I was always interested in civics and politics from a young age and so beginning at 7 years old I curiously observed the election of JFK,the Cuban Missile Crisis, his assassination then later the rise of Doctor Martin Luther King from his beginning through to his assassination . 8 years after he died, I was born again and shortly after, went into ministry.10 years later when we moved to Atlanta, I got an opportunity to go to the King Center and get his books and messages, which tell a vastly different story than most would hear. I also heard much about the prophetic aspects of his messages from a Welsh apostle named Bryn Jones who traveled to Atlanta regularly to study his writings.
First, Doctor King was a minister and man of God rather than a politician. He was a minister and prophet who preached messages in his church that declared a new day of freedom and equality for black people in America. He had a “breaker’ anointing to bring change and one of his favorite passages was Amos 5:24,“But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”
Second, his movement came out of his preaching! His daughter said he became “baptized in the Holy Spirit “ and it radically affected him. His movement was a spiritual one to bring righteousness and justice, NOT a political one! He saw the inequality and lack of freedom of the black man in America as a cause he could change because the bible preached it and the American Constitution guaranteed it. At that same time in America, there were several black militant groups advocating Marxism and violent revolution, which King rejected. People attempted to also paint him as a Communist sympathizer but he was not.
Third, Doctor King preached Jesus’ admonition to “turn the other cheek” with Christian LOVE as the method, freedom and equality as the goal and unity and brotherhood as the end result. Politics were secondary. His protests were for the purpose of creating a dialogue and when he called a protest, it wasn’t to boycott or punish, but to focus on a specific issue. There was no violence and all were told to return violence with non-violence and love. John Lewis was knocked in the head at one of these protests and did an admirable thing, as did most of King’s lieutenants. But, politics corrupts, and so later on,many of his lieutenants like John Lewis, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton each moved away from the spiritual methods and turned to politics, rejecting MLK’s positions against abortion, individual freedom, personal responsibility and non-violence and recently they began embracing BLM’s message of violent protest and advocating the killing of police.
Fourth, he was Republican and proud of the Party of Lincoln. He advocated conservative views about individual liberty with responsibility, was against abortion and was a pacifist. His greatest opposition in politics was not from Republicans, but from the Democrats in power who were escalating the Vietnam War. Many from the south were in the KKK at the time and had the ear of the president Lyndon Johnson. Without nearly all the Republicans voting for the Civil and Voting Rights Acts of 1964-5,they never would have passed. His non-violent demonstrations were a far cry from recent BLM protests, with burning cars, destruction of property, violence and chants about killing cops.
Doctor Martin Luther King was an awesome model of a Christian revivalist whose radical biblical preaching led to a Reformation in American society with a godly non-violent advocacy of righteousness and justice. If anything, those who have embraced his name afterward but rejecting his methods and trying to bring change politically, have miserably failed and it shows the incredible impact of a person “filled with the Spirit” advocating reformation to bring righteousness into the culture is much more effective. Changing hearts, always changes minds then the culture. We would do well to study this.