Posts Tagged ‘Martin Luther King’

Where are the Prophets — The Real Ones?

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 by Antipas Harris

Today is a very sad day in South Georgia. After a long fight to prove his innocence, Troy Davis faces the death penalty tonight. From my view of the television, largely Caucasian American Law Enforcement Officers are on post to maintain order outside the chambers with tons of people, appearing to be mostly  African Americans, standing in protest, awaiting the Supreme Court’s final decision whether to execute him or acquit him.

Then, word comes back — “The Supreme Court Denies Davis Appeal.” Gosh! The scene on the television screen is way too reminiscent of the scenes from the 1960′s Civil Rights Movement. Some scenes and situations need not be repeated — this is one of them!

Davis is accused of murdering a police officer is 1989. The evidence has been weak to prove that he is guilty. Yet, he has found it difficult to prove his innocence. It is not surprising that Davis is African American. Researchers like University of Iowa law professor, the late David C. Baldus  has proven that racism permeates the death penalty and has done so since it was re-instated in America.

I have no desire to protect the guilty at the expense of the violated. Yet, the death penalty is problematic on so many levels. I cannot address all of them here.  However, I will say that research proves that the practice of the death penalty represents strands in American fabric that are racist at the core. There are similar racist strands that seem to weave through the educational system, job markets, Plan Parenthood’s abortion clinics, and more. Read the rest of this entry »

A Tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: Concerning the Church that Jesus Intends

Monday, January 17th, 2011 by Antipas Harris

In his 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail Martin Luther King states, “The church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.” In King’s eyes this was “the Church” that Jesus built with expectation to continue his own mission in the world. Are our churches today extensions of that Church? Or, are we so personalistic and individualistic that we forget that the church was built as a transformative mechanism for society? There is a certain wayward spirit in our society that is transforming the churches into thermometers instead of thermostats.

As I survey churches across America, I notice that far too few of the churches maintain a true prophetic character. Pathetic apathy compromise the prophetic nature of the Church that Jesus expects. In the face of oppressive immigration laws, poverty, violence, abuse, bullying, resistant and evil racism, and greed, the churches must become “the Church.” There is a need for a unified prophetic voice of “the Church” that cries aloud and spares not! The Church is not a privatized business opportunity for men and women who seize the opportunity to attract people to collect tithe and offerings. The Church that Christ intends is not a social club that collects membership fees and bifurcate the haves from the have-nots. That is what I see among many of our churches. In his 1963 Strength to Love, King says, “If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an 
irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.” Read the rest of this entry »