Ray Comfort vs. Hyles's method of Evangelism

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Truth Seeker, May 13, 2007.

  1. Truth Seeker

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    Does anyone here have any opinion on which method of evangelism is more biblical and effective?

    Ray Comfort who produced the way of the master is against the soul winning methods that are so common in our fundamental baptist movement. Some would say that Comfort's method of using the 10 commandments are unbiblical.

    Many have criticize Jack Hyles's methods of soul winning but didn't John R. Rice use the same methods as Hyles? Was John R. Rice guilty of easy believism?

    My problem with Hyles is that they don't preach repentance; so that they are giving a shallow presentation of the gospel. I'm not an advocate of Lordship salvation but i do take a stronger position on repentance than the Hyles's crowd.

    I'm still looking into Ray Comfort's type of evangelism; for now I think we can borrow some of his methods along with the Roman's Road.

    Anyone with any opinions or comments, would be helpful.
     
  2. veracious

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    The Lord uses different methods to reach different people.
    Jack Hyles, John Rice and Ray Comfort all have legitimate Biblical approaches to presenting the Gospel. All can be use by God to save those whom He chooses.
     
  3. Truth Seeker

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    I agree with you somewhat but the problem with Ray Comfort is that he disagrees with the other methods of evangelism. I don't even think he uses the term "Soul Winning".

    I think Hyles's methods has room for improvement like preaching repentance and leaving out all the manipulations that comes with it.
     
  4. Lou Martuneac

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    Striking a Balance

    Good Morning:

    One must avoid either of the two extreme methods you have named: Easy-Believism and Lordship Salvation.

    Easy-Believism: is a meaningless presentation of a gospel that seems to ignore the person of Christ, the sinfulness of man and the pending judgment of God. This gospel calls men to salvation when they have been given only a vague idea of just what they need to be saved from.

    Lordship Salvation (LS): seeks to correct the errors and shallow professions gained by the Easy-Believism methods. The problem is that LS advocates go too far by changing the terms of the gospel. Lordship Salvation is a position on the gospel in which an indispensable condition that must be met to fully define saving faith is gaining from a lost man an upfront commitment to deny self, take up the cross, and follow Christ in submissive obedience.

    Much of the differences revolve around faith and repentance. I trust most understand that in salvation faith and repentance are two-sides of the same theological coin. One is no more important than the other. The problem begins when one gets out of balance on these twin truths.

    An over emphasis on faith leads to Easy-Believism. An over emphasis on repentance leads to Lordship Salvation.


    LM

    In Defense of the Gospel
     
  5. Lou Martuneac

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    Ten Commandments Only

    I am not familiar with a 10 Commandments approach. If one were to use ONLY the Ten Commandments there would not be enough information to lead a lost man to Christ.

    There is a similar problem between the Ten Commandments and Sermon on the Mount in soul winning. Lordship advocates, such as John MacArthur, believe the Sermon on the Mount contains "pure gospel," and is "the way of salvation."

    In neither the Ten Commandments nor Sermon on the Mount there is no mention of:
    Justification by Faith
    The Death, Burial and Resurrection of Christ
    The New Birth


    Using the Ten Commandments may bring conviction, show man his sin condition, and a give him a sense that he is falling short of God's glory. If, however, all you have is the Ten Commandments or Sermon on the Mount you do not have enough information for the lost man to get saved.


    LM

    In Defense of the Gospel
     
  6. Truth Seeker

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    I Agree

    Hi Lou,

    I agree with that lost comment, I see problems with both easy believism and lordship salvation. I describe my position as simply free grace.

    My position on repentance is similar to David Cloud, many accuse him of lordship salvation but he has spoken out against it.

    Was John R. Rice guilty of teaching easy believism? I have alot of respect for Rice but he was also a close friend of Jack Hyles.

    Do you of any books on evangelism that is balance in it's methods?
     
  7. Truth Seeker

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    Lou, I think the 10 commandments are fine when discussing the first point on realizing that we are sinners. i have thought of borrowing that from ray comfort to my Roman's road.

    The Roman's Road is good because it's scripture but i would add somethings to it so that it won't be a shallow presentation.
     
  8. TomVols

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    Easy believism has been used for so long that it's practically the norm. I thank God for people like MacArthur, Comfort, et.al. who seek to return to the Biblical gospel.
     
  9. Truth Seeker

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    I heard Ray Comfort teaches Lordship salvation just like John MacArthur. I'm not sure that's the way to go.
     
  10. veracious

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    I use several methods of evangelism on my website. I use the Ray Comfort Ten Commandment method like in the link below:

    www.AimHigherBooks.com/the ten commandments gospel presentation

    You can see that it only uses the Ten Commandments as a starting point. The Gospel must still be presented.

    But I also use the Jack Hyles, Kennedy, and Four Spiritual Laws method also. Also in my web comics I use variations of all approaches.
     
  11. Lou Martuneac

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    Lordship Salvation is Wrong!

    Easy-Believism has been around a long time, but it certainly not the norm in most Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) circles.

    John MacArthur's reaction was to overreact by change the terms of the gospel into a faith, plus works system.

    Lordship Salvation adds demands for upfront "whole-hearted-commitment, and full surrender" to live in obedience to the Lord's commands as a requirement for salvation (to receive the gift of God).

    This is an accurate definition of Lordship Salvation because I am citing sections right out of MacArthur's books on the subject. I document these irrefutable facts about the Lordship interpretation of the gospel in my book, In Defense of the Gospel.

    Lordship Salvation is a man-centered message which frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21) and corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor. 11:3). Lordship Salvation is a false gospel, just as erroneous as Easy-Believism.


    LM

    In Defense of the Gospel
     
  12. Lou Martuneac

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    Both are Wrong!

    Hi:

    You are seeing them right. There are inherent problems with both systems. Both are wrong!

    LM
     
  13. Truth Seeker

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    Lou, who are you? Are you a pastor or a christian author? Do you have a website?

    Would you describe your position as "free grace" instead of easy believism?
    Lordship salvation advocates confuse these two terms. I believe salvation is by grace and it's free not by works.

    The problem with "easy believism" is that they leave repentance and trust in a sinner's prayer to saved them. Many also teach that you can be saved and still become an apostate or an atheist and still enter heaven. i would say they were never saved to begin with.

    Many advocates of lordship salvation deny that a christian can be "carnal". A christian can fall into sin and struggle but I don't think they will ever totally reject Christ apostazized or become a heathen. But many who hold to easy believism would disagree with me.

    How did "easy believism" creep into the fundamental baptist churches? Was it by John R Rice? Jack Hyles? or Sword of the Lord?

    Did Jack Hyles invented the Roman's Road approach?
     
  14. J. Jump

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    Well there are so many things that need to be looked at when talking about evangelism, because modern-day Christendom has so twisted and distorted the simple message of salvation by grace through faith that people add in all kinds of things to the message.

    Another term that I have seen on this thread is the term soul-winning. That doesn't have anything to do with eternal salvation, but unfortunately that is the term that modern-day Christendom chooses to use. People will say we need to go soul-winning (meaning go talk to people about eternal salvation), or there will be "soul-winning" conferences (conferences about eternal salvation techniques, etc.). Well seeings that it isn't our "soul" that is saved at the moment of eternal salvation, but rather our "spirit" that is brought to life through the working of the Holy Sprit we should be talking about spirit-winning.

    Soul-winning can only happen after a person is eternally saved.

    Now to Comfort. He uses the 10 commandments to teach people about eternal salvation, which I don't really have a problem with per se. My biggest problem with Comfort is that he says Jesus used this method in the gospels when talking about eternal salvation. Well Jesus was not here on earth dealing with eternal salvation, but dealing with soul-winning. Jesus was dealing with folks that were already saved.

    As for repentance it is not necessary for eternal salvation. Most everywhere tht repentance is spoken of that I am aware of is speaking of a national repentance. So one has to ask then okay does the entire nation of the US have to repent in order for someone to be saved? Or how about all of Europe or South Africa, etc. Of course not. Repentance spoken of in the gospel accounts was something that an already eternally saved nation had to do in regard to the kingdom.

    A person is saved when they realize they are a sinner and believe that Jesus Christ died and shed His blood as the Substitute, Lamb of God, in their stead. If a person believes that they are saved according to Scripture.

    So I guess Comfort's way of getting people to realize they are sinners is a good approach and then just share the good news that Someone has taken their place in death so that they don't have to die and ask them if they believe that Jesus died in their place a sinner. If they say yes then rejoice with them and then followup with them in discipleship.

    Follup is the biggest problem with widespread evangelism, because what we have are folks that go evangelizing and then just leave these new baby helpless Christians to fend for themselves as they mark another notch in their evangelism belts.

    Okay time to stop . . . :laugh:
     
  15. Ex-Fundy

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    With all due respect, Horse Hockey! Jack Hyles's style of easy believism is dangerous, and quite frankly, has been the poison of the IFB movement. Although, it didn't start with him. It can be traced back to the days of J. Frank Norris. I'm all for Easy Salvation, but I'm also for the person understanding totally what salvation IS. and what repentance is. Too many times, people want the salvation and don't want to change.

    For the record, I do NOT accept the doctrine of "lordship salvation", I reject that as unscriptural. It disallows for growing in Grace. As the Bible says we're supposed to.

    Anyways, My 2 cents. :wavey:

    Ex-Fundy
     
  16. Lou Martuneac

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    Who Am I?

    Hello:

    I appreciate your questions and interest.

    Yes. I am ordained, never did pastor a church, but served on a church staff. I was a missionary to South Africa (1996-1999), taught five years at a Bible college, two year as an academy administrator, and a varied career in the business place.

    I did write a book that deals with the Lordship Salvation controversy. It was released in March 2006 and is titled In Defense of the Gospel: Biblical Answers to Lordship Salvation.

    My book gained a great deal of attention and I am told the book made a sizable dent in the Lordship interpretation of the gospel. Because of all the attention, and that I approached the Lordship debate from a more balanced position that many LS men were accustomed to John MacArthur’s Grace to You ministry responded to my book. Nathan Busenitz, the personal assistant to Dr. MacArthur, contacted me about the book and ultimately did a 5-day review of it and debated me at length over the Lordship interpretation of the gospel.

    My web site is: In Defense of the Gospel Click and browse, plenty there on LS.


    I don’t use “free grace,” primarily because the term is associated with the Dr. Zane Hodges position, commonly known as Mental Assent Only (MAO). The Lordship advocates don’t confuse the two terms, they see them as one in the same. They, however, refer to “free grace” as “cheap grace.” MAO is as wrong in its own way as LS is in its.

    You have the Easy-Believism position pretty well pegged.

    Yes, many LS men reject the “carnal” Christian. I write an entire chapter about this. I quote John MacArthur (JM) and Walter Chantry where they reject the suggestion of “carnal” Christians. I point out they have a big problem because the Bible speaks of “brethren” (believers) as “carnal.” See 1 Corinthians 3:1-4.

    JM is not deterred by the appearance of “carnal” Christians in the Bible. He clings to LS and this means there can be no room for the possibility of a “carnal” Christians. Genuine Christians can go off in to sin, but they will be pricked in their hearts over it.

    I don’t know how Easy-Believism began or gained ground in IFB churches. Incrementally, and a reaction to some other error I’m sure. Not sure if John R. Rice held to the obvious errors with the Jack Hyles position, which is among the most extreme anywhere.

    I don’t know.

    I hope this was helpful.

    LM
     
  17. Mexdeaf

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    I think (as in 'my opinion is') that a lot of the 'easy-believism' started back in the 70's when Baptist Fundamentalism got really big. I was trained in the 'say a prayer after me' model back then. I don't think any one person or group is guiltier than another but pretty much everyone got hung up on the 'number's game'. "Bus 'em, bag 'em, baptize 'em, and brag about 'em" was pretty much the style du jour.

    No Hyles did not invent the Roman's Road. He got it from someone else, I do not remember who, but I do recall reading that the Roman's Road approach predated Hyles by several years. I personally do not see anything wrong with using it as a general outline except that one must also emphasize repentance which is a key component of salvation- Acts 20:21.
     
  18. Hope of Glory

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    One of my former teachers was a cornfield preacher. Meaning that in farm country (Texas, Oklahoma, etc.), many preachers would preach in the "cornfield" meetings. (Maybe a tent, maybe a church, maybe a bean field, but you get the idea.)

    Well, the big city preachers would do the bragging game. "I had 120 decisions yesterday!" "Yeah, well we had 200 counting morning and evening!" They turned to my friend and sneeringly asked, "How about you?"

    He calmly said, "I had about 1500 decisions yesterday."

    "1500?!?" they asked incredulously.

    "Yep. About 1500 people decided not to show up."
     
  19. veracious

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    I agree that "easy believism IS dangerous. But that is more to do with the presenter of the Gospel, not the method. Jack Hyles, John R. Rice, D. James Kennedy, Ray Comfort, or any of the other methods of evangelism all give the basics needed for one to reach a genuine decision for Christ.
    1. Man is a sinner.
    2. Man cannot save himself.
    3. God is Holy and just and must punish sin.
    4. Christ is God and His death on the cross was for our sins.
    5. God offers heaven as a free gift.
    6. Must Repent of sins.
    7. Saved by Grace and saving faith.

    It is either laziness or looking for the numbers that has corrupted the message. Not the Method.
     
  20. J. Jump

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    Why do people keep adding to what Scripture says? Acts 16:30-31 says nothing about repenting of sin. This is the only place in Scripture where the direct question regarding eternal salvation is asked and then a direct response is given and yet there is nothing about repentance of sins.

    Can you show me in Scripture where repentance of sins is necessary for the payment of sins?

    See it doesn't matter what method is used. Until a correct Biblical understanding of the message is understood any and all methods will be flawed.

    Where is heaven offered as the free gift?
     

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