The Moral Witness of the Church

Dr. King presented one of the greatest identity-calls anyone has ever heard. Every year, I try to re-read his powerful "Letter from a Birmingham Jail". I'm moved every time I read it.

This year, the below quote spoke to me powerfully this year. As we think through our life as a witnessing community, let us listen to Dr. King.

There was a time when the church was very powerful in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators"' But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide. and gladiatorial contests.

2 comments:

  1. Pastor Brad3:51 PM

    Rockbridge County Drops the Holiday Ball.

    I shames me that this is even an issue. Growing up in alabama we spent all of fourth Grade and atleast one month a year studing civil rights. Through that i have come to admire and respect Pastor King. He preached one of the greatest sermons i have ever heard. Every year on January 21 banks are closed, mail is stalled, and school were given a day off. while then i did not understand why then, i certanily do now.
    Rockbridge county was not out of school yesterday. It was a make up day. well i say, shame on the school board. While our county my kid its self, we do have a "racial" problem. While giving a day off from school will not make up for the years of persecution... it could be a part of it. Thought?

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  2. Yeah...it's an interesting question. How should we respond to a national, transformational moral challenge? Some responses seem shallow. Doesn't the memory and message of Dr. King deserve more than a stamp or a day off or even a focused history month?

    But then, we communicate something by not doing those shallow things. Is ending school on the right day (which I assume is the reason they skipped MLKJ Day) a value worth swapping for the benefits that could be gained from that honoring Dr. King?

    In some places, it probably is a fair swap. MLKJ Day can prove to be nothing more than a day off and it may better honor Dr. King for black and white students to sit next to eachother in the lunch room and drink from the same water fountains. I'd be interested to know what Rockbridge County did to honor or remember Dr. King. Anyone know?

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