MLK at the Lincoln Memorial

With the recent 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, many evangelical Christians have been celebrating his life. The Gospel Coalition hosted the MLK50: Gospel Reflections from the Mountaintop conference, lauding his life and work, and calling on the church to reflect on racial unity then and now.

Unorthodox Theology
Martin Luther King Jr’s theology was very liberal. In papers he wrote during his time at Crozer Theological Seminary he made his views clear. He said that the evidence for the Virgin Birth is “is too shallow to convince any objective thinker.” He stripped the doctrines of the divine sonship of Christ, the virgin birth and bodily resurrection of all literal meaning, saying, “we [could] argue with all degrees of logic that these doctrines are historically and [philosophically] untenable.” In another paper he wrote:

[A] supernatural plan of salvation, the Trinity, the substitutionary theory of the atonement, and the second coming of Christ are all quite prominent in fundamentalist thinking. Such are the views of the fundamentalist and they reveal that he is oppose[d] to theological adaption to social and cultural change. … Amid change all around he is willing to preserve certain ancient ideas even though they are contrary to science.

He did not believe these doctrines even though the Bible taught them. Instead he rejected them as superstition because they did not fit his notions of modern science. The doctrines he was rejecting are fundamental to Biblical Christianity.

After graduating from college, we do not see a radical change in King’s theology, or a repudiation of his former unorthodox views. Although he did not explicitly preach these liberal beliefs, his messages were still consistent with them. His message would fall under the banner of black liberation theology – he preached a form of Christianity that was reworked to apply to physical freedom of the slaves. The central theme of his Christianity was not Jesus Christ, the son of God coming to earth, it was the deliverance of the Israel from their slavery in Egypt. In his famous “mountaintop” speech, when he was listing the seminal events of history, he mentioned the Exodus, not Christ’s death and resurrection.

Liberation theology is a secularization of Christianity, using the Bible as a framework to speak to people’s longing for freedom. It is an abandonment of the message of the Bible. Instead of applying the full breath of scriptural to the hearers, it constructs a new theology to appeal to your worldly needs. This fits perfect with King’s denial of fundamental beliefs in the supernatural events scripture records. He didn’t need to believe them if he was just repurposing a few events from scripture to construct his own story of the world.

MLK at the University of Minnesota

Immoral Life
There is substantial evidence that Martin Luther King Jr.’s private life and character was unworthy of a minister of the Gospel, or even of a Christian. The FBI monitored him for many years, wrongly and unconstitutionally using their surveillance powers to get damaging information to discredit him for political purposes. This monitoring included following him on his travels around the country and placing recording devices in his hotel rooms. The FBI claimed to have evidence, both anecdotal and on audio recording of King committing adulteries on many occasions. They even went to the point of sending him an anonymous letter threatening him with the release of this information and encouraging him to commit suicide. The FBI records on King will remain sealed until at least 2027.

We do not have to take the word of the FBI to believe that MLK was not a man who lived a righteous life. Dr. Ralph Abernathy, a close friend of King’s, admitted as much in his book, And the Walls Came Tumbling Down. He wrote that even the night before his assassination, King had committed adultery with multiple women. The consensus among historians is that Martin Luther King Jr. was repeatedly unfaithful to his wife.

 

It is right to commend and remember King for what he got right, including the equality of all nationalities and non violent protests against injustice. But we must not ignore his failings. As with any other historical figure, we must be honest about King, complementing and emulating what he did well, and condemning him where he was wrong. Christians must not forget, in their rush to crown him their hero, that he lived a wicked life and denied the very basics of orthodox Christianity. It is deceptive and wrong for evangelical Christians to claim King as a brother in Christ, when all the evidence suggests that he was not.

MLK meets with President Lyndon Johnson

44 Comments

  1. Well, if he did not accept the divinity of Christ nor accepted Him as His savior, then MLK would probably be experiencing an eternal separation from God in a place called Hell.

    1. Are you sure beyond measure of doubt that such a place called hell exists. Yes the Bible may say so but are these really God’s own words or men’s interpretation of God?

      1. The existence of hell is clear from the words of Jesus concerning the narrow path. Matthew 7:13-14 ” Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

        The reference to destruction is talking about spiritual destruction (eternal spiritual death) in hell while the narrow gate that leads to life is referring to eternal life in heaven.

        If you do a study with an exhaustive concordance on the word hell, it is mentioned 54 times in the King James Version. Every word in the Bible is inspired by God. It is His word, not man’s. If you look at the original texts, you will find a similar number of times that hell is mentioned.

    2. Simple people … The Europeans STOLE / TWISTED / CREATED the stories in that FICTION BOOK called the BIBLE 2 control the masses!!!

    3. That’s not necessarily how it works. Lets use Hitler as an example. Hitler did some very bad things, like mass genocide, but that doesn’t mean he was send to hell. No one can know where someone goes in the afterlife (heaven, hell, or purgatory) because it is completely determined between God and the person. Before Hitler took his life out of fear, he could have confessed to God that he was truly sorry for the actions that he did. Although very unlikely, it could have happened. So, taking that into consideration, MLK, being as persistent as he was with racial segregation and for the good of all people, could have had a change in heart before he was assassinated. Nobody will everrrr knowwwww

  2. Sadly, this author only found what he was looking for because it took me only minutes to research evidence of what kind of faith Martin Luther King, Jr. had.

    I find that if many of us were judged by our childhood and early life we would also be found lacking in faith in word and in deed, but it is how we finish that should more accurately define us. In that context I don’t doubt that MLK Jr. was a follower of Christ in word and in deed. When he was older, although like all of us imperfect, he spoke of his hope being in eternity and in the Lord. He famously said:

    “Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live – a long life; longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

    MLK Jr.’s submission was to God’s will and his faith was clearly in the Lord.

    Before today I had never heard that MLK Jr. wasn’t a Christian, although I heard of his infidelity towards his wife. I also recognize that even great men of God, such as David, failed in this way to be Godly. Even so, he was called a man after God’s own heart, David being a murderer and adulterer. Of course it’s because he repented before the Lord.

    God tells us that man looks at the outward but He looks at our hearts. Jesus says that if we confess Him before men He will confess us before His Father. Listen the video below and judge for yourself.

    In the audio to the following video MLK Jr.’s faith was in the Lord and in eternity. He clearly proclaims how he returned to the teaching of his father in the following video and talks about the Lord helping him, quotes Jesus from the NT and then names Him. I don’t doubt Martin Luther King, Jr. was a born again Christian. Please watch and see what you think. God bless.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhRQa6pQkoY

    1. Hi Jose,

      Thank you for thinking through this. Sadly, saying that you are following the Lord is not necessarily the same as actually following the Lord. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23
      “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
      When MLK said that he had seen the Promised Land, he was talking about things on earth. Jesus calls us to look forward to his heavenly kingdom and to rejoice whenever we are persecuted for His sake on earth.

      David repented quickly. That seems to be very different from MLK, and (sadly) that is the difference between receiving forgiveness and not receiving it. Jesus said that we will know them by their fruits, and he was not talking simply about their deeds but their character. MLK’s persistent and unrepentant adultery disqualifies him.

      I watched the video, and it was clear that he was only aware of the sins of others. He uses many of the right words, but does not seem to truly focussed on the kingdom of God, but rather on earth.

  3. Clearly very little study was done on King for this article. Aside from googling his career in academia (which he largely renounced in 1955), and some searching in his potential infidelities (stories of which are denied by key figures in his life and are largely largely untenable as question of motive plays heavily in them), it seems the author does not have any familiarity with King or his faith. Do better. You’re attacking an important figure in Christian History. At least read a book or two of a dissenting opinion to get a full picture. I would not doubt that unconscious bias at best, or outright racism at worst, played as a key motivator in the research and undertaking of this project.

    1. I’ll be the first to admit that I am no expert on King and am not familiar with all of his writings and speeches. But I stand by everything written in this article. Before falsely accusing me of racism, at least post some evidence not just just assertions.

      I looked for evidence that King renounced his heretic beliefs and found nothing. If he actually did, please send me references and I’ll be happy to look at them.

      On the issue of his immorality a lot more evidence has come to light since this article was published. Everything I wrote was true, and it was far worse than we said. You can find details in this article:

      https://standpointmag.co.uk/issues/june-2019/the-troubling-legacy-of-martin-luther-king/

  4. This is a badly written, poorly researched, and summarily awful piece of work. Further, the author’s definition of Christianity seems to be rooted in the bastardized white American corruption of a religious tradition that began in North Africa and them spread to the uncivilized peoples if modern day Europe. Further, this same bastardized Christianity evolved from people who committed genocide on Indigenous populations, instituted chattel slavery, raped and violated enslaved women, and who continue to advance racist theology.

    1. The definition is Christian used in this article is based in the Bible and nothing else. If there are factual errors please post them. Hurling insults doesn’t change the truth.

  5. Thank you for raising these issues. It does seem likely from the evidence that he was an unrepentant adulterer, which separates him from David, and puts him (sadly) in the category of those that Jesus condemned.

    I reviewed the YouTube sermon that was suggested, and I detect an awareness of the sin of others, but not of his own. He spoke words on behalf of Jesus that do not match Jesus’ words in the Bible. His fake Jesus does not call him to repent and instead gives him false assurance. Do not forget that there are those to whom Jesus will say (despite prophesying in His name and casting our demons), get away from me, I never knew you.

    It is with much heaviness that I come to this conclusion, but those around him must bear some blame. They should have presented his sins to him and then to the church and he should have been disciplined (1 Tim 5:20-21). Perhaps then he might have repented.

  6. It appears you are attempting to bash a man of God. There wasn’t anything good mentioned about this man. If it wasn’t for God using this man, you wouldn’t be able to even experience a Black anything. Curious what is your Faith ?

  7. Joshua, your article is well-written. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the first recipient of Planned Parenthood’s “Margaret Sanger Award.” She was the driving figure that gave birth to Planned Parenthood. She was also into eugenics and considered people of color “human weeds.”

    Thank you,
    Pastor Bill Fowler
    Church Without Walls

  8. Jose C. Not everyone who says Lord Lord will enter heaven. You can’t compare David to MLK. David loved the Lord and was chosen and Jesus bloodline came from David.MLK wasn’t chosen and never brought people closer to the Lord only his own teachings. It’s clear you only know how to quote scripture but have no possession of it. The way you die is the way you’re judged. If you die an adulterer you’ll be judged as one and God will have nothing to do with the carnal nature. Let me give you a detention of what God calls carnal nature. Being under the influence of the visible, the tangible and the temporal. There is no sin in heaven… Nothing is going to heaven that didn’t come from heaven

  9. Incidentally… talking of unrepentant adulterers who are self-proclaimed Christians… Paul tells us to have nothing to do with such people.

    1 Cor 5:11
    But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

    We should not praise such people… and we certainly should not vote for them.

  10. Mr. Horn,

    Thank you for taking the time to write so eloquently on a subject upon which I believe far too many Christian may not be well-informed. I would like to share a few thoughts with you that I hope you will find constructive and insightful.

    I’ve previously researched the personal faith of Dr. King myself and was shocked to discover, as you have carefully articulated, that Dr. King had expressed very skeptical sentiments about foundational biblical beliefs in a paper he wrote while at Crozer Theological Seminary. While I myself don’t endorse a completely literal reading of every scripture, I do think that King’s apparent dismissal of the divinity of Christ as superstitious literalism casts serious doubts on his faith. The most surprising and concerning of all was his rejection of the resurrection of Christ because, like the Apostle, Paul himself stated, “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17 NIV). This belief is the very backbone of the Christian faith and should provoke concern when treated disputably. This is why I think that, by bringing this issue to light, your article has provided the opportunity for a more sober reflection on Dr. King’s faith and legacy.

    In speaking of Dr. King’s legacy, though, it appears that your skepticism about his faith potentially produced a cynical perception of King’s application of scriptures in his combat against injustice. In your article, you suggested that using the Bible as a framework to speak to people’s longing for freedom is “an abandonment of the message of the Bible”. This claim prompts questions about (1) why you believe the Bible, as complex a work as it is, only has one message, (2) what you believe that message is, and (3) how you think it should be practically applied to engage injustice in the world. Now, I’m confident that you probably have great insights revolving around those questions, and I encourage you to lovingly engage them in robust discussions. But ultimately, unlike the divinity of Christ, the application of many scriptures- especially Old Testament (OT) stories- can be vast. I don’t know if there is always a single right way to view and practically apply the paradoxically unchanging, yet dynamic wisdom found in God’s word. I think this partly why Paul encouraged the Roman church to not argue over disputable matters when they were fighting over how Christians should deal with foods sacrificed to idols (Romans 14). Paul himself even uses OT scriptures as a framework to speak to the wrongness of Christians treating each other with contempt on that disputable matter (Romans 14:10-11). So, when it comes to how Christians should deal with social injustice, it may help to consider how Dr. King’s robust use of scriptural themes revolving slavery and freedom, though disputable, benefited his struggle against injustice. This may not have been your intention, but to deploy appropriate concerns about his lack of solid doctrine to undermine his application of scripture for advocacy has the effect of promoting a contemptuous and cynical view of Dr. King’s legacy.

    In summary, going back to the question of whether or not Dr. King was saved, I, like you, am very doubtful for the previously-stated reason above. And if he wasn’t really a Christian, it honestly wouldn’t be surprising if the accusations about his infidelity were really true. However, that being said, I encourage you to consider a couple things about this. The first is that every human being is just as fallible as Dr. King (Romans 3:23). And since only God knows the heart (Proverbs 21:2, Acts 15:8), I would encourage all Christians to reserve the final judgment to God and make no accusations about the intentions of those who would disagree with the position you and I take on Dr. King’s faith, even while calling out the negative effects of a potentially less informed opinion of Dr. King’s faith. Secondly, Dr. King’s faith, as flawed as it may have been, provoked him to fight social injustice with a moral courage that was either criticized for not being violent enough or threatened with harm and death by those who attempted to intimidate him into silence. In fact, it is shameful to admit as a Christian that this same moral courage was not present in the many other church leaders who, for all their better doctrine, chose to remain silent about the very issues Dr. King was willing to fight and die for. You and many others may not want to view him as a hero,- and understandably so. But I hope you reserve grace and understanding for our brothers and sisters who, despite his shortcomings, wish to still celebrate his influential legacy.

    1. Hi Benjamin,
      Thanks for your comment. I didn’t mean to imply that the scripture only has one singular message. The point of scripture is for God to bring Himself glory by revealing Himself to man. The central message is the sinfulness of man, and how Christ became flesh and was crucified to save a people for Himself. But it is still valid to apply the scriptures to many different areas of life and practice – to society, law, science, personal conduct, philosophy, etc, etc.

      My point in the article wasn’t that everything Dr. King or liberation theology said is wrong, or that every application of scripture was invalid, but that there was a fundamental flaw with the theological framework. It misses the message of the Bible by making it purely about man and man’s physical needs on earth instead of being ultimately about God, what He is doing in the world, and how He commands men to treat one another. Like any heresy or false gospel, it contains a lot of truth. (Otherwise it wouldn’t deceive anyone).

      At this point I can’t say I am well studied enough to either support or disagree with the timing of certain points of Dr. King’s message and the tactics he used. But insofar as anyone advocates the equality of all mankind as created in the image of God, I entirely agree.

      Thanks again for reading and commenting.

  11. As to whether or not Dr. King was a Christian can only be conjecture on our part. The evidence can be surmised from his life and his words. As a African American man it pains me to know an very famous influential African American man struggled consistently in the flesh. He allowed sin to reign in his members but it appears to be fact. Yet that does not disqualify him as a Christian! The damaging argument to his life as a Christian is he never gave the plan of Salvation ( Romans and Ephesians) during his most influential times. He never or rarely mention the name that is above all names. HOW CAN HE NOT SPEAK THE SSVING GRACE OF GOD IN JESUS CHRIST and call himself a Christmas?
    We in the African American community can be angry, insult our foes, cry foul but the blame is on Martin Luther King for not making it clear crystal clear on Jesus Christ being the only Begotten Son of God and whosoever shall believe shall be save.

  12. In the end, God is the final judge and His judgement on Martin Luther King is a way above our humble pay scale. Martin Luther King’s moral courage was way beyond the the moral courage of many Christians in the south who used scripture to enslave black people. According to your doctrine this places George Washington and Thomas Jefferson in the same class of eternal judgment as they were deist. However, their celebration in American history and whether they went to hell is rarely questioned. Oh yah, I forgot, they are white.

    Principals of scripture are almost always more powerful than the person speaking. We are all flawed. By today’s standard King David would have been impeached and given the death sentence. He gave his life for a lot of Christian black people. He ripped down the walls of segregation and changed the history of justice in America. That’s enough for me to celebrate whether Christian or not! God judges the heart as he did for King David.

    Just in case if you are wondering, I am a born again Christian who believes in the fundamental teachings of the Bible.

    1. Thomas Jefferson was clearly not a believer based on his writings. Those who claim that he was so are in error. I do not believe there is evidence that Washington was a diest. Instead there is some evidence that he was a faithful Christian.

      One big difference between Dr King and these men is that they were not pastors, Those who claim to be ministers of the gospel ought to be held to a higher standard.

  13. Your point? Khazars are not original Jews. They are converts and Constatine and Rome used the cross to conquer the world not live like Jesus instructed. White people have lied so much throughout recorded history that it is more reasonable to be a skeptic than a “believer”.

  14. Joshua Horn
    It is hard to believe anything our white American brothers say. After all it is STILL in the AMERICAN HISTORY BOOKS that COLIMBUS DISCOVERED AMERICA! AND THE FACT IS THAT’s A WHITE AMERICAN LIE! WILL WHITE AMERICA ADMIT CHRISTOPHER LYING COLUMBUS LIED? NO THEY WONT!

    So Joshua Horn, PLEASE STOP! ! Do your research on Christopher LYING Columbus and make this be YOUR NEWS for 2020!

    If Martin Lither King had an affair so what! Find out for me if Christopher LYING was sleeping with SHEEPS or what ever animal his crew slept with.

    Thanking you in advance for your research.

    PS: DO YOUR RESEARCH ON THE DIRTY DERDD OF J EGAR HOOVER or the dirty FBI during Martin Lither King’s life time!

  15. This is from kinginstitute.stanford.edu: This is an excerpt from mlk speech on Easter, “Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have fit testimony that this earthly life is not the end, that death is just something of a turn in the road, that life moves down a continual moving river, and that death is just a little turn in the river, that this earthly life is merely an embryonic prelude to a new awakening”
    I believe mlk to be flawed, and his theology was twisted at 22-23 when he attended seminary and wrote the papers on the virgin birth of Jesus and the resurrection but I remember when I attended seminary so was mine until I learned the truth. I follow Jesus in my life. But I admire mlk for his unmitigated courage, and I am glad salvation rest with Christ and not man. For some, not you, on the internet have sent mlk to eternal damnation. I am thankful our salvation rests in the mighty hands of God almighty!

  16. Joshua, Why would you be worried about offending people that are so emphatically hypocritical? We know for certain that Messiah strongly rebuked hypocrites in no uncertain terms. All humans both individuals and groups have themselves to blame. Whenever we point our finger at anyone we have three pointing back at us. Well over half of those killed in the civil war were Yankees. How much appreciation do you see them getting? All of the complaint against “white people” is the same as the Nazi complaint against the Jews.
    Well over 90% of the world’s social welfare spending is from the United States and Europe. The thanks and appreciation are underwhelming to say the least. I will say that any and all rejectors of the Word of God should not be heroes for God’s people. That includes a great many white men that also need to be accurately reported on. Our great weakness is in placing men where only Christ should be. Everyone who has mere humans as their heroes will be disappointed.

  17. First of all I read do not judge others. I also read that we will know followers of Jesus by the fruits they produce, and the fruits that MLK, Jr. produced were definately those of the Holy Spirit. Being liberal or conservative are not the marks of following Jesus, but they are as Jesus taught: loving God…loving others…and even loving yourself. I try to do those things, with God’s help, and leave the judging to God who judges all perfectly. I would suggest we all do the same as well.

  18. I love truth no matter who it is or what it is and I never believed he was a born-again Christian. You don’t cheat on your wife; you don’t fornicate with loose women who idolize you for your popularity, looks or money. God is his ultimate Judge…but denying the Virgin Birth and living in sin as he did is a scary thought for anyone, not just MLK.

  19. This Author DID do his research.

    I happen to have a 1965 paperback (just three years before MLK’s death) called “The White Problem in America”. The book is a compilation of essays written circa 1965 compiled by Ebony magazine.

    One of those Essays was written by MLK, entitled ironically enough: “The Un-Christian Christian”.

    I thought of transcribing the whole 7 page article but several in context quotes should suffice:

    MLK states:

    “I thought first of the many people who have been with us since the beginning of the struggle, who have fought with us , who have bled with us suffered with us and died with us, who have been the very apotheosis of the Christian faith, straight out of the pages of the Acts of the Apostles. THESE ARE THE TRUE SONS OF FAITH”. “They come from all walks of life. Some are church members, but many are not. Some were clergy of all faiths-Protestant, Catholic and Jewish”

    Here MLK, in the beginning of his essay gives us his definition of a ‘true’ Christian. Nothing about Repentance or Faith in Christ’s atoning sacrifice for sin – which is our root problem. No, if you are in the civil rights fight in America, that’s what makes you a son of God – quite wrong scripturally. His essay title was called “The Un-Christian Christian” so I don’t know how he includes the Jewish faith as necessarily Christian – a bit of cognitive dissonance there.

    MLK states:

    “all men as sons of God”; “where millions of God’s children are being trampled over by the iron feet of oppression”; “It is surprising how seldom ministers and rabbis in the South or North have preached the truth of the biblical teaching on the brotherhood of man with courage and conviction”; “Where all men are brothers……to live as an heir and partner to the Kingdom of God”.

    Here MLK, misunderstands the biblical notion of being a Child of God that comes through repentance and faith in Christ the God-Man as our personal substitutionary sacrifice for sin by the finished work on the cross, MLK by-passes repentance and true faith and basically unbiblically calls all men ‘children of God’ God is not your father without repentance and faith i.e. our biggest need is that we have ALL sinned against God in a myriad of ways and taking away that SIN is our real need to have God as our Father otherwise Scripture says that the devil is our father by default through the original fall of man.

    MLK states:

    “The awful fact about the South is that Southerners are making the Marxist analysis of history more accurate than the Christian hope that men can be persuaded through teaching and preaching to live a new and better life”. “The wedding of Christ with the culture of the South may well prove to be the end of Christianity as a world religion”

    Here MLK in his complete misunderstanding of Christianity resigns it under Marxism of all Ideologies because history has shown how wonderful that has been under Stalin and in China etc. His myopic and theologically wrong view of Christian history is crystallized (on the admitted failure of the colonial era regarding slavery) is accentuated in his prediction. As if the whole history of Christianity has been seen to offer nothing good to civilization otherwise and is now somehow doomed forever – what a irresponsible and fanciful prediction. True Christianity will survive until Christ comes back and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. Theologically he talks a lot about teaching and preaching but nothing about becoming a new creature through authentic Repentance and Faith i.e. Regeneration to a new creation.

    Anyhow, I recommend anyone who wants to see firsthand how MLK did not begin to understand true Christianity just three years before his death should procure a copy of this book and read the essay in it’s entirety. This social Gospel which has been counterfeited as the true Gospel has done much harm to the witness of the True Church of God.

  20. Mr. Horn
    Though offended at first, I do appreciate your writing. It shows me that there is still much work to be done to bring the Gospel full circle.

    Personally, however, what I would give to bear witness to a moment in which you forsake the comforts white privilege–a birthright that has afforded you a rose colored lens through which you merely peer at struggle–in order to feel the lived reality of a man who was constantly on the brink of death in his Christ-driven quest to see marginalized people validated as human beings. Would you have it so that he simply served as a chaplain…facilitating the call to salvation as his people took their final breaths while hanging from trees? Was he supposed to hold an alter call at the Million Man March while the Christians in political power undermined the very foundation of Biblical human existentialism–that man and woman were created in the likeness and image God? While darkness pervaded through the hearts of Christian people who professed to be saved, was he supposed to offer them salvation again, or show them Jesus, a real life vessel who facilitates soul transformation?

    Salvation is not the end of this earthbound race. We still have to walk with Christ in Spirit and in Truth and Dr. King showed people how to do that. “Be not conformed unto this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may prove what is the perfect will of God.” There are many who profess belief in Christ whose souls I’m sure are saved, yet they never experience transformation of soul or mind and in that right, make Christ no more than an idol. I recommend you read: “What Jesus Meant” and “The Revolutionary Politics of Jesus.” This life is no one-dimensional experience…

    Furthermore, the Social Gospel is easily undermined by Fundamentalists as it requires a forfeit privilege in pursuit of social equity. When cupboards are overflowing, no such resource is foreign, and capitalism works in your favor… When your people aren’t disproportionately criminalized, imprisoned, and impoverished, with an inflated boldness can you proclaim that the glory is for the hereafter and not now. While I do not condone or excuse Dr. King’s philandering, I do encourage “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” Christ lived as a human to show us how to live as humankind. One can’t follow Jesus and not live according to His teachings and philosophies of life. Christ didn’t turn over money changing tables because he wanted everyone to go to heaven. While that was his existential goal, he also opposed capitalism and self-righteousness.

    Nothing better than reading the Bible in its entirety as opposed to being governed by sectoral doctrine.

    Peace be with you,

    Your sister in Christ who believes Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I agree wholeheartedly with your last line – all belief and practice must be based off of a personal study of the entire Bible.

      I believe in a gospel that effects every area of life. The scripture is sufficient for all of life and godliness, and the principles contained in it out to be used to reform every aspect of society.

      However, if a pastors ministry is only about things of this life, it is a waste of time (or worse, proclaiming a false gospel). If a generation’s entire attention is turned to injustices in this present life, all of that is meaningless if they are not converted by Christ and receive the promise of eternal life.

      God bless,
      Joshua Horn

      1. Whether or not Martin Luther King is in hell or heaven we are speculating about his life in reference to Jesus Christ and I think mlk should get some points for that.

    2. @Whitney Simpson
      What a disgusting response you gave. “White Privilege” is a myth created by the God hating atheist secular world. It appears you have bought into critical race theory hook, line, and sinker. Please, show the chapter and verse in the Bible that talks about “white privilege” and where it tells a specific type of person they need to repent for the way they were born. Such awful ignorance. Repent of that foolishness. There is one race, the human race. Everyone descended from Adam and Eve. That is what the Bible teaches. Unless you have evidence that someone has committed the sin of hatred towards someone because of the color of their skin you do NOT get to judge an entire group of people because of their color. In fact, even if you did find someone who hated someone for the color of their skin, why does that automatically make everyone else who may look like that person guilty of that person’s sin? It sounds to me like to are in a church that doesn’t teach the Bible correctly. They are more interested in conforming to the current events of the world rather than seeking and pleasing God. I would flee that church as soon as possible and find a teacher who understands what proper exegesis is. You are being lied to.

      Also, as for MLK, he denied that Jesus was God. In Jesus own words he said, unless you believe that I AM, you will die in your sins. Denying the deity of Christ is a DAMNABLE heresy. If he believed that when he died, Jesus own words condemn him.

  21. Our concerns, as true followers of Jesus, should not be whether a person goes to heaven or hell; Instead our focus should be in the word because that’s the way to find God. After finding him, we should continually read to build a stronger relationship with him. I encourage all of you to meditate on Jesus’ commandments because they in turn will help us enter the kingdom. As far as MLK….God told us about him and people like him in Jeremiah 23:25-32. Jesus was very clear about his return and his warning to us to stay away from wicked acts in Revelation 22:12-15. Remember, we can’t be responsible for others, but we must be careful of how we conduct ourselves and how we lead his sheep. May the spirit of truth be with you and guide you to the true lamb of God, who is the only way to the Father.

  22. You seem to forget that God doesn’t choose the perfect man for their are non. Saul was a murderer who refused the notion of a messiah he hated it. King David fornicated some believe he raped Bethsheba. God knows the hearts of man better than anyone. Yes Doctor King while young had beliefs that weren’t in accordance to what Jesus taught us. He was young and walked with science and used the human mind to try to rationalize the Bible. But you cannot rationalize the bible for it isn’t just a book you read. You can’t find a magic formula in it as if it were a science book. And MLK realized as he grew. He learned that it was only through faith and the belief in all mighty God and our lord and Savior Jesus Christ can the Bible truly be understood. Who are you to criticize him you who live in sin, does his sin out weight yours? He lived as a man of flesh and bone but he died a man of faith full in the glory of the lord. He saw the promise land for he had accepted the lord and in the end he died with Jesus in his heart. We shall all be judge and we shall all be found unworthy in the presence of the lord but it is through his grace that we shall be cleansed in fire and join him and God in the promised land Dr.King Saw.

    1. Please point me to where in his speeches or elsewhere it is recorded that Dr King renounced his previous belief and said that “it was only through faith and the belief in all mighty God and our lord and Savior Jesus Christ can the Bible truly be understood.” When did Dr. King repent like David did? How do you claim to know his heart when we see the fruits of unrestrained sin in his personal life?

  23. Wow. So many great responses here answering the fallacies of this article. I don’t know that I can offer any thing better without devoting too much time to my response, hitting at each erroneous point than to say this. I think it’s so sad that people continue to compare christian leaders with people like King David. King David had EIGHT WIVES and numerous concubines concurrently! Maybe the label that we place on adultery isn’t lining up with the Almighty’s. I hate the idea of anything other than one man being married to one woman and being absolutely monogamous til death do them apart. However, that’s not what we see with King David, so how does he end up being the measuring stick for any Christian living today? Or ANY bible champion from the Old Testament. So why keep trying to compare their morality against what is required of believers in Yeshua today?? This is OUR measuring stick>>> Mark 16:17-18 King James Version (KJV)
    17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

    18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

    Does this describe you? Check yourself to know whether you are in the faith.

  24. Joshua,
    I am a pastor and have been in ministry for over thirty years. I believe I hear your heart. However, I am interested to know why Dr. King was chosen out of all the people you could have chosen for comment or ridicule? As Christians, we are not called to judge or make speculations regarding things we have no clue about, particularly whom God has chosen to use. Without question, God chose Dr, King to accomplish the work that he ordained. There has been no other man like Dr. King nor will there be another. You must admit that you have never had the privilege to sit in on a Sunday church service to hear any message preached by Dr. King, so you have no idea as to how often or not that he lifted up the Majestic and exalted name of our precious Jesus. I am confident that he did it far more than you can imagine. The stage Dr. King found himself trusted upon necessitated the methodology and communication skills used differently than expected of the common Black Baptist Preacher. Had he played into the expected image of mainstream America always quoting scripture, I do not believe he would have been able to accomplish all that he did. Also, I would like to point out to you the fact that you have not lived long enough to realize that your salvation will not insulate you or anyone else from their facilities, weaknesses, or humanity regardless of title or position. Because no man or woman can live a life of consistent perfection, Christ has come to be our redeemer. God does not demand a perfect life. He demands perfect faith in his son Jesus. I read where you said that ministers should be held to higher standards. You are correct. However, that standard is the same for all believers and followers of Christ. God has no respect of person. You mentioned that Washington was a faithful believer. However, he was also a notorious and cruel slave owner! The great pastor and author of the famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” Johnathan Edwards is remembered for the Great Awakening and called a Christian brother. However, he too like so many other so-called great ministers as you might regard was also a slave owner. Even today, in our nation’s churches Sunday is still the most segregated hour of the week. In many White Evangelical churches around the world, the name and gospel of Christ are being lifted, yet these same ministers are racist, bigots, liars, thieves, distorters of the truth, and fornicators. Will they make it to heaven? Neither of us knows if or when they repent and ask forgiveness. God alone knows all. I would just like to ad that I agree with you that those called and privileged to proclaim the gospel of Christ should live consecrated lives. However, I am a living witness that to do so has nothing to do with personal discipline or goodness, it is only by the power of the living God. Lastly, I would like to remind all those that had so much commentary regarding Dr. King’s alleged infidelities, his faults are no greater than our own. All sin is sin and abhorred in the sight of God. Even at our very best, we have all failed. None earn browny points with God. We have no righteousness. We are all only made right with God through faith in Christ. My final thought fro you Joshua is this. You mentioned that the focus on the present is a waste of time, and that Eternity should be the priority. Though that is undeniably true, Jesus and the apostle Paul consistently demonstrated the heart of the father by emphasizing caring for the poor, needy, and marginalized here in this present age.

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