Ray Comfort and Scriptural Literalism

Buffoon Award

We were interrupted by the blaring sirens and flashing lights of our Retard-o-tron™. Instantly alert, we rushed to the computer and found it linked to the website of WorldNetDaily (WND) — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. It’s in their honor that our jolly buffoon logo is displayed above this post.

The Retard-o-tron™ directed us to an article by Ray Comfort, who is best known for his starring role in Ray Comfort’s “Banana video”.

The title of Comfort’s new article is Why don’t Christians follow Leviticus? This is of interest because, as a creationist, Comfort is devoted to a literal, word-for-word interpretation of scripture. So how does he handle the peculiar portions of Leviticus?

Leviticus contains detailed instructions on burnt offerings. It has strict dietary laws, instructions for dealing with leprosy, and forbids seeing relatives naked (presumably banning trips to the gym with dad). It prohibits tattoos (Leviticus 19:28).

It says, in Leviticus 18:22: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Also, in Leviticus 20:13 it says: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

In Leviticus 19:19 it commands: “neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.” That seems trivial, but we mention it because it’s part of Comfort’s essay, as you will see.

In Leviticus 20:27 it prohibits wizardry: “A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.”

It’s strict about preachers’ daughters. In Leviticus 21:9 it says: “And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.”

It sanctions slavery in Leviticus 25. These are verses 44-46:

Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.

Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.

And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.

Okay, enough of that. Let’s get to Ray Comfort. He says he’s been asked if he considers the words of Leviticus to be true. We won’t take you through the whole thing, because it’s just too ridiculous, but we’ll give you an interesting sampling. Here we go, with bold font added by us:

Regarding your question about living under the laws in Leviticus – why would we adopt 3,000-year-old Hebrew civil law? We have our own laws.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Hey, Comfort: Why should we be concerned about creation science? We have our own science!

As for the prohibition of garments made of mixed material, Comfort says this:

God also told them what to wear and the importance of resting one day each week. If they didn’t rest they were liable to suffer from stress, and if they mixed cotton and wool, it would make them sweat.

Ah, now we understand — it’s about sweat. He wraps up the whole thing with this:

Christians are free to follow the dietary laws of the Old Testament; however, the New Testament tells us they have no influence on whether or not we enter the Kingdom of Heaven. These laws are not binding on our modern society as is the moral Law, so we can ignore them if we wish. But in doing so we are liable to end up with a stressed, diseased, overweight society that has to rub chemicals under its armpits to stop offensive odor.

So there you are. Comfort says we can disregard inconvenient scripture. It’s not binding on us now. But if you wear garments of the wrong material, then you’ll have to use a deodorant. Presumably, Comfort wears only pure material, so he has no need of such products.

Nevertheless, we’re certain he thinks you must be a creationist. Why? We’re not sure, but it seems that nothing in Genesis can be ignored. Perhaps in the future he’ll give us specific rules for picking and choosing which verses are binding. Anyway, the really good news here is that the preacher’s daughter is free to date without fear of being burned at the stake.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “Ray Comfort and Scriptural Literalism

  1. Paraphrasing Auda abu Tayi: “Give thanks to God, Ray Comfort, that when He made you a fool, He gave you a fool’s face!”

  2. Ah, Banana Man and his trusty sidekick Crocaduck: keeping Americans safe from the evil of rational thought.

    As much as I love to use Ray as an intellectual little pink chew toy he accidently illustrates an important point: most Christians, even the most devout never read the bible. Not the whole bible, they know a few of the popular stories, they read the 23rd Psalm, parts of the 4 gospels, Song of Solomon, etc but never the whole thing.

    This is a large part of what gives creationists their power over a gullible public.

  3. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to pick and choose what parts of the Bible are relevant and which parts of “God’s Word” are still applicable?

  4. Ceteris Paribus

    Ray asks rhetorically: “Regarding your question about living under the laws in Leviticus – why would we adopt 3,000-year-old Hebrew civil law? We have our own laws.”

    To which I would ask Ray rhetorically: “Regarding your assertion that “We [the US] have own laws” – then why would creationists also insist that the people who founded the United States explicitly based its laws on 10 Mosaic commandments that you want to see displayed in every courtroom and school house?

  5. Reading the bible is the best way to become an atheist. That’s why the medieval church fought against printing bibles for the public, and kept tight control over the existing manuscripts. Fortunately for christianity, the bible is so long and confusing that most people never read it at all.

    I would like to see someone try to erect a monument to some of the more “interesting” laws on a courthouse lawn somewhere. It would be amusing to see how the clergy might respond. Would they decry posting scripture in a public place?

  6. Although this has nothing to do with The Controversy (at least, not directly), it seems to be an appropriate time to chide the self-described “Christians” who insist that public meetings of all sorts, including legislative sessions, high school football games, et cetera, et cetera, & cetera, be opened with prayer. They evidently are not familiar with these words attributed to Jesus in the 5th and 6th verses of Chapter 6 of the Gospel according to Matthew:

    5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

    So, Ray Comfort, do you say this is another part of the Bible we should ignore?

  7. Here’s my understanding of the origin of the ban on wearing mixed fibers; The ancient Jews were sheep & goat herders, and generally wore wool, because that’s what they had available. The settled agricultural folks grew cotton & linen to wear. A wealthy Jew might live in the city and dress like the city folk, but the young kids would try to be all “gangsta,” and put on some linen under their scratchy wool to show off their bling. The elders were about as happy with that as they are now with kids showing off their underwear, so they banned it.

  8. Really if you read the old testament you’ll read the preface “children of Israel”. In other words if you aren’t a child of Israel it doesn’t apply to you. This includes the absurd 10 commandments and the crazy Leviticus laws as well. So I guess when Comfort asks if you’re a good person you can say sure, the 10 commandments don’t apply to Barbarian me.

  9. Just as they pick which “scientific” verses they will believe. Ignore the geocentric verses, keep the ones that comfort you about not being related to monkeys (well, actually there aren’t any that say that, but that’s a minor detail).