Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed nonviolence was the best way to promote justice for African Americans. He based this philosophy primarily on Jesus’ teaching that we should love our enemies. We read in Luke Ch 6 Jesus said, “I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also.” “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much!” Jesus offers a radical view of how to function in a chaotic world. His views are so radical that many regard them as unworkable. People criticized Dr. King for what appeared to be his ignoring injustice. Yet both Dr. King and our Lord knew that agape love is both powerful and redemptive. Loving one’s enemy heaps coals of fire on their heads. It leads to shame, repentance, and reconciliation. Jesus wants his followers to set the standard of agape love in our world.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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