Lyrics & Scriptures: Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Below are a series of quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that I assigned to the teenagers at my church.  The assignment was for them to search the scriptures and select ones that they believe align with the sentiments being expressed by Dr. King.  One reason that this activity was given to the teenagers at my church was to remind them that Dr. King was a minister of the gospel and therefore his work and words are rooted in the works and words encompassed in the Bible.  I decided to complete the assignment on MLK day and post it for others to be able to learn more about the man and the scriptures that under-girded his work and words.  The selecting of scriptures is not based on a premise of being absolutely right or wrong but being able to present a logic that connects the quote and scripture(s) that presents a consistent stream of consciousness.  This critical thinking skill is key for our young people to develop and exercise as they go through the psycho-social stage of “Identity vs. Identity Confusion.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote Related and or Supported Scripture
“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.” John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Philippians 2:14-15  Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. 2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial. Matthew 25: 35-40 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him. 1 John 2:11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

1 John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. Philippians 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive. Colossians 3:12-17 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. Proverbs 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes; But the Lord weighs the hearts.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
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Welcome to L.O.O.P Lyrics Out Of Perspective #1

According the http://www.urbaninsite.com/?page_id=788 Kanye West’s song “Mercy” was the number one song on the Mediabase Urban Radio chart for the week of June 17th – 23rd.  Mercy was played on radio stations across America 3,862 times which is a (+469) from the amount of spins in the previous week.  The estimated audience reached through the 3,862 spins is 27.357 million (27,357,000) which means an average of 7,084 listeners heard Mercy every time it was played during the week of June 17th– 23rd.

The song is not a new song based on the fast paced world of music and youth’s interests and desire for always having the “latest.”  “Mercy” is more than a couple of months old and when the song first came out my niece contacted me to ask me was being said in the beginning/chorus of the song.  She reached out to me because I am a student of Hip-Hop music and its impact on youth culture.  I am also an ordained Minister who often will break down the messages within music to reveal its complimentary or contradictory relationship to Scripture.  Often times a rap song will have a lyric that relates to a scripture and in some instances the song will actually quote the scripture.  The perspective or “point of view” being expressed can be misleading because the scripture is taken from a passage that the listener may be unfamiliar with and or the artists is using the words from the scripture to paint their own picture in their song.

I went to www.rapgenius.com to look up the lyrics and to listen to the song.  The song starts off with the chorus which is an almost distorted screeching voice saying “Well it’s the weeping and a moaning and the gnashing of teeth.”  This line is part of Matthew 13:42 where Jesus is explaining to his disciples the parable of the tares.  To begin to understand verse 42 I will write out what Jesus states in verses 41 and 42.  Jesus tells the disciples “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire.  There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” 

The parable of the wheat and tares symbolizes the distinction between good and evil.  The wheat represents those who have been planted by God and the tares represent those who have been planted by Satan.  The harvest is when God will send angels to come and separate the good from the bad with the good going unto the Lord and the bad being cast into a fiery furnace (Hell).  The sounds of the suffering of these individuals are described in verse 42.  These are the individuals who practice lifestyles outlined in Galatians 5:19-21 (read http://www.youversion.com/bible/Gal.5.19.nkjv).  The behaviors identified in the song will lead to being a tare at the end of the age as explained by Jesus in Matthew 13.

The song “Mercy” is a self promoting, materialistic song which is not new in Hip-Hop.  The lyric in the chorus is used to equate the fate of anyone who would challenge Kanye West and or G.O.O.D. Music.  Kanye’s verse also makes one think the lyric could also represent the hell the music industry would be in without his music.  We cannot allow a creative metaphor and or slang usage of a word or phrases distort the perspective of a term, phrase, or words that are scriptures in the Holy Bible.  Before you think I am being extreme in my critique remember this song was heard through the radio by over 27 million people in a week.  This doesn’t even factor in other forms of listening to music that are popular amongst youth and adults (.i.e. digital downloads and video).   Kanye also said “We formed a new religion No sins as long as there’s permission’”- No Church in the Wild

*Lyrics Out Of Perspective are an op-editorial series by Minister Timothy Jones.  Follow on twitter @tdj6899”