There are times I allow myself to contemplate what the “gospel of Christ” fully means. In general, I find the topic to be rather scary because it illuminates how deficient I am as a “Christian”. Sure it is easy to rationalize and even talk about certain seasons in life when “worldly” matters must take priority over the full discipleship that a Christian is called to. But, it is easiest just to not think about it and keep those rationalizations as a hedge against any stray thoughts.
The title of this post is in quotes because it is from the “Beyond Vietnam” speech that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave in 1967. More specifically, he said it near the end of the introduction to explain the reason for being involved in pursuing peace and justice and opposing the Vietnam War. Most remember Dr. King with the label ”civil rights leader”. I think that title diminishes what he was trying to do in “taking the gospel seriously” throughout his life. He felt compelled to involve himself in pursuing justice for the poor no matter where they lived and opposed the policies of the United States government and the people of the United States that used their position of power to exploit and oppress rather than administer justice and peace.
When I see the lengths to which Dr. King went to take the gospel seriously, even to his death, I am humbled and compelled to evaluate my own dedication and commitment to the gospel of Christ that teaches the way of peace and pursuit of justice even in the face of oppression and persecution. It reminds me that the way of human power is temporary and will always eventually be brought down by the ways of justice and peace. If you don’t believe me, then ask yourself who currently cares anything about the spread of communism via the domino theory?
There are many parallels to the current political climate. But then again, I think there always will be pressing crises that garner our attention and are vitally important that we urgently face and solve them, whether it be a soft housing market, an “Islamic terrorist” threat, a pending recession, a pit bull ban, what have you. From what I read and understand, a Christian is to live differently and unwaveringly by a different ethic that always points to justice and peace for all people no matter the current distracting crisis. I admire that quality of Dr. King above all others. May we all as a collective of humanity strive to live that way.