‘Appointment with death’ cards anger NZ elderly
Death-date appointment cards, once sold by California-based Ray Comfort’s Living Waters Web site, provoked outrage when they began showing up in the mail of elderly New Zealanders. At least one contacted the police. Joanne Carroll of The New Zealand Herald wrote:
The cards ask recipients to predict the date and time of their death and advise them to get in touch with evangelists to avoid going to hell.
Waiheke resident Marianne Taylor, 89, was shocked to receive an “appointment card” in the post last week. The card, published by livingwatersnewzealand.com, was addressed to her by name and asked her to fill in the date and time of her death.
Richard Lawson of North Shore City in Auckland, N.Z.
Liz Willis of the North Shore Times wrote:
Mr Comfort replied to an emailed request for comment, apologising for any offence caused by the card that he published in the United States years ago.
“We have published over 100 million gospel tracts and very rarely are people shocked by them. My intention was simply to remind those who read it, that all of us are going to die, and that God offers us the gift of everlasting life,” Mr Comfort says.
In his book, The Evidence Bible, Comfort urged the use of “fear of death” as a conversion tool:
Here is how to use the tool when speaking to an unsaved person: Let’s assume the average person dies at 70 years old. If you are 20 years old, you have just 2,500 weekends left to live. If you have just turned 30, you have just 2,000 weekends until the day you die. If you are 40 years old, you have only 1,500 weekends left. If you are 50 you have just 1,000 weekends and if you are 60, you have a mere 500 weekends left until the day death comes to you.
Comfort was born in New Zealand but his strategies are “something we don’t need in New Zealand,” one card recipient said.
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