In the modern era, it is Martin Luther King who has served as the bastion of racial equality and creating a world where there are no racial injustices. It is this author’s opinion that King was not simply heralding an America where African Americans were treated with equality, but was heralding a world where race did not matter at all in the relationship development of individuals. As a disciple of Christ, King believed in the power of love, grace, and mercy as a reflection of God himself, and encouraged other Christ followers to exemplify such behavior (King et al., 1998). King is quoted as saying, “[Love] is a power that eventually transforms individuals…It is redemptive, and that is why Jesus says love. There is something about love that builds up and is creative” (King et al., 1998). King believed cross-cultural boundaries could be overcome simply by loving one another.
Unfortunately, too many Christians do not embrace such a global mindset motivated by love. A global mindset has the ability to perceive, analyze, and decode behaviors and situations in multiple cultural contexts and use such insight to build relationships across cultural boundaries (Cabrera & Unruh, 2012). The advancement of the Gospel is dependent upon Christ followers having a global mindset that reaches through cultural boundaries in order to build quality, productive relationships.
What seems to be the norm, however, is Christians embracing their own cultural context with greater love and affection than they embrace other individuals from different cultures, creating contentious relationships that do nothing more than fortify the walls of animosity. This is not reflective of the love King believed was reflective of Christ, and it is certainly not fulfilling Christ’s commission. To effectively reach the world, Christ followers must love others more than their own cultural identity.
Cabrera, A., & Unruh, G. (2012). Being global: how to think, act, and lead in a transformed world. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Review Press.
King, M. L., Carson, C., & Holloran, P. (1998). A knock at midnight: inspiration from the great sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Intellectual Properties Management in association with Warner Books.