The premise of this new tract is that a grandfather and his grandson find themselves both in Hell. While wandering around the landscape, they wonder why Henry, the intervening parent, is not there and then realize that he accepted Jesus as his personal lord and savior. The Devil then decides that he wants to talk to the two of them. The Devil gives a long rambling speech, outlining the basic theology. Jack Chick’s Devil seems to be not only incompetent, but doesn’t understand basic time management. As with any Jack Chick tract, we need some bashing of other religions. Thus, the Devil declares:
I alone control every major religion in the world! Isn’t that a pleasant surprise. We’re overrun with religious leaders down here… and all their followers! We’re “blessed” with popes galore and “holy men” like Buddha and Muhammad… all of them got here by trusting their “good works.”
This paragraph is vintage Chick. We’ve got the required Catholic bashing and we’ve got the deep misunderstanding of other religions. Memo to Jack: There’s nothing in Buddhism remotely resembling a notion of “good works.” We understand that you can only think in terms of your religion and its own theological disputes, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else thinks in the same way as you.
The Devil’s rant is accompanied by pictures of various people burning in Hell. One of them appears to be dressed as a Pope, another has peyos and a black hat, while another is wearing a turban. Apparently good Christians never wear turbans.
The Devil continues his rant, explaining that he really hates Henry because Henry saved so many souls. Since the Devil cannot take out his wrath on Henry who is in Heaven, he decides to take it out on these two and thus throws them into a bottomless pit.
This raises a number of issues. First, even Jack Chick seems to think that there’s some element of justice regarding people who go to Hell. So what theological justification allows the Devil to torture people who happen to be related to people he doesn’t like? Second, is this tract really a great argument for accepting Jesus if the most likely result is that one’s family is stuck in a burning hot wasteland where one can actually find and talk to people you know? It may be that Chick is just getting soft in his old age and so we don’t have the default setting of eternal all consuming flame while surrounded in darkness. However, if I had accepted Jesus as my personal lord and savior and had relatives who had not, I’d be tempted not to witness to people. Maybe, I’m just a horrible human being, but I’d have a lot of trouble trying to save strangers if it meant my friends and loved ones would suffer more in Hell. I don’t think that’s what Jack Chick is trying to accomplish.