Friday, October 8, 2010

Jack Chick tracts: Are they an appropriate way for schoolchildren to share their Christian faith?

If you’ve read the previous post, you’ll know how this Grade 3 boy who has been eagerly sharing his Christian faith at his school in Halifax, Nova Scotia has been told to stop handing out Jack Chick tracts. The boy’s father, Sean Bonitto, is an evangelist who heads up International Deliverance Ministries and he commented on that previous post. He was concerned that I’m misrepresenting the message of the Jack Chick tracts. So I’ve proposed a short debate so that everyone can see and evaluate the arguments for and against the use of these Jack Chick tracts at schools. After viewing this updated report from Atlantic CTV News (Monday, Oct 4), Sean will give his Yes answer and then I will give my No answer to the question “Is passing out Jack T. Chick tracts an appropriate way for children to share their faith?”

So what do you think? (Leave a comment.)

Are Jack Chick tracts an appropriate way for schoolchildren to share their Christian faith?

Sean Bonitto, Evangelist 
(International Deliverance Ministries)

evangelist_sean_bonitto_the_reality_of_hell_part_2The Bible teaches us to, "...Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16). The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the true born again Christian to preach the gospel to every man woman and child, so that they can be saved from the damnation of an eternal hell (Matthew 25:41), by repenting of their sin, and believing and trusting the Lord Jesus Christ by faith alone for their salvation (John 3:16). 

As a result we must obey the clear teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ, by demonstrating the love of God for lost souls on their way to hell, through preaching the truth of the gospel to them, so that they can repent and be saved only through the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).hellfire The Bible says, love, "Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth" (1Corinthians 13:6). We do not in any way shape or form preach hatred to any one, but we do preach the truth in love against false teachings, ideologies, and philosophies that are used by Satan to damn precious souls to hell (1 Peter 5:8). The Bible commands us to, "... have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them " (Ephesians 5:11). The word “reprove” means to expose the darkness, sin and lies of Satan in order for mankind to see the light of the gospel, repent of their sin and be saved through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 13:3; John 14:6).

As a result of the aformentioned commands from Holy Scripture and many other verses that I have mentioned (Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8; 1 Timothy 4:1-8), we must evangelize and preach against the false teachings of Islam, Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Atheism, Homosexuality, Adultery, Fornication, Apostate lukewarm churches, etc, and all mankind that have not repented of their sin and warn them "to flee from the wrath to come" (Matthew 3:8) in hell, and how God has "commendeth his love"(Romans 5:8) to us by sending the Lord Jesus Christ to die on the cross to save all mankind from their sins, if we repent and trust Him by faith alone for our salvation (Luke 13:3; John 14:6). 

Reading-a-Jack-Chick-tractThe Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms section 2, and 15 give everyone the right to freedom of religion and expression and we are only demonstrating our Canadian rights by handing out gospel tracts and witnessing our Christian faith at a public school. The Chick tracts that are used are not so called "hate literature" at all, because they do not express hatred to anyone, but speak honestly against any teaching that violates and contradicts the Bible that has the potential of damning souls to hell, if one believes that false teaching, and dies in their sin without true repentance and faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21). Also for one to claim that they are "scaring" people to salvation or using "scare tactics" means that they either question the serious doctrine of eternal hell fire as recorded in the Bible (Mark 9:43-50), or they do not believe in a literal hell, and have aligned themselves with the false prophets of today who are proclaiming a false gospel (2 Timothy 4:1-4; Jude 3-4). 

Ken you have said, "Jack Chick hates Catholics, Jews and Muslims." This statement is absolutely not true and defamatory. Can you produce a Chick tract where he says this? He only speaks against the false doctrine or theology that these individuals adhere to that contradicts the teachings of the Bible, and that the Holy Scriptures teach that these false doctrines will send them to hell if they die rejecting the truth of the gospel (John 3:16; John 8:24; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9).  How about this one, Sean? Jack says Jesus HATES this false religious system, ie. Roman Catholicism, "The Mother of Abominations" and "all those with her" -- sounds like HATE to me (tract: Are Roman Catholics Christians?) My Friend you also have made the comment that "Some of these Chick tracts have even been banned from distribution in Canada because they violate Canada's hate crime legislation" before doing proper research that this statement is not only misleading, but completely false due to the fact that Chick tracts have never been banned in Canada at any point in time. There was an RCMP investigation on some Chick comic books concerning Roman Catholicism in the 1980s where they concluded that it was not hate literature, and none of the tracts have every been banned. I hope you will clarify this fact with your readers To clarify, I clicked on Sean's link and it actually says, "Two of the books were banned from entry into Canada on instructions by a Director of Canada Customs and Excise on the grounds of 'immorality and indecency.' We challenged that... in Court and the order was rescinded."(see They can also call the Canadian distributor for Chick tracts in Canada (1-866-567-2700).

Ken Symes, Samaritan XP blogger

children-boarding-school-bus Jesus loves children. In the gospels, Jesus welcomes children, blesses them and rebukes adults who fail to see their importance (Matt 18:1-6; 19:13-15; Mark 9:33-36), but no where are we told that he scares the little children by telling them all about hell (n/a). And for that matter, does Jesus ever attempt to scare someone with the threat of hell so that they will chose to believe in him instead?

Seriously, does Jesus preach “turn or burn” as Jack Chick does? Do you remember the rich young ruler? Jesus said he would have to give away his money in order to receive eternal life and that’s not something the ruler could do so he walked away. How the story would’ve been different if only Jesus had thought to threaten the man with eternal hellfire, then maybe he would’ve changed his mind! That’s what Jack Chick would’ve done! Instead Mark 10:21 tells us that “Jesus looked at him and loved him.” Jesus tells three stories in Luke 15 to explain why he was welcoming sinners (instead of judging them like the Pharisees) and the answer is that they were lost and Jesus loved them. Jesus goes out at great risk to rescue, he searches diligently and he waits patiently, but no where does the chapter say that Jesus goes about telling people they’re going to hell unless they repent and believe. How about the despised tax collectors or the divorced Samaritan woman? Does Jesus warn them about hell in order to get them to repent and believe? Nope (Matthew 9:9-13; Luke 19:1-9; John 4:1-42). Jesus (as portrayed by Jim Caviezel) - pencil drawing by K Hinson

You see, Sean, as evangelists, as those called by God to share the good news, I believe we have a responsibility to learn from Jesus himself and to go about sharing the good news as Jesus shared it. Jack’s “turn or burn” approach to evangelism is not really based on the example of Jesus. And if I were to choose between following Jack or following Jesus, I will definitely choose Jesus. Of course, if we follow Jesus’ example, we might get the same reputation he had of being “a friend of ‘sinners’” (Matt 11:19) — I can’t imagine Jack Chick having that kind of reputation! Personally, I’m tired of too many of us in the church having a reputation of being self-righteous hypocrites. It’s time we tried to follow Jesus’ example.

Before you accuse me of rejecting the doctrine of hell, let me assure you that I believe in hell. Jesus teaches about it extensively, but my point is that unlike Jack Chick, Jesus never directly says to someone “Believe in me or you’ll go to hell.” His threats of hell seem to be reserved mostly for the self-righteous and to that end when you referred to Mark 9:43-50, you missed the first verse of that passage (42) which is the most relevant to our discussion: “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.” We need to be extra careful about the way we approach children with the good news. Jesus is pretty serious about this point and about the consequences of mistreating children.

In the Chick tract "Happy Halloween," Timmy is hit by a car while trick or treating. Don't you think this has the potential to give a child nightmares? I see no reason why we should be literally scaring the hell out of little children by showing them frightful depictions of hell, demons and Satan. I have no problem at all with children talking to children about their faith, but I would have a problem with someone giving my child one of these Jack Chick tracts. Page 1 of the Oops! tract shows a man dying from a speed overdose. I would not let my kids watch a TV show that started with a scene like that. It’s not that we’re sheltered; in fact, I’m involved in ministry to crack and drug addicts, but I see no reason why my children need to be exposed to such things at their age. More to the point, I think many children would be scared of Chick’s drawings of hell (pages 17-20 of Oops!). Read the comments to the previous post on this blog—you’ll see other parents agree with me. Don’t you care what they think?

Park-West-School I just don’t see how the issue at Park West School is about religious freedom. A parent complained about the violent nature of these tracts. Thus, the issue is whether it is appropriate to use Jack Chick tracts to scare the hell out of children so that they will accept Jesus. I wouldn’t want this to happen to my children and I am a Christian. As I demonstrated above, there is no indication in the gospels that Jesus ever scared children (or anyone else for that matter) with hellfire in order to get them to believe. Plus what other parents think matters to me. I, therefore, conclude that it is inappropriate to attempt to frighten children with the threat of going to hell and oppose the distribution of Jack Chick tracts to children.

In fairness to Sean, when i invited him to this debate, I told him he could have the last word. I have published his "rebuttal" or "last response" in the Comments section because we've already run quite long on this post and so much of his last submission seemed to demand a response from me so I thought I could handle this easier in the comments. I trust that he will accept this as the editorial discretion of the blogger.


  1. "God loves people and really wants to rescue them from the emptiness and bankruptcy of sin and its consequences."

    That's a quote from Ken Symes himself from his other blog, seems you and the boy are both warning people of hell, that's the only consequences there are after all. I guess even the message has reached you, Praise the Lord!!

  2. Hello Ken. This is my second and final response in this Debate. (Part 1)

    My friend you have not, "...rightly dividing the word of truth"(2Timothy 2:15), but unfortunately have perverted the Word of God to justify a false gospel message. You quote Mark 9:33-36 and argue that the Lord Jesus Christ never "scares litte children by telling them about hell." Yet you fail to quote the rest of the chapter of Mark 9:37-50 where the Lord Jesus Christ talks clearly about the eternal fire of hell three times with children present....

  3. Sean: Those are strong accusations. How have I not rightly divided the Word of Truth? Perhaps you feel that it somehow builds up your position in the debate to accuse me of perverting "the Word of God to justify a false gospel message," but where have I done this? You like to throw verses of Scripture like they were daggers. But the meaning of a verse of Scripture depends on its context (indeed as the saying goes, "A text without a context is pretext" for saying whatever one wishes).

    You quote 2 Tim 2:15 at me as if you are in a position to judge me for not handling the word of truth correctly, but in making that accusation don't you see that you are violating 2 Tim 2:14? "Warn them before God against quarreling about words..."

    Now, as for Mark 9:33-36 + Mark 9:37-50, sure it's true that Jesus does mention hell three times and children are probably present during this talk (though that is not entirely clear). You are missing the point. Jack Chick would say to those children and the adults, "You are all going to hell. Repent and believe." My point is that Jesus does NOT speak like Jack Chick. Instead, Jesus warns of the foolishness of holding onto sin in our lives when the risk is that it will put us in hell. So he says, whatever the cost, we must rid ourselves of habitual sin. "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" (Mark 9:43). Of course this is hyperbole or intense exaggeration to make the point that we must not go on sinning. Do what it takes to stop. Turn to Jesus.

    I don't think any children went to bed that night scared that they were going to die and go to hell. And that is the kind of nightmare they could get from reading Jack Chick tracts.

  4. Hello Ken. This is my second and final response in this Debate. (Part 2)

    Jesus has continually warned multitudes about the seriousness of hell fire, if they do not repent of their sin and trust Him by faith alone for their salvation. Consider the following. " I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins"(John 8:24); "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned"(Mark 16:15-16), "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God""(John 3:18), " ...except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish"(Luke 13:3), "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"(John 3:16). Jesus clearly has preached that if one does not repent and receive him by faith they will "perish"(John 3:16;Luke 13:3), die in theirs sin and go to an eternity in hell(John 3:16). After the rich young ruler refuses to repent and be saved, the Lord Jesus Christ says, "How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!"(Luke 18:24). Ken if they do not enter the kingdom of God, where else will they go? Jesus is clearly teaching that they will go to hell(Luke13:3). He preaches about the horror of hell in Mark 9:43-50; Luke 16:19;Matthew 25:41, John the Baptist has preached on hell (Matthew 3:7-10), and "...Felix trembled"(Acts 24:25) when the Apostle Paul preached about "...righteousness, temperance, and judgement to come..."(Acts 24:25).

  5. YES to all that Scripture, Sean. I have said clearly now that I do believe in a literal hell. It's an awful place.

    My point of contention with Jack Chick is about how to approach evangelism, the sharing of the Christian faith. Chick tracts usually work to one of two conclusions: "You're in hell now because you rejected Jesus" or "The choice is ours: Satan in hell or Jesus in heaven?" You have yet to show me one example of Jesus give people that kind of choice. He calls them to repentance, if they are ready to turn from the life of selfishness and sin, he can change their lives. Through faith, he can give them a new and eternal life marked by hope and joy, even in suffering.

    I am not denying the teaching about hell, I am denying that Jesus ever called anyone to faith on the basis that they would rot in hell if they did not respond. Jesus does not threaten people with hell to get them to believe. The rich young ruler walks away. Matthew and Zaccheus follow Jesus, leaving their former way of life behind. The Samaritan woman is changed and runs off to tell everyone in her village about Jesus. The people who come to believe in Jesus do not come to believe because Jesus scared them with threats of eternal punishment in hell. That is not his approach. It is the approach of Jack Chick and it therefore not a Christlike approach.

  6. Hello Ken. This is my second and final response in this Debate. (Part 3)

    Ken to my knowledge you have not made the correction concerning the false information you have made concerning chick tracks being banned in Canada. It is you that have used scare tactics because they never have been banned.

  7. Sean:

    The very link from that you give to support this claim says, "Two of the books were banned from entry into Canada on instructions by a Director of Canada Customs and Excise on the grounds of 'immorality and indecency.'" So you can't say they've never been banned.

    Yes, this order was rescinded, but for a time it was in place. Doesn't it concern you that this literature raises a red flag to some people in Customs and in the Attorney General's office? On the one hand you want to argue for your Constitutional right to freedom of religion, but on the other hand, you want to deny the importance of hate crime legislation. I think it's important and it's shameful when the church starts inciting hatred of any group. The panel of hatred toward Roman Catholics which I displayed in our post is shameful. On what basis could it be appropriate for Chick to incite Christians toward hatred of any other group?

    As for correction, I do regret not nailing down the fact that it was a temporary ban on a couple of Chick booklets. Based on this other quote from, I have sent an inquiry to the Attorney General's office to see if any action has been taken: "We are threatened by the appointment of a study committee, responsible to the Attorney-General of Ontario, at the urging of the office of the R.C. Archbishop of Toronto, to determine whether ALBERTO and DOUBLE-CROSS should be designated as 'Hate Literature,' and appropriate charges laid."

  8. Hello Ken. This is my second and final response in this Debate. (Part 4)

    Hell cannot be a scare tactic because it is real. You have rejected the gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ, because He warns sinners of the damnation of Hell(Mark 9:43-50). Mark 9:42 refers to those who offend the children from receiving the gospel, and this is exactly what you are doing with your false gospel message that will damn souls in hell (Gal1:1-10). The false prophets always rejected preaching about God's judgement that will occur on those who refuse to repent(2Peter 2:1-3), and the false prophets of today reject preaching about hell, repentance and sin(1 Timothy 4:1-8;Jude 3-4). The Gospel you have promoted is a false gospel that does not warn, " ...the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life..."(Ezekiel 3:18), and as a result their blood will be on your hands(Ezekiel 3:18).

  9. "Hell cannot be a scare tactic because it is real."

    No, I'm pretty sure that because hell is real, it can be used as a scare tactic. That's why it's scary when you tell a young child they are going to hell unless they believe in Jesus just as you do. That's scaring a child, plus intimidating, plus just plain wrong. And worst of all, there is no reason to do it. If you would be an evangelist like Jesus or Paul, you must give up this tactic of trying to scare the hell out of people.

    Fear-based decisions are short-lived. When the fear dissipates so does the decision.

    The Samaritan woman, Matthew, Zaccheus, the prodigal son, Nicodemus all turned to Jesus for better reasons than a fear of hell. That's Jesus' approach to evangelism. Quite different than Jack.

  10. Hello Ken. This is my second and final response in this Debate. (Part 5 - Conclusion)

    My concern is not what the parents think, but what God has said in his Word(Mark 16:15-16). They have the right to refuse the tracts and we have the right to distibute them because we love them, and do not want them to go to hell, but repent and trust Jesus by faith alone for their salvation(John 3:16). I pray that you will repent of this deception, reject the false gospel that you are promoting, turn from loving the world (star trek 2)(1John 2:15-17), and serve the Lord faithfully before it is too late(Hebrews 9:27).

    Praying for you.

    Evangelist Sean Bonitto

  11. I do care what the parents think. And I share their concern.

    Don't you see that you are contradicting yourself? Let me put in an ellipsis to show you: "My concern is not what the parents think... we have the right to distribute [the tracts] because we love them." I may not be the most loving person, but I do know that love must include respect and care for the other person. It makes no sense to say that you love them but don't care what they think.

    I don't think you understand the negative impact your approach is having on the church. The parents at this school who do not go to church might conclude that all Christians are like this. I sure hope they can understand that is not the case. I care what they think. And I agree with those who have expressed concerns about these Chick tracts which contain violence, scary images and inappropriate content for 7- and 8-year old children. And I am not the only Christian who thinks these tracts are not appropriate for children.

    Sean, I have no idea why you are so convinced that I am a false prophet or that I am preaching a false gospel. I almost laugh when you quote those verses from Galatians because I can read Galatians in the Greek language Paul wrote it in and I know its message well. The false gospel is one which tries to add something to faith alone. Just because I think Chick is wrong to try to scare the hell out of people does not mean that I believe a false gospel. Once again you are making a false equation:

    Jack Chick = Jesus Christ
    Jack Chick tracts = the gospel
    NO WAY
    Rejecting Chick = rejecting Christ

    I reject Chick's tracts, I do not think they are a faithful presentation of the gospel and I do not believe Chick is worthy of the adoration he is being given. These 3 statements cannot mean that I am a false prophet. They mean I have a brain, I can think, and I have spiritual discernment.

    That spiritual discernment tells me that it is not my job to scare people with threats of hell, my job is to offer hope of heaven and of a life transformed here and now through faith in Christ.

    P.S. I said that your quoting of Galatians to brand me as a false prophet almost made me laugh. I must confess, in closing, that your call for me to repent from Star Trek -- that did make me laugh ;) Real good!

    Live long and prosper.

  12. "God loves people and really wants to rescue them from the emptiness and bankruptcy of sin and its consequences."

    That's a quote from Ken Symes himself from his other blog, seems you and the boy are both warning people of hell, that's the only consequences there are after all. I guess even the message has reached you, Praise the Lord!!

  13. Sean, I take it, you have never read the book "How to win friends and Influence People."

    You use scare tactics, HOW SAD. It smacks of threatenings. I have read your posts there is no love displayed in wooing the lost, there is only fear. Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Can you relate?

    Jesus said in John 12:32 "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me." No fear tactics.

    God uses love to attract His creation to himself. Satan employs coercion and guilt for us to fall into his trap.

    In Matthew 25:41 it says that hellfire was prepared for the devil and his angels and not for His children. Although the fate of many concludes there as well because of their unbelief and rejection of Christ.

  14. Ken I'm with you on this. That guys approach is more likely to scare people away from Christ then to bring them to Christ. And you are right Jesus never did use scare tactics.

  15. Sean, after carefully looking at your posts, two things come to mind. First, you proclaim yourself to be someone who is simply obeying scripure but then proceed to use is at your whim to justify what you are saying. Many of the scriptural references you pointed to, you simply used out of context. If you present yourself as someone who is literally interpreting scripture and therefore doing as it comands; you put upon yourself a higher burden for correct interpretation, and exegesis! You sir are simply using scriture as catch phrases to justify your point. For example you present 1 Peter 5:8 as pertaining to non-believers...if you even look at the passage in a cursory manner or perhaps a the bolded title above the passage, you would see it is for believers to gaurd their faith. Also I took great delight in that in 1Peter 5:5 it says "God opposes he proud"...inlight of the tone of your posting.
    Secondly, in reviewing your posting I could not help but notice that I could not find anywhere in scripture where the disciples or anyone used a secondary "item" to present the Gospel message. The message had the power to stand on its own, convict on its own and transform on its why the need now for these tracts?
    Thridly, using your scriptural references and the bible as a whole...I do not see the need to rally against...but rather accept. You are presenting an argument that suggests the power of the gospel is in jeopardy of being defeated by these other supposed threats. Your reaction to this perceived threats is to use these "tools" to "reveal" the apparent that those who do not believe can make a choice. By doing this you are presenting to the nonbeliever that they are somehow all equal and they should simply choose the gospel. This does not lead to transformation and without transformation there is no lasting belief.
    I find it shocking that you would accuse Ken of not "rightly dividing the truth...when the very passage you use is in the context of "not quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen" and then goes on to say "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." A workman not ashamed lets the word of God stand on its own...not through little bookets...and well also correclty handles the word of right exegesis and not prooftexting...

    I feel for the other children in your son's school who know Jesus and have been living in a way that demonstrates a Christ their faith at school just became much more difficult!

  16. Well said Ken!

    Because I grew up in the fundamentalist church, Sean's viewpoint is very familiar. I'm not saying that all Christian churches preach the word in this manner, but many do. I am also aware that there is sadly only one person who can change Sean's heart and that is our Lord and Savior. I know it can happen, because it happened with me, although I was never as rigid as Sean. Scare tactics have been used since the beginning of Christianity to put the fear of God into people and to control them. One only has to take a walk back into early Christian history to understand this.

    The God I know, love and have a daily relationship with is one of peace, love and understanding. I had to finally leave the church to find some peace with my spirituality....sad isn't it? I've yet to find a church where I feel truly at home in and comfortable.

    There is a reason the churches are losing membership. Hypocrisy runs rampant within the church which has turned more and more people away, some even turning away from God. As most of us know, some of the most rebellious teens and young guys and gals are the Pastor's kids. I've seen it time and time again where the child that has been raised up under the stern, oppressing, domineering and religious parent openly rebels when he/she is able to exert their independence. I know a number of children who went in the opposite direction of how they were raised by their religious parents. Excessive drinking, drugs, partying, foul language, promiscuity and the list goes on. Some of these children come back to the Lord, but many do not.

    I have to wonder Sean if you consider these Jack Chick tracts appropriate for children of all ages. Is there an age cut off for you? Your son goes to an elementary school where there are 5, 6, and 7 yr olds. Do you consider these children old enough to view those horrendous and nightmarish tracts? What about the 3 or 4 yr old?

    While I recognize that Sean Bonitto's heart may be in the right place, how he and others like him go about preaching the gospel are turning believers and non-believers away from the church in droves and it's so very sad that they can't see this.

    I know Sean probably feels that I'm a fallen Christian and I need to repent and that he'll pray for me. I always love how these kinds of Christians always say..."I'll be praying for you". This ALWAYS comes across as very condescending by the way. I welcome all prayers, but I'm ok with my relationship with God...really! When I do wrong, the Lord lets me know and I immediately seek to change that which needs changing.

    Ken, I don't know you other than what I've read on your blog, but I can tell you are not promoting a false gospel as Sean has accused you of, oy vey! Thankfully God has given each of us free will and the discernment to differentiate between right and wrong.

    Sean, you do indeed throw scripture around like daggers. The thing with scripture however is everyone can use it to support their point of view. If all Christians believed the scripture translated to how you understand it, then there would only be the need of one Christian denomination (for lack of a better word). Funny how we have Baptist, Alliance, United, Methodist, Mennonite, Pentecostal, and on and on. If we are to believe what you tell us Sean, there are an awful lot of good Christian people who are preaching a false gospel. Thankfully I don't believe that tripe.

    This discussion is a good one however as it allows everyone who is reading it to search their hearts and to hopefully understand that not ALL Christians support the rigid, highly judgmental and fear mongering way of people such as Sean Bonitto.

  17. Andy, Lou, Deb & Terry:

    Thanks for giving the mini-debate a good reading and hearing out what both Sean and I had to say.

    I saw the CTV report on a boy who is eager to share his faith and I thought it was worth looking into. I was a little concerned when I saw the CTV reporter Kelland Sundahl holding onto a Jack Chick tract called Oops! Later that night when I read Oops! online I was shocked at the content and could totally understand why another parent complained. Now in the report they said that the boy had been giving out tracts opposed to the violence of Hallowe'en. Ironically, of course, the tract opposing such violence was itself quite violent! Anyhow, that's why I did a post explaining how Jack Chick tracts have messed up this boy's good intent.

    I am grateful that Sean left a comment after that post and agreed to debate the matter with me. It really helps to see the two contrasting views side by side. I hope this will help anyone who was trying to weigh out right from wrong on this matter.

    To me, the answer is crystal clear: Jack Chick tracts with their graphic imagery of evil and push to make a fear-based decision are inappropriate for children.

    P.S. Sorry Deb & Terry that you had difficulty leaving your posts. We need Google/Blogger to fix that. Whenever you leave a longer post, it will report an error, even though it really does accept the comment. Thankfully what you wrote was really good so I didn't mind reading it through a few times to figure out what to publish ;) Thanks again.

  18. Is passing out Jack T. Chick tracts an appropriate way for children to share their faith is the WRONG question.

    It should be "Is passing out Jack T. Chick tracts appropriate".

    And the answer is obviously no.

    I believe in freedom of speech, but Jack's tracts are pure lies based on unsupported catholic teaching for the purpose of creating fear in an unstable mind. Jack, and anyone who distributes this puerile religious vomit are predators of the worst kind and need to punished to the full extent of the law permissible.

    Especially when such rubbish is forced upon children.

    Totally disgusting, and on the same level as child abuse and child pornography.

    A curse on Jack and all who support his filthy lies.


  19. Yes, Anonymous, I was certainly implying that Jack Chick tracts are not appropriate for anyone. They distort the message. Fear is not the best motivation for coming to faith. It is love, trust and a sincere desire to turn from sin that God is looking for, not a plea for fire insurance.

    The reason the question was posed as to whether the tracts are appropriate for children was due to the fact that this is a followup to a real life story in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where a Grade 3 boy was told by his school to stop handing out Jack Chick tracts.

  20. Anonymous, you obviously do not believe in freedom of speech. Is it only when one speaks the truth that it is considered "freedom of speech"? From what I understand as long as one utters words of any kind it is designated as "freedom of speech", correct me if I'm wrong.

    And you are absolutely certain that Chick lies about everything, that's a bit of a stretch isn't it?

    Don't get me wrong, I certainly do not support some of the ways he is operating either, however to make a blanket statement that he lies about everything is unacceptable as well.

    From what I am reading here it is the father who is encouraging his children to pass out the offensive tracts and not Chick.

    One last question. How do you think God views your venomous post?

  21. I was reminded of this discussion when I read the news story about the Wiccan witch in Moose Jaw who had her Halloween seance canceled due to the pressure of religious groups.

    "A self-described witch in Moose Jaw, Sask., says she's outraged that religious groups have pressured a local museum to cancel a Halloween seance.

    The Western Development Museum had been planning to hold a fundraiser on Oct. 29 called Ghosts of the Past, at which, for a $30 entry fee, adult participants could learn about ouija boards and "attempt to make contact with the spirits."

    Full article is here.

    I believe this news story speaks directly to what Sean Bonitto is doing by encouraging his children to pass out their religious literature to kids at their public school. Sean has said he would have no problem with others exercising their religious freedoms, but I bet he would have a huge problem if his kids came home with a Wiccan tract or pamphlet advertising an upcoming seance. I know this seance was intended for adults, but don't kid yourselves. There are many kids and teens who play around with ouija boards. They used to be (maybe still are) sold in toy stores like Toys R Us.

    Don't misunderstand me, I'd have a big problem with this as well, but my point is, if Sean's kids can hand out their Jack Chick tracts at their public school, then so can the Wiccan child.

    I'd be very interested to know how you feel about this Sean, or anyone else who supports religious literature being handed out at public schools.

  22. Deb, allow me to take this one step further. What if a Baptist's son or daughter felt compelled or any other recognized "Christian" denomination desired to share their love for Christ by passing out literature from their belief system. Would you object as well?

    You see we run into problems, it isn't plain black and white anymore and who is to say what is right or wrong?

    I believe we have opened Pandora's Box in this regard and are paying the price.

    We are pandering to all of society to be politically correct and in the process painting ourselves into a corner with no way out.

    We have a pattern to follow outlined in the Beatitudes. None of us have been commissioned or given the charge to be judgmental of others. God is the final Judge.

    Don't get me wrong I understand where you are coming from and this scenario has troubled me as well.

    It's called "FREE WILL" If we fall into the trap we will be just as intolerant as the persecutors during the dark ages in Europe as well as the witch hunts in the Colonies "SALEM" if you recall your history.

    We as parents need to guard the avenues to our children's minds and teach them likewise so they may distinguish truth from error when faced with these dilemmas.

  23. Hi Andy,

    I'm not quite sure how to respond as I don't fully understand what you are trying to say. Sorry, maybe I just need more

    I'm thinking you are ok with kids passing out religious literature at school?

    You ask if I would object to a Christian child handing out their literature. My easy answer is no, of course not. That being said, I definitely would object if that material was a Jack chick tract, as I feel they are completely unsuitable as a means to witness, especially to younger children. They are fear based and our children do not need to be frightened into accepting Jesus into their hearts.

    I remember when prayer was stopped in the public schools. As upset as I was when this happened, I could also understand why. I vividly remember saying the Lords Prayer at the beginning of class. There were a few kids of different faith, some being Jehovah Witness and another child who I can't recall what faith. I always felt bad for these kids as they were often the target of ridicule by other kids because they would get up and leave the classroom while the prayer was being said. I didn't understand the issue then, but I do now.

    Canada is a tolerant and multi-faith country. Public schools are not saying kids can't share their faith with other students by way of verbal communication, wearing religious jewelry or clothing. What they are saying (how I understand it anyhow), is no religious material is to be distributed. At an elementary and even middle school level, I fully support this. At a high school and college level, I really wouldn't have an issue with kids sharing their faith through literature, though many other parents would.

    We absolutely do need to guard our children's minds, no argument there. I also believe we need to allow them to be tolerant of other beliefs and at a certain age, talk to them about other religions. This is something many people don't do. They have this crazy tunnel vision as to their faith, even within the different Christian denominations. They keep their kids in this protective bubble and think if their kids learn about other religions and faiths, their child may be 'tempted' to step out so to speak.

    Ok, I'll stop here as maybe I'm preaching to the choir? I'm still confused by your post so if you could clarify a bit more I'd appreciate it. :)

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