This blog records my transition from the Churches of Christ to Eastern Orthodoxy.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Quote from MLK's "Letter..."

"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.

There was a time when the church was very powerful in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being 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 people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators"' But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide. and gladiatorial contests.

Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Par from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent and often even vocal sanction of things as they are.

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it vi lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century."

What do you think?  Are King's words any less relevant or accurate nearly 50 years later?


Anonymous said...

I was thinking that this is completely relevant today. In fact, I thought for a second that only the top paragraph was the MLKj quote and the rest was your commentary. But, at the end of the post i realized that it was all him!!!! I think it is still relevant, except in cases when our voice is often against things that are not as important to the greater good of the kingdom and society. At the same time, I have to say that there is a segment of Christians that are changing the trend. Justice matters. Hopefully this is more than a trend though. Finally, I should add that Dr. King's dream has still not come fully true. I know several Christians that have racist tendencies in their subtleties and in outright statements... Good post! -- KURT

Doug Hagler said...

Wow. I quoted this same passage a couple weeks ago as part of a sermon. So yes, I'd say relevant. Always relevant until the church can somehow jettison the status-quo defendership.

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