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.