Was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A Christian?

Keywords: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., MLK, Michael King



Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you!
for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

Luke 6:26

***PREFACE***

Given the subject of this article--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.--there is something that I want to establish here. I'm Black and there are some things that I'm glad about as a Black person. I'm glad that I don't have to sit in the back of the bus when I choose to ride one. I'm glad that I was able to attend the university of my choice. I'm glad that my husband can work in a good career. I'm glad that when we stay at a hotel we don't have to enter through the back door. I'm glad that we can eat at whatever restaurant we want to and that we don't have to stand in the kitchen to eat our food. I'm glad that I don't have to look for a "colored" sign when I need to relieve myself or when I want a drink of water. I'M GLAD ABOUT THESE THINGS. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a part in bringing these things about.

BUT

I am not defined by my color (though there are those that would choose to define me so). I am defined by Who my Father is. I have repented of my sins and I have believed in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have been saved by the blood of Jesus and I am a child of God. THAT is who I am. I serve the ONLY wise God and Saviour Jesus Christ. I don't serve myself anymore. My life is all about Jesus. It wasn't always, but it is now. If there be any good thing that springs forth from my life it comes from Jesus Christ my Sinbearer, my Saviour, and my Master.

The only thing that matters in this life is what a person does with Jesus Christ--they will either humble themselves under his mighty hand and be broken and changed, or they will be ground to powder (reference Matthew 21:44). Did Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. humble himself under his mighty hand or is Martin Luther King, Jr. in hell right now?

***WHAT MADE ME QUESTION THE SALVATION OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.?***

Early this year (1998), my little sister asked me to look up some stuff on the internet for a paper she was doing on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As I surfed, the Lord put a thought in my mind, "Did this man ever testify of Me?" I thought to myself, "Mmmmm. The world loved this man. If he was preaching the gospel, the world would have hated him." I started looking up Martin Luther King's writings. As I read, I realized that he was a stranger, a foreigner to me. Whenever he mentioned Jesus, it was along with mere mortals like Socrates or Ghandi. In his jailhouse letter, King lumped all religions into the same class. I could not find one "sermon" where he preached Jesus Christ and Him crucified. What I saw is that this man "preached" a social gospel using Black churches as his springboard.

King's philosophy is rather reminiscent of the Catholic Liberation Theology in South America. After several hours of reading of him on the internet, I told my husband that this man was not our brother in Christ. Someone who called himself "Reverend" and preached in churches was obviously not saved. For 32 years, I'd heard great and favorable things about Martin Luther King, Jr. His name was, and is, synonymous with civil rights. But in 1998, the Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that "Reverend" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was nothing short of an heretic. It was a strange revelation.

Well, all these months have passed and I thought my meditation on this was over--I was wrong. The Lord wanted me to see something else. Last night, my husband gave me some papers that my sister wanted me to have. It was the stuff that I had printed out for her on Martin Luther King, Jr. I didn't need that stuff back but the Lord wanted my mind to go back to this subject. Lo and behold, yesterday (it is about 3:30 am now) 10-7-98, I was surfing the internet for information on King Charles I (son of King James VI & I) when I came upon an article for Martin Luther King, Jr. I clicked on the link, and amazingly, I was taken to Stanford University's repository for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s writings--they are on line (at http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/publications/papers/vol1/index.html). Their repository is a work in progress, but there is more than enough there for any human being to see that Martin Luther King, Jr. denied the most basic tenets of the Christian faith.

[Note: Since this article was written, the Stanford repository of Dr. King's writings has been moved at least twice and I noticed that its contents were/are being sold by Amazon. The following links to Stanford may no longer work.] updated(1/19/03) "In your web document "Was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A Christian?" (http://www.Jesus-is-Lord.com/king.htm), the links to King's papers are broke -- but they are still at Stanford -- they changed the pathnames a little bit[...]

***LET'S GET SPECIFIC.***

Under the fair use copyright laws , I will be quoting from the Stanford website and some of Dr. King's writings. I will in no way be exhausting his revealing comments but will include links to the materials cited so that the interested reader can further investigate this matter. You will see what I mean when I call the man an heretic. [I would rather that the reader not read King's blasphemies, but for those that are looking for proof, it is below. If you are not saved, you may wish to view our articles, "Hell is Real" and "How to Get to Heaven".]

**EXAMPLE ONE**

In his paper entitled,

"What Experiences of Christians Living in the Early Christian Century Led to the Christian Doctrines of the Divine Sonship of Jesus, the Virgin Birth, and the Bodily Resurrection"

We see by the very TITLE that he believed that EXPERIENCES, not scripture, dictated the BASIC, vital, critical doctrines of

In King's blasphemous paper he went on to question, and practically deny, each of these tenets of the Christian faith. How can you be a Christian and deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ? YOU CAN'T BE! Yea such an one is a blasphemer! Unsurprisingly, Martin Luther King, Jr. did not believe that the BIBLE is infallible or that it is to be taken literally (you can best believe he does now but it is everlasting too late for him if he died as a blaspheming heretic.). Below is an excerpt of this paper concerning these critical doctrines--

But if we delve into the deeper meaning of these doctrines, and somehow strip them of their literal interpretation, we will find that they are based on a profound foundation. Although we may be able to argue with all degrees of logic that these doctrines are historically and philolophically untenable*, yet we can never undermind the foundation on which they are based.

*According to Webster's, "untenable" means that cannot be held, defended, or maintained. "Philology" is scholarship or the study of literary texts to determine their authenticity or meaning. So in other words, the divinity, resurrection and virgin birth are indefensible based on the historical facts! Read on...

A King quote from this same paper about the Sonship of Jesus--

The first doctrine of our discussion which deals with the divine sonship of Jesus went through a great process of development. It seems quite evident that the early followers of Jesus in Palestine were well aware of his genuine humanity. Even the synoptic gospels picture Jesus as a victim of human experiences. Such human experiences as growth, learning, prayer, and defeat are not at all uncommon in the life of Jesus. How then did this doctrine of divine sonship come into being?

We may find a partial clue to the actual rise of this doctrine in the spreading of Christianity into the Greco-Roman world. I need not elaborate on the fact that the Greeks were very philosophical minded people. Through philosophical thinking the Greeks came to the point of subordinating, distrusting, and even minimizing anything physical. Anything that possessed flesh was always underminded in Greek thought. And so in order to receive inspiration from Jesus the Greeks had to apotheosize him.

...As Hedley laconically states, "the church had found God in Jesus, and so it called Jesus the Christ; and later under the influence of Greek thought-forms, the only begotten Son of God."

Next, King on the virgin birth--

First we must admit that the evidence for the tenability of this doctrine is to shallow to convince any objective thinker. To begin with, the earliest written documents in the New Testament make no mention of the virgin birth. Moreover, the Gospel of Mark, the most primitive and authentic of the four, gives not the slightest suggestion of the virgin birth. The effort to justify this doctrine on the grounds that it was predicted by the prophet Isaiah is immediately eliminated, for all New Testament scholars agree that the word virgin is not found in the Hebrew original, but only in the Greek text which is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word for "young woman." How then did this doctrine arise?

A clue to this inquiry may be found in a sentence from St. Justin's First Apology. Here Justin states that the birth of Jesus is quite similar to the birth of the sons of Zeus. It was believed in Greek thought that an extraordinary person could only be explained by saying that he had a father who was more than human. It is probable that this Greek idea influenced Christian thought.

A more adequate explanation for the rise of this doctrine is found in the experience which the early christians had with Jesus. The people saw within Jesus such a uniqueness of quality and spirit that to explain him in terms of ordinary background was to them quite inadequate. For his early followers this spiritual uniqueness could only by accounted for in terms of biological uniqueness. They were not unscientific in their approach because they had no knowledge of the scientific. They could only express themselves in terms of the pre-scientific thought patterns of their day.

And finally, King on the resurrection--

The last doctrine in our discussion deals with the resurrection story. This doctrine, upon which the Easter Faith rests, symbolizes the ultimate Christian conviction: that Christ conquered death. From a literary, historical, and philosophical point of view this doctrine raises many questions. In fact the external evidence for the authenticity of this doctrine is found wanting. But here again the external evidence is not the most important thing, for it in itself fails to tell us precisely the thing we most want to know: What experiences of early Christians lead to the formulation of the doctrine?

The root of our inquiry is found in the fact that the early Christians had lived with Jesus. They had been captivated by the magnetic power of his personality. This basic experience led to the faith that he could never die. And so in the pre-scientific thought pattern of the first century, this inner faith took outward form.

Read this paper for yourself (at http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/publications/papers/vol1/491123- What_Experiences_of_Christians.htm).

**EXAMPLE TWO**

Next in line is his paper,

"The Sources of Fundamentalism and Liberalism
Considered Historically and Psychologically"

Herein, "Reverend" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. calls the garden of Eden a myth in line with "other oriental religions" and says that science and the Bible are at odds. He is scornful of "fundamentalism" and uncritical of liberalism. In this paper, King ascribes doctrines to "fundamentalists" that are so basic that you'd think they'd be ascribed to everybody who even thought about naming the name of Christ --

"...doctrines such as a supernatural plan of salvation, the Trinity, the substitutionary theory of the atonement, and the second coming of Christ are all quite prominant in fundamentalist thinking."

Here's a further excerpt of this paper--

"The use of the critical method in approaching the Bible is to the fundamentalist downright heresy. He sees the Bible as the infallible word of God, from the dotting of an "i" to the crossing of a "T". He finds it to be a unity and a coherence of parts; "the New Testament is in the old contained, and the Old Testament is in the new explained."13 Upon this first proposition (the infallibility of the Bible) all other fundamentalist views depend. They argue that if the Bible is true--that is, so divinely inspired as to be free from error--then all other truths follow inevitably, because they are based upon what the Bible actually says in language clear and unmistakable.

"When the fundamentalist comes to the nature of man he finds all of his answers in the Bible. The story of man in the garden of Eden gives a conclusive answer. Man was created by a direct act of God.14 Moreover, he was created in the image of God, but through the workings of the devil man {was} lead into disobedience. Then began all human ills: hardship and labor, the agony of childbirth, hatred, sorrow, suffering, and death.15 The fundamentalist is quite aware of the fact that scholars regard the garden of Eden and the serpent Satan and the hell of fire as myths analogous to those found in other oriental religions. He knows also that his beliefs are the center of redicule by many. But this does not shake his faith--rather it convinces him more of the existence of the devil.16 The critics, says the fundamentalist, would never indulge in such skeptical thinking if the devil hadn't influenced them. The fundamentalist is convinced that this skepticism of scholars and cheap humor of the laity can by no means prevent the revelation of God.\[Footnote:] Sores, op. cit., p. 54.\17

"Others doctrines such as a supernatural plan of salvation, the Trinity, the substitutionary theory of the atonement, and the second coming of Christ are all quite prominant in fundamentalist thinking. Such are the views of the fundamentalist and they reveal that he is oppose to theological adaptation to social and cultural change. He sees a progressive scientific age as a retrogressive spiritual age. Amid change all around he was {is} willing to preserve certain ancient ideas even though they are contrary to science."

Read this paper (at http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/publications/papers/vol1/491123- The_Sources_of_Fundamentalism_and_Liberalism.htm).

**EXAMPLE THREE**

King says Christianity grew out of mystery religions in his paper entitled,

"A Study of Mithraism".

Here's an excerpt--

It is not at all surprising in view of the wide and growing influence of these religions that when the disciples in Antioch and elsewhere preached a crucified and risen Jesus they should be regarded as the heralds of another mystery religion, and that Jesus himself should be taken for the divine Lord of the cult through whose death and resurrection salvation was to be had.

It is at this point that we are able to see why knowledge of these cults is important for any serious New Testament study. It is well-nigh impossible to grasp Christianity through and through without knowledge of these cults. That there were striking similarities between the developing church and these religions cannot be denied. Even Christian apologist had to admit that fact. For an instance, in the mystery-religions identification between the devotee and the Lord of the cult was supposed to be brought about by various rites of initiation; the taurobolium, or bath of blood; the eating of flesh of the sacrifical beast and the like. Now there was something of this in Paul too, for he thought of the believer as buried with Christ in baptism and as feeding upon him in the eucharist. This is only one of many examples that I could give to prove the similarity between the developing Christian Church and the Mystery Religions.

This is not to say that a Saint Paul or a Saint John sat down and copied these views verbatim. But after being in contact with these surrounding religions and hearing certain doctrines expressed, it was only natural for some of these views to become a part of their subconscious minds. When they sat down to write they were expressing consciously that which had dwelled in their subconscious minds.1 It is also significant to know that Roman tolerance had favoured this great syncretism of religious ideas. Borrowing was not only natural but inevitable.

One of the most interesting of these ancient cults was Mithraism, which bore so many points of resemblance to Christianity that it is a challenge to the modern student to investigate these likenesses and learn more about them.

Did you spot King's lies about the apostle Paul? Read this paper (at http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/publications/papers/vol1/491123- A_Study_of_Mithraism.htm).

**EXAMPLE FOUR**

Did King repent and change before he died? The following was spoken the night before he died. The speech is entitled, "I See The Promised Land" and was delivered April 3, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. He had not abandoned his heretical notions:

"As you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of general and panoramic view of the whole human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, 'Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?'-- I would take my mental flight by Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the promised land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn't stop there. I WOULD MOVE ON BY GREECE, AND TAKE MY MIND TO MOUNT OLYMPUS. AND I WOULD SEE PLATO, ARISTOTLE, SOCRATES, EURIPIDES AND ARISTOPHANES ASSEMBLED AROUND THE PARTHENON AS THEY DISCUSSED THE GREAT AND ETERNAL ISSUES OF REALITY."

You see what I mean? It is in line with his other speeches that puts King's humanistic "Christianity" in the same category as everything else. He USED "Christianity" as a springboard for his social gospel. The "promised land" for King was not the heaven of the Bible, it was more like social equality on this earth! Read this speech (it isn't a sermon) (at http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/Docs/promland.html).

***THE ANSWER TO OUR QUESTION.***

According to the evidence above, the "Reverend" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was no Christian. Period. He was a blasphemer and an heretic. Below is a quote from Time Magazine (issue January 3, 1964 found at http://cgi.pathfinder.com/time/special/moy/1963.html)--King was Time Magazine's 1963 Man of the Year.

(King speaking) "I had doubts that religion was intellectually respectable." At Morehouse, King searched for "some intellectual basis for a social philosophy." He read and reread Thoreau's essay, "Civil Disobedience," concluded that the ministry was the only framework in which he could properly position his growing ideas on social protest.

At Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pa., King built the underpinnings of his philosophy. Hegel and Kant impressed him, but a lecture on Gandhi transported him, sent him foraging insatiably into Gandhi's books. "From my background," he says, "I gained my regulating Christian ideals. From Gandhi I learned my operational technique."


Thank you for your article on "was Martin Luther King Jr a Christian". I surfed into your site with that very question from google. After reading the first chapter of Yancey's "Soul Survivor" I decided I wanted to know more about MLK. I watched a video from the library, but it wasn't much help. I bought a biography on tape that included audio clips, and started listening to it. Very quickly the question came to my mind - was he a Christian? He preaches a lot about God, but he doesn't seem to think much of Jesus. It seemed almost impossible that a Baptist Preacher would not believe the Bible or that Jesus was God, but I wasn't so sure about MLK. So I surfed and found your article and confirmed my suspicions. How strange - and thanks. I'm white and thankful for all he did for America, but sad that he was not a Christian -- especially for his church members. Yours in Christ,


Your article on Martin Luther King Jr. was very enlightening. I have a friend here at work who was doubting the man that many of his friends follow, and he asked me to do some research. I am not taking your word for it from the web, I read some of the articles at Stanford.edu and that proved well, his disbelief. Many preachers would not join up with him and they were made fun of, verbally abused and called cowards. For non-violence, they sure strong armed people to join their movement, oh but if they had of convinced people to join the Lords Army, what a difference they could have made. Black America (I use that term as a whole) would be different if those people had of gotten saved and not marched because they wanted rights. There wouldn't be the drug problems, the alcohol and the precious bastard children cursing the day they were born. White America would be a different place had MLK spread a Gospel message through America, many would have hated him even more, but many would have been saved if he had of preached the Gospel. What a shame, what a waste.

It reminds me of the day that I watched Dale Earnhardts funeral on the TV and there were 15 Million Americans watching and 6000 in attendance that day. But did that Reverend preach, did he warn of Hells fire, and God's wrath, NO he said that if you "Ever want to see Dale, just wait until you get to heaven". Well friend, you and I both know that the only way to heaven is through the blood of Jesus, not because you were good, or had a movement that did "apparent" good. He had a chance to reach "White America" with the Gospel and he also failed. Why! Because he had a targeted message, his message was meant for a "White America" with a shallow tale of being a "good boy". So instead of "preach the Gospel to every creature" he tried to tone down his message for "white people".

Plow, Plow, Plow, be instant "in season, out of season". There is no Black Heaven, or White Heaven, but there are millions who will perish and burn forever and ever. Thank you for exposing him as the heretic he is. That shows great truth and courage in this apostate hour.

T M




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Keywords: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.