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 publicly speaking out against it, while defending the religious freedom guaranteed by the document he swore to “support and defend.”
Then there’s Sheila Weber, executive director of the National Marriage Week, and chairman Chuck Stetson, who also helps lead four other organizations dedicated to defending marriage. These two have probably stirred up more trouble for the “gay marriage” lobby than anyone I know. And they’ve got spots on the gay-rights propaganda hit lists to prove it.
All of 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.
Publication date: May 11, 2012