I’m reading an autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr right now that is an absolute masterpiece. I’ve read some about King and listened to recordings of his speeches, but I had never read any kind of exstinsive work about him until now. The text doesn’t say what address the quote I’ll use is from, but it came from his days in graduate school at Boston University.
So much of what King said, and says, is powerful because it comes from a perspective that is unwilling to divorce spiritual passion from social practice. King’s theology at this point in his life was basically shaped. He had read may different thinkers on multiple sides of multiple issues and had settled into what seemed to make the most sense to him according to the Scriptures. His social concern was not only birthed out of a first hand knowledge of blatant and militant racism, but out of his soul’s conviction regarding the teaching of the Bible and the character of God. I’m sure that I will say more about him in the coming days as I wade through this book, but for today I offer this:
The thing that we need in the world today, is a group of men and women who will stand up for right and be opposed to wrong, wherever it is. A group of people who have come to see that some things are wrong, whether the’re never caught up with. Some things are right, whether nobody sees you doing them or not.
All I’m trying to say is, our world hinges on moral foundations. God has made it so! God has made the universe to be based on a moral law…
As a young man with most of my life ahead of me, I decided early to give my life to something eternal and absolute. Not to these little gods that are here today and gone tomorrow. But to God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
I’m not going to put my ultimate faith in the little gods that can be destroyed in an atomic age, but the God who has been our help in ages past, and our hope for years to come, and our shelter in the time of storm, and our eternal home. That’s the God I’m putting my ultimate faith in…The God that I’m talking about this morning is the God of the universe and the God that will last through the ages. If we are to go forward this morning, we’ve go to go back and find that God. That is the God that demands and commands our ultimate allegiance.
– Martin Luther King Jr.