Red Yellow Black White

I used to think that Martin Luther King Jr. Day was ridiculous, dismissing it as yet another display of white-guilt motivated “political correctness.” But the truth is that Martin Luther King Jr. provided leadership and a voice to a movement that desperately needed to happen. And before we minimize the importance and magnitude of what he did, let’s remember that somebody shot him for it.

We’re not a colorblind society. I don’t even think there can be such a thing as a colorblind society. To deny racial differences in an attempt at “equality” is to deny something that should be celebrated. True equality is found by understanding that differences are to be enjoyed, not feared or denigrated. The world would be a far less enjoyable place without the warm relational attitude of Latin America, the energetic celebrations of Africa, or the fiery strength of the Irish.

Martin Luther King Jr. certainly was no theological role model. He disbelieved that Jesus was God incarnate. He refused to accept the bodily resurrection. But we’ve never made theological perfection a requirement for men we admire. We can and should be thankful for men who accomplish great things even though they do not know God. George Washington was a rational humanist, General George Patton a profane man who thought he was a reincarnated Carthaginian general. But by common grace they did much to be celebrated.

Let’s quick to celebrate what Martin Luther King Jr. did. While racial harmony must never become our focus in this life, our focus must make racial harmony part of this life. As long as humanity exists short of the new heavens and new earth, tension will exist between those who look different from one another. I hope our love for God and His presence in our hearts will make us eager and passionate about fighting the ever-necessary battle against racial prejudice.


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