MLK 50th Anniversary Event

What did you think of the event and speeches?

September 2013

Consider: Most of the thrust or power needed to move the civil rights movement forward is the power of the Spirit-filled black church. (Judah should go up first…Jdg 20:18) But what are we doing with all that power?

The Phenomenal That Was King

Some writers have brought out the point that there were people in the black community who did not initially support the efforts of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in marching for civil rights. He was thought at the time to be a troublemaker. Some people are not willing to fight for any cause. Some would rather settle than fight. But some battles cannot be victoriously won through compromise as we are seeing in the aftermath of past civil rights marches. Our accomplishments through those marches have lasted for a period and have too soon been forgotten by some that were never fully persuaded in the first place. We are now seeing the push back. Some things cannot be accomplished by trying to schmooze the enemy. The devil will often try to make a compromise with you just before you reach his breaking point or your victory. If you compromise remember, you did not defeat him. He merely made a deal with you before you could destroy his house. Everything lying still is not dead.

Why was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., successful in his efforts and now is being celebrated by the multitudes today? What did Dr. King possess that allowed him to prevail where others did not? We must not forget that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was first and far most a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He understood and followed the teachings of Jesus Christ. The gospel was a road map and model that he used successfully. Even though he read the thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi that were incorporated into his process, many of those thoughts were derivatives of the teachings of Jesus Christ. So Dr. King used a method of confrontation that was already proven by Jesus to be solid, effective and that would be backed up by God, Himself.

What others weapons did Dr. King have in his arsenal? Dr. King was an educated man. He understood the history of America, the on-going trials of African Americans, the psychological devastation caused by slavery, and the long struggle of our people through past generations. He not only knew the bible but he took time to study other books that gave him a thorough knowledge of the problems and possible solutions. He was able to debate the enemy with words of power. He had confidence in his debate because he knew truth and facts that were the foundation of his argument.

Dr. King had a passion for his cause. He was willing to put his life on the line to win this battle. I am sure he preferred not to die but his determination was not deterred by that possibility (Mt 10:28). His passion was also fueled by the historical knowledge of the problem and a just cause supported by the Scriptures (Isa 1:17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow). He stood on solid ground in his demands for a change (Ti 2:15).

Dr. King had a calling upon his life that demanded a response and he answered that call. Many people are called but not everyone will respond in the affirmative. Dr. King did not shrink away from his call and he must have had a confirmation that the God that sent him would back him up. Some might look at the conclusion of his work and his resulting death as failure but the success of his work is evident in the memorials and legacy left for others to follow. We can see more clearly that success today.

Dr. King was a leader among men. Because he was properly prepared with the right foundation, he was able to command a following that also took up the cause and was willing to fight shoulder to shoulder with him. He walked in an authority that was real and visible to others. His “Backup” was evident as he plowed ahead.

So why is it that this same ability that is available for so many today is not being used to successfully follow up with the civil rights movement and take it to its conclusion? King was after all but a man who took advantage of the power available to him. I took the time to outline some of the traits and characteristics of Dr. King that made him successful to show that it is possible for many men to follow Dr. King’s example. None of the characteristics listed are out of the realm of possibilities for the average person to acquire. Even if you consider that you must be called to follow his example; Christ calls all of us to uphold His word and set the captive free. All the traits listed and some that were not are possible to acquire in order to do the necessary work which can turn around the oppressive times we live in.

While we find very educated men in leading positions, they may not have found it necessary to believe in the gospel and incorporate it in their lives with the authority it warrants to back up a strong stand in faith. And many may have matriculated in a particular study and spent a vast part of their life gaining expertise in it without going on to study other subjects that could bring about a broader range of knowledge from which wisdom is gained to lead such a struggle.

There are many people with passion strong enough to do a work that could bring about a change but who have not properly prepared themselves in the ways that Dr. King did for his journey. Dr. King had a determination and drive that kept him on course to achieve his set goal. Many people today are too easily detracted from their goal to achieve the success they long to have. There were many distractions available to Dr. King as well that could have taken him off course. But we saw in him the stability and resolve to lay it all down in order to achieve his goal. He was not only willing to lay down his life, but he knew he could leave behind his wife and children that needed his support. He, not unlike many men that go into battle, had to risk leaving his family unprotected in order to provide for them a safer and better future. He took the risk. This is such a noble trait.

The type of strength we saw in Dr. King is the type of strength for which our youth and potential leaders should aspire. Our journey requires new leaders. He was an example for us and not enough men are following his example whether they are ministers, lay persons or professionals.

These are some of the reasons I believe we are not seeing the civil rights movement progressing as quickly as it could to the next level. I commend those presently active in the fight but these words are addressed to those that sit on the sidelines waiting for deliverance when they should be in the fight. Too many people are celebrating the day without following his example or studying his message. In reviewing his story, I noticed there were some answers he sought and did not resolve that are now more apparel to Spirit filled churches that study the gospel lessons. Ultimately, the best example of the leadership we need, we find in Jesus Christ as Dr. King sought to imitate and follow. Dr. King, again, was fore most a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ who fought the oppression of his people through civil rights. Every person has a call to arise to the cause of liberty for all (Mt 10, 28:19, Mk 16:15. We cannot all do the same thing but we can all do what we can to contribute to the cause. We can do better and we must do better.

“How does black America, move forward? The first and most important thing for black America to do now is to stop depending on the government to uplift us. That is an offense to our God. Our God never expected us to look to man or government to deliver us or bless us. That is what God was trying to tell Israel in I Samuel 8:7-18. They did not listen. But will we now listen after seeing that neither government nor a black president can deliver us.” (Excerpts from book: Elephant in the Room: The Economy and Whose Job It Is To Fix It, by Joyce Reba Payne, 2012)

 

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