A few mornings ago, I woke up to a text from a friend who shared the following joke. “A priest, at rabbit and a minister walk into a bar. The bartender asks the rabbit, “what’ll ya have?” The rabbit replies, “I dunno, I’m only here because of autocorrect.”
First, I laughed. But then I thought, given the religious affiliation of the joke, about how the Christian faith seems to have been autocorrected into something other than what it was intended to be. I think we can all agree that there have been changes to the Christian faith that have been conflated with the values of the culture.
Foundational Christian beliefs are eroding at an alarming rate. In the 2022 State of Theology Survey. It’s reported that 56% of Evangelicals agree with the statement, “God accepts worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.”
— 43% of Evangelicals agreed with the statement, “Jesus was a great teacher, but he was not God.”
— 48% of Evangelicals agreed with the statement, “God learns and adapts to different circumstances.”
Similarly, a survey of Catholics by the Pew Research Center showed:
— 67% of Catholics believe, “Right and wrong depends on the situation,” while only 30% said, “There are clear standards for what is right and wrong”.
— The source of guidance on right and wrong for surveyed Catholics was “common sense” for 48%, vs 30% who looked to “religion”
These trends are not brand new. Barna conducted a survey in 2017 which revealed how Christian worldview is being influenced by other secular thinking, post-modernism, and other religions.
Chuck Colson, the eponymous creator of what is now known as The Colson Fellows Program defined a worldview as “the sum total of our beliefs about the world.”
What a person believes shapes their values and impacts their actions: how they interact with individuals and society; what their priorities are; and how they utilize their resources of time and money. He should know. The former Nixon chief legal advisor and Watergate conspirator spent time in prison because of the actions that flowed out of his beliefs.
Prior to starting his prison sentence, Colson committed his life to Christ. His conversion and experience with incarceration led to the formation of Prison Fellowship. But he noted a thinness to the faith of believers, a lack of depth in what they believed and saw that their lives were lived out mostly in insulated communities of faith rather than engaging in the culture for the sake of the gospel. He recognized that if Christians were just focusing on what they were saved from, to the neglect of what they were saved for, that they were missing out on so much.
ALASKA WATCHMAN DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX
Enter the Centurions Program (now the Colson Fellows Program), which was created for “people who are eager to live out the Gospel and defend Truth in the marketplace of ideas.” The 10-month, intensive study involves reading books, listening to podcasts and viewing webinars, the information in which is then discussed monthly in a meeting with the individuals in the cohort. This space of community allows deeper discussion and occasional wrestling with the material as members who come from Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox faith traditions seek to think deeply and allow themselves to grow in relationship with Christ.
A current Alaskans participant stated, “This program is so life altering that I can’t quite put it into words. I sit to write and reflect on all the wondrous ways God has met me since we started, and I feel such great humility and gratitude. The exploration of worldview and how that impacts my relationship with Christ and others has gone to depths and provided a richness I hadn’t expected.”
“In How Now Shall We Live,” Chuck Colson wrote, “Christians who understand biblical truth and have the courage to live it out, can indeed redeem a culture or even create one.” For those who feel like their faith should have a vibrancy that it doesn’t, or who want a community of people who want to think deeply about the issues of our day in a Christian context, or who feel like a rabbit whose life circumstances seem more like the result of autocorrect rather than intention, consider joining the Colson Fellows Program. There is currently a regional cohort in Anchorage and a church affiliate in Fairbanks at Community Covenant Church (C3), with a new regional cohort preparing to start this summer in Soldotna.
To get more information about the Colson Fellows Program you can visit https://colsonfellows.org/ or contact the Alaska Cohort coordinator, Ted Smith at email@example.com. For information about the Fairbanks Church affiliate email firstname.lastname@example.org or call their office at 907-251-6992.
The views expressed here are those of the author.
Interesting ideas. Thanks for sharing.
Where in Soldotna?
About 3 hours south of Anchorage, next to Kenai and on the way to Homer.
Thank you FoH,
Do you happen to know which church/venue in Soldotna is hosting the program?
I wish Christians would keep to themselves.
You dont have to read the article. Stick to reading the ADN if feel good opinions of real news is what makes you happy.
Yeah but you want to take away my body autonomy, ban books, decide who to love who and how, restrict the learning of science, introduce god and prayer in government.
Christianity has provided something wonderful and cherished for you. Why do I need to participate?
Lucinda, you say it takes away your body autonomy, ban books, and so on. Let’s flip this to the other side of the story. The government has been trying to force the toxic jabs on everyone – no respect for freedom of choice and they still push it even though courts and businesses are now saying that it is the people’s choice. Lefty rioters are destroying historical statues and buildings that many people cherish. The left is forcing Christians, Conservatives and others to support ideology that we absolutely cannot support based on our own beliefs. The left/government will not allow debate in the medical/scientific field on different topics – it is their way or no way. We could go on and on and on and on. There are definitely two sides to this story.
I dunno Friend. You lack credibility. Not sure it’s worth my liberal atheist time responding to you.
My prayers answered