Chuck Colson's Final Speech: How to Win the Culture (Hint: It's Not Winning Elections)

A Final Address, A Plan for Renewal

Eric Metaxas
Eric Metaxas is an Evangelical speaker and bestselling author.

Want to change the culture? Well, as Chuck Colson told us, don't place your hope in elections — as important as they are. Instead, look in the mirror.

Nearly four years ago, Chuck Colson walked onto the stage at the Colson Center's Wilberforce Weekend. Chuck didn't seem quite himself, as he had been recovering from an illness.

But the address he gave was vintage Colson. Surveying the cultural and political landscape, Chuck told the crowd, "What we are seeing now is the full fruits of 30 years of relativism, the death of truth, in the academy in particular, and in public discourse, and the coarsening of public discourse, [the] coarsening of politics."

And in words that ring so true today, Chuck said, "Everybody looks to the elections and thinks the elections will settle this problem or settle that problem. Elections are important. Whoever serves in office, it makes a difference what kind of person that is and what that person believes.

"But elections can't solve the problem we've got. The real problem that we've got is that our culture has been decaying from the inside for 30 or 40 years. And politics is nothing but an expression of culture. So . . . how do you fix the culture?"

And to do that, Chuck told the audience to look in the mirror.

As it turns out, this was Chuck's final speech. At the end of the talk, Chuck nearly collapsed. John Stonestreet and I were there on stage with him, and we watched as they placed him in the ambulance. A month later, he went home to the Lord.

As sad as I am to recall that night, I can't help but marvel at the prescience and power of his message. A message, by the way, I'd like you to have. Please come to, so we can send you a downloadable copy of Chuck's final speech.

And then I'd really like you to consider coming to this year's Wilberforce Weekend in Washington, April 8-10. In a sense, Chuck will speak to us again as we celebrate his life and ministry — and award him the 2016 William Wilberforce Award.

In addition to honoring Chuck's life and ministry at the award ceremony and dinner, you'll get to participate in what has become a premier conference to equip, unite, and mobilize believers to live out the Christian worldview and that spirit of cultural renewal — exactly what Chuck was talking about in his final speech.

On Friday night we'll discuss the Church's call to engage the culture. We'll hear from Lifeway Research's Ed Stetzer and from my friends Greg Thornbury of the Kings College and author Karen Swallow Prior. Steve Green of Hobby Lobby and the Museum of the Bible will speak to us about how Christians have been able to bring freedom and opportunity to the world and have been extremely effective in lifting people out of poverty.

And then we're going to talk about how we confront the grave evils in the world today. We'll hear from best-selling author Johnnie Moore, who has worked with genocide victims in the Middle East, Bosnia, and Rwanda; from former Wilberforce Award winner and Congressman Frank Wolf, a monumental defender of religious minorities; and from Reggie Littlejohn who is championing the cause of victims of forced abortions in China.

And when we talk about restoring brokenness, we'll hear from Kelly Rosati of Focus on the Family and the Rev. Sammy Rodriguez, a leading advocate of racial reconciliation in the Church.

You'll also be able to take one of our side tours: a visit to the Holocaust Museum, the Library of Congress, or a pre-opening tour of the Museum of the Bible. Folks, it's going to be great. I will be there, and I'd love to meet you.

So again, for your free download of Chuck's final speech, come to And for more info or to register for the Wilberforce Weekend, visit You'll be glad you did!

Originally posted at Breakpoint.

From BreakPoint. Reprinted with the permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or distributed without the express written permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. "BreakPoint®" and "Prison Fellowship Ministries®" are registered trademarks of Prison Fellowship

Free CP Newsletters

Join over 250,000 others to get the top stories curated daily, plus special offers!


Most Popular

More In Opinion