Fifteen Years Ago

In 1991, the Gulf War began and ended. The Iran-Contra charges against Oliver North were dropped. The Senate approved the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas. And the Soviet Union ceased to exist. And, as I’d like to think, another significant event took place: On September 2, fifteen years ago tomorrow, “BreakPoint” went on the air for the first time. I have often been asked why, as a prison evangelist, I comment on cultural issues and biblical worldview. Why don’t I just stick to bringing prisoners to Christ? In the first ten years of Prison Fellowship, I did focus on evangelizing, building discipleship programs, and training volunteers. But I was perplexed because prisons were filling up with criminals faster than we could start Bible studies. And this despite the fact that we were in prosperous times and poverty was on the wane. Then an inescapable fact hit me: The surging moral relativism in our culture was eroding our value system. This revealed itself most significantly in the breakdown of the family, which, of course, negatively affected kids. What’s more, sleazy television, movies, and music poisoned the minds of young people, dulling their consciences. And the schools no longer taught right from wrong—only tolerance. Young people had no moral compass, and many of them followed their parents’ footsteps into prison. It wasn’t poverty and racism, I came to conclude, that put people in prison; it was wrong moral choices and the lack of moral training during the formative years. Studies at the time were discovering the same thing. I realized that if we were going to do anything about prisons bursting with ever-younger inmates, we would have to begin to help Christians challenge this false view of life. I was studying, at the time, Biblical worldview—the writings of Francis Schaeffer and Abraham Kuyper—and it took on a new sense of urgency. So, after many years of urging—I’d even call it nagging—by my friend Jim Dobson, I went on the air for the first time on September 2, 1991, to challenge the false values of our culture from a Biblical perspective. In that broadcast, I talked about a Phil Donohue show where parents were interviewed who let their kids have sex under their own roof, presumably so they could keep an eye on them. And even worse, the audience was nodding sympathetically—nobody challenging these parents’ actions! Nobody was concerned with truth—only feelings. I realized then we have to start asking the right questions: What is truth? What is real? What are we living for? And as I said that day back in 1991, unless we realize that there are such questions—that all through history humans have been seeking answers to these questions—then we are simply going to flounder along, drifting with popular trends. So for the past fifteen years, “BreakPoint” has been helping Christians articulate a thoughtful and winsome biblical worldview in all areas of life—presenting big answers for big questions. As God gives me and now Mark Earley the strength and wisdom, “BreakPoint” will continue to do so for the next fifteen years—and beyond.  
For Further Reading and Information
Please donate online today to help Prison Fellowship continue to minister to prisoners and for BreakPoint to continue its biblical worldview ministry. Or call 1-877-322-5527. BreakPoint Commentary No. 060831, “Welcome Aboard: BreakPoint with Chuck Colson.” Samuel Yochelson and Stanton E. Samenow, The Criminal Personality: A Profile for Change, vol. 1 (J. Aronson, 1982). James Q. Wilson and Richard J. Herrnstein, Crime and Human Nature (Simon & Schuster, 1986). Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, How Now Shall We Live? (Tyndale, 1999). Charles Colson with Anne Morse, How Now Shall We Live? Devotional (Tyndale, 2004).


Chuck Colson



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