In the midst of the Civil Rights struggle, Dr. Martin Luther King advocated peaceful passive resistance to fight injustice. He said, “In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.” Dr. King urged protestors to avoid violence. When the religious leaders were plotting to kill Jesus, He chose to leave the area rather than confront the hate-filled religious leaders. In doing so, He did as the Scriptures foretold the Messiah would do. Matthew quotes Isaiah 42:1-4 and applies it to Jesus: “Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen. He is my Beloved, who pleases me. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not fight, shout, or raise his voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally, he will cause justice to be victorious. And his name will be the hope of all the world.” Jesus urged inner transformation as the ideal way to foster social justice—not violence. Of course, the Bible supports the use of force to restrain crime; but love and respect for everyone are God-centered attitudes we must all aspire to practice.
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