Editor's Note: A version of the following originally posted on 6.9.15.
The writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. have greatly shaped Glenn's thinking the past five years --- and they continue to play a significant role. In June of 2015, Glenn shared key passages of King's sermon Guidelines for a Constructive Church, delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 5, 1966. This sermon deals heavily with the role of the church and pastors, both in spiritual matters and matters of the physical world. It's a message as important today as it was in the 1960s.
Here are key passages that have influenced Glenn's thinking:
". . . we who are followers of Jesus Christ, and we who must keep his church going and keep it alive, also have certain basic guidelines to follow. . . . There are some guidelines that my church must follow."
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me. . . . These are the guidelines."
"You see, the church is not a social club, although some people think it is. . . .The church is not an entertainment center. Monkeys are to entertain, not preachers."
"But in the final analysis the church has a purpose. The church is dealing with man's ultimate concern. And therefore it has certain guidelines that it must follow."
"The church must say to men and woman that Good Friday is a fact of life."
"If the church is true to its guidelines, it heals the broken-hearted."
"And the preacher does nothing to free them from their prejudice so often. Then you have another group sitting up there who would really like to do something about racial injustice, but they are afraid of social, political, and economic reprisals, so they end up silent."
Listen to the full sermon below:
Image: National Archives and Records Administration