“…we must attempt to change society so that the soul will have a chance.”

Somehow we must come to see that Christianity is a two-way road. On the one hand, we must attempt to change men’s souls so that society will be changed, On the other hand, we must attempt to change society so that the soul will have a chance. How can we be concerned with the souls of men and not be concerned with the conditions that damn their souls. How can we be concerned with men being true and honest and not concerned with the economic conditions that made them dishonest and the social conditions that make them untrue Too often do we become so absorbed in a future good “over yonder” that we forget the present reality over here. — MLK, “The Task of Christian Leadership Training for Education in the Local Community,” 1955

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“Some of the most crucial periods in history have been those periods when we loved God with our hearts and souls and failed to love him with our minds.”

A second task facing Christian leaders is that of being intelligent. By intelligence, I mean the ability to keep abreast with the problems of a changing culture. This demand for intelligence is somewhat inevitable, for how can we interpret the situation in the community without a knowledge of them. It is the job of every leader to keep up with the changing trends through intellectual discipline I realize that there are many who would agree that the Christian leader only has the job of being sincere and pious, but sincerity and piety are not enough, as important as they are. We must remember that the same Jesus that said love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and soul also said love God with all thy mind. Some of the most crucial periods in history have been those periods when we loved God with our hearts and souls and failed to love him with our minds. — MLK, “The Task of Christian Leadership Training for Education in the Local Community,” 1955

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Every Christian leader has the task of being open-minded.

Have not our Christian leaders too often been advocators of narrow sectarianism? Have not our educational programs in the community been too Baptist, too Methodist, to Presbyterian, and not too Christian? Has not this internal war between the diverse denomination caused a lapse in community progress? Christian leaders must come to see that problems of the local community are so intricate that it will take the united effort of all denominations to solve them. Christian leaders must come to see that God is not a denominational God, and that in the final analysis we are all in the same boat. Although we differ in minute detail, such as ritual and minor doctrine, we should be working forward to the coming of God’s fingdom in earth This plea for ecumenical minded leaders cannot be exaggerated, for everywhere one turns, he sees narrow-minded leaders. — MLK, “The Task of Christian Leadership Training for Education in the Local Community,” 1955

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We the oppressed, instead of (learning) by the mistakes of the oppressors,

have fallen victim of the philosophy of the oppressors. This practice is deep within the fiber of the local community and its advocates are increasing daily. This brings us next to the question of the task of Christian Leaders for Education in the local community In other words, what type of leaders are needed to face these perplexing problems which are found in the local community? In the face of these problems what type of leaders are needed to put over a worthwhile educational program in the community? — MLK, “The Task of Christian Leadership Training for Education in the Local Community,” 1955

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Too often have we in America taken necessities from the masses

to give luxuries to the classes. Have we been all together fair to the laboring man, that man who has to work sometimes until his hands are all but porched and his eyebrows all but scorched? Our failure to give the laboring man a fair break is the very reason why capitalism is on her death-bed in America. — MLK, “The Task of Christian Leadership Training for Education in the Local Community,” 1955

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We are faced with that glaring economic problem.

It radiates in our communities like the rays of the beaming sun. In every community, people are hungry, unemployment is rising like a tidal wave, housing conditions are embarrassingly poor, crime and juvenile delinquency are spreading like the dew drops on an early fall morning. All of these conditions result from the economic problem. Moreover, the economic problem has brought about one of the most conflicts of our time, the conflict between capital and labor. This internal war between labor and capital is a basic problem within every community. — MLK, “The Task of Christian Leadership Training for Education in the Local Community,” 1955

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