Christianity Reflected In Two Historic Writings From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In my previous blog I highlighted Dr. King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." Now, let's take a look at his most famous speech.
I Have A Dream
Dr. King's famous "I have a dream" speech reflects his ideals rooted in biblical thinking. As Dr. King said:
"When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir....I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.'"
He spoke of America's Founding Fathers' declaration of the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as "a sacred obligation" for "all God's children." He echoed I Peter 3:13-17 when he urged those who had suffered persecution to "continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive."
A public school teacher can read that New Testament passage to students and discuss its relevance to Dr. King's message. Likewise, students can study Isaiah 40:3-5 announcing the coming of Jesus because one of the things he dreamed of was the second coming of Jesus Christ!
"I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."
This rarely-quoted portion of his speech reveals, again, the biblical foundation for his dream. Isaiah 40 speaks of deliverance and comfort. The chapter ends with the triumphant:
"He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
Dr. King's dream rose above a legal protection of equality. His dream looked forward to the day when men's hearts would be changed and there would be "a beautiful symphony of brotherhood."