Posts Tagged ‘Social Justice’

Cutting Through the Noise to Listen to MLK

In Uncategorized on January 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Submitted By: Gentry

There was no greater American preacher during the twentieth century than the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. Although other preachers such as Billy Sunday and Billy Graham transformed the Christian landscape by challenging individuals to engage and be transformed by the gospel, Dr. King realized that the gospel transforms societies and calls us into the beloved community.

Yesterday the 11 am service at Christ Church finished with a rousing rendition of Lift Every Voice and Sing, which is often known as the Black National Anthem. As I lifted the cross at the head of the procession the congregation sang that great interrogatory, hopeful question – yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet, come to the place for which our father’s sighed? – I was almost overcome.

As Sheriff Andrea Cabral said at the Roxbury YMCA’s MLK Business Breakfast on Friday, I’m thankful that Dr. King had a dream and went to the mountaintop, but I’m also glad that he marched with sanitation workers, stood up for Vietnam War protesters, and launched the poor people’s campaign.

Over the years I have heard several evangelicals whom I love question the impact or, on one occasion, even the faith of Dr. King because he had clay feet. Although King’s personal failures were particularly well documented since he lived in the twentieth century and was illegally wiretapped by his own government, I doubt in the end that his sin was greater than ours or many of the great saints – such as the ancient man whose faith we claim who repeatedly whored his wife to save his life – that have gone before. Those concerns may be the reason we neither study Dr. King’s sermons or social vision in our seminaries nor celebrate his life in our churches.

Today, as we celebrate the life of Dr. King, I hope that you can cut through the noise that sometimes surrounds his personal life to hear his clarion call to the Christ shaped life and beloved community. Pick up a copy of A Testament of Hope, wiki and watch some YouTube videos, or, even better, set aside some time to attend a celebration of Dr. King’s life and get a taste of the beloved community. In honor of Dr. King, approach today not simply as an opportunity for recreation, but for spiritual formation.

Thank God for Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. May our weary feet, continue marching to the justice beat, straining towards the beloved community always before us.


Social Justice and Eschatology

In Uncategorized on September 17, 2010 at 3:04 pm

when i applied to leadboston i had to answer an essay question concerning “what issues seem essential to advancing social justice in boston today?”

at first glance, this question seemed like a gimme since i have been aware of social injustice and have been attempting to act in ways that i think are just for quite some time. but the more i thought about it, the more thorny the question became. what is the world that social justice is trying to call into being? it’s definitely not that. but what is it? the Kingdom of God? a western democratic system in which everyone shares my ability to consume until their heart is content and meet their perceived individualized needs and desires? a libertarian state in which the safety of the other is protected and no other guidance is provided?

it seems to me that pursuing social justice requires more than a hint of a developed eschatology. other than a strong desire to see “the redemption of all things” and a deep longing for a new heaven and a new earth that is matched only by my lack of comprehension about what that will look like, my eschatology is amorphous, amillenial, a thing i don’ t often consider.

i probably should so something about that.

what about you? as you act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God, what world are you trying to call into being?

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