An Unintended Tribute to Chuck Colson from the Left

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Seemingly consumed by his own demons, and himself rarely evincing any joy as he trashes family and former friends, Schaeffer maybe resents the opposite trajectory of Colson’s life compared to his.   Literally dying with his boots on at age 80, falling ill at a conference he organized after delivering his final speech, Colson’s departure from this world was the perfect finale for an evangelist and social reformer.  It recalls pious British Prime Minister William Gladstone’s own stated wish to die while worshipping in a church, or former President John Quincy Adams, exerting himself for abolition, collapsing on the U.S. House of Representatives floor while delivering his final oration.

Unlike the power obsessed, Religious Right stereotype preferred by Schaeffer, Colson emphasized private ministry over political action.  Chastened by his own role in the Nixon Administration, Colson warned fellow evangelicals not to rely on the pursuit of power.  In his last speech, delivered at the Wilberforce Weekend Conference that he named after his hero, the great British abolitionist, Colson insisted:  “Elections can’t solve the problem we’ve got.”  Instead, believers should work through their churches to redeem individuals and the culture.   “Look in the mirror, that’s where the problem is,” he suggested, with passive churches in mind.  “This is a moment when the time is right for a movement of God’s people under the power of the Holy Spirit to begin to impact the culture we live in.”

Faith in a transcendent authority superseding the New York Times, Hollywood, or the latest academic fads, is always infuriating to the Left, which typically searches for the ostensibly REAL agenda motivating traditional religious believers in America.

In his rambling anti-tribute to Colson, Schaeffer denounced Colson and all of the “neo-conservative/Roman Catholic” friends who gave a gloss of “intellectual respectability and aid and comfort to what were nothing more than oppressive ideas rooted in an anti-Constitutional theocratic far right wish list for changes that were supposed to roll back the parts of the democratic processes – say Roe v. Wade, women’s rights and gay rights — that far right Catholics and Protestants didn’t approve of.”

Schaeffer thinks Colson was plotting theocracy as he preached to, prayed with, and wept among thousands of prison inmates who were his chief focus across the decades since his own release from prison.  The allegation speaks more of Schaeffer than Colson. But all of the lavish tributes showering upon Colson’s memory may have discomfited Colson, remembering the Gospel warning to beware when all men speak well of you.

In contrast, Schaeffer’s hatefully absurd diatribe maybe would have provoked an appreciative and amused smile.  And maybe Colson is now consulting with Schaeffer’s late father, prayerfully plotting the return of a sadly wayward son.

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  • Amused

    Colson was a TRUE BELEIVER . Yes he was in charge of Nixons dirty tricks brigade ,and yes he was a convicted felon who served time , however transformed himself into a prison minister , and organized many great things fior the christian cause . Men CAN change for the better and Colson more than exemplifies this . Schaffer;s comments /remarks etc.regarding Colson are certainly NOT typical of Roman Catholics or ANY OTGHER group for that matter ., he's obviously a man with a personal vendetta .
    Hoewever any attempt to " POLITICIZE " Colson and his work is totally DISINGENUOS , and should not be " HIJACKED " by either left nor right .

  • Amused

    I just hope the authors use of the term " joyfull warrior " bears or implies no analogy to the late Breitbart , who in no way is to be compared to Colsoin .

  • RonCarnine

    Francis Schaeffer was a biblical scholar with an ability to communicate deep truths to simple minds. I'm referring to myself. One of my favorite "sermons" was his "No Little People No Little Places." Chuck Colson had the same important ability. He will be missed. On the other hand, Franky Schaeffer is a twit. He may criticize but he can't fill the shoes of his father or Chuck Colson. So let him rant, he couldn't hit a theological truth with a shotgun.

    • Bartimaeus

      Yes, Francis Schaeffer had a unique ministry concerning the cultural impact of the West’s departure from God. It is sad to see his son's departure from the faith. May he one day be recovered

  • RonCarnine

    Fellows, could you tell me why I'm having trouble posting on your site. I can always go somewhere else if I'm not welcomed here.

  • Jason

    Sounds like Franky Schaeffer is a very angry and bitter man.

  • Jane Larson Baer

    For anyone to consider conservatives the people with large egos compared to liberals is absurd.

    • Amused

      Aint that a crockl of B.S.

  • Mo_

    What a bitter, ugly man Frank Schaeffer is. Think about it. Whether you are religious or not, Chuck Colson is a great example of a messed-up man who turned his life around and spent decades helping others. What's to hate about that? What is there to complain about? Yet Frank Schaeffer finds a way to do it.

    How sad his father must be.

    • Questions

      Schaeffer has issues with his own father who, it must be admitted, was late, but not great. Colson serves as a proxy. Not to put someone on the couch so easily, but it's a plausible explanation for Schaeffer.

  • Schlomotion

    Mark Tooley is an apologist for terrorism. By all rights, Chuck Colson is a worse person than Bill Ayers. Chuck Colson composed the Nixon Enemies List which feloniously attempted to use the IRS to harass US citizens. He also plotted to firebomb The Brookings Institution and was a documents thief who set up a religious hustle to get access to resources while in prison. He was a BURGLAR. He was the Executive Producer and mastermind of the Watergate Break-in. So the man read C.S. Lewis. So what? He claimed Christianity but pled to a lesser charge in order to avoid even more richly deserved jail time. He tried to defame the character of the HERO Daniel Ellsberg. Colson himself is not a hero, rather he was a swindler and was disbarred for trying to ruin the judicial process. In jail he figured out how to cycle criminals into the church. Eventually, the Bush Family restored his federal rights. Some guy!

    • Bartimaeus

      You seem to be unfamiliar with the concept of repentance, which means you are in need of it yourself.

      • Schlomotion

        Repent for never having repented before? You need things simply because you don't know you need them? Doesn't that violate some basic principle in The Lorax?

        • Amused

          there you go again Schlomo , talking like a total SCHMUCK .

  • Ghostwriter

    Schlomotion,there are many people who believe the Bible is of a much higher authority than Dr. Seuss. You might want to consider that.

    • Schlomotion

      I can't help them for being mistaken.

  • Amused

    You can't help yourself , how you gonna help anyone else

  • JDCurtis
  • cybergatis

    our hearts are heavy over such a great loss of this inspirational leader.

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  • cynthia curran

    Nixon was lilberal in many respects, so Franky isa bit ignored. A liberal political science teacher in Orange County mention about Nixon's health care plan.

  • cynthia curran

    Franky blames the problems of the world on the 4th crusade when the Crusaders sack Constantinople, so the religous right is thought as modern crusaders