In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I’ve been watching archived news broadcasts of MLK in which he eloquently explained his philosophy of nonviolent civil disobedience to incite change, and his hopes for dramatic legislature that would make segregation illegal and pave the way for equal rights for all in the USA. One of his core beliefs was that to be passive in the face of injustice was just as bad as participating in it. When the Montgomery Bus Boycott began in response to Rosa Parks’ imprisonment for refusing to give up her seat on her bus, MLK was instantly a nationally-known figure for the Civil Rights movement. His impact in our country and world was extraordinary. I read an excellent article today about his efforts to aid in justice in Africa, as countries were seeking independence from the bonds of colonization. Truly one of the greatest Americans ever!
Something that has long interested me is how our culture shapes our perspective on things. Today, I was thinking about the white Americans who resisted the Civil Rights movement. For generations, inequality was a reality that was never questioned. Before the Emancipation Proclamation, preachers were declaring slavery to be a Biblically justifiable order of things. Frankly, we are often blinded by our cultural norms to see God’s heart on the issue. When it comes to dehumanizing an entire race of people, created in God’s Image, it is impossible today to see how anyone could justify that. But perhaps there are cultural norms in our day and age by which many in the church are blinded to God’s heart.
More often than not, our beliefs and perspectives come from those we are in community with. Our faith community, friendships, family, local and state community and country at large. I think it is fair to assume that we all generally believe we have the ‘correct’ view on things, but are often blind to how our community has influenced our viewpoint. When it comes to Biblical interpretation, if we are not wrestling with differing perspectives than our own and testing them to see if they are right, we may wrongly assume that our personal viewpoint is correct.
Please join this topic of conversation! What are some current aspects of American culture at large and your closer communities that influence your perspective on Biblical Womanhood?