Monday, January 21, 2008

Living in his dream

I am posting this today in memorium of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A friend of mine posted video of his famous "I have a dream" speech which my wife and I watched. First let me declare my position on a few things and then I will make some observations regarding the speech. Lastly, I'd like to post a few observations about how we are all living in his dream today.

1. Racism is wrong. Biblically speaking, racism is absurd. There is only one race: man. If there were elves and dwarves in this world, we might have a real "racism" problem. All people are of one race but many families. If there is any classification of people in God's eyes, it is Jews, Gentiles and the Church. God is not a respector of persons. Not of the rich, the mighty or the wise. Not of whites or blacks or mexicans or anyone else.
2. The civil rights movement was due. It was just and fair for the US government to aknowledge all the rights "endowed by their creator" to the black citizens of this country. (The frame of reference of the founders is that our rights come directly from God, it is the responsability of government to aknowledge and protect, never to abridge, those rights.)
3. I believe MLK was sincere. I take that at face value. However, as a Christian, I believe he operated in error on several points. His fundamental mistake was displacing God's mission of saving souls for his own mission of securing rights. He leveraged the Church of God to conduct his mission. He drew from the Word of God to add legitimicay and weight to his speeches, but did so out of context. He handled the Word of God deceitfully.

I realize point #3 is not a very popular idea. I will address why I hold to those opinions shortly. First, here's my observations on his speech:
1. The guy can speak. He's an awesome "public speecher"! Those great, swelling words delivered with force and conviction really sound nice. Very emotive. He's got style, too. The alliteration and imagery he used was beautifully poetic. Again, very emotive. The masses were swooned.
2. I could not escape ever present irritation at the Nation of Islam guys standing about him. Yeah, Dr. King was all about the movement, the end game. This just reminds me that Christ took a back seat: his own rights and his own glory were front and center.
3. There were two posters they showed from the crowd. One said "full rights - full employment" and the other said something like "freedom and jobs". Dr. King was of the mind that part of true desegregation would include "correcting" economic inequities. (This socialist tendancy really irritates my libertarian mindset.)

Now here's the punch. God used Dr. King, but as a two-edged sword. Yes, he was used to aknowledge the full rights endowed by our Creator. But because of the willful way that he worked, he also captured the hearts and imaginations of the black churches; he focused their minds and efforts on what they could get for themselves and he never gave them back over to the Lord. They never should have left. So what do we have today? A nearly complete breakdown of the social fabric within the black community.

2005 Blacks are 6 times more likely to be murdered than whites
2005 Blacks are 7 times more likely to commit murder than whites
(http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/race.htm)

Black men ages 18 to 65 are seven times more likely than white men to have a prison record. There are now more African American men in prison than in college.
Nationally, approximately 13 percent of African American men - 1.4 million - are ineligible to vote because of criminal records.
(also, 10% of black men now cannot vote because of felony convictions)
(http://www.cssny.org/pubs/urbanagenda/2004_03_18.html)

2004 Rate of gonorrhea 19 times higher than for whites
(http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats04/trends2004.htm)

2000 (I can't believe this is the "lates" data from Dept of Health and Human services?) Blacks are 39% of welfare recipients, 8% more than the second largest group, whites.
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/reports.htm

2003 Blacks are 2-3 times more likely to have domestic violence
(http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/abuse/a/blacer030917.htm)

2005 70% of black children are born to an unwed mother. (70%! astounding...)
(http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/prelimbirths05_tables.pdf#1)

2006 From 1970 to 2001, the marraige rate among blacks fell by 34%.
(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/25/AR2006032500029.html)

2004 Blacks have the highest % of weekly church attendance.
(http://www.thearda.com/Archive/Files/Analysis/GSS2004/GSS2004_VAR1187_1.asp#I-RACE)

All of these problems and immorality, and this demographic has the highest church attendance! Why? Because the majority of those churches are spiritually bankrupt. They have become political instruments and social gather places rather than houses of truth and fervent prayer. To me, that is Dr. Kings legacy. While slavery could not break the soul and moral fiber of the black man, Dr. King stole it by leading astray the churches.

1 comment:

J B Paul said...

I would disagree with the conclusion that Dr. King's legacy is a bankrupt church. I agree this is the case; however, I do not believe this was Dr. King's intent. He unfortunately choose men who held these strong political views, and an appearant disregard for the word of God (i.e. Jesse Jackson, Ralph Abernathy). Upon Dr. King's assassination, these men took over and couldn't even agree among themselves. Also, white congregations are just as bankrupt of the word of God as black congregations. The only difference between white congregations and black congregations: white congregations have more money to throw around to hide the error of their ways.