Sunday, October 3, 2010

The boy who is telling his friends about Jesus and how Jack Chick has made a mess of it

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!

VIDEO currently not available

    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.
Boo-cover    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.Boo-1 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.
boo-3Lots of misinformation here. But here’s the point, let’s terrify you into choosing heaven over hell.
boo-4No 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.oops-cover 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.”
oops-1The 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.
oops-2It doesn’t take long for the mocker to get his young friend to forgot all about this offer of salvation in Christ.oops-3 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.
oops-4I 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?
oops-5Turn 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.


  1. I think this kind of track goes a little too far, it is libel to turn others away from a loving God not to mention the pictures are scary. I think this story is more about the parents stand than a kid handing out tracks. Probably his parents are pushing him to do this. Be a kid, just enjoy school.

  2. I would like to exchange links with your site
    Is this possible?

  3. Yeah, Gary, it's a strange approach: scare people into believing! I say let the kid talk about Jesus, but don't arm him with scary, violent comic books designed to scare his friends.

    Anonymous, how can I exchange links with someone who is anonymous?

  4. I just emailed Chick Tracts:

    Hello...I have a special request tract that I need you to produce. I would like a tract made that I could send to a misguided individual who seems to think that producing literature that is full of hatred, fear mongering and peversion of scripture is a viable way of spreading a version of the gospel. I do not need very many of them but I do need them done in a very basic level of the english language. The cartoons do not need to be creative or imaginative; just induce fear. If you could be so kind as to provide me with a price and a mock would be appreciated.


    Someone who grieves when the word of God is abused and mocked....

  5. The CTV piece doesn't make clear the reason for not allowing the child to hand out the tracks, also what is the school's reason. Are they banning the handing out of all religious hand-out or only of those of the scary violent kind? The people who ask a child to handle that sort of thing should seek counseling into what Christianity is all about before they turn more people away from Christ.

    I still get "There was an error processing this form. Please try again."

  6. Terry, that was a great letter to Jack Chick Tracts! Please let us know what response you get, if any.

    Anonymous Lou, you said that CTV "doesn't make clear the reason for not allowing the child to hand out the tracks, also what is the school's reason." It seems you missed this part of Kelland Sundahl's report where she explains that the school had allowed the boy to hand out the pamphlets outside of class but, "that changed today after a parent complained the pamphlets were violent in nature." The school's response was to tell the parents their son had to stop handing out the pamphlets. I agree. These pamphlets are violent in nature and would be scary to children this age. I would observe that previously the school had no problem with the boy sharing his faith outside of class. It only became a problem when children were being scare by these Jack Chick tracts. Further, the principal said that the boy must stop handing out the tracts, not that he must stop talking about Jesus. I think religious freedom is intact, but violent literature for kids is out. Lou, you are the Google expert. You've posted on this blog before using your Google identity. I'm currently posting on this blog using my Google identity. I haven't changed anything on the blog to restrict Google users. I'm pretty sure there must be something about your Google profile causing this problem.

  7. The world is gone too politics.First no more lords prayer in non Catholic schools to no x mas trees in city halls.list goes on.Kids should have the right to tell people what they believe in.Yes the pamflets are a little disterbing.They do get the message across.The ten persent who do not like it should just keep to them selves.Thats all.

  8. I have no problem with people practicing their faith, I just think it is unfair to push religion on children like this. That is for the parents of the other children to decide. As an agnostic, I would prefer my child was not bombarded with this sort of thing. If my child was curious about God or Jesus, I would want to be the one to guide him/her to the church...not some evangelical who thinks we're all going to hell just because we don't follow the herd. I also have to question why all the characters are black (or at least as far as I've seen)...just a thought. White people do drugs too.

  9. Friend. I have read some of your comments concerning Jack Chick being hate literature and that he is scaring people to be saved. Friend your comments are false, misleading and completely against the authority of Holy Scripture the Bible(Mark 16:15-16;1Corinthian13:6;2 Timothy 4:1-5). Jack Chick loves homosexuals, Mormons, Jehovah Witnessess, Muslims, Hindus, etc, because he tells them the truth of the Gospel so that they can repent and be saved from an eternity in hell (Luke 13:3; John 3:16). My friend the Lord Jesus Christ preached about hell continuously because he did not want anyone to go there. He said, " I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish"(Luke 13:3),
    "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched"(Mark 9:43).

    "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell"(Matthew 10:28). There are many other verses that I could mentioned but I believe these verses are sufficient to prove my point. You my friend have believed and are preaching a false gospel that rejects the sound gospel that the Lord Jesus Christ preached. If you believe that preaching on hell is scared tactics it only proves that you must either have question about the existence of hell or you do not believe that it exists. Scare tactics can only refer to a deceptive lie about something that is not real to acheive a desired end. Hell is real(Revelation 20:1-15). This is why we tell people about it and desire them to be saved (2Peter 3:9). As a result your are rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ by your comments because this is how he preached from the Word of God (Luke 13:3). The rich man who was in hell had only one request to father Abraham and that was to send Lazarus to preach and warn them about hell so that they can repent and be saved (Luke 16:19-31).My friend I am praying for you.

    Evangelist Sean Bonitto

  10. There are a few ways of looking at this.
    Freedom of religion and expression are enshrined in our constitution, and I believe that the kids family has been allowed exercise their right to do so. I think it could be argued that they are deliberately interfering with others in the process, especially young children. Some religious groups feel the end justifies the means. Sometimes they forget to or can't think things through. This isn't evangelism it's egotism. The extremists can always get free press. Chad

  11. Anonymous Agnostic: Thanks so much for visiting the blog. I hope you can see that some Christians are absolutely appalled at these little tracts which are totally inappropriate -- indeed, I would argue they are inappropriate for everyone. Personally, I continue to believe we should let kids be kids. They talk about what they eat at home, what they watch on TV and what they do on the weekend. Sometimes my son comes home telling me about a TV show which we do not watch in our house -- that's fine, I just remind my son that we do not watch it.

    Now, as to why the characters in Oops! are all black... This tract was originally called Somebody Goofed and all the characters were white. At some point Jack decided to re-issue it, presumably for a black audience, but he had an artist draw it and the quality of the drawings is far superior to the original version. The dialogue and script is identical which is kinda funny!

  12. Evangelist Sean Bonitto:

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog and reading the post regarding the story which CTV ran about your son's enthusiasm to share his faith. I think they captured that part of the story very well.

    Naturally, I am surprised that you would judge me to not even be a Christian: "You my friend have believed and are preaching a false gospel that rejects the sound gospel that the Lord Jesus Christ preached." Perhaps you could review my blog a little more. I'm hoping that my writing shows that I am very concerned about the gospel of Jesus Christ and its interaction with culture. I have a passion for reading the gospels as living documents through which we may hear Jesus speak to us today. It surprises that you would so quickly conclude that I am not a Christian. It is not the gospel which I have rejected, it is the dramatic hellfire presentations of Jack Chick being presented to school children which I have opposed. There's a difference between faith in Jack Chick and faith in Jesus Christ.

    It's a little difficult to reply to all your concerns in this comments section. I've emailed an idea to you which might allow for smoother discussion.

    Thanks again.

  13. Atlantic CTV News updated this story with interviews from the boy's dad and the chair of the school board. You can view it here, as I'm not yet sure if I will post it on the blog:
    More on the Grade 3 boy told to stop handing out Jack Chick tracts

    Feel free to leave a comment there too or click on my identity qkenr and see other videos in my youtube collection.

  14. Wow. Nearly speechless. I need a modern Dante to write punishments for Jack Chick so I can laugh at him.

  15. I think it's all about age appropriateness. I can't imagine the pastor at my church preaching fire and brimstone (which to me is what these tracts are all about) to the kid's during the Children's Focus. I can't imagine a similar lesson plan during Messy Church, a monthly Saturday morning gathering for kids and their parents who otherwise couldn't get to church. I think we seek to teach the children about Christian values in a way they can understand. A way that encourages them to follow Jesus because they see that it is the right path, and not because they will burn in hell otherwise. Kind of like parenting isn't it? Do we teach by intimidation and guilt or by love? Jesus knew His audience and while He never hesitated to rebuke harshly, I can't recall any Scripture where He did anything but welcome children in a loving and positive manner. I don't have a problem with the right to express religious views; it's all about the audience and what is appropriate. We enjoy wonderful privileges in Canada and we need to ensure we use them wisely.

  16. Speaking of hell fire, I think you all want the Bonitto's to roast there also by the sounds of it. YOU bunch of hypocrits! I'm glad someone told me about hell a long time ago, I was warned of it and took heed, so should you!

  17. I know this child/family, and in Primary he was told by his teacher to stop talking about his faith at school. This innocent child who loves the Lord, has such a love for his friends, praying for them, etc. He didn't even start the tract passing until this past Spring, and that's when this thing errupted, unfortunately. So Ken, what do you say to that? Is the school still doing what is right? Maybe this precious child thought it better to hand out the literature instead of talking about his faith, since 'that's' not allowed either. Poor fellow, it is true, if someone offends this child, the result is what you quoted from the Scripture. This family is very special, and I support them all the way, if more Christians stood like them, they would not be facing this battle. But it is not over, it will not be their first time taking legal action with HRM, and might I say, during the last case, almost identical to this one, HRM buckled and settled out of court. Guilty of religious descrimination...even if you think that it is about something else Ken, you are wrong. If you are a true journalist, please get your facts right before making statements on your blog that are incorrect and misleading, like you did about Chick tracts in Canada being banned, not one is! Readers, please call the only Canadian distributor in ON called Christ the Way in Kitchener, and find out for yourself. Thank you.

  18. If I may, I would like to corroborate “Anonymous October 6, 2010 4:08 PM “correction that we here at Christ The Way Bookstore in Kitchener have all available Chick tracts, books and comics legally available for sale and distribution, along with many other bookstores across our blessed country.

    Secondly, Mr. Symes: for you and any one of your readers that are truly and biblically saved, this should make you jump with joy just as the Angels in Heaven would; I have personally lead ones to the Lord after they read these tracts and I can attest to many telephone calls, letters, and testimonies of people who were saved and “pulled out the fire” and many countless others that have thanked us to see a love one saved directly through the reading of these tracts. Is it not worth it that even one was saved that these tracts exist and to support the little ones with the heart for the lost?

    Finally, I would prefer that you do not believe my words, here is the authority by scripture to read for yourself:

    “But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These they be who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But, ye beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, and of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save by fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” Jude 17-23

  19. Ken not one child complained of being scared. But there are kids at the school afraid of Halloween long before these pamphlets came around. Just go to Walmart and see the costumes, for goodness sake, I'm afraid myself, it is so greusome. Like the last comment, I think you are saying many things that are misleading. Many of the kids love these chick tracts. Not everyone has the same opinion.

  20. Banned or not, these Jack Chick tracts have absolutely no place in an elementary school with young and impressionable children. Even if my child attended a private Christian school, I'd be very upset if he was given one of these tracts. They are simply not appropriate. Every parent has a right to censor what their child is exposed to. What astounds me is how any loving parent can say these tracts are suitable and it stuns me that an 8 year old boy has been subjected to them and feels the need to pass them out to other vulnerable children without the parents consent. Shameful!

    I actually feel so badly for this little boy. School is hard enough, without adding a big target to his back. There is no doubt in my mind that this boy is simply parroting what has been instilled in him. We all raise our children up with our own set of beliefs and values, but while doing this, the wise parent allows their child to develop their own thoughts and opinions while gently guiding them along the long and twisting pathways of life.

    I'm all for personal freedoms, but there are lines drawn in the sand. I know the parents say they support other faiths speaking freely, but having grown up in a Pentecostal church, I know that most Fundamentalist parents would not be ok with a little Mormon child pulling out the Book of Mormon along with their literature and witnessing to their young child, or the JW child, the Muslim child, Wiccan child or Atheist child.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  21. Sorry for being absent from the blog today, just a very busy day with kids and work.

    Several of you have addressed me personally, and I will try to reply to all of you tonight. Some of you have questioned whether or not I am a Christian -- I have no idea what I've said that would cause you to publicly question this. In fact, I find that to be rather rude. I have not called into question the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have called into question the tracts of Jack Chick, specifically whether or not they are appropriate for 7 and 8 year old children. You are certainly free to disagree with me, and as you can see, I do publish comments from those who disagree with me. Discussion is valuable. Disagreeing with me is fine, but why you would disagree with me and feel that it is ok to personally attack me and question whether I'm actually a Christian -- that I find puzzling and rude. I suspect you wouldn't do this if we were talking in person and from my perspective being online does not make it acceptable either.

    Many of you are posting anonymously which makes it tremendously difficult to reply to your comments, but I will do my best. In terms of blogging etiquette, if you want the blogger to reply to you, it usually is best to use some kind of identity.

    Thanks. I really do appreciate everyone who takes the time to visit the blog and especially those who also leave comments.

  22. Everything has a time and a place. Religious material of any kind should not be handed out during public school time to children and hence the reason Public School Boards develop policies and guidelines for ALL participants to abide by. Any parent, who chooses to ignore these policies and guidelines, as well as ignore other parents' complaints regarding religious materials to be handed out to their children, is selfish and fanatical.
    I am a grade three parent at Parkwest and I do not want any religious material of any kind handed to my child at any time while my child is at school.
    May I suggest to any parent wishing to be "saved" and wanting their child exposed to this type of "disturbing" material, please do so on your personal time not on school time.
    May I also suggest to any parent who wants to ensure religious materials are not handed out to their child during school time, please write your opinion in an email and send it to your child's principal.

    And let our children be children. Let them play peacefully together regardless of religion, culture, economic status, etc.

  23. I got the following email back from Chick Tracts in response to my special request (see above):

    Dear Terry,

    I'm sorry we do not do special requests. The tracts that we have available are at

    Thank you and God bless

  24. "Ken not one child complained of being scared."

    Apparently you are mistaken. The parent who complained to the school was concerned about the violent nature of the tract. It's really ironic that Jack Chick's tracts opposed to the violence of Hallowe'en are in fact quite violent.

    Do you know many 7 and 8-year-old children? The pictures of hell in this tract are gruesome and scary and have NO biblical basis, unless Dante is a book in your Bible.

    My son reads books about animals, Scooby Doo mysteries and lately the Chronicles of Narnia -- no books about kids dying from street drug overdoses and finding themselves in torment in hell.

  25. Deb thanks so much for reading my blog post. I totally agree with you, "Even if my child attended a private Christian school, I'd be very upset if he was given one of these tracts. They are simply not appropriate."

    I can't see how the issue reported on CTV has anything to do with religious discrimination. It's about totally inappropriate material being given to children.

  26. Scooter:

    Thanks so much for visiting the blog. I agree that ignoring other parents' complaints regarding religious materials to be handed out to their children is pretty serious. It's disrespectful. And worse, it's like you know the parent disapproves, but you'll try to convince the child anyhow.

    All I can say is that I am sorry some churches act this way. I can assure you that not all churches would do this. Mine does not. Children are valued in our church and parents' wishes are respected.

  27. Dear Ken: You do claim to be saved. However, evidently you do not seem to care about even one that was saved from hell because, if you did, you would have stopped attacking Jack Chick's tracts.

    Ken, these tracts are effective at getting people saved, not at becoming popular. I agree that not all of them are for everyone in every situation, but there is at least one suitable for everyone. All of them should not be thrown out with the bathwater, as it were.

  28. ctwpub,
    You do realize that everyone on this earth has been saved (2000 years ago) some just haven't come to that realization yet. The sacrifice on the cross was and is complete, all one has to do is apply the blood. I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. Right!

    I have read both your posts and I have difficulty with the idea that these Chick tracts save. They might reveal some things, however they do not save anybody. It is Christ that saves. Remember the verse in Acts 15:11 "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved" and the other one in Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

    It is the Holy Spirit that teaches and then leads us to follow Christ.

  29. Andy: Ok. Chick tracts have lead at least one to Christ to be saved from hell. I am satisfied.

    Now, I wonder if Ken would be so kind as to reply as I have yet to hear from him.

  30. Ken won't answer you 'ctwpub'...seems when he is proved wrong he hides with embarrassment and ignores the truth. Such a shame, and cowardly!

  31. ctwpub: I intend to reply to you, sorry for the delay. Do you realize that questioning people's salvation is probably not your best PR strategy? I'm just wondering about that. I'm uneasy about you posting comments in which you question the Christian identity of my readers or myself, but I have published them anyhow in the interest of profitable discussion.

    To the Anonymous commenter just above this comment:
    You describe me as "cowardly" and yet you left your bold accusation "anonymously." Thank you for demonstrating hypocrisy. It is you who is hiding as you do not even have the courage to post your name.

    I have spent very little time online this week as I've been very sick and unable to take time off work. I'm exhausted. I have not had the time or energy to reply to ctwpub, yet, but I will try to do so tomorrow. I've been working on my answer in my mind.

    I suggest we try to remain rational in our discussion. "Ken" has not been proven wrong. I have argued that Jack Chick tracts often have content not suitable for children -- many parents have agreed with me.

    I have argued that Jack Chick's approach of scaring the hell out of people so they will accept Jesus is not Biblical -- no one has shown a Biblical example of this "turn or burn" message. This is not how the gospel is presented to people in the New Testament.

    Indeed, my post this week was intended to show the hollowness of preaching damning hellfire sermons to children (and others). It's well worth watching The Waltons video which is included in the post Preaching according to The Waltons. This style of preaching is certainly still out there, but like the tracts, it lacks Biblical grounding.

    Park West School received a complaint from a parent that these tracts were violent. They decided they should not be handed out. That was a good decision. Offending the very parents we should be sharing the message with is an unwise strategy.

  32. Why wait? I'm taking a break from work to respond now.

    ctwpub, you're asking, "Is it not worth it that even one was saved that these tracts exist and to support the little ones with the heart for the lost?"

    You're asking me don't the ends justify the means? As a Christian philosopher, I believe we should do the right thing because it is right. Both right ends and the rights means are important. I will not choose one or the other as you are asking me to do. Just because I accomplish something good cannot possibly justify the horrible approach (means) I used to do it.

    Here's the clearest example I could think of in response to your tract-scenario. Many people have come to faith in Christ through the preaching of Benny Hinn. Do you think, therefore, we should not question his ministry? His scam is well documented. We know many of the healings at his crusades are fraudulent deceptions. But, hey, some people are being saved, so let's not complain. Why don't I invite my nonChristian friends to the next Hinn crusade?

    No, I'm sorry I cannot agree with you on these tracts, especially in using them with children. My son is almost 7. I would not want him to read the Jack Chick tract "Boo!" or "Oops!" They have violent and mature content not appropriate for children. Their threats of torment in hell if you do not accept Jesus are a definite departure from the way that Jesus and the apostles present the good news. Again, I ask you for even one example in the New Testament where someone is told "Believe Jesus OR burn in hell." Jack's approach to evangelism is not biblical. Threatening hellfire to persuade people to believe is a feature of American revivalistic preaching not the Bible.

    Thus, my answer to your question: No it's not worth it for these tracks to exist and to be distributed in Canada because some have received Christ. How many countless others have crumpled the tracts and been hardened from hearing the message ever again? How many more good parents must be offended by Christians handing out violent, hateful literature to their children before we realize that this is wrong? No, ctwpub, the ends (a few people saved) do not justify the means (distorting the gospel and turning off many who would listen to a good presentation of the message).

    Further, you said, "Ken, these tracts are effective at getting people saved, not at becoming popular. I agree that not all of them are for everyone in every situation, but there is at least one suitable for everyone. All of them should not be thrown out with the bathwater, as it were."

    I think you're on the right track. More important than "effectiveness" is "correctness". If the message is wrong in the tracts, then the tracts are wrong, even if sometimes someone has responded well. I think we'd be better off finding a more suitable means of sharing the message.

    How about we all learn it well enough that we live it and share it naturally without having to use scary comics?

  33. Ken why do even bother to post comments from anonymous? People who get to know you, know you are a good Christian and never hide or back down from a good debate.
    Mr. anonymous why not come out and declare who the real person is behind these e-mails? I love handing out tracks and talking to people but I also want it to be a positive experience so they will want to have a loving relationship with God. Any fire and brimstone they can get from the Bible as they mature as a Christian. Gary

  34. Thanks for the support, Gary. I'm uncertain of what to do with "Anonymous" commenters as they are so many of them. Sometimes it's puzzling when you try to see if one "Anonymous" is the same as another "Anonymous." I'm working on upgrading the Comment system and that might require people to use some sort of identification. We'll see.

    But certainly, I believe if I'm putting something out there for public discussion, then I should freely post comments which are for and against my position. And my hope is that we can learn something from each other and sharpen our positions.

    It would be interesting to compare one of the tracts you like, Gary, with a Jack Chick tract. Hit me up sometime ;)

  35. I am sorry, but I did not know you were sick. I sincerely hope you are feeling better now.

    To address your philosophy: you said, “As a Christian philosopher, I believe we should do the right thing because it is right.” So, you believe to do the right thing because it is right. But, I want to do what is right because Jesus, through God’s Word, commands me to, such as, “Therefore, to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17) Jesus Himself commands me instead of me being left to my own moral compass. Humanism leads to the philosophy of ‘no moral absolutes’, which leads to certain destruction. There is a distinct difference between these two worldviews: one follows humanistic philosophy and the other follows Christ. Humanistic philosophy always prefers “correctness”, political or otherwise, over “effectiveness”, hence the degradation of society we see today.

    Secondly, you likened Chick’s tract ministry to Benny Hinn’s ministry. There is a distinct difference between the two: Titus 1:10,11 teaches us about those who lead people away, “…subverting whole houses for filthy lucre’s sake.” I think you would agree that better describes Benny Hinn. The other uses an effective method teaching sound doctrine leading many from hell into the kingdom of heaven. Again, Jude v.23 that says, “…and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire…” By the way, I heard a little adage I thought nailed it: “What you win them with, you win them to.”


  36. Thirdly, if everyone stopped preaching or handing out the gospel that is seen to be offensive by even one individual, whether by Chick tracts or otherwise, then the gospel would have stopped being preached centuries ago. The Bible teaches, ‘how will they know without a preacher?’The gospel is offensive. Jesus said many would be offended by it. Look around you. I believe it! The enemy, the Devil is not opposed to handing out tracts or good morals, he is offended by the gospel of Jesus because he wants as many as possible to end up in Hell for eternity with him. I love these people. I don’t want them to go to Hell. Eternity is a long, long time.

    Ken, you wrote: “I have argued that Jack Chick's approach of scaring the hell out of people so they will accept Jesus is not Biblical -- no one has shown a Biblical example of this "turn or burn" message. This is not how the gospel is presented to people in the New Testament.”
    It is a fact in the Bible that Jesus preached more about hell than of heaven, explaining in grave detail what would be expected in that place. (c.f. Mark 9:43-48) Ken: What are you saved from? The Bible teaches that anyone who is truly saved is saved from an eternity of damnation, from hellfire and brimstone. You never did address the bible verse in Jude v.23 that says, “…and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire…” The Bible teaches it is supposed to be a fearsome thing so people will not want to go there.

    Finally, you wrote: “… If the message is wrong in the tracts, then the tracts are wrong, even if sometimes someone has responded well. I think we'd be better off finding a more suitable means of sharing the message.”
    This is simply a matter of, Ken Symes says, “I don’t like it!”, not that the message or the method is wrong in these tracts. You can have your opinion but, everything in those tracts is backed up by scripture. All your refutations are your own opinion, without any backing from scripture, and do not make the tracts wrong.

    So, we are left with these choices: humanism or Bible believing Christianity. They do not mix. They oppose one another. Therefore, everyone must pick one or the other. Are you sure you wouldn’t want someone rather get saved?

    Finally, I was sincerely sorry to hear your ad hom. attacks on me and others that do not agree with you by setting up straw man attacks against us to defend yourself. I had hoped you would be above that. At no time did I ever accuse you nor anyone of not being saved; however, anyone who is saved would not recoil at the question, but instead answer confidently. I did say, however, that anyone that is truly saved would be beyond joyful to hear that one that was truly saved.

    If you have not accepted Jesus as your Saviour to be saved from Hell for eternity, would you not make that decision now? Read Rom 10:9-10. If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  37. ctwpub,

    Since you are now accusing me of espousing worldly philosophy along the lines of Colossians 2:8, let me be clear, I was attempting to counter your utilitarian philosophy which as a Christian I find to be an incredible ethical compromise. You said, "Dear Ken: You do claim to be saved. However, evidently you do not seem to care about even one that was saved from hell because, if you did, you would have stopped attacking Jack Chick's tracts."

    To me, it looks like you're saying since at least one person was saved, THEREFORE Jack Chick tracts are ok and THUS I should not question them. Because of one good result (at least one person was saved), don't criticize. That is the hollow and deceptive philosophy of utilitarianism: the end justifies the means. You want me to suspend critical thinking and biblical analysis because of the result. I will not buy into your worldly philosophy. As a Christian, I was trying to tell you that the ends do not justify the means. Thus, just because people are saved at Benny Hinn crusades (the end / results) does not justify the fraud and antics (the means).

    Instead, I tried to show you that as Christians we must use the right means to the right ends, because ethics matter. We are trying to model the character of Christ. So neither defrauding people with false miracles nor scaring children with hellfire are acceptable means.

    We should aim to share the good news as Jesus shared it. He did not pass out scary, violent tracts to children in order to scare the hell out of them so that they would believe. Neither should we.

    On MANY occasions Jesus shares the good news with individuals, like Nicodemus, the rich young ruler, the Samaritan woman, Matthew, Zaccheus, etc. You are certainly correct in saying, "It is a fact in the Bible that Jesus preached more about hell than of heaven, explaining in grave detail what would be expected in that place." Yes, but in sharing the good news, can you show me even ONE example of Jesus presenting it like Jack Chick does? Where does Jesus ever say, "Go to hell or Believe in me"? You may be right in saying that this is the consequence people face, but I am more concerned about sharing the good news in the same way that Jesus shared it. Did he tell the Samaritan woman she would be going to hell if she chose not to accept the Jewish Messiah? Nope. How about Nicodemus, did Jesus say to him, Burn in fire or be born again? Nope.

    Your doctrine of hell may be correct, but my point all along has been that Jesus does not present hell as a way of pressuring people to become believers. He does not scare people into the kingdom, nor should we.

    It's almost ironic that you accuse me of ad homenim attacks. You who have no name but claim to represent a business. You come on my blog and leave a comment here boldly declaring that I am not a Christian. Who made you judge of whether people are truly saved? Jesus forbade such action (Matt 7:1-5; Matt 13:24-30; John 12:47-48).

    I am a repentant sinner who found mercy and grace when I turned to Christ in faith. He has transformed my life and I live to love and serve him in this world. God has gifted me with discernment and I am exercising that gift when I review Jack Chick tracts and conclude that they are an inappropriate way for schoolchildren to share their faith. To promote the use of such fear-based violent material brings shame upon the church.

    If people are offended, they should be offended by the message of the gospel, not by unacceptable tracts. There's no reason to be offending these parents by giving scary, violent material to their children. It's hard enough witnessing to people as it is, we really don't need Christians ruining opportunities to share the good news.

  38. Isn't the good news all about that Jesus saved us from hell? Even if He doesn't say hell or heaven as you explain ( but I see where He references it many times), isn't it still the case? I don't see in the Bible where Jesus actually says, I AM GOD, yet He is, so with your philosophy Ken, you'd say we cannot tell people He is God because He didn't say the actual words? He also didn't say rapture and many other Christian based beliefs, does that eradicate all those doctrines also? I don't know where you will end up with this reasoning, and it concerns many readers who I have talked too, but do not comment. I do, and by the way, if you need my name...Pebbles it is. Thank I hope I put your suspicious of who I am to rest. Have a great day.


  39. I can think of only two Pebbles: one with the last name Flintstone and the other is the name of a cat which belongs to Susan Boyle from Britain's Got Talent. I doubt that you are either one. I have no idea why you want to make me suspicious as to who you are, "Pebbles." If you and "many" of my readers are so concerned about where I'll end up with my reasoning, it seems like it would be appropriate for you to contact me by email or phone.

    For now, let me try to clarify some points which seem to be confusing.

    Isn't the good news all about that Jesus saved us from hell?

    I think there's more to it than that. While that is true it is one aspect. How about forgiveness of sins? Receiving the power to do what is right? How about the experience of knowing that we are loved by God? The good news is that Jesus reigns and we might find true life in submitting to him.

    But, I concede your point. Yes we are saved from hell. I have never denied this nor have I ever said that Jesus does not teach about heaven and hell -- he certainly does. My point is that when Jack Chick presents the gospel, he says you are going to hell, unless you believe in Jesus, BUT Jesus himself NEVER uses this approach when he is sharing the good news. Does that concern you? It concerns me. Chick would've told the Samaritan woman that she and her five husbands were going to hell. By contrast, Jesus offered her the water of life. I am only saying that I would rather base my approach to evangelism on the example of Jesus rather than the tracts of Jack Chick.

    Pebbles, let me try to clarify this other point you raised: I don't see in the Bible where Jesus actually says, I AM GOD, yet He is, so with your philosophy Ken, you'd say we cannot tell people He is God because He didn't say the actual words?

    NO, I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying I'd like to tell people about Jesus the way he did himself rather than using the "Turn or Burn" approach found in the Jack Chick tracts. I am not denying the eternal penalty of hell, I am questioning why you would make this the main reason for someone to come to faith in Jesus. As for the deity of Jesus, I do not think it is as hidden in the gospels as you suggest. Why is Jesus crucified? Is it not on the charge of blasphemy -- that he claimed to be God? And what does the Roman centurion say when Jesus dies? "Surely this was the Son of God."

    He also didn't say rapture and many other Christian based beliefs, does that eradicate all those doctrines also?
    I have not eradicated any doctrines. I have only questioned why you would make the doctrine of hell the central part of your presentation of the gospel. The gospel is good news, how about sharing some of that, just like Jesus did?

    Pebbles, I don't understand what I've said that concerns you so much. I am more interested in telling people about the gospel in the way that Jesus did rather than using the Jack Chick tract approach. I thought we all generally agreed that as Christians our goal is to be "like Christ." So why are you so concerned about this Christian who wants to share the good news as Jesus did rather than trying to scare the hell out of people?

  40. Ken you have made the statement many times...scaring the hell out of people...I think the need is to scare people out of hell, nut wait, hell is eternal...once there no one leaves...I'm sure everyone there right now would wish someone had told them of this horrible the end of the day Ken, it really is turn or burn, because the are only two options, heaven for all eternity or hell, yes hell! Pebbles

  41. Well, Ken: I am very, very glad to hear that you are a professing Christian. As such, I just want to hear you to admit the truth after checking your opinion against the Bible.

    After finally boiling it all down, your main point seems to be that Jesus did not preach Hellfire and brimstone. If you believe that, you are not reading your Bible; cf. Jude 23; Mark 9:43-48.

    Finally, and in sum:
    1. Again: Satan is not against good morals and ethics, just the gospel. So, ask yourself: a.) is the doctrine in the tracts Biblical? And, b.) Does the bible say in Jude 22-23, “And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire;…”? If so, there is nothing to dislike.

    2. Jesus did not draw cartoons. He preached using parables instead.

    3. Again, Benny Hinn’s ministry is not the same as Chick’s tract ministry. One is false doctrine, the other is good Bible doctrine.

    4. You wrote: “Your doctrine of hell may be correct, but my point all along has been that Jesus does not present hell as a way of pressuring people to become believers. He does not scare people into the kingdom, nor should we.”

    …Again, you never did address Jude 23. Also cf. Jesus’ description of Hell in Mark 9:43-48 – HE SAYS IT THREE TIMES AND TELLS THEM TO GO SO FAR AS CUTTING OFF LIMBS AND POKING OUT THEIR EYES! Are you going to say Jesus was to morbid now? I don’t think it would matter what tone of voice He said that in. It’s likely the words were VERY shocking to the audience!

    5. I never said you weren’t a Christian. I asked the question. That is not the same.

    6. Again, you didn’t answer my question. “WHAT ARE YOU SAVED FROM?” If your answer is an eternity in Hell, and it is if you are truly saved, then we can finally rest. There is nothing wrong with the tracts, just your opinion of them.

  42. Anonymous,

    Where do you find this stuff? "hell is eternal...once there no one leaves."

    Malachi 4:1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

    Does verse 1 sound eternal, I think not? If all is consumed there is nothing left.

    4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

    4:3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do [this], saith the LORD of hosts.

    The wicked shall be ashes under the soles of the righteous feet nonexistent.

    Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

    In the above verse hell is cast into the lake of fire it too becomes nonexistent once consumed.

    I repeat where do you get this stuff?

    Furthermore, in Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
    9:6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any [thing] that is done under the sun.

    There's more if you like.

    BTW all the above scriptures do not contradict each other they are in total harmony.

  43. Pebbles:

    You wrote, Ken you have made the statement many times...scaring the hell out of people... at the end of the day Ken, it really is turn or burn, because the are only two options, heaven for all eternity or hell, yes hell!

    As kind of a quick way to summarize Chick's approach, I have said that he tries to scare the hell out of people so that they will believe. For example, the Oops tract ends with a boy finding himself in hell and some demon explaining to him that he did not accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour. The next page invites the reader to trust in Jesus. So the logic is simple: get you scared of hell and then ask you to believe. So after reading this tract the reason a person would become a Christian is to avoid hell.

    While you and Jack may think this "turn or burn" approach is great, I'm trying to show you that it is NOT biblical. You guys lack the support of Jesus.

    The longest example we have of Jesus sharing the good news is with the Samaritan woman in John 4. He offers her water that will quench her thirst and well up inside her to eternal life. Jesus identifies the wreck that her life has been having had more than five husbands. He invites her to worship God. Then Jesus identifies himself as the Messiah that she and her people have been waiting for.

    By contrast, Jack's tract would tell this Samaritan woman that she's going to burn in hell for her adultery and promiscuity, unless she chooses to believe in Jesus.

    Pebbles, those are two VERY different approaches to witnessing. I choose Jesus' approach and not Jack's because at the end of the day, I must be faithful to Jesus and do my best to do what he did. My job as a Christian is to become like Christ and for me that does not mean becoming like Chick.

    This does not mean that I disagree with your conclusion, Pebbles. You are completely correct to say there the are only two options, heaven for all eternity or hell. Again, I will say clearly I am not denying the reality of hell. The question here is about how we witness to nonbelievers. Jack tells them straight that they are going to hell unless they believe, but Jesus does not do this. Yes, Jesus teaches about hell but I'm looking at what Jesus does when sharing the good news with someone. When witnessing to someone, he does not tell that person they are going to hell (ex. Samaritan woman, Nicodemus, rich young ruler, Matthew)

    Pebbles, the people I share the gospel with are often times in desperate life situations -- they are living in conditions as close to hell on earth as possible. I offer them hope that God can help them where everyone else has failed. I tell them about God's power to forgive and his power that can help them overcome the addiction that has ruined them. They don't need some self-righteous preacher telling them that they are going to hell. I hope you had a chance to view the clip of the preacher from The Waltons and to read what I wrote there.

    You really have a choice to make. Do you want to approach people with the good news like Jesus did or would you rather approach them like Jack Chick tracts do? I choose Jesus and I think people will find him far more compelling than Jack.

  44. Hi ctwpub:

    I'm not sure what else I can say because it doesn't seem like you're trying to understand what I'm saying. That makes dialogue very difficult.

    You said, I just want to hear you to admit the truth after checking your opinion against the Bible.
    After finally boiling it all down, your main point seems to be that Jesus did not preach Hellfire and brimstone. If you believe that, you are not reading your Bible; cf. Jude 23; Mark 9:43-48.

    No that's NOT my main point. This is why I think you're not really trying to hear or understand me. I have said many times now that Jesus taught extensively about hell. And I have said many times now what my main point is. Here it is again: Jack Chick's approach of scaring the hell out of people so they will accept Jesus is not Biblical -- no one has shown a Biblical example of this "turn or burn" message. This is not how Jesus (or the apostles) present the good news to people in the New Testament. Indeed, my next blog post is titled Jack Chick tracts: Are they an appropriate way for schoolchildren to share their faith? It's very clear that my main point is whether it is appropriate to scare nonbelievers with a message about hell in order to get them to believe. I am not questioning the truth that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23) and will be judged and sent to hell unless they accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour. I am questioning whether Jack Chick is right to try to scare people with a message about hell in order to get them to believe. Jesus uses a very different approach.

    You see, ctwpub, I have checked the Bible, and Jesus does not tell the Samaritan woman she's going to hell unless she accepts him as Saviour (John 4). He calls Matthew to follow him, but does not tell him that he's going to hell if he chooses not to follow (Matt 9:9-13). When the rich young ruler comes to Jesus wanting eternal life, Jesus tells him to keep the commandments and then to sell all his possessions, but does not tell the man to his face that he's going to hell if he doesn't do it (Matt 19:16-30). If these people had been given a Jack Chick tract they all would've been told directly that they were going to hell unless they accepted Jesus' message.

    To me the choice is simple. Either you trust that Jesus knows best how to share the good news with people or you decide to preach a different message like the one Jack Chick presents. I sincerely recommend that we try to pattern our witnessing efforts from the example of Jesus rather than the tracts of Jack.

  45. Hi ctwpub, part 2,

    You said, I just want to hear you to admit the truth after checking your opinion against the Bible.... your main point seems to be that Jesus did not preach Hellfire and brimstone. If you believe that, you are not reading your Bible; cf. Jude 23; Mark 9:43-48.

    In the previous part of this reply, I addressed your misunderstanding of my main point. Now to the other part, you want me to read these two Scripture passages, see that I'm wrong and admit it to you. And, then, presumably buy some Jack Chick tracts from your store! ;)

    Recently at the blog where I publish daily readings from C.S. Lewis, I posted a quote from Lewis in which he contrasts using the Bible as an encyclopedia to back up what we want to say versus being steeped in the Word like tea so as to be flavoured in its overall message. It concerns me, ctwpub, when people do things like quote one part of a sentence from the Bible to make a point, like you do by referring to Jude 23. When I look at Jude 20-23, I don't see how this verse would be relevant to our discussion about Jack Chick tracts present the gospel well or not.

    Jude 20-23
    20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
    22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

    It's pretty clear that Jude is speaking to believers (see also v17). He is concerned about false teachers dividing the church (Jude 18-19), so in vv20-23, he exhorts us to build ourselves up in the faith. This is a great message to us as believers.

    But Jude is also concerned about those in the church who might listen to the false teachers. In verses 22-23, Jude tells us about three groups of believers who are affected by the false teaching. In v22, Jude tells us to be merciful to those who listen to these false teachers and start to waver in their belief and even doubt -- we need to encourage them to stick with the truth. In v23a, save others by snatching them from the fire, Jude is telling us with some believers we may need to confront them more directly about the false teaching they are coming to believe and in this way, we will save them from judgment (fire). Then, finally, in v23b, even to those who've pursued the false teaching and are corrupted by it, we are to show mercy, try to bring them back to the truth, but show appropriate fear toward being influenced by this false teaching.

    Jude is telling us what to do when people in the church start turning away from the truth of the gospel. He's urging us to minister to doubters, defiant persons and even deceived people. In other words, this passage from Jude has nothing to do with Jack Chick tracts which are addressed to nonbelievers. Jude is speaking to believers urging us to be strong in our faith and reach out to those who are being deceived by false teachers. There is the warning of fire, which is probably judgment rather than hell, but that's a warning to believers who accept false teaching. It's not addressed to nonbelievers.

    see part 3...

  46. ctwpub, part 3,

    Likewise, Mark 9:43-48 is spoken to followers of Jesus, not to nonbelievers. Yes, Jesus warns of hellfire in this passage. He's telling his followers they must deal radically with sin in their lives. He warns them, "If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out." Serious stuff! Jesus uses hyperbole to make the point that we must deal radically with sin. It will affect us to cut sin out of our lives, but this is better than the alternative of holding onto our sin and finding ourselves in hell for eternity. So Jesus is clearly speaking to his followers. They've just been arguing about who's the greatest disciple and they were jealous about someone else acting in Jesus' name. Jesus tells them (and us), we need to change. Sin must be routed out of our lives.

    It seems to me that Jesus quite often emphasizes the seriousness of his message to believers by warning them of hellfire. If we have been saved from hell, why would be go on acting like those destined for hell? That is something we should fear.

    You see, though, this is backing up my point. The teaching about hell is directed toward believers NOT nonbelievers. When Jesus goes about witnessing to a nonbeliever, it is not hell that he talks about --again, see his encounter with the Samaritan woman (John 4) or his calling of Matthew (Matt 9:9-13) or his message to the rich young ruler (Matt 19:16-30). Jesus does not witness to nonbelievers by telling them they are going to hell, instead he gives them positive reasons to believe (living water, eternal life, purpose, freedom).

    Yes, Jesus preaches about hell, usually warning his followers that they must get serious about their discipleship.

    ctwpub, I hope that helps you understand where I'm coming from. I won't be buying any of your Jack Chick tracts because I think it's more important to go about doing Jesus' work in the same Jesus did it. I want to come alongside the Samaritan woman, the tax collector and the wealthy person, the way Jesus did rather than armed with a Chick tract.

  47. So, you believe that these disciples would go to hell if they didn't radically deal with their sin? Jesus IS talking to the unsaved, because the saved will never have to fear the fires in Hell.

    Sorry, Ken. I guess we're just talking about two different Jesus's. Mine, (found in the KJV, BTW) warned people about Hell, taught a narrow minded "do as I say" no-compromise gospel, in which you can be saved from Hell's fire for eternity. Yours comes from some man-made book (see the copyright to find out whom) and is an open-minded, do what you want to do, come-as-you-are,leave-as-you-came, compromising, neo-evangelical, respector of persons that consequently leaves wiggle room for lies and sin. It's not the one that died on the cross for you, yet you serve him.

    You are left to make things up, because you don't want to admit the truth. And, until you repent, you are leading children like Andy, and unsaved people that read your blog astray. God's Word has alot to say about those kind and millstones, and sea-depths. If this isn't you, then you have nothing to be worried about. If this is, you better do what you know to do.

    Oh, Andy? Mark 9:43-48, esp. "...where the fire is not quenched..." x3

  48. ctwpub

    In Mark 9:43, 45), that you have mentioned is taken by some and as yourself to mean that the fires of hell will continue throughout all eternity. Another text shows that such an interpretation is erroneous, for the fire in Jerusalem lighted by the Chaldeans was not quenched (Jer. 17:27), though it died out when the work of devastation was accomplished.

    The same is true in Jude verse 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

    Are the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha still burning today in eternal fire? We both know they are not, they burned until they were consumed and there was nothing left to burn.

    “Fire” is the means by which punishment for sin is inflicted (Matt. 18:8; 25:41). That “fire” is “everlasting,” does not signify that it is of endless duration. This is clear from Jude 7. Elsewhere, the Scriptures refer to the fires of the last day as “unquenchable” (Matt. 3:12), meaning that they will not be extinguished until they have burned up the last vestiges of sin and sinners.

    You remind me of Tom Cruise in the movie "A Few Good Men" when Jack Nicholson tells him "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH."

  49. ctwpub,

    I've just checked and the KJV does advise us to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
    With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
    Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
    There is one...One Lord, one faith...
    (Eph 4:1-5)

    You have been speaking about Jesus and yet you do not sound like him. Once again, you accuse me of not being a Christian. Why? Because I refused to accept the ideas from Jack Chick which you hold in higher esteem than the Scriptures themselves? That's incredible!

    Please try to see the risk of this position you are taking. It is not me that you are at odds with, it is Jesus. In his longest recorded speech of sharing the gospel with someone, Jesus does not tell the Samaritan woman that she is going to hell. He does not try to scare her with a message of hell so that she will believe (John 4). Instead her offers her living water. This woman comes to believe filled with hope, having experienced acceptance and love. She tells everyone in her town about Jesus!

    Now if Jesus had been more like Jack Chick, the message to this woman would've been radically different. Jesus would have told her that she was a sinner on her way to hell. He would have tried to scare her with the heat of the flames. And then warned her that the only way out of hell was by believing in him.

    While you may choose Jack Chick, I choose the Jesus of John 4. I choose the Jesus who calls Nicodemus to be born again, rather than trying to scare him with threats of hell (John 3). Jack Chick might have told Matthew and Zaccheus about those really hot places in hell for traitorous tax collectors like them, but I choose the Jesus who looks at them with compassion and invites them to follow him. (to be continued)

  50. (part 2)

    ctwpub, the problem with Jack Chick
    is simply this: Jesus never witnesses to someone in the way that Chick does. You have yet to show me one passage of Scripture where Jesus in sharing the good news with someone tries to scare them with hell unless they accept him. That is the basic approach used in Chick tracts, but it is not the approach of Jesus. The gospels of the NT would read very differently if Jesus had told the Samaritan woman, Nicodemus, Matthew and Zaccheus that they were bound for hell unless they accepted him. People would view Jesus as a tyrant and bully, rather than as a compassionate Saviour and Lord.

    You condemn me for choosing Jesus over Jack Chick! And you condemn me for reading some Bible other than the King James which was translated into English over 400 years ago -- the other Bible I read when I studied the verses from Jude you asked me to read was the Greek New Testament. I am reading the Greek words written by Jude and you accuse me of making things up. No, it's clear that Jude is addressing believers not unbelievers -- I know that's hard because when you cut out that one little phrase it sounded good, but you must be fair with Holy Scripture and at least read it sentence by sentence. Unless you have studied Elizbethan era English, you may be finding the language of the King James Bible to be too challenging to give you a clear message. The "And" which occurs at the beginning of Jude 22 & 23 is there to show that these verses are continuations of the idea started in the sentence of verses 20-21. I guess I am saying that if you properly understand Elizabethan English, the KJV is just as clear as the Greek words written by Jude -- believers should attempt to save other believers from the fire of judgment when they begin to go after false teaching.

    Instead, you choose to condemn me and warn me of the judgment to come on me for leading my readers astray like Andy. I'm afraid you've given some of my readers a good chuckle at that idea, ctwpub. Those who know Andy and who know me wouldn't for a moment think that I have led Andy astray -- a man who is my elder and man of strong convictions.

    You have tried hard to defend Jack Chick. I'm sorry to disappoint you but I will not repent for choosing Jesus' approach to witnessing over and against Jack Chick tracts.

    Sorry if it hurts your business of selling these things, but I would recommend against people buying these Jack Chick tracts which are filled with fear, violence, threats and content inappropriate for children. The gospel as Jesus shared it is about hope, life change, becoming fully alive and living to make a difference to others.

    If you'd read other posts at my blog, you might have seen that I'm passionate about sharing the Christian faith and believe that we must do better at it. See, for example, my post The Bridge to Nowhere.

  51. Just real quick and I must end this here:

    1. If you believe God He will show you the truth, not in the Greek, but in English in your case (...trusting your main language is English). cf. Psm 12:6-7: God will preserve His Word to all generations. BTW, you do not have the original Greek available to you, and schools do not teach that Greek anymore. So, you might as well trust God's one English translation promised to us in Psm's 12.

    2. Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back, your blog is not very popular or influential with it's few visitors. Believe me; I am not in danger losing any business for this; God is in control here. The people that do support our ministry would agree with God's TRUE Word anyhow.

    3. Let's hypothetically take for a second that Jude 22-23 is talking about saved people, ie. "having the Spirit", God STILL encouraged fear when needed. Would He then not encourage fear for the lost? Again, cf. Mark 9 for the answer.

    4. I do love you, but, like Jesus, I hate even the garment spotted by the flesh. cf. Jude 23

    5. Oh, I never once did say you weren't saved but, though you have brought it up so many times!

    You say you are passionate, and you are, but could you have been deceived by someone? Maybe blinded by the pride of some "higher" education? Someday we will both know the complete truth when the crowds gather around the throne that were saved because someone did not stop using this Bible method of preaching in Jude; "some by compassion (ie. Samaritan woman at the well; Nicodemus; et al.) and some by fear (the audience in Mark 9 and anyone else that ever said, ‘I don't want to go to Hell!’)" The WHOLE Bible in context, pls!

    Gotta go now. Thank you for being fair about posting my comments and giving your spirited replies, although we may not agree that the method of Chick’s tracts is not wrong.

    Oh, Andy? Seems you are more influenced by Hollywood than even the Bible. You can't twist the Bible to mean what you want, or, in your case, to what you want it NOT to mean. Sorry, there is a Hell, which will be cast into the lake of fire, both of which will burn eternally.



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