For today's entry in the Friday Five interview series, we catch up with Samuel Rodriguez. Samuel is the public face of Hispanic evangelicals, serving as president of The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He currently serves on the board of directors of some of America's leading evangelical organizations such as: Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, National Association of Evangelicals, Empower 21, and Christianity Today. Rodriguez is also the recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award presented by the Congress of Racial Equality. We caught up with Samuel Rodriquez and asked him about immigration reform, racial reconciliation, and his new book, The Lamb's Agenda.
You were the first Latino leader to give a commemorative address at Dr. Martin Luther King's annual commemorative event. Was that opportunity a dream come true?
Beyond a dream come true, the opportunity graciously rendered serves as a testimony to the purpose and promise of God for each of our lives. When I was 14 years of age, I saw a television special on Dr. King when a still small voice in my heart prompted me to write, "One day, God will enable me to connect with Dr. King's family as I serve our communities." With a commitment to holiness and humility, all things are possible.
You've said that Dr. King's vision will only happen through "the Lamb's agenda." What do you mean by that?
Simply stated, the Cross is both vertical and horizontal, redemption and relationship, holiness and humility, covenant and community, kingdom and society, righteousness and justice, salvation and transformation, ethos and pathos, John 3:16 and Matthew 25, orthodoxy and orthopraxy , faith and public policy, prayers and activism, sanctification and service, the imago dei and habitus christus, Billy Graham and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. King's vision will only happen when the followers of Jesus understand that our nation will not be saved via the agenda of the donkey or the elephant but only through the agenda of the Lamb. We need a Christ-centered, Bible-based righteousness movement. One that marries the evangelistic message of Billy Graham with the prophetic activism of Dr. King. Christianity in America will survive the 21st century as a catalytic force for good when we reconcile the message with the march, the Way with the Dream, the call for salvation with a call for justice, and the song of redemption with the song of deliverance. This generation will sing both "There is Room at the Cross" and "We Shall Overcome One Day."
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