Tracts. For at least the past thirty years, Christian tracts have been used to spread Christianity around the world. Usually only a few pages long, with an eye-catching title or message.
I don’t get them. Even when I was a practicing Christian, I never understood them. Why do Christians use them? I have never heard of someone converting to Christ through reading a pamphlet. I know through various missions I did that they are used to ‘plant seeds’ in people, to slowly encourage them to Christ, but isn’t just handing out a pamphlet a tad…..impersonal?
Here’s my list of some of the worst methods of using tracts:
1. Replacing monetary gratuity with tracts.
You want to insult your waiter/waitress and give the religion you are sharing (or as some of you say, ‘relationship with God’) a bad name, then use one of those stupid tracts that look like money INSTEAD of giving a tip. Did Jesus not say to give to the poor? Waitstaff make LESS than minimum wage, and make up for that in tips. That tip you didn’t give them could have been the difference between making rent on time, or eating a meal tonight. I know some Christians might say ‘Well if that person just prays to God, He will provide the money!’ How do you know God didn’t send YOU to give that money in a tip, but you didn’t because a pamphlet about God was more important?
It’s a selfish, mean thing to do, that doesn’t support the whole ‘Love you neighbor as yourself’ attitude Jesus proclaims in the New Testament. Seriously, don’t ever do this. (NOTE: Now, if you want to give a tract AND money, that’s fine. Just make sure to tip.)
2. To push paper.
Seriously, why do they hand these out again? I get these tracts at fairs, airports, etc., and you want to know where they go? In the trash, along with all the other flyers and junk I get. I don’t get the appeal. The tracts are impersonal and silly. Especially ones that say ‘You’re going to hell’ or ‘Are you ready for damnation?’ (Although I admit these types are dwindling. Gee, no surprise there.) That’s like a car salesman handing out flyers that say ‘you’re getting ripped off’ or ‘My cars barely work once they’re off the lot!’ I think I missed the part of the Bible where Christ was walking around handing out ‘tracts.’ How about just talking to me? No? Why not? Maybe because this type of ‘flagging strangers down’ and having a ‘selling you something’ attitude DOESN’T work.
What happened to being ‘an example to Christ?’ What happened to just being a good person? How about just being generous? Feed the poor, open your home to the cold and needy, help your neighbors. Then if you want, you can share your religion, but realize that not everyone will accept.