I forgot yesterday was MLK Day. I was preoccupied with other things. Now that I remember, I do want to say a few words, even if they are late.
Martin Luther King, Jr was one of the greatest Americans who ever lived. He re-defined our understanding of the meaning of our Constitution and Declaration of Independence along lines of traditional Christianity. He showed all of us how those core beliefs can become actions of justice and truth for a morally-challenged nation.
Jim Crow was and is a great evil. Like all evils that are perpetrated against people we have decided are less than fully human, it is also subject to being dismissed as not as important as other, supposedly more pressing, evils.
In today’s political debate, we see the basic right to life of the unborn being used as a weapon to bully and attack those who oppose injustice, violence and murder of anyone other than the unborn. The innocent unborn are being used as a club to beat Christians into accepting cruelty and violence against women, children and anyone else President Trump decides to attack.
Christians are being told that they must support everything Donald Trump does, and if they don’t support him in whatever evil he commits, they are abandoning the unborn and are probably pro abortion. The direct implication is that Christians who do not blindly follow Donald Trump are going to hell.Our religious leaders are lining up to bend their knee before the false god of a destructive and corrupt demagogue. They are using the unborn and implicit threats of expulsion from the community of believers to bully Christians into supporting every repulsive evil this man commits, including assuming dictatorial powers and selling out America to hostile governments who are attacking us.
It was only different in flavor during Martin Luther King Jr’s fight for civil rights. When he was in jail in Birmingham, Alabama, he received a letter from Christian leaders, chiding him for leading the Civil Rights Movement.
Religious leaders successfully used Scripture to justify slavery and attack anyone who opposed it. They followed that with using Scripture to justify Jim Crow. In today’s world, the inheritors of their false beliefs are selling out American Christianity to Donald Trump, handing over their Christian witness to the idolatry and ballot box salvation of the Political Heresy.
It is time, time and past time for American Christians to take a stand for Jesus Christ and Him crucified. There is no civic religion that saves; no ballot box salvation that leads to eternal life. That way is death.
We need to give feet to our faith, which means, among other things, that every human being is made in the Image and Likeness of God. Using the suffering of one group of people to justify inflicting suffering on other groups of people is the devil’s logic. It is not righteousness. It is a temptation to abandon the Lordship of Christ and make false gods of politicians.
Martin Luther King, Jr dealt with this sin of using one sin to justify another. He faced down fallen clergy who wanted him to abandon the cause of civil rights in the name of their false religion.
He was one of the greatest Americans who ever lived. Like all great men, his words and his work have applications in the work against evil that span the generations.