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Post  Admin on Wed 25 Apr 2012, 6:51 am

Thanks to My Friend and Mentor
A Tribute to Chuck Colson

April 23, 2012

As you have no doubt heard by now, Chuck Colson has gone home to be with
the Lord. I urge you to keep the Colson family in your prayers during
this difficult time.

By the time you hear this there will have been no shortage of
commentary—mostly appreciative about the life of this extraordinary

Actually, "appreciative" is a huge understatement of what Chuck
has meant to me, both personally and professionally.

Like so many of you, I first encountered Chuck through books "Born
http://www.colsoncenterstore.org/product.asp?sku=1598562517 and "Loving God."
Classics, must reading. I'm not old
enough to remember Chuck as a controversial political figure during
Watergate, so I have always thought of him mainly as an inspiring
Christian leader.

But little did I imagine while reading his books that I would one day
work with him. Needless to say I was a little in awe of him. It probably
didn't help that, initially at least, he wasn't exactly effusive
with his praise of my work.

This is neither a complaint nor a criticism. Chuck Colson has always had
a huge heart for the prisoner, for the needy, for the hurting. But he
was also a man from a very different time: a Depression baby, tough,
driven, former Marine. He demanded and expected a lot from himself and
he expected the same from the people who worked with him. By his own
admission, he was "at the top of the type-A scale."

But that's not the end of the story: over the years I saw Chuck
mellow. He acknowledged this change in the epilogue to his daughter
Emily's beautiful book, "Dancing With Max."
He wrote movingly about how his autistic
grandson helped him become more patient and more understanding of
others. In short, it changed him.

I benefited from that change. Over the past decade, Chuck went from
being a demanding boss to being a mentor and a father figure, even a
friend. He has been both supportive of my efforts and generous with his
praise and his time.

His last public appearance was the quintessential example. I remember
after I introduced him at the Spiral of Silence conferences, he praised
my Bonhoefferbiography and said that he regarded my work as part of his
legacy. Knowing Chuck and "top of the Type-A scale" temperament
made me treasure his praise all the more.

If you believe in coincidences, which I did not, I just happened into
the hotel lobby as Chuck was being taken out to the ambulance, I had the
privilege of walking over and putting my hand on the shoulder of my
friend, I cracked a small joke, to which Chuck smiled and replied
"tell everyone at the conference that I'm sorry for having
spoiled their evening." That is classic Chuck Colson.

Barely one week later, I was here on BreakPoint. If you had told me
fifteen years ago that I would go from writing BreakPoints to delivering
them on the air, I would not have believed you. If you had told me that
the demanding boss in whom I was in awe would come to regard me as part
of his legacy, I might have called you "nuts."

Obviously, God had other plans—plans that Chuck Colson helped
nurture. I am grateful for what Chuck has done for me and honored to be
part of that legacy. As I told you in my first broadcast, the voice may
have changed but the message remains the same. I wouldn't have it
any other way.
I praise God for you Chuck. Thank you.

[Further Reading]

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Post  Admin on Tue 24 Apr 2012, 8:16 am

More can be read on this sad news at Doulos International thread in General Page here at World Wide Christians.

Remembering Chuck Colson
Dear Friends,
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has
gone, the new has come!

2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that Chuck Colson —
our friend, founder, and brother in Christ — passed away at 3:12 PM
today Saturday 21st April. Though we mourn the loss of a great leader, we rejoice knowing
God has welcomed his humble and faithful servant home. When Chuck Colson
left prison, he promised to remember the men who remained behind bars.
"I will never forget you guys!" he told them.

And for 36 years, Chuck faithfully kept that promise. In 1976, he
founded Prison Fellowship, a ministry dedicated to living out Jesus'
command to remember the incarcerated and share the transformational love
of Jesus Christ with them and their families.

"I could never, ever have left prison and accomplished what has been
accomplished but for God doing it through me," Chuck once said.

Chuck also spoke directly into our culture through BreakPoint Radio, a
program he started in 1991 and has been the voice of nearly every day
for the past twenty plus years. His vision to lead the culture into a
Christian Worldview

led to the Centurions Program in 2004 and the founding of the Chuck
Colson Center for Christian Worldview in 2010.

Please continue to pray for the entire Colson family. While we all
deeply feel this loss, we take heart knowing God has welcomed Chuck into
paradise with a "well done, good and faithful servant!"

Together, let's celebrate the life of Chuck Colson — a man
transformed by grace, dedicated to serving our Savior, and now living in
eternal glory with the Lord.
Jim Liske
Chief Executive Officer

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Post  Admin on Sun 20 Nov 2011, 12:07 am

Christmas Smack Down
by Chuck Colson, BreakPoint

In a Texas classroom, children were told to draw a
tracing of their foot, and then put a message on the
drawing. One little girl wrote "Jesus Loves Me" on
hers. What happened next shows the abysmal state of
religious tolerance in America.

As Fox news anchor John Gibson relates in his new
book, The War on Christmas, the child's teacher ripped
the tracing off the board. "Don't you ever do this
again," she said. The little girl burst into tears.

When her outraged father called the school, nervous
officials told the child to make another tracing. She
did so--but this time, instead of scrawling "Jesus
Loves Me," she drew a tiny cross that was so small it
was almost invisible.

This little girl had learned her lesson well. Her
Christian faith was something shameful--and she should
keep it to herself.

And this little girl is not the only child learning
this ugly lesson. In a Plano, Texas, classroom, a
teacher told students not to write "Merry Christmas"
on greeting cards for soldiers in Iraq because it
might offend someone. They were even forbidden to say
"Merry Christmas" to their classmates. And this, in
Plano, Texas?

In a New York school, the halls were decked with
menorahs and Kwanzaa candles. When a father asked why
there was no Christmas tree, the principal said, "Oh,
we're trying to make sure we don't offend people."

In Maplewood, New Jersey, fifth-graders were asked to
make posters demonstrating diversity. A boy named
Anton pasted on the Star of David and a Muslim symbol.
When his mother suggested he add a Christian symbol, he
said, "No, I don't want to offend anyone." These kids
are being brain-washed.

Every December, symbols of Christmas are treated like
pornography, sex, or second-hand smoke--things that
ought to be enjoyed in private, lest others be

According to Gibson, people who treat Christian
symbols this way are acting out of a deep-seated
hostility toward all things Christian. They're often
offended by Christianity on an intellectual level.
They think it's a crutch used by the less intelligent.

And since they have begun losing battles in the
courts, they've opened up a new front called
"inclusiveness." Yes, they admit, the Supreme Court
says it's okay to have Christmas trees on public
property--but do we really want to offend neighbors
who don't celebrate Christmas? The same goes for
Christmas music and candy canes in schools; somewhere,
someone might be offended. But isn't it strange that,
in case after case, only Christian symbols seem to
have the power to offend?

Well, many Christians have had enough, and they're
fighting back. For help, they're turning to religious
liberties groups that have sprung up to defend our
First Amendment rights. Among these are the ACLJ, the
Thomas More Law Center, the Alliance Defense Fund, and
the Beckett Fund. Visit our website
(www.breakpoint.org) for more information.

Parents are right to resist efforts to try to teach
their kids that Christian symbols--and the faith they
represent--are inherently offensive. In a country that
honors religious freedom, the real offense is not
saying "Merry Christmas" to a friend, but in teaching
kids that expressing their faith is something to be
ashamed of.

BreakPoint by Chuck Colson
November 16, 2005
Copyright 2005

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Post  Admin on Sun 10 Jul 2011, 7:11 pm

The Hidden Key to Happiness
Refuge in Obedience
July 05, 2011 Chuck Colson
The people of the French mountain village Le Chambon-sur- Lignon are
remembered for their great heroism during the Second World War: At risk
of their own lives, the villagers rescued some 5,000 Jewish refugees
from the Nazis.
But many do not know the story behind the heroism -- the story of Pastor
Andre Trocme, who urged his congregation to make Chambon a city of
refuge. Like another hero of that war, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Trocme is an
example of knowing when it's right to disobey earthly authorities
because they contradict God's laws.
In his new book, The Hidden Key to Happiness, my great friend Drayton
Nabers writes that when the Nazis began rounding up French Jews to send
to concentration camps, Trocme -- a French reformed pastor -- determined
to provide sanctuary for them.
They did so despite the fact that the punishment for sheltering Jews was
death. They did so even though the villagers themselves were desperately
poor; since the Trocmes often had several children staying in their
home, the Trocmes' own four children often had very little to eat.
At various times, government and even church authorities ordered Trocme
to turn over any Jews hiding in the village. He refused, and was himself
thrown into prison. His cousin Daniel Trocme, who also rescued Jews, was
executed in a concentration camp. Other villagers also died while
protecting Jews. By the war's end, Le Chambon was known to be a city
of refuge, and the Trocmes were recognized by Holocaust memorial groups
for their heroism.
Learning about the people of Le Chambon, Nabers wondered: How are we to
understand such extraordinary group submission to the call of God, and
Trocme's ability to lead his people to such valiant obedience?
First, Trocme's sermons "were biblically based with a heavy
emphasis on the source of the believer's power to follow God."
He often focused on the Christian's obligation to protect the
helpless, even in defiance of the authorities.
Second, the courage of the villagers was strengthened by regular small
group meetings that were washed in prayer, moving "the hearts of
those who would later provide refuge at risk of their lives."
Third, the Protestant villagers could identify with persecution, because
their Huguenot ancestors were persecuted in Catholic France. Fourth, the
villagers had developed habits of virtue, compassion, helping; rescuing
the Jews was the fruit of these habits.
Sadly, many Christians most committed to social action brush aside the
need to fully and deeply know what our faith teaches. They consider
theology dry, dusty, reading that will put off new converts. But it was
training in that "dry," "dusty" theology that drove the
people of Le Chambon to defy civil authorities -- and offer up their
lives for the strangers among them.
So, what is the key to happiness? Pastor Trocme's story and other
great stories you'll find in The Hidden Key to Happiness
show clearly that true happiness is found
only in living a life of obedience to God.
Drayton Dabers makes this case powerfully with this book and with his
life. Drayton is the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court
who spends one day a week teaching the prison unit we run in Alabama. If
we were forced to try to save Jews, and figuratively speaking, we might
be, Drayton is the kind of man we could count on. Please, come to our
bookstore at BreakPoint.org and order a copy of The Hidden Key to

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Post  Admin on Sat 09 Jul 2011, 4:11 pm

The Tragedy of Sex-Selective Abortion
July 08, 2011 Chuck Colson
On Sunday, June 26th, CNN aired a heart-breaking report,
"Nepal's Stolen Children." The documentary, narrated by
actress Demi Moore, told the story of Nepalese girls who were sold into
slavery and turned into prostitutes in neighboring India.
During the broadcast Moore broke down and cried and spoke about making
sure this kind of thing never happens again.
While no one can diagree with that. The problem is that we are ignoring
an important part of what is driving this inhumane traffic in innocence.
That "part" was the subject of a New York Times column the day
after the broadcast. The title, "160 Million and Counting,"
referred to the number of "missing" women in the world. Not
"missing" as in "disappeared, " rather, as in "never
born in the first place."
As Times columnist Ross Douthat reminded readers, twenty years ago the
number of "missing" women was estimated by experts to be 100
million. They examined the skewed sex ratios in places like China and
his native India and rightly concluded that something terrible was
Twenty years later, the estimate has grown by 60 percent and now, as
then, people who ostensibly are concerned about these sorts of things
are still reluctant to name the cause: abortion.
Citing the work of social scientist Mara Hvistendahl, Douthat points
out an uncomfortable truth: what Times readers would no doubt see as
"female empowerment" lies behind the missing women. According to
Hvistendahl, in places like India, "women use their increased
autonomy" to abort their daughters and "select for sons,"
who enhance their social status.
While the practice of sex-selection abortion originated among the more
affluent, it eventually spread down the social ladder. And this brings
us back to the tragedies in Nepal.
The impact of selective abortion goes beyond the lives ended in the
womb, horrid as that is, it affects society. A 2008 article by two
Loyola Law School professors found that by reducing the number of
potential brides, selective abortion in India increased the demand for
sex workers.
And one way that "demand" is being filled is through the
Nepalese girls featured in the CNN documentary. The "lucky" ones
are "smuggled and purchased from poor countries like Nepal and
Bhutan to be brides for Indian men."
The more unfortunate are sold into the Indian sex trade.
The social ills and the accompanying suffering caused by sex-selection
abortion is why India and China have outlawed the practice. But the
practice and suffering still continues. Cultural norms are hard to
That's as true in the West as in Asia. Douthat notes that
sex-selection abortion puts Western liberals "in a distinctly
uncomfortable position." They can't deny the reality of the
practice but, at the same time, their own worldview leaves them hanging
in mid-air.
After all, they insist "that the unborn aren't human beings yet,
and that the right to an abortion is nearly absolute." 160 million
missing women and the suffering that radiates in all directions tells
you where that kind of thinking inevitably leads.
It's hard to imagine a better example of the poverty of modern
thinking: faced with a great evil and unable to address the answer.
That's something more to cry about.
[Further Reading]

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Post  Admin on Fri 08 Jul 2011, 5:53 pm

Establishing Justice
Guilt, Innocence and Due Process

July 07, 2011 Chuck Colson

At the end of the long and emotionally charged murder trial of Casey
Anthony, a prominent CNN reporter laid aside any shred of journalistic
objectivity and fumed, "Somewhere out there, the Devil is dancing

The reporter was directing her anger at the jury, which found Ms.
Anthony innocent of the murder of her young daughter. But after 33 days
in court and eleven hours of deliberation, the jury simply found too
many holes in the evidence to prove that Anthony was guilty beyond all
reasonable doubt.

Now the millions of Americans who followed the made-for-TV drama on
cable news, there was no doubt that Ms. Anthony was guilty. And why
would they think otherwise?

The tragic death occurred almost three years ago. Since then, the media
have breathlessly covered the sad story. They crammed every question of
innocence and guilt and the details of the murder into emotionally
charged, ratings-friendly, five-minute blocks. Let's be generous and
say that this kind of coverage merely fuels public outrage -- and it
certainly does nothing to help the public rationally weigh the evidence
of the case.

But then again, that's not the public's, or the media's,

That job belongs to the judge and jury, thank God. And I mean that
literally. Standards of evidence are so stringent in our legal system
because the stakes are so high: depriving a person of his liberty or
even his life.

Before that happens, the elements of the crime, all of them, must be
proved beyond a reasonable doubt. If this sounds "soft" to you,
then the Old Testament was "soft." We find in Numbers 35 and
Deuteronomy 17 the requirement that there be more than one eyewitness to
convict anyone of murder. God so abhors convicting the innocent that
bearing false witness in a capital case is a capital offense in itself!

Contrary to the CNN reporter's claim about Satan, what truly puts a
giddyup in the Devil's two-step is lawlessness and chaos, which is
why God instituted government and gave us law.

But, in the Biblical view, law is about more than preserving order, as
important as that is -- it is about establishing justice, which means
requiring rules, not just about right and wrong, but how we determine
who is right and who is wrong.

Think about the prophets: in addition to denouncing Israel's
apostasy and infidelity, they denounced wrong-doing in the courts and
the misdeeds of those entrusted with establishing justice.

Hard as it may be to accept, a properly-functionin g justice system will
make mistakes: we are talking about human beings, after all. Sometimes
people we believe to be guilty will go free.

And sometimes prosecutors are overzealous, as we saw in the case of
Dominque Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund.
His behavior may have been deplorable, but the prosecutors were

Then there are those wrongly-convicted, some of whom may be sitting on
death row.
As a Christian, it's these miscarriages of justice that disturb me
more. If Anthony is guilty, she's got to live with the consequences
and the nightmares of what she did. I am confident that God will see
that justice is ultimately done. That's His job. Ours is working for
a society where justice, as the Scriptures define it, is done today.

[Further Reading]


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Post  Admin on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 12:54 pm

Radical Gratitude
Grateful for God in Tough Times
June 29, 2011 Chuck Colson
A few years ago, university psychologists conducted a research project
on gratitude and thanksgiving. They divided participants into three
groups. People in the first group practiced daily exercises like writing
in a gratitude journal. They reported higher levels of alertness,
determination, optimism, energy, and less depression and stress than the
control group. Unsurprisingly, they were also a lot happier than the
participants who were told to keep an account of all the bad things that
happened each day.
One of the psychologists concluded that though a practice of gratitude
is a key to most religions, its benefits extend to the general
population, regardless of faith or no faith. He suggested that anyone
can increase his sense of well-being just from counting his blessings.
As my colleague Ellen Vaughn wrote in her book, Radical Gratitude, no
one is going to disagree that gratitude is a virtue. But, Ellen says,
counting our blessings and conjuring an attitude of
to-whom-it-may- concern gratitude, Pollyanna-style is not enough.
What do we do when cancer strikes -- I have two children who have
battled it -- or when loved ones die, when we find ourselves in the
midst of brokenness and real suffering? That, she says, is where
gratitude gets radical.
While they often mingle together in the life of a follower of Christ,
there are actually two types of thankfulness. One is secondary, the
other primary.
The secondary sort is thankfulness for blessings received. Life, health,
home, family, freedom, a tall, cold lemonade on a summer day -- it's a
mindset of active appreciation for all good gifts.
The great preacher and American theologian Jonathan Edwards called
thanks for such blessings "natural gratitude." It's a good thing, but
this gratitude doesn't come naturally -- if at all -- when things go
badly. It can't buoy us in difficult times. Nor, by itself, does it
truly please God. And, to paraphrase Jesus, even pagans can give thanks
when things are going well.
Edwards calls the deeper, primary form of thankfulness "gracious
gratitude." It gives thanks not for goods received, but for who God is:
for His character -- His goodness, love, power, excellencies --
regardless of favors received. And it's real evidence of the Holy Spirit
working in a person's life.
This gracious gratitude for who God is also goes to the heart of who we
are in Christ. It is relational, rather than conditional. Though our
world may shatter, we are secure in Him. The fount of our joy, the love
of the God who made us and saved us, cannot be quenched by any power
that exists (Romans 8:28-39). People who are filled with such radical
gratitude are unstoppable, irrepressible, overflowing with what C. S.
Lewis called "the good infection" -- the supernatural, refreshing love
of God that draws others to Him.
And that, more than any words we might utter, is a powerful witness to
our neighbors that God's power is real, and His presence very relevant,
even in a world full of brokenness as well as blessings.
I talk more about gratitude today on my Two Minute Warning, which I hope
you will go see at ColsonCenter. org. Specifically, I talk about
gratitude and the 4th of July. Can we as Americans be grateful for our
nation even as we endure these hard times? Please, go to
ColsonCenter.org and tune in.

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Post  Admin on Sat 25 Jun 2011, 2:38 pm

I Hate Being Right Sometimes
Religious Freedom and Smith
June 24, 2011 Chuck Colson
In 1990 the Supreme Court upheld the firing of two Oregon drug
counselors for using drugs outside of work. That sounds reasonable, but
the decision, Employment Division v. Smith, was strongly criticized by
people -- including me -- committed to religious liberty.
That's because the employees had ingested peyote during a Native
American religious ceremony. Justice Scalia's opinion was so broad
that it was inevitable that its impact wouldn't be limited to
marginal religions and their adherents.
I hate being right sometimes. In November, San Francisco voters will
decide if circumcision will be legal in their city. If that sounds
outrageous, that's because it is.
Sponsors argue that circumcision "needlessly inflicts pain on
newborns" and compare it to female genital mutilation. They claim
they support "genital autonomy" and "male-genital- integrity
Again, if this sounds ridiculous to you, you should remember that this
is San Francisco, the city that banned giving away toys with fast food
and where you can't even sell diet soda in some places. Thus, it
shouldn't come as a surprise that the sponsors were able to gather
enough signatures to place the issue on the ballot.
Nor should it come as a surprise that arguments about the place of
circumcision in Judaism and 3,000-plus years of tradition don't sway
proponents. Proponents don't care that the Archbishop of San
Francisco called the proposed measure "unconscionable" and the
National Association of Evangelicals has come out against the measure.
If anything, that probably encouraged them.
If you think that this is just San Francisco being, well, San Francisco,
think again. Other cities are considering similar measures. If you
think that a measure that effectively targets Jews would give pause to a
city that prides itself on "tolerance," think again. As one
Rabbi-blogger put it "Hey San Francisco, 1930's Germany Called,
They Want Their Anti-Semitic Propaganda Back!"
And if you think that the measure must be unconstitutional, think again.
Scalia's opinion makes it very difficult to challenge laws like this
one. As long as the law applies to everyone, what Scalia called a
"neutral law of general applicability, " then all government
needs to demonstrate is a rational purpose.
In this case, while circumcision is associated with Judaism, the fact
that an estimated 80 percent of American boys are circumcised arguably
meets the "neutral law of general applicability" test. Likewise,
preventing pain arguably is a rational purpose.
While Smith permits religious exemptions, it doesn't require them,
and the proposed ordinance specifically omits such an exemption.
Thus, the fate of religious freedom in San Francisco is up to the
voters. Thanks to Smith, an irreligious majority has the power to impose
its will on a devout minority. And it's just a matter of time before
a less-sympathetic minority, say, small "o" orthodox Christians,
will find that they only enjoy the freedom that the majority is willing
to extend them.
This stands the First Amendment on its head, which is why we tried to
get Smith reversed both in Congress and in the courts. It's also why
we wrote the Manhattan Declaration, which you need to sign.
I hate being right sometimes.

Read more

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Post  Admin on Thu 23 Jun 2011, 10:21 pm

Holy Impact
Our Work Behind Prison Walls
June 22, 2011 Chuck Colson
For 36 years now, my burning passion has been to minister to people in
prison. It is God's call on my life.
And every year, every month, every week, almost every day, I see or hear
about God utterly transforming the lives of men and women who have been
abandoned by society and placed in the world's darkest holes.
You'd think I'd get used to it, that somehow the excitement
would wear off. But it doesn't. There's nothing like it in the
Take the story of John Jennings. He grew up in North Carolina, and
he'd be the first to tell you he was a little wild growing up. He
went to college, was a real math wiz, but he dropped out in favor of
selling drugs. He supplemented his earnings by preparing people's
taxes in way that beat the law.
Then he started robbing banks. At age 37, John landed in prison, facing
165 years for armed robbery and other crimes. Folks, I can't even
describe the emptiness and despair a man feels when he's sentenced
to even three years behind bars -- no less 165.
In the midst of that despair, Prison Fellowship volunteers entered
John's life. John heard about PF Bible studies they were leading at
the prison. He decided to join in. And there he was introduced to Jesus
Then, not long before one Christmas, PF volunteer Bruce Williams sang a
song that stopped John in his tracks. The song went like this: "When
others see a shepherd boy, God may see a king. Even though your life
seems filled with ordinary things, in just a moment He can touch you,
and everything will change."
John asked for a copy of the song, and Bruce mailed him a cassette
recording. Soon, Bruce began meeting with John, and when John came up
for parole, Bruce was there to vouch for him. And when John was set
free, Bruce took him into his home, dressed him in new clothes, and gave
him a job in the family's business.
Out of gratitude to God, John founded a ministry for ex-prisoners,
helping meet their spiritual, physical, and financial needs.
Jesus gave John a new life. And He stood by John even as John went
through an ordeal greater than prison. After John was released from
prison, his son was murdered by a man who had been a friend. In the
courtroom, John faced his son's killer, tears streaming down his
John said, "God told me to tell you He loves you, man...And the only
way we win today is if you give your life to the Lord."
John struggled to get the words out: "God loves you -- and I love
you." Leaving the courthouse, John heard God speak to him: "Now,
son, I can use you."
And God HAS used him and so many thousands of prisoners and ex-prisoners
who have come to Christ through the ministry of Prison fellowship
volunteers. And they would say, with John, "I am where I am today
because of Prison Fellowship."
I hope you can see why I'm so passionate about the work of Prison
Fellowship. And I want to be frank with you: We need your support in
these difficult financial times. Any donation you could make will have a
holy impact, and will be a personal encouragement to me. Simply visit
or call 1-877-478-0100. From the bottom of
my heart and for the sake of Him who died on the cross in our place,
thank you.

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Post  Admin on Thu 16 Jun 2011, 1:58 pm

Painting on the Wall
Human Imagination

June 15, 2011 Chuck Colson

In 1994, three explorers discovered a cave in southern France. The cave,
named the Chauvet Cave after one of the men, was unlike any cave ever
discovered: It contained hundreds of prehistoric paintings, most of
which were of long-extinct animals.

Not only was this the largest collection of cave paintings ever
discovered, it was also the oldest, estimated by some dating experts to
be 32,000 years old.

Chauvet Cave is the subject of new film by German director Werner
Herzog, The Cave of Forgotten Dreams. While most of the commentary
centers on Herzog's film techniques, especially his use of 3-D,
what's really worth talking about is what the movie says about those
whose dreams are depicted on the walls.

That's because it's impossible to look at these paintings or
cave paintings elsewhere in southern France and northern Spain and think
that man is just another animal. At least it ought to be impossible.

You don't have to be a Christian or even a theist to agree.
Paleontologists claim that about 50 to 70 thousand years ago, humans
underwent a profound transformation. It wasn't physical, and saying
that they got smarter doesn't do it justice.

The word that best captures the change is "imagination. " Our
tools, which hadn't improved much beyond stone axes, became much
more sophisticated. Even more telling was evidence of symbolic thinking:
Art began to emerge, beginning with decorative beads, and culminating in
the caves depicted in Herzog's film.

The effects of what Scientific American calls "the Human Spark"
weren't limited to the works of our hands. One of the most
persistent questions in anthropology involves the origins of human
altruism. In fact, I talk about this today on my "Two Minute
Warnnig" video commentary, which I urge you to see at

. The materialistic account reduces altruism
to a kind of evolutionary quid pro quo survival tactic.

A far better explanation lies in the human imagination: We are concerned
with the well-being of others because we are able to imagine ourselves
in their shoes. We can empathize with their plight because our
imaginations take us beyond ourselves and our subjective moods so we can
see the world, however fleetingly, as others see it.

Thus, while zebras gather in herds for mutual protection, people throw
themselves on grenades to save their friends and go without food so that
others might eat. Likewise, while a chimp might use a twig to gather
termites, people use technology to transform our environment, not only
for our benefit but for generations yet unborn.

And it goes without saying that no lion or panther ever depicted its
prey on a cave wall.

Why this should be the case isn't a mystery to Christians. We
understand that human beings imagine, create, and empathize because they
are created in the image of a God who does the same, albeit on an
infinitely vaster scale.

We believe that God created us in His image even though He knew that the
same imagination that made us unique in all of creation also made us
uniquely capable of rebelling against Him: after all, the Serpent asked
Eve to imagine being like God.

Herzog's film is an unintentional -- and for evolutionists,
inconvenient -- reminder of how our imagination has always set us apart
from the rest of creation, no matter how hard we try to deny it.

<[url=http://links.mkt3980.com/ctt?kn=46&ms=MTcxNDUzNwS2&r=OTQ0MjQwNzk2S0 &b=0\&j=MjgzNzAxMzQS1& mt=1&rt=0]http://links.mkt3980.com/ctt?kn=46&ms=MTcxNDUzNwS2&r=OTQ0MjQwNzk2S0 &b=0\
&j=MjgzNzAxMzQS1& mt=1&rt=0[/url]>
[Further Reading]
<[url=http://links.mkt3980.com/ctt?kn=51&ms=MTcxNDUzNwS2&r=OTQ0MjQwNzk2S0 &b=0\&j=MjgzNzAxMzQS1& mt=1&rt=0]http://links.mkt3980.com/ctt?kn=51&ms=MTcxNDUzNwS2&r=OTQ0MjQwNzk2S0 &b=0\
&j=MjgzNzAxMzQS1& mt=1&rt=0[/url]>

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Post  Admin on Sat 21 May 2011, 2:57 pm

Sunshine NIMBYism
American Politics in a Nutshell

May 20, 2011 Chuck Colson

As I have told BreakPoint listeners many times, the United States faces
some daunting challenges -- the kind of challenges that, if left
unaddressed, will degrade not only our quality of life but, more
importantly, that of our children and grandchildren.

What makes these challenges -- such our fiscal state and our dependence
on foreign energy sources -- so daunting isn't that we don't
know what needs to done, but that we lack the political will to do it.
Few politicians are willing to take the political risks, which, to be
fair, is understandable, since few Americans are willing to give up
anything for the sake of future generations.

Two recent stories in the New York Times tell the sad tale: The first
concerns solar panels placed on telephone polls by a New Jersey electric
company. Panels like these have helped make the Garden State second only
to California in solar power capacity.

New Jersey may be second in solar power capacity, but it's probably
first in whining about it: Residents of Bergen County call the panels
"ugly," and an "eyesore." They "hate" them and
worry about their impact on property values.

What makes this rhetoric especially ridiculous is that the panels are
attached to telephone poles from which power and telephone lines and the
occasional transformer box also hang. It's not as though
someone's view of the Rocky Mountains is being obscured.

Even more telling is a story about the attempt to limit taxpayer
exposure to the Fannie Mae fiasco. The attempt involves limiting the
size of mortgages covered by federal mortgage guarantees.

Currently, the limit is about $730,000 in some of the most-expensive
parts of the country. Under that proposal, that cap would be trimmed by
as much as a third.

It shouldn't come as any surprise that the proposal is drawing
opposition from those who would be affected. One of the more reasonable
voices quoted in the Times said that "I'm glad to see
they're trying to rein in Fannie Mae, but I think I'm being
disproportionately penalized."

Penalized? Since when is there a right to government assistance in
buying and selling the house of your dreams?

Naturally, the National Association of Realtors has made stopping the
changes "a top lobbying priority."

Kevin Drum of the liberal magazine Mother Jones rightly summed up the
response as "American politics in a nutshell."

Americans talk a big game about fiscal and personal responsibility; they
are gung-ho on energy independence, but when it comes time for action,
their response is always the same: Stick the other guy with the check.

Residents of Nantucket are all for "sustainable" energy, except
when the wind farm is built off their beach. Wall Street preaches to
Main Street about fiscal rectitude, but gets the vapors at the thought
of taxing hedge fund mangers' incomes in the same way you do truck
drivers' incomes.

Folks, we can't afford this kind of hypocrisy anymore. If we
ourselves aren't willing to make the sacrifices necessary, forces
beyond our control will force them upon us. And that will truly be ugly
and worthy of our hate. But we will have deserved it.


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Post  Admin on Fri 20 May 2011, 10:57 pm

The Way or Not the Way
Orthodoxy and Why It Matters

May 18, 2011 Chuck Colson

According to the Pew Forum's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, 57
percent of self-identified Evangelical Christians agreed with this
statement: "Many religions can lead to eternal life."

Think about the staggering implications of what you just heard: 57
percent of Evangelicals believe that many religions can lead to eternal

Yet Jesus Himself was very clear. "I am the way and the truth and the
life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).
Either Jesus was right, or he was wrong. What Christians, Muslims, and
Jews say about the person and work of Jesus Christ can't be
reconciled. They may all be false, but they cannot all be true.

It's called the law of non-contradiction -- it goes back to
Aristotle: If proposition A is true -- that is, if it conforms to
reality -- then proposition B, making a contrary claim, cannot be true
as well.

If nearly six out of ten Evangelicals don't believe the most basic
tenets of the faith, it's no wonder the Church is losing its
influence over the culture. Because what we believe affects how we

Even a secular columnist for the New York Times understands this! As I
explain on today's Two Minute Warning video commentary, which you
can watch at ColsonCenter.org
[url=http://links.mkt3980.com/ctt?kn=39&ms=MTA3MjM3NgS2&r=OTQ0MjQwNzk2S0 &b=0\&j=Mjc0ODI1MDES1& mt=1&rt=0]http://links.mkt3980.com/ctt?kn=39&ms=MTA3MjM3NgS2&r=OTQ0MjQwNzk2S0 &b=0\
&j=Mjc0ODI1MDES1& mt=1&rt=0[/url] , David Brooks recently wrote "The
religions that thrive" historically have "communal theologies,
doctrines and codes of conduct rooted in claims of absolute truth."
And those beliefs translate into acts of mercy and love: the kind that
Brooks himself witnessed from conservative Christian missionaries
reaching out to AIDS victims in Africa.

There is a remedy for this situation -- a remedy that an Augustinian
monk by the name of Martin Luther discovered back in the sixteenth
century. The Church in Luther's day wallowed in its own corruption,
sold indulgences, and refused to allow people to read the Bible in their
own language. Luther compared the state of the Church to the Babylonian
exile of the Israelites, when God punished Israel for disobeying God and
worshiping false idols.

So what did Luther do? He went back to the teaching of the apostles, the
faith entrusted to the saints once for all. He studied the works of the
ancient Church fathers, who wrote at a time when the Church's faith
was marked by unity. He studied the early councils of the Church. In
short, he recovered the orthodox faith.

This led to a Reformation that transformed not only the Church, but
Western society and culture as well.

This is why I wrote my book, titled The Faith: Given Once, For All.
It's about the essentials of the faith that all true Christians have
always believed -- the minimum, irreducible, non-negotiable tenets of
Christianity, without which one cannot be a true Christian, and without
which the Church cannot be the Church.

I am convinced that this is what people need to defend and live the
Christian faith these extraordinarily challenging times. So I urge you
to purchase a copy of The Faith -- you can get it at
[url=http://links.mkt3980.com/ctt?kn=1&ms=MTA3MjM3NgS2&r=OTQ0MjQwNzk2S0 &b=0&\j=Mjc0ODI1MDES1& mt=1&rt=0]http://links.mkt3980.com/ctt?kn=1&ms=MTA3MjM3NgS2&r=OTQ0MjQwNzk2S0 &b=0&\
j=Mjc0ODI1MDES1& mt=1&rt=0[/url]
And by the way -- all the royalties go to
the ministry of BreakPoint and Prison Fellowship.

The Church needs to know what it believes, why it believes it -- and why
it matters.

[Further Reading]
[url=http://links.mkt3980.com/ctt?kn=9&ms=MTA3MjM3NgS2&r=OTQ0MjQwNzk2S0 &b=0&\j=Mjc0ODI1MDES1& mt=1&rt=0]http://links.mkt3980.com/ctt?kn=9&ms=MTA3MjM3NgS2&r=OTQ0MjQwNzk2S0 &b=0&\
j=Mjc0ODI1MDES1& mt=1&rt=0[/url]

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Post  Admin on Tue 17 May 2011, 12:19 pm

Hell and Human Dignity
Do Our Choices Make a Difference?

May 16, 2011 Chuck Colson

Unless you've been on vacation in the Himalayas, you have no doubt
heard about the controversy surrounding Rob Bell's new book, Love
Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever

Arguably, Bell's tome is the first controversial Evangelical book of
the Internet age: It was promoted by a "trailer" that appeared
on many websites and dissected and condemned on countless more. Bell may
enjoy the distinction of being the first person ever excommunicated via
Twitter: one well-known writer tweeted "Farewell, Rob Bell."

There are certainly important theological questions raised by Bell's
book, including whether anyone goes to hell forever.

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat understands this well. In a recent
column Douthat, a devout Catholic, writes that doing away with eternal
punishment "is a natural way for pastors and theologians to make
their God seem more humane."

The impetus behind this impulse is understandable: In the wake of
incalculable human suffering, talking about hell seems cruel and the
idea of eternal punishment for wrong beliefs doubly so.

The problem, Douthat reminds us, is that attempts to make God seem more
"humane" also "threaten to make human life less fully
human." That's because, he writes, "to believe in God and
not in hell is ultimately to disbelieve in the reality of human
choices." If we can't say "no" to God's offer of
heaven, none of the other choices we make in life have any real meaning,

Douthat's point is reminiscent of something James Schall, a
professor at Georgetown, wrote in his book, On the Unseriousness of
Human Affairs. Schall began by noting that C. S. Lewis once said that
"we have never met a mere mortal."

Schall continued, human "lives are not insignificant. They are
risks... We like to be optimistic and suggest that no one loses his
soul. But if this is so, it is hard to see how anything is of much
importance. If nothing we do, say, or believe can really make any
difference, what is [the source] our dignity? We may do what we want
with impunity. Surely this is not the order of God for our good."

And it's not. And that's the problem with efforts to dull the
hard edges of the Christian message. Attempts to justify the ways of God
to men often only wind up interfering with God's plan for man.

It's hard to square our belief in free will with the belief that,
ultimately, nothing we do when we're able to exercise it has any
bearing on our eternal destiny. In some way we become like the denizens
of an ant farm: no matter how much we burrow, it doesn't change
where we're going or not going, for that matter.

It may make us feel better to believe that everyone goes to heaven. But
what happens to the concept of justice? Is not God a God of justice?

Like Douthat, I understand Bell's objection to the presumptuousness
of some Christians. Instead of making declarations about the eternal
destiny of people we've never met, we ought to be working out our
own salvation with fear and trembling.

Folks, beware. This book is high on the New York Times bestseller list.
Books like this are obviously appealing. But that doesn't make them


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Post  Admin on Sun 15 May 2011, 1:01 pm

Democratic Tyranny
Middle Eastern Mobs vs. Christians

May 13, 2011Chuck Colson

The Syrian Army recently laid siege to the southern city of Daraa.
Hundreds of people died in this especially bloody episode of what's
being called the "Arab Spring."

While the world sympathized with the victims of president Assad's
crackdown on pro-democracy forces, one group had a more ambivalent take:
Syria's Christian population. They, like their brethren throughout
the region, have ample reason to suspect that Arab democracy is not the
panacea we in the West think it is.

About 10 percent of Syrians are Christians. For all its brutality, the
Syrian government has done a good job of protecting religious
minorities, including Christians, from persecution.

This leaves Syrian Christians in something of a bind: All else being
equal, they would welcome a more democratic Syria, but things are far
from equal, and a post-Assad Syria could be a dangerous place for

Just look at the fate of Christians in the new, more
"democratic" Iraq. And at the same time that Daraa was being
attacked, a rumor that a Christian woman had converted to Islam and then
reverted to Christianity led Muslims to burn down two churches. The
attack was only the latest instance of what the New York Times calls
"sectarian animosities, " which is newspeak for Christians
defending themselves.

What's missing in all the talk about the "Arab Spring" and
"democracy" is any examination of what democracy means and
whether it necessarily makes things better.

Yale Law School professor Amy Chua, in her book World on Fire,
challenged the assumption that exporting democratic capitalism would
increase tolerance. She claims that on the contrary, in many places it
would have the opposite effect: unleashing resentments against
minorities, especially those whose affluence and influence are perceived
as disproportionate to their numbers.

Authoritarian regimes or strong democracies enforcing the rule of law,
can offer these minorities some protection against the anger of the mob.
Remove all authority, however, and the result is often violence.

That's what Middle Eastern Christians are afraid of. Their fears
aren't helped by the fact that most westerners don't seem to
understand that it takes more than elections to create a good or
democratic government.

In his newest book, The Origins of Political Order, political scientist
Francis Fukuyama writes about the importance of accountability and the
rule of law in creating such a government.

The institutions we take for granted in the West, the ones that help
safeguard the rights of minorities, are rare and they are
next-to-non- existent in places like Syria and Egypt. Without them, you
get democratic tyranny, mob rule by the majority.

This is why Christians, who believe that man is a fallen creature, have
always supported democracy underpinned by checks and balances and the
rule of law. That's why we call it a "Republican form of
government." And that is why we must be wary of what some people
call "democracy," particularly for its effect on religious

As religion columnist Terry Mattingly wonders, "Has the story of the
Arab spring evolved into a story about the possible extinction of the
ancient Christian churches of the Middle East (and how America responds
to that emerging reality)?"

Haunting questions.


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Post  Admin on Thu 12 May 2011, 2:31 pm

The Offense of the Cross
A Disturbing Precedent in Italy

April 20, 2011 Chuck Colson

Last month, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Italian public
schools have the right to display crucifixes.

The case has been widely viewed as a crucial one. As Roger Kiska of the
Alliance Defense Fund put it, "A loss in this case would have meant, in
essence, that it would be illegal under the European Convention on Human
Rights to have religious symbols in any institution anywhere in Europe."

Before you start celebrating, though, you ought to know that this may be
a very mixed blessing. When you take a close look at the court's
reasoning, it becomes clear that there are some disturbing implications
to this ruling.

In the New York Times, Professor Stanley Fish, a liberal relativist,
writes that the court based its decision largely on the idea that "the
crucifix is really not a religious symbol." Fish justifiably asks, "Who

Who, indeed?

It seems the courtdecided that the crucifix is now an "identity-linked, "
"historical and cultural" symbol -- a symbol that stands for "the
liberty and freedom of every person, the declaration of the right of
man, and ultimately the modern secular state."

In other words, it stands for pretty much anything but the death of
Christ for the redemption of fallen mankind.

For the Christian, that poses a real dilema: If the crucifix is to be
stripped of its meaning like this, is it worth displaying in schools, or
anywhere at all?

If "the offense of the cross," as Paul put it, is gone, what's the

And that's not all. The court went on to state, "In Christianity even
the faith in an omniscient god is secondary in relation to charity,"
which makes the cross an inclusive symbol.

Even Stanley Fish, who's writing from a liberal, secular perspective, is
driven to wonder about all this. "What we have here," he says, "is a
union of bad argument and bad theology. As a Christian virtue, charity
presupposes the God it is said by the majority [of the court] to
transcend... Generous though it may be in many respects, Christianity is
hard-edged at its doctrinal center and that center is what the crucifix

Fish may not be a Christian, but I think he's pretty much nailed it.
Ironically, I think he might just understand it better than many in
Italy, where the practice of the Christian faith has been steadily
eroding for many years.

Christians believe that everyone is welcome at the foot of the cross --
but we also believe with German martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer that "When
Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die."

That's why Stanley Fish is right in saying that a crucifix can never be
what the court called "an essentially passive symbol."

On that point, I wholeheartedly agree with him. Religious symbols matter
because they convey meaning, and that's why we Christians support the
right to display them. Without that meaning, without Christ's death and
resurrection, the cross doesn't matter -- and neither does our faith.

This is the liberal cause: strip all sacred symbols and words of their

The real lesson here is that before we take up the fight for the cross,
we had better be sure we understand what it is we're fighting for.

[For further reading, click here]

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Post  Admin on Tue 10 May 2011, 2:26 pm

Healing Divisions
God, Easter and the Civil War
May 09, 2011
This year we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the
Civil War. It was one of the great tragedies in American history --
brother set against brother. More than 600,000 Americans were killed.
But looked at in the longer perspective of history, the Civil War was a
necessary moral corrective to help abolish the naked evil of slavery.
Of course, for at least 100 years after the war, America's record on
race relations and civil rights was, at best, checkered. But over the
last 40 to 50 years, we've seen extraordinary progress in racial
I just had a great illustration of this on Easter weekend during a
prison visit in Alabama. It was one of the great weekends of my
ministry, because I saw God's vision for Prison Fellowship in a new
and exciting light. What is happening in the prisons of that state is
On Saturday night of Easter weekend, we had a dinner for our supporters
in the Birmingham area down the road from the jail where Martin Luther
King, Jr., penned his famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail, one of the
great documents of the 20th century -- and one of the great Christians
works on justice ever written.
So, just a few miles from where that letter was written, 200 of us
gathered, all committed to the vision of taking the Gospel to the least
of these in our society. As I stood at the podium to give the main
address that night, I was struck by the realization that half the crowd
was black and half was white -- but they were one in Christ.
I looked at the front row and there, smiling, was Deborah McBride
Daniels, Prison Fellowship's Area Director for Alabama. Deborah, who
is black, is a former crack addict and an ex-prisoner -- and now one of
our best area directors.

You can read her amazing testimony at
Two tables away sat Drayton Nabors, a strong Christian layman, and
former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Drayton, who is
white, is one of the most influential men in the state.
I cannot tell you how moved I was by seeing Deborah Daniels and former
Justice Drayton Nabors, working together to bring hope to the most
marginalized people in our society, doing it across racial barriers,
economic barriers, educational barriers -- across all things that divide
us into categories in America.
And on Easter Sunday morning in prison, I saw Deborah and Drayton greet
one another with a warm embrace in front of all those inmates. Think
about the message that this was to the inmates on Resurrection Sunday.
Christ on the cross took away the sins of the world and reconciled us to
God and to one another. There is hope.
That's why I came away from that weekend renewed in my conviction
that Prison Fellowship is God's movement, and that God is
accomplishing far more than just evangelizing prisoners. We are seeing a
powerful demonstration of how the Gospel and only the Gospel can heal a
fractured and divided society.
So as you commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, don't
miss the fact that God is in the business of healing the wounds of
division. For that we give Him all the praise.
[Further Reading]
&j=MjcyNjEzMzYS1& mt=1&rt=0

Big Brother Uses an iPhone
Technology and Human Dignity
May 06, 2011
I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I've got to tell you, the recent news
reports that Apple's iPhone and iPad can track your location moment by
moment reminded me of George Orwell's 1984. Media outlets were all --
excuse the pun -- a'twitter about how iPhones store users' unencrypted
information for a year.
Fortunately for Apple, it was able to credibly deny the reports. A data
file publicized by security researchers, it turns out, doesn't store
actual locations. But what it does is keep a list of Wi-Fi hotspots and
cell towers, which means, potentially, Apple can track the location of
the iPhone I'm carrying in my pocket. For me, that's too close for
comfort. Apple promises it will fix the problem to ensure our privacy is
Well, do you trust Apple to act in an unbiased way in the public
interest? Remember, Apple banned the Manhattan Declaration app from its
app store because gay-rights groups were angry about the Declaration' s
support of marriage as being between a man and a woman. Apple squelched
one side of a raging public debate. But Apple, as a public corporation
and major carrier of information has a responsibility to encourage open
debate. That's vital to democracy.
But even if Apple hadn't dropped our app, I'd still find this brouhaha
about the iPhone troubling. Apple says nothing untoward is happening,
and perhaps this time it isn't, but how can we be sure that they won't
change their mind? Remember in 1984 where those reverse televisions kept
a merciless eye on the people?
Today's technology goes far beyond that. Facebook, for example, will
reportedly be using facial recognition to suggest the names of friends
who appear in newly uploaded photos. One commenter responded to this
news by saying, "Awesome! Now I can take pictures of cute girls at the
grocery store or at the park, upload them and Facebook will tell me who
they are!"
From all that we've seen with computers, cell phones, and the Web, I
think it's safe to assume our private information won't remain private.
And do we really want to entrust our personal security to a faceless
corporate or government bureaucracy? And gamble that Big Brother won't
get his unsavory paws on our private data?
To paraphrase President Ford, a company or government big enough to give
you everything you want is a company or government big enough to take
from you everything you have. Through the technological advances of
Apple, Facebook, and other corporations, we now have the technology we
want. But they have enormous access into our lives, and they must be
held accountable.
Beyond the obvious concerns about maintaining our privacy, we need to
ask some deeper questions: What do all these digital intrusions tell us
about human beings? We're not here to simply serve the marketing or
financial needs of Big Brother. We're made in the image of God. We have
intrinsic dignity. I'm not the first to worry about the dehumanizing
tendencies of technology.
We Christians, along with everyone else in our complex technological
society, face difficult choices when it comes to using, benefiting from,
and sometimes protecting ourselves from our electronic creations. The
digital age has much that is praiseworthy -- and much that is perilous.
A crucial part of Christian discipleship in the 21st century is learning
to tell the difference.

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Post  Admin on Thu 06 Jan 2011, 2:27 pm

Looking Forward Chuck Colson
Which Way Are the Winds Blowing?

January 03, 2010
Pundits love to make New Year's predictions about politics, the economy,
sports, and so on. As for me, I'll take a pass on making any
predictions, because only the Lord knows what's in store.
But I do want to share with you some things we Christians should keep an
eye on in the coming year-things that will give us important indications
about which way the cultural, moral, and ethical winds are blowing.
We are going to get a very important reading on the future once the
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and ultimately the Supreme Court rule on
Perry vs. Schwarzenegger. Will the Supremes uphold traditional marriage
between one man and one woman, or will they agree with Federal district
judge Vaughn Walker, that religious beliefs harm gays and lesbians?
That decision, as I've said earlier on BreakPoint, depends on whether
you and I sustain a forceful moral debate. The justices won't interfere
if we do.
Should so-called "gay marriage" become the law of the land in 2011,
Christian churches, organizations and businesses will face unimaginable
pressure to choose between obeying Caesar and obeying God. Freedom of
religion will be in grave peril.
Will Christians even be able to express their beliefs in the marketplace
of ideas? Apple's removal of the Manhattan Declaration app from its
iPhone app store is an ominous sign. Rather than supporting civil
discourse, Apple chose to back political correctness at its worst,
allowing supporters of so-called "gay marriage" to shout down the
opposition. Well, we are making every effort to get the app restored,
and Apple's ultimate response could have a far-reaching affect on the
free exchange of ideas online.
On another topic, to use a famous expression, "Follow the money." Will
Congress and the administration embrace fiscal sanity and
responsibility? Will they come to their senses and see that increasing
the deficit is putting the economy on the course to ruin? As you've
heard me say, the recent deal to extend the Bush era tax cuts is a bad
sign. Why? Because the deal included yet another stimulus and will
increase the deficit by nearly a trillion dollars.
So . . . follow the money. And not just government money. Will American
consumers wise up, tighten their belts, and look to the future? Will
self control replace instant gratification?
Then there's the war in Afghanistan. You have heard me say that I can no
longer support keeping our troops there. I base my opinion on the fact
that it fails to meet the Christian understanding of what constitutes a
just war. "Nation building," which seems to be our primary goal there,
does not justify that. And I say this knowing the enormous sacrifices
made by our men and women in the armed forces on behalf of the Afghani
people. But there are better ways of fighting the Taliban than keeping
the American Army and marines in full-time combat. Like surgical
strikes, for example.
Finally, the other issue relating to the war is an economic one. We
simply can't afford another $100 billion a year added to our debt.
So, we'll continue wrestling with issues of traditional marriage,
freedom of speech and religion, spending, the war . . . but there's one
thing I can predict. There'll be plenty to talk about right here at
BreakPoint, where I'll continue to prod you to know and to live out the
biblical worldview.
Thank you for joining with me for another year.
[For further reading, click here] http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/16116

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Post  Admin on Mon 06 Dec 2010, 11:52 am

Rude Kids
The Fruits of Overdeveloped Self-Esteem

May 21, 2009 Chuck Colson
A recent report on MSNBC suggested that parents' pre-occupation with
their kids' self-esteem may have produced "rude" children
who lack compassion for others.
According to MSNBC, "many experts say today's kids are ruder
than ever." The word "rude" encompasses a variety of
behaviors, from selfishness to deliberate malice. In one example, a
pre-schooler deliberately tripped a woman in a crowded restaurant and
then bragged to her mother about it. In another, a child continuously
insults his mother in front of his mortified grandmother.
In both cases, the parent neither says nor does anything.
Apparently, these aren't isolated instances: a 2005 Yale University
study found that "preschool students are expelled at a rate more
than three times that of children in grades K-12 because of behavioral
It isn't only preschoolers. The media has documented the behavior in
the workplace of those born between 1980 and 1996. Words used to
describe the behavior of the so-called "Generation Y" include
"self-centered" and "arrogant." As one management
professor put it, "They don't know when to shut up." And
having grown up questioning their parents, they now question their
Whether or not today's kids are actually "ruder than ever,"
the article and others like it reflect the sense that something has gone
wrong in the way we raise our children. Specifically, it has to do with
"popular parenting movements focusing on self-esteem. "
These movements produce parents who "[respond] with hostility to
anyone they perceive as getting in the child's way." By
"getting in the child's way," they mean doing anything that
might make the child feel less-than-wonderful about him or
herself—in the classroom, among their peers, or on the playing
So today we have a generation of children who believe that the world
revolves around them and that they are entitled to feel good about
Expecting children raised this way to be compassionate or even polite
betrays a profound ignorance of human nature—the same ignorance that
led to the "popular parenting movements" that created the mess
in the first place.
These movements were inspired by the ideas of Romantic Enlightenment
thinkers like Jean-Jacques Rousseau. According to Rousseau, "There
is no original perversity in the human heart." So, he says,
"when children's wills are not spoiled by our fault, children
[desire] nothing uselessly." So parents and teachers should strive
to produce children who are "authentic, self-sufficient, and
According to E.D. Hirsch, this Romantic ideal that "each person has
a natural and uniquely divine spark, which, if nurtured, cannot go
wrong," is behind the emphasis on self-esteem. The problem, as
Hirsch points out, is that there is no proven connection between high
self-esteem and actual achievement.
In other words, feeling good about yourself isn't enough to make you
good. You have to be taught right from wrong and made to feel bad when
you deserve it. As the Scripture says, true parental devotion includes
the willingness to correct our children.
The alternative isn't "authenticity"— it's spoiling
their wills in the worst possible way.

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Chuck Colson Breakiing Point - Page 3 Empty The True Meaning of Christmas

Post  Admin on Sat 04 Dec 2010, 1:27 pm

The True Meaning of Christmas
December 03, 2010 Chuck Colson
Amid the avalanche of TV Christmas specials that hit our screens at this
time of year, there's one little gem that always stands out. It's a
simple, unpretentious cartoon that's several decades old now, but it
still usually manages to earn great ratings and has been loved by many
I'm guessing it's no coincidence that, out of all the Christmas specials
that claim to tell us all about "the true meaning of Christmas," this
little cartoon is the one that everyone remembers and watches over and
over again-the one that really gets the meaning.
I'm talking, of course, about A Charlie Brown Christmas. There are so
many things to recommend this show, not least of which is its gentle
skewering of the commercialism that surrounds our modern idea of
Christmas. "Fake Christmas," as my colleague Anne Morse has called it at
our blog, The Point.
Oddly enough, commercialism has gotten so much worse since A Charlie
Brown Christmas was produced in 1965, that this charming cartoon has
become more and more relevant every year. There's hardly a viewer who
can't identify with Charlie Brown's feeling that, somewhere in all the
hype and advertising, the real meaning of Christmas has been lost.
But there are lots of anti-consumerist messages out there every
Christmas. The really great thing about A Charlie Brown Christmas is
that it doesn't just critique the commercialism; it offers something to
counter it-something real and significant.
It doesn't just say that the true meaning of Christmas is family, or
giving, or kindness, or any of the other meanings that some of the other
TV specials give us-concepts that are nice and admirable in themselves,
but that totally miss the mark.
In simple, sincere, but utterly effective fashion, A Charlie Brown
Christmas gives us the true "true meaning of Christmas," when the famous
Peanuts character Linus recites the glorious Nativity passage from the
Gospel of Luke.
It's not heavy-handed, it's not an altar call, and it's not sentimental
or sappy in the least. It's just a straightforward sharing of the
gospel, as a direct response to the emptiness, frustration, and despair
that are all that commercialism can provide.
It demonstrates what truly brings hope to the hopeless, not just at this
time of year, but all year round. And it's a beautiful example of the
power of Christ to infiltrate and transform culture.
This Christmas, I have an idea for you and your family. A Charlie Brown
Christmas airs this year on ABC on December 7th and 16th. Why not pop
some popcorn or make some cookies, and invite the neighbors over for a
viewing? If those dates aren't convenient for you, rent the DVD-or you
can purchase it at our online store at ColsonCenter.org.

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Post  Admin on Wed 27 Oct 2010, 2:49 pm

Lessons from a Coal Mine
Faith at Work

April 20, 2010 Chuck Colson

Last Friday, West Virginia observed a "Day of Honor and
Mourning" in remembrance of the 29 men killed at an explosion at the
Upper Big Branch mine.

In his proclamation, Governor Joe Manchin asked miners and mine
operators to "commit to one day focused completely on making their
workplace as safe as possible in honor of the [killed] miners."

For our part, we should commit to not taking the people who make our way
of life possible for granted.

The April 5th explosion that killed 29 miners was only the most recent
such tragedy in West Virginia. In January 2006, an explosion in Sago,
West Virginia, killed 12 miners. As if to underscore the lesson about
the fragility of human life in a coal mine, less than three weeks later,
a mine fire in Melville, West Virginia, killed two more miners.

It isn't only West Virginia. Last year, 19 men died in coal mine
accidents in the United States. That's tragic, but good in
comparison at least to previous records. In some years, the number has
been in the hundreds and even thousands.

The threats don't only come from accidents. Coal mining is hazardous
for your health in ways that few jobs are. Even when you take into
account non-mining-related factors, miners and their families "are
much more likely to suffer from an array of chronic, life-threatening
health problems." These include cardiopulmonary disease, chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, diabetes, and lung and
kidney disease.

Any way you look at it, coal mining is dangerous, which is why governor
Manchin asked miners and operators to honor the dead by focusing on mine

For our part, we should honor them, first of all, by appreciating the
risk they take on our behalf. Fifty percent of the electricity in the
United States is produced by coal. If you are hearing or reading this,
it's likely that you have a coal miner to thank for it.

The other way we can honor them is not to see them as victims but as
people whose life and work was marked by dignity. As the Los Angeles
Times puts it, many miners see "coal mining...[as] not merely a
profession, but a distinction, almost a public service."

And in the best Christian model, they find meaning and purpose and
dignity in their work.

Miners like Benny Willingham, who died on April 5th, found, as the L.A.
Times put it, "joy and sustenance in working coal seams." They
have "an abiding faith that God will protect every man who earns his
pay underground. "

Many of these miners and their families are Christians—they live in
the center of the Bible belt. They know that there are no guarantees in
life. And this knowledge makes them lean all the more on God. Willingham
told his pastor before the accident that "he prayed the Lord would
take his soul if he didn't make it home from his shift in the coal

In addition to trust, this faith produces gratitude. As one pastor told
mourners, "I'm not angry at the mountain...That mountain has
supported my family for 90 years."

These are people who deserve our gratitude. More than that, they deserve
to be emulated. Their faith and dedication, and good work done to
God's glory, are lessons for all of us—no matter what line of
work God has called us to.

[click here for more information]

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Post  Admin on Fri 22 Oct 2010, 1:13 pm

Engineering the Earth
From Wacky to Necessary?

October 21, 2010 Chuck Colson

The failure of Congress to pass "climate change" legislation has, as you
might expect, prompted some strong reactions.

New York Times columnist Tom Friedman cites this failure in calling for
the creation of a third political party that will allow us to do what's
needed to "move forward" as a country.

Others are contemplating a different way "forward": instead of
transforming politics, they want to reinvent and transform the planet.

According to the Washington Post, ideas once considered "downright
wacky" are getting serious attention here and in Britain. These ideas
involve "playing God with the weather in the hope of slowing global

The technical term is "geo-engineering. " The notion is that if humans
won't change their behavior, then the only way to avert catastrophe is
to change the earth.

The goal of geo-engineering is to modify the environment, particularly
the atmosphere and the oceans, in a way that mitigates the impact of
increased CO2 emissions.

For instance, if greenhouse gases are trapping too much heat in the
atmosphere, you could, in theory, spray particles that could cause
sunlight to be reflected back out into space. Or more ambitiously, you
could look for a way to remove "excess" CO2 from the atmosphere.

"Playing God" is, of course, risky business, as anyone who has ever
watched a science fiction movie can tell you. Our attempts to combat
global warming could themselves trigger "radical shifts in the climate"
and kill millions. It may also unintentionally affect fragile ecosystems
and the species that depend on them.

Stated simply, the unintended consequences could be severe - we don't
know how the world works nearly well enough to predict the outcome.

But that's not to going stop us from trying. Part of the reason for the
strange new respect for the previously "downright wacky" is the fear
that "some nut case" might go ahead and actually do it on his own.

It's not hard to understand why: the same people who worry about "nut
cases" have spent the past 20 years warning us that a few degrees are
all that stands between us and the apocalypse. Their preferred mode of
argumentation has been fear-mongering.

Any attempt to question the scientific basis for man-made global warming
has been compared to Holocaust denial. They've told people that the
principal environmental problem is too many people living too long at
too high a standard. Little wonder that they fear "some nutcase" taking
premature actions that could kill countless numbers of people.

What's telling is that no one in the debate seems to object to the whole
idea of "playing God." No one seems to wonder about the hubris of what
is being proposed. Is there no end to human hubris? Have we gotten used
to the idea that we're really in control of everything? I mean, we speak
of "designer genes" for the human species - is a "designer planet" that

So, we propose to become Frankenstein in order to stop would-be
Frankensteins. If this doesn't make sense to you, that's because it's
nonsensical. Either way, hubris gets the monster built.

And, like in the movies, it's the villagers who get hurt. And that's not
"wacky," it's evil, a very human kind of evil.

[For further reading, click here]

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