Monday, December 13, 2010

The Fake-Christians Easy Out Clause: Another Ray Comfort Gem

I've never written about Ray Comfort before because he's such a goofball. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. But the other day he wrote an essay that parroted one of my favorite arguments from Christian apologetics: the Fake Christians Argument. In a nutshell, it says that anyone who abandons Christianity wasn't a "real" Christian to start with! Here's Ray's version of Fake Christians:
After seven seasons as host of Canada's "most listened to spiritual talk show," Drew Marshall announced to his listeners that he is no longer convinced there's a God. ... We have millions of people within the contemporary Church who have been convinced intellectually of the existence of God, but they've never been converted experientially by the power of God. So when someone comes along with what they perceive to be a more convincing argument, they begin to doubt their salvation. And so they should--because they are not saved. They are false converts...
In other words, Christianity never loses membership because anyone who abandons it was a fake. Only real Christians count. How do you know they are real Christians? Because they don't abandon Christianity!

This strikes me as a really cheesy, sleazy easy-out trick, and Christians should be ashamed of this sort of argument. It's natural for any organization or social group to lament the loss of members. It's sad to lose good friends, and I can understand that Christian theology teaches that the loss of faith is a great tragedy. But can't Christians at least be honest about it? Can't they admit that they have failures?

It's sort of sad in a pathetic way that Ray Comfort has to resort to such desperate tricks to excuse the failure of Christianity. Drew Marshall spent years earnestly seeking answers to his questions about religion, God, Jesus Christ and the afterlife. He hosted Canada's most popular spiritual radio talk show, and interviewed thousands of guests. He was a true Christian. Drew Marshall was just as earnest in his faith as Ray purports to be in his.

Well, what did I expect from Ray Comfort, the "banana man"? The guy is a joke. But Ray isn't the only one using this argument. You find it all over the place. Christianity is dying, losing members every day, and the Fake-Christian argument must be comforting to some Christians. Can't they instead just be honest and admit that sometimes people change their minds?


  1. This is all great stuff! I just wish it was on YouTube because you'd be getting 1000's of views and oodles of comments!

  2. I know, I know ... call me camera shy or something (which seems unlikely, but it's the best excuse I can come up with!) Ok, I'll try to start doing vlogs. I've been poking around it for a while, Leo even composed a nice theme song and background music for me, so I have no excuse.

    (For those of you who don't know, Bill is part of my family.)

  3. It's just another version of the No True Scotsman Fallacy - it's inherently logically flawed (how can you tell a "true" Christian from a "fake" one if they're still in the church, for example? Plenty of Christians, even ministers, don't believe, but keep going to maintain appearances - are they "true" Christians because they haven't left the church?). It's a very disingenuous argument, and I can't resist laughing whenever I hear it.

    The whole religious experience is subjective anyway, and it seems especially silly to me, as an atheist, to have someone tell me I was never a Christian because I have since abandoned my belief. When I was a Christian, I was very convinced of my faith, and it irks me to have that challenged in a retrospective manner, as though the person has some special knowledge of my emotional state that I'm not privy to. It's a very silly argument.

    People should be intellectually slapped whenever they attempt to use the No True Scotsman Fallacy, because once they stoop that low, they no longer deserve a respectful debate. Comfort never deserved one to begin with, the man's a moron.

  4. I just had an amazing insight. Nobody really disbelieves evolution. People who claim to disbelieve evolution never really understand it, so they can't really claim to disbelieve it.

    Also, there are no true Christians. Any person claiming to be a Christian has never really thought adequatetly about it, so there are no real believers.

    BTW, if belief comes with salvation, why does Comfort try to convince with argument?

  5. Anon - LOL! I like that. Nobody can possibly disbelieve evolution!

  6. “Can't they admit that they have failures?”

    I’m not sure they can. Since they generally regard faith as a gift from God, admitting a failure of faith would be like saying God failed, and I don’t think there’s room for that in their world view.


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