How Chuck Colson appeals to young evangelicals

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Prison Fellowship founder and Watergate figure Chuck Colson will be buried privately with full military honors at Quantico National Cemetery and a public service is expected later at Washington National Cathedral. Photo courtesy of Prison Fellowship

Prison Fellowship founder and Watergate figure Chuck Colson will be buried privately with full military honors at Quantico National Cemetery and a public service is expected later at Washington National Cathedral. Photo courtesy of Prison Fellowship

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(RNS) Millennials might not be most likely to look to someone of Colson's age and background as a role model. But his activism, which supporters say advocated issues and not political parties, appeals to some.

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  • So, one of the architects of the Watergate scandals (there were actually many components to that, and Colson was in on most of them) is supposed to be a “role model”? How does that work, exactly? And why should I be impressed with anyone who views Colson as a “role model”?

    Oh, I get it. He became a “Christian.” Therefore the man magically became a walking saint. Because, after all, “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.” Thus, everyone is required now to slaver over the guy and conveniently forget his criminality. Woops. I forgot that rule. How silly of me! Must have happened because I’m a cold-hearted, cynical, godless agnostic heathen and just don’t get all that sacred stuff that all the dutiful Christians inherently understand.

  • ScottN

    Hi PsiCop,

    I think the case with Colson is that he turned his life around. During his time in prison, he had a life-changing experience and never went back to his old ways. He did what he did during Watergate, but after he got out of prison, he devoted the rest of his life to sharing the Gospel. (At least that’s how I understand it.) In case it matters, I’m a Baha’i and not an evangelical Christian.

    ScottN

  • Patrick McBurney

    Well, yes. Colson, is a role model. I am an attorney, who has worked on political campaigns. But, I don’t strive to be like Colson the lawyer, or political operative. But, I strive to be like Colson the Christian. A man who came to understand that God exists, and calls us to seek a relationship with him. It is that relationship which transforms, and causes us to change how we see and understand the world. Which when that truly happens causes to us to be transformed. So pre-1975 Colson is a different person than post-1975 Colson. Because of his encounter with God.

    When I was nineteen, I told God that I did not see the point in trying to live a biblical life, unless he was real. Not just intellectually (i.e. God Exists Cosmologically, Telelogically, etc..), but real to me. God answered that prayer and it changed my life. Without faith it is impossible to please God, you must believe that he exists, and that he rewards those who seek him. Good luck to you.

  • Re: “During his time in prison, he had a life-changing experience and never went back to his old ways.”

    Had his “life changing experience” made him (say) a Hindu, would people be trying to saint him? Would the same have happened if he’d become a Muslim, or a Baha’i, or a Wiccan, or something else? I suggest it wouldn’t have. What happened … and it’s not a new story at all … is that he started talking “Christian” and all the other Christians swallowed his con, hook line and sinker.

  • Re: “So pre-1975 Colson is a different person than post-1975 Colson. Because of his encounter with God.”

    And as I asked above (http://religionnews.com/2015/12/24/chuck-colsons-surprising-staying-power-appeals-young-evangelicals/#comment-4836788) would you have said this, had his “encounter with God” made him a Hindu instead of a Christian? Or a Muslim, Baha’i, or Wiccan?

    Why do I think that wouldn’t be the case? Why do I think you’re religiously selective about which heroes you adore?

    Re: “Without faith it is impossible to please God …”

    Why should I care about that? Why would an omnipotent, omniscient, infinite being need mortals (or any other kind of being) to “please” him/her/it? Why would such a being not already be fully self-sufficient?