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martin luther king day

MLK Day has become one of my favorite holidays because it's a national celebration of the life and work of a Christian pastor. It’s understandable if you don’t know Dr King as a committed Christ-follower. Our culture has re-written the historic record, expunging his Christianity. A visitor to the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial on the National Mall in Washington DC will not find a reference to his faith, or even to God, save his own chosen title, Reverend.
Now, consider how Dr King described himself:

“Before I was a civil rights leader, I was a preacher of the Gospel. This was my first calling and it still remains my greatest commitment. You know, actually all that I do in civil rights I do because I consider it a part of my ministry. I have no other ambitions in life but to achieve excellence in the Christian ministry.

Dr King promoted God’s kingdom, proclaimed Jesus, preached the Gospel. His 1967 sermon, 
Why Jesus Called a Man, a Fool identifies a highly successful man as a fool because that man rejected the inevitability of divine judgement. Many of the quotations chiseled in stone at the MLK Memorial are in fact unattributed quotations from the Bible—plagiarism if unattributed by a scholar, speech writer or journalist.

Dr King demanded a just society here and now. He was committed to the hard truth that, “love is the only creative, redemptive, transforming power in the universe.” His commitment to non-violence arose from the teachings of Jesus, the political accomplishments of Gandhi, and the Old Testament prophets.

His final, prophetic sermon
I’ve Been to the Mountain Top references the Bible story of Moses. In that story God would not allow Moses into the Promised Land. He was told to climb a mountain so that he might look into God’s Promised Land. Dr King lived his life, straining for the Promised Land. He challenged others to climb the mountain and open their eyes to see all that our heavenly Father desires for us and for all the people of the world. ~

Dan Nygaard