I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the eighth century prophets left their little villages and carried their 'thus saith the Lord' far beyond the boundaries of their home towns and just as the Apostle Paul left his little village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to practically every hamlet and city of the Graeco-Roman world, I too am compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my particular home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.
There was a time when the church was very powerful. It was during that period when the early Christians rejoiced when they were deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town the power structure got disturbed and immediately sought to convict them for being 'disturbers of the peace' and 'outside agitators.' But they went on with the conviction that they were 'a colony of heaven,' and had to obey God rather than man. They were small in number but big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be 'astronomically intimidated.' They brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contest.
Was not Jesus an extremist for love 'Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.' Was not Amos an extremist for justice 'Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.' Was not Paul an extremist for the gospel of Jesus Christ 'I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.' Was not Martin Luther an extremist 'Here I stand I can do none other so help me God.' Was not John Bunyan an extremist 'I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.' Was not Abraham Lincoln an extremist 'This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.' Was not Thomas Jefferson an extremist 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.' So the question is not whether we will be extremist but what kind of extremist will we be. Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists for love Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or will we be extremists for the cause of justice In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill, three men were crucified. We must not forget that all three were crucified for the same crime the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thusly fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment.
My parents would always tell me that I should not hate the white man, but that it was my duty as a Christian to love him.
I'm grateful to God that, through the Negro church, the dimension of nonviolence entered our struggle.
To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.
Yes, I see the Church as the body of Christ. But, oh How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.
America experiences a new birth of freedom in her sons and daughters she incarnates the spirit of her martyred chief. Their loyalty is repledged their devotion renewed to the work He left unfinished. My heart throbs anew in the hope that inspired by the example of Lincoln, imbued with the spirit of Christ, they will cast down the last barrier to perfect freedom. And I with my brother of blackest hue possessing at last my rightful heritage and holding my head erect, may stand beside the Saxon a Negro and yet a man.
More Martin Luther King Jr. Quotations (Based on Topics)
Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes on Man - Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes on Love - Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes on War & Peace - Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes on Liberty & Freedom - God - Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes on Law & Regulation - Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes on Christianity - Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes on Power - Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes on Time - Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes on Reality - Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes on Morality - Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes on World - Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes on People - Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes on Justice - Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes on Good & Evil - Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes on Hatred - Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes on Life - Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes on Conscience - America - View All Martin Luther King Jr. Quotations
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