full of flawed heroes, jars of clay – not of porcelain – who though blemished
held great treasure.
Martin Luther King, Jr., day always brings conflicting emotions. Granted, as a white male from the American South, that demographic alone would cause some people to immediately ignore my opinion related to MLK.
believe God created everyone in His image. All races descended originally from
one race through the bloodline of Noah. Racial, ethnic, and social diversity is
one way God displays various aspects of his amazing grace.
friend in seminary was a black man – a former drug dealer turned to Christian
preacher-evangelist. I invited him to preach in three different churches where
I worked. The best neighbors I had in my life were a wonderful black couple in
Laurens. My wife and I enjoyed many summer evenings sitting on their back porch
Luther King, Jr., causes conflicted responses within me.
who can deny he was a powerful force against the evil of racism in America? He
and another son of the South – Billy Graham – stood against segregation and the
ignorance of hating someone because of the color of their skin. And they both
confessed the Lord Jesus Christ and preached from the Christian Bible.
be stirred by the historic “I Have a Dream” speech that challenged people to
see all people as being made in the image of God? A few years ago I took my
family to the Civil Rights memorial in Birmingham, Alabama, viewing the moving
statues mindful of key figures in the Civil Rights movement. Thankfully, we
live in a day when a black man can rise from obscurity and become the President
of the United States.
was not a spotless hero. Several aspects of his tainted legacy bother me.
History records he habitually was unfaithful sexually to his wife. Known for
his girlfriends and mistresses, this was not a man of God who practiced
self-control in the area of his sex drive. Old FBI documents released by
President Donald Trump in 2017 reveal some extremely dark sides to MLK,
including a penchant for orgies.
understand some of the FBI files could have an over-arching agenda to discredit
him. However, somewhat like Bill Clinton’s private life, MLK’s sexual
promiscuity is well-known.
note, The King Papers, which reveal many of his inner-thoughts on theology and
other matters, reveal a very unorthodox King: denying the virgin birth,
questioning the veracity of the Scriptures, and holding some troubling views of
the atonement, just to name a few.
politically, MLK was much more a socialist than a capitalist. Some would argue
his theories resembled Communism more than democracy. For years he was on the
FBI’s list of people with links to Communists.
doubt, he is a towering figure in history. The annals of time contain numerous
flawed heroes – biblical Abraham, Samson, and David, Martin Luther of the
Reformation, Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, John F. Kennedy, Winston
Churchill, and today, Donald Trump.
One vice of
the Left is to paint people in broad strokes of black and white. If they can
find one flaw that goes against a leftist value, they attempt to make the media
perceive the person as “all bad” or “evil.” This is a political tactic used
with great success when trying to discredit an opponent.
someone digs up something less-than-ideal from a person’s past past three or
four decades ago, an almost hysterical scurry begins to paint the entire
persona as “bad.” A frenzy went through our country recently, tearing down
statues, renaming streets, and trying to remove certain historical
real world is not that black and white. People are flawed with a combination of
honorable and less than honorable characteristics. A society fueled by revenge
or justice will eventually have no one left standing. All of the memorial
statues will eventually be removed because no human can live up to a perfect
African American leader Allen West said, "This all began because someone decided, as other elected officials have across the country, to cave in to partisan political pressures and seek to erase American history. History is not there for us to love or hate, but for us to learn from and seek to not repeat its mistakes. If there are those who truly believe we protect ourselves by trying to revise history due to false emotions, then we miss out on who we are as a nation, and our evolution. The statues of long since deceased leaders of the Confederate Army do not stand to remind anyone of oppression. And if a statue can oppress you, then I submit that you have greater issues."
oiled with grace understands we can learn from our flawed heroes. We can even
celebrate them, remembering the good things about their legacies without
embracing or excusing the bad.
allows us to remember with grace.
Pictures used by permission from Pixabay.