My wife picked up on this the other day. I really have no deliberate plan to pick on Charles Colson, but he’s on the radio 5 days a week, and even after years of his flawed worldview and erroneous and deceptive commentary…he still amazes!
He’s representative of so many things dangerously wrong with modern American Christianity. He’s a giant though. His influence cannot be discounted. The fact that a bunch of Evangelical Culture Warriors are considering supporting Rick Santorum, a Roman Catholic to be President of their Sacral project can almost directly be attributed to the work of Colson. In the early 1990’s he brought together various leaders and put forward the Evangelicals and Catholics Together agenda and it literally has transformed American Evangelicalism. Protestants supporting a Roman Catholic would have been unthinkable just twenty years ago. Now, the blood of many martyrs is trampled underfoot as the Gospel apparently no longer matters…what really mattered all along was Westernism…America.
Francis Schaeffer couldn’t have imagined what some would do with his teaching! It’s a fitting legacy to the deadly seeds he helped to plant. Sacralism waters down the gospel and in seeking to make Babylon into Zion ends up not only overthrowing the gospel (as Colson has done) but leads to startling consequences.
Here Colson argues against multiculturalism being taught in schools and how it has lead to moral relativism. As usual I don’t agree with his assessment though I have no problem admitting our culture in general has lost the ability to find any kind of moral grounding. Morals and Ethics are metaphysical questions… Western Enlightenment Rationalism with its closed universe has rejected the whole concept of metaphysics. Postmodernism is looking for answers beyond scientific naturalism but doesn’t know where to find them. Past societies have been able to figure out at least some of the basics with regard to these questions and even if grounded in bad metaphysics, fallen depraved men (via the General Benevolence/Common Grace of God) were able to draft societal standards that promoted some kind of imperfect civilization.
I would argue American narcissism and extreme self-absorption are driving much of the ethical malaise gripping our youth. They are the spoiled children of a decadent generation. Hard times, the sorrows of life, or as is commonly called…the school of hard knocks…will knock some limited sense into them, or yes, this society will implode in a generation or so. As people deal with raising their children and wrestle with hard questions they are forced to deal with some of these issues. Many wrestle with them too late to rescue their children.
Constantinian morality has granted a form of godliness but in denying the power thereof (because the Gospel cannot be legislated) has made it very difficult to evangelize these people. We are now reaching the point where we have adults who have never been to church and have had little to no contact with Christianity. The Gospel message will be something new and quite foreign to them. I have some hope in this regard!
In the past, for many people, to accept what you’re saying when you preach the gospel to them is to acknowledge the Christianity they grew up with and that of their parents is false…a harder pill to swallow. And frustrating from my standpoint when they go back to the United Methodist or Presbyterian Church USA ‘minister’ for affirmation that the Bible doesn’t really say all that stuff about sin, Christ, consequences and so forth. Since I don’t wear a robe and have a big building with a steeple, I don’t have the cultural authority and my words lose their weight. The false teacher tickles their ears and assuages their troubled conscience…sending them to hell… but at least they teach them to do good and love their neighbour right? Colson would be pleased. At least people go to hell waving the flag and feeling good about themselves.
Perhaps the coming cultural implosion will generate the hard times and lead people to re-think some things? We’ll see, won’t we? Again a rescued society doesn’t mean a Christian victory, it just means a more tolerable place to live. But I think we’ve already gone way beyond the point of return. I think the cancer is terminal. It seems inevitable. Lo, it is even at the door. It’s not because America forgot God…it’s because America became an Empire and is now following the path of Empire. If more people bothered to read history they would see this.
Multiculturalism can be a good thing in terms of breaking through the narcissistic self-focused mindset of American culture. It can teach young people to take note of people in other countries…yes, they’re human beings too! Most are just normal folks that want the same things in life that we do…peace and security to raise their children and grow old without fear. They don’t like it when other countries conquer them, bomb them, and impose their will on them… smashing a boot down on their customs.
Is it bad for those trying to construct a Sacralist culture? Of course. Sacralism wants to teach its culture is superior. Now if Constantinianism accurately represents Biblical Christianity and thus was part of the gospel, then certainly we would be under Divine Mandate to stand for it. But if it is a false construct, which it is, then look at the results. Rather than teach humanity, love and respect for others, it teaches pride and cultural bigotry. It ends up promoting an ethic antithetical to Christianity and certainly crushes the Fruits of the Spirit and their ability to impact culture.
Moral relativism? Isn’t that what Sacralism does? How many American Christians, blinded by Sacralism and Nationalism turn a blind eye to the sufferings of millions of people around the world? They’re viewed as lesser people. No one comes out and says that, though it was certainly the impression I got growing up in a Right Wing Nationalist pseudo-Christian home.
Bombing becomes…the right and just thing to do. Assassination becomes a moral response. Exploitation becomes stewardship.
Colson proudly signed the Land Letter urging Bush to invade Iraq in 2003. Sacral thinking has led to erroneous extra- and anti- Biblical concepts like the Just War Theory and the doctrine of resistance based on the Lesser Magistrate. These dreamed up formulations have given Sacralists carte blanche to wage war and shed blood.
Moral Relativism? My goodness, this monster, this servant of the enemy is responsible for many souls being led astray and in terms of this age…the man’s got blood on his hands and through his teaching, enables others to turn a blind eye to the world of suffering his sick and twisted Empire has inflicted on multitudes.
Moral Relativism? It can come from many sources. But Sacral Nationalism/Culturalism brings it about like no other force can. It leads peoples to become convinced that God is on their side. Their cause is right as they bomb people of others cultures and races into oblivion for their business interests and as they cleanse their land of lesser cultured/raced vermin…putting them into camps and worse. After all they’re not like us right? They only think…evil and twisted thoughts. German Sacralism led good upright Lutherans to turn a blind eye to, and in many cases openly participate in, mass murder on a hellish scale.
With Colson all I can say is…blind leading the blind. Whenever I read 2 Corinthians 11. 13-15 I think of people like him. They have plagued the Church from the beginning. When Colson dies, there will be five more to take his place.
For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
I suppose when he reads Christians who critique him he thinks he’s being persecuted, a martyr suffering for the cause of Christ. All I can say is…Matthew 7, starting at verse 13…
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.