Martin Luther King Jr.’s Nonviolence Warning to Malcolm X Holds Lessons for Christians Today

This famous photo of Malcolm X brandishing a carbine by the window of his home, representing his willingness to forcibly defend himself. Christians must take his life as a dire warning not to fall into the same thinking. (Ebony, April 1985)
This famous photo of Malcolm X brandishing a carbine by the window of his home, representing his willingness to forcibly defend himself. Christians must take his life as a dire warning not to fall into the same thinking. (Ebony, April 1985)

In 1965, the civil rights era was nearing its boiling point.

All the while, two streams of the movement strove side-by-side, oftentimes indistinguishable from one another—but leading to two vastly different destinations.

In a January 1965 interview with Playboy, King expressed his pointed disagreements with fellow African American civil rights champion Malcolm X:

He is very articulate … but I totally disagree with many of his political and philosophical views … I don’t want to seem to sound self-righteous … or that I think I have the only truth, the only way. Maybe he does have some of the answer … I have often wished that he would talk less of violence, because violence is not going to solve our problem. And in his litany of articulating the despair of the Negro without offering any positive, creative alternative, I feel that Malcolm has done himself and our people a great disservice… [U]rging Negroes to arm themselves and prepare to engage in violence, as he has done, can reap nothing but grief.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X. Similar ideas. Similar goals. Divergent methods.

Years of historical distance have hopefully brought clarity. Both men are credited for their contributions to human rights, but only one is recognized for his defining virtue: nonviolence.

What if we took King’s quote about Malcolm X and adjusted the wording for ourselves?

“In their litany of articulating the despair of the evangelical Christian without offering any positive, creative alternative, I feel that some conservatives have done themselves and our people a great disservice… Urging conservative Christians to arm themselves and prepare to engage in violence, as they have done, can reap nothing but grief.”

Christian brothers and sisters. Proponents of “Judeo-Christian” American values. Conservatives. Constitutionalists. Tea Partiers. Our time has not quite yet come, but it will fall upon us quickly.

We are at the same crossroads.

How did we get here?

I ardently believe the biblical truth that sex is a precious gift bounded within the confines of a husband and wife. The LGBT movement is in rebellion against the design of our Creator, and represents just one of many areas of our society characterized by spiritual decay. Christians and churches need to stand up, speak the truth in love and never shy away from controversial issues—even if that means people will tune us out.

At the same time, has “truth in love” become nothing more than a meaningless slogan for many of us?

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Charisma News
Alex Kocman

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