By Ron Halbrook
Like anyone else, Martin Luther King Jr. had a right to his own social and political views. This is not a political column and we leave everyone to his own thoughts in that realm. Neither is this an anti-black article. The gospel and the church of Christ invite all men to share in the service and salvation prepared by God (Gal. 3:26-29; Rev. 22:17). But in order for men to share these, spiritual blessings, the gospel must be preached in its original purity. Martin Luther King is hailed as one of the greatest preachers in American history. Churches celebrate his life. He is commemorated as a religious hero in ecumenical services including idolatrous groups like the Buddhists. Do such activities promote or pervert the pure gospel of Christ?
Did Christ and King preach the same gospel? Some things King said about love and non-violence are scriptural, but much that he taught destroys the Bible as the basis of true love for God and our fellow man. His message was a mixture of traditional denominationalism, modernistic infidelity, and human philosophies – not the pure and simple gospel of Jesus Christ revealed in the Bible.
|Teaching Of Christ||Teaching Of King|
|Bible as God’s Inspired WordDefines True Love (2 Tim. 3:16; Matt. 22:34-40;
1 Jn. 5:1-3)
|Deny God’s Direct Inspiration of Bible – Try to Define Love by Human Wisdom|
|Gospel Not to Be Changed by Philosophies & Doctrines of Men (Gal. 1:8-9; Col. 2:8)||Changed Gospel Many Ways – Follow Philosophies of Thoreau, Gandhi, Rauschenbusch, etc.|
|Jesus Christ Born of a Virgin, Fulfills Inspired Prophecy (Matt. 1:18-25)||Deny Virgin Birth & Prophecy – Said It Was All a Myth (King interview, National Observer, 30 Dec. 1963)|
|Accept Literal Deity of Christ or Be Lost in Hell (Jn. 8:24, 58; 14:1-6)||Deny Literal Deity of Christ – “Divine” Only in Moral Goodness (Ibid.)|
|Overcome Sin by Converting Each Soul With Pure Gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16; 10:8-10; Acts 2:38)||Overcome Sin by Converting Social Institutions & Governments With Demands, Marches, Boycott, Sit-Down, etc.|
|Concern for New Jerusalem of Heaven Above All Earthly Goals (Lk. 12:13-21; Rev. 21; 1 Pet. 1:3-5)||“I’m Not Concerned With the New Jerusalem” But With Social Reforms of “the New South” (King, Life, Nov. 1960, p. 134)|
|Adultery Destroys True Love for God, Our Mate, & Our Fellow Man – No Part in God’s Kingdom (Rom. 13:8-13; Gal. 5:19-21)||While Claiming to Advance God’s Kingdom, Had Many Adulterous Affairs (Time Mag., 19 Jan. 1987, p. 24)|
|Brethren in Christ Use No Titles to Elevate One Above Another (Matt. 23:8-9; 1 Cor. 3:6-9)||Preach Brotherhood & Equality But Wear Religious Titles Elevating Himself Above His Fellows: “Reverend Doctor”|
|Men Receive Pardon of Sin by Faith, Repentance, Confession, Immersed in Water (Mk. 16:16; Rom. 10:10; Acts 2:38)||Men Receive Pardon by “Faith Only” Before Baptism|
“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Gal. 4:16) Earthly heroes are fine in their place, but look to Christ and not King for all spiritual truth.
Guardian of Truth XXXI: 6, p. 180
March 19, 1987