This week marks the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974.
The sad story of Nixon’s fall and the Watergate Scandal have become deeply ingrained in the American psyche. We now know that, in his desire to be reelected, President Nixon directed a campaign of sabotage against the other party which led up to the botched break in to their offices in 1972. Over the next two years investigators in and out of government followed the evidence from the lowest levels into the White House and then to the President himself. Dozens of politicians were disgraced in the Watergate Scandal.
One of the disgraced politicians was Charles Colson, but his story did not end with Watergate because this week also marks the 41th anniversary of his conversion to Christianity and salvation. Scandal stopped him in his tracks, and Mr. Colson went to jail. But, like the Apostle Paul, he used his jail time for God’s purposes. When he got out, he founded Prison Fellowship and ultimately became a respected Christian leader.
Colson’s life illustrates the power of the Gospel: that God loves us and will not only forgive our sins but will restore our lives. It is a message Colson carried to prisoners and it is a message that the Church is commanded to bring to society: failure is not final with God, and that’s why they call it the “Good News”.
Today, as we look at scandals rolling their way up through government agencies, we see another example of political ambition turned wrong. We’re also beginning to see people like Charles Colson caught up in the web of scandal.
Our job as Christians is to pray for those people, as we should pray for all sinners. Some are enemies of the Church, but we should pray blessings on our enemies and hope that they have an encounter with God like Charles Colson and the Apostle Paul did.
Then there is the President. One of our intercessors once had a vision of another President famous for scandals, a vision where he was wrapped up like a mummy. The intercessor was given to understand that the wrapping represented the curses of Church people, and that God would not deal with the President because of this wrapping. The intercessor and others began to pray blessings and not cursing on the President, and shortly thereafter the truth behind a scandal was revealed. Ultimately that President had to make a public apology for his actions, and we can only hope that he asked God’s forgiveness as well.
We must begin blessing and not cursing President Obama. Let us pray that his eyes will be opened and that he will have a Damascus Road experience of his own.
Above all we pray for our President that, like Charles Colson, he will have a closer walk with God.