Penn Jillette and God
- Genres:Arts & Entertainment, Ray Comfort
As a very unexpected surprise, Ray Comfort meets Penn Jillette. Christianity vs. Atheism!
Yeah, welcome to way of the master on today’s episode, we’re gonna be talking about a world famous atheist who had a run in with Ray comfort, a run in with the gospel and almost a literal run in with a speeding car. And of course mr comfort, you know exactly who we’re talking about. Yes, it’s Mr Penn Jillette from penn and Teller, fame, famous magicians, very famous and very talented, in fact, recently I saw an episode of him and tell her when they first got on air and I was blown away by just the creativity, the energy. And it’s still going on until today. Now, Ray, you’ve become buddies with quite a few atheists and that’s always blowing my mind. I’m sure you guys have seen those videos where they’ll show like a cat and a dog getting along or or a mouse and a bird, you know, like animals that don’t belong to a lion and a deer or something, you know, and and it’s kind of like that with you and atheists. So I wanna I wanna talk about Atheism. Obviously today we’re talking about Pen who’s a famous atheist along with being a magician. But Ray take us into the world of Atheism. What is an Atheist? An atheist is someone who believes that nothing created everything that’s a scientific possibility and they hate me saying that, but it’s true. Um definition of the Atheist has changed the Cambridge dictionary says an atheist is someone who doesn’t believe in the existence of God, but they moved the goalposts and said an atheist is someone who has no belief in any gods. But and then they say, why do they do that? Because I hear it from a number of different atheists and it seems to be the current mantra, why they’re offended by faith, they don’t want to believe in anything. Um, but like I said, an atheist believes that nothing created everything and nothing is what you find on the inside of a donut that can’t create anything. And it’s just crazy. Atheism is foolishness and we tend to equate the word atheist with intelligence. It’s actually the exact opposite. And we’re not intelligent. Were very, very foolish. If we think an atheist is intelligent because the bible says the full of sadness heart, there’s no God. Yeah, Mark, there’s been a shift, right? I mean, you go back, you know, to the thirties, forties, even sixties and atheists weren’t seen as glamorous like they are today, but things have shifted, which it sure has, you know, back in 2000 and 16, 1 statistic that I read was one out of every 10 americans claimed to be an atheist one year later, that changed to one out of every four people in America claimed to be an atheist and agnostic, a freethinking skeptic, they adhere to the tenants of the flying spaghetti monster and Ray is right? We we kind of equate the idea of Atheism is somebody whose intellectual but notice, you know, the bible doesn’t say the brilliant biologist has said in his heart, there is no God or the mesmerizing mathematician has said in his heart, there is no God, it says the fool or the fool has said in his heart. And I would I would contend when it comes to the statistics, because remember atheists can lie and they do lie with statistics. There are people who are called nuns, they have no affiliation affiliation whatsoever with any religion, but they don’t deny God’s existence. But atheists heap them in with a pile. So they can say one in four is an atheist. Yeah, Well, that’s true with titles, I mean, you have, you’ll have people with the church of ST they call themselves ministers or, You know, reverence or whatever. Well, recently I saw a statistic and it’s up to date statistics from a thought of source said 91% of Americans believe in God’s existence. Still, Wow. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, but but but they are and it’s not just that we have atheism on the rise today, but I think the way they’re branding themselves, you know, they’re smooth, they’re sophisticated, they’re media savvy, you get guys like Hitchens who, who’s, I mean the guys, he’s witty, he’s sharp, funny was right, you’ll get guys like Penn Jillette, Penn Penn Jillette Penn and teller. Yeah. And their shows and the things they do and they’re good, they’re sharp. They’re funny, they’re and they’re likable to their likable Christopher, Hitchens, I would sit in admiration of him. He was not afraid to speak about Islam and call it, call it what it is. And and and his contention was more with religion and what he saw in hypocrisy rather than genuine Christianity. And same same with most atheists. They’re offended by what they see in pedophilia, priests and evangelists with a bottomless collection bag. You can’t, you can understand why they are offended by that, right? Yeah. And Ray, we’ve, we’ve talked before on the program how you’ve befriended a number of atheists, which has been delightful. We talked about Lawrence Krauss. Um, we, you have the, you know, the friendly atheist friends with underfoot for lunch twice. Yeah, exactly. Uh, and Jacqueline Glen, and she’s again, she’s another new face to Atheism whose branding it in a whole new way. Beautiful young lady, very intelligent, well spoken. But one of our favorites, as I mentioned at the top of the program is Penn Jillette because Penn has actually sent out a very well known and special message to christians about evangelizing of all things. So we’ll watch this and then we’ll talk about The president of focus on the family Jim Daly wrote an article back in 2009 called a conversation with an atheist. He spoke of a short video that atheist Penn Jillette had produced and put on youtube, but has since been removed the well known atheist from Penn and teller fame spoke of being given a bible by a tall businessman. He said that the man said, I’m a businessman. I’m sane, not crazy. And he looked me right in the eye as he spoke. It was really wonderful. I believe he knew that I was an atheist, but he was not defensive and he looked me right in the eyes and he was truly complementary, not in any way empty flattery. It was really kind and nice and sane and looked me in the eyes and talk to me. And then he gave me this bible. And I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize, I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell and people could be going to hell and not getting eternal life or whatever. And you think it’s not worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward. And then he said this amazing statement, how much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that if I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that the truck was coming at you and you didn’t believe it, that truck was bearing down on you. There’s a certain point where I tackle you and this is more important than that, I could hardly believe that an atheist would have such insight. I was so encouraged by what he said. I personally wanted to thank him for making it at the same time. I couldn’t help but wonder who this man was, Who gave him a bible and left such a good impression? I wanted to be like this man. So that was obviously from our movie The Fool and you talk a lot about pen in there, we’ll get into that a little later. But Ray that that clip, um and in fact in it when you watch the whole clip and I’d encourage people to look it up if it’s still online, I don’t know. But but Penn pauses for a moment and it seems like he’s almost tearing up when he talks about his encounter with with the with the guy. But but Ray, what what what did you feel? I know what I felt when I first watched that and Mark, I wanna hear from you too. But what did you feel when you first saw that an atheist telling christians, they should be sharing the gospel. You know, we use the phrase a lot. It blew me away. But it did. It just bloom back to the back of the room. I wish more pastors would do that. Well that was exactly what I’ve been preaching for years. And I remember when I saw Spurgeon’s quote, have you know, wish for others to be saved, then you’re not save yourself, be sure of that. And I grabbed that because I thought great, I can preach that quote from pulpits and Spurgeon can get blamed and not me because I wanted to say if you don’t care about the lost, where is your love? And you’ve got no love, where is your evidence? You passed from death to life. And so it was a message, I’ve been preaching for years, you know, you’d never let a child drown in front of you because you want to polish your car and if you could do that, civil law would grab you for what’s called Depraved indifference, you’d be thrown in prison for letting someone drown. So how can we be? Um unconcerned that people are heading for hell? And here was an atheist saying, how much do you have to hate someone not to warn them about the existence of hell and tell them about the existence of heaven. It’s something that I wanted to grab that clip and play it in every pulpit and get penn Jillette to say it in every pulpit because it was so powerful, so powerful. In fact, there’s a message that I’ve taught all around the world and I usually play that clip at the end of the message and whenever I do, you you just, you find this hush, come over the whole congregation because it’s convicting, here’s an atheist telling you this and there’s a christian, you’re sitting there thinking, whoa, so so Mark, I mean, speak to that, that that dynamic of of stepping up when we know the truth, you know, I have a motto, if I’m gonna fail, I’m gonna fail by falling forward, right? It doesn’t matter how tumultuous the storm is outside the boat when your eyes are on the Lord in order to walk on water, you gotta step out. You have to take that first step. Warren Weathersbee said you’re a christian because somebody cared enough to share with you. Now it’s your turn to return the favor. We have not been created for ourselves. Right? My pastor says, if you’re right, if the christians right hand was cut off, it should bleed. Evangelism, there is a point in the purpose for which we were designed and that is not for ourselves. It is to bring glory to God and we need to speak up and tell everybody about a savior who can save anybody. Amen. Amen now, Okay, just to make sure that there are no disillusionment about Pen. Pen was really nice in that clip, but Penn is a he’s, I mean he’s a very outspoken atheist, I’ve seen him ripped bibles to shreds. I’ve heard him blaspheme God to no end. And one of the things that he’s well known for is mocking christians mocking Christianity and mocking the word of God. And so that’s one of the most common things that we hear atheists talk about is how ridiculous the bible is, Right? So I want you guys to answer this question for us, how in the world can christians believe stories in the bible? Like Jonah being swallowed by a big fish, how can we believe stories in the bible, like a bush catching on fire, but not being consumed and God talking out of it. God speaking, you know, through a donkey. Um how how can we believe stories like that? I mean, those are just the tip of the iceberg, a talking serpent, you know? So how can christians believe this stuff? Just address that for a minute. I know how to not believe it and that is deny the supernatural. Just say there’s no god. And then nothing makes sense. If you say there is a God, he can do anything. He can turn the world upside down and juggle with it, you know, with one hand, if he wants. So there’s nothing too hard for God. So he can walk on water multiply lunches, talk through doggies, do what he wants because he created all things. But when you stay in the natural realm and some atheists don’t believe in God, then everything is out of foolishness. It’s just a fairy tale. I mean, Mark, that’s really the heart of it, right? I mean, with the worldview, naturalism or materialism, that’s that’s the whole crux of it is you’re ruling out the supernatural. And when you do that, of course you can start to ridicule anything. Yeah, absolutely. And in fact that was basically David hume’s objection. He said, miracles are impossible. Therefore there impossible, right? But he’s begging the question. Certainly you have to concede to the fact that if God is real, then miracles are no problem. I’m gonna remove the word if, and I’m gonna put in the word sense, since God is real, miracles are no problem. If you take a step back, of course, their argumentation seems sound why? Because we don’t see snakes who do not have vocal chords speaking, but we have to take it a step further and realize, but God, God can do anything within his nature and getting the snake to speak. It really is not a big deal at all. That’s so true. And it’s funny because it seems like in some circles, the christian world has kind of bowed down to Atheism because there are what, what they would call themselves progressive, but I would call them liberal theologians who would try to explain away the supernatural right? They claim to believe God exists, they claim to believe in creation, but then they’ve gotta, they’ve gotta take out that, you know, well, it was through evolution, we’ll know that really didn’t happen. And maybe this is what happened in the Red Sea really didn’t part, but it was this kind of, it’s like, right, like, come on, are you kidding me, you believe in the existence of God? Um, what’s there to argue beyond that? Of course he could do whatever he wants. You know, I I saw a little joke many years ago where a new convert was going, wow, you know, God’s opened up the Red sea and the moses and the Egyptians, sorry, the Israelites are going through, and a theologian came and he says, no, no, around that time of the year, there’s, you know, this type would go out, it’s only two inches of water, and then then then you come back goes, whoa, whoa! The whole Egyptian army has been around by God and two inches of water. So true, yeah, But yeah, it goes back to the reality that God can do anything. He is the creator of time and space, He can do whatever he wants in it. So that’s never been a major dilemma to me. But what is a dilemma to me is how Atheists don’t take their worldview to its logical conclusion. Now, we make no bones about it. Friends were open with the world, We believe that Atheism, we believe that evolution is ridiculous. So guys, why do we believe that? Well, the Fool has said in his heart, there is no God, we we we cannot forget about that. So if the Fool has said in his heart, there is no God, then there’s no end to what they will believe. You know, when an evolutionist comes up to the microphone or an Atheist, I want to go all the way back to the beginning, you know, we have the law of biogenesis that each species will bring forth after its own species. But let’s go before that, even a biogenesis, right? So we have life from non life. How did that happen? And there are only left with, I don’t know. I have no idea. Well, that becomes unscientific. I mean, we begin to destroy and eliminate the different laws the law of thermodynamics, that the world is uh dwindling down, right? That things are beginning to cease from its original and natural state. You know, the atheist is just filled with all kinds of dilemmas. What where did love come from? Right. Where does the laws of mathematics? The laws of science? The laws of moral absolutes. The laws of logic. Where did these things come from? If we live in a world that is entirely evolutionary in its foundation? Well, then, where did these come from? Man did not invent two plus two. Being for the man discovered the thought that two plus two is four. And using these laws that have been given by God, we know exactly when the sunrise is going to happen. And there are 3000 and 64 because God has given us these laws that are unbeatable, immovable, immovable. And they are universal. These abstract things apply to all people, which are also a reflection of a God who is universal, abstract. And the material Atheism makes me want to scream. You just have to look at a puppy play with a puppy for 10 minutes and just so filled with joy and fun. And it’s it’s eyes are just so appealing and every hair on its on its body is pointing in two different directions got eyebrows. It’s things like unit sleeps and it’s got an appetite and uh and as it grows, everything grows in proportion. You know, it’s just everything around us is a miracle and that the crazy thing about Atheism is it throws out the word of God, which is the instruction book for humanity. The explanation for humanity and then moans about suffering. Ramon’s about death and pain and disease. And the scripture gives the exact reason all these things happen. And so Atheism is crazy. It stands on its own oxygen hosts. Yeah. One of the things we often talk about is the fact that Atheists can make claims. I mean they can have a perspective on different things in life. But the bottom line is they never live consistently within their worldview and they’ll claim that there is no such thing as a absolute standard of morality. But then yeah, they cry foul when they think things are immoral or they’ll try to somehow indict God for doing this or doing that. What are you talking about? Why is that wrong? I mean even and we mentioned evolution a minute ago, even with the whole theory of evolution, what’s the problem if God chose to, let’s say their perspective is true God just killed innocent people for no reason, right? We understand Biblically that God was passing judgment on wicked nations with whom he was patient for for generations, Right? So let’s say that God chose to do that. What’s wrong with that? Isn’t that how you got here, Wasn’t it right? Survival of the fittest dog, eat dog? Right? And so this is what got you to this glorious top of the food chain, so to speak. Why? Why are you? And by by what standard you judge God of wrongdoing, right? You cannot say God committed genocide in the old testament that is evil and wrong says who? Right? So an atheist believes as an autonomous being that they get to decide for themselves what is right and wrong. And this is I’m not saying that an atheist can’t count, I’m saying they can’t account for counting. I’m not saying that they don’t know right from wrong. They don’t know why it is right or wrong. God has given us a conscience so that we know right from wrong Pendulum. He says, listen, you christians say that if it wasn’t for God, we atheists would be raping as many people as we would want to rape. Let me tell you how many people I want to rape zero. I’m raping as many people as I want to rape, which is zero. Okay, now, listen, that’s not what we’re saying, and you’re missing the point. Mr Gillette? The fact is you cannot account for why rape is wrong. Why is it wrong? Sam Harris says, that is perfectly natural. In an interview with Sam Crittenden with the interview, he says listen, we see rape all throughout the evolutionary process. It’s perfectly natural now he’s not saying that we should do it. He’s just saying it’s a natural process for which getting one gene into another gene and he is logically consistent. We know why it’s wrong because God says not to do it and they’ll make exceptions for the things they want to do, then those become okay, right? It’s a free for all. If you make up the rules then you can say when something changes right and when it’s okay or not and we can speak their language, survival of the fittest, no one survives everyone, everything dies, but God can make you fit to survive if you repent and trust the savior. Amen. Okay ray, what do you say to the atheist who says show me a miracle, then I’ll believe, yeah, miracles won’t convince you if you love your sins because if you can watch a penn Jillette show Penn and Teller and be blown away by the miracle they do on the stage that you can be deceived. And and you know, using modern technology, we could have a an image of jesus just appear in front of you using mirrors and whatever’s and you could be converted on that and then someone shows you the mirrors fooled you and the and the video camera fold you and then your faith comes crashing and the scriptures say we want our faith to stand on. The power of God and that’s what converted me. It wasn’t reading bible stories and saying, oh I believe despite the fact they seem silly. It was the fact that God transformed me in a moment of time and it gave me a new heart, new desires. Maybe a new creature in christ open the eyes of my understanding, even the sky look different. Suddenly the heavens declare the glory of God. Every time I said big clouds might I’m just I can I’m speechless. He’s huge clouds. I think of the Lord when I see lightning, it doesn’t scare me anymore because I think it’s just the power of God and he’s not even showing his anger. You know and it’s and thunder and all these things. And I see the beauty of a rose, everything screams to the genius of God’s creative hand now that God’s open the eyes of our understanding and that’s why I believe because I’m a new creature in christ. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. You know it’s amazing how when you rule God out of the equation, you’ll come up with a reason for anything. Even if it is a miracle, you’ll say, oh well there’s a scientific explanation for it. Right? So and you think about jesus rising from the dead, right? I mean the soldiers that guarded the tomb knew he rose from the dead but then were paid off by the religious leaders and they told a lie if you know he rose from the dead, you know what he said is true, but still the heart of man is deceitfully wicked, you know. And that’s what the text says when jesus rose from the dead. It says yet still some doubted right even when Lazarus has risen from the dead in four days close to stinking and and they were upset that he raised him from the dead and they still wanted to kill jesus and then they wanted to kill Lazarus when they, when they saw him. That’s just all right. We got a really good video. Now that’s gonna shed some light on how penn Jillette got the specific bible. He got thank you. I didn’t get to say goodbye to you. I wanted you know, goodbye is from God be with you will be with you here. Goodbye. Mm hmm. Yeah, I’ll be with you just in the dictionary. It is upsetting. Hold on, hold on, hold on. We got google here we got google, google. We can settle it. A lot of science is determined by google but but you can’t believe everything you read in google and if you’re right, I won’t believe it. Yeah, that’s right. Exactly. Goodbye. Now that’s type one. Goodbye Entomology. You should just go straight to snow. Yeah, goodbye. Hold on, hold on. Late 16th century contraction of God be with you. Well you win this one. You know. And the point is I’m happy to be wrong. Mhm About five minutes after my interview with Lawrence Krauss, I was standing with our production crew on the sidewalk outside the hotel. We’re about to leave when I was approached by Penn and his actor friend paul provenza as the conversation began, scotty began filming, I shared the complete gospel with Pen, taking him through the 10 Commandments into the Cross. We spoke about the difference between faith and trust, the question of who made God and many other issues. I want to thank you for that little video you made about Kristen a guy that gave you a Gideon bible. That was the most perceptive thing I think I’ve ever heard from any atheist or even non christians better tears. It was so wonderful. I’m tackling you tonight because I love you because you said if this comes a point tackle the if I believe that the truck was coming at you and you didn’t believe it. There’s a certain point where I tackle you when you tackle them. Minutes after I talked to him about tackling someone who was about to be hit by an approaching vehicle and didn’t know it, Penn and paul in an effort to end another conversation that had started stepped onto the road and we’re almost killed. This is what Penn said on his podcast. Soon after the incident. We’re so eager to get away that I really did and I mean without a doubt, no joke, no exaggeration. I pull provenza into traffic where a car slams on its brakes, squeals and misses him Going fast by maybe 3\”. I mean it’s his pant leg, that’s how close it is to breaking his leg. I’m so eager to get away from there that I really did run into traffic and pull provenza with me, Ray, I can almost still hear the screeching those tires in my ears right now. I was there, I was there, remember they had left the running cross street, I was watching them. I looked away and I hear and I looked and there was a bus that was between the road and the hotel and they were they were in front of, in front of the bus long ways and they were almost pinned against because the car was there so they couldn’t jump forward, you know what I mean? And if they jump back they would have jumped into more traffic. So they were literally pinned and pinned penned. And I remember you having just told him that, reminding him of his very story and uh yeah, it was, it was absolutely mind blowing and you were in the hotel room when I was proven right by the world’s most high profile atheist with that, I apologize and say, we’re wrong, you’re right. That was just that was awesome. The whole good, good goodbye thing, God be with you. And uh yeah, I remember and he was so adamant that there’s no way that it could be that. And they looked it up, Thank God for google. You know, it’s those moments when google comes through for you. But now Ray, I, I noticed there was some fuzzy stuff on Penn’s face. What’s the deal with that? I put Vaseline on their faces. So that would be, you know, the pens manager wrote and said, don’t put pen in the film, don’t show his image, don’t use his voice. You know, we’ll see our lawyers if you do. So, we had to blur him out and get rid of his voice to tell the story that we did because it’s a beautiful story. A wonderful story. Yeah, that’s amazing. Now there’s a lot more to that story. Friends that we didn’t get into and that is the specifics of the bible which will eventually get into in another episode. But the Lord did such amazing things through all that. And in fact, great Pen went on to talk about the whole incident, didn’t hear on the radio program on the radio and he spoke very well of it. And uh, he, uh, I said, I seen him a gift basket and they raved about how nice the piers were. And it was just a great feeling. Yeah, that was really neat. And you know, I think about that moment in time. Penn Jillette was there, uh, and provenza, what, what’s his name? He’s an actor too. It was obviously, and Pen, we’re really good friends. And obviously Lawrence Krauss was there and there were a number of other atheists in the room. In fact we had a couple of camera crews in there. Yeah, we were filming them, they were filming us and then we were filming them filming us. There was there was this crazy whole thing full of cameras but the fact that those atheists were in there and I remember the questions to that were put to you by Lawrence Krauss about why are you doing this? Like why? Why do you keep going around and telling people? And I remember you pouring your heart out and seeing just kind of seeing in their eyes this sort of twinkle like wow, this guy really cares and that’s really the whole heartbeat behind all this right, isn’t it? Well, it should be, I mean if we if we love God and love people we should be utterly concerned by their eternal salvation, whether they’re atheist or agnostic or what if they’re not saved, they’re heading for hell and that should grieve us and cause us to lose sleep and be on your knees and preaching the gospel without the whole house. Amen. And you know, a common question we get is has pen come to the Lord right? People will watch some of the different clips of us interacting with atheists and and the one with you and him and they’ll say did he get to repent and come to christ and the answer is we don’t think so yet, but that’s our prayer and that’s why we shouldn’t lose hope. Mark, lots of atheists have come to know the Lord Kirk Cameron. Yes, right. Yeah. So there’s, I mean flu who claimed to be an atheist, you know, now feels that he believes in some sort of a deity of some sort that’s antony flew, antony flew. Right. You know, here’s the thing that the fool has said is that there is no God romans. One makes it very clear that the invisible attributes of God had clearly seen. So that people are without excuse. There is no such thing as an amen. So friends, let’s not forget that uh, romans is clear that God has made his reality known to all of creation. There is no excuse. Men resist the truth, they suppress it and on righteousness, but we can share the gospel and reach them just like you saw Ray doing there is hope So. Make sure to do that. That’s what this program is all about. Continue. Go out there and proclaim, christ, we hope to see you next time on way of The Master. We hope this episode of Wave, The Master has inspired you to share the message of eternal life. 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