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Brother Jack Chick has issues with the Catholic church.  By issues, I mean that he's convinced that the Catholic church is absolutely a tool of Satan used over many centuries to trick people into subtle idolatry that will absolutely send them to hell.  Indeed, the anti-Christ is going to rise up from the Vatican.  Are Roman Catholics Christians? The correct Biblical answer according to Jack Chick in this tract among others is NO.  Roman Catholics are definitely going to hell.

Jack Chick bases this belief (and all others) on the fundamentalist premise that the King James Bible is the inspired word of the living God.  If it's in the Bible, and especially if it's in the New Testament and most especially if it is in the officially recorded words of Jesus of Nazareth, then that's it.  You can take it to the bank. 

I very much appreciate that Jack Chick takes this strict belief in the Bible deadly serious, unlike a lot of mealy-mouthed modern Christians who claim to believe in the Bible but manage to very conveniently make it consistent with popular modern social and political pieties.  There'll be none of that nonsense for Jack Chick, I tell ya.  He really believes, and pleasing his God is far more important to him than pleasing people.

But in some of this stuff, I have to respectfully challenge Brother Chick on his ideas of just what the Bible says, and how to take it.  It's good to be willing to make a firm, confident assertion based on the foundation of scripture - but you might want to be very humble about your own limited human understanding of holy writ. 

OK, it's a pretty firm thing to say that according to the Bible you have to consciously call out the name of Christ and accept him as your savior.  So I can see where JC might think he would have to say that Hindus and Muslims are hell bound.  Sorry about that.  Even there though, one might gently admonish Brother Chick about "judge not."  Which would be because "vengeance is MINE" according to the God of scripture.  I for one would not presume to have knowledge as to whose names will appear in the Book of Life.  Perhaps I'm just a squeamish skeptic, though.

But with due respect, Brother Chick is certainly being extremely presumptuous in passing certain eternal judgment on whole groups of people who absolutely worship Jesus Christ as their savior, including Catholics and Mormons among others.  When he starts condemning heretical Christians to certain damnation, how's he any better than the popes doing that as Chick rightfully objects to?

Well, one important way that Jack Chick is different from the particularly objectionable older popes is that Jack Chick may CALL you a hell bound sinner, but unlike a lot of popes he does not intend to murder the heretics.  Chick does seem to get at least that much out of "vengeance is Mine."

The hypothetical Helen is not saved, because she is a Roman Catholic.  She was baptized at birth - which doesn't count because she wasn't old enough to know what was happening.  It didn't represent a choice on her part.  OK, fair enough.   But she's also now gone through confirmation, which IS a conscious acceptance of the faith.  Well that still doesn't count.  Why?  Well, cites two passages of scripture as proof.  Let's look at them:

For by grace are ye saved through faith:  and that not of yourselves: It is the gift of God.  Not of works, lest any man should boast. -Ephesians 2:8-9

But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. - Romans 4:5

Exactly how does Chick get that from these scriptures?  Both of these scriptures go to the point of being saved by belief and faith rather than good works. That's pretty much a non sequitir - completely not anything to do with the subject at hand.  Now, the Catholic church would certainly expect that you would do some things - as would ANY Bible believing church, for faith without works is dead.  As I would say it, if you really believed, you'd try to act like it.  But does the Roman Catholic church teach that you're saved through good works rather than grace?  I don't think so. 


Speaking of the popes, "Let's see what the Bible says about a man who calls himself God"  Now come on, they're not really saying that.  Granted, I'm not real impressed with how the church sets itself up as a middleman - which is, granted, fairly presumptuous. Me and Jesus got our own thing going, as Tom T Hall would say - so why would we need you?  But there's a pretty big difference between claiming to speak on behalf of God - which the pope and Jack Chick himself routinely does - and claiming to actually BE God.

Still, in fairness to Brother Chick, way short of claiming to BE God, just claiming to officially speak on behalf of God is definitely a little presumptuous.  But speaking of presumptuous, note the third panel [last rites1170]:

Speaking of being presumptuous, this last panel left me howling in laughter, absolutely in tears the first time I read it.  I mean to say, Jack Chick et al definitely think right highly of themselves.  When the Catholic finds himself in hell, he can't say he wasn't warned:  We gave you a tract that said your religion is wrong - with pictures and everything! Riiiight....

Like many if not all religious people, JC is pretty good at finding what he wants to in the Bible.  Having been talking in verse two about "Babylon the great," in Revelation 18:4 cited here, it says "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."  Chick just assumes that "Babylon the great" means the Roman Catholic Church.  That right there is some stuff that Jack Chick is just making up.  It simply is NOT the clear plain textual meaning of the Book.

Now I grant you that a good many theologians would be likely among those whose names I would expect to be least likely to be found in the Book of Life, if I were more of a believer.  From what I know of them, I'd be guessing at especially hot little hell pits for some of them medieval popes. 

Funny thing is that Chick does not hate or despise lay Catholics.  The leadership sucks, and they're pretty much actively conspiring against Christ in this view.  But John and Helen here are just innocent dupes.  Jack Chick doesn't seem to think them to be knowingly wicked -they both tried hard to be properly pious, but to hell forever and ever they're going anyway.

Best I could make of Christianity, the basic plan is that you have to specifically and consciously accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and love thy neighbor as thyself.  John and Helen here seem to have done that, but Jack Chick says that they're going to hell anyway cause they didn't do it the right way.

It would appear that Cat lickers would go to hell for any one of several specific main reasons.  One is the charge of "praying to Mary."  Well now I grant freely that the Bible does not say to do that, but does that mean that you would actually go to hell for it?  Specifically, Catholics pray to Mary - for intercession with her Son.  Look, we know your son is super-busy, but could you put in a good word for us?  They're NOT worshipping Mary, much less statues or sculptures of her.

Pretty much all Christians take communion seriously. "Take, eat: This is my body"  Jesus Christ Matthew 26:26  Well, Catholics seem to take that just absolutely literally.  The communion bread somehow IS the body of Christ.  Seems like you could argue that in this case in fact the Catholics are the one taking the scripture in the the most fundamental, directly literal way rather than the nominal fundamentalist in this case - crazy as it may seem to believe that this bread and juice LITERALLY become the body and blood of Jesus Christ.  But saying that this transubstantiation sounds crazy does not in the least imply that it is not Biblical.

Chick argues that transubstantiation amounts to trying to keep perpetually sacrificing Jesus, presuming the power to put him back on the cross again and again.  He has to really, really push the point to get to that.  That's not how any Catholic would take it.  He was already killed and ascended into heaven.  This is a magical thing that He instructed them to do and they are just honoring His wishes, as best they would understand it. If it is "idolatry" as Chick insists, then it is - in the minds of the supposed idolators - idolizing Jesus Christ.  This whole evil explanation of transubstantiation is purely the imaginative creation of Jack Chick, and absolutely not a necessary interpretation of the KJV Bible.

But hey, there's definitely some point to say that Catholics add a lot to their setup that is not specifically prescribed in the Bible.  However, from where would you PRESUME to say that people honestly and in good faith calling on the name of Jesus Christ as their savior would nonetheless be told by their presumed savior to burn in hell forever because they maybe took the communion he instructed them to take way TOO seriously, or honestly misunderstood His instructions?  Where exactly does it say THAT in the Bible?

Jesus said that he came to do away with the law, not that he would use technicalities of how prayers are expressed to funnel billions of people into hell for all eternity.  I say that according to my [admittedly amateur] understanding of the document, there's a lot of gray area on acceptable expression.  Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and love thy neighbor as thyself - and there you've pretty well got the main gist of it, according to Jesus in the Bible.  I can't presume to say what He would consider to take from his own words, but my best puny human understanding would suggest that under the Bible Helen and John would most likely both in fact be saved - even if they had done silly unnecessary things like directing their prayers through Mary. 

So I make here a polite challenge to Jack Chick and his followers:  Show me the specific Biblical texts that would really reasonably establish that believing in transubstantion means that you're going to hell, or that directing prayers through intermediaries is not just unnecessary but positively a condemnable sin.  And don't just label any little thing you don't approve of as "idolatry."  Catholics do not worship those statues of Mary.

There's the King James Bible, and then there's Jack Chick's KJV Bible with opinions.  Let's just try to keep a distinction.  And when he gets off into the elaborate Papal conspiracies to adulterate the Bible and sponsor all these off-base religions - well, the Bible doesn't say all THAT, I'm pretty sure.  That's Brother Jack Chick having his own apocalyptic visions, like John on the Isle of Patmos.



I have based my criticism of Jack Chick at largely on a couple of specific Chick tracts.  In the interest of careful presentation, I have borrowed these two pamphlets in totality in order to give Chick's whole presentation and argument, lest I be accused of twisting or misrepresenting him or taking things out of context.  Note that I include the altar call last pages in case you want to accept Christ as your savior.  Your choice.

Are Roman Catholics Christians?  The complete original Chick tract

Last Rites  the complete original Chick tract

Damned Catholics  - Al's flippantly serious response to these anti-Catholic tracts

Are Jesus Christ and Satan brothers?



John the Baptist baptizing Jesus Christ - painting by Harry Anderson

John the Baptist baptizing Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus of Nazareth Images 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24

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Jesus and Children Images 1  2  3  4

Jesus the Healer Images 1  2  3  4  5  6

Crucifixion of Jesus Christ Images 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24

Resurrection of Jesus Christ Images 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12

 angels collecting the precious blood of Jesus as he hangs on the cross  Jesus emerges from his grave   Jesus bearing the cross the ascension of Jesus reborn unto heaven








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