Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his iconic I Have a Dream speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. in 1963. Dr. King spoke of his hope that America would one day live out its creed that all men are created equal, that men and women of diverse ethnicities would join together as brothers and sisters.
My guest on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Reaching Across Cultural Divides,” author and pastor Dr. David Ireland, has spent a lifetime involved with Civil Right issues.
His family moved to a small community outside of New York City when David was just a boy. Within two weeks, six white teenagers firebombed their home with Molotov cocktails, one of which went through his bedroom window. No one was seriously hurt, but his family required around-the-clock police protection for six months because of the death threats that followed.
Years later, David experienced an epiphany near his home in New Jersey. It was while he was at his local supermarket that his eyes suddenly opened to the diverse cultures of people all around him. African Americans. Hispanics. Whites. Asians. Indian. In that moment, the presence of God said, “Why can’t it be like this in my house?”
Dr. Ireland has spent the past 30 years answering that question.
Equality and respect are core to the Christian faith. In Matthew 22:39, Jesus says to “love your neighbor.” He didn’t say only love the people who look like you, talk like you, and who identify with your cultural background.
Given that our nation was founded and built on the Judeo-Christian ethos, America is well positioned to live out the truth that we all deserve equality and respect as His image bearers. And Christians ought to lead the way.
How do we help the church become more racially and culturally diverse? Find out when you join me for my conversation with Dr. David Ireland on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, via Google Podcasts, or listen anytime on our free phone app.
Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream is achievable, and it begins with you and me. Dr. Ireland has some great thoughts to share about reaching out to our neighbors in the name of Jesus. Our discussion is rooted in his book One in Christ: Bridging Racial and Cultural Divides. For a gift of any amount, we’ll send you a copy as a way of saying thank you for touching others with the love of Christ. For more information, visit our website or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).
Dr. Ireland is the founder and pastor of Christ Church, which is a large multi-state ministry in northern New Jersey. He has written 20 books.