can talk to an atheist and how you can circumnavigate the intellect and go directly for the conscience.”

That’s right, kids. If you’re going to effectively witness to someone then you’re going to have to find a way to circumnavigate their intellect so they won’t realize what an idiot you sound like. Forget trying to use rational arguments and stick strictly to appeals to emotion. Intelligence has got no business being used in spiritual issues.

I thought I’d laugh myself sick after reading that one.

42 thoughts on “Funniest statement about witnessing for Christ I’ve read all week.

  1. Faith and intellect are apparently incompatible—which explains a lot doesn’t it?

    Please, Les? Pretty please? Can we please invite them here to circumnavigate our collective atheistic intellect? I know that I personally have a conscience. I’m sure that others here do as well. Let’s give them a shot at it. It would be such fun!!

  2. Right.  Since intellect is of Satan, and conscience (that uneasy feeling you get when tossing cuddly babies into an alligator pond) is from God…

    Oh, wait – THAT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE AT ALL!!!  I must be in the grip of Satanistic intellect!  Help! Someone save me!

    Sheesh.

    I’m sure it would be different from every other time wingers show up here though.  No doubt they wouldn’t trot out the same busted arguments, etc.  It would probably be an interesting and worthwhile exchange with everyone feeling like they learned something afterward.

  3. Heh, I think that I have just OD’ed on sarcasm!
    wink  I think that the Fundies have given up on this site. lol

  4. “Circumnavigate the intellect?” Is that what they’re calling it? Hm, always thought it was known as “inane babbling.” Well, if you can’t blind ‘em with science, blind ‘em with stupidity.

    Thanks, Les, I needed the laugh.  grin

  5. Ha! Thats what Kirk Cameron has done with himself?
    Not that he was anything before. I hope its getting him laid. His career wasnt doing that for him I’m certain.
    Give an idiot a dollar and watch him waste it just like you did. I am so sick of this type of shit. You think humanity would have found something better to do with itself by now. What the hell, its been like 50000 years and the majority seems to keep getting more and more retarted. How is it the stupid ones reproduce in higher volume and get the survival rate? All just to clog my airwaves with senceless bullshit and tell me how I’m immoral or I’m going to hell. Now I dont believe in any of it but I tell ya,  if hell is where they aren’t im suited just fine.
    When the fuck are we gonna buck up and do something with ourselves and understand that things would be better if all of the drones were united and served me instead? We could build some shit humanity would be proud of. They say you cant put a value on human life – you bet your ass I can with stupid shit falling out of peoples heads like that. Its nice to know the informed are all saved and in charge.

  6. Reality check, People.

    Stupidity Is a Survival trait, and its being evolutionarily selected for.

    The intelligent people just do not see the point of restricting their freedoms by having children.

  7. I whole heartedly agree that accidental reproduction is what is causing the intelect vaccuum. But if the system really worked it wouldnt be an issue.. we would be graciously welcome the new taxpayer into the collective. We can tell its a loosing proposition after all, look at the national debt.
    I think that maybe there is some comfort for good ‘ol Kirk and friends in thier little religious group for two reasons. 1) They can effect thier environment and potentially see the results 2) They feel like they belong.

    This is so easily exploited by a failing government and guys running for office because the general public isnt capable/willing to learn eneough about it and organize to change the system for the betterment of the group. I know they have it in them to do it but the exploitation of the stupid is just so blatant at times…and they just dont see it. So they dont focus on the problems at hand and fix governmental issues, instead they focus on what they can control which is what really matters to religous groups.

    People follow any successful structure of which they feel they belong. Most will perscribe to the standards of a group (to include conversion, etc) as long as they get more out and quality of life is better. Add an easy button for the people and you win the election. There isnt one for it so candidates pick religon and use that to thier instead. To hell with the issues that matter is he a good christian?

  8. wink showing my tenth grade education again.
    perscribe should have been subscribe. Thats alright, give a noob here some shit. I can take it.

  9. Sorry Qoayn, you’re gonna have to do worse with your grammer before we take potshots at you.

    smile

  10. elwedriddsche, there’s a great deal of social psychology research on the topic of influence and persuasion (e.g., appeal to authority; liking; reciprocation; larger-then-smaller request; foot-in-the-door etc.) They’re techniques that are actively used by sales people and evangelicals alike. (See any of the work by Robert Cialdini—esp. “Influence: the new psychology of modern persuasion.” and “Influence: Science and practice”)

    Really, if you think about some of the posts here, it is easy to see evangelicals’ use of these techniques:

    Appeal to authority: e.g., the bible is the word of God therefore you must accept it.

    Foot in the door: Don’t you find the universe wonderous? (yes, of course it is.) Wouldn’t you agree that we have no absolute scientific proof that God doesn’t exist. (yes, this is true . . .)

    Friendship/liking: Think about all the public service fronts they use for missionary work.

    Appeal to the emotional, etc, etc, etc

    Here’s a kind of fun internet thesis on the topic: http://www.skeptic.com/submit03.html

  11. Oh, and of course they use ‘personal relevance’—an appeal to the conscience.

  12. Is anybody aware of research that compares professional proselytizers to other sales staff? Is there any discernible difference in technique?

    Nope.  It is an obvious truth that any type of persuasion, whether engaged in a discussion amongst friends, in a debate, giving a sales pitch, or pitching the Lord, will by involve persuasive techniques.

    I thought this went without saying. What I don’t understand is how this is a knock on proselytizers?

  13. I am completely amused at your writings (everyones!)  It does prove to me, as a young seminarian student, that I do not want to be the kind of moron that says one thing and completely does another.  I do what I preach – to the best of my ability – and do not preach anything any normal human being with a faith couldn’t acheive.  I appraciate all the input as it helps me develop a conscious about atheist understanding.  I would try to twist your arms – even if you begged me.

    Most Sincerely – reverend.

  14. What’s worse than the intellect and honesty of a Used Car Salesman?
    Answer: A Used God Salesman. In both cases you are stuck with junk that doesn’t work and with a worthless warranty.
    Mr. Death is right. George Bush is a textbook example of stupidity coming to the fore and spreading it on the entire country. How else can you explain the fundamentalist upsurge?

  15. Reverend said:

    “It does prove to me, as a young seminarian student, that I do not want to be the kind of moron that says one thing and completely does another.”

    May I ask exactly what kind of moron does your seminary turn out?

  16. Peter,
    For the most part, there are some of us that have a considerable amount of human compassion – don’t get me wrong, I am very well-adjusted, even agreeing that the “George Bush’s” of this world like to take scripture our of context in vile attempts to justify his own means – “god bless America” really gets my own goat – every time it is used to stir up american support for blowing other to bits.  My own classmates are probably more conservative than I could ever be – I am a member of the United Church of Christ – the seminary is not.  The U.C.C. is responsible for the advertising campaign that the major TV stations refused to show because of its “controversial message” – they’d rather show you the commercial of the young man wearing cologne who gets hit on by his girlfriends MILF of a mother – not controversial at all, unless, of course, you switch the roles of the male and female parts in the ad – Oooo, then you’d really piss off the conservatives.  If there are any understanding folk who have faith and are not morons like the above described “kirk Camerons” of this world, I hope I am one of them.

    Regards,
    reverend.

  17. decrepitoldfool – believe me, when it comes to my profession there are plenty of us that make being a moron look really easy – K.Cameron, Jim Baker, Benny Hinn, Jimmy Swaggart, more than 90% of government servants (political wingnuts), and the often quotable, less notable, jerry falwell (just to name a few) – When the scriptures read “…and Jesus wept…” I think these few were what he was thinking about…I’d cry, too.

  18. There were a few (a very few) months when I was an AVON lady.  The representative district assembly reminded me of the tent Revival meetings that my mother dragged me to when I was a child.  Even the AVON chants had some of the same rhythm and tunes as Bible school songs.
    The selling of goodies (be they nice smellums or eternal salvation) has a similar mindset for getting started on the path to persuasion.

  19. Ahh.. you smell that? Its vanity…
    Under normal circumstances I would bag on the avon ladies. But damn. I havnt met an ugly one yet. They all work thier asses off at thier popularity contest dont they?. A shining [albiet piss poor] example of a collective functioning as a unit. I think there is a tactical lesson here.  smile

    Rev- you cant polish a turd. sell it any way you want, its still nothing more than shiny shit. Keep it up, nonconformist + religion = revoloutionary.
    You gots potential hangin out with heathens like us.vampire

  20. Having survived a very successful two-year mission to Brasil (I became a district leader the last 9 months), after an intensive 3-month training in Portuguese and Proselytizing at BYU, I can say that the aforementioned is the most effective, and is the way to succeed in converting a person. As I have stated numerous times, the strongest human motivation is fantasy. How do you develop a fantasy in someone else? By appeal to the emotions, not the intelect. Ask any really successful lawyer, salesperson, politician, evangelical minister, etc. In the OJ trial the facts were boring, but the fantasy that the lawyers developed in the jury won!! wink

  21. When I first ran across Kirk Cameron’s site I thought it was satirical.  I couldn’t believe that anyone could seriously believe anything as stupid as what Cameron seems to be pushing.  I wonder if he was always this nutty.

  22. Consigliere said: I thought this went without saying. What I don’t understand is how this is a knock on proselytizers?

    Just when they come across as blatant salesmen.  It may work fine on someone who can count to twelve but has trouble getting to twenty b/c they forgot to take their shoes off.  I tend to tune out the sales pitch and look for facts/data if I’m going to buy(into) something.

  23. I made Kirk Cameron cotton candy for my college water polo team 4th if July fund raiser once. I’m just sayin.

  24. warbi said:  I think that the Fundies have given up on this site. lol

    No, I’m still here. 

    R.K. Milholland is my new favorite up-and-coming religious voice.  His Easter Storyline was awesome.

  25. Hello,

    I just stumbled upon your site while researching about atheists.  I read most of the comments already posted, and thought I’d add a couple of my own.

    1-Yes indeed, there are (how should I say it nicely?) some very non-intelligent Christians, and there are likewise some very non-intelligent atheists.  We are all just people after all, and we vary from the Christian brainiacs (ever read Ravi Zacharias…oy!) to the non-Christian brainiacs (like Isaac Asimov…I’ve read a lot of his stuff!), to the Christian idiots to the non-Christian idiots.  But how smart/dumb we are does not have any bearing on the question of whether or not God exists (it just makes name-calling easier! smile

    2-Whether a Christian uses or does not use salesman tactics does not have any bearing on the existence of God either.  This merely shows that the Christian believes in his ‘product’ and is trying to ‘sell’ it to as many as possible.

    3-There is a quote by Asimov that appears several times on this site:

    “I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I’ll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be.” ~ Asimov

    Where did the universe come from?  Seriously.  If you reply, “A big bang.”  Then, “Where did the energy for the bang come from?”  etc. etc.  When we keep going back to the beginning of the chain of events, the atheist believes that the universe came from nothing, or has always been here (eternal).  That’s faith.  That’s the same kind of faith that I have in God.  That is not observation, or measurement, or any such thing.  It simply sounds good to say, “It’s scientific to believe such and such, etc.”  But sounding good, and being truth, are (as you would no doubt agree) not necessarily the same thing. 

    As a man who does believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and who has not committed intellectual suicide by doing so, I would ask that you read “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” by Josh Mc Dowell, or the website of Walt Brown (PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ie MIT).

    Creation Science
    Or try to get through a couple of chapters of any book by Ravi Zacharias. 

    Why?  Because people spend 4 years, 8 years, or even more studying and preparing at college for LIFE, but they don’t spend any time at all making sure that they are correct about ETERNITY.  Don’t just guess.  Don’t just mock, and laugh it off.  For your own sake, just make sure.

    thanks for reading,
    Chris

  26. Chris, if you think McDowell’s book (which I have read) isn’t intellectual suicide, I just don’t know what to tell you.  Though it is surprising you’ve been reading all over this site (credit for that!) and somehow missed the fact that every godder who drops in here first tries some version of Pascal’s Wager, like you just did.

  27. Then, “Where did the energy for the bang come from?” etc. etc.

    Chris, if you knew anything about the Law of Conservation of Energy, you’d know that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. That’s not faith, it’s fact.

    Or try to get through a couple of chapters of any book by Ravi Zacharias.

    No thanks.

    Don’t just guess.  Don’t just mock, and laugh it off.  For your own sake, just make sure.

    I already am sure.

    thanks for reading

    No problem.

  28. Chris: Where did the universe come from?  Seriously.  If you reply, “A big bang.” Then, “Where did the energy for the bang come from?”

    Possibly energy was projected forward in time balanced by anti-energy being projected back in time, a similar arguement could explain why we observe more matter than antimatter forward in time (but we know that some antiquarks were projected forwards as they are the basis of making electrons). In this scenario the big bang would be the middle point of time, and there would be inversion symetry either side of it providing that there is no randomness, however heisenburgs uncertainty principle may allow randomness/divine intervention and may have been necessary for the slight asymetry you need for stuff to clump together after the big bang – because a perfectly symetrical sphere would have equal pull in all directions along the same radius. Whether or not randomness in the uncertainty principle is exactly mirrored by an inverted anti-universe before the big bang ultimately decides whther knowing one would allow you to predict the other.

    Then again it’s possible that god can break rules when nobody’s looking, or that the universe as we experience it may only be a personalised dream for us, making some things in science necessary to support the dream but fundamentally arbitary.

    With whatever theory on god you go by, you have to wonder why anything (god included) would exist, my theory is as a statistical guarantee that all possible things will occur in a multiverse, and a multiverse can exist within ‘imaginary’ dimensions with no imaginer necessary (the most fundamental concious things have to exist within something unconcious and statistically guaranteed in order to avoid an irrational termination of reasoning behind accomodation)

    I have to wonder what the point is about bothering if we are gonna face oblivion, which to me is a legitamate possibility if we are traped in the physical dimensions, though oblivion can’t hurt – you can’t care if you don’t exist. Even if there is eternal existence I have to ask why bother, or what the hurry is, and I would also find eternity boring – there is a finite amount to do in infinite time, and I question whether creation by a possible god is necessarily preferable over oblivion

  29. That God can break rules is speculation unsupported by evidence; I can’t worry about that.  It’s just something interesting to talk about, like “what if Kennedy had ducked”. 

    I have already experienced a little taste of oblivion, when my head slammed against the pavement a couple years ago.  The tape was off the spindles; that time is just gone.  and that was just a light little tap compared to brain death.

    No, I don’t think oblivion will hurt, so I’m trying to make my life mean what it can while I’m here.  Not much compared to the cosmic significance that Xtians seem to crave, but a more realistic goal.

  30. 1-But how smart/dumb we are does not have any bearing on the question of whether or not God exists

    So where’s the evidence?

    2-Whether a Christian uses or does not use salesman tactics does not have any bearing on the existence of God either.

    So where’s the evidence?

    3-Where did the universe come from?  Seriously.

    If you claim the universe was created by a sentient being, where did it itself come from? Seriously.

    Cosmology is an interesting scientific topic, but even absent an accepted scientific explanation, the existence of a creator does not follow. It’s the argument from ignorance, plain and simple.

    As a man who does believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and who has not committed intellectual suicide by doing so,

    Cough. Cough. Cough. wink

    I would ask that you read …

    Pass. I can wait until incontrovertible evidence is there for everybody to examine, as opposed to apologetic daydreams wink

  31. DoF – True – that rules can be broken is speculation, but as one thing you can’t prove or disprove (because the act of finding proof violates the test conditions) – it remains as legitimate a possibility to me as all other theories, I won’t align myself, I simply don’t know enough to draw conclusions

    Don’t feel obliged to make it mean something – whilst it is your choice, you’d be setting restrictions on yourself – if there really is oblivion it doesn’t matter if life meant anything, because everyone you affected and everything you did would also face oblivion and have no overall effect on the end.

    Because of the way time goes by – with the past going into deletion, when you reach universal oblivion at the end, only the end matters because in oblivion you can have no memory of the past if you don’t exist – it is all deleted and there becomes no record of anything ever existing.

    For me everyday existence has responsibilities and restrictions – I know that existence will become a positive thing when my study ends and I can play videogames but there seems little point in keeping those who for the entirity of their remaining existence (living and otherwise) will be in negative conditions (ie in constant pain, or in hypothetical hell) as existing. However since we don’t know for certain that life is the limit to existence, we have no guarantee that anyone is in inescapable negative existence, so in my view euthenasia, whilst motives should be understood, is something that as of now I would resist

  32. DC, rules can be broken and pigs may fly. Before I care if something can be proven or disproven, whoever makes a claim has to convince me that the probability of the claim being true is high enough to make it worth my time to think about proof or falsification.

    There is a difference between metaphysical fairness and healthy skepticism.

  33. elwed – probability is assessed on past experiences, you could completely distort someone’s view of what’s more likely if they were never allowed to see something – i.e. some isolated cultures may consider flight, electronics, magnetism, etc, beyond possibility – from their limited amount science there is no indication or reason to think of some of these concepts – that doesn’t make them impossible, and the god thing is an abstract example.

    If something is unprovable to exist/not exist, that also doesn’t necessarily mean that as a concept it’s any more/less likely to be the case, it just means we have no means of knowing; if we’re to be open minded it has to be considered a legitimate possibility until there is indication otherwise

  34. I operate on the assumption that a rock is a rock because nothing poses any reason to me to think some superior being has me running around in a deceptive maze.  But yup, I’ll concede if the universe is jiggered to fool me, I’m as good as fooled.  So what?  Any reason to think that’s how things are?

    I’m not “obliged” to make my life mean anything and I don’t feel limited by the effort.  If it only ends up meaning something to me and my loved ones, that’s enough.  I have no ambition to steer the universe or have it steered on my behalf.  I’d feel more ‘limited’ by metaphysical speculations that could be steering me in a bogus direction.  (Likely, since there is such a variety of those speculations)

  35. probability is assessed on past experiences

    Which past experiences do we have of an imaginary creator-god tampering?

    If something is unprovable to exist/not exist, that also doesn’t necessarily mean that as a concept it’s any more/less likely to be the case, it just means we have no means of knowing; if we’re to be open minded

    I claim there’s a microscopic teapot orbiting Mars, a claim that eludes proof or disproof for the time being. I do not consider it a virtue to open-minded about this claim.

    Aren’t you’re giving agnosticism a bad name? wink

  36. DoF: if the universe is jiggered to fool me, I’m as good as fooled

    It could also be jiggered to fool a hypothetical god/afterlife – there could be some level of reality beyond that pulling the strings and manipulating them, it could go on endlessly as long as the quantity of data is finite and hence containable within a larger system

    Any reason to think that’s how things are?

    None at all, but it’s still possible

    If it only ends up meaning something to me and my loved ones, that’s enough

    Making the passage easier is understandable, because the present is an inescapable factor and we are not at the point of oblivion yet, the importance of the present is a strange quirk but evolutionarily predictable. If/when everyone reaches oblivion, the present will be at the end point and the past will cease to matter

    I’d feel more ‘limited’ by metaphysical speculations that could be steering me in a bogus direction

    Understandable, because they put the condition of consequence on the past – oblivion doesn’t do that and is less restrictive. Since reality could be anything, there is to me no reason to favour one view over another and so I’m pulled in too many direction by all the metaphysical possibilities that I can’t have an overall belief, and hence can’t put myself under limits. My hope that a hypothetical god would be reasonable is, I understand, just a hope, I’m starting to think that any theory of existence needs some level of unreasond-ness to explain it’s most basic principles in order for anything to exist with any orientation – there is the question of why it should be anything other than oblivion

  37. elwed: Which past experiences do we have of an imaginary creator-god tampering?

    None, that’s why you are giving it low probability when looking at your past experiences. What I’m trying to say is that personal experience is irrelevent as long as the alternative explanation is possible and able to explain things

    I claim there’s a microscopic teapot orbiting Mars, a claim that eludes proof or disproof for the time being. I do not consider it a virtue to open-minded about this claim

    For all I know, that’s entirely possible, however abstract it is, just as the FSM™ is also entirely possible and legitimate as a possibility. The possibilities are near-infinite.

    Aren’t you’re giving agnosticism a bad name?

    Agnosticism is in principle open minded, it can’t afford to dismiss the possible, however abstract, if I can find ways in which god may exist and ways in which he might not, that I am unable to prove/disprove, it would be wrong to draw conclusions

  38. The possibilities may be near-infinite, but we still pick a horse to bet on.  I bet on the one I’ve seen running the fastest, which is perceptual evidence.  If I had any reason to consider any of a number of metaphorical teapots, I’d consider them. 

    The fact that (my best-informed guess) I’m headed for oblivion is reason enough to live in a way that satisfies my sense of balance now.

  39. And so the best we can do is wait to find out without any other direction, us following balance may be a manipulator’s intention if something reasonable were working behind the scenes – it may be necessary to get away from the knowledge of it existing in order to thouroughly question it in our minds, and that could be why things are set up to lead us to believe that it’s possible that it isn’t there

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