By Sydney Melson
The Birmingham Times
The Rev. Charles Winston, New Mount Moriah Baptist Church, Hueytown, who has served as pastor there for more than 20 years, said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of peace and nonviolence “shows absolute respect for other human beings and your relationship with Christ.”
Behaving according to God’s word means aligning yourself with King’s lessons of nonviolence, he said: “It means operating from humility and respect for God.”
In the ongoing fight for fairness and equality for people of color, Winston believes King’s tenets go beyond the church.
“We have to try to teach it in the way we live and in the way we communicate with each other,” he said. “Where it once took humility on one side of the fence to break down the hostility on the other side of the fence, [today] it will take humility on both sides.”
Winston said King’s teachings were an integral part of who the Civil Rights leader was.
“[Because of King’s example], I realized that I don’t have to do things by force,” Winston said. “I can use the force of the law, as well as the force of my commitment to do God’s will and my belief in His promises to make a difference. I embraced the idea that I don’t have to do things violently. If I do what’s right, right will follow.”
Winston offered some words of encouragement to the new generation of protesters fighting for racial equality.
“Keep the goal [of the movement] in mind,” he said. “Before even getting involved [with the movement], you need to understand what the goals are. To divert from that by fighting and looting diminishes your purpose.”
Click one of the links below to read what other pastors had to say.