(Photo: Facebook/Ray Comfort)
Evangelist Ray Comfort has had his official Twitter account taken over by an unknown atheist who has given Comfort an ultimatum: stop "denigrating" nonbelievers or you won't get your Twitter account back.
Comfort, founder of Living Waters ministries, said on Friday that an unknown atheist had seized his Twitter account after one of his staff members had accidentally changed his username. When his initial username, RayComfort, became temporarily available, it was immediately snatched up by the mystery atheist.
"The atheist who took my Twitter name, then gave me an ultimatum. He said that he would return it if I made a public statement," Comfort told TheBlaze on Friday following the incident. "He tweeted that I must say that I would 'no longer denigrate, blame and demonize skeptics and nonbelievers, including agnostics and atheists,'" Comfort said.
Comfort's staff has contacted Twitter regarding the incident, but for the meantime he has been forced to change his Twitter handle to RayComfortLW.
The person currently using Comfort's old Twitter account has been tweeting secular-themed messages such a "Do something effective for Philippines instead of praying. Find an aid org like Médecins Sans Frontières or Red Cross working there & donate," and "do not neglect to do good and to share what you have […] verses like these are too often ignored by selfish Christians."
Comfort, a well-known author and filmmaker, has not been afraid in the past to speak openly about Christianity and his belief that evolution does not exist. The pastor has made a name for himself in Southern California by occassionally serving as a street preacher welcoming public debate from nonbelievers, and he has even been photographed passing out DVD's of his pro-life film "180" on the University of California, Los Angeles campus.
The evangelical leader and creator behind "Evolution vs. God" told The Christian Post in February that he had decided to recruit Christians to help spread the word of Jesus on his Facebook page, which has become a battleground for atheists and Christians debating evolution and other theological topics.
"It suddenly dawned on me how Facebook is an incredible medium for the gospel. One of my posts was seen by 1.2 million people – many of whom are non-Christians," Comfort told CP. "Think of what it would cost and how much work it would take to have a Billy Graham-type crusade that reached 1.2 million people. But we can reach that many at no cost and with just a click of a keyboard button."
Comfort went on to argue: "The average Christian can't stand on a soapbox at a university and preach, but he or she can now engage the unsaved and have their comment read by multiple people, all from the comfort of their own home. It means that a stay-at-home mom can reach out to the lost during a break from the kids. It means that those who are busy at work can reach the unsaved during their lunch breaks."
The atheist behind Comfort's former Twitter handle spoke to TheBlaze about his intentions with the new Twitter identity, saying he didn't technically hack Comfort's account, but rather took up the name once it became temporarily available after one of Comfort's staff members accidentally changed his username. "Someone took it before me, and released it. When I tested if it's available, it was and I simply opened a new account with it," the nonbeliever said. "So I did not 'get it away from Comfort.' It was abandoned by his [personal assistant]."
Comfort's old Twitter account reads: "This is absolutely not the official Twitter account of Ray Comfort. Parody."