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Posted: 12/28/09

Evangelist Ray Comfort Slams Priest for 'Pulpit Betrayal'

MEDIA ADVISORY, Dec. 28 /Christian Newswire/ -- An Anglican priest in the northern English city of York told his parishioners that poor people struggling to survive should steal food and other essentials from shops, rather than raise money through prostitution, burglary or mugging.

Best-selling author and evangelist, Ray Comfort, said, "What may sound like compassion is actually pulpit betrayal. Rather than a sermon telling his hearers to steal from businesses, he should be telling them to take what they need from his own church's collection plate. If he didn't do that because his church is feeling the economic pinch, that brings into question his motive. If his parishioners take his advice and his weekly collection increases, he is benefiting from the crime he instigated and therefore complicit to it. The question also arises as to whether or not the priest personally practices what he preaches. Does he himself shoplift? If he doesn't, he's a hypocrite. If he does, then he's a criminal. If he says that he doesn't need to shoplift because he is financially sound, then he should be giving to his poor folks, rather than making them into thieves."

Britain's Daily Mail reported, "He told parishioners it would not break the eighth commandment 'thou shalt not steal' because it 'is permissible for those who are in desperate situations to take food that they might not starve.' The Yorkshire Evening Post reported that he said, "'My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift,' he told his stunned congregation at St Lawrence and St Hilda in York."

Comfort said, "The twisted advice of the Reverend is nothing new. The religious leaders at the time of Christ also perverted the Ten Commandments. In Matthew 15 they changed the Fifth so that they didn't have to honor their father and mother, and they even tried to soften the Seventh. But in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus warned that God considers lust to be adultery of the heart.

"This all comes from something called 'idolatry,' which is the sin of making a god in your own image. Once you do that, anything goes. The Bible says that if you steal, even in the case of dire need, you pay back seven-fold. Sex becomes okay "if you love someone." Lying becomes morally okay if they are lies that don't "hurt" anyone. Adultery becomes acceptable if the marriage is boring, and the murder of children in the womb is permitted if a pregnancy is an inconvenience. But the Bible is clear that all liars, adulterers, murderers and thieves will end up in Hell."

The Rev. Jones added, "I do not offer such advice because I think that stealing is a good thing, or because I think it is harmless, for it is neither." He said that people shouldn't steal from small, family businesses, but from large national businesses.

Comfort, who spent a lot of his time feeding the homeless in Los Angeles' infamous McArthur Park, said, "This is what happens when unconverted men go into the ministry. Many of today's preachers should have been plumbers, motivational speakers or bankers, rather than what the Bible calls 'preachers of righteousness.' The moral Law is meant to show us that we are sinners and that we need a Savior. The Ten Commandments don't need changing. We do. We may change them to suit ourselves, but they will still be the standard of judgment on Judgment Day. God wrote them in stone for a reason."

Distributed by

By Ray Comfort

Email: [email protected]

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Clarification of "sin"
Posted On: 01/01/10 05:54:21 PM Age 50, CA
The question that has been posed is not accurate because you are asking whether I would choose to sin by stealing or sin by letting my child starve. "Thou shalt not let thy child starve" is not in the Ten Commandments and is not inherently a "sin". Obviously if you did this intentionally we are talking about an entirely different issue, however for that to occur either to you or your family out of your poverty and need is not a sin. God alone is our provider in all things! He is sovereign and has a plan for each one of our lives. Whether He chooses to step in to provide, or what method He chooses to use if He does is completely up to Him. However should I ever find myself in that situation, it is my prayer that I will have the strength to be obedient and the grace to deal with the crisis in a manner that brings glory to His name. We are all going to die one day my friend. Some as older people and some very, very young. It is not up to us to decide who lives and who doesn't...nor does the need to survive in THIS fallen world out-weigh our much greater need to be faithful and obedient to our Lord...even unto death! The whole issue ultimately comes down to your worldview. If you believe this life is all there is, the you will justify whatever you must do to hold on to it. However if you believe that when you die in this life, you enter into the eternal presence of Jesus Himself, you become much more eager to please Him than to hold on to that which you can not keep. Don't be fooled by the lies of the enemy. God loves you with a perfect love and will either provide for you in this life or by His mercy He will remove you from this life to enjoy eternal life with Him! To me...this is a win win scenario! You just have to remain faithful unto the end! God will NEVER leave you or forsake you!

Then let them steal from you!
Posted On: 12/31/09 02:29:03 PM Age 55, VA
Set the example, let them steal from you.

Posted On: 12/31/09 05:08:55 AM Age 66, OH
There is a MUCH HIGHER WAY THAN TO TEACH A MAN TO FISH. Give the starving man a meal so his ears can hear over the pain of his hunger; then introduce this man to The Creator of the fish. The disciples were very skilled fishermen and fished all night and caught NOTHING. But Jesus stood on the shore and asked them, "hey guys are you catching any fish". Then Jesus told them to throw their net on the other side of the boat. They could not pull the net in for it was so full of fish. 153 in all. They could not get the net into the boat and had to drag it to shore. Even the exact number of fish, 153, was no accident. Even His disciples did not do as told, for they had left the preaching of the gospel, to go back to the fishing business. But every fish in that sea did exactly as Jesus commanded it to do. If you add up the letters of the Greek word "fish" as numbers instead of letters; they add up to exactly 153. All 153 fish did exactly as Jesus said, even to their own death. For all 153 of those fish died that same day. We should all be so wise. For Jesus says,"whoever hangs onto his life will lose it, but whoever gives up his life to Jesus will gain his life". Eternal life for the small price of following Jesus day by day !!!! If I was only a fish. - Lou Newton

Posted On: 12/31/09 04:48:33 AM Age 66, OH
You have asked this question, if you had children who were starving and had no other way to provide them food save to steal, would you sin by stealing food to save their lives or sin by letting them die to preserve the 10 commandments? - This question is invalid in itself. These are NOT the only two choices we would have. I would ask The Lord Jesus Christ in whom I trust, to help me provide food for my children. He has never once failed me. The One who fed the 5000 still lives and still does miracles that same as he did then. I know, because He has done many for me to show His mercy and grace for me and others. You should answer the question that you have asked, would you steal the bread that your neighbor has earned for his children and leave his children starve so your children could eat. - Lou Newton

Age 47, NY asks:
Posted On: 12/30/09 04:06:41 PM Age 49, MO
"If you had children who were starving and had no other way to provide them food save to steal, would you sin by stealing food to save their lives or sin by letting them die to preserve the 10 commandments?" This question assumes only 2 possibilities, but if we were in a family of true believers, why then would I have to steal? Wouldn't I just swallow my pride and let my needs be known? I certainly wouldn't be ashamed to have needs, not would I be offended if others let their needs be known to me. Actually, I WOULD be offended if they were so prideful, or thought so little of me, that they wouldn't tell me their need! Don't we all like to help others? Ray is correct in his assessment, especially to put the blame on the church that suggests that stealing is an option instead of actually being Christ to fill their needs. Apparently this Catholic Priest knows nothing of ministry. John

Sin or Sin?
Posted On: 12/29/09 06:04:01 PM Age 47, NY
Please... Give me a better example then a "be warm and well fed" answer. Ray and all the overtly righteous men miss the spirit of grace by subjecting men to the commandments of God. How can you expect man to yield to the grace of God when you are consistently hitting them over the head with the commandments? Thou shalt not feed yourself with ill gotten goods (which will all burn in fire one day with the rest of creation) but you should know God's love for you and BTW, here is a Bible verse to go along with that. Also, I would like to know your position on Luke 16:1-9... Was Jesus revealing a deeper truth to the Pharisees on our behalf? I still submit there is no "answer" given in Ray’s editorial. Anglican is not Catholic and yes, there is much wealth in Rome. I do not consider any church to have the best interests of the sheople in the pew. Best interest being how to escape the wrath of God! Remember, saints are not under the law they are under grace. The question begs to be asked; if you had children who were starving and had no other way to provide them food save to steal, would you sin by stealing food to save their lives or sin by letting them die to preserve the 10 commandments?

The Point Is Being Missed
Posted On: 12/29/09 02:48:36 PM Age 40, KS
I think the whole point was missed altogether. You cannot justify sin that God calls sin. In other words, stealing to feed yourself is not justifiable by God's standards. The church is the one that should be helping the poor but not just by giving them handouts. It should be teaching them how to feed themselves. The old saying is accurate, "Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime." (author unknown) We, as Christians, are the church and it is all of our responsibilities to help those around us. We are all called to help the poor in whatever way is needed but not by going against God's Word. Even Jesus told us that the poor would always be with us, so let's get out there and help them help themselves. I worked in Welfare over 15 years ago and my co-workers thought I was horrible because I would tell my clients to go get a job instead of living off my tax dollars. Fortunately, I had several clients who did just that and bettered themselves and their families.

Another attempt to justify sin?
Posted On: 12/29/09 11:08:58 AM Age 37, TX
Ray DID give the correct suggestion. Your reply is a very weak strawman argument. What organization is the wealthiest in the entire world? The Catholic Church! If there are poor among them, they will NOT go broke feeding them. Also, draining the state? Are you kidding? The state is king of welfare, giving out money willy-nilly all the time. Now, the government should not be involved in wealth redistribution in the first place, but that's a whole different argument altogether.

What would you suggest?
Posted On: 12/29/09 07:05:25 AM Age 47, NY
Would you suggest the poor and destitute drain the church coffers or the government welfare bounty? Either way, the poor can choose between satisfying the hunger in their bellies by completely draining the church or the state. Maybe they should just die and decrease the surplus population... You offer no concrete answer to the issue but are quick to say that the Bishop is wrong. You can see the hand of God here working to draw into sharp contrast the situational ethics. Christ himself never stole food to feed his belly. He had food that his disciples knew nothing about. Also he was able to exnihilo bring bread and fish into existence. The shrewd manager is encouraged to "steal" from the business owner in order to win favor with the world. Cast your pearls before swine Ray. They will turn and tear you to pieces every time.

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