I realize the controversial nature of this post, and I am all the more aware that certain topics have a tendency to upset people more than others.
However, in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, people are reflecting back on America’s greatest civil rights activist, and I’ve seen several find encouragement and lessons from his faith.
Case in point, I want to look at the article by Carol Wolman, “MLK, Jr., A True Christian.”
We think of Martin Luther King, Jr. as a great leader, a strategist, a powerful preacher, and a tireless advocate for peace and justice. He was inspired, a Moses, leading us to the Promised Land of racial equality and dignity for all Americans.
Interesting comparison. Who did Moses lead to racial equality? As God tells us, when Moses and the Israelites reached the Promised Land, they had to exterminate those who were already there. Where was the equality between the Canaanites and Israelites? How does that compare to the peace which King sought?
That isn’t to say God doesn’t want peace amongst people; however, that peace can only be truly found and secured for those who are in Christ. The heathen will always rage, even if only against God’s people. But there will never be total peace apart from Christ, who the world hates.
Underlying all these qualities was his devotion to the Prince of Peace, and his willingness to follow the Master even unto death. Martin suffered many beatings and was jailed many times.
Is there any evidence that he was beaten or murdered for Christ’s name sake? Missionary pastors die for preaching the Gospel of Christ. King did not. He may have been a martyr for civil rights, but Christ and the apostles did not preach civil rights. Christ did not die for civil rights.
In his own life, he demonstrated the message of Jesus, that change happens through non-violence, through speaking truth to power, through loving one’s enemies.
A message of Jesus: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me” Luke 19:27. Christ is not a universalist; He has a vengeful, wrathful side that our modern society wants to ignore.
However, to believe in a christ who is only loving, only kind, only tolerant is to believe in a christ of one’s own making, for such a christ is vastly different than Jesus Christ, our Lord and God.
There was nothing sectarian about King’s Christianity. His greatest teacher was a Hindu, Mahatma Gandhi.
I pity any man who would mix truth with error in such a way. The teachings of the Bible are sufficient; one does not need to turn to the figureheads of pagan religions for guidance. In doing so, one says that the teachings of a sinful man whom the wrath of God abides on (Gandhi) are more important than the wisdom of God as found in the Bible.
He was willing to work with Black Muslim leaders, although he disagreed with their openness to using violence.
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3. Our duty to the lost is to win them to Christ, not to find the “common ground” in working together. What fellowship has Christ with Belial, or light with darkness?
Fast forward 50 years.
Nowadays, the name of Christianity has been seized by a heretical, sectarian right-wing cabal, which turns the teachings of Jesus on their head. For them, Jesus is a logo, a plastic icon.
I’m assuming this refers to the famous “Religious Right.” It certainly is not common for the Right & Left to ridicule each other. That’s the fruit of the ungodly system of politics which we live under and which Satan is god over.
Unfortunately, many in the Right use Christianity as a reason for the political choices they make (often missing the Bible’s point altogether). Unfortunately, the Left does the same thing, often invoking what Christ has said about peace or actions which pertain to Israel and applying them to people nowadays. They call this “being Christian,” but their christ is imaginary, foreign to the word of God.
Where King worked to bring justice and equality to the poorest of the poor, the Christofascists rob the poor to enrich the wealthy.
Where does Christ instruct us in the ways of King’s social gospel? And where does Christ tell us to rob the poor to enrich the wealthy?
It isn’t surprising that both viewpoints presented here are not scriptural, though one certainly is appealing to those who need society and the government to make them feel equal.
In Christ, there is no rich or poor. In Christ, there is no Jew or Greek. In Christ, there is no white or black, slave or master. Yet physically, one may still be rich, poor, Jew, Greek, white, black, slave, or master.
Christ does not call us to renovate society norms; rather, He instructs us how to live within them. He says it’s okay to be rich, but don’t trust in our money. It’s okay to be poor because we have a great treasure awaiting.
The social gospel, though necessary for an imaginary utopic future, is foreign to the Bible, which tells us of a Savior who bids us Come, and die.
Where King insisted on nonviolence, the Christofascists love “shock and awe”, and preach a vengeful god that plans to destroy planet earth.
I’m not condoning Bush’s “shock and awe” military tactics, nor do I condemn them. It is not my place to judge the government, no matter how easy a democratic society makes it.
However, to be a Christian is to believe in a vengeful God who has wiped out practically all life on Earth in the past, and will do it again in the future. To deny this is to reject the Bible, causing you to take the name of Christ in vain by applying it to yourself. God will not guiltless those who take His name in vain.
Where King believed that Christ is in all of us, and that all people deserve justice, the Christofascists believe that the “elect”- eg, those who support Bush and listen to Pat Robertson- are better than the rest of us, and will be “raptured”, leaving us to perish in a nuclear holocaust or on a dying planet.
If King believed that Christ was in every man, then King was a false teacher who preached a false christ. Jesus Christ only indwells those who believe the gospel and trust Christ for salvation, and as He said, “…Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” Matthew 7:14.
To believe the Bible is to believe that Christ is coming again to catch away (or, rapture) those who are in God’s Elect, which is Jesus.
And to believe that is to not necessarily “support” Bush, nor does Pat Robertson have anything to do with it. Biblical Christianity stands fine without either of those men (or anyone else, for that matter), wherever their souls may stand.
Further, all those who are unbelievers at the time of the Rapture will be left to endure God’s wrath on Earth, and it will be a time of incredible disaster, a time which has been predicted throughout the Bible and emphasized in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ reveals to us that during the time of “Jacob’s Trouble” God will unleash judgment after judgment upon the earth, and that even during that time when God is manifest and His wrath is shown, people will still not turn to Him.
These judgments find their climax when God burns this present earth, purging it of its sinful past.
As we remember Dr. King, let us recall the true Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
And as we do, let us remember that for Jesus’ peace to be established on Earth, in order for His Kingdom to come, those who will not accept His rule will be executed before Him.
“Prince of Peace” brings us to Isaiah 9:6, a great prophecy of the Messiah. I’ve heard few people read past to verse 7: “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
The kingdom in view here has not yet been set up, though many try to apply its promises and teachings to our time period. When Jesus does return to claim His throne in Israel to rule over all the Earth, justice will be served–believers rewarded, unbelievers rejected. And judgment will be His to use as necessary.
Only then will everyone know who Christ really is–He is love, and at the same time vengeance is His.
That’s all I have to say on this subject right now, and I will conclude by saying that the gospel, christ, and christianity presented by Martin Luther King, Jr. are not the true ones as presented in the Bible (at least, I have never seen such evidence).
I am by no means racist; I’ve had many black friends throughout my life and welcome more. And I pray that everyone who reads this loves Jesus enough to glorify Him rather than MLK., Jr. Only in Christ do racial differences disappear; that’s more than MLK., Jr. or any other activist could ever hope to accomplish.
For more information on MLK, Jr., though, try out the article Was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a Christian? (which was written by a black woman), which details that King denied the very basics of Christian belief.