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Letters on so-called "hate lit"


<<Thank for writing again, Tim. I'll respond in <<brackets>> so that I address each of your concerns.>>

I think you know what I meant by "you people". You have a reputation among many Christians as being a bit harsh, with not much reason.

<< I assume when you say "you", you mean Chick, since I'm too small a fish to have much reputation at all. Again, this site has no affilation has Chick Publications other than the fact we enjoy and write about his comics.>>

If you think this "humor" is something that graces God by attacking his church, I suggest you reflect deeply on that.

<<Chick is being completely serious. He uses the sarcasm to criticize the Vatican because he doesn't believe it is God's church.>>

There is by the way, only one Catholic church, it is the Apostolic church, founded in the early days. The Orthodox church, a close relative split in 1054.

<<You say they they are the splinter group, and they say that you are. Both are splinter groups from Judaism. Does that make the Jews the only true Christians? It proves nothing.>>

I know what chick says he believes, and again I question his motives. History is the key to these questions, there is much out there for you to get true information. Chick, his work, and those who see it a humor, well that's most offensive.

<<I'm sorry, but I'm not going to stop enjoying something just because it offends you, anymore than you're willing to change yourself to satisfy me.>>

The only humor a Catholic may find in this, is the knowledge of arrogance on chicks part. Despite the human nature of the true church,(inqusition), the Catholic, or universal church we enjoy today is the same institution founded 2000 years ago. Again, this is evident in it's teachings. It is AN UNBROKEN HISTORY. As far as confession, dogma, and purgatory, well these are found in scripture. If your looking for the WORD purgatory, maybe you'll find it next to the "rapture".

<<You are ignoring the gradual changes that have occurred in the Catholic Church over time. The belief Mary ascended into heaven, and never saw death... these are not scriptural. They are recent additions to Catholic dogma that began as late as the 1850s. That doesn't mean they are necessarily wrong, but your Unbroken History theory means little when the basic beliefs have changed so much in the last 2,000 years.>>

With respect to indulgences, I'm certain you are refereeing to the belief that you could pay your way out of sin? Well again, look at what the church really teaches. The trouble with chicks stuff is that it is not factual! Most of this thought comes from misinformation, or a deliberate attempt to lead people from the truth, again, I question his intentions.

<<The Catholic Church used to allow sinners to pay cash to the Church to forgive their sins. It evolved to the point where sinners could pay in advance for future sins they were planning to commit. It's this kind of self serving dogma that prompted Martin Luther to start the reformation. If not for the reformation, the Vatican would probably still be selling indulgences today.>>

It is useless to argue these things, but the information you seek can be found in the Catechism, the scripture the teachings are based on will be found there as well.

<< Agreed. My Catholic sister gave me one for Christmas. It is a good reference source, and essential reading for people interested in this debate. >>

Once again, every teaching of the Catholic church can be found in scripture, nothing is in contradiction, NOTHING.

<<You are entitled to that opinion, but obviously, many people disagree with you about it.>>

Look at what the early Church taught, it is the same as what the Church of today teaches. In fact most of it was taken for granted, no one even questiond most these things untill after the refromation.

<<There was no Papal infallibility, or indulgences, or Inquisition, or Mary as a "co-redeemer" being taught in the beginning days of the Christianity. Those are only a few of many examples.>>

I can't change your mind for you, but the truth can. I pray that you find it.

In Jesus love and Grace. -tim.

<< I think that's a prayer we can both agree on. May the wrong man find the truth!>>


Tim's final response

<< Again, my responses are in <<brackets>> for clarification>>

Dear Freind,

First of all, I wish to extend my deepest apologies if I have offended you, this is not my goal. <<No offense taken.>>

As I stated, These arguments will not change a thing, I'm certain. But you still seem to have this fascination with the Catholic Church of today as not being the same universal Church founded 2000 years ago. This is simply WRONG, again look to what the first Christians taught, it is what is taught today, The ascension, purgatory, The Holy Eucharist ect, it's all 2000 years old, look

it up, I did. <<The ascention of Jesus was there, yes, but not of Mary. Other beliefs had their roots there as well, but the interpretation of those beliefs changed over time.>>

Chick is a lost soul in my mind, the things you find so funny are sacred to myself, and millions of others, not all Catholic by the way. << No body likes being made fun of, that I understand. But Freedom of speech means nothing if we allow every offended person to censor what others find silly because they fell offended. If you don't like Chick tracts, don't read them. I'm offended by the Catholic claim that "their is no salvation outside the Church of Rome." Yet I don't expect them to change their rethoric to satisfy me.>>

The Orthodox church is very close to mine, as well as a handful of other Christian churches, in fact the Catholic faith states that all may find salvation, religion is the tool in which we grow closer to God. << I wish the Pope would acknowledge this and state that there IS salvation outside his church. He hasn't though.>>

I don't believe chick knows much of God period, only how to divide people, and frankly I don't care what he thinks of the Holy see, again, after one studies history, they will see that St. Peter was the first "Pope", although this title was not the original, his teachings are part of the Church today, the unbroken church again. By the way, many of the Apostles were Jewish converts to Christianity, and much of the symbolism used by the faith today is directly derived from the Jewish faith. I don't know what you want for this to prove, it just states for origins of the first Christians, and who they were. <<That is my point. Jews have the oldest Biblical foundation, but that doesn't give them exclusive rights to Christianity. Nor does the early origins of the Catholic Church mean it is the most accurate.>>

We could go on forever with this. I state again, firmly that the Catholic Church of today is the Church founded by Christ, it is a Christ centered church, this is where misinformation about Catholic teaching & belief comes to play. The teachings of the Church are clear, and they can be traced back to the first Christians. To learn of this, may I suggest you study the Apostles, there is much documentation on them. They were Christ's earthly leaders of his Church, then became the first Bishops, Priests and so on. After you have looked into the roots of the early church, I suggest that you look into the tradition, sacred tradition, the magisterium, and finally how Sacred Scripture is the root of all Catholic teaching. By the way, the Catholic Church organized the Canon, something of note. <<Those are good sources, but Protestants believe the best source is the Bible. This is the biggest difference between Protestants and Catholics. Protestants believe a personal relationship with God is more important than any church acting as middleman. If you understand that basic premise, it will go a long way in explaining why the two different interpretations of Christianity are so different.>>

But before all of this, I must stress once more how important it is for folks, non-Catholic, anti-Catholic, to understand what is being taught by the Church, many, many misrepresentations have been made here. This is why I, and many others are so offended by Chicks work, again, I question his motives. <<He calls them as he sees them, but that doesn't mean he is right. Then again, it doesn't mean his opponents are right either.>>

The best resource on the Catholic church is again, the Catechism. I was pleases to read that a family member gave you one, but confused that you do not understand what Indulgences mean? <<Indulgences have changed over time. In medieval times, they were sold to sinners to excuse their sins. I bring them up because they demonstrate the fallacy of an Unbroken History. If the history of the Catholic church is unbroken, then so is the sin and abuses of its past.>>

As far as the Inquisition, there have been many man made errors on the part of the Church, do you honestly feel that what the protestants have done with respect to their use of violence, was any more justifiable? <<Justifiable? No, but then again, they didn't originate their violence from a leader who claimed to be God's representative on Earth. I've heard all the excuses and rationalizations, but the fact remains, if the unbroken line of Popes is so godly, how can one explain any of them authorizing mass murder? This is a rhetorical question, because there is no logical answer to it. Many have provided flowery answers, but they skirt the basic issue.>>

You are correct that there have been some, have been many GRADUAL changes of the Church over the years, however these changes are no way in contradiction of the early church, they are elaborations, or clarifications of the early teachings. <<Many feel promoting Mary to co-reemer is a very serious change. There was no early teaching that said Mary floated up to Heaven like as Jesus and avoided human death. Many feel that is a BIG contradiction with the Bible since it quotes Jesus as saying their is no way to heaven except through him.>>

There's a lot of history here, you may inspire me to write a book! there is simply not enough time, or space for me to write everything for you, this is why I stress further examination. <<Many books have already been written on the subject. I've read ones from the Catholic perspective, but they have yet to persuade me. I suggest you read some from outside sources as well.>>

One last note, Mary as the "coe-redeemer", can mean two things, first of all, it is not a Catholic teaching that The Blessed Mother be considered a redeemer, some Catholics may believe this, but it is in contradiction! <<It is an issue being pushed in the Vatican today, and I've spoken with several Priests who say it would only be stating the obvious. They feel she already is a co-redeemer in every sense except official title.>>

Again, look into the Catechism your dear sister gave to you. Many of your concerns will be answered there. I do not mean to say it will convert you, but it should at least take away the idea that the Church is not a Holy institution, or no founded in scripture. Frankly I'm quite supprised that it has not answered many of your objections. << I understand where the Catholic Church is coming from, and I agree they have some Biblical justifications for their beliefs. I also think they selectively pick and choose the scripture they use to support their beliefs, and ignore sections that don't jive with it. (Many Protestant churches also do this, but the ones I respect the most do it the least.) I also find Vatican efforts to control and force conformity within the Church disturbing, especially in a historical context.>>

Lastly, I wish to end our conversations by wishing you well in all your days, and I too will continue to pray and reflect, I trust in our Lord that we will meet in the end. Peace of Christ be with you.

-tim

<<Thanks for your comments. Although we may not agree on everything, I think we both want the same results. (We just disagree how to get them.) I hope I've helped explained some of the issues Protestants like Chick have with the Catholic church. I know he's especially hated by many Catholics, but in his 40 years of business, Catholics haven't come to any harm having him around. Perhaps they will learn to accept criticism the same way fundamentalists like Chick have to. Critical comic tracts don't seem too high a price to pay to preserve free speech.>>



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