Summary of falsehoods in Fellowship Tract League tracts

The Fellowship Tract League is a ministry somewhat attached to Fellowship Baptist Church of Lebanon Ohio. They publish tracts which purport to be useful for getting people saved. Before I bash their tracts, a few good things about this ministry are worth mentioning:

  • The tracts use the Authorised Version of the Bible in English (the KJV).
  • They give it all away for free, including shipping. That’s quite amazing, actually.
  • Conveniently, their tracts are numbered.
  • Just a few of the tracts are okay.

There are a few bad things about this ministry – mainly one:

  • The tracts generally present a false gospel. This makes them unfit for the purpose of being a gospel tract.

Generally the tract layout is as follows

  1. The verses that back up the real gospel are shown
  2. At the appeal, a different gospel is substituted: the appeal to “repent of your sins” or “change your life” is added (sometimes subtly)
  3. A prayer is offered, in which you “accept Jesus” and “turn from your sins” (and do almost anything except ask him to save you, believing that he can and will – something extra must be added, and faith must be diluted.)

Adding in things that are elements of Christian growth has the effect of downplaying salvation by faith, and exalting other weaker and more confusing approximations of salvation:

  • Salvation by the power of a choice
  • Salvation by “acceptance”, as if you would say “okay, fine, you can save me.”
  • Salvation by a willingness to change my life (i.e. a false promise)
  • Salvation by giving up control (only in a few)

There are a number of strange features in these tracts:

  • Random capitalisation (e.g. pronouns for God when not quoting scripture and “Hell”).  This makes the message look stupid.
  • Quotation marks used for emphasis (e.g. Jesus paid for your sins “in full”).  The actual effect is de-emphasis!
  • The resurrection is almost never explained, and generally only represented by a single verse, and that verse is almost always Romans 10:9, given without any commentary.  Surely this should be a larger feature of the gospel?

The specific errors in their tracts are:

  • Repent of your sins
  • Repentance means being willing to turn from sin
  • I will change my life
  • You will change my life
  • I will obey you as Lord
  • Take control of my life
  • Hell is separation from God (this is just wrong)

A few of the tracts are actually okay, although weak. The borderline tracts are the ones that quote the “turn from his wicked way” verses without exposition. I don’t really know how to feel about those.

These are the tracts, by number, with the briefest description of the type of error they insinuate into their gospel presentation:

If you absolutely have to use tracts from this organisation, try to stick to the ones that are “ok” or at least “meh”.

For the record: your part of salvation is faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is not that you feel sorry, nor change your life, nor that you stop smoking, nor that you genuinely hate smoking, nor that you give something to God, but that you trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe: that you call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord in faith. Salvation is not “repent of your sins”.  You should do as much repenting as you please of as many wicked things as are in your life, but first get saved by faith.

Did you get saved by a fellowship tract league tract?

[ Update: 2023 – The PDF’s on their site are now dead links – I linked to their store site instead, which also shows the content of the tracts ]

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3 Responses to Summary of falsehoods in Fellowship Tract League tracts

  1. charles hallam says:

    I used Chick tracts for MANY years, then I was showed about the lordship salvation and immediately quit using them. Then I found Fellowship Tract League. I reviewed a number of their tracts very carefully, as I am responsible for what I order people to read. I chose #130 “Where are you going to spend eternity” I have been using these tracts for a year or more now. Then I ran across your website here and read the article about Fellowship Tract league making a business out of the Gospel and I am seriously against that. SO I looked at the list to see if that tract was on the list of “repent of your sins” It does show up on the list but I read the entire tract again, and it doesnt mention anything about repenting of sins. only about trusting Christ for salvation and nothing else. But like Jack Chick’s tracts. he puts “be willing to turn for sin” in ALL of his tracts, so I stopped using them altogether

  2. Richard Wagner says:

    Didn’t Jesus say to “REPENT” when He started His ministry. I’ve visited Fellowship Baptist church, and have met some of the spiritual Christians ever. Your article on them is false: may God deal with you: you need to repent!

  3. stuff writer says:

    Charles – the specific phrase in tract 130 is “with all your heart you believe Jesus Christ can save you from hell and change your way of life”. The trouble there is the “and change your way of life”, which teaches that you are saved by the change of life – that the change of the way of life is part of the deal – your works. This is rather different from what the Ethiopian believed with all his heart, that “Jesus Christ is the Son of God”.
    Richard – I’m glad you met great people from Fellowship Baptist church, but I have not met them, so I can’t comment on their persons. Mark gives us the following words from Jesus: “repent ye, and believe the gospel”. To repent is to change your mind: there are things that men must set aside in order to believe the gospel: that they are the children of Abraham, or that they will be saved by their works, or that their sin will be passed over without punishment. When the kingdom of heaven is at hand, it’s a good time to let go of those things and believe the truth. I don’t think that this is your view of “repent”, but you should change your mind about that.

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