Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Yesterday the nation celebrated one of the most influential men in our history, Martin Luther King, Jr. On this day you always here the comments that make you want to smack yourself because you believe it cannot be true. Abe Lincoln did more than King. Why don’t other people in history get a day? People like to minimize Martin Luther King, Jr. and the legacy he left. When we were growing up, we were taught in schools that MLK was just a social activist and that educational faux pas has carried into our adulthood. To only say MLK was a social activist is to drag his name through the mud. We forget the man and focus too much on what he did (although what he did was tremendous for this country and African-Americans everywhere). The reason King could not stand to see racial discrimination was not because he was an undeserving black man wanting a piece of the white pie, it was not because he felt superior to the white man, it was not because he was a fight the power type of man. The only reason King did what he did and stood for what he stood for was because he was a follower of Christ. He could not stand to see people of any color discriminated against because he knew God created men in his image and that means none were superior to the other. In his letter from the Birmingham jail, King pleaded with his fellow clergymen to stand up for this great injustice. King knew that Christ followers and injustice could not stand together. As Christ followers we were to attack injustice. Too often churches stay away from “social problems” like drugs, community violence, racism, and AIDS because they feel it is only their job to save souls. In writing that sentence my stomach turned and fingers went numb. This is impossible! Jesus Christ touched people by touching their social problems! It is our responsibility as Christ followers to stand in the face of injustice and demand justice, for Christ’s sake, not ours. The difference in the way civil rights was handled between Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X is very apparent. The difference was standing for these rights and injustices for Christ’s sake. King could not stand to see people cut from the same cloth, God, isolate each other, segregate each other, and tear apart at the very human fibers we are built from. Thank God for a follower like Martin Luther King Jr. I don’t say this because I am African-American and it is in my heritage to say, I say this because I am a follower of Christ and it is my duty to support and honor any movement that promotes Christ and stands in the face of oppression.


I know one day I will meet Dr. King because he is in my Father’s house, he has been completed and I know that he wears a crown of victory and is honored and blessed because of the impact one person, one man, had on the entire world out of a deep conviction from God that he stood for and eventually died for. Thank you Dr. King for following Christ and may we all strive to be followers of Christ with great passion and vigor as you were. It’s not just a good day to get off work or not go to school; it’s a day to celebrate the accomplishments of one man who stood for Jesus Christ. I think we can all see Jesus in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. May we show the world Jesus by what we do, by our actions, what we stand for, what we die for, the legacy we leave behind…


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