What Are We Supposed to Think of Martin Luther King Jr. Now?

"The British newsmagazine Standpoint hit newsstands in England... with the subtitle 'Newly revealed documents portray the great civil rights leader as a sexual libertine who ‘laughed’ as a forcible rape took place.' The article is written by historian David J. Garrow, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his 1986 biography, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference." - Bulwark

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WallyMorris's picture

Anyone who is familiar with King's history and life should know about his unBiblical theology and immoral personal life. The NT often connects the two conditions. Yet it hasn't been politically correct to question the growing admiration for King among some Fundamentalists and conservative Evangelicals. The reason is obvious: Not wanting to be perceived as "racist" in an attempt to overcome past actions. Time will tell whether the current accusations are true or not. But I suspect that the same ones who quickly rush to judgment about others accused of sexual sins will suddenly plead "innocent until proven guilty" because the subject now is King.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Jay's picture

But I suspect that the same ones who quickly rush to judgment about others accused of sexual sins will suddenly plead "innocent until proven guilty" because the subject now is King.

I suspect that people who don't like King will once again rush to blogs and chat rooms to talk about how right they were and will completely ignore the contributions that he made confronting the ingrained racism in American culture and some of the shameful aspects of our country's history.

It's weird how that works, isn't it?

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Bert Perry's picture

I remember hearing about King's behavior at an event in honor of Dr. King about 30 years back, so there's really nothing new in the allegations.  My take on this is that a lot of our leaders have feet of clay, and we can honor people for their accomplishments while acknowledging their sins.  Certainly we need to do that with our Presidents, no?   The Founding Fathers freed our country from English rule, set up a great method of government, but preserved slavery for another century.  One does not negate the other.

For that matter, we need to do that with religious leaders.  Bill Hybels taught tons of people how to lead people to Christ, starting by simply "walk across the room", Paige Patterson led a great portion of the conservative resurgence in the SBC, Jack Hyles created a Sunday School outreach method used by tons of churches outside his "orbit".....and of course, we know the rest of the story with these and many others.  

And so I am deeply grateful that Dr. King, warts and all, was the voice of civil rights instead of others (e.g. Malcolm X in his Nation of Islam days) who were pushing more towards a race war that could have gotten countless thousands of people killed and incited racial hatred for generations.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

Now compare King, warts and all, with Trump... If you accept King's faults in the name of the good he did, what about those who accept Trump's flaws in light of his accomplishments?

WallyMorris's picture

Not suggesting we ignore any positive aspects of King's emphasis - only that what appears to be hero worship be more realistic. Additionally, these allegations are quite more serious than what has been known about his personal life. I AM suggesting, however, that you will see a fair amount of hypocrisy among King supporters/defenders who are often quick to condemn similar sexual allegations in others but who will defend King now. As far as the Founding Fathers, many of them struggled with the issue of slavery but honestly didn't know how to end it without massive social upheaval. The current rush to remove any statue, symbol, or name concerning them is self-righteous and historically naive.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Craig Toliver's picture

Let's just be honest ...:

  • MLK was an unregenerate, wicked man who accomplished good things
  • Same could be said of LBK, JFK et al
Jay's picture

Craig Toliver just said it:

MLK was an unregenerate, wicked man who accomplished good things.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

WallyMorris's picture

Paul didn't mince words concerning those who taught errant theology and denied the gospel. Neither should we, no matter what race they are or how culturally popular they are.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

G. N. Barkman's picture

It's hard to ignore a measure of comparison between King and Trump.  Both have seriously flawed character, starting with, but not confined to sexual immorality.  Both accomplished good things that have benefited our nation.

The big difference, as I see it, is that Trump is not an ordained clergyman, and King was.  The Bible gives us different guidelines about how we regard "false teachers," and how we relate to lost individuals.  That being said, I believe this important distinction pertains more to King when he was alive than now.  It's probably less problematic, from a Biblical standpoint, to let King's apostate ministerial status fade a bit now that he's been dead for several decades.  His legacy, and what nearly everyone remembers about him, is not in the area of the Christian religion, but in civil rights.

G. N. Barkman