I Have a Dream

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Caretaker, Jan 18, 2003.

  1. Caretaker

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    Dear Ones in Christ;

    Let us remember our Brother Martin's greatest words, spoken so long ago. Let us seek to allow God to fill our hearts and lives with His eternal love and will for His children. May our eyes be blinded to color and race discernment, and the eyes of our heart opened, so that all we might behold within another is the true content of their character. May God so bless.

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    "I Have A Dream"
    by Martin Luther King, Jr,

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963. Source: Martin Luther King, Jr: The Peaceful Warrior, Pocket Books, NY 1968

    Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free.

    One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

    So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

    This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

    So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

    It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.

    The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

    We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. we must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

    The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

    We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

    I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

    Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

    I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

    This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

    When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A servant of Christ,
    Drew
     
  2. massdak

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    i used to think of martin luther king as a great man but i loath his i have a dream speech, he traded down to a social gospel instead of the main important gospel of Christ. i read his speech and not one mention of his savior not one mention that man needs Christ. if martin wanted people to truly be free at last, why not mention the only one possible to make you truly free at last. man without God will always be unfair, he is misdirected as much as any worldly social liberal is today, and that is more concerned about liberal so called justice then faith in Christ. you see faith in Christ will cure all the social ills of today especially liberalism
     
  3. Rev. Joshua

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    If the book of Esther can make it into the Bible without any mention of God, surely Dr. King's speech can stand alone as one of the landmark works of the previous century. I somehow knew when I saw this posted here that someone on the Board would find something to criticize in it.

    I shouldn't be surprised that it's the usual claptrap of ignoring the oppression and and physical needs of people on Earth in favor of offering them the gospel. :rolleyes:

    Notice no mention of salvation in the following sermon by Jesus (Matthew 25:31-46):

     
  4. massdak

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    </font>[/QUOTE]what do you mean? is the gospel more important then physical needs of people? was the apostle pauls main concern the spreading of the gospel or social needs?
    Christians are more so filling the needs of helping people but they are mainly focusing on the priority of spreading the gospel. martin luther should have done the same thing. now don't you think in light of this his priorities were wrong? i thought if you are a minister it is to preach the gospel of Christ.

    i call on all liberal teachers and preachers to resign and leave their office
     
  5. Caretaker

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    Dear Ones in Christ;

    My intent in posting Brother Martin's speech was because of His birthday coming up. I thought it might be appropriate at this time. Do I agree with everything in Brother Martin's activism. No, but the gem which I hold dear in my heart is that a man should be judged by the content of his character, and not the color of his skin.

    I remember the speech, as I remember segregation, white only bathrooms, blacks being forced to order from the rear door of the diners. I remember the burned-out car of the three civil rights workers, being pulled from the water. I remember the dogs and the fire hoses, the national guard blocking access to the Atkansas school, and then later being used to protect the young black students as they entered for the first time.

    I am no different than many older white Americans, growing up in the 40's, 50's, 60's, with ingrained prejudice often supported from the pulpit. Since coming to Christ 26 years ago in April, I try to search my heart, and seek after a more Christ-like perspective, and how very often I come up short.

    For myself I received a very great blessing a couple years ago. Two young men in their late teens early twenties were drunk in a dune buggy. They were driving wild late at night, plowing through fences, chasing cattle, ripping around the roads at 60+ miles per hour. They wound up rolling the buggy, and throwing themselves out. I was waiting for the sheriff deputy to arrive and keeping an eye on their location until backup arrived, and the next thing I know one young man is walking down the road with blood streaming down his face.

    I rolled the ambulances and first responders, and worked with the young man until both could be transported. They survived but it was questionable for quite awhile. One was life flighted. If I had not been on the scene the one might not have made it as they were more than a mile from help, on deserted roads at midnight.

    The real blessing came about 6 months later when in a passing conversation about the incident I discovered that the young man in the road was black, and it had truly never registered. All I had seen was an injured young man, who desperately needed my help. I pray that one day the color of a man's skin will never register on my radar, but that I will seek first and foremost the content of their character.

    May God so bless His precious children, and lead us always to seek after our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.

    A servant of Christ,
    Drew
     
  6. massdak

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    i disagree with much that you say, i think that Christians are looked as if they are the racist in need of help to solve their own prejudice inside them. when in fact the love of Christ is what will take away any prejudice and other sinful flaws. it is the hypocritical liberal agenda that uses martin luther king for their own depraved causes to advance abortion and homosexual special rights. how many times have you heard liberals say that the same people that were against racial justice are the same that fight against homosexual special rights?
    i really don't think martin luther kings speech was great, the worldly view will see it as great, if martin luther king was really being lead by the Holy Spirit then i am sure he would say this&gt;do not celebrate me in any holiday rather celebrate the Lord Jesus instead.
     
  7. Caretaker

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    A Knock at Midnight:
    Inspiration from the Great Sermons of
    Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

    www.stanford.edu/group/King/sitemap.htm

    One day Jesus told a parable. You will remember that parable. He had a man that came to him to talk with him about some very profound concerns. And they finally got around to the question, "Who is my neighbor?" (All right) And this man wanted to debate with Jesus. This question could have very easily ended up in thin air as a theological or philosophical debate. But you remember Jesus immediately pulled that question out of thin air and placed it on a dangerous curve between Jerusalem and Jericho. (He did, he did) He talked about a certain man who fell among thieves. (Right) Two men came by and they just kept going. And then finally another man came, a member of another race, who stopped and helped him. (Oh yeah) And that parable ends up saying that this good Samaritan was a great man; he was a good man because he was concerned about more than himself. (Oh yeah)

    Now you know, there are many ideas about why the priest and the Levite passed and didn’t stop to help that man. A lot of ideas about it. Some say that they were going to a church service, and they were running a little late, you know, and couldn’t be late for church, so they kept going because they had to get down to the synagogue. And then there are others who would say that they were involved in the priesthood and consequently there was a priestly law which said that if you were going to administer the sacrament or what have you, you couldn’t touch a human body twenty-four hours before worship. Now there’s another possibility. It is possible that they were going down to Jericho to organize a Jericho Road Improvement Association. That’s another possibility. And they may have passed by because they felt that it was better to deal with the problem from the causal source rather than one individual victim. That’s a possibility.
    But you know, when I think about this parable, I think of another possibility as I use my imagination. It’s possible that these men passed by on the other side because they were afraid. You know, the Jericho Road is a dangerous road. (That’s right) I’ve been on it and I know. And I never will forget, Mrs. King and I were in the Holy Land some time ago. We rented a car and we drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho, a distance of about sixteen miles. You get on that Jericho road—I’m telling you it’s a winding, curving, meandering road, very conducive for robbery. And I said to my wife, "Now I can see why Jesus used this road as the occasion for his parable." (Yes) Here you are when you start out in Jerusalem: you are twenty-two hundred feet above sea level, and when you get down to Jericho sixteen miles later—I mean you have sixteen miles from Jerusalem—you’re twelve hundred feet below sea level. During the days of Jesus that road came to the point of being known as the "Bloody Path." So when I think about the priest and the Levite, I think those brothers were afraid. (All right) …….

    You see, when I think about God, I know his name. He said somewhere, back in the Old Testament, "I want you to go out, Moses, and tell them ‘I Am’ sent you." (That’s right) He said just to make it clear, let them know that "my last name is the same as my first, ‘I Am that I Am.’ Make that clear. I Am." And God is the only being in the universe that can say "I Am" and put a period behind it. Each of us sitting here has to say, "I am because of my parents; I am because of certain environmental conditions; I am because of certain hereditary circumstances; I am because of God." But God is the only being that can just say, "I Am" and stop right there. "I Am that I Am." And He’s here to stay. Let nobody make us feel that we don’t need God. (That’s right)

    As I come to my conclusion this morning, I want to say that we should search for him. We were made for God, and we will be restless until we find rest in him. (Oh yeah) And I say to you this morning that this is the personal faith that has kept me going. (Yes) I’m not worried about the future. You know, even on this race question, I’m not worried. I was down in Alabama the other day, and I started thinking about the state of Alabama where we worked so hard and may continue to elect the Wallaces. And down in my home state of Georgia, we have another sick governor by the name of Lester Maddox. (Yes) And all of these things can get you confused, but they don’t worry me. (All right) Because the God that I worship is a God that has a way of saying even to kings and even to governors, "Be still, and know that I am God." And God has not yet turned over this universe to Lester Maddox and Lurleen Wallace. Somewhere I read, "The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof, and I’m going on because I have faith in Him. (Oh yeah) I do not know what the future holds, but I do know who holds the future. (Yes) And if He’ll guide us and hold our hand, we’ll go on in.

    I remember down in Montgomery, Alabama, an experience that I’d like to share with you. When we were in the midst of the bus boycott, we had a marvelous old lady that we affectionately called Sister Pollard. She was a wonderful lady about seventy-two years old and she was still working at that age. (Yes) During the boycott she would walk every day to and from work. She was one that somebody stopped one day and said, "Wouldn’t you like to ride?" And she said, "No." And then the driver moved on and stopped and thought, and backed up a little and said, "Well, aren’t you tired?" She said, "Yes, my feets is tired, but my soul is rested." (All right)

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    A servant of Christ,
    Drew

    [ January 18, 2003, 12:16 PM: Message edited by: Caretaker ]
     
  8. massdak

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    once again i see a social gospel being preached, when he should preach full trust for Christ alone.
    but i will ask was this sermon for edification to the already saved, or to preach to the lost?
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    Drew - appreciate reading those sermons. Heard Dr. King live and, although on opposite spectrums of the Civil Rights uprising, had to appreciate his "wordsmithing" and use of rhetorical devices. :cool:

    Note - his birthday was last Wednesday. Sadly, to accomodate US federal 3-day weekend holidays, it will be celebrated on Monday :mad:

    And as a liberal among liberal preachers, his emphasis on the "social gospel" focused on changing the outside instead of the "gospel of Christ" which focused on regeneration on the inside is not unusual.

    Just have to recognize it as a political statement and not a revival meeting! :rolleyes:
     
  10. Caretaker

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    Dear Ones in Christ;

    A deep note of thanks to Dr. Bob and massdak, for your insights, perceptions, and wisdom. I find the rantings of such activists as Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton to be absolutely repugnant, and their agendas corrupt.

    An absolute amen to you both that the Gospel of Christ must be first and foremost.

    I have heard the statement that Jesus was too conservative for the liberals and too liberal for the conservatives. It is absolute;y conservative to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, thy soul, and thy mind, and it is reflective of the liberal to love your neighbor as you would yourself. It was the outcast Samaritan who stopped and assisted the wounded Jew, while the church leaders walked around and on by.

    In my perspective we should examine where we have been, where we are, and the future pathway which our precious Lord would have us to follow.

    Being a bit younger then yourself Dr. Bob, I was still in school when the civil rights movement was under full swing. I remember the marches on Selma, the bus boycott, the fire hoses, etc. I would like to have stood and marched with my Black Brothers and Sisters for their equal rights. Just as today I stand activly for the equal rights under the law for the pre-born, and activly oppose abortion. As I stand for the safety of our children and activly oppose homosexuals having access to our children and recruiting.

    From my somewhat limited perspective, the liberals should seek to love the Lord our God with all of their heart, soul, and mind, and seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and to honor His Word. We conservatives should seek to move out more into the realm of social action: to do more to shelter, feed, clothe the needy, to minister not only with the Gospel but in a practical area of care for the physical needs of the very least of these.

    God bless.

    A servant of Christ,
    Drew
     
  11. Johnv

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    Even after all these years, reading Dr King's "I have a dream" message still beings tears to my eyes.
     
  12. massdak

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    why in the world would that bring tears to your eyes?
     
  13. Rev. Joshua

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    Dr. King's eloquent speech describes a Christian vision for an oppressive culture with a level of precision, power, and beauty that few of us can imagine - much less attain. In addition, it comes from the mind and heart of one who has lived what he describes and who ultimately gave his life because of his commitment to living out the gospel. It is one of the landmark compositions of the twentieth century.

    The unity of those images and the power of the language alone mark it as a work of genius.

    Joshua

    [ January 21, 2003, 03:30 PM: Message edited by: Rev. Joshua ]
     
  14. massdak

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  15. Ransom

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    massdak said:

    i used to think of martin luther king as a great man but i loath his i have a dream speech, he traded down to a social gospel instead of the main important gospel of Christ.

    He was addressing an issue of social injustice brought on by unjust laws, and called for the laws to be changed, and encouraged his hearers that it would and could happen. It wasn't a sermon.
     
  16. Ransom

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    massdak said:

    the apostle paul never complained of any type of social injustice

    Oh?

    It looks to me like:

    </font>
    • Paul had certain civil rights as a Roman citizen.</font>
    • His imprisonment and beating was a violation of his rights.</font>
    • He became righteously indignant as a result.</font>
    • He demanded justice, essentially in the form of an apology, from the officials who had violated his rights.</font>
    I doubt that we have a complete record of everything Paul did. It isn't that hard to believe, given his character, that if he were that concerned with his own rights and privileges, he had at least equal concern for the rights and privileges of others.
     
  17. massdak

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    It looks to me like:

    </font>
    • Paul had certain civil rights as a Roman citizen.</font>
    • His imprisonment and beating was a violation of his rights.</font>
    • He became righteously indignant as a result.</font>
    • He demanded justice, essentially in the form of an apology, from the officials who had violated his rights.</font>
    I doubt that we have a complete record of everything Paul did. It isn't that hard to believe, given his character, that if he were that concerned with his own rights and privileges, he had at least equal concern for the rights and privileges of others.
    </font>[/QUOTE]and yes i agree but let me ask you this, was pauls main ministry for social justice?
    some how you have missed my point
     
  18. Jim1999

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    To borrow an overworked expression, sometimes we want to "throw the baby out with the bathwater." We want to do everything to separate ourselves from liberal theologians, but we have allowed them to take the front on civil rights and injustice in society. Perhaps it is time that evangelicals also stood their ground and got involved in civil rights........just simple decency to our fellow man.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  19. Ransom

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    massdak said:

    yes i agree but let me ask you this, was pauls main ministry for social justice?

    Ah. Having been refuted, you change the subject.

    No, Paul's main ministry was not for social justice. But it's hardly even worth pointing out that Paul of Tarsus is not Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    some how you have missed my point

    No, I think it is you who has missed the point. Any knowledgeable person knows that King, to some extent, was theologically liberal as well as socially liberal. But to dismiss any sort of social action as "liberal" just because liberals concern themselves with it, is (as Jim said) throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    As a friend of mine pointed out in another forum today, in addition to calling for the powers that be to grant all Americans equal freedom and opportunity consistent with the spirit of America, MLK called for equal justice for all of God's children, and for non-violent protest. These are both Biblical and Christian ideals. It doesn't matter whether they are spoken by a liberal or a fundamentalist. When MLK made his stand on the Bible, I would have gladly stood with MLK.

    Also, it seems to me that you have committed the error of the opposite extreme. No, utopia will not be realized through social activism divorced from the transforming power of the Gospel. But neither will it be achieved through the mere saving of souls without the transformation of the corresponding minds (Rom. 12:1).
     
  20. massdak

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    no no no you are the one who got off subject you took what i said as paul not caring about people. my point was it was not his main ministry neither should it be any minister to champion a social cause using their office of being a preacher for their bully pulpit. his popularity and prominence was shameful as his many many adulterous affairs are now made public and well documented. this man has a place in history with an over stated legacy from speech writing that came from who knows where. no my Christian friend this is not good. many men with more Godly concerns for reaching people with the gospel go unnoticed, yet a very fallible social liberal gains notice from the world as expected.
     

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