Monday, October 24, 2016

Jack Chick 1924 - 2016

Let me say first of that obviously I do not follow Jack Chick's insane interpretation of Christianity, but that after 35 years of studying the man, I know what i am talking about.
Jack Chick loved people. Deeply and completely with the kind of spiritual reverence that is hard to accept considering what he wrote. What Chick wanted desperately was to save people from damnation and have them spend eternity in the arms of Christ.
That was his entire goal and sole purpose in life.
But for Chick, that meant there was no room for "lies" or kind but empty words. If you wanted to go to Heaven, God laid out some pretty strict rules and you had no choice but to follow them.
So for more than 50 years, Jack Chick laid down those rules. Being gay was the road to damnation, so was listening to Rock n Roll (mostly the European sort, not so much the African) or playing the "Devil's Game" D&D. Almost more frighting was Chick preaching the idea that even child molesters and rapists will become safe and honest citizens just as long as they find Christ. Then there is Chick's interpretation of the Bible itself. Which was a mix of Christian scholarship, conspiracy theories, the Illuminati and his extreme distrust for the Catholic Church.
From what I can tell, the only thing that Jack Chick actively hated in this world was the Catholic Church. But of course while there are indeed all sorts of things to dislike about the Church, Chick hated them because in his eyes the Catholic clergy were happily in league with Satan working to lose the war for Christ and not their actual issues as priests and men.
Still, while a deeply flawed man with a... unique, interpretation of the scriptures Chick was a true force on the American evangelical scene for 50 years.
He was wrong about so very much though. So very much.
Like a religious lawyer Chick was stuck in the rules of salvation while never capturing the mercy or compassion of Christ's teachings. And in the end that is his biggest failure. Those little comic tracts were powerful devices for proselytizing. And while they could have spent decades teaching a message of love, a message of compassion, instead they presented God as a petty, mean, faceless giant overlooking us all from a throne anxious to throw us to our well deserved damnation.
If in the end there is a Heaven, I can't help but wonder if it would surprise any of us if Jack's name wasn't in the book?

Sunday, October 23, 2016

1957 The Triumph of God's Love (original title, the Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan)

The wrap around cover for the 1957 edition of EG White's, The Triumph of God's Love (original title, the Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan) art by Russ Harlen. This piece from the 1950's reminds me of the kind of political art you see on posters in North Korea. Still, quite striking and I noticed the entire cover wasn't on the web, so I thought I'd put it up.