Sunlit Water

November 24, 2007

Spreading The Word

Filed under: Culture,Personal,Urban Living — by teofilo @ 8:44 pm

While I was out to dinner at a local pizzeria just now I got proselytized.  A little girl walked up to my table and, without saying a word, handed me a tract.  I read it and it turned out to consist almost entirely of exhortations to accept Jesus as my personal savior, with the evidence that I should do this being quoted verses from the New Testament, many of them defending the importance of salvation by faith rather than works.  There was also a little bookmark inside promoting this book.

I was a bit puzzled at the time about who the tract was aimed at.  It seemed to be going for people who were inclined to trust the New Testament as an unimpeachable source, but not inclined to accept Jesus as their personal savior.  This combination seemed odd to me as I thought about it, but the tract was clearly not aimed at non-Christians like me, who couldn’t care less what the New Testament says, or even non-practicing cultural Christians, who presumably are mostly aware of what the Bible says and are just insufficiently inspired to follow it.

As I was walking home, after passing the family who had been handing out the tracts in the pizzeria handing out more to passersby (as I walked by the father said “God bless you” to me), it suddenly occurred to me that their target demographic was obvious.  Faithful Christians who don’t consider salvation dependent entirely on faith rather than works?   There’s a rather prominent group along those lines whose members include a majority of the population of this state.



  1. “Faith over works” is most definitely aimed at Catholics, but any non-practicing cultural Christian seems like an appropriate target for the rest of it. Personal Jesus just sounds so less annoying than church.

    Comment by Cala — November 25, 2007 @ 8:33 am |Reply

  2. Huh, I hadn’t thought about that angle, but looking over it again I see that there’s no reference at all to attending church. Apparently accepting Jesus is both necessary and sufficient for salvation.

    Comment by teofilo — November 25, 2007 @ 2:38 pm |Reply

  3. I would add that I think at least some part of those tracts is aimed more at the people handing them out than the people to whom they are handed. I’m not sure how to explain what I mean without sounding like The process of witnessing to others serves to reinforce one’s own commitment to the principle/belief in question.

    Comment by Di Kotimy — November 26, 2007 @ 9:04 am |Reply

  4. When I first moved to San Marcos, I got sent this ridiculously over-the-top tract in the mail.

    Comment by heebie-geebie — November 26, 2007 @ 9:26 am |Reply

  5. Whoa. Just… whoa.

    Comment by Di Kotimy — November 26, 2007 @ 10:07 am |Reply

  6. Chick tracts are famously bizarre. The one I got was much tamer.

    Comment by teofilo — November 26, 2007 @ 10:29 am |Reply

  7. For a friend’s 30th birthday, I made him his own Chick tract, with his head pasted over that of the dude in the tract, Col. Sanders’ over that of the angel, and a lot of references to mayonnaise and priazzo. It was a good one.

    Comment by Wrongshore — November 26, 2007 @ 10:53 am |Reply

  8. So 1,000+ years of detention without trial. I wondered where they were getting this stuff.

    Comment by CharleyCarp — November 27, 2007 @ 8:54 pm |Reply

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