I know it’s over a week since Martin Luther King Jr. Day. But I came across this today in Marjorie Thompson’s Soul Feast. It is the rule of life that King developed to guide the nonviolent protests of the civil rights movement. Thompson states, “His rule emphasized the spiritual principles and inner attitudes undergirding one’s actions.” And every demonstrator had to agree to this rule:
+ Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus
+ Remember always that the nonviolent movement in Birmingham seeks justice and reconciliation, not victory.
+ Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.
+ Pray daily to be used by God in order that all might be free.
+ Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all might be free.
+ Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.
+ Seek to perform regular service for others and the world.
+ Refrain from violence of fist, tongue or heart.
+ Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.
+ Follow the directions of the movement and the captains of a demonstration.
In a day and age where few people live by any intentional rule of life, I admire King even more. He had the wisdom and courage to form a theocentric rule of life. He seems to have understood that any lasting societal change only comes from a theocentric vision of life.