Remembering Dr. King On His Birthday (Originally published on January 18, 2014)…

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Remembering Dr. King On His Birthday (Originally published on January 18, 2014)...

There is a verse of Scrip­ture in the book of Proverbs that states: “A good man leaves an inher­i­tance to his sons, son; and the wealth of the wicked is stored up for the right­eousProverbs 13.22. This proverb deals with the con­cept of legacy and trans­fer of income and inher­i­tance from one gen­er­a­tion to the next.

It is the desire of par­ents to lay a firm foun­da­tion and to trans­fer their human cap­i­tal, con­tacts, knowl­edge, and wise expe­ri­ences to their children.

Indi­vid­u­als, nations, orga­ni­za­tions, and sports enti­ties all endeavor to project them­selves into the future and leave pos­i­tive lega­cies to their constituents.

As our nation embarks on cel­e­brat­ing the life and min­istry of the late Pas­tor Mar­tin Luther King, Jr., this pro­vides an oppor­tu­nity for all Amer­i­cans to reflect on what Dr. King’s con­tri­bu­tions have meant for posterity.

Had he lived until Jan­u­ary 15th of this year the Rev­erend Dr. Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. would have been 87 years old (19291968).

It is almost incon­ceiv­able for us to think of Pas­tor King as a gray and per­haps bald­ing man in his late eight­ies; he died at the young age of 39 in the prime of life.

Pas­tor King’s life – along with the lives of Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy and the late Sen­a­tor Robert Fran­cis Kennedy – was trag­i­cally removed from Amer­i­can life dur­ing the tumul­tuous decade of the 1960s.

The images that we have of Pas­tor King are one of an eter­nally young min­is­ter who is per­haps best remem­bered for his “I Have A Dream” speech that he gave on a sunny August day in 1963.

Dur­ing his life, Pas­tor King stirred either pos­i­tive or vio­lent emo­tions in people.

There were many peo­ple who saw him as a “Chris­t­ian min­is­ter” who sought to fight against the man­i­fold evils of seg­re­ga­tion, racism, poverty, and mil­i­tarism.

Other peo­ple saw Dr. King as a rabble-​rouser, a wom­an­izer, or quite pos­si­bly as a Com­mu­nist sym­pa­thizer who sought to rad­i­cally trans­form the Amer­i­can free enter­prise system.

It is not the desire of this writer to enter into this ongo­ing fray, but to rather argue that Pas­tor King was a Chris­t­ian of Ortho­dox beliefs , and a Bap­tist min­is­ter who argued in the “pub­lic square” on the basis of Bib­li­cally based prin­ci­ples and val­ues.

When the Rev­erend Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. penned his clas­sic “Let­ter From A Birm­ing­ham Jail” essay in the spring of 1963, he gave the Chris­t­ian Church – and the world com­mu­nity – a clas­sic the­o­log­i­cal and apolo­getic trea­tise on both the nature and priv­i­lege of civil dis­obe­di­ence from a Judeo-​Christian perspective.

Pas­tor King mar­shaled Old Tes­ta­ment nar­ra­tive, Greek his­tory, Bib­li­cal Scrip­ture, the Patris­tic Church Fathers and the Amer­i­can lit­er­ary tra­di­tion to show that all pos­i­tive or man-​made law must – to bor­row a phrase from both Saint Augus­tine and Thomas Aquinas – be rooted in the “tran­scen­dent eter­nal law” (a nat­ural law con­struct) if it is to be both bind­ing and valid.

Rev­erend. King did not engage in civil dis­obe­di­ence for the sake of caus­ing social dis­tur­bance. When he addressed the evils of seg­re­ga­tion, racism, poverty, and mil­i­tarism he did so with the pas­sion of an Old Tes­ta­ment prophet, the heart of a Chris­t­ian Church pas­tor and the mind of a bril­liant the­o­log­i­cal scholar.

Our coun­try was trans­formed from a nation where “insti­tu­tional racism” was too often the norm to a place where the ideals of Life, Lib­erty, and the Pur­suit of Hap­pi­ness have found greater expression.

We all need to be thank­ful that in the scheme of Divine Prov­i­dence that men like Pas­tor Mar­tin Luther King, Jr., Pres­i­dent Ronald Rea­gan, and the founder of Prison Fel­low­ship Mr. Charles “Chuck” Col­son all uti­lized their great ora­tory gifts in a respon­si­ble manner.

Finally, Pas­tor Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. left us with his unshake­able com­mit­ment to non­vi­o­lent social change. This may be his great­est legacy to us.

Dr. King and his asso­ciates took vio­lence off of the table as a means to mak­ing reforms within Amer­i­can soci­ety; they rejected the evil notion that “the ends jus­tify the means.”

To quote Saint Augus­tine, Pas­tor King and his friends sought to bring about “The Beloved Com­mu­nity” in Amer­i­can life and in the broader world community.

Pas­tor Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. — “Happy Birthday!”

We are all bet­ter off because of your life and the legacy that you bequeathed to us.

Thank you.

Update DTG: Pas­tor Kelly note about King’s Ortho­dox Chris­tian­ity is one of those incon­ve­nient truths that a lot of peo­ple on the left tend to ignore. If he appeared today sprout­ing that same Ortho­dox Chris­tian­ity he would be con­sid­ered a per­son spout­ing “hate speech” by the very peo­ple pol that profit off his legacy today.

Pastor-Kelly

There is a verse of Scripture in the book of Proverbs that states: “A good man leaves an inheritance to his sons, son; and the wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteousProverbs 13.22. This proverb deals with the concept of legacy and transfer of income and inheritance from one generation to the next.

It is the desire of parents to lay a firm foundation and to transfer their human capital, contacts, knowledge, and wise experiences to their children.

Individuals, nations, organizations, and sports entities all endeavor to project themselves into the future and leave positive legacies to their constituents.

As our nation embarks on celebrating the life and ministry of the late Pastor Martin Luther King, Jr., this provides an opportunity for all Americans to reflect on what Dr. King’s contributions have meant for posterity.

Had he lived until January 15th of this year the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been 87 years old (1929–1968).

It is almost inconceivable for us to think of Pastor King as a gray and perhaps balding man in his late eighties; he died at the young age of 39 in the prime of life.

Pastor King’s life – along with the lives of President John F. Kennedy and the late Senator Robert Francis Kennedy – was tragically removed from American life during the tumultuous decade of the 1960s.

The images that we have of Pastor King are one of an eternally young minister who is perhaps best remembered for his “I Have A Dream” speech that he gave on a sunny August day in 1963.

During his life, Pastor King stirred either positive or violent emotions in people.

There were many people who saw him as a “Christian minister” who sought to fight against the manifold evils of segregation, racism, poverty, and militarism.

Other people saw Dr. King as a rabble-rouser, a womanizer, or quite possibly as a Communist sympathizer who sought to radically transform the American free enterprise system.

It is not the desire of this writer to enter into this ongoing fray, but to rather argue that Pastor King was a Christian of Orthodox beliefs , and a Baptist minister who argued in the “public square” on the basis of Biblically based principles and values.

When the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. penned his classic “Letter From A Birmingham Jail” essay in the spring of 1963, he gave the Christian Church – and the world community – a classic theological and apologetic treatise on both the nature and privilege of civil disobedience from a Judeo-Christian perspective.

Pastor King marshaled Old Testament narrative, Greek history, Biblical Scripture, the Patristic Church Fathers and the American literary tradition to show that all positive or man-made law must – to borrow a phrase from both Saint Augustine and Thomas Aquinas – be rooted in the “transcendent eternal law” (a natural law construct) if it is to be both binding and valid.

Reverend. King did not engage in civil disobedience for the sake of causing social disturbance. When he addressed the evils of segregation, racism, poverty, and militarism he did so with the passion of an Old Testament prophet, the heart of a Christian Church pastor and the mind of a brilliant theological scholar.

Our country was transformed from a nation where “institutional racism” was too often the norm to a place where the ideals of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness have found greater expression.

We all need to be thankful that in the scheme of Divine Providence that men like Pastor Martin Luther King, Jr., President Ronald Reagan, and the founder of Prison Fellowship Mr. Charles “Chuck” Colson all utilized their great oratory gifts in a responsible manner.

Finally, Pastor Martin Luther King, Jr. left us with his unshakeable commitment to nonviolent social change. This may be his greatest legacy to us.

Dr. King and his associates took violence off of the table as a means to making reforms within American society; they rejected the evil notion that “the ends justify the means.”

To quote Saint Augustine, Pastor King and his friends sought to bring about “The Beloved Community” in American life and in the broader world community.

Pastor Martin Luther King, Jr. – “Happy Birthday!”

We are all better off because of your life and the legacy that you bequeathed to us.

Thank you.

Update DTG:  Pastor Kelly note about King’s Orthodox Christianity is one of those inconvenient truths that a lot of people on the left tend to ignore. If he appeared today sprouting that same Orthodox Christianity he would be considered a person spouting “hate speech” by the very people pol that profit off his legacy today.

Pastor-Kelly