With the passing of Charles “Chuck” Colson on Saturday, April 21st, the Christian community lost one of its major leaders. This humble man of God stood as a giant among men.
I will never forget the Watergate Scandal. I was only a teenager at the time it happened. While I didn’t totally understand what was going on, I remember it seeming to be a never-ending nightmare. The hearings were broadcast throughout the day on live television. The manuscript of tape recordings taken from the Oval Office was published for all to read. The morale of the United States was at an all time low. The government that seemed to provide such hope had badly let the American people down. It was a sour time in the nation’s history.
While most of the details from that time are long forgotten, there is one thing that stands out vividly in my memory. My Dad and I were watching the news one evening when we saw a reporter interview Charles Colson. Known as Nixon’s “hatchet man,” Colson had pleaded guilty to a charge of obstruction of justice. I will never forget hearing him say he had surrendered his life to Jesus Christ, and whatever happened was in the Lord’s hands. I’m sure many wondered if his new found faith was genuine, or was it simply “foxhole religion” from someone under the scrutiny of a nation?
Fortunately for all of us, Chuck Colson’s faith proved to be the real deal. Upon emerging from prison he began to mobilize Christians to reach out to prison inmates and their families. This led to the eventual founding of Prison Fellowship, a ministry that has expanded to over 100 countries. Only eternity will tell how many prisoners came to faith in Jesus Christ through the efforts of this outreach. I always find it amazing how far one man’s obedience to the King can reach.
Besides his ministry to prisoners, Chuck also became a prophetic voice to the Church. He issued a clear call for Christians to live their faith authentically. His clear-headed, no nonsense biblical approach to the issues of the day challenged people to think seriously about what it meant to identify with Christ in the modern day. To this end The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview was established. The Lord gave Charles Colson a tremendous platform, and he used it effectively for the Kingdom of God.
In conclusion, I would like to share a quote from Chuck I found on his website:
“One of the most wonderful things about being a Christian is that I don’t ever get up in the morning and wonder if what I do matters. I live every day to the fullest because I can live it through Christ and I know no matter what I do today, I’m going to do something to advance the Kingdom of God.”
This quote explains the life of Charles Colson in a nutshell.
Although the man is gone, his legacy will live on for generations to come. Thanks, Chuck, for showing us how to live in the Reign.