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Reply #17: I read Chuck Colson’s book Born Again in the 1970’s [View All]

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MikeH Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 03:12 AM
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17. I read Chuck Colson’s book Born Again in the 1970’s
And I still have the book (more for historical interest than for any other reason).

At the time I first read the book Born Again I was serious about Christianity, and had “accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior”, in the hopes that doing so might make some kind of difference in my life. I wanted to believe that maybe Chuck Colson was an example of somebody being changed by Christ, that Christ was working through Chuck Colson, and was transforming him from a scoundrel into somebody who was becoming right with God, and thereby was able to be a force for good in the world. I wanted to believe that maybe Christ could actually change people’s lives, and if this were true then Colson would be an example and a test case of this happening.

I read Colson describing his involvement with Doug Coe and the Fellowship, and particularly his becoming friends with then Senator Harold Hughes, who had previously been a political enemy. From reading Chuck Colson’s book the Fellowship sounded just like any fellowship group that any group of Christians might become involved in, that I myself was involved in when I was a Christian. I could not have guessed from reading Born Again that there was anything sinister or underhanded about the Fellowship that Colson was involved in.

I found in books by Colson subsequent to Born Again that he has said some things that are believed by fundamentalist Christians that I really have trouble with and cannot accept. For instance in his book Life Sentence he described one time when he was speaking to a group of Jewish students, and was asked if he thought that only Christians would go to heaven, and he answered yes. He felt he had to go by what the Bible teaches. Oddly enough he did not get cries of protest. And in his book Loving God he has a chapter titled “Believing God”, by which he means taking the Bible literally as being the “Word of God”.

Say what you will about Prison Fellowship's fundamentalist Jesus, the story goes, but Colson's Christ "works." He saves souls. And more important, he transforms rapists, murderers, and thieves in to docile "followers of Jesus."

I think according to Colson’s beliefs the rapists, murderers, and thieves will go to heaven, while any “unsaved” victims of any of the murderers go to hell, which was one of the things that really bothered me and that I was really worried and upset about when I myself was serious about Christianity.

Actually Chuck Colson has always been one to blindly follow authority; I think he would be an authoritarian follower, and now specifically a religious fundamentalist authoritarian follower, according to Bob Altemeyer‘s classification of the authoritarian personality. Conversion has not changed him in the least in that regard.

With his conversion he just happened to switch his allegiance. Before his conversion he was willing to do whatever Nixon said he should do, without question. After his conversion he now unquestioningly goes along with the authoritarian, arbitrary God as understood by fundamentalist theocrats, and with whatever the Bible says.

Colson did not dare question Nixon while he worked in the White House, and now he does not dare question anything in the Bible, or the fundamentalist theocratic understanding of the Bible.

And Colson was obsessed with enemies when he worked in the White House, and considered enemies of Nixon to be his enemies. And now he regards Islam, secularism, and “moral decadence” in our society as being enemies of his God and of Christianity (his version of Christianity), and of the Christian society that he thinks America ought to be.

So I don’t think Chuck Colson is at all a better person for having converted to Christianity, and for having “accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior”.

Incidentally I myself did not find that being a Christian, and supposedly having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, had at all helped me in enabling me to better deal with anything that was a source of pain, frustration, or unhappiness in my life. I no longer consider myself to be a Christian, and I feel as certain as I do of anything that it was the right and healthy thing for me to part company with the Christian faith, and with any duties and obligations specifically imposed by the faith (as opposed to duties and obligations incumbent on any good or moral person).
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  -Odd duo worked together to form faith-based prisons..Doug Coe and Chuck Colson. madfloridian  Sep-29-09 01:00 AM   #0 
  - I have very close knowledge of this situation.  grasswire   Sep-29-09 01:53 AM   #1 
  - Too many of the Watergate criminals gained hero status with the right wing  madfloridian   Sep-29-09 02:05 AM   #2 
  - That's very interesting. Thanks.  Hannah Bell   Sep-29-09 04:06 AM   #4 
  - Not ONE DIME of our tax money should be spent on these wackos  Mari333   Sep-29-09 02:16 AM   #3 
  - Faith-based aid is unconstitutional, not sure how much money goes to the prisons.  madfloridian   Sep-29-09 12:15 PM   #6 
     - Bush brings faith to foreign aid  Torn_Scorned_Ignored   Sep-29-09 06:22 PM   #12 
  - Some posts from a forum of those using Gothard tactics....scary indeed  madfloridian   Sep-29-09 10:25 AM   #5 
  - I just finished reading "The Family" two days ago  PatSeg   Sep-29-09 01:07 PM   #7 
  - It's a very hard read.  madfloridian   Sep-30-09 11:57 AM   #13 
  - This doesn't surprise me.  Tsar_Bomba   Sep-29-09 02:49 PM   #8 
  - The quintessential "Captive Audience"  Demeter   Sep-29-09 03:54 PM   #9 
  - Well said. I was thinking of that aspect also...  madfloridian   Sep-29-09 04:56 PM   #10 
  - This is frightening....another reason to stay out of prison.  evenso   Sep-29-09 05:03 PM   #11 
  - What a Bunch of Scumbags!  Anakin Skywalker   Sep-30-09 07:25 PM   #14 
  - I've seen it from the other side, and I can tell you that these programs help people inside  NBachers   Sep-30-09 11:31 PM   #15 
  - This is not an anti-Christian rant, and Coe works with Democrats as well.  madfloridian   Sep-30-09 11:39 PM   #16 
  - I read Chuck Colson’s book Born Again in the 1970’s  MikeH   Oct-02-09 03:12 AM   #17 

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