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Reply #17: I read Chuck Colsons book Born Again in the 1970s [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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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 peoples 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 Colsons 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 Colsons 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 Altemeyers 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 dont 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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