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How should we view Chick tract evangelism?

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  • How should we view Chick tract evangelism?

    The other day, at Walmart, I came across a Spanish Chick tract somebody had left in a grocery aisle. I took it out of curiosity. This got me thinking...

    Most of us know there are serious problems with Chick tracts. They are virulently anti-Catholic, KJV only, and peddle a lot of information that is objectively false. I have reservations with how they go about evangelism. But at the same time, Jesus told his disciples that whoever is not against them was for them when they saw outsiders evangelized, and Paul said that even if people preach from selfish ambition, what matters is that the gospel is being preached. With these in mind... how should the ordinary Christian view Chick evangelism. Should I have left the tract for an actual Spanish speaker to find?
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

  • #2
    Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
    The other day, at Walmart, I came across a Spanish Chick tract somebody had left in a grocery aisle. I took it out of curiosity. This got me thinking...

    Most of us know there are serious problems with Chick tracts. They are virulently anti-Catholic, KJV only, and peddle a lot of information that is objectively false. I have reservations with how they go about evangelism. But at the same time, Jesus told his disciples that whoever is not against them was for them when they saw outsiders evangelized, and Paul said that even if people preach from selfish ambition, what matters is that the gospel is being preached. With these in mind... how should the ordinary Christian view Chick evangelism. Should I have left the tract for an actual Spanish speaker to find?
    I'm not overly impressed with the ones done by Jack Chick, but I am also mindful of the story of Frank Jenner of George Street in Sydney.

    For many many many years he would stop people walking past his house, ask them a simple question "If you died within 24 hours, where would you be in eternity? Heaven or hell?" and give them a tract (or invite them home for a cuppa if they were willing to talk), it was only after many years of this when a Baptist preacher tracked him down that he found out that there had been any responses to his question. (and what a mighty response it was).

    So while I don't like tracts, they do have their value.

    "If you can ever make any major religion look absolutely ludicrous, chances are you haven't understood it"
    -Ravi Zacharias, The New Age: A foreign bird with a local walk

    Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
    1 Corinthians 16:13

    "...he [Doherty] is no historian and he is not even conversant with the historical discussions of the very matters he wants to pontificate on."
    -Ben Witherington III

    Comment


    • #3
      To be clear, I'm not arguing against tracts themselves. They have their place. I'm focusing on tracts that come with, shall we say, baggage.
      "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

      Comment


      • #4
        I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the tracts have turned off more fence straddlers than they converted.

        I'm always still in trouble again

        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
          To be clear, I'm not arguing against tracts themselves. They have their place. I'm focusing on tracts that come with, shall we say, baggage.
          I ignore them or flip through them and throw them in the trash. Nothing to get too excited about though. If we spent all of our time attempting to prevent bad evangelism, we wouldn't get any of the good stuff done.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Raphael View Post
            or invite them home for a cuppa
            A cuppa what?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Adrift View Post
              A cuppa what?
              tea/coffee
              "If you can ever make any major religion look absolutely ludicrous, chances are you haven't understood it"
              -Ravi Zacharias, The New Age: A foreign bird with a local walk

              Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
              1 Corinthians 16:13

              "...he [Doherty] is no historian and he is not even conversant with the historical discussions of the very matters he wants to pontificate on."
              -Ben Witherington III

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Raphael View Post
                tea/coffee
                I had to tease. We don't say cuppa here, but I like how it sounds. I'm going to start saying it around here to see if it catches on.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm reluctant to criticize "bad evangelism" simply because I believe in a sovereign God and the powerful Work of the Holy Spirit. I guess you'd have to ask if "bad evangelism" was worse than no evangelism at all. I believe God honors the burden for the lost, and the saint who makes the effort to win people to Jesus. I'm a pretty bad evangelist myself, but God seems to do a work in spite of me.
                  "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                    I'm reluctant to criticize "bad evangelism" simply because I believe in a sovereign God and the powerful Work of the Holy Spirit. I guess you'd have to ask if "bad evangelism" was worse than no evangelism at all. I believe God honors the burden for the lost, and the saint who makes the effort to win people to Jesus. I'm a pretty bad evangelist myself, but God seems to do a work in spite of me.
                    I'm sympathetic to this idea, though I have to wonder if there's some point where it does matter. Westboro Baptist Church holding up signs that say "Thank God for dead soldiers" are evangelizing but I tend to think it's a net negative.
                    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                      I'm sympathetic to this idea, though I have to wonder if there's some point where it does matter.
                      And I have to admit it's been a long time since I've seen Chick tracts, but I do remember that the message was pretty often that the Catholic Church was the whore of Babylon, yes?

                      Westboro Baptist Church holding up signs that say "Thank God for dead soldiers" are evangelizing but I tend to think it's a net negative.
                      I don't think Westboro Baptist Church is even pretending to evangelize - and it's so obvious that they're full of hate that I'd have a hard time believing the Holy Spirit would honor their jackassery.

                      Nor can I imagine somebody handing out Chick tracts with the hateful attitude that characterizes Westboro.
                      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        On a side note, I had an associate pastor once who LOVED to think up clever ways to "deliver" tracts. He mostly used the Four Spiritual Laws, and one of his favorite tactics was (putting this delicately) that after he used a public restroom in the sit down position, and did the proper "paper work", he would carefully unroll a section of toilet paper, insert a tract, roll it back in, insert a tract, roll it back in......

                        YEARS later, I used the restroom at Boston Logan Airport, and, after .. um... let's just say I laughed out loud when a Gospel Tract fell out of the toilet paper when I was done on the head.
                        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                          And I have to admit it's been a long time since I've seen Chick tracts, but I do remember that the message was pretty often that the Catholic Church was the whore of Babylon, yes?



                          I don't think Westboro Baptist Church is even pretending to evangelize - and it's so obvious that they're full of hate that I'd have a hard time believing the Holy Spirit would honor their jackassery.
                          IIRC their website (which I can't link to here) did have some sort of gospel presentation based on the five points of Calvinism... but I'm not feeling up to wading through that cesspool of filth right now.

                          And yes I think that's what the Chick tracts say about the Vatican. There's some slander in some of them... though I think some of the tracts are perfectly orthodox.
                          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                            I'm reluctant to criticize "bad evangelism" simply because I believe in a sovereign God and the powerful Work of the Holy Spirit. I guess you'd have to ask if "bad evangelism" was worse than no evangelism at all. I believe God honors the burden for the lost, and the saint who makes the effort to win people to Jesus. I'm a pretty bad evangelist myself, but God seems to do a work in spite of me.
                            I will note that on the whole Jenner's style of evangelism is not recommended for most people. He had a desire to repay his Saviour, and God worked wonderfully with the tools he had, and from what I can see certainly returned a harvest 100 times what was sown. Another evangelist attempted the same thing on George street, and after the first person he spoke to punched him in the stomach, decided God wasn't wanting him to copy Jenner
                            "If you can ever make any major religion look absolutely ludicrous, chances are you haven't understood it"
                            -Ravi Zacharias, The New Age: A foreign bird with a local walk

                            Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
                            1 Corinthians 16:13

                            "...he [Doherty] is no historian and he is not even conversant with the historical discussions of the very matters he wants to pontificate on."
                            -Ben Witherington III

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Raphael View Post
                              I will note that on the whole Jenner's style of evangelism is not recommended for most people. He had a desire to repay his Saviour, and God worked wonderfully with the tools he had, and from what I can see certainly returned a harvest 100 times what was sown. Another evangelist attempted the same thing on George street, and after the first person he spoke to punched him in the stomach, decided God wasn't wanting him to copy Jenner
                              Agreed - the same is true for Churches - some Church will do something "that works", and other Churches try to be "that Church" instead of the Church God wants them to be.

                              God "gifts" us and equips us, I believe, for where we are, and the circumstances around us. We're all different - and God uses us differently. I, for one, hope God doesn't call me to bury a girdle, then go dig it up and wear it to preach.
                              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                              Comment

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