Martin Luther King Jr.’s theology
Outline and critique the chief subjects in Martin Luther King Jr.’s divinity. Can it animate the modern-day church to be the ‘voice of conscience’ in society today?
Martin Luther King Jr.’s was born a really superb immature adult male. He came across the best wise mans a immature individual like him could inquire for. This gave him a batch of assurance in his ulterior calling as a civil right militant. Both Mahatma Gandhi and Thoreou had great influence on him. Their methods were nonviolence and civil noncompliance respectfully. However King realised that he had to come to a via media with his oppressors through logical thinking and apprehension. He believed that people should non be judged by the coloring material of their tegument but by their character. His head set was changed at the Theological Seminary in Crozer and started seeing things otherwise. King did non merely believe that before God all work forces were equal regardless of their coloring material tegument, but he besides had dream that one twenty-four hours boies and girls of both the oppressors and the oppressed will walk in the street of America in harmoniousness. When he spoke of government’s lunacy in affecting itself in the Vietnam War, he was isolated by everyone including his friends. They thought he had gone excessively far. Nevertheless, religion in God kept him traveling. He was the voice for the voiceless and this was the really ground he was assassinated.
Martin Luther King Jr was born on January 15Thursday1929 to a Baptist curate Martin Luther king Sr. dent named “Daddy King” , who changed his name after sing Germany and learned about Martin Luther the reformer. In 1944 he graduated from Booker T Washington High School in Atlanta, holding skipped 9th and 12th class ( Dorrien, G ( 2011: 390-391 ) . This shows that he was a really intelligent immature adult male. Although his engagement in civil rights motion begun after college, his self-commitment started taking form at a stamp age of five ( Balwin, 2010 ; 5 ) . At the age of 16 he started prophesying at his brothers AME assemblage in Spring Hill ( Dorrien, G ; 2011 ) . Luther came across Liberal divinity at Crozer Theological Seminary in Upland Pennsylvania. Cipher could lucubrate the American dream where people of all race, credos, and nationalities could populate together than King. ( Cone, 1991 ) . Although his engagement in civil rights motion begun after college, his self-commitment started taking form at a stamp age of five ( Balwin, 2010 ; 5 ) . He stressed the goodness of the universe created by God despite the immorality in it. He saw the immorality in human being as a consequence of deficiency of cognition. Luther besides stressed that every individual had the ability to believe and ground ( Livingston, 444 ) . Livingston points out that, all African American were created by God. In his lineation Baldwin points out that Luther’s upbringing in the Ebenezer Baptist Church connected him to the community. He continues to state that it is here where he learned non to divide church from societal life. He was really critical to those who reduced the church to spiritual engagement merely disregarding the call to public responsibility, societal informant airy and realistic activism ( Balwin, 2010 ; 5-6 ) . This could be elating the criterion of the people in squads of subject through instruction and societal well-being. Besides non to trust on their oppressing maestro.
King saw a vision of united humanity in the order by which God had created it to be concluding fate through His grace ( Livingston, 443 ) . King besides highlighted that African American were created by God and his image and similitude. God was actively involved in the life of every human being. Civil right motion would show a new epoch of societal and political order where people will be judged by the strength of their character instead than the coloring material of their tegument ( Livingston, 445 ) . The Whites including the white theologists did the antonym of that. He preached that, to be a adherent of Christ is to accept adversity with grace, suffer maltreatment on behave of others, and pardon oppressors without demonising them ( Dorrien, 2011 ) . The major job here was non the coloring material but handling everyone equal and as a fellow human being. In 1964 two white civil militants were killed working for elector enrollment. The job could hold been racial and besides non populating to the voice of concluding. Malcolm saw no demand to esteem and love anyone who ne’er did the same as them. Broadly talking, this is why he believed in self-defense ( Aquina, 153 ) . The force per unit area was between justness and unfairness, and between forces of good and evil. In the direction of his book, a dream or a dark female horse, Cone mentions that, inkinesss believed that if Whites were truly Christians ; so they should handle them as equal to God. Black sermonizer preached Gospel of justness and love where all should ( Cone, 6 ) be treated as brothers and sisters ( Cone, 6 ) . The Grecian word Agape means God like sort of Love. Love your enemies without anticipating anything in return.
Livingston continues to indicate out that, passive resistance was enduring without retaliation knowing that God was on the side of the truth. On the issue of justness, Livingston points out that, Luther opposed American authorities engagement in Vietnam War. King wondered why America should direct military personnels to Vietnam, spend 1000s of dollars while back place people were populating in poorness. He regarded what the America authorities was making in Vietnam as lunacy which must halt. For this ground he said, ’I speak as a kid of God and brother of the agony hapless people of Vietnam.’ ( Livingston, 446-447 ) . The spread between the Negros and the Whites widened. Ghettos continued to be built in the South. Power without love was irresponsible and opprobrious and that love without power was sentimental and weak ( King, 38 ) . In add-on there was nil incorrect with Whites being in power but the distribution was hapless.
God is a God of those who toil and are enslaved. As the Historic event show in the Israelites bondage in Egypt, God was involved with the oppressed ( Cone, 1991 ) . “For God so loved the universe that he gave his lone Son, so that everyone who believes in him may non die but may hold ageless life ( John 1:3 NRSV ) . God gave human being Jesus to present them from wickedness. He heard the call of His people and for this ground He sent Moses to travel and present them from imprisonment. Say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you to state, “Let my people go, so that they may idolize me in the wilderness.” But until now you have non listened ( Exodus 17:6 NRSV ) . God wanted to carry through the promises he had made to their bow male parents. It was non easy for Pharaoh to allow them travel but God was with Moses. The narrative of the Hebrews in bondage in Egypt is similar to the subjugation of the African American people by the Masterss. In his last address, King said that he has been to the top of the mountain. He was non concerned about making at that place but he had seen the glorification of the Lord. ( Martin Luther King, 2010 ) . ( https// www.youtube.com/watch. ) This was his last message before he was killed. He was cognizant that his life was in danger. Travel up to a land fluxing with milk and honey ; but I will non travel up among you, or I would devour you on the manner, for you are a stiff-necked people” ( Exodus 33:3 NRSV ) . Similarly Moses was shown by God the land of Canaan but ne’er got at that place.
Christian divinity is a divinity of release to those who are oppressed. When the Christian divinity does non come to deliver the broken, laden and the abused, in the community, so it ceases to be Christian divinity ( Cone, 1991 ) . Jesus knew the deduction caused by economic, political, and societal factors among the hapless. Hence he said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to convey good intelligence to the hapless. He has sent me to proclaim release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to allow the laden travel free, to proclaim the twelvemonth of the Lord’s favor ( Luke 4: 18-19 ) .” Broad Theology was the absolute hope to the right way which human being were heading and no hinderance could halt its good class ( Livingston, 445 ) . Harmonizing to Cone, King was enforcing the Theology he had learnt from the white Christians. He continued to state that, white Theologians could do anything out of Jesus ( Trinity institutes, 2008 ) . The position expressed there is that, the white oppressor could make anything in the name of Christ to warrant their oppressing actions. Luther used nonviolent attack toward release. Mahatma Gandhi influenced him to utilize this method. His purpose was non to outwit the opposition but to win their bosom.
Civil noncompliance and boycotts were other signifiers of nonviolent inactive activities. However, King realised that there was demand to accommodate with the oppressors ( Livingston, 446 ) . On the contrary, Malcom X used force attack. Aquina quotation mark Malcolm X stating, “give me a.45 calber, so I’ll sing we shall overcome.” ( Aquina 1992, 105 ) . Malcom’s actions were physical aggression which resulted to severe whipping and apprehensions by the constabulary. Kings Theology was of Equality and Equity. In his book, where do we travel from here: Chaos or Community? ( 1967 ) one twelvemonth before he died, he wrote: Capitalism was a spread between rich and hapless whereby the necessities were taken from many hapless people and given to the few rich. Blacks were still at the underside of the economic power. However their economic input was $ 30 million which made them hold a immense purchasing power hence could do the difference between net income and loss. Whites regarded Negros us trade good to be used with no regard which lead to slavery ( King, 2010:38 ) . Introduction of robotics caused workers to lose their occupation while net income of their Masterss remained integral. ( Livingston, 2006 ) . King was influenced by Gandhi’s nonviolent opposition which became his divinity. Passive resistance became a remedy of the broken societal dealingss in America hence extended it internationally. He came to recognize that, for Thoreau’s civil noncompliance to be successful, it depended upon moral persuasion. Undoubtedly, King realized there must be a flat playing field between the oppressor and the oppressed in order to happen the in-between land. These left him isolated in prophetic voice on the American political sphere. FBI started hassling him, he was accused of being a Socialist, and former friends, both black and white, ignored him. In malice of all these jobs, he remained true to his ethical strong beliefs. ( Livingston, 2006 ) . At this point religion in Jesus Christ kept him traveling.
The white theologist failed to compose anything appropriate about the black community. This turned up to be a menace to both societal and political involvement of the Whites. If the Blacks agreed that the Gospel is the declaration of God’s emancipating activity, so black divinity was a Christian divinity. The white could non place with the oppressed. In order for the white to encompass the black divinity, they needed to disinherit at that place white divinity with was non reflecting Jesus Christ at all ( Cone, 1991:9 ) .
White American divinity was non concern about the battle for black release. Black divinity was a divinity of release to the laden inkinesss of America in hunt of understanding the Gospel of Jesus in their state of affairs. In add-on, it was understood that, release of the black community was God’s release ( Cone, 1991 ) . There can ne’er be impartial divinity. Likewise, God sides with the laden and the oppressors in the land of Palestine. On the other manus, He is against the rich suppressing the hapless in Israel. Black release motion was an act of God among Black Americans. ( Cone, 1991 ) . The Prophetss of Israel are Prophets of societal justness. The narrative of dry castanetss in Ezekiel 37:1-14 is an illustration of how God can see a despairing state of affairs. Verse 3: He said to me, ’Mortal, can these castanetss live, ’ I answered, ‘ O Lord God, you Know, ’ ( NRSV ) Verse 4-5: Ezekiel prophesied to the castanetss and they came to endorse to populate. On the contrary African Americans needed King to talk out about subjugation by the white Americas. However they needed to place themselves with a Black Jesus who would listen to their call. The Israelites had merely come back from imprisonment in Babylon. Prophet Ezra asked people to give their free will offering to reconstruct the temple ( Ezra 7:15-17 ) . In the Afro-american context, they had to give themselves for class of justness and freedom. The rubric of a prophesier should non be taken for granted. It is person who can indicate out the immorality made by the authorities of the twenty-four hours.
Baldwin critiques the modern mega church by saying that king’s prophetic theoretical account was non a platform to do money. He insists that King’s theoretical account was used for the much needed resurgence. Through his life as a immature individual, King had a good pick of coachs, wise mans, function theoretical accounts and friends who made him a better individual ( Balwin, 2010 ; 5 ) . The modern-day church and society can larn the importance of conveying up their immature people in the right way. Each and every church member should hold person to wise man. Young people should besides want to exert their endowments and gifts in the service of God and world. If the church listened to Luther’s voice of concluding many Africa-Americans would non be sing what is presently go oning in America today.
The subjects in King’s Theology can animate the modern-day church to be the ‘voice of conscience’ in society today. Recently, the Archbishop of Canterbury said that “We expect hungriness in Africa, but unhappily it happens in Britain excessively, one of the world’s richest states, it is shocking” ( Smith, 2014 ) . In the same manner he was concerned by the manner nutrient is thrown off. It should be made easier for retail merchants to give away staying nutrient to the needy. He continued to state that if this issue is non explored it will be a major dirt ( Smith, 2014 ) .
In add-on the Archbishop continues to state that, the Catholic Church has set up a topographic point in Roma named, ’la Caritas di Roma’ , to assist people in demand. Those who benefit from it are chiefly immigrants where they get a nice repast. Other indispensable services they offer here are societal services where the persons receive individuality cards so that they are able to entree medical services and reding ( Smith, 2014 ) . The church should acquire out of its comfort zone and non anticipate the authorities to make everything for everyone.
The nutrient Bankss are run by people who provide a hearing ear to the needy. “In fact hungriness is normally the symptom of deeper root problem” ( Smith, 2014 ) . Peoples may be hungry due to the followers, hapless lodging and no proper kitchen, storage and deficiency of adjustment. Hungry people may be holding mental wellness job and might non hold received the attention they need. They may be holding money, but unable to be a good director of it. They may be enduring from drugs and intoxicant maltreatment, or live with violent households. So apart from feeding these hungry household members, we should hold an consciousness of the implicit in jobs ( Smith, 2014 ) .
Lack of nutrient in Africa is blamed on bad conditions conditions and deficiency of good will in political sphere. When the crop is enough, so comes hapless planning. The 3rd universe authorities should larn lessons on storage from the Old Testament where Joseph saved the Egyptians together with his household. A twosome of times weather has failed Australia and yet they have non experienced dearth ( Smith, 2014 ) . Furthermore hungriness is non merely caused by deficiency of money. Political corruptness, broken households and able bodied people declining to work are some of the factors doing dearth in Britain ( Smith, 2014 ) . Giving nutrient will non be plenty but supplying guidance is besides needed. Before we start anyplace allow us retrieve that the church must be involved. Priests may offer reding done confession every bit good as through the fantastic aid of the Holy Spirit. The Archbishop of Canterbury is taking the community back to godliness like Martin Luther ( Smith, 2014 )
The Archbishop of Canterbury has declared war on Wanga.com. He said that he will take the house out of concern. He is meaning to take his run to Church of England schools to learn them about responsible adoption. Barclays executive Sir Hector Sants is heading the undertaking force. Its purpose is to promote community to get down nest eggs and fall in recognition brotherhoods. Sants observed that primary schools and church can do a immense difference ( Craven, 2014 ) . He has promised to organize recognition brotherhoods in churches where members can be offered loans with minimum involvement. Besides this he besides wants to aim Wonga. New regulations will be passed out shortly where a one-fourth of the payday loaners will travel out of concern. This will assist community to acquire out of bottomless cavity of debt.
King was truly a Prophet. He pointed out the immorality by the oppressors without demonising them and was willing to decease for justness and truth. In his Ministry he spoke for the voiceless. On the contrary some reverends particularly in the 3rd universe are silenced by other authoritiess through contributions ; hence the kernel of autonomy is lost. With his prophetic voice King was isolated. We do non hold to be in the bulk to indicate the ailment in the society. He ne’er feared decease for talking about the release of the oppressed. Today non many reverends can make bold opposite the authorities. History repeats itself. He mentioned the grave error America was affecting itself in and unneeded foreign wars of patroling the whole universe. To this twenty-four hours America policy has non changed. It is non the coloring material of our tegument or the instruction we have can alter our ethical motives but the pick we make. Both African American and white America enjoyed the fruits of Luther’s release battle. He influenced immature people to college. Atlanta University has the largest figure of black pupil in America. By the clip person reaches 70 old ages, they have spent 25,555 twenty-four hours here on Earth. King spent merely 14,235 yearss. This reminds us that life is really short and we should pass it making the right things.
Referencing and Bibliography
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Baldwin, L. , ( 2010 )The Voice of Conscience: The church in the Mind of Martin Luther King Jr.New York: Oxford University Press.
Cone, J. , ( 1991 ) A Black Theology of Liberation, U.S.A.
Cone, J. , ( 1995 )Martin and Malcom and America: A dream or a incubus:Orbis Books, New York
Dorrien, G. , ( 2011 )Social Ethical motives in the Devising: Interpreting an American Tradition,Fabulous Printers Pte Ltd, Singapore.
Father Alexander Lucie-Smith, ( 2014 ) Available at: https// www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs ( accessed: 11/12/14
King, M. , ( 2010 )Where Do We Travel from Here: Chaos or Community, Beacon Press, Boston
Livingston, J. , S. coakley, F, Fiorenza, F, Schussler, J, Evans, ( 2006 )Modern Christian Thought, Vol. 2.The twentieth,Minneapolis: Fortress Press
Martin Luther King, ( 2010 ) Available at: https// www.youtube.com/watch/I’ve been to the mountain ( Accessed: 12/11/14 ) .
Metzger, M ; ( 1995 )New Revised Standard Version,Oxford University Press. U.K.
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Trinity Institutes, ( 2008 ) Available at: https// www.youtube.com/watch/a conversation with James Cone ( Accessed: 11/11/14 ) .