Pastor's Corner

Five biblical truths taught by Martin Luther King Jr.

by Daniel Ausbun, First Baptist Church, Moreland

After the Civil War ended in 1865, Jim Crow laws were introduced, which enacted racial segregation in all public facilities in Southern states.

The phrase, 'separate but equal' was the status given to African-Americans. The separation led to conditions for African-Americans that were inferior to white-Americans. The economic, educational and social disadvantages for African- Americans are what led to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s with leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr.

King was the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala. in 1955 when he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. Born and educated in Atlanta, he witnessed segregation. After witnessing it, he believed in changing it.

John Piper says to pastors, 'Don't waste Martin Luther King weekend.' Here are five biblical truths we learn from Martin Luther King, Jr.

First, King brought attention to the inequality for African­Americans. Sin creates blind spots. White-Americans either didn't care or weren't aware of the economic, educational and social disadvantages Jim Crow laws had created.

Blacks and whites might have been separate, but they were not equal. Paul wrote in II Corinthians 8:14 for the need of equality. Every man will equally stand before God and give an account of his life.

Second, King revealed the racism in America. From slavery, to the Civil War, to Jim Crow laws, to the Civil Rights Movement - our country has a racist history. Scripture is very clear that Christ is the standard God will judge, not our skin color. Colossians 3:11 declares, 'In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.'

There is no such thing as a superior race. God views His creation as sinners in desperate need of a Savior.

Third, King uncovered the concealed sin of hate. Christ stated that people will hate Him and His Father (John 15:23). Jesus knew what it was like to be hated. Racism, bitterness, anger, rage, envy, jealousy - all of these sins led to hate.

We live in a hate-filled culture that refuses to acknowledge it. Hate is eternally dangerous to our soul - I John 2:11 says we can't be saved if we're harboring hate. From my experience, forgiving others prevents the seeds of hate to take root.

Fourth, King witnessed a divided nation, even among Christians. It's been said the most segregated time every week is at 11 a.m. on Sunday mornings.

Churches are dying because of disunity. Families are divided and broken more than ever, and our nation's capital is the most divided city because of politics. King's unifying message likely resonates more today than 50 years ago.

Fifth, King had a biblical picture of the throne of God.

The throne of God will look different than our segregated churches and neighborhoods. Revelation 5:9 proclaims, 'Every tribe and language and people and nation' will be praising God in heaven.

King summed up his message best in his most-famous, 'I Have a Dream' speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, 'Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring - when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children - black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics - will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: 'Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!''

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