Was Martin Luther King Junior a Christian?

This post has been toned down a level as it has been suggested that I was being  ‘judgemental’ and ‘not theologically trained enough’.  Fair enough.  I judged that MLK’s theology was totally off base and I have not been to seminary.  So that is probably true.  But, I’ll change the tone so that this post is in more of a ‘you decide’ style instead of me dumping my random thoughts and opinions:

There are many images and audio recordings of Martin Luther King Junior standing behind a pulpit and ‘preaching’ to crowds of believers.  For me, these images led me to believe that he was at least a “Bible believing Christian”.  Based on a heavy conversation I had with a friend, it is necessary also for me to define more clearly what exactly that means.  A ‘Bible believing Christian’ to me, means someone who believes the Bible. All of it.  But, for the sake of the ‘theologians’ out there, I’ll tame it down one level to ‘someone who adheres to the very basic tenets of the faith’.  And what are those tenets?  They are written in the front of most Bibles on a page called ‘the Apostles Creed’.  Instead of using space here for those who already know them, please feel free to click this link to see the full list of what a ‘Bible believing Christian’ would believe.

For my own list of reasons, and because of a few small events that occurred to me in my life, I went to www.duckduckgo.com and searched ‘Was Martin Luther King Jr. a Christian” and came immediately upon this old-school, html text-based article full of outdated links.  Please note that one of the key outdated links I have figured out and updated, which is the link to his Stanford University articles.  If you go to the link in the article it will give you a dead page.  Then if you try to search it seems to only take you to paid Amazon publications (no surprise) but the free, original, raw source articles seem to be at the following location:

Martin Luther King Junior’s Original Stanford University Documents

From his writing was this quote:

“Others doctrines such as a supernatural plan of salvation, the Trinity, the substitutionary theory of the atonement, and the second coming of Christ are all quite prominant in fundamentalist thinking. Such are the views of the fundamentalist and they reveal that he is oppose to theological adaptation to social and cultural change. He sees a progressive scientific age as a retrogressive spiritual age. Amid change all around he was {is} willing to preserve certain ancient ideas even though they are contrary to science.”

King also tries to explain away the garden of Eden, the virgin birth and other critical tenets of faith that leads to eternal salvation.

Based on these findings, I was forced to ask myself these questions:

  • was MLK a Christian?
  • can someone who does not believe in the virgin birth truly be a believer?
  • can someone who doesn’t firmly believe in the substitutionary plan of salvation through the blood of Jesus be a disciple of Christ?
  • Is it possible for a man to appear as a preacher, sound like a preacher, even act like a preacher, not be a servant of God and a brother?

Obviously, I too am very thankful that some great changes occurred as the result of his social work (I personally believe strongly that a believer must fight for justice, peace, a better environment and more), but nothing saddens me more than to think that MLK may not have know Jesus as his personal Saviour before he was shot.  And before he was shot, this was a quote from his last ‘sermon’, taken from our source article with appropriate emphasis added by the author:

Did King repent and change before he died? The following was spoken the night before he died. The speech is entitled, “I See The Promised Land” and was delivered April 3, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. He had not abandoned his heretical notions:

“As you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of general and panoramic view of the whole human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, ‘Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?’– I would take my mental flight by Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the promised land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn’t stop there. I WOULD MOVE ON BY GREECE, AND TAKE MY MIND TO MOUNT OLYMPUS. AND I WOULD SEE PLATO, ARISTOTLE, SOCRATES, EURIPIDES AND ARISTOPHANES ASSEMBLED AROUND THE PARTHENON AS THEY DISCUSSED THE GREAT AND ETERNAL ISSUES OF REALITY.”

Based on this excerpt the possibility of Martin Luther King being deceived by the love of the world seems very real.

This world and all of its fancy philosophies and deep philosophical ideas will never, ever, take away from the core tenets of our faith, upon which my life, and hopefully yours too, is built which include but are not limited to the apostles creed and:

  • Jesus replacing you and I on the cross and shedding His blood for us
  • salvation by faith alone, not by works
  • etc

Martin Luther King Jr., to my surprise, may have built his foundation on sand.

The take-away lesson from this discovery is that we cannot be sure of another man’s salvation, but we can absolute be sure of our own.  MLK’s sudden ending by the small pointed tip of a bullet is also a stark reminder that we must all be ready to die at any time.

My hope is that by reading this you would come to know Jesus and that all of us would be able to ‘die well’ when our time comes.

Oh! Right! One more thing..  If you have a comment…. that’s what the ‘comment box’ below is for.  Please!  I will publish all comments as long as it’s not spam. I’m also very open to adjusting my posts if you have suggestions.  🙂

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