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?

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