“Christianity is the most humanising influence in Western history and it remains that today.”
~Chuck Colson (1931–2012)
Words will fail in trying to describe the impact of a person like Charles Colson on our world, and particularly within prisons and in the lives of prisoners and even their victims. Gone to the Lord now, I’ve reflected a few times over this captivating interview.
With a central concern on incarceration and the causes of crime, Colson defended life, because it needs defending. He believed in a thesis of crime that emanates out of people making the wrong moral choices. He saw that only the Gospel could convert the wrongdoer to a more responsible lifestyle and thereby give them purpose and a hope. He also saw prisoners converted to Christ much more rarely re-enter prison compared with those who weren’t.
Colson lamented the consistent and gradual weakening of Christianity’s influence over the Western life. His passion was Christianising our worldview—that a Christian worldview is the only hope. And the case he espoused was compelling.
Two Great Calls
Colson had two significant purposes: 1) to work within a restorative justice framework, assisting prisoners, victims of crime and prison workers; and, 2) he studied the causes of crime to better understand how to change the world for the cause of God, so the world could survive, even thrive.
“A world without God is a world adrift.”
There is purpose in dealing with the ills in our world and in creating answers for a better tomorrow. That’s the Christian worldview.
The Christian worldview is one of community—harmony and prosperity for all. Christianity is not a selfish religion. It has a fundamental mandate to grow the world toward salvation, and, in doing so, to rid the world of vast social injustice, for instance slavery, abortion, poverty, and hunger.
Colson’s two great calls highlight to us our opportunities to split our calls of God into both reactive and proactive ventures. We must respond to our ailing world, and yet we must also create a better future for tomorrow. That is the Christian worldview.
There is purpose in dealing with the ills in our world and in creating answers for a better tomorrow.
Life without purpose is meaningless. Christianising our worldview gives us back our purpose. In Christ we have a purpose in dealing with the ills in the world and in creating answers for a better tomorrow. If we don’t do it, who will?
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.
Acknowledgement: To Sheridan Voysey for his 2010 interview.