In this handwritten outline King criticizes the hypocrisy of international missionary efforts in light of domestic racial injustice: “The paradox of it all is that the white man considers himself the supreme missionary. He sends [millions] of dollars to the foreign field. And in the midst of that he tramples over the Negro.”
“Go ye therefore into all the world and preach the gospel ...1
1. Cf. Matthew 28:19. Dexter’s 22 January 1956 program indicates that King preached this sermon.
2. In a similar sermon filed in the same folder, King followed this point with a reminder: “Use the ill. of something being to good to hold. (A secret or a piece of cake being so good that it must be shared). The Gospel is good news” (King, “The Mission of the Church,” 1953-1956). King also considered this illustration in “Propagandizing Christianity,” Sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, 12 September 1954, pp. 184-187 in this volume.
3. On 23 September 1955, J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant were found not guilty of the murder of fourteen-year-old Emmett Till.
4. King may refer to a story that a law school principal told Howard Thurman during his 1935 visit to Ceylon: “One of my students who went to your country sent me a clipping telling about a Christian Church in which the regular Sunday worship was interrupted so that many could join a mob against one of your fellows. When he had been caught and done to death, they came back to resume their worship of their Christian God” (Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited, pp. 14-15).
5. King may refer to a story told by E. Stanley Jones in The Christ of the Indian Road. When Jones asked Gandhi how Christianity could become more a part of Indian culture, Gandhi suggested that Christians “live more like Jesus Christ,” that they refrain from toning down their religion, that they “put [their] emphasis on love,” and finally, that they “study the non-Christian religions and culture more sympathetically” (Jones, The Christ of the Indian Road, pp. 118-120). In “The Mission of the Church” (1953-1956), King noted, “Use the exp of a chicken being clipped by his own wings.”
6. Shakespeare, Othello, act 3, sc. 3.
7. Cf. Isaiah 1:15.
8. King would elaborate on this notion of being maladjusted to unjust laws and social conditions throughout his life; for an example, see King, The Christian Way of Life in Human Relations, Address Delivered at the General Assembly of the National Council of Churches, 4 December 1957, pp. 322-328 in this volume.
CSKC-INP, Coretta Scott King Collection, In Private Hands: Sermon file, folder 27, “The Mission of the Church.”