Become Dangerous

Break the Spiral as a Centurion

In his final year, Chuck Colson issued a challenge to the Church. If silence is not your style, stay tuned to BreakPoint.

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John Stonestreet

Once, a corrupt politician successfully lobbied for the head of state to introduce a law endorsing genocide. The would-be victims had no effective voice, no one in the halls of power to plead their case. Then, just when despair was setting in, a lone woman in a position of influence broke her silence and changed history.

The rest of this account, as you might have guessed, is in your Bible, in the book of Esther. Get familiar with it, because this same storyline – a group of people victimized by bad ideas that God calls His people to speak up for – is repeated over and over again throughout history.

And our call today is the same. Much of what Christians hold dear—life, marriage and religious freedom—is coming under pressure in ways we never predicted. But, it’s men and women who speak their convictions—winsomely, courageously, even when it might cost them—who change history.

Take Kristin Waggoner. You may remember Chuck Colson telling you about her earlier this year. Kristin is a Seattle lawyer who took a risk by representing pharmacies which refused to sell abortifacient drugs. The Washington State governor, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood fought Kristen every step of the way. But a federal district court decided in her favor, protecting the pharmacies’ freedom not to participate in abortions.

Or consider Joseph Burns, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, now Air Force civil servant, who put his career on the line to challenge the Air Force’s new religious neutrality policy, which effectively endorses irreligion. The new policy prohibited officers from even “appearing” to endorse their faith, but at the same time removed consequences for officers who criticize religion. Burns calls this standard subjective and dangerous. And he’s publically speaking out against it, while defending the religious freedom guaranteed by the document he swore to “support and defend.”

These individuals have at least two things in common: First, they’ve each chosen to break “the spiral of silence.” Second, they all graduated from our Centurions program, a year-long intensive training experience designed to help you live out and defend the Christian Worldview in all areas of life.

Chuck Colson established this program because he wanted to make Christians dangerous – in a good way. He wanted to call people and equip them to make a difference within their spheres of influence: whether in government, business, education, ministry, or simply within their local communities. Centurions don’t just learn how to think Christianly, they put their worldview into action by shaping their world. Chuck gathered a staff and faculty for the Centurions to train up “Esthers,” men and women who will change history by taking decisive stands where God has placed them.

I teach worldview in a lot of contexts, but the Centurions classes I teach each year are among my favorites. Why? Because each year, the Centurions is a community of individuals who have signed up for more – more challenge, more thinking, more action. They inspire me.

Does this sound like you? Then visit CenturionsProgram.org before the May 18 deadline to register for our 2012 class. And if you want to learn more, tune in to “BreakPoint This Week” on your Christian radio station or online at BreakPoint.org. You can hear my interviews with a few Centurions grads, and two Centurions instructors who were some of Chuck Colson’s closest colleagues.

The May 18 deadline is approaching fast. You can make a difference. Check us out at CenturionsProgram.org.

Further Reading and Information

Centurions Program

Plan B vs. Religious Liberty
Chuck Colson | BreakPoint.org | March 9, 2012

Freedom’s Finis Flight?
Joseph M. Burns | Touchstone | March-April 2012

BreakPoint This Week
John Stonestreet | BreakPoint.org | May 12, 2012



Shall not bow down
Hi John,

Haman wanted to kill the Jews because Mordecai refused to bow down to him. It wasn't a matter of like or dislike, it was a matter of authority. Mordechai challenged Haman's authority and Haman did not like that, so he ordered them killed and cast lots "purim" in order to choose the day.

While I understand that there is evil in the world, I still can't grasp how societies turn on their own people and murder them. It starts with dehumanization and propaganda. For example, 'the so-called "Jews" think that they are "people" but I, Haman know better. They are not "people", they are enemies of the state who challenge my authority.'

Regarding your second point, I'm going to get personal because this is personal. I grew up Jewish and my synagogue started to marry same-sex couples in the late seventies. It was a matter of religious freedom. The rabbis felt that it was important to welcome gay couples into the greater family with a public consecration of their vows. I converted to Christianity and my church too consecrates same-sex marriage. The couples who marry in these institutions are not "dealing with same-sex attraction". They are perfectly fine with their orientation. They have shared their vows and behave as married couples are expected to behave. They challenge the authority of "marriage" traditionalists by their very existence.

Thanks for the question. We've decided to use quotes or the preface "so-called" before references to same-sex marriage because we don't believe it exists. Marriage is something already, pre-defined by the God who established the institution and the thousands of years of human history that acknowledged that definition. It's not a scare quote - though I am unsure what that is. I've never found quotation marks even the slightest bit intimidating, much less scary.
And, to the second point - nowhere have we suggested that all who struggle with same-sex attraction have agendas or are lobbyists. I don't see anywhere that I've claimed that either. Still, there is a "hit list" that actually exists however - it was put out earlier this year by GLAAD. That was referenced in the piece.
And, no, Hamaan wasn't grumpy at the Jews because of their propaganda or lobbying. They were exiles. He just didn't like them.
An African Preacher's on the Church and Homosexual
@Jonathan Weintraub

"We allow homosexuals to change the church rather than the church to
change homosexuals. It is not true that God created gays and lesbians
the way they are. I refuse to accept that. Because God is a loving God
and He cannot have created something that will make that person
suffer. If we say no (to the amendment) it doesn't me we don't love
that person. I stand to say that the grace of God is for all people
but the grace of God does not allow us to sin."

- Quote from an African Methodist preacher


The preacher cuts to the heart of the matter that a true Christian should love his friend enough to warn him that homosexuality is a sin that will lead to his destruction mentally, physically, and spiritually. It's like how during the Jim Crow era Dr. King showed true Christian love by imploring White segregationists to abandon the self-destructive sin of racism. A Christian should show such love even when the larger culture says he should be "tolerant" of the sin of the day.

So, the question is: are you expressing true Christian love?
a gay person
Hi John,

I was wondering, about this statement of yours:

"...“gay marriage” lobby than anyone I know. And they’ve got spots on the gay-rights propaganda hit lists"

Did you know that many religions, from Reform Judaism to mainline Christianity perform gay marriage ceremonies. Do you think it's "dangerous" to scare quote gay marriage, or perhaps not the most winsome way to communicate? I guess it depends on your audience.

Regardless, we can at least agree the the gay people who marry in those places of worship probably aren't lobbyists or propagandists. If we can agree that they may be teachers, office workers, artists, writers, designers, or business owners, then perhaps we can admit that there are *gay people* in the world. And if we can do that, then we can ask if it is ironic for a piece about the plight of the Jewish people under Haman was partially due to Haman's ability to label the Jews "propagandist" or "lobbyist" of the day.