H. David Schuringa
April 21, 2012
I have personally experienced the resurrection power of the Gospel behind bars. I have shared the transformative vision that Chuck Colson saw, and I know the Christ he met face-to-face during his time in that dark place. Reading his memoir BORN AGAIN (now rightly a modern classic), I felt a deep, personal kinship with him--as though he and I were kindred spirits bonded through a shared new birth experience brought about by a season of incarceration. So, when I learned of his death this past weekend, I suppose I felt the loss more profoundly than most probably did.
Chuck Colson was one of the most important Christian leaders of our time. Too often we hear about the politicians and church leaders who have succumbed to the love of the world. Too often we hear about the falls from grace, the scandals that obstruct the Church's effective witness to a watching world. Too rarely do we hear about those redeemed sinners who, like Chuck Colson, pick themselves up from the brokenness of a fallen world, forsake the ungodliness of their former ways, and testify effectively to the transformative power of the risen Christ.
Colson's story is truly one of resurrection--of humankind's ultimate triumph, in Christ, over all that binds and confines us, whether the physical bonds of a prison cell or the spiritual shackles of unforgiveness. In a world still entranced by shadows, Chuck was truly a beacon of light.
I mourn the loss of Chuck's personal influence in a world that still desperately needs his vision. I pray ardently for the prospering of his abundant legacy and the many ministries that will continue in the wake of his passing. But, most of all, I rejoice that this man of God has finally reached the "better country" for whose Keeper he so faithfully served.
Chuck Colson was a powerful public example that Christ can change any life. No matter how entangled, guilty and exposed a person gets Jesus has the power to transform that person and that life. If Chuck Colson wasn't stuck, nobody has to be stuck. I love that about Jesus!
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