Martin Luther King, “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam”

Speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. against the “triple evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism.” Audio. This speech was released by Black Forum records, a subsidiary of Motown, and went on to win a Grammy (in 1972, according to Wikipedia, in 1970, according to Grammy website) for the Best Spoken Word Recording. Excerpts of a Sermon at the Ebenezer Baptist Church on April 30, 1967. Text of entire speech: Real Audio file of entire speech:

What church abuse did Martin Luther write an opposition to? What were they?

Question by ~mia~: What church abuse did Martin Luther write an opposition to? What were they?
I need help on the history question please and thank you.

Best answer:

Answer by gfmp4
catholic. indulgences which were the payment to a priest for the forgiveness of sins.

Add your own answer in the comments!

Martin Luther, a sketch of his character and work, suggested by his four hundredth birthday: presented to the congregation of Calvary Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia

Martin Luther, a sketch of his character and work, suggested by his four hundredth birthday: presented to the congregation of Calvary Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia

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Martin Luther King, Jr

Martin Luther King, Jr

Early life

Martin Luther King, Jr., was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the son of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. King’s father was born “Michael King,” and Martin Luther King, Jr., was originally named “Michael King, Jr.,” until the family traveled to Europe in 1934 and visited Germany. His father soon changed both of their names to Martin Luther in honor of the German Protestant leader Martin Luther. He had an older sister, Willie Christine King, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King. King sang with his church choir at the 1939 Atlanta premiere of the movie Gone with the Wind. King was originally skeptical of many Christianity’s claims. Most striking, perhaps was his denial of the bodily resurrection of Jesus during Sunday school at the age of thirteen. From this point he stated, “doubts began to spring forth unrelentingly.”

King married Coretta Scott, on June 18, 1953, on the lawn of her parents’ house in her hometown of Heiberger, Alabama. King and Scott had four children; Yolanda King, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott King, and Bernice King. King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama when he was twenty-five years old in 1954.


Growing up in Atlanta, King attended Booker T. Washington High School. He skipped ninth and twelfth grade and entered Morehouse College at age fifteen without formally graduating from high school. In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology, and enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1951. King then began doctoral studies in systematic theology at Boston University and received his Doctor of Philosophy on June 5, 1955, with a dissertation on “A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman.” A 1980s inquiry concluded portions of his dissertation had been plagiarized and he had acted improperly but that his dissertation still “makes an intelligent contribution to scholarship.”


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Harry C. Boyte, a self-proclaimed populist, field secretary of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and white civil rights activist describes an episode in his life that gives insight on some of King’s influences:

My first encounter with deeper meanings of populism came when I was nineteen, working as a field secretary for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in St. Augustine, Florida in 1964. One day I was caught by five men and a woman who were members of the Ku Klux Klan. They accused me of being a “communist and a Yankee.” I replied, “I’m no Yankee  my family has been in the South since before the Revolution. And I’m not a communist. I’m a populist. I believe that blacks and poor whites should join to do something about the big shots who keep us divided.” For a few minutes we talked about what such a movement might look like. Then they let me go.

When he learned of the incident, Martin Luther King, head of SCLC, told me that he identified with the populist tradition and assigned me to organize poor whites.


Civil rights leader, theologian, and educator Howard Thurman was an early influence on King. A classmate of King’s father at Morehouse College, Thurman mentored the young King and his friends. Thurman’s missionary work had taken him abroad where he had met and conferred with Mahatma Gandhi. When he was a student at Boston University, King often visited Thurman, who was the dean of Marsh Chapel. Walter Fluker, who has studied Thurman’s writings, has stated, “I don’t believe you’d get a Martin Luther King, Jr. without a Howard Thurman”.

Gandhi and Rustin

Inspired by Gandhi’s success with non-violent activism, King visited Gandhi’s birthplace in India in 1959, with assistance from the Quaker group the American Friends Service Committee. The trip to India affected King in a profound way, deepening his understanding of non-violent resistance and his commitment to America’s struggle for civil rights. In a radio address made during his final evening in India, King reflected, “Since being in India, I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity. In a real sense, Mahatma Gandhi embodied in his life certain universal principles that are inherent in the moral structure of the universe, and these principles are as inescapable as the law of gravitation.” African American civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who had studied Gandhi’s teachings, counseled King to dedicate himself to the principles of non-violence, served as King’s main advisor and mentor throughout his early activism, and was the main organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. Rustin’s open homosexuality, support of democratic socialism, and his former ties to the Communist Party USA caused many white and African-American leaders to demand King distance himself from Rustin.

Sermons and speeches

Main article: Sermons and speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Throughout his career of service, King wrote and spoke frequently, drawing on his experience as a preacher. His “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, written in 1963, is a “passionate” statement of his crusade for justice. On October 14, 1964, King became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded to him for leading non-violent resistance to end racial prejudice in the United States.

Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955

Main articles: Montgomery Bus Boycott, Jim Crow laws#Public arena, Claudette Colvin, and Rosa Parks

In March 1955, a fifteen-year-old school girl, Claudette Colvin, refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in compliance with the Jim Crow laws. King was on the committee from the Birmingham African-American community that looked into the case; Edgar Nixon and Clifford Durr decided to wait for a better case to pursue. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat. The Montgomery Bus Boycott, urged and planned by Nixon and led by King, soon followed. The boycott lasted for 385 days, and the situation became so tense that King’s house was bombed. King was arrested during this campaign, which ended with a United States District Court ruling in Browder v. Gayle that ended racial segregation on all Montgomery public buses.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference

In 1957, King, Ralph Abernathy, and other civil rights activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The group was created to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches to conduct non-violent protests in the service of civil rights reform. King led the SCLC until his death. In 1958, while signing copies of his book Stride Toward Freedom in Blumstein’s department store on 125th Street, in Harlem, he was stabbed in the chest by Izola Curry, a deranged black woman with a letter opener, and narrowly escaped death.

Gandhi’s nonviolent techniques were useful to King’s campaign to correct the civil rights laws implemented in Alabama. King applied non-violent philosophy to the protests organized by the SCLC. In 1959, he wrote The Measure of A Man, from which the piece What is Man?, an attempt to sketch the optimal political, social, and economic structure of society, is derived. His SCLC secretary and personal assistant in this period was Dora McDonald.

The FBI, under written directive from Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, began telephone tapping King in the Fall of 1963. Concerned that

Homily: Martin Luther: Reformer, Hymnist

Homily: Martin Luther: Reformer, Hymnist

Friday, February 13, 2009

Martin Luther: Reformer, Hymnist
A Homily
By Peter Menkin
Church of Our Saviour (Episcopal)
Mill Valley, CA USA
Wednesday Eucharist, 10:30 a.m.
February 18, 2009

Lesser Feasts and Fasts, 1994
Isaiah 55: 6-11
John 15: 1-11
Psalm 46

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Our readings today are rich, and so is the life of Martin Luther. This remarkable and great man of history did, as God’s instrument, reform the Christian Church throughout the world. Who does not know the name? Those of the Christian faith, certainly do.
If you come away with any good news from this Homily, let it be that God works in history. That Martin Luther, a man of God, was a man of God in history. That God still speaks. He speaks to us in many ways. As Luther so ardently said 500 years, ago, the Bible speaks to us. As we know, the Holy Spirit is a guide.

Martin Luther, man of history, was a writer of hymns, famous for music that we sing today. He is a reminder of a Christ-inspired, a Christ-filled life, and a Christ-gifted man of faith. His most notable and memorable hymn is, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” Here is a part of the hymn played for us. (Some of the hymn is played on a musical instrument, no voice.)

These are some words from the hymn:

“A mighty fortress is our God
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe –
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.”

One commentary says: “Luther’s hymn was sung boldly as an affirmation of God’s power over forces that sought to disrupt the truth of God.”

Martin Luther was born November 10, 1483, at Eisleben, Germany. He studied at Mansfeld, Magdeburg and Eisenach, Germany. At the age of 18, he entered the University of Erfurt intending a career in law. But dropped out almost immediately, believing that law represented uncertainty. Almost at the same time he received his Master’s degree, he became a monk. This was 1505. He had entered the Augustinian monastery at Erfurt to prepare for the priesthood.
He was appointed professor at the University of Wittenberg in 1508. After his ordination, he was awarded a Doctor of Divinity and attracted large congregations by his preaching.

In 1511 he visited Rome, became critical over the corruptions in the church and agonized over the problem of salvation–that it was not won by indulgences, but was a gift of God’s grace.

On October 31, 1517, Luther posted his 95 theses of denunciation in Wittenberg with a view to begin a public debate. This started a quarrel between Luther and the church.

These are the first three theses:
1. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent” (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

2. This word cannot be understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, that is, confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy.

3. Yet it does not mean solely inner repentance; such inner repentance is worthless unless it produces various outward mortification of the flesh.

During 1521, Luther maintained his stand before the Diet of Worms that led to his excommunication. German princes and followers among churchmen and the people supported him. At this time he began translating the Bible into German. He completed the whole translation in 1531.

The translation of the Bible into German, invention of the printing press, and hymn writing all brought the spirit of God to common men, gave Martin Luther, the great preacher, another venue that moved the Christian world towards the new way–Protestantism.

History of man and of creation, which means our earth and the universe, is God’s field. He acts so greatly. Yet God acts with and in mankind. He as friendly maker brought so much to one man, Martin Luther, who in Christ remarkably added and was an instrument of movement in human life. So we know that Christ acts in man, for in our reading today from John, the reading offers: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit…” Martin Luther did this in accord with his understanding of the Bible. He was a prophet.

Thomas Carlyle, the Scottish Calvinist and Essayist of the 19th Century, says:
As a participant and dispenser of divine influence, he shows himself among human affairs a true connecting medium and visible messenger between heaven and earth, a man, therefore, not only permitted to enter the sphere of poetry, but to dwell in the purest centre thereof, perhaps the most inspired of all teachers since the Apostles.

Martin Luther’s teachings went this way, as Luther the reformer had become Luther the revolutionary:
· The Bible is the only source of faith; it contains the inspiration of God.
· Faith alone can work justification; man is saved by confidently believing that God will pardon him. This faith not only includes a full pardon of sin, but also an unconditional release from its penalties.
· The hierarchy and priesthood are not Divinely instituted or necessary, and ceremonial or exterior worship is not essential or useful. Ecclesiastical vestments, pilgrimages, mortifications, monastic vows, prayers for the dead, intercession of saints, avail the soul nothing.
· All sacraments, with the exception of baptism, Holy Eucharist, and penance, are rejected. A powerful theological concept and attitude, Luther’s influence of reformation remains with Protestants and Catholics today. The Reformation is an ongoing movement, even this more than 500 years later. The Anglican Church, with its middle way of Protestant/catholicism, emphasizes in focus the sacraments of baptism and Holy Eucharist. In the case of Eucharist, since the Anglican of today and since 1979 has emphasized it (in specific, the Protestant Episcopal Church USA)—Holy Eucharist every week! Baptism as a celebration and important emphasis for the “Priesthood of All Believers,” as well! No wonder we have a Feast day celebrating Martin Luther in our Church lives.
· The priesthood is universal; every Christian may assume it. A body of specially trained and ordained men to dispense the mysteries of God is needless and a usurpation.
· There is no visible Church or one specially established by God whereby men may work out their salvation.

Whether you believe all or part of Martin Luther’s statements, his influence and thought, his ideas and faith, his life of believing changed the world.
We remember Martin Luther in hymn. He always wrote the words, sometimes the music itself, and often took the music from popular songs of his day. His most well known hymns:

· Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice
· Saviour of the Nations, Come
· From Heaven Above to Earth I Come
· Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands
· Come, Spirit of God, Holy Lord
· Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word

God in history is enacted by the story of Martin Luther, as are his hymns.


Peter Menkin, an aspiring poet, lives in Mill Valley, CA USA (north of San Francisco).

My blog:

Martin Luther’s Spirituality Law for Change in the Church

Martin Luther’s Spirituality Law for Change in the Church

Martin Luther was a noted Christian theologian whose unorthodox teachings not only inspired but also influenced the doctrines of Protestant and other Christian traditions. Martin Luther was born to Hans and Margaretha Luder on 10 November 1483 in Germany and was baptized the next day on the feast of St. Martin of Tours and he was thus named Martin.  Luther’s clarion call to the Church to return to the teachings of the Bible led to the formation of new traditions within Christianity and the Counter-Reformation in the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1505, Martin Luther received his Master’s degree and in keeping with his father’s wishes, he enrolled in the law school of that university. But his destiny was rewritten when a lightening bolt struck near to him as he was returning to school. Terrified, he cried out, “Help, St. Anne! I’ll become a monk!”.  Martin was saved of his life, but regretting his words, Martin Luther dropped out of law school and entered the monastery. Martin fully dedicated himself to monastic life and began his efforts to noble deeds to please God and to serve others through prayer. He indulged in fasts and long hours in prayer, undertook pilgrimages, and constant confession. The more he tried to devotedly work for God, the more aware he became of his own sins. In 1507 Luther was ordained to the priesthood. In 1508 he began teaching theology at the University of Wittenberg. Luther earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies on 9 March 1508 and a Bachelor’s degree in 1509. On 19 October 1512, the University of Wittenberg conferred upon Martin Luther the degree of Doctor of Theology. After earning the doctorate in theology, Luther instead of settling down to a scholarly monkish life or an uneventful university career teaching theology, began to develop his own personal theology, when he protested the use of indulgences in his ‘95 Theses’.

Martin Luther married Katharina von Bora, a former nun and with it began the tradition of clerical marriage within several Christian traditions.  Luther’s translation of the Bible also helped to develop a standard version of the Bible in German language.  Luther’s hymns were responsible for the development of congregational singing in Christianity. The compulsion of priesthood and the demand for delivering lectures prompted Martin Luther to study the Scriptures in greater depth. Luther engrossed himself in the teachings of the early church and began researching on them.  The uproar and tumult started with the publication of his 95 Theses and the controversy that was let loose brought even more pressure on Martin Luther to more intensely study the Bible. This intensive study convinced him that the Church had lost sight of several central truths the Bible contained.

Luther’s first writing was ‘The Sermon on Good Works’, in which he argued that good works do not benefit the soul but only faith could do that. Things took a turn for the worse when Pope Leo declared 41 articles of Luther’s teachings as heretical teachings, and Luther’s books were publicly burned in Rome. This made Luther more indignant in his effort to reform the church. His treatise, “Address to the Christian Nobility of Germany,” exhorted the German people to use military means to force the church to discuss grievances and reform. Luther initially saw himself as a great reformer of the Catholic Church, and though a simple monk thought the force of his ideas would redirect the Leviathan of the church. But in the end, however, he divided Christianity into two separate churches and the second division came to be known as Protestantism.

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