Special to BVN
MLK Speech by Rev. Paul S . Munford, M.Div. Pastor of New Joy Baptist Church, Riverside
As we have discussed the church’s involvement in social justice, let us not forget that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a product and a prophetic voice of the church. In his book, Strength To Love, Dr. King says, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.”
Today in these difficult and tough economic times and political upheaval, the church must continue to be a voice of justice and equality.
Dr. King wrote a book in 1967 called Where Do We Go From Here Chaos Or Community?
He has a chapter on “Where Are We?” and he has a chapter on “Where Are We Going?” Dr.
King brings to our attention that after the Voting Rights Bill of 1965 there was a white backlash of political gains for those who opposed civil rights and equality for Blacks.
The backlash consisted of the murder of white and Black civil rights workers. The backlash consisted of discrimination, brutality and unfair treatment of Blacks. Unfortunately, when political progress is made it is often met with hostility and resistance.
We cannot become contented and complacent because of the election of President Barrack Obama. I believe we are witnessing an Obama Backlash.
The rhetoric that is being used against the Health Care Reform is that it is a government take over. No that is not the real problem! The backlash is all about stopping President Obama and to make sure that a Black man never be elected president ever again. Yes, it is true that President Obama received votes across racial lines. But there is a great and aggressive effort to cool its enthusiasm by demonizing Him with highly racial charge overtones and tactics.
As you know, Dr. King opposed the Vietnam War. One of his main reasons was that he believed that the billions of dollars for the war took away money to help the poor. Yes, with the war in Iraq and Afghanistan costing billions of dollars, we as the church must remind the nation of the needs of the poor, the homeless, the unemployed, the high cost of health care and the millions who don’t have it, the ruins of our cities, and the high cost of education leaving the poor and many minorities out of reach.
Where do we go from here? I want to say to the church community that we are all in this together. We must rid ourselves of division along denominational lines and size of congregations that keep us from being unified and working together as a mighty force against injustice and inequality. We must become one in the spirit. So let us walk together, work together, pray together and love together. Until we do what Dr, King’s sister, Fannie Hamer, said “that we must raise America up to a higher standard. Our coming together as one will help us to raise America up beyond political party, beyond race, beyond social and economic status. Let us raise America to live out its creed that all men are created equal and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
So let us as the church be not ashamed to tell the world that we believe that God is a God of love and justice. Tell the world that we believe as the hymn says, “In times like these you need a Saviour. In times like these you need an anchor be very sure, your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock! This Rock is Jesus, Yes He’s The One.”