Excerpt taken from "You Dont Know Jack"
Copyright © 2017 by David W. Daniels. Reproduced by permission.
Jack Chick was a real man. He always worked hard. He tried to do the responsible thing, even before he became a Christian. But he was still an unsaved man. For me to tell this part of the story, you need to know a little more about what Jack was like, by his own admission, before he was saved.
So get ready to walk back into history —his story— told the way Jack told me.
Jack and I started working together in August of 2000. On the second or third day he told me he had never learned dirty words growing up. But his Catholic extended family did something awful. They wouldn’t give young “Jackie” the food unless he took the Lord’s name in vain.
He said they made him say, “Please pass the potatoes, blankety-blank!” They loved it. It made them laugh.
So Jack, who didn’t get much attention from either his dad or mom for various reasons, took the Lord’s name in vain. That was one thing that his relatives liked.
But Jack’s colorful speech was too much for the Christians at Alhambra High School. They wouldn’t have anything to do with him. They didn’t even tell him the gospel!
Think about that. So Jack didn’t cuss like street kids. That is, until he entered the military. He was sent “the letter” on February 1st, 1943. He said it was more like “Congratulations! You have been invited to serve your country.”
He went into the recruiting office. And they were all, “Sit down, sir.” “Thank you, sir.” “Sign right here, sir.” “Now go through that door right over there.”
And once he walked through that door, everything changed. “Alright you blankety-blanks! You belong to the US Army now!”
And then he heard the most vile filth he had ever heard, and he heard it over and over, from the moment he walked through that door, to the moment after the last salute as he headed home.
Jack said, “We were called ‘The Greatest Generation.’ But we weren’t great. We were filthy sinners, just like everyone else.”
The soldiers in Jack’s unit were also filthy in another area: fornication.
Jack told me horrifying stories about what servicemen did, first in New Guinea and later in Japan. Jack saw first-hand the horrible diseases they got from that debauchery.
There are many beautiful people in Japan. And Jack told me the women were lovely. But they were not for him.
One night, the servicemen designated Jack as the driver (since he didn’t drink) and they went out and got roaring drunk. Then they went into a brothel.
One woman came out to Jack. He told me, “She was the most beautiful young lady I had ever seen. She l ooked at me and pointed to her nose. She said, ‘You want me?’”
Jack said, “No!!!” and pulled back, as scared as can be. He’d watched those Army films on the diseases people got from fornication. Jack hadn’t met Lola Lynn yet, but he wanted to keep himself clean for his future wife.
I don’t know how many professed Christians were among the bunch of cursing, drinking fornicators in Jack’s unit. But one thing I can tell you. There was one man who sat with unsaved Jack in the jeep that night. And he was a Mormon.
This might have been that guy.
So Jack didn’t drink, and he didn’t go on the town. But he did take up swearing. And one more thing.
There weren’t a lot of presents from home that came to servicemen. But one thing did come, and it came in boxes. Or more specifically, cartons. Every soldier was sent whole cartons of cigarettes. And the servicemen had nothing but time.
Jack signed up to go anywhere, for any duty that wasn’t where he was stuck. But he was never assigned to any other unit. Of course, that saved his life. Almost everyone he knew who went into battle was eventually killed.
But in his whole enlistment, Jack never saw battle, not even once. Jack was never fired at. Jack never so much as saw a gun being fired at an enemy. Jack’s assignment was cryptography.
So just like his army buddies, Jack sat and worked and talked and smoked. And he picked up the habit of cursing with some of the new words.
Jack rose to the rank of Sergeant before he was discharged on January 28, 1946, and continued studying at the Playhouse.
So in 1948, after the war, after graduating from the Playhouse, and after getting married, he carried those two habits with him to Saskatchewan, Canada, when he met Lola Lynn Priddle’s very conservative, Christian parents, Walter and Myrtle.
Jack just looked and sounded like any other American soldier. But that didn’t fly with these Canadian Christians. The very second day, Myrtle said to Lola Lynn, “What in the world did you marry?”
By Sunday Myrtle had had enough. She ushered Jack into another room, to hear the radio, Charles E. Fuller’s Old Fashioned Revival Hour. As he listened, Fuller quoted Isaiah 1:18:
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Those words shot right through his soul and brought Jack to his knees. It was crystal clear Jack was a sinner and he needed forgiveness. He saw there was nothing he could do to make himself good or save himself from hell fire and damnation that his wife told him about.
You see, the Holy Ghost had used Lola Lynn a couple of years earlier. Back when Lynn came to the Playhouse to study voice and radio, Jack turned to her once and quoted the popular saying from a song, “Don’t be a fool, you fool.” Lynn turned to Jack, looked at him and said, “He who calls his brother a fool is in danger of hell fire and damnation!”
So Jack fully felt the truth of Matthew 12:37: “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
Jack believed those words. And Jack believed Christ and His sacrifice for his sins.
So that night on his honeymoon, Sunday night at 8:30 PM, right after the radio broadcast, Jack went into the kitchen and cried out to God to save him.
And he did!
When Jack returned from his honeymoon later in 1948, he was a changed man. That changed man went to 20th Century Fox, and quickly realized that he could never be part of the filth of Hollywood.
God had saved his life in the war. Almost every single friend he made was killed on the battlefield. And now God had saved his soul from an infinitely worse fate: burning in the lake of fire.
One day, years later, Jack came upon one of those Christians from Alhambra High School. Jack asked him, “Why didn’t you fellas ever tell me about Christ?”
The schoolmate told Jack, “We all said, ‘He’d be the last guy on earth to ever accept Jesus.’” Well, “the last guy on earth to accept Jesus,” received Jesus.
He (Christ) came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Next, I’ll tell you about how people reacted to Jack and his newfound faith, both back then, and right up to the present. And I’ll show you how I, and all of Jack’s friends, know he actually reacted to all the criticism he received.