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My Debunking Ray Comfort; My Bible-Based View on Ilesanmi's Detainment

Updated: 1 day ago

You can listen to me narrate this blog or enjoy the accompanying podcast below.




Introduction

I was suggested to check out a video, by Ray Comfort titled "This Atheist Policeman Was Born Again After Doing This" by a believer and street preacher. I agreed to watch it. Was disappointed by the lack of fairness, disconnect and inconsistency shown by Ray Comfort the author of books like "the way of the master" in his most recent work.


While I hold respect for Ray Comfort and his minister and his living water ministries He has been a source of inspiration, for individuals and his significant contributions, to street evangelism deserve recognition; however it's crucial to remember that everyone has their imperfections. Even the dedicated individuals can make mistakes, which's why it's crucial to address them when they occur. The Apostle Paul addressed Peters hypocrisy in Galatians 2;11 14 serving as a reminder to deal with errors, with love and transparency. By critiquing Ray Comforts video my intention is to point out the issues and hopefully address them appropriately with Gods guidance.


Arrest and Ray Comfort’s Analysis


Photo showing Oluwole Ilesanmi, a street preacher, being led away by police officers outside a busy London station, holding a Bible in his hand.
Street Preacher Oluwole Ilesanmi Being Arrested in London

The video begins with a scene showcasing a brother oluwole ilesanmi preaching, in England and getting arrested by the police. His confident demeanor towards the authorities was quite impressive! The brothers unwavering dedication to spreading the gospel is truly commendable. However the issue arises when Ray Comfort provides his analysis following the arrest. After presenting the arrest footage Ray steps in. Expresses, "let me say God bless this faithful brother for sharing the gospel. I admire his courage…"


Amen to that! If only Ray had concluded there. Moved on to discuss how the police officer, on the right was touched by Christ. Such a narrative could have turned into a heartwarming tale. Unfortunately he doesn't take that route. Instead he opts to criticize street preachers who interact with law enforcement suggesting they should "tread lightly." Did you catch that



Ray's Perspective on Policing

Ray Comfort reflects on his past preaching, in New Zealand recalling the absence of police harassment. He compares this to his experiences, in the United States, where officers carry guns. This prompts him to suggest that preachers should treat law enforcement with respect to prevent conflicts or arrests. While acknowledging the significance of respecting authority Comforts perspective appears to prioritize safety over proclaiming the gospel without compromise.


Different Times

I want to address something that's quite obvious;, during Ray Comforts preaching days the atmosphere was distinct. He would share the gospel and then it wasn't uncommon to come across Christians holding government roles such as in law enforcement. In a video he mentions that he suspected the policeman who requested him to move might have been a Christian. If so, it's a shameful act for a Christian cop to ask Ray Comfort to stop preaching.


Ray continues, "I was very respectful of the people. I said, 'Uh, folks, it's a dream for you to come to famous Waikiki and bask in the sun and in the surf, and it must be a nightmare to have a preacher stand up and preach to you, but I trust you'll be patient with me and just let me share for a few moments.' After about 10 minutes, a police officer approached me and he said, 'Hey, I've had eight complaints. I thought I better ask you to wind down.' I guess the guy was a Christian."


"What? Ray how can you assume the officer is a Christian simply because he requests you to stop preaching? That doesn't seem logical. My perspective would have been different " Ray added. "The first thing I noticed about the US is that the police officers had a gun. That was different; in New Zealand, police officers in those times didn't carry guns. And so it set me on the right foot to show respect for the police because I really didn't want to be killed or thrown in prison."


Armed Police and Preaching



He admitted that the cop carries a gun, and "it set me on the right foot to show respect." I'm just shocked by his answer. Why would someone with a gun automatically get respect from people, especially when they're going after God's people? God tells us not to be afraid, but Ray wants us to respect them because he doesn't want to go to jail or be killed. Are you kidding me? Ray is a well-read man. He would have read the book of Martyrs, where tons of people didn't want to be in jail or be killed, but they chose those paths when their lines were crossed.


Ray continues, "So if you're ever approached in the US by a police officer when you're open-air preaching, don't wave your hands in his face because he's been trained that it could be a distraction. You're going to stab him in the stomach as you wave your hand in his face, so he wants to get home to see his family."


So now Ray says the cop wants to go home to see his family. Really, Ray? I don't think that's why the cops are acting the way they are. As you correctly point out further in the video, the police officers knew this person wasn't doing anything wrong, but they arrested him anyway because he was preaching the gospel.


Preaching Boldly Despite Authorities


If I ever get stopped by the police in the United States or Canada I tend to gesture with my hands when talking, in situations. My focus is, on sharing messages like spreading the gospel to those who really need it including law enforcement officers. The person in the video seemed genuine and not intentionally provocative.


Unfortunately there seems to be a lack of Christians joining law enforcement possibly because governments prefer individuals who unquestioningly follow orders regardless of their conscense.


The man featured in the video was sharing his faith through preaching while using hand gestures in a charged environment. Nothing wrong about that. It should have been up to the police not to intrude on his space. They could have stepped back if genuinely concerned indicating a need for training in talking with Christian preachers among these officers.


I'm sorry, but if a cop is going to be scared of me waving my hands and pointing to the Bible and somehow I get shot dead or blasted into the afterlife by a gun-happy cop who couldn't figure out that I was pointing to the Bible, all I can say is glory to God. Philippians 1:21, "For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain."


Street Preachers and Local Churches

Ray continues, "Just be very careful and don't preach at him. If you want to upset him, do that, but if you want to keep preaching and stay out of jail, just be swift to hear and slow to speak."

Am I understanding this correctly? If I want to continue preaching, I should avoid preaching to the police? It's not like I live in a third-world country, Ray, nor do you. We are dealing with first-world cops. Well, we are supposed to be. Maybe if I was in a third-world country or back in the time of the apostles when dealing with Roman soldiers would have been risky. But even then, there's a clear example of Paul preaching to his soldier guards. And what about Christ? He gave one of the most highly commendable remarks to a soldier, Ray.


I won't stay silent. During the Freedom Convoy in Canada 2022, my brother and I preached to the police officers despite their disinterest in hearing it. What could I have done, Ray? Remained quiet? That situation was presented by God, especially when I was being detained for 20 minutes for bringing gas to the truckers because the government wanted to freeze the trucker out of their trucks! So, my brother and I embraced the 20 minutes that I had to wait with the cops. I wasn't free to go, Ray, so I preached. What better opportunity is one going to get? To preach to the conscience of the government? As Martin Lloyd Jones once said, "we Christians are the government's conscience", and I could not agree more than that.


What did John Bunyan say when he was warned that he would be arrested if he were to go preach to believers at a house being watched by the authorities? He said he was going to preach, and if he was going to be arrested, so be it, and sure enough, he was arrested.


"Use a little discretion because the police officer is not the enemy. The Bible says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, so don't treat them like an enemy, and if you're respectful and say, 'Sir, can I help you? Am I doing something wrong?'"


It's really surprising how you're interpreting that Bible verse; it's quite unsettling. Obviously flesh and blood are not our enemies, Ray; even a new believer would understand that. That verse pertains to the challenges we encounter in spiritual warfare. Are we supposed to rely on using a machine gun, Ray? Certainly not. So what should we depend on? Come on Ray I'm sure you know the answer.


That's right. We should use the weapon that God has given us which you seem to believe we shouldn't utilize.. What is that? Sharing the word. The unbelieving police officer is not our enemy? Please tell me you're joking.


Just think about what Pastor Jeff Durbin did when he had to face a unbelieving police officer. You can find out more, about it here. Watch the video.


However, I won't go into details because of time constraints being an issue. The main point is Jeff confronted an officer because she opposed the gospel, and Jeff took pleasure in challenging this officer because she did not want to follow the laws when Jeff was trying to show her the laws. She put Jeff in a bad place, not Jeff, and for Jeff to have complied, it would have been a gospel issue for him. It's quite a video.


We are not meant to be submissive, to them Ray. When they are arresting Christians they are indeed seen as our adversaries according to Christs definition of an enemy.

"Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." We still care about them. Keep them in our prayers. It's crucial to recognize our adversaries. This way, we can share the message of hope with those who truly seek it.


Balancing Compliance and Conviction


Ray continues, "I'm approached by a police officer. If he says, 'Uh, I want you to move on,' I say absolutely, sir, where would you suggest I could keep speaking? Is there another area I could go to? And I've often had them say, 'Oh, if you could just move down, say 50 yards down there, that would be much better. It would just stop people from complaining.'"

If a police officer requests that you move either 50 yards or 50 feet to preach on the street due to chaos in the area, why not just comply? That's what I would do. I would stand my ground only if the officer were being unreasonable, such as saying I can't preach anywhere because no one wants to listen and threatening arrest if I continue. In that scenario, you have to stand your ground and accept being arrested.


While en route to the station, pray out loud for the officer. Share your message with him. He took us away from the people we were preaching to, and perhaps God wants us to have a private meeting with him. At the end of the day, we were not there by choice when they detained us. Since the officer really wanted to stop you from preaching the word to people, why not focus your efforts on him? What he thought was for evil, God can use for good. Share your message with him until he closes that jail door in front of you.


The Local Church


"Many street preachers aren't part of a local church.". Have you personally spoken to each one of them to confirm this? It's, like assuming all preachers wear sneakers without any evidence to support it.


I do see your point about the importance of street preachers being rooted in a church. It can pose challenges if they're not.. We must also consider that not everyone worldwide has the access to churches as Western Christians do. In some places attending a church may not be feasible all so we should bear that in mind. We never know who might be listening. Lets approach our views, on street preachers with understanding.

Ray adds, "That's why I'm not fond of being labeled as a street preacher."


Questioning Humility in Street Preaching


This particular aspect really bothered me not due to his disregard for street preachers. The idea that Ray believes he can select a title for himself bothers me. Hey Ray, you should embrace any name that bothers you as your own. If being called a street preacher offends you, then embrace it! After all the time in the limelight like you've had, one would think it would have humbled you, wouldn't it? We've seen it happen with Moses. I expect more from you.


Personally, I have reservations about being labeled a street preacher for different reasons than you. I feel like it brings me too much glory or attention and that's not something I prefer. I would rather be called something lower than street preacher. Perhaps that's why I don't get offended when faced with all sorts of curses and insults thrown my way. It seems like that's where I belong—to absorb them all based on those words.


Can you display some humility, Ray? What did Paul refer to himself as? The chief of sinners, and not because it carried any glory with it. You dislike being called a street preacher because you believe there's a connotation tied to that label.


Who do you think you are, above Christ or Paul? I get it, God has put you in a high rank in this world, but don't forget that there have been many others who have been blessed with this position as you have been. So don't let it get to you.

I don't even feel deserving of being called a soldier in the army of Christ. It carries too much honor and glory.


This brings me to the reason why I took offense to Ray's video and why I felt compelled to express my disagreement.

On the surface, one might perceive Ray as informative, helpful, and instructive. While this may be true on one level, on another level his actions have only added confusion about the behaviors he endorses in preachers.


I firmly believe that according to teachings a follower of the Lord should exhibit the preaching style of a serpent and a dove. This implies being assertive when necessary but avoiding actions that may come across as negatively self-centered or narcissistic; also steering clear of any hint of animosity towards persecutors. However, it appears that Ray Comfort is inadvertently promoting preaching styles that contradict these principles. What are your thoughts on Artur Pawlowski, Ray?


Artur Pawlowski's Example

You've met Nathan Pawlowski, the son of Artur Pawlowski, who you probably already knew had a connection, to him. For those with him he's a pastor who faced multiple arrests during the COVID era. My concern lies with Arturs behavior during these encounters with law enforcement. He referred to them as Nazis, thugs and tyrants. Then behaved in a manner of a child or an activist protester by forgetting how to walk to the police car prompting the officers to carry him.


In 2021 Pawlowski made headlines for his move of ejecting COVID enforcement officers in Canada—an incident that quickly went viral. At the time authorities and bureaucrats were wielding their power disproportionately. Looking back on that time period reveals how COVID officers were aggressively penalizing anyone they deemed non compliant while often turning an eye to politicians, law enforcers and businesses like marijuana dispensaries, liquor stores and major retailers like Walmart that faced arbitrary restrictions. Churches were subjected to regulations in contrast. Pastor Arturs defiance, against this standard marked a significant moment.


I won't delve deeply into this since its getting quite lengthy and these days people don't seem keen, on reading. If you're interested in a report, on this individual I recommend checking out the accompanying video that goes with this post.


Contrasting with Jeff Durbin's Approach


Contrast this scenario with Pastor Jeff Durbin's approach when dealing with a law enforcement officer's disregard for the law. Jeff entered the conversation guided by the principles of Romans 13, trusting that the officer would uphold their duty. While aware of the officer's non-belief, this assumption was confirmed when the supervisor arrived. As the officer turned an ear to Jeff, he rightfully pointed out the lack of respect she showed towards her role without resorting to insults. It could be argued that in that moment, Jeff demonstrated reverence for law enforcement more than the officer did.


Zooming out to a perspective in Canada, pastors like James Coates and Tim Stephens have set examples of how Christian leaders should conduct themselves. Witnessing these two men of God stand firmly in the conscience of the government while these men had to go to prison, they did it with an unwavering focus on Christ in mind. It made me exceptionally proud to identify as a Christian.


Their personal sacrifices took a backseat to their dedication to Christ. It is worth watching how Christian pastors should engage with law enforcement from their actions, unlike Artur who frequently invokes figures like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., like a true free speech activist, overshadowing references to Christ Himself.


Final Thoughts on Ray's Critique


Coming to the end of this blog, Ray said, "Don't be afraid to share your faith," well, unless there is a gun involved, then be very afraid, right, Ray? "The first thing I noticed about the US is that the police officers had a gun. That was different; in New Zealand, police officers in those times didn't carry guns, and so it set me on the right foot to show respect for the police because I really didn't want to be killed or thrown in prison."


Then in a different interview, Ray said, "I fight fear every day. Every time I go up to someone to share the gospel, I have to battle fear, but it's like being a firefighter. A firefighter is a firefighter, whether he's fearful or not. He doesn't turn around and go away when he hears people in a building that's burning. He ignores his fears and doesn't think of himself. He thinks of those that are in great danger."


While it might seem like I'm being overly critical, I really wish people would stop comparing preaching the gospel to professions, like firefighters. I respect these individuals who bravely stood up during the times of John Bunyan and Martin Luther fighting against the pope compared to present-day firefighters. Instead of saying things like, 'Don't worry. In the first world, the worst consequence is ending up in jail where they feed you 3 meals a day,' consider that in those times, believers could face brutal persecution and even death for their faith.


"It is in great danger, mortal danger. God's wrath will come on judgment, and it's a fearful thing to fall into this hand. So let love swallow your fears. If you're fearful to share your faith, don't pray for less fear; pray for more love, because that's the problem. The love of Christ constrains us, so let that happen and reach out to this dying world with the glorious gospel."


I partially agree with some points in this statement; however some parts are unclear to me. Thats a discussion for another time. It makes me curious about what transpired between filming that scene with Nathan Pavlovski and critiquing the English preacher within a year. When it comes to sharing the gospel message we should be prepared to face resistance from authorities who may not fully understand our beliefs or intentions.


This underscores the importance of relying on faith and remaining steadfast in our dedication to spreading the message of hope.

The teachings of the Bible offer us wisdom, on overcoming challenges while staying focused on glorifying God and spreading His word.


Although Ray Comforts critique may stem from a place of concern it's important to recognize that every scenario is unique. Each preacher has their calling and we shouldn't generalize with broad statements. While wisdom and prudence are essential, for preachers they must also exhibit boldness in standing firm in their convictions. Certain street preachers face opposition from individuals who're reluctant to engage.


Sharing a passage, from the inspiring fellow believer, Voddie Baucham;


Two Passages of Scripture


"In Ephesians chapter 6, beginning at verse 10, it instructs believers to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. The passage urges them to put on the whole armor of God, enabling them to stand against the schemes of the devil. It emphasizes that their struggle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places. The metaphor presented is one of hand-to-hand combat, depicting the spiritual battle believers face. They are encouraged to take on the armor of God, consisting of the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes of readiness for the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. This imagery symbolizes the necessary equipment for spiritual warfare, likening believers to Roman soldiers prepared for battle."


Conclusion

The video illustrates a contrast, between Ray Comforts advice and the challenges faced by street preachers. While showing respect to authority figures, such as police officers is crucial it's equally important to uphold the integrity of the gospel message. The preachers bravery in the video showcases the commitment required by street preachers when met with hostility.

Although Ray Comfort's guidance stems from care, it's essential to acknowledge that each situation demands an approach that's tailored to the circumstances.


There can't be a one size fits all strategy for interacting with authorities and fear shouldn't dictate how we share the gospel. The teachings of God urge us to stand firm without compromising Christ message in the face of opposition.


It is vital to remember that street preaching, like any ministry should be driven by love and faith. Regardless of whether opposition arises from law enforcement or others our mission remains unchanged. We are called to proclaim the gospel to those in need without being deterred by repercussions.


The Bible instructs believers to equip themselves with Gods armor, for battles.

Voddie Baucham beautifully emphasized the importance of arming ourselves with the belt of truth of righteousness shield of faith, helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit to find strength, in the Lord.

Lets not allow fear to control our faith; instead lets firmly rely on Gods word as we share the gospel.


Please don't misunderstand the essence of this blog! I hold Ray Comfort in the highest regard and appreciate all he has done. My critique of Ray is delivered from a place of deep respect and love, the only spirit in which I offer it. I sincerely hope he continues to preach and take the gospel to the streets, as he has done so effectively. I harbor no ill will towards this remarkable man of faith and eagerly look forward to the day we can all share in heaven's glory—I truly have no ill will toward this man in the faith, and look forward to the day when we are all in heaven, perhaps even sharing stories or if I’m allowed, even washing his sandals.


God Bless





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