Martin Luther King, Jr. was a dreamer. He saw what others could not see. He heard what others did not hear. He felt what others did not feel. Therefore, he did what others were not willing to do.
Any form of racism defies the dignity of human life. That is why, in the midst of racial injustice and division in America, MLK dreamed about a day in our nation when “justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” His quote of Amos 5:24 resounded the heart of the prophet. In the full context of King’s 1963 speech in our nation’s capital, he said it this way, “No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
He could have turned his back from this moment in history, but he stood when few would. He made a decision to dream of a day that was unlike the day in which he was living. His courage and his message cost him his life. But, his dream still lives on today.
When reflecting upon this history, it moves me to humility and repentance.
When I look upon today, there are moments when I think we have come so far. But then, there are other moments that happen far too many times, when the evil of the human heart reminds me that we still have so far to go.
It is with deep regret that I can do nothing about this stained past against our African-American brothers and sisters. But with all I am and with all I can, I join you in creating a future together that binds up the nation’s wounds and always marches ahead knowing we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
We’ve Decided to Be United
Pastor Arthur L. Hunt, Jr., Governor Asa Hutchinson and I, along with hundreds of pastors in Arkansas, are choosing to stand and be united publicly at the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock on Monday, Jan. 15, from 12:00 noon until 1:30 p.m. I want you to join us.
We cannot change the future of America by ourselves or with our own group. It is time that we unite to send a strong and clear message that, as pastors and church leaders, we believe in racial unity. The past five years, we have seen demonstrated that our negative past regarding this issue is not fully behind us, and reminds us how far we still have to go.
Pastors and church leaders, regardless of the color of your skin, join us on Jan. 15 for this 90-minute gathering at the Arkansas State Capitol. Surely we can stand together in racial unity and in prayer for our state and nation, both of which are in desperate need. Silence is not the answer to our racial issues in America, and hope is not a strategy. Pastors and churches cannot sit passively on the sidelines. This is one moment when the church of Jesus Christ should lead by exemplifying a strong commitment to racial unity.
This is a time when the church of Jesus Christ must rise together as one. We are not black churches. We are not white churches. We are not Latino churches. We are not Asian churches. We are the church of Jesus Christ. We are members of the same body. In the true church of Jesus Christ, the walls of racism and injustice come down.
Pastor, I do hope to see you in Little Rock on Jan. 15. I am thankful for men like Pastor Hunt, who keep the dream of MLK alive. He reached out to Governor Hutchinson, and he responded affirmatively. He reached out to me, and I am responding affirmatively. I hope that you will do the same.
The goal is not racial or political, but biblical. We must not be satisfied until, as Amos said, “Justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” It’s time, past time, for racial unity in America. We’ve decided to be united.
Dr. Ronnie Floyd is the senior pastor of Cross Church, president of the National Day of Prayer, founder of the Cross Church School of Ministry and host of the Ronnie Floyd on Life and Leadership Today podcast.
Read more at The Only Way to Keep the MLK Dream Truly Alive Today.