Chuck Colson

If he knew, John Knox, the great Scottish cleric, would be turning over in his grave.

A publishing company bearing his name has just released a book that links a September 11 conspiracy theory with claims that Jesus was a political activist intent on overthrowing the Roman Empire. It’s a warning of what can happen when Christians drift away from Christian beliefs.

The book is titled Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action. It is published by Westminster John Knox Press, the publishing arm of the Presbyterian Church-USA. The author is liberal theologian David Griffin.

Griffin claims the Bush administration orchestrated the attacks, bringing down the Twin Towers with controlled demolitions. It was, Griffin claims, part of a “false flag” operation to provoke war in the Middle East and expand the American global empire.

Griffin views the United States as a “demonic” power, responsible for starving millions of people every year. His solution: one-world government in order to “bring the kingdom of God to earth,” as he told Heather Wilhelm in the Wall Street Journal. We should do this, he says, in imitation of Jesus, the original political activist who tried to overthrow the Roman Empire.

Of course, as Wilhelm dryly observes, that would make the testimony of Jesus that “my kingdom is not of this world” the original “false flag” operation.

While Griffin’s publisher incredibly claims the book “advances religious scholarship” and “inspires faithful living,” rank-and-file Presbyterians know better: They have called Griffin everything from “irresponsible” to “a total wing nut.” And as a reviewer on sarcastically wrote, “Actually, the 9/11 attacks were planned and coordinated by Martians, in conjunction with survivors from Atlantis.”

Griffin, of course, is far from alone in pushing September 11 conspiracy theories. What makes his theory so disturbing is the fact that he drags a twisted view Jesus into his fantasies — and that the Presbyterian Church publishers would aid and abet him. One of the fundamental truths of the Christian faith is that Jesus did not come to lead an overthrow of earthly powers, but to announce the kingdom and to prepare people for it.

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson was the Chief Counsel for Richard Nixon and served time in prison for Watergate-related charges. In 1976, Colson founded Prison Fellowship Ministries, which, in collaboration with churches of all confessions and denominations, has become the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, crime victims, and their families.
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