Chuck Colson

General Teachings/Activities

-  Chuck Colson's world collapsed when he was trapped in the Watergate scandal. He was an Episcopalian with no understanding of saving faith. A man by the name of Tom Phillips pointed him to Christ. When left alone he humbly cried out, "God, take me as I am." Shortly after, he was sentenced to prison (Colson's testimony as reported in New Neutralism II, p. 68). After his release from jail (he served seven months of a one-to-three-year federal prison sentence), Colson founded Prison Fellowship Ministries (PFM) to help "meet the needs" of the kind of men he met in prison. PFM now operates programs in more than 80% of the prisons in the U.S. 

Colson started a daily four-minute radio program, Breakpoint, in 1991, which now airs on more than 1,000 stations nationwide with more than 3 million listeners. He is also a syndicated columnist and has also authored 38 books (over 5 million books sold). In 1989, Colson expanded Prison Fellowship by adding Neighbors Who Care, a community-based support system for victims of crime. PFM states its vision as: "That God's kingdom will be manifested as the redemptive grace and peace of Jesus Christ are experienced by those impacted by crime"; and its mission statement as: "To exhort, equip, and assist the Church in its ministry to prisoners, ex-prisoners, victims, and their families, and in its promotion of biblical standards of justice in the criminal justice system." (Source: 10/00. Internet web site.)

-  Colson claims to have been converted in 1973 by reading C. S. Lewis (Lewis' theology is a garbled mixture of some ideas from the Bible, more from the Anglo-Catholic Church, and many from pagans), and Colson was later tutored in theology by R. C. Sproul, among others. Lewis was a member of the apostate Church of England, an institution whose history is based largely on theological compromise with Rome, and R. C. Sproul clings tenaciously to Aristotelian and Roman Catholic philosophy, while preaching the sovereignty of God, apparently believing that a mind divided against itself can too stand. (Source: 4/98, The Trinity Review.) Colson also credits Dietrich Bonhoeffer's writings with influencing his life. From this beginning, it is not difficult to see from where Colson learned his twisted theology and ecumenical philosophy.

-  Until recently, Colson (born in 1931) was president of PFM. (Mike Timmis, a Roman Catholic and former Promise Keepers board member, is now president -- see below.) Next to Billy Graham, Colson is probably the most responsible for the growing acceptance of Roman Catholics on the part of professing evangelicals. PFM uses about 50,000 volunteer workers, and employs 21 Directors (some of whom are Roman Catholics) in PFM offices in 83 countries. (Over 70% of PFM's chaplains are Roman Catholic.) He has an ecumenical record of praising liberals, Roman Catholics, and charismatics, and opposes the death penalty. He has even gone so far as to praise "Mother" Teresa as "the ultimate example of holiness for me" (Christian American, May-June 1993, p. 16). By profession, he is a Southern Baptist. [Colson's wife, Patty, is a practicing Roman Catholic, but teaches a women's Bible study in his Southern Baptist church! (6/15/91, Calvary Contender). See also the review by John Robbins of Colson's book, Life Sentence.

-  In July of 1998, Detroit businessman Michael Timmis was named chairman of PFM, succeeding founder Chuck Colson who remains on the board as Chairman Emeritus. Timmis is a Roman Catholic. Colson, Timmis, and Jim Berlucchi (Promise Keeper's Catholic evangelist) were scheduled speakers along with two Catholic priests at the "Catholic Men's Conference" June 9-11 at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, which is heavily involved with Marian apparitions and with PK (6/00, The Berean Call).

Colson seems to have a policy of speaking anywhere, anytime, regardless of the heresy or apostasy emanating from the pulpit he accepts (e.g., recipient of the 21st "Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion" (8/93), R.C. Sproul's 2/92 "Hunger for Significance" conference, NAE's 3/90 annual convention, Dallas Seminary's 1990 commencement, Wheaton College's 5/82 commencement [also received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Wheaton], 1985 Moody Founder's Week, numerous James Dobson' Focus on the Family radio programs, etc.)

-  Colson's Prison Fellowship appears to be a money-hungry group that milks its members. In the summer of 1993, Colson sent out a computer-generated, fundraising letter to his thousands of followers. In the letter, Colson tearfully appealed for an immediate $800,000 or, he claimed, Prison Fellowship wouldn't be able to pay its summer bills. This letter was sent just after Colson's group had pocketed over $1 million he had received in May from the "Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion."

In the Foreword to Keith Fournier's book Evangelical Catholics (see the end of this report for Fournier's teachings in Evangelical Catholics), Colson wrote a glowing endorsement. This book is a plea for Protestants to join Catholics in a joint evangelization effort (i.e., an "evangelistic endeavor" that will "evangelize" the world by the year 2000). Fournier, former Ohio prosecutor, is one of the new breed of charismatic Catholic activists. He is executive director of Pat Robertson's American Center For Law and Justice, and the former Dean of Evangelism and legal counsel at the Roman Catholic (Franciscan) University of Steubenville in Ohio. He pleads for Protestant/Catholic unity without concern for doctrine (a policy with which Colson has never had a problem). Rather than recognize that the false gospel of Catholicism is what separates Protestants from Catholics, Fournier and Colson want to gloss over the differences and unite in love. Christ's love, however, compels us not to "accept Catholics," but to inform them where and why Catholic dogmas and traditions contradict God's Word. (Excerpted in part from the 2/91, CIB Bulletin.)

Colson's thesis is that secularism is the great enemy of our age and about to overwhelm us all. Since EC's (evangelical Catholics) and EP's (evangelical Protestants) share "belief in the basics" and "the same mission," we should put aside "minor differences" (since we are all "whether Catholic or Protestant part of the same Body") and work together for the evangelization of the world. Colson's hope is that Fournier's book will be a "bridge across many historic divisions," and bind us together "against the encroaching armies of secularism ... it's high time that all of us who are Christians come together regardless of the difference of our confessions and our traditions and make common cause to bring Christian values to bear in our society" (Evangelical Catholics, p. vi). (Emphasis added.)

-  In Colson's 1993 book, The Body: Being Light in Darkness, he calls on evangelicals to join forces with orthodox Catholics and charismatics in the "common cause to combat cultural relativism [atheism & secularism]." He says "the body of Christ, in all its diversity, is created with Baptist feet, charismatic hands, and Catholic ears -- all with their eyes on Jesus." In an 11/23/92 Christianity Today interview, he criticized those evangelicals who would write-off and not join with Roman Catholics in the "cosmic battle." Colson, ever ecumenical, praises the Catholic chain of command and includes the Catholic Church as a part of the body of Christ. (Reported in the 12/15/92, Calvary Contender.) [Colson has also made a two-part video series on The Body.] According to the 12/28/92 Christian News, the bottom line of The Body is: 

"... the Catholic Church runs a tight ship and he approves a Southern Baptist sounding at times like a Catholic traditionalist. praising the Catholic chain of command. Some of Colson's comments in The Body sound like a blueprint for 'stealth campaigns' by the Christian Religious Right. An effective army, he argues, 'infiltrates small units to disrupt the enemy's communications and attack strategic targets.' [He argues that] this is, in fact, what Christians must do in a 'post-Christian culture' dominated by the TV feel-good values of Donahue and Oprah." [The book has been endorsed by Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Carl F.H. Henry, James Montgomery Boice, Jack Hayford, Adrian Rogers, Vernon Grounds, and Catholic priest Richard John Neuhaus; a 7/19/93 Christianity Today advertisement carried additional endorsements from Roman Catholic John Cardinal O'Connor, neo-evangelicals J.I. Packer and Kenneth Kantzer, and psychoheretic, "church growth" guru Bill Hybels.]

Colson's appeal for unity with Rome is based upon gross misinformation provided to his readers. For example, after explaining that a major catalyst for the Reformation was Luther's revulsion for the practice of selling indulgences, Colson writes: "The Reformers, for example, assailed the corrupt practice of indulgences; today they are gone" (p. 271). Indulgences "are gone"? Absolutely not! Vatican II's Indulgentarium Doctrina by Pope Paul VI devotes 17 pages to indulgences. This document declares that the Roman Catholic Church commands that the usage of indulgences be kept in the Church; and it condemns with anathema those who say that indulgences are useless! (Adapted from the 4/93, Berean Call.)

Colson finds fault with various segments of the evangelical church, but not with today's Catholic Church. And the praise he gives Rome is often so blind as to be embarrassing, such as his statement that "the Catholic Church, to its great credit, does call heretics to account" (p. 132). Indeed she does, having burned more than a million at the stake! And to this day both Trent and Vatican II condemn evangelicals as heretics for holding beliefs to which Colson subscribes. Surely he must know this! [As an example of Rome's censure of heretics, Colson commends Pope Urban VIII for declaring "that anyone in the New World who kept Indian slaves would be excommunicated" (p. 133). But he fails to mention that this same Pope condemned some heretics to the most horrible slavery of all -- the galleys for life! Nor does he tell us that Urban VIII also threatened an elderly and very ill Galileo with torture for saying that the earth revolved around the sun, and had him on his knees in front of the Inquisition recanting of this "heresy" in fear of his life! Calling heretics to account, indeed!] (Adapted from the 4/93, Berean Call.)

-  In an article in the Religious News Service (October 16,1995), Colson described his October meeting with the Pope in New York City. He depicted the Pope as a great moral leader and a friend of Biblical orthodoxy. Consider an excerpt:

"As one of the evangelicals present, I left with one conclusion: Those who defend eternal moral truths and Christian orthodoxy have taken their stand on common ground.  The pope made it quite clear that he fully supports those of all persuasions who recognize, and work to counter, the enormous problems resulting from our society's flight from the truths of orthodoxy. When my eyes met the pope's, we stared across centuries of distrust and suspicion and found common ground. ... Orthodoxy is nothing less than that thread that connects the present to the past and the past to the future -- and that is the thing that really bothers our adversaries." 

Colson's blindness is incredible. Only Biblical prophecies of last days apostasy can explain such blindness. The Pope of Rome, a defender of Christian orthodoxy?! Why, everything he stands for uniquely as the Pope is contrary to the Bible. He claims to be the head of all the churches. He claims to be able to turn the bread and juice of the Lord's Supper into the very body and blood of Christ. He claims to be a spiritual father to all Christians. He claims, as a priest, to mediate between God and men. He claims to be able to influence the eternal destinies of men through his unscriptural sacraments. He claims that Mary is the Mother of God. He prays to her and adores her, and he thanked her for saving him when an assassin's bullet almost ended his life. He has "all yours" embroidered on his garments, and he admits that it refers to Mary. He claims that the blood of Christ was not sufficient to give men eternal life but that they also need Roman masses and baptisms and other rituals. In fact, he claims that even all of this might not be sufficient, and that even "the faithful" might have to go to a place called purgatory where their sins will finally be expunged.

The last statement we cited by Colson is telling. Colson claims that he has found common ground with Roman Catholicism. This is not because Romanism has changed, but it is because he himself represents an apostate form of Christianity known as modern evangelicalism that is so nonchalant about the truth that it cannot resist error. Colson says orthodoxy is the thread which connects the present with the past and the future. Not so. In relation to the Pope, it is not orthodoxy which connects the past and the future, but heresy. John Paul II represents ancient heresies which were affirmed by the anathemas of Trent; at the same time he represents that final apostate Mother of Harlots foretold in Revelation 17. Those who yoke together with the Pope are yoked together with his blasphemies and heresies (Revelation 18:4). (Source: FBIS)

-  Announced at a press conference on 3/29/94 was an ecumenical declaration titled "Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium" (ECT). The negotiations toward the declaration were initiated in 9/92 by Chuck Colson and Richard Neuhaus (former Lutheran clergyman turned Catholic priest) under the auspices of the ecumenical and theologically liberal Institute on Religion and Public Life (headed by Neuhaus). The declaration starts with "We are Evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics who have been led through prayer, study, and discussion to common convictions about Christian faith and mission." It goes down-hill from there. The coalition specifically called for an end to aggressive proselytizing of each other's flocks (in effect, a mutual non-aggression pact), and even confessed their past sins against unity. 

The declaration said: "All who accept Christ as Lord and Savior are brothers and sisters in Christ." This conveniently ignores the fact that Catholics espouse a works-salvation false gospel! In a revealing admission of what brought these groups together, some signers said it was the experiences of worshiping together in the Charismatic Movement and working together in political causes such as anti-abortion [Moral Majority for example]. In fact, one writer correctly assessed that the declaration "amounts to a truce on theological issues so that the parties can continue to cooperate on political issues."

Forty people signed or endorsed the document, including Protestants J.I. Packer, Pat Robertson, John White (of NAE), Bill Bright (of Campus Crusade), Os Guinness, and Mark Noll (a historian at Wheaton College who said, "Evangelicals can no longer consider Catholics as ogres or anti-Christs"). Catholic endorsers included six priests, three bishops, one Archbishop, and one Cardinal. By joint declaration, Colson and friends have, in effect, declared the Protestant Reformation a tragic mistake!

-  Dr. Bill Jackson, president of the Association of Fundamentalists Evangelizing Catholics (AFEC), prepared a 6/18/99 statement on "The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration" (EC) (see the 6/14/99 Christianity Today for the full text of the EC). This document has been endorsed by Charles Colson, Bill Bright, and J.I. Packer, all of whom also signed the controversial ECT documents of 1994 and 1997; as well as endorsed by R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur and D. James Kennedy, all of whom publicly [albeit weakly] challenged and criticized them for signing the ECT documents. There are a number of helpful statements in this latest document which deal with areas which were not fully dealt with in the ECT documents (e.g., imputation is now dealt with favorably, but has been consistently opposed by Roman Catholic Councils and Catechisms). EC says, "We cannot embrace any form of doctrinal indifferentism by which God's truth is sacrificed for a false peace." But there is certainly no better example of "doctrinal indifferentism" than the ECT documents themselves (James 1:8)! Because ECT I stated that "Evangelicals and Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ," in order to be relevant the new EC document should be submitted to the Roman Catholics who signed ECT I and II. It is difficult to see how a person could subscribe to both ECT and EC. The only logical conclusion is for all who signed EC to remove their names from ECT. It also appears that the so-called "evangelical" ECT endorsers have been "let off the hook" by former critics. We believe EC will be used to rehabilitate those who erred in 1994 and 1997, without their having to admit or ask forgiveness for their error. (Source: 7/15/99, Calvary Contender.) [Other "evangelical" endorsers of EC among the 15 members of the Drafting Committee and 114 members of the Endorsing Committee include John Ankerberg, Kay Arthur, Tony Evans, Jerry Falwell, Bill Hybels, David Jeremiah, D. James Kennedy, Max Lucado, Woodrow Kroll, Tim & Beverly LaHaye, Erwin Lutzer, Bill McCartney, Luis Palau, Pat Robertson, Ronald Sider, Charles Stanley, John Stott, Joseph Stowell, Chuck Swindoll, and Ravi Zacharias; also endorsing EC were hyper-charismatics Jack Hayford, Steven Strang, and Bruce Wilkinson.] 

However ignorant Colson and fellow endorsers may be of all this, his participation in EC makes him a party to its consequences. It is also important to note that the EC document (which is supposed to be a definitive and comprehensive statement of the true saving Gospel of Christ) never mentions repentance for salvation, and never mentions the total depravity of man (thereby leaning towards a decisional regeneration). Moreover, the EC promotes an ecumenical unity (via "trans-denominational cooperative enterprises") with all professing believers who attest to the EC's "essentials" of the faith). But this is not the unity of the faith taught in Ephesians. While we are instructed by Scripture to be of one mind, the evangelical today scoffs at the idea of true Biblical unity based on complete agreement with, and submission to, God's holy Word. The only use of the word "unity" in the New Testament is found in Ephesians chapter four. It is a "unity of the Spirit" (v. 3), not of men. It is a "unity of faith" (v. 13) based on sound doctrine for which believers are to contend, not water down nor reclassify into essentials and non-essentials (Jude 3). No real spiritual unity can exist apart from doctrinal unity, and we are to "mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them" (Rom. 16:17).

-  On 10/31/98, Colson spoke at Calvin College chapel. Calvin Theological Seminary and the Roman Catholic Acton Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan collaborated on a symposium titled "Over One Hundred Years of Christian Social Teaching: The Legacy of Abraham Kuyper and Leo XIII." Colson presented his lecture "Building Common Ground in the Christian Church for the Culture of Life." A handful of Roman Catholic priests milled about greeting those who had come. Vietnamese Archbishop Van Trang, a cabinet member at the Vatican on the Commission of Peace and Justice (introduced as "Your Excellency"), was also present. Colson came to the platform to rousing applause and began his lecture by commending the seminary for a conference that brought together Calvinists and Catholics on the eve of celebrating the Reformation. Relating the 1994 release of Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT), Colson said the message of the document was "something I believe in very deeply." He went on to commend the pope, saying John Paul II, a man he called the "Holy Father," would be known as "John Paul the Great," and he thanked the pope for his positive movement in bringing social change. 

The theme of Colson's lecture was linking ECT with the Reformed tradition as expressed a century ago by the Dutch scholar and statesman Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920). Colson's intent was to show the existence of a historic Reformed basis for ECT and thus justification for continuing to build a Roman/Reformed consensus and apologetic for ECT and "The Gift of Salvation" (1997).  First stating the problem, Colson illustrated the moral decline of America both in contemporary culture and in the political arena. To be a fundamentalist or a separatist, which includes not engaging contemporary culture with the Bible, he said, is the "greatest sin." After thirty years of cultural autonomy and its dismal failure, he argued that it is time to identify with John Paul II and his statement that the new millennium will be a "springtime of the Christian faith." Evangelicals and Catholics together, according to Colson, have a historic opportunity upon the demise of humanism to join ranks and create a driving force for implementing world change. (Source: 3/99, The Trinity Review.)

-  Charles Colson is clearly one of the leaders of the ecumenical movement. He has expressed his fundamental ecumenical idea in these words ("Foreword," Evangelical Catholics):

"The pain and distrust between Catholics and Protestants goes [sic] back centuries. The church has often been plagued by wars within her walls, crippling her in her battle against the encroaching armies of secularism. But at root, those who are called of God, whether Catholic or Protestant, are part of the same Body. What they share is a belief in the basics: the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, His bodily resurrection, His imminent return, and the authority of his infallible Word. They also share the same mission: presenting Christ as Savior and Lord to a needy world. ... It's high time that all of us who are Christians come together regardless of the differences in our confessions and our traditions and make common cause to bring Christian values to bear in our society. When the barbarians are scaling the walls, there is no time for petty quarreling in the camp."

Colson first asserts that "the church" has been crippled by wars within her walls. He says that Romanists and Protestants are part of the same church. What makes them part of the same body is their common doctrine, and Colson lists five fundamental doctrines held in common. But his fundamental doctrinal unity between the systems of Romanism and Protestantism does not exist. Take, for example, the single issue of Scripture: Colson calls the common doctrine "the authority of His infallible Word." But what is common about it? Romanism and historic Protestantism have different Bibles; Rome says there are 73 books and a few fragments; historic Protestantism says there are 66 books and no fragments. Second, Rome says that she wrote the books of Scripture, and not only did she write them, she approves and authenticates them. Historic Protestantism says that the books of Scripture are prior to the church, they called forth and created the church; and they judge and authenticate the church. Third, Romanism denies the sufficiency, inerrancy, historical reliability, scientific accuracy, and clarity of Scripture; historical Protestantism asserts all these. Romanism and historic Protestantism have nothing in common on the doctrine of Scripture. Those who assert that they do -- such as Charles Colson -- simply display their ignorance of what both Rome and the Scriptures teach.

Colson goes on to say, after asserting that Protestants and Romanists have fundamental doctrines in common, that we should put aside the remaining minor doctrines and unite to fight secularism. Why does Colson find secularism a greater threat than false religions? The greatest enemies of Christianity have always been false religions. It was not secularists who crucified Christ; it was false religionists. It was not secularists who persecuted Christians in the first century; it was false religionists. It was not secularists who ruined ancient Israel; it was false religionists. The ancient prophets denounced the false religions of their times. Quite frankly, friends, the eighteenth century Enlightenment did less harm to Christianity than Romanism or twentieth century modernism. Colson, being a political animal, calls for a united front against the barbarians scaling the walls. He denies that the barbarians are already within the walls, that barbarians ruled and ruined virtually all the churches for a thousand years -- and for the past 500 years, most of the churches professing to be Christian. 

In Colson's circle, the Cultural Mandate has been substituted for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the United States it has become the conservative counterpart to the liberal social gospel. The Western civilization that Charles Colson and his ilk are attempting to save cannot be saved by the cultural gospel, for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. Only the preaching of the Gospel can defeat those principalities and powers. Western civilization is a by-product of the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Now, in the name of saving what is left of Western civilization, Colson and his ilk demand that we make a theological, social, and political alliance with the Roman State-Church, and battle the barbarians scaling the walls. Mr. Colson is ill-educated. His many ghostwriters have not served him well. He neither understands the source of Western Civilization nor what is required to save it. Just as the individual's eternal salvation is entirely in the hands of Christ, so a civilization's temporal salvation depends entirely on Christ, and if his Gospel is ignored, disbelieved, or despised, as Colson and his tribe despise it, then Christ will surely abandon that culture. All power in Heaven and on Earth has been given to Christ. (Source: "Bleating Wolves: The Meaning of Evangelicals and Catholics Together," 10/98, No.164,  The Trinity Review.)

-  In endorsing ecumenical evangelist Luis Palau's 1991 book Say Yes!, Colson says: "He preaches with a powerful, convicting spirit and with a wonderful ability to have all people of all backgrounds relate to him. He's been anointed to preach the Gospel." Palau is a Catholic sympathizer whose ecumenical message is heavily diluted with pop psychology and Arminian easy-believism. (Colson and Palau were elected as trustees of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, effective May 1, 1999. As pro-Catholic ecumenicals, they should fit well with G-C's new-evangelical stance.)

-  When Prophets of PsychoHeresy II (a book which critiqued the teachings of Dr. James C. Dobson) was published in 1990 (republished and revised in 1998 as James's Dobson's Gospel of Self-Esteem & Psychology), Colson consoled Dobson by saying, "Jim, God has called you to do a work for Him. Don't look to the right or left. Just go get it done." (Colson also served on the National Advisory Committee of the 1993 National Day of Prayer, chaired by Dobson's wife, Shirley; also, a Jewish rabbi and Catholic cardinal were listed with Dr. D. James Kennedy as "Committee Liaisons." James Dobson has also endorsed PFM and Colson has appeared many times on Dobson's Focus on the Family radio program.)

In 1997 there was an award established for "Service in Christian Psychology." The award will be presented annually to recognize Christian psychologists who are engaged in "sacrificial Christian service." Six recipients were initially recognized and awarded $2,500 each: Elizabeth Dole, James Dobson, Art Linkletter, D. James Kennedy, Gary Collins, E.V. Hill, Clyde Narramore, and Charles Colson. (Source: 12/29/97, Christian News.) So, along with his other "achievements," Colson is now also recognized as a "sacrificial" psychobabbler.

-  Colson was a supporter of the Williamsburg Charter Foundation (WCF), an ecumenical amalgamation of professing Christians, humanists, atheists, New Agers, Eastern religionists, etc., whose stated goal was religious pluralism and tolerance in education, but all the while was promoting a new one world religion. Other "evangelical" signators and/or supporters with Colson were James Dobson, Beverly LaHaye, and Billy Graham. [WCF no longer exists, but the curriculum has been passed on to a "new" organization, "The First Liberty Institute," an organization headed up by New Ager Dr. Charles C. Haynes. (First Liberty is located at George Mason University, which was originally designated as "national teacher training and outreach center" for the Williamsburg Charter Foundation. Its New Age/One World curriculum, "Living With Our Deepest Differences: Religious Liberty in a Pluralistic Society," is being offered to the nations' public schools by the National Council on Religion and Public Education, a Liberty Institute organization, and has been accepted by the California State Board of Education.)]

-  Colson endorsed R.C. Sproul's 1991 polemic for self-love, The Hunger For Significance (the revised edition of Sproul's 1983 book, In Search of Dignity). Sproul had this to say about his own book:

"Every person needs to feel significant. We want our lives to count. We yearn to believe that in some way we are important and that hunger for significance -- a drive as intense as our need for oxygen -- doesn't come from pride or ego. It comes from God because he wants each of us to understand how important we are. ... We must seek our roots, our origin, and our destiny so that we can know our present value. ...Written for anyone who shares the hunger for significance. This book explores the human cry for dignity, the hallowed longing for love and respect. ... Wherever people come together, we can help each other discover our self-worth. We can help each other realize that we are persons of significance being made in the image of God." (Emphasis added.)

Colson had no problem endorsing the book: "This book is powerful. It speaks in understandable terms to one of the most critical issues of our day -- the dignity and worth of man -- and equips the believer in the living God with magnificent insight and answers for a world desperately yearning for meaning." [Colson also spoke at Sproul's 2/92 "Hunger for Significance Conference" in Orlando, Florida.]

-  Colson endorsed Bill Hybels' book Honest to God. "Bill Hybels, one of the bright stars in today's evangelical world, has performed a great service in Honest to God. He helps Christians deal with unrecognized sin inhibiting our witness in today's secular struggle for a more authentic faith." (Hybels is a psychologizer [e.g., he extols the virtues of Jungian personality theory in Honest to God] and is one of the leaders in the unbiblical "church growth" movement.)

-  Colson also appears to have difficulty recognizing the seriousness of allowing children to read books with occult fantasy themes. In a May, 2000 radio commentary, Colson opined on the Harry Potter phenomenon:

"It may relieve you to know that the magic in these books [more than eight million of them] is purely mechanical, as opposed to occultic. That is, Harry and his friends cast spells, read crystal balls, and turn themselves into animals -- but they don't make contact with a supernatural world."

What spiritual ignorance! There can be nothing more occultic than crystal balls (divination), casting spells, and demonic alteration of oneself into an animal-like creature. Yet Colson sees this as mere innocent child's play. (Source: 6/00, The Berean Call.) [See the following four linked reports on the danger of the Harry Potter books: Report1; Report2; Report3; Report4.]

-  Campus Crusade founder Bill Bright fasted 40 days during the summer of 1994, during which he claims to have received a "prophecy from God" that a mighty revival is coming. He then issued a call for hundreds of liberals, charismatics, and new-evangelicals to gather in Orlando 12/5/94-12/7/94 to fast and pray for revival. An Invitation Committee made up of a hodgepodge of 72 liberals, new evangelicals, and charismatics was formed. Included were: Robert Schuller, Charles Colson, E.V. Hill, Jack Hayford, James Dobson, W.A. Criswell, Charles Stanley, Paul Crouch, Luis Palau, Bill Gothard, Pat Robertson, Kay Arthur, and Larry Burkett. CCC's Bill Bright cites "a great sense of urgency to link arms and unitedly call upon God for help in the spirit of King Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 20)." This ecumenical "linking" is in the "spirit of Jehoshaphat" indeed, but the Jehoshaphat of 2 Chr. 18 (instead of 2 Chr. 20) where he "linked" with wicked King Ahab and incurred the wrath of God. (Reported in the 11/15/94, Calvary Contender.) [Another three-day "Fasting & Prayer" conference was held in 11/95 in Los Angeles; it attracted 3,500 "evangelicals" and charismatics. The Invitation/Host Committee for this event included most of those listed above, plus Dick Eastman, Chuck Smith, Bill McCartney (Promise Keepers), Tim and Beverly LaHaye, Shirley Dobson, Paul Cedar (E-Free), Ted Engstrom (World Vision), Joseph Stowell (Moody), and Joseph Aldrich (Multnomah). A third conference was held 11/14/96-11/16/96 in St. Louis. New additions to the Host Committee included Max Lucado, Henry Blackaby, Loren Cunningham (YWAM), Greg Laurie, Dennis Rainey, Randy Phillips (Promise Keepers), Josh McDowell, D. James Kennedy, Howard Hendricks, and Neil Anderson. (Conferences have been held every year now, but there is an uncertain future with Bill Bright's planned retirement (August, 2001) from Campus Crusade.)]

-  Promise Keepers is the gigantic new (1991) "men's movement" among professing evangelical Christians. Its roots are Catholic and charismatic to the core. PK's contradictory stand on homosexuality; its promotion of secular psychology; its unscriptural feminizing of men; its depiction of Jesus as a "phallic messiah" tempted to perform homosexual acts; and its ecumenical and unbiblical teachings should dissuade any true Christian from participating. Promise Keepers is proving to be one of the most ungodly and misleading movements in the annals of Christian history. Nevertheless, Colson is a promoter of this ecumenical, charismatic, psychologized men's movement -- Colson has been a speaker at PK men's conferences and has written numerous daily "devotionals" for publication in PK's bi-monthly Men of Integrity ("your daily guide to the Bible and prayer").

-  More than 6,000 delegates to the Parliament of the World's Religions (PWR) met in Chicago from 8/28/93-9/5/93. Nearly every demonic false Christ-worshipping cult, Scripture-twisting counterfeit, and apostate Christian group in the world was gathered at the Palmer House for a week of plenary sessions and over 500 meetings and workshops. Prior to the Chicago meetings, a committee made up of the leaders of the world's five major religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity) met and chose Chuck Colson as the 21st recipient of the million dollar "John M. Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion -- "for showing "extraordinary originality in advancing humankind's understanding of God." (The "Prize" was established in 1972 by New Age pantheist/science-of-mind universalist/investment guru John Marks Templeton.) Colson not only agreed to take the money (which actually came to more than $1.2 million for 1993), which he claimed would be used to further the aims of his Prison Fellowship Ministry, but also agreed to attend and speak at the Chicago PWR event. (Although the presentation of the Templeton Prize was not an "official act" of the PWR, the timing for the public presentation -- a ceremony that was held on 9/2/93 in the Rockefeller Chapel of the University of Chicago -- was meant to coincide with the PWR's meetings, and the ceremony itself was listed on PWR's 9/23 schedule of events.) There, in the presence of some of the most evil and diabolical men and women on the face of the earth, Colson expressed his gratitude to them in his formal acceptance speech.

Among the attendees with Colson in Chicago were a Hindu swami who heads the Divine Life Society of India (Chidananda Saraswati); the secretary-general of the Muslim World League (Abdullah Omar Naseef); the exiled "god-king" of Tibetan Buddhism (the Dalai Lama); the feminist director of the National Council of Churches (Joan Campbell); several Roman Catholic dignitaries such as liberal theologian Hans Kung, the Archbishop of Chicago (Joseph Cardinal Bernardin), a goddess advocate (Dr. Rosemary Reuther), a worshipper in Hindu temples who dresses in robes of a Hindu guru (Dr. Bede Griffiths), and even the Vatican's official representative (Francisco Gioia of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue); representatives of the Eastern Religions of Taoism, Confucianism, and Shintoism; officials of the satanic Lucis Trust; Zoroastrian sun god worshippers; witchcraft priestesses, santeria/voodoo high priests, and various shamanists and animists; apostate "Christians"; Freemason higher-ups; serpent charmers; liberal Jewish rabbis; assorted New Age "dignitaries"; and Druid priests! Even the American Humanist Association was represented. In all, occultists and religionists from over 130 countries came to celebrate their "Unity in Diversity."

The joint goal of PWR is Unity -- it "seeks to encourage understanding of the benefits of each of the great religions," and ultimately, to bring all the world's faiths and religions together as one. As a result, PWR is made up of a gaggle of deceived and misguided zealots blindly following the pied pipers of ecumenism. The 4/19/93 Christian News said: "The World Parliament of Religions promotes an anti-scriptural universalism, the notion that all religions worship the true God and that Christianity is not the only true and saving faith." This intent was reiterated by Templeton himself at the first news conference (2/17/93 in New York), where he announced that Colson, who was present, was the 1993 Prize recipient. In response, Colson said, "I salute Sir John for establishing this award ..." [One researcher asks, "Would Elijah have complimented the priests of Ashtoreth, Baal, Dagon, Molech, et al. for establishing a 'progress in religion' prize and have accepted it? Would Paul have accepted such a prize offered by the pagan leaders of his day? Then why excuse Colson?" How can anyone really justify a professing evangelical commending and accepting the "Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion"? Is Christianity merely another religion? Do Christians help false religions progress? Religious leaders nailed Christ to the cross. To accept an award from Christ-rejecting Muslims, Hindus, et al. for "progress in religion" is to deny Christ and His gospel! (11/93, Berean Call).]

Perhaps Colson was picked for this high "honor" precisely because of his devotion to the ecumenical movement. In later press releases, Colson announced his pleasure in being selected for the "Templeton Prize." Colson noted that Mother Teresa and Billy Graham were past recipients. What he failed to mention was that other past recipients also include India's Hindu guru, Baba Amte; Japanese Buddhist teacher and founder of the world's largest Buddhist lay organization, Nikkyo Niwano; the secretary-general of the World Muslim Congress, Dr. Inamulla Khan; evolutionist Alister Hardy; Unitarian Ralph Burhoe; the former president of India (Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan), who was awarded the Prize for his contribution to Hinduism; and the Dalai Lama. The 6/1/93 Calvary Contender stated: "'Evangelical' Colson, by participating in such an interfaith worship/dialogue parliament featuring New Agers and adherents of Buddhism, Hinduism, Catholicism, Islam, etc., will confuse his followers and bring great reproach to the cause of Christ. Even his Watergate deeds, not done in the name of religion, could hardly be so shameful."

Is Chuck Colson, then, a wolf in sheep's clothing -- a "born again" New Ager disguised as an evangelical Christian? Whatever he is, the Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans (witches), Moslems, and other false religionists and cultists must have been deliriously happy that the famous Chuck Colson appeared in Chicago to bless their devilish affair. [Portions of the above were also adapted from a 6/93 Flashpoint article and an 8/93 Media Spotlight article.]

[More on the Parliament of the World's Religions/Chuck Colson: In the "business" sessions of the PWR, it's chairman proposed a "United Nations" of religions be established that would dispatch mediators to help defuse inter-religious tensions. (A Zoroastrian, a Muslim, and a Buddhist actually prepared a charter. The General Council plans to meet annually and form an Executive Council, which will meet often throughout the year. The plan is for religious leaders to work with the United Nations on all world affairs, including war.) The Jewish ADL pulled out of the event after Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan was invited to speak. Pagans swayed and chanted "We are one with the soul of the Earth." A Global Ethic document, drafted by Catholic theologian Hans Kung, was signed. It made no mention of God, but called for human rights, respect for the environment, gender equality, and a culture of peace (10/15/93, Calvary Contender).

Colson's award ceremony began with a Muslim's speech and chant (Dr. Ghulan-Haider Aasi of the American Islamic College of Chicago). After Colson's talk, a Buddhist (Dr. Chuen Phangcham of the American Buddhist Congress) led the audience in a "meditation," during which he and some of the audience went into a trance, and what he was saying became unintelligible. A Roman Catholic Church leader closed with final remarks. Colson's office claimed that accepting the Prize gave Colson "a marvelous opportunity, not unlike that of Paul on Mars Hill, to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ clearly and powerfully to ... many who have perverted the truth." Sadly, in none of his news conferences or speeches did he fulfill this ideal. Moreover, it would be the height of hypocrisy and confusion to accept an award designed to promote all religions and at the same time to charge that all religions are false and that Christ alone saves. No wonder the gospel was not made plain on any of these occasions.

In Colson's formal acceptance speech, the full Gospel was not preached, but instead he used language that would not offend his hosts. This was by design, to emphasize the interfaith, ecumenical nature of the event. Nowhere in his speech did Colson make it clear that we are sinners facing God's wrath and that Christ's death paid the penalty demanded by God's justice against sin so we could be forgiven. In fact, Colson obscured that vital truth with his final story of a prison cell occupied solely by a crucifix, which a prisoner explained as, "He's doing time for all the rest of us" -- an appealing, but false Catholic gospel. Christ is not "doing time" for us. He is no longer on the cross. The debt has been paid in full! (10/93, Flashpoint;11/93, Berean Call).

It is equally alarming that not only Colson, but also other professing evangelicals would imagine that he had actually presented the gospel, when its primary elements were missing. Colson came just close enough to the gospel for Christians to interpret his ambiguous language as meaning what they believe; and he missed it by enough so as not to offend too badly the followers of the world's false religions or to convert them (11/93, Berean Call).]

-  Colson claims to be conservative and orthodox, but his actions speak louder than his words (from 10/93, Flashpoint):

(a) Colson has unhealthy connections with the United Nations. In 1986, he and Prison Fellowship reportedly endorsed the New Age movement's World Day of Healing -- also known as Global Mind-Link -- then hastily withdrew its endorsement after receiving criticism from concerned Christians.

(b) In a 1993 newsletter, Colson bragged that Prison Fellowship's proposal to release over half of all criminals now in prisons from their cells, and return these convicts to their local communities, had been adopted by Janet Reno, Bill Clinton's attorney general. Reno has also expressed support for Colson's campaign to end capital punishment and abolish the death penalty. Colson and Prison Fellowship are in bed with radical liberals on both these issues.

(c) Colson has encouraged Christians to read the works of fiction writer Madeleine L'Engle, in spite of the fact that L'Engle's writings are laced with occultism and New Age imagery. He has also enthusiastically promoted President George Bush's "Thousand Points of Light" program, which has been proven to be a project of the New Age group, Secret Brotherhood.

(d) In the early-1990s, the ultra-liberal newspaper, The Washington Post, "invited" Colson to write a guest article. In the article, Colson blasted pro-life Christians, accusing them of "inflammatory rhetoric." Pro-lifers, said Colson, must "seek common ground" with the abortionists. Moreover, "the Religious Right," Colson wrote, "must accept the fact that America is the pluralist nation."

-  See the reviews ["The Counterfeit Gospel" (Book Reviews)] of various Colson' books for more on Colson's false Roman Catholic gospel, his praise of Catholicism, his moral/religious relativism, his social activism, etc.

Keith Fournier's Teachings in Evangelical Catholics

-  Fournier's "new birth" experience in adulthood, after he gained full knowledge of the "true Faith," is declared to be merely a "renewing" of his "baptism vows" and infant baptism. Fournier states, "We need to insure ... that those who occupy our churches have met Jesus Christ personally. For some of us that will mean reaffirming our baptism as children" (p. 181). Conversion is declared to be a continual process that takes place, not a "once for all" experience.

-  In one and two sentence statements interspersed throughout the book, Fournier indicates acceptance of and adherence to every pagan Romish doctrine. He accepts infant baptismal regeneration (pp. 101-102, 134, 181), he believes in using statutes as an aid to prayer (p. 26), that the Roman Catholic institution is the "ark" of spiritual safety and the "mother church" (pp. 45, 46, 49, 165), and that it is in this "church" through which God makes known his will (p. 49). He also adheres to the Rosary (p. 95), Mariolatry [calling Mary the "second Eve"] (p. 125), and the Eucharist as becoming the literal body and blood of Christ (according to Fournier, it is the "heart of the Christian life") (p. 42).

-  Fournier accepts all seven Roman Catholic sacraments as means of grace (p. 17), and he believes in the supremacy and full authority of the papacy (pp. 18, 204), never questioning the pope's position or theology. And of course, the Roman Catholic "church" is the one true world-wide ecumenical church (pp. 65, 143, 165). These doctrines are carefully and subtlety "slipped in," while promoting an "evangelical" line. (Reported in the March-April 1992, Fundamentalist Digest.)

NOTE I: Colson's conclusion about the author is: "Keith Fournier stands in the breach -- truly orthodox in his adherence to Catholic doctrine and fully evangelical in his relationship to Christ and His creation."

NOTE II: Fournier says concerning Colson: "Several years ago we honored Chuck with our Poverello Medal, our highest award given annually to the man, woman, or organization which most reflects the spirit of Saint Francis in his simple love for Jesus Christ [p. 205] The Prison Fellowship Ministries staff and volunteers simply want to touch unbelievers and fellow Christians with the love of Christ. So when their work takes them to predominantly Catholic countries and Catholic environments, they strive to work with Catholic Christians" (p. 202). Throughout the book, Fournier's foremost Christian heroes appear to be Mother Teresa and Charles Colson.

NOTE III: Foundation for March-April 1990, in reference to Colson stated: "When questioned as to any doctrinal requirements for participation in his Prison Fellowship Ministries, he explained that because of its nature and scope, it is necessary to make no distinctions on the basis of either religion or race." After reading the revelations in Fournier's book, it is understandable how Colson could make that statement. He simply sees no differences based on doctrine. This is tragic. It is obvious that Colson was trained as a lawyer, not as a theologian (New Neutralism II, pp. 68-70).

NOTE IV: Fournier lists nine current areas of cooperative effort between the evangelical- ecumenical Roman Catholic and the evangelical-ecumenical Protestant that are expediting the "back to Rome" process: These included (a) social ecumenism [joint social action projects]; (b) evangelistic ecumenism [ecumenical evangelism] and (c) moral ecumenism [joint action in the anti-abortion effort]. Through the Fournier/Robertson ACLJ, professing fundamentalists, in their desire to retain/regain essential constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, are being conned into an ecumenical mesh from which they may be unable or unwilling to extract themselves. In the future, they could wind up regaining/maintaining the right to publicly exercise a faith which they no longer possess that faith having been lost in an ecumenical planning for legal justice. It has been said  that "It's never right to do wrong, in order to get a chance to do right." This certainly appears to be applicable here. Fighting for religious liberty does not justify forging ecumenical ties!  [Return to Text]

Biblical Discernment Ministries - Revised 11/00