by Trent Gilliss, senior editor
"Charles Colson seeks to create clones to send forth with his evangelical message."
This slug sitting atop a photo of the former Nixon staffer and Evangelical heavyweight certainly catches the eye. And even more so when it graces the front page of the Style section of today’s Washington Post.
The article does a fair job of presenting the sincere, measured tone of Colson. You get a feeling of the political warrior who has turned his life around since being incarcerated and released. He’s a pragmatist and an idealist. He’s adamant in his beliefs and willing to argue his point of view, but softly and without concession.
This profile only feeds my conflicted reactions to Colson’s approach to faith, ministry, and politics. In many ways, he remains the same ol’ junkyard dog that knows how to martial forces and impose his will and way of thinking. It’s an admirable trait when you think about his good work with prison ministries and charitable causes. He believes in the redemption of his cause. That is an admirable trait.
On the other hand, he now is trying to create a movement based on his personal Christian ideologies that veer to the far right. Using a term like “Centurions” to describe his followers who have been schooled in his methodologies seems dangerous to me — in the perceptions it creates and the militant connotation the term evokes, hearkening back to the days of the Roman army and commanding legions of 80 to lead Christian soldiers into the battle for America’s soul.
I definitely recommend reading the two-page profile for yourself. Let me know what your read is.