This really ought to be a good news story. There’s a young boy in Nova Scotia excited about his faith in Christ. He’s been eager to tell his friends at school about his faith, but now the school is telling him to stop. Want to know why? It’s a big story, big enough to lead off the evening Atlantic CTV News last Friday!
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So what do you think? Should the boy continue telling his friends about Jesus or obey the principal and stop? Post a comment, let us know what you think. Let’s have a discussion.
This is a big mess and an unfortunate thing to happen to this young boy. Keep in mind that Jesus warned, “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea” (Mark 9:42 TNIV). The problem as I see it is not really about the boy’s freedom to share his Christian faith with his friends. The particular issue the principal has raised seems to be regarding the violence in an anti-Hallowe’en tract by Jack T. Chick. And the parents are arguing for their son’s “right” to be able to hand out these Jack Chick tracts. I wish the issue was about whether young Isaac can talk about his faith and tell his friends about Jesus, but, instead, the issue is about whether he can hand out these Jack Chick tracts.
This publisher has a few Hallowe’en-themed tracts, but they all follow the same scheme of trying to scare people out of hell and get them to accept Jesus so they can go to heaven—a rather warped and truncated way of presenting the good news of new life in Christ. I don’t understand why some Christians feel so strongly that scaring people into putting their faith in Jesus is such a good idea. Tell me would you feel comfortable with your seven-year-old child handing out this kind of pamphlet at school? (Not sure of Isaac’s age: 7?)
You can read the whole tract by clicking here, but basically these high school kids are going to rent a cabin for a Hallowe’en party. Already, I’m alarmed, but it gets far worse. The boys plan to sacrifice a cat to Satan, but worse still the tract shows how Satan himself is planning on crashing the party (that’s him with the pumpkin on his head).
Remember this is a good news tract, a way for Christians to present their faith to others! The story gets very violent at this point which is ironic given that the newscast indicated the boy was passing out a tract opposed to the violence of Hallowe’en! I’ll skip the gory details and give you part of the conclusion.
Lots of misinformation here. But here’s the point, let’s terrify you into choosing heaven over hell.
No child of mine will be passing out tracts like this at his school. I believe as Christians we have good news to tell people. I have never tried to scare someone into believing in Jesus and see no reason why I would do so. I have found hope, strength and a sense of purpose in Christ which I never had before. I don’t recall Jesus himself or the apostles trying to scare people out of hell and into heaven. I think fear-based evangelism is seriously flawed. Jack Chick has sold over 800 million of these tracts. They use fear, suspicion and hatred to convince people they are going to hell unless they accept Jesus to be their Saviour. In the “Oops” tract shown in the news clip, on page one, a teenage boy dies from a drug overdose. Two friends accompany his body to the morgue where the coroner (morgue staffer?) begins to tell them about the “good news.”
The younger man is very interested in what he has to say and is just about to take a tract (a Jack Chick tract?) from the coroner, when suddenly his older friend goes from mocking to becoming violent.
It doesn’t take long for the mocker to get his young friend to forgot all about this offer of salvation in Christ. Thanks to the older friend, the two of them soon die in a horrific car crash into a train. I’m sure you can guess where they find themselves after they die.
I think that was the “oops” moment for which the tract was named, but that’s not all! It turns out his cool older friend was really Satan in disguise! As he pulled off the face mask, I was horrified! Seriously, parents, can you see purchasing this tract for your child to handout to kids at school?
Turn or burn! Yeah, ok, Jack, we got it. Same message over and over again in hundreds and hundreds of these comic book tracts. Some of them at times have even been banned from distribution in Canada due to their incitement of hatred toward Jews, Muslims or Jack’s favourite target group, the Roman Catholics. These little booklets may look like comics, but they are clearly not suitable for children and I would argue not suitable for presenting the Christian message about God’s love and the hope and life we find through faith in Christ.
I hope young Isaac learns that telling his friends about Jesus does not have to include giving them Jack Chick tracts. His parents and maybe his church were wrong to think that this material was appropriate for children and that it was suitable way to present the Christian message. The school should be disallowing the distribution of this scary material, even if it’s on the basis of some of these booklets by this publisher having been found to be in violation of Canada’s hate crime protections. The school should not be suggesting that a student does not have the freedom to talk about their religious views, or in this case, the Christian faith. My son has learned about Judaism and Islam at his school and I see no reason why he shouldn’t be able to talk about his belief in Jesus Christ. And I’m fairly confident he can do so without scaring his friends or giving these children nightmares from horrible portrayals of evil and Satan.