Did Martin Luther King Believe the Bible?

Martin Luther King is considered a great Christian leader; however, that cannot be a true statement if one is concerned about historic and biblical accuracy. King may have been a crusader, a leader, a social worker, an orator but not a Christian unless Christian has been taken hostage and been totally removed from its etymological foundation.

Over the years, I have spent much time reading the papers, sermons, and books by King. I assume all informed people know that it has been confirmed by King’s people in Atlanta that he was a prolific plagiarizer who did not even try to hide his literary thievery.

However, my concern here is not with his plagiarism or his philandering but with his preaching. It is clear that King preached heresy as his seminary papers and his books reveal. Today, my main target is the papers he wrote at Crozer Seminary.

Regarding the virgin birth King wrote, “It seems downright improbable and even impossible for anyone to be born without a human father.” Of course, it is improbable but improbable does not mean impossible, especially with God! King continued: “First we must admit that the evidence for the tenability of this doctrine is to [sic] shallow to convince any objective thinker….To begin with, the earliest written documents in the New Testament make no mention of the virgin birth.”

Well, we could go back to Isaiah 7:14 where Isaiah promised, “a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and [you] shall call his name Immanuel.” Yes, the translation could be “maid, damsel, or virgin” but Matthew 1:23 settled the matter when Matthew wrote, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child…and they shall call his name Immanuel…” The clear truth in Matthew confirms the use of virgin in Isaiah! So that settles that!

However, not for King. He makes much of Mark’s Gospel not dealing with the virgin birth declaring, “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.” However, a seminarian surely understands that the argument from silence is a very weak argument. No one says that all four gospels deal with the very same incidents or deals with them from the same perspective. In fact, a different perspective is one reason God gave us four Gospels. Furthermore, no Gospel is more “authentic” than another.

King also takes a scalpel and seeks to excise the core doctrine of His resurrection from the Bible and from history: “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.” No, it is King who is found wanting after being weighted in the balances. Of course, King was aware that all four Gospels clearly teach the physical resurrection of Christ as do some of the epistles, but that is not good enough for King: the resurrection of our Savior is “found wanting.”

In a paper titled “The Sources of Fundamentalism and Liberalism Considered Historically and Psychologically” King wrote: “The fundamentalist is quite aware of the fact that scholars regard the garden [sic] 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 [sic] by many.” We Fundamentalists may experience ridicule but at least we can spell it.

He closes his paper with: “Others [sic] 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 [sic] in fundamentalist thinking. Such are the views of the fundamentalist and they reveal that he is oppose [sic] to theological adaptation to social and cultural change. He sees a progressive scientific age as a retrogressive spiritual age. Amid change all around he is willing to preserve certain ancient ideas even though they are contrary to science.” He is saying, “You are a dummy if you believe the Bible to be the very Word of God.”

As to the atonement of Christ, King wrote, “First we may say that any doctrine which finds the meaning of atonement in the truimph [sic] of Christ over such cosmic powers as sin, death, and Satan is inadequate.” He explained that to transfer guilt and punishment to another is “bizarre.” He goes on: “Moreover, no person can morally be punished in place of another. Such ideas as ethical and penal substitution become immoral….In the next place, if Christ by his life and death paid the full penalty of sin, there is no valid ground for repentance or moral obedience as a condition of forgiveness. The debt is paid; the penalty is exacted, and there is, consequently, nothing to forgive.”

Therefore, according to King, Christ did not triumph over death, Hell, and the grave and the fact that Christ took our sin and guilt upon Himself on the cross is “bizarre” and immoral.

As to the Second Coming of Christ, Day of Judgment, and resurrection of the body King wrote that these teachings taken literally “are quite absurd….It is obvious that most twentieth century Christians must frankly and flatly reject any view of a physical return of Christ.”

Throughout his writings, King scorns Bible-believing Christians and praises unbelieving liberals, but that is not surprising since he did that all his life. It speaks volumes that he built arguments against the truths of scriptures rather than supporting them. He did not believe the Bible.

So, on Jan. 15, I will not celebrate King’s birthday. I will celebrate the usual way: my wife and some friends will eat frog legs, Peking duck, and steak at our favorite Chinese Restaurant. As always, it will be a great evening.

After all, I get to eat free since it is my birthday.

Boys’ eBook, Martin Luther King, Jr.: Judged by His Character, Not His Color! is available at amazon.com for $3.99.

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by Don Boys, Ph.D.

Muslim Invasion

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