Evangelist Ray Comfort, who recently released his apologetics film, "The Atheist Delusion," sat down with Hemant Mehta of The Friendly Atheist blog for an interview, and responded to the questions whether Christians must accept a literal interpretation of Genesis and what will happen if atheists are elected to political office, among others.
A Christian doesn't have to believe in Genesis literally to be saved, but you have to believe in the divinity of Jesus, commented Mehta, adding that the faith of a believer is not about evolution or creation.
By rejecting Genesis, you would call Jesus a liar, "because He said, 'In the beginning God created them male and female,'" Comfort responded during the interview, in which both Mehta and the evangelist discussed hard questions in a fairly friendly manner.
But "Ken Ham doesn't take a position as strident as you do," Mehta commented, and said that Ham, the founder of Answers in Genesis, says you don't have to accept Genesis literally to be a true Christian. Comfort responded that some new Christians might take some time to come to the realization that Genesis is a true account of how creation took place, suggesting that that's what Ham might mean.
Mehta, who blogs on Patheos.com, then asked the evangelist about his earlier comment that atheists cannot be trusted in a position of power because when they have held such offices they have slaughtered many people.
"There's no atheist in Congress… Their political career is dead if they say, 'I'm an atheist,' publicly," Comfort said, to which Mehta agreed. Comfort added that surveys have also proved that atheists are not trusted by the public. "This is why I think it is dangerous to trust an atheist," Comfort explained, and referred to rulers like Joseph Stalin, who was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953.
There have been 1,763 wars in the human history; 8 percent of them were religious wars and two-thirds of that 8 percent were in the name of Islam, Comfort pointed out. "That means 92 percent of the wars in the history were more political in nature." And 110 million people have been slaughtered by atheists, those who believed in an atheist philosophy or atheist communism, he added.
Comfort acknowledged that atheists have said these rulers were not true atheists. Mehta argued that these rulers did not do what they did in the name of atheism, and that atheism did not command them to do so; they were dictators.
Mehta asked Comfort if he believes that horrible things will happen when an atheist becomes president of the United States? Comfort said that may not happen and that he looks at the track record of atheists in power, again referring to Stalin and others.
The conversation then turned to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, Islam, terrorism and conversions of atheists to Christianity in China and Christians in the United States. Both defended their respective positions and, as expected, the interview ended with disagreements.
In an earlier interview with Mehta about the film, "The Atheist Delusion," Comfort said he doesn't feel discouraged being picked apart by people who disagree with him.
"When I see 100,000 views on a video, I trust that some of those are thinking about what I'm saying as regards their eternal salvation. And that's my consolation," Comfort said. "Now and then I read the comments under videos. Most of them are pretty harsh, but they don't worry me because I've been mocked for years. That's part of being a Christian. It's a cross we have to carry. I read where one said that my name was like 'a dial in a sun tanning booth.' That made me laugh."