The Source of Dr Martin Luther King's Freedom
On August 28, 1963, Dr Martin Luther King gave his "I have A Dream" speech, which is arguably one of the most famous speeches in American history. That day, the massive, racially diverse crowd at the Lincoln Memorial heard the 'presence' and 'belief' of a 'higher moral authority' on human freedom. What moral authority was that? A few of MLK's statements reveal its source:
1. "...a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation..." MLK referred to President Abraham Lincoln.
2."When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence"
3."...for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone."
4."I still have dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream."
5."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." Taken from Isaiah 40:4,5, of the Bible.
These 5 statements reveal three areas of authority:
1.Declaration of Independence (1774) and Constitution (1787)
2.Emanicpation Proclamation (1863)
First, through a bit of research, we find the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution have their roots in the Bible*. Second, after many intense personal internal and external conflicts throughout the year of 1862, and in fulfillment of a promise to God, Abraham Lincoln declared the Emancipation Proclamation. Third, Dr King quoted Isaiah 40:4,5 during the course of his speech. And fourth, Dr King was a preacher of the gospel, whom God obviously raised-up for "such a time as this" (Est4:14).
To the truth-seeker, we can technically reduce the origin of Dr King's final authority to one source: the Word of God, i.e.the Judaeo/Christian God!
Finally, using Dr King's point 4 on the American dream, we understand that Dr King's call to freedom did not begin with the 1960's Civil Rights movement, but dates back to our founding! For this reason, Dr King appealed to the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, America's Founders, and the Bible for his authority! Following is the evidence:
First, a witness of freedom exists from every President in American history...following are three examples! During the War for Independence, George Washington said, "The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country."
Our second president John Adams said, "...it is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand." The "religion" to which President Adams referred was not Hinduism, Buddhism, or Islam...but Christianity!
Or, how about Abraham Lincoln who declared at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, 1861: "The Declaration of Independence gave liberty not alone to the people of this country, but hope to all the world, for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weights would be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance. This is the sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence... I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it."
Webster's Dictionary took 26 years to complete. In 1828, Noah Webster wrote in the preface: "In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed..."
In 1892, the Supreme Court of the United States declared, "This is a Christian nation."
In 1853 Senate judiciary Committee. "Had the people during the revolution had a suspicion to war against Christianity, that revolution would have been strangled in its cradle. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the amendment the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, not any one sect"
"In God we Trust" is taken from Psalms 40:4 and Psalms 56:11
On the Liberty Bell: Leviticus 25:10 is permanently engraved on the 1753 Liberty Bell:
"...and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."
On the Washington Monument:"Holiness to the Lord" (Exodus 28:26, 30:30, Isaiah 23:18, Zechariah 14:20), "Search the Scriptures" (John 5:39), "The memory of the just is blessed" (Proverbs 10:7), "May Heaven to this Union continue its beneficence," and "In God We Trust", but the Latin inscription Laus Deo - "Praise be to God" - is engraved on the monument's capstone.
On the The Jefferson Monument: "God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever."
On the Lincoln Monument: "we here highly resolve that . . . this nation under God . . . shall not perish from the earth"; "The Almighty has His own purposes. 'Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh' (Matthew 18:7)"; "as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether' (Psalms 19:9)"; "one day every valley shall be exalted and 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 see it together"
Early Americans used the 'New England Primer', which taught the alphabet:
A-in Adam's Fall, we sinned all
B-Heaven to find, the Bible mind
C-Christ crucified, for sinners died
D-The deluge drowned, the earth around
E-Elijah hid, by ravens fed
Furthermore, Ivy League schools were originally established to train preachers. For example, Harvard is named after John Harvard, a preacher of the gospel. Harvard's Rules & Precepts stated September 26, 1642: "Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life. John 17:3."
In conclusion, 'American freedom' was not only designed for Whites, but for Black people; and as Abraham Lincoln declared, even for all peoples of the world! Why? All freedom originates in God's love, and is a calling of God (Gal5:13 1Pet2:16, 2Cor3:17)...to all men!
Therefore, Dr King's moral authority for 'freedom' did not originate with some liberal humanist philosopher...but in the Bible, which declares: all men possess the image and likeness of God (Gen1:28), therefore, all men are created equal, and are free!
Hence, unlike today's protests, MLK's 1960's civil rights movement was Holy Spirit inspired!!
*See books: Defending the Declaration by Gary Amos; and Christianity and the Constitution by John Eidsmoe.
"Even if he fails again and again to accomplish his purpose -- as he must until weakness is overcome -- the strength of character gained will be the measure of his true success, and this will form a new starting point for future power and triumph.” -As A Man Thinketh