Wake Up Time For Believers
This morning as I was driving to work I noticed that the highway was clear. I thought why is
there not more traffic? Then I remembered that today was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a
national holiday. I realized as well that this holiday has finally caught on with America.
I have much to say about my feelings about the validity of a holiday in the name of MLK, but that
is for another discussion. What I want to discuss here is what I am seeing in evangelical
Christian circles and among Christian leaders in particular.
On FaceBook, in emails and in the media I keep seeing Martin Luther King Jr. quotes posted by
Christian leaders who are urging people to take heed to them. Christians have adopted this
holiday with vigor. While I have no problem with the holiday celebrating this man, I do have
some issues in the way we celebrate. Many have now elevated this holiday and the memory of
this man to a place that exceeds any Christian holiday. In fact we are seeing an ever
decreasing celebration of the birth and death of Christ and an increasing celebration on MLK
Day. While Christmas is increasingly under attack and “Good Friday” is no longer celebrated
we have elevated this day and the man to near deity status.
Here is what is the crazy thing about this. The essence of the message of MLK that most of
these people are spouting as unique and transformational are nothing more than a repackaging
of the message of Jesus Christ. The message of the oneness of mankind and loving your
neighbor, seeking peace, helping the poor are all found in the Gospels. But, instead of
reminding people that these principles are actually not original and actually found in the words
of Christ, we are giving credit to and exalting a man who was merely a great speaker.
Let me take this a step further, after the death of Christ his message and way of life took root
and spread worldwide changing those who came in contact with His message. His message
actually elevated the poor, freed the slave, gave dignity to women and so much moore. It has
been almost 50 years after the death of MLK but people and races are more divided than ever,
and racial tensions are at an all time high. Yet, instead of preaching the need for repentance
from sin and the regeneration of one’s spirit by the Holy Spirit, you have Christian leaders
evoking the name of Martin Luther King Jr. and pointing people to him instead of pointing them
to Jesus, the Son of God and Savior of the World. It is as though they have forgotten that
“there is no other name under heaven and earth by which men MUST BE SAVED.”
It is a real shame and saddens me. I pray they will wake up and preach in the name of Jesus
and not the name of Martin. Racism is a sin and the only deliverance from sin comes through
Jesus christ. Let that be our message on this day and every day.