Lessons from Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”

As our nation celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this coming Monday, it is a good time to look back to one of King’s most powerful writings, his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”  While sitting in jail for peaceful protest in 1963, King received a letter from local Birmingham clergymen who opposed his methods.  King responded with a letter even more poignant and perceptive than his usual.

Last year, I wrote about lessons we should all learn from this letter, particularly in light of our role as Christians in our acrid present-day political atmosphere.  Here are those six lessons:

1. Recognize the good will of those who oppose you.
2. Sympathize with your opponent before attacking them.
3. We are interconnected, whether we like it or not.
4. Be moderate.
5. Don’t be moderate in everything.
6. Hold the church accountable…in love.

But please don’t just take my word for it.  Go read the original letter here.  Then, go read my full posts on these lessons, Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.  Then, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., go in peace.
(More articles at www.ThinkingThroughChristianity.com)

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