In Dr. King’s most famous speech he used the bible as the foundation for the denouncing the immoral treatment of African Americans. He referenced the greatest writings of human history, the bible as a rational for equal treatment of African Americans. He also quoted from two of America’s greatest writings, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as a basis for equal treatment of African Americans. Dr. King envisioned Blacks and Whites walking hand in hand working and living together in brotherly love in a way that obeys the command of Jesus to love one another. It’s interesting that America has made some strides in racial reconciliation but the people who belong to Jesus haven’t made greater strides. The disturbance in my soul is this. America has to do everything by law. We who belong to Jesus and have the word of truth have been empowered to do out of love for Jesus and love for people what the world cannot do through laws.
Jesus said that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We, the church should influence our society. He said that the world will know that we are His disciples if we have love one for another. In fact Jesus stated, a new commandment I give you that you should love one another. That is what our savior said. This is what our Lord commanded. However, when it comes to our preferences and differences with each other’s race and culture, those preferences and differences become preeminent over the commands of Jesus. This writer believes that one reason for renewed racial tension in our society is because the issue of racism is not addressed in the pulpits of black or white churches. In black churches we talk about how to prevent white people from doing ______ (I’ll let you fill in the blank). In white churches they say racism is wrong as a statement. Neither the black or white church as a whole obey the commands of the bible by leading their congregations in what it means to glorify Jesus through truly loving their brothers and sisters in Christ from another race. In fact, racism is still prevalent within the churches of both groups.
What are the by-products of our churches holding on to their prejudices? First and foremost our churches are in sin. We dishonor Christ and exalt our preferences over the will of God. We’ve become “men pleasers” instead of God pleasers because we don’t want those who hold on to racist attitudes to be displeased with us. Even more we become a stumbling block in seeing people come to Jesus because Jesus hasn’t made a difference in us especially in the area of race. More people will miss eternity with Christ because we don’t get along, WELL. Another outcome of our refusal in the church to go deeper in obeying Jesus in this area of racial divide is that we remain blind to the pros that God gave each culture to make our society better. We remain ignorant to the hurts and frustrations that we inflict upon each other thereby contributing to the deterioration of our communities.
As we use this day to recall the deeds of Dr. King the church has dishonored his efforts as well. In America we seek to evangelize the world but refuse to worship with each other. The vision that Dr. King had of blacks and whites walking together and working together for the good of mankind could have been better accomplished by the people whom Christ empowered to be different. The hypocrisy is in the fact that we will talk the talk together but for the rest of the year business will be as usual.
Personally, I have a dream for the people of God together to influence our community for Jesus and for the good of our community. Allow me to articulate my dream.
I have a dream that God’s people will obey Him regardless of the push back from our culture.
I have a dream that black and white Christians will join the gifts that God gave them to better win and influence society.
I have a dream that black and white Christians will stand together for what is biblically right rather than what is socially acceptable.
I have a dream that we can come to the table of Christian brotherhood and work out our differences and do away with those differences that don’t make a difference in the plan of God.
I have a dream that all phases of our society can be influenced by God’s people living out the gospel of Jesus Christ in their relationships with each other thereby causing society to change.
I have a dream that my black people can be directed towards excellence by living out the principles of Jesus.
I have a dream that churches can be filled with people who love Christ and love the people whom he died for.
I have a dream that our love for Jesus and love for the people for whom he died become so strong that we are willing to transcend our differences to make Macon Georgia different, better, an oasis of brotherhood and prosperity.
I have a dream that we work together looking to benefit each other at the highest level in transforming our education system into a factory of preparing moral and well educated children for the 21st century.
In my dream anything less dishonors Jesus and the cause for which the honorable Dr. Martin Luther King died.
Rev. Lawrence A. Robinson