Why MLK was NOT Christian

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Warm Potato, Jul 26, 2020.

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Do You Believe MLK was a Christian?

  1. YES

    15 vote(s)
    83.3%
  2. NO

    3 vote(s)
    16.7%
  1. Warm Potato

    Warm Potato Active Member

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    5 Sources and numerous points but people get caught up on Trinity talk. How typical.
     
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  2. CKW

    CKW Well-Known Member

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    Well whether he is christian or not is mute point cause hes gone now. Thats between him and God right now. And he did instigate great change for the better regardless of anything else we choose to judge him on.
     
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  3. The Wyrd of Gawd

    The Wyrd of Gawd Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the Jesus character delegated the judging to his Apostles. Each one will get to judge one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
     
  4. Giftedone

    Giftedone Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Not so ... Matt 25 - sheep and goat parable.
     
  5. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    It seems to me the talk about the Trinity is pretty central to the point you try to make. If it is possible to be Christian without believing in the Trinity (as many Christians, especially early ones and unitarians exemplify), then your argument doesn't hold water. It seems to me, all the "Trinity talk" in this thread has been explicitly questioning your undeclared idea that you need to believe in the Trinity to be a Christian.

    I think that goes for all your numerous points, you have not explained why any of them make MLK not a Christian, as opposed to just another kind of Christian (or potentially, a Christian who is capable of holding something as true while still being mindful of its roots). Exactly what makes one a Christian is a very sticky point, so it is very suspicious when someone comes out and simply proclaims a bunch of criteria and judgements without explaining it in detail.
     
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  6. Ronald Hillman

    Ronald Hillman Banned

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    Is this not a question of fundamentalism v modernism, King after all described Fosdick as the "greatest preacher of the century". If you are a Christian Fundamentalist you would argue as has been argued since at least the 1920s that you are the only true christian?
     
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  7. Ronald Hillman

    Ronald Hillman Banned

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    As I understand it Christian Fundamentalists (in the original sense, not the pejorative term) believe in the literal interpretation of the bible as the inerrant word of god. Anyone who questions the Bible is not a Christian in their view.
     
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  8. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    Right, but then the question becomes whether their view is "right". Are they really the arbiters of what counts as Christian? Why do we give any more thought to those Christians than we do to Unitarians?

    At the end of the day, proclaiming who isn't and isn't a Christian sheds very little light on the person being talked about, since the choice of criteria is arbitrary and subjective. However, it often says a lot about the person doing the proclaiming.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
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  9. Ronald Hillman

    Ronald Hillman Banned

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    I think I take an alternative view, what they choose to call themselves is just a label what matters is what they believe and how those beliefs impact on the rest on us. We give more thought to fundamentalists than Unitarians because they represent a very powerful movement in the US and that means within the free world(whatever that means!). Whether they are "right" to believe they are the only true Christians becomes irrelevant compared to what that belief in bible inerrancy infers. If you believe as I do that religious fundamentalism is a great danger to the world then it is important to argue against those beliefs that are generally anti science, anti humanism etc. I would argue that I (as a secular humanist) have much more in common with Christian Humanists than Christian Humanists have in common with Christian Fundamentalists.

    Certainly and like you I wonder at the motives of the OP in attacking the faith of MLK. By proclaiming MLK "was a joke" betrays much more about the OP than the opening post does or suggesting he was not a christian.
     
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  10. StillBlue

    StillBlue Well-Known Member

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    I find The Jefferson Bible (as in Thomas Jefferson) is a great way to read the teachings of Jesus without the mystical.
    https://uuhouston.org/files/The_Jefferson_Bible.pdf
    If Jesus is the way to Heaven then behavior is paramount over beliefs. To be Christian your acts and deeds should identify you as such not a title.
    Islam also calls Jesus the Messiah. Mohammed came from a line of polytheistic people and adopted monotheism. Mohammed could not reconcile the the idea of the Trinity with Monotheism as taught him by missionaries and so Islam was born.
     
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  11. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    This seems to me to run into the same issue. This seems to rely on a particular belief about how the world works, and doesn't take into account the fact that people who believe other things can simply disagree, making the definition meaningless or misleading.
     
  12. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    I think we are trying to answer different questions. I agree that how people think and what words they use is very useful when it comes to understanding and addressing their ideas. I don't think that that means that they have the general right to decide what a word actually means. For the purposes of figuring out whether MLK was a Christian, it seems to me it is very important to figure out what the right definition is, and it is the consequences of belief in biblical inerrancy that is irrelevant (that's not to say it's not important in other contexts, of course).

    Certainly, while I have objections to the points that he has laid out, it would be interesting to see what sort of consequences he imagines comes from the conclusion. Why does it matter what MLK's religious views are? I imagine I'd have some comments on those bits as well.
     
  13. StillBlue

    StillBlue Well-Known Member

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    My point is simply acts and deeds determine someone as a Christian. They could also be a Buddhist, Hindu or any number of other religions as well. In the sermon on the mount Jesus said as much, to follow him as the way to Heaven you need only to behave as he taught.
    If the ultimate goal is an afterlife or rewards in this life then the rules are there, if not it's a philosophy rather than a religion.
     
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  14. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    Yes, and I'm challenging that point.

    Who has decided that? And by what process does that make it so?

    Jesus didn't say anything about Christianity or Christians. He may have talked about how to "follow him as the way to Heaven", but it is not clear that that (and only that) is what makes you a Christian.

    Besides, as my point before, some people don't believe Jesus said any of those things (for instance, they might believe that he didn't even exist). It seems very strange to expect those people to obey an authority that they don't believe exist. We don't use this method to define any other words in our language, it seems to me you haven't really addressed what makes one a Christian, you've just described what you think Christians should do, which is a very different question.
     
  15. StillBlue

    StillBlue Well-Known Member

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    Can you be a football player without playing football? No.
    Can you be a mother without giving birth? Yes.
    Can you be a Christian without following his teachings? No. Can you follow his teachings without ever hearing them? Yes.
    Can following the teachings be a philosophy rather than a religion? Yes. If there is a Heaven will you still get there? Yes
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
  16. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    YOUR very first sentence in the OP was about MLK Jr. denying the trinity.

    YOU made that the very first argument that he isn't Christian.

    Pleaase explain your post here, as the "trinity talk" came from you and now you want to accuse others of addressing that issue.
     
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  17. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    I don't know of any branch of Christianity that holds to your view here.

    One place this is spelled out in the Bible is by Paul in Ephesians 2 where he states, "[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast."

    Can a person reach heaven, yet not walk the walk? There certainly is debate about that. One might ask what Earthly behavior might cause God to reject someone who has accepted Jesus as their personal savior.

    But, that is a different question from the one you try to answer - the question of whether Earthly works are sufficient.
     
  18. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    Amen.

    The very idea that it is important for us to judge this individual's standing with his god hits me as not an arbitrary decision.

    I'm HIGHLY suspicious of what motivates this direction.
     
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  19. StillBlue

    StillBlue Well-Known Member

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    Since the thread is about the teachings of Jesus I suggest you read the sermon in the mount again.
     
  20. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    Matthew 25 is worth a read, too.

    BUT, Christianity does not see works as a method of getting to heaven.
     
  21. The Wyrd of Gawd

    The Wyrd of Gawd Well-Known Member

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  22. The Wyrd of Gawd

    The Wyrd of Gawd Well-Known Member

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    Well, you better get busy because as it says in Revelation 20:12 = https://classic.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=revelation20:12&version=ERV;CEV;NLV;NKJV;NMB

    Notice that the fairy tale says that people will be judged by their work (what they have done) and not by their faith (what they believe). If you disagree then you need to write your own religious fairy tale to fit your own imagination.
     
  23. Giftedone

    Giftedone Well-Known Member Past Donor

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  24. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    I think pretty much all Christians believe that their works will be judged for heavenly reward.

    However, the question remains how one will get that far.

    The Baptists I grew up among would say that the book of life contains those who have accepted Jesus as their savior - the ones receiving everlasting life. The other books indicate Earthly deeds that add or subtract from heavenly reward for those whose names are in the book of life.
     
  25. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'd say it is confusing, but ...

    There isn't uniform agreement on when judgement will be. Some believe it will be when you die. Some believe it won't happen until that future date alluded to in Revelation - with souls waiting for that day.

    So, the suggested judgement of the 12 tribes could take place in the future - according to at least some percent of Christianity.
     

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