Today we celebrate one of our most beloved of American heroes. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of conviction, courage, and most importantly… a man of great love. I have spent many hours listening to his sermons and find in them a resounding truth – a truth that has been lost in the chaos, confusion, and destructiveness of the current culture. His message of love overcoming hate, defending the right of every man and women to be treated with dignity and equity, and racial reconciliation inspired me as a young boy and has continued to be a touchstone for me throughout my life. Below are a few quotes worth your consideration, particularly in our current political and sociological climate:
“Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.” – This is such a fundamental statement that applies to all of our endeavors and inter-personal relations. Matthew 16:5 tells us clearly that if we do not forgive others, we will not be forgiven. Bitterness is like a cancer – it has taken root in our culture and must be removed through repentance and revival.
“Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.” – John 4:20 tells us “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”
“It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.” – This is such an important statement and it applies to the ongoing fight to end abortion in our nation. To say it is someone’s choice to kill a baby inside the womb is to say that life does not have a right to protection under the law… because we do not value that life. Slavery and segregation laws were unjust in that they did not value every human life… Abortion laws do exactly the same thing. Dr. Alveda King (niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) recently differentiated between the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church — where her grandfather, father, and famous uncle served as pastors — and Horizon’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Warnock (recently elected to the Senate) was pastor. Dr. Alveda King said “Historic Ebenezer was an altar that was raised to God in the Bible. Now, the Horizon’s Ebenezer is an altar to Baal.” We must be a voice for the voiceless until these innocent babies are afforded equal protection under the law.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – The current trend from ungodly organizations such as BLM are a direct affront to this dream. Critical race theory, ravaging our nation, represents the exact opposite of what Dr. King taught and died for. We cannot continue the current trend of racial division or we will tear ourselves apart. For the Christian, Scripture clearly teaches that for those who are in Christ, our identity is in Him alone – male, female, black, white, Jew, Gentile, etc. We are all of one mind and one purpose in Christ and will be known by our love for one another.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – This is where the rubber hits the road. Will you stand for righteousness in a culture that calls good evil and evil good? We live in a culture that says the family unit as God created it is bad. We live in a culture that says men aren’t really men and women aren’t really women. We live in a culture that says the life in the person in the womb doesn’t matter and that a mother has a “right” to the pre-meditated murder of the very child God says she should love and cherish. But who will stand for righteousness? Who will stand against the tide in times of challenge and controversy – who will stand for truth?
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” – Love truly sets us free. When we decide to love our enemies and forgive those who have wronged us, we are set free from the bondage of hate. We are empowered to do good and change the world.
“He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.” – Again, we see the principal of the power of forgiveness. If you cannot forgive someone, you cannot claim to love them. If you cannot love them, you cannot claim to love God. If you do not love God, you have violated the first and greatest commandment and are in danger of hell fire.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – This is my favorite of all Dr. King quotes. We are living in a world of darkness and lies. The light of love and truth must overcome the darkness and hate. We must forgive. We must love one another. And we must reject lies and embrace the truth.
May we all remember the words of Dr. King. May we take them to heart and stand for truth, righteousness, and love.