The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and days leading up to it force me into reflection. I often wonder how it was possible that an alarming number of Christians outright opposed Martin Luther King Jr. or failed to stand in solidarity with him during his lifetime. A large part of it was old, deep-seated, prejudices against African-Americans, Native Americans, and other brown-skinned brothers and sisters.

Today, most of us find the racist arguments used by slaveholders and by those who opposed King despicably false. Yet back then, many white Christians, especially in the South, lived according to these narratives about the institution of slavery and white supremacy. Those who dared to oppose their local church community, to go against the spoken and unspoken rules of Southern society, by siding with King were often branded radicals or Communists. Some were physically harassed.

Funny how yesterday's Christian radical can become today's Christian saint.

In reflecting on King's legacy, I wonder if there are similar issues in our day, where the seeming majority consensus among Christians is plain wrong. In those cases, would I be willing to go against that Christian consensus and risk my reputation by siding with those in the minority? Would I be willing to be called a radical? I'd like to think so.

I am just one voice in the church, but there are plenty of others taking the time to focus on Martin Luther King Jr. and how his legacy has inspired their lives as Christians.

Helen Lee, author and speaker, shares the significance King's impact holds for immigrant families in particular:

For a number of years now, on the third Monday of the first month of the year, our family follows a short ritual over ...
Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.