//
you're reading...
Slavery/Racism

Martin Luther King, Jr. Was a Bible-Believing Christian

Martin Luther King, Jr.One of the most revered heroes of modern society is Martin Luther King, Jr. All over the nation there are schools, roads, museums, and even a holiday named after him. His memory is invoked in all the classrooms of America and children’s libraries are filled with biographies and stories recounting his life.

Of course, it’s rarely mentioned that King believed in God. We teach the little ones that he “had a dream,” but we don’t mention what motivated him, what strengthened him, and what gave him so much courage and wisdom, even though there’s no doubt that his faith inspired him.

Atheists, such as Christopher Hitchens, have a difficult time fitting King into their argument that “religion poisons everything.” They even try to rationalize that he wasn’t a “real” Christian.

Yet King was a passionate follower of Jesus Christ. His arguments often came from the Scriptures or from theologians such as Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, or St. Augustine. For example, King explained in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” that much of his understanding on civil disobedience came straight from the Bible:

“Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire.”

Unfortunately for Hitchens, he cannot claim the civil rights activist as his own when words such as this flowed from King’s pen, trying to explain why he no longer minded being called an extremist:

“Was not Jesus an extremist for love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Was not Amos an extremist for justice: “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.” Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Was not Martin Luther an extremist: “Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God.” And John Bunyan: “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” And Abraham Lincoln: “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” And Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . .”

Followers of Jesus are still usually cast as “extremists” today, but they share the same biblical heritage as Martin Luther King, Jr. and can proudly and honestly claim him as their brother in Christ.

Advertisements

About Diana Lesperance

I'm passionate about Jesus and I love to defend the gospel of grace and truth. I have a large and active family that keeps me busy and overwhelmed on a daily basis.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Books

Why am I WAITING for “Shalom?”

"They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven . . ."
(1 Thessalonians 1:9b-10a)

The word "shalom" in the Hebrew has many meanings which indicate restoration, renewal, friendship, peace, safety and so on. At one time, God placed his creation in a perfect garden--a place of safety, security, provision and peace--and we disobeyed God, losing 1) our relationship with God and 2) paradise.

Since that time, we've attempted to bring back both of these losses in our own way. Religion is our attempt to gain back our relationship with God, and politics is our attempt to gain back paradise.

The solution to both of these losses is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet the world refuses to believe the good news! Instead they try to attain the restoration--the shalom--in their own way through their own effort.

I believe that the kingdom of God is restored in the hearts of men as they receive Christ's finished work, but the kingdom of God doesn't come physically to earth until Christ comes.

Any effort to bring about the promise ahead of time in our own strength is akin to Abraham going to Hagar for fulfillment of the promise instead of waiting with Sarah for the birth of the promised child through whom the nations of the earth would be blessed.

The evangelical church is rushing en masse to bring about shalom through their own effort, power, and influence. Men like Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, Jim Wallis, and Donald Miller are losing their faith in the promise of Christ that he would prepare a place for them and they're attempting to restore paradise now.

I want to let it be known that I'm WAITING for shalom. I won't be a part of their dream. They are moving ahead of God rather than waiting on God and they will create another Ishmael as a result.

%d bloggers like this: