Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin Luther King's Challenge to the Church

My favorite section of Martin Luther King's famed 1963 "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is a challenge to the Church.  He chides the Church for it's lack of leadership and voice against the oppressive racism of the day. He reminds us of the historic bravery of the Church as agents of change regarding wicked practices.

This letter was written before abortion was legalized in the U.S., but I think it's safe to say what Martin Luther King would say about the treatment of the most oppressed people in our current culture- the unborn.

There was a time when the church was very powerful–in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators." But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests.

Today is not only Martin Luther King Day, it is the occasion of the inauguration of our 44th President, Barack Obama.

May God change our President's heart and grant him the conviction of Martin Luther King as it relates to relieving the plight of the most oppressed people in our country.

1 comment:

Woody Woodward said...

It’s a challenging question for the “liberal” church that I also ponder. I heard from several that my former pastor was asked to take part in this morning’s prayer service in honor of the presidents 2nd inauguration. I find it interesting that one of the other pastors who was ask to take part, was then denied because in his vetting they found a sermon he had preached in the past on the sin of homosexuality. So this make me wonder? If my former pastor, who no doubt was vetted, has since changed his mind on the horrible sin of abortion. Even though he was for “gay rights” he did take a strong stand against abortion. I pray he still stands for the life of the precious unborn, but it makes me wonder? There is no greater sin! And someday, this president will stand before our Lord and he will be held accountable for the millions of babies he refused to protect.