It was 32 years ago Dec. 8 that John Lennon was assassinated outside his New York City apartment.
For those who remember that date, it is a dark and tragic memory.
Coinciding with that anniversary, Ray Comfort is releasing a new book and new video that offers some spiritual context to Lennon's life and the careers of the Beatles with "The Beatles, God and the Bible" as well as a new video, "Genius," in the tradition of his stunning "1803 short feature that accompanied Comfort's "Hitler, God and the Bible."
Conducting interviews on this topic is the author of new book "The Beatles, God and the Bible" as well as a new video, "Genius," Ray Comfort.
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A spiritual look at the Beatles
Ray Comfort probes God connection on eve of 32nd anniversary of Lennon's death
Not too many people know that John Lennon met Paul McCartney while at a church function, or that John was a choirboy. Nor do they know that at the height of their fame in 1965, all four Beatles professed to be atheists.
Yet in 1980, John had moved from proudly stating that they were more popular than Jesus, to humbly saying: "I'm a most religious fellow ... I was brought up a Christian, and I only now understand some of the things that Christ was saying in those parables." As a young man, George Harrison wrote, "I want to find God. I'm not interested in material things, this world, fame - I'm going for the real goal." Later in life, Ringo said, "For me, God is in my life. I don't hide from that." In the 1990s, Paul said, "I'm not religious, but I'm very spiritual." He prayed for his wife when she was having trouble giving birth to their daughter, and his 2001 song "Freedom" spoke of freedom as "a right given by God."
He also said, "God wouldn't have given us tears if He didn't want us to cry."
Little has been said of the spiritual side of the world's most famous music group. "The Beatles, God, and the Bible" changes that with its unique and fascinating insight into the spirituality of the Fab Four.
The book contains a foreword by Ken Mansfield, executive at Capitol Records and the first U.S. manager of the Beatles' Apple Records.
Meanwhile, "Genius" is a new and chilling movie on the life and tragic murder of John Lennon.
"It's chilling because it reveals what people will do for money," said Comfort. "There are ordinary people out there who would kill you. All they need is the right money and the belief that they won't get caught."
Just before he was murdered, John Lennon told Playboy magazine that he didn't want to die at 40. Ironically the famous singer was gunned down at the age of 40 by a man who killed him just because he wanted to become famous.
"John Lennon was a musical genius," says Comfort. "All I have to do is think of some of his songs and even the titles make me feel good...and I'm not the only one. His music has crossed cultures and even generations. The Beatles have sold more than 2,303,500,000 record albums, and in June of 2012 they hit number one on iTunes. They are as big now as they ever were and they're half dead - with the tragic loss of Lennon and Harrison."
Mansfield, the former U.S. manager for Apple Records said, "'Genius' will open your eyes."
Other reviewers have called it "fast-paced, thought-provoking and compelling." It is being called "33 minutes that will rock your soul." Comfort's last movie, simply called "1803 received more than 3.7 million views on YouTube.
Every year since 2005, John Lennon's "Imagine" has been played just before the New Year's ball drop in Times Square.
"Imagine" was played at the 1996 and the 2004 Olympics, and the 2006 Winter Olympics' opening ceremony.
Ray Comfort is the founder/president/CEO of Living Waters Publications. From humble beginnings, the ministry has become internationally recognized, reaching the lost and equipping Christians with every necessary resource to fulfill the great commission. In addition to his main ministry, Ray is co-host (with Kirk Cameron) of the award-winning television program "The Way of the Master," which airs in 70 countries around the world. He also co-hosts a daily radio program by the same name, airing on the Sirius Satellite Radio Network and hundreds of terrestrial stations. Ray is a bestselling author of more than 60 books. He and his wife, Sue, live in Southern California, where they have three grown children.
ABOUT YOUR GUEST: Ray Comfort is the best-selling author of more than 60 books. He is also the co-host of an award-winning television program (with actor Kirk Cameron) which is seen in 70 countries. He has spoken on the subject of atheism at Yale and other prestigious universities, debated on ABC's Nightline, and written numerous publications including: God Doesn't Believe in Atheists, The Atheist Test(booklet-over one million copies sold), You can Lead an Atheist to Evidence But You can't Make Him Think, and, Evolution: A Fair Tale For Grownups(Bridge Logos). Comfort's newest book, Hitler, God, and the Bible will be available in stores April 2011.