I’d just like to take the time to echo the sentiments that Todd Strandberg expressed in his Nearing Midnight commentary regarding the passing of Jack Chick. Here was a man who served the Lord tirelessly throughout most of his life, using the passion he had for drawing animated characters and combining it with his desire to see people saved. Through his outreach, he touched millions of lives and who knows how many souls he may have influenced and saved through his efforts. More than certainly, he would have heard the words “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” upon entering the Pearly Gates.
Jack most assuredly had his detractors. He was vilified not only by unbelievers, but was also mocked by those thought to be part of the Christian community—Roman Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah Witness and others from the so-called mainline denominations. He was ridiculed for his tracts being too simplistic, too buffoonish, and mostly for being too hateful, as others mischaracterized them. Having read most of the tracts that he printed over the years, I found each one to present the true gospel and he even used biblical verse notations included in most frames of the “comics” to give the readers the opportunity to look up the verses for themselves.
It is astonishing to me how a man like Jack Chick could be labeled as being hateful. His main ambition in producing those tracts was to get people saved, and not to condemn them as most of his critics have alleged. It was the false religiosity that he was confronting and not the followers of those entrapped in those systems. He had a love for all those believing in a false Christianity and was using his best efforts to show them the truth versus what they were holding dear to and what they were placing their faith in to save them
To be really hateful, would be to know the truth about the gospel and not share it with others; to just let them continue on the course that they are presently on and not witness to them. There is no way that a person like a Jack Chick would willingly stick his neck out to try to persuade people about the errors of their ways and suffer humiliation for it, unless he had a genuine desire to see those folks come to a saving knowledge of the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
Dave Hunt was another such person. A brilliant man, thoroughly versed in the Bible, and his passion was to get people saved. He pointed out the errors of Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses and a lot of the other false religious cults, and was ostracized for it. Did he hate people? Was he just casting rocks at those who didn’t believe like he did? No, he had a huge desire to see people flea false religious systems and to instead put their complete faith and trust in the true means of salvation—Jesus Christ.
Men like Chick and Hunt remind me of some of the ancient prophets of old. No matter how seemingly hurtful the message is that they are conveying and no matter how many toes they may step on to deliver the truth, they still present a saving message, in spite of the number of attacks that they receive for their stance. Men like that, no matter what the cost to them personally, if they are speaking the truth in their service to the Lord and are not received wholeheartedly by the world for their efforts, will receive a greater reward.
These men and others like them, are not of the world. Jesus tells us that if we truly follow Him, the world will hate us and will not be friendly towards us. The world will love its own. Men like the pope or a Joel Osteen present a false gospel and the world is enamored of them. They have huge followings and present a cotton candy type gospel – tastes good, feels good, but there is no substance to it. But a true witness for Christ will suffer persecution for the stand that they take in presenting the truth.
Speaking of gospel tracts, they are an excellent way to witness to others. Not everyone is an eloquent speaker or gifted with the ability to get in front of a large crowd or maybe just handful of people to present the gospel, but passing out tracts can be greatly used in planting seeds.
Back in my Air Force years, I was on temporary duty at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa and discovered a gospel tract in a restroom, of all places. At the time, I was in a religious stupor or more accurately, just apathetic of anything to do with religion, due in large part to too many years of Roman Catholicism’s ritualism. Having found this tract though, I later read it and it woke up my spirit to start reading the Word of God, for the first time. Obviously, this was all the Lord’s doings, but whomever placed that tract in there, I owe him a share of the gratitude.
Later in life, I started leaving tracts myself at various places, and most of them were Jack Chick tracts! I am by no means trying to pat myself on the back here or receive the rewards from men here and now, versus getting a blessing from the Lord later, but am only relaying this info now to try to get others involved in a rather simple way to spread the gospel. I think I first started leaving tracts up in Anchorage around 1991, but it wasn’t until I started flying overseas and being based away from home for a while that I started doing it in earnest.
I was based in Hong Kong for about a year and a half and wanted to do something on my time off from flying to be a part of the Great Commission – spreading the gospel and making disciples of all men (Matthew 28:19). Jack Chick’s most popular tract was/is titled This Is Your Life.
It is a great tract with a fantastic message and so I ordered some in the Chinese language and embarked on leaving those tracts all throughout the Kowloon section of Hong Kong. I used to live on the back side of the clock, which meant our trips out of Hong Kong to Dubai usually, were always in the wee hours of the morning. So, even on my days off, I would stick to that schedule, making it easier for me, as far as rest goes, for my next flight. So, in the early morning hours on my days off, I would embark on leaving tracts at various locales in Kowloon.
Usually phone booths, bus stops, cars windshields, baskets on bicycles and even at some of the little Buddha statues outside people’s residences or places of work, where a little stick of incense was burning next to the statue. I have to admit; those were my favorites! I could never resist the temptation to leave one next to that smiling, pot bellied figurine that the locals idolized.
I’m sure it infuriated the enemy having the true gospel placed next to a false deity. Anyway, in a year and a half, a lot of those got distributed. Did it make a difference? The Lord knows. The point is, anybody can be involved in spreading the gospel, even in such a low visibility endeavor.
The Jack Chick tracts were and are fantastic. Everybody (well, almost everybody) enjoys reading them. Even the kids like seeing a comic, with the animation. And the message applies to anyone and everyone. The message is true, the animation is superb and a saving gospel is presented in each and every one. How those tracts could be considered hateful is beyond me.
Thank you, Jack Chick, for your service to the Lord. I’m sure you are surrounded now in eternity by a huge throng of folks you have helped lead to the Lord. May others work as tirelessly as you did in reaching out to the masses with the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. I enjoyed your tracts and partnered with your team in getting them out. Even after you have left this realm, your work continues and others are being added daily to the Kingdom. May the good Lord open the eyes of the blind – Catholics, Mormons, JWs and others – to the true message that you endeavored to spread throughout the world.
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written; how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:14, 15)