Tract Evangelism

tract: money

Jesus loves you so much that he killed himself so that you would receive a mass-produced and over-simplified printed flyer.

When trying to “reach the lost” for Jesus, there are no holds barred and no pop culture topics left untouched. Anything and everything can become a preaching tool. I remember my church giving us evangelism tracts to use during summer vacation as a challenge. They looked like money (see the back of the bill above) and were designed to lure the greedy sinner into picking them up. My youth pastor gave us tips for how to give them out:

  • Leave them on the ground; someone will pick it up and maybe read!
  • Leave it with your tip in a restaurant (I know someone who left these tracts on the table without any real money as a tip. Yeah, so Christ-like!)
  • Put it in an envelope with a  bill payment.
  • Tuck it into the g-string of a stripper (just kidding! Though I wouldn’t put it past someone to do this.)

This style of passive-aggressive evangelism is possibly the least personal and most disrespectful method I’ve ever seen. Money tracts especially require a coward to use them. How much do you care for someone’s soul? Enough to leave fake money on a sidewalk for someone you’ll never see or know who will be angry and annoyed with your shady tactics from the get-go. Yeah, really fabulous idea!

Evangelism is Funny

First, a Star Trek spoof that makes baby Jesus cry. But I’m sure Jack Chick would love it:

What can I say? I think religious tracts are hilarious. Here are some of my favorite covers and titles:

tract: get out of hell free

tract: excuses

tract: antique

tract: comic

tract: Chick collection

tract: Americans

I wonder if a heathen could make a convincing tract against theism that would look just like a Chick tract.

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March 15, 2010  |  Christianity, funny, god, Jesus, religion, society, videos

9 Comments


  1. The non-religious version of the Get Out of Hell Free card: http://www.getoutofhellfree.com/

    I’ve always thought about ordering them but never quite got around to it; it’d be interesting to just pull one out and wave it in the face of anybody trying to evangelise me, or to give them to such people.

    I’ve seen a few atheist tracts as well, usually made as a joke (although I’ve seen a few serious ones too)… there’s also one out there evangelising for Cthulhu, although I can’t remember where I saw it. I’ve only come across those as pdf on the internet, though, I’ve never actually seen one in person.

    Chick tracts, on the other hand, I have encountered from time to time. The worst was when I saw a huge display of them (in both English and Spanish) in the lobby of a Mexican restaurant I used to like; it disturbed me enough that I have not eaten there since (despite the fact that the food is good), as I don’t want my money being used to support that kind of behaviour in any form.

    • I saw some German Chick tracts while over in Frankfurt. The fact that those sorts of ignorant and foolish publications can spread so far really bothered me. I’m not that surprised, but I was still saddened.

  2. Image similar to the cover of “The Perfect Storm”.

    Text as follows with emphasis and sweeping fonts to dramatise accordingly:

    “When it’s a confusing stormy world, and life is like the maelstrom threatening to tear your ship apart, you need a steady hand at the tiller. Let God be the captain of your ship. He is all-knowing, He is right first time, every time, and He NEVER changes his mind – The Holy Bible, the unerring un-contradictory Word of God, confirms this in Numbers 23:19.”

    Finally in small footnote italics like contract small-print: “PS – please ignore 2Kings 20:1-6, 1 Samuel 2:30-31, Numbers 22:9-20, Hosea 11:8, Jeremiah 18:8, and please don’t read Genesis 6:6 too soon after reading Genesis 1:31. Oh, and try to forget Ezekiel 18:20 by the time you get to 2Samuel 11&12. Thanks”.

  3. I collect these things too for some reason; I’ve got a stack of some very strange ones: standard evangelical, raging hellfire (not of the orthodox variety), cults I had never heard of, etc. One or two fairly well-thought out ones too. I’ve also been given tracts by an atheist (yes, on atheism), a Jew, and a Muslim, so it’s apparently not an entirely Christian phenomenon.

    The interesting part to me is that in almost all the cases in which I’ve received tracts (especially the cases where I got to know the person giving them out), I got the impression that the person giving it to me was doing so because they genuinely thought they were helping me. Regardless of what one personally believes about the method or even the particular worldview behind it, they’re not doing it because they’re trying to be jerks, or even because they’re looking for a reward. They’re doing it because it’s actually what they would want people to do for them. As Penn Jillette (yeah, of Penn & Teller) said, “How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize?”

    Anyway, just thought I’d comment since I don’t often see collections of tracts sitting around the Internet. Keep it up; I’ll RSS ya.

    • I agree that people don’t try to save your soul out of jerkiness 😉 They honestly want to collect as many converts as possible into the club.

      When I was a believer, I didn’t want anyone giving me tracts or religious handouts. I didn’t like this form of evangelism, even though I admit I gave out tracts anyway.

      Thanks for reading and giving me your insight!

  4. I’ve come across a few strange and crazy religious tracts over the years but none of those ones before, so thanks for sharing. I have seen the fake money ones before though. Add this one to your list of religious or christian tracts http://faithofchoice.com/prepaid.html

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  7. “When I was a believer, I didn’t want anyone giving me tracts” If you were a believer you would still be a believer. Don’t have time for that sermon here.

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