Saturday Sermon: Bible Tracts

Back during a previous job that I worked, I was surrounded by many people who belonged to the same church. They all wore the Got Life? t-shirts and there were Bible tracts seemingly everywhere in the building. The company had no problem with it since the bosses also belonged to the aforementioned church and also wore the same t-shirts. On my last day at that company, the guy that I was working with placed one of those same tracts in front of me as “something to read.” I wish I still had that little booklet.

In case you don’t know, a Bible tract is usually a small booklet or pamphlet that tries (poorly) to explain the biblical view on a topic, such as death, homosexuality, atheism, or Halloween. Probably the most popular pamphlet-style tract is the Watchtower from the Jehovah’s Witness, which I have found a few times in my side door. Those are good for an eyeroll every now and then. But when it comes to the little pocket-sized tracts, the most popular hands-down have to be Chick tracts. These are the little comic books with the colorful covers that can be found at finer evangelical churches everywhere.

Tracts are usually handed out by defenders of the faith in order to…I don’t know what they’re supposed to do. Using scattered verses of scripture to answer vague questions about life isn’t something that would convert me. I’ve read every tract that I’ve run across except the ones left in the bathrooms of 24-hour restaurants (actually very smart) and I have yet to find anything compelling in them. My guess is, somebody who is in a vulnerable spot would find a message in one of those booklets, especially if they’re horking in the bathroom of a 24-hour restaurant and need something to read.

To me, the person most helped by Bible tracts are the people who hand them out. It gives them the feeling that they’re doing something good when in fact they’re just contributing to the nearest trash can. I do take them and, as I stated earlier, I read them for the entertainment value. I currently don’t have any lying around, but when I do get more I will write about them. So look forward to that.

I have an honest question: I know I’ve been a bit hard on tracts, but I really would like to know, have you ever been convinced by a tract?

Announcements

Not much again this week, but I would like to welcome my new readers. I hope you stick around and if you have questions or would like to disagree with me on something, let’s talk. This blog is meant to generate a conversation, and while I haven’t gotten too snarky yet, rest assured, it’s coming.

5 thoughts on “Saturday Sermon: Bible Tracts

  1. I’ve been behind people in aisles leaving them in Walmart. They take a Charmin and leave a tract on the shelf. They need a box of Crunch N Munch. POW – a tract. So annoying. I have found them on my windshield probably because they didn’t see a Bible in my car’s back window (which is the southern car identifier for Christians and the cover is usually faded because that Bible is specifically for display purposes only). I find most I have looked at blazingly inaccurate. They are meant to be gotchas more than truthful. I find them lazy. If you really want to “convert” someone, you have to talk to them which takes courage and knowledge. It’s much easier to put that responsibility on a mini-graphic novel because I can’t be bothered to stop an speak. This shopping cart is not going to fill itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t help but find it funny that people leave tracts around grocery stores in one of the top ten most religious states in the country. It seems pretty unlikely that an unbeliever will run across them, let alone be converted. “They take a Charmin and leave a tract on the shelf.” I mean, they can serve the same purpose, although one is softer.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Most tracts rely on a fear-based message (i.e., God is Love. Believe in Him…or go to HELL!!). It works on people who are ashamed of their past deeds and/or afraid of their (ultimate) future. It’s a bastardization of Jesus’ gospel of God’s love for all. But tract-producers don’t care if their comic books are accurate; as long as they get butts into pews and $$ into the coffers, that’s all they require. (Actually, many purveyors of said tracts actually believe in this version of the Biblical narrative…to society’s–and their own–detriment. And that’s just…hellish.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I collected hundreds of the tracts and Chic books (not the magazine, btw…the comic books). I got rid of a lot except the best ones (apocalyptic) when I divorced (sinner!) and began to live in peace (worse sinner!!). Omg we could have fun with this. What are you doing Sunday after church?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I regret not raiding the tract rack the last time I was at Baptist church, it was a rainbow of hatred and intolerance.
      This Sunday is a no-go for me, but the following week is free for me.

      Like

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