Charles Colson ~ 1930 – 2012

In Memoriam

Charles Colson was a complex individual—an ex-Marine, an attorney, politician, a king maker of sorts, and a true patriot in the mold of our founding fathers. But Chuck was much more. He was also a preacher, teacher, author, man of God, an entrepreneur, a CEO, and a mover-and-shaker. He was also a great ambassador and apologist for Christ.

Chuck died in the flesh yesterday afternoon, Saturday, April 21st, 2012 and went Home to be with The Lord, his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

By now most people in the United States know the story of Colson’s extraordinary evolution from Special Counsel to the President under Nixon to a new creation in Christ. Colson never did anything part way, so when he gave his life to God he committed it totally. From that commitment came several ministries, beginning with Prison Fellowship.

God providentially used Chuck Colson to help draw me back to Himself. While I became a Christian at seventeen I was never discipled. My early college days were mostly party and little college. I then went into the Army and I moved away from God. When I got home from the service I worked and got involved in racing sports cars and later stock cars. I moved still farther away from God.

One night an EE Team (Evangelism Explosion) knocked on my door. My girlfriend Betty (now my wife), had just finished dinner. I let the E.E. Team in and that night we both rededicated our lives to Christ. This was in the mid-seventies.

Watergate and Nixon were but a memory, but Colson’s first book Born Again had come out. Shortly after that Chuck’s second book was released, Loving God. one of the things that really impacted me at that time was a theme quote from Loving God. Colson wrote: “Loving God – really loving Him — means living out His commands no matter what the cost.“[1]

Of course this was not original to Colson, but came straight from the Bible. There are probably hundreds of quotes telling us to love God; one is found in Deuteronomy 11: 22 and another in Matthew 22: 37. For me Chuck Colson had a way of taking profound philosophical and theological issues and making them understandable.

He also epitomized and preached balance between politics, life, and God or church. By that I mean too many Christians yet today just want to keep their faith in a box, untouched by the world, but never touching the world. Jesus and the apostles were always engaging in and with the world; debating the leaders of their time the Pharisees and Sadducees.

In 1990 Betty and I drove down to Yorba Linda (CA). The Nixon Library was to be dedicated and it was there I got to meet Chuck Colson, my unknowing discipler. I would like to say I talked to him for some time, but that was not the case. We were going through the reception line with many others. Nevertheless I did shake his hand and greet him and I will look forward to seeing him again on the other side of the River where there is no time.

Colson was one of the drafters of the Manhattan Declaration and one of the original signers. You too can sign it, along with my me and over 500,000 other signers. Chuck Colson loved America and realized the depth of trouble this country is in. Chuck believed the Bible taught civil disobedience was permissible when necessary; indeed mandated by God. I believe that is the case as well.

In one of his last broadcast this was his plea.


[1] Charles Colson, Loving God (Grand Rapids, Zondervan Publishing, 1983), 137.

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