Because Our Cause Was Just

Quote of the Week

I read this interview with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr this morning.  This section in particular made me wonder if Black Lives Matter activists feel the same way or if they’ve just given up on the Church altogether?


Haley: Can you recall any mistakes you’ve made in leading the movement?

King: Well, the most pervasive mistake I have made was in believing that because our cause was just, we could be sure that the white ministers of the South, once their Christian consciences were challenged, would rise to our aid. I felt that white ministers would take our cause to the white power structure. I ended up, of course, chastened and disillusioned. As our movement unfolded, and direct appeals were made to white ministers, most folded their hands—and some even took stands against us.

. . . Time and again in my travels, as I have seen the outward beauty of white churches, I have had to ask myself, “What kind of people worship there? Who is their God? Is their God the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and is their Savior the Savior who hung on the cross at Golgotha? Where were their voices when a black race took upon itself the cross of protest against man’s injustice to man? Where were their voices when defiance and hatred were called for by white men who sat in these very churches?”

Last night I heard Jim Wallis speak here in Seattle, alongside Dr. Brian Bantum, and Wallis said at one point that it’s time for White Christians to be more Christian than White.  It seems to me that White Christians today look back on the work of Dr. King and say “Yes, yes, that was a just cause.”  But we’ve apparently whitewashed history (pun intended) because we certainly didn’t seem to think so back then.