Theology and Apologetics Roundtable: April 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

An Apologetic to the Nation of Islam

   The Nation of Islam (NOI) sprung out of traditional Islam as it was birthed in early twentieth century America. Traditional Islam will not represent the NOI as a part of Islam. Rather NOI is seen as heresy and a cult on both the Muslim and Christian side. It denies the God of the Bible and labels Christianity the “white man’s God”. It is rejected by orthodox Muslims as well for its teaching of Wallace Fard being Allah incarnate. This is the number one issue orthodox Islam has with NOI. 
     NOI is primarily popular to black American society because its teachings of black supremacy and one day ruling the white race and the Earth. At the same time it is very appealing to black Americans because it is a movement of social atonement and reconciliation. It is a call for the black community to strive for moral and ethical superiority. Farrakhan called the audience to give up drugs, prostitution, and violence, and to commit to improving themselves “spiritually, morally, mentally, socially, politically, and economically”.[1] These are laudable concerns that should transcend race. If lower crime rates, higher economic productivity, and an over-all improvement in the quality of life for African-Americans result from the efforts of Farrakhan, then all people will have reason to rejoice.[2]
     To many black Americans, this message resonates deep within them. All these years of slavery and oppression from whites, much of which was done “in the name of Jesus”, sadly many blacks turn away from the Gospel truth and seek to find identity in something they can very much relate with.
     The NOI is a dangerous religion in the aspect that it generates and spreads the ideology of racial hatred. Its views of humanity in general are radical, dangerous, and are not within biblical parameters. It sees not just blacks, but minorities as a whole can rule and one day overthrow white supremacy within America and the world ultimately. One will soon see that the Nation of Islam is not the answer; nor is traditional Islam or any type of social reform. Jesus is the only answer.

CHRISTIAN RESPONSE
The Nation of Islam presents two problems. First, it does not proclaim the Gospel message of Christ. Secondly, it is extremely preoccupied with white supremacy. The black race are not gods and the white race are not devils. All races are descendants of Adam and created in God’s image. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” [3] No man is to rule over another man. God did, however, give man the authority to rule over the animals of the Earth. The KJV uses the word “dominion”. A more accurate definition of the term would be God’s entrustment of the earth to humanity, with responsibilities to fill and master it.[4] Man is given the responsibility to procreate, rule the land and the animals. God does not mention anywhere in the Bible for a race to rule over another race. Nor is one race more superior over another race. Louis Farrakhan is his famous Million Man March speech proclaimed that the United States is rotten at its very foundation because it has been characterized from the beginning by white supremacy. In part of his speech, he said:
“The Seal and the Constitution [of the United States—BB] reflect the thinking of the founding fathers, that this was to be a nation by White people and for White people. Native Americans, Blacks, and all other non-White people were to be the burden bearers for the real citizens of this nation.”[5]
There is no doubt that anyone within the American culture to a certain degree can display some sense of respect for the anger and frustration minorities feel about their position in society. This doesn’t excuse prejudices on either side, nor does it excuse the teachings of Louis Farrakhan. Prejudice is wrong, dangerous, painful, and sinful. Its effects are still very present in American society and the world alike. Cornel West made the following stated:
“...one’s eyes should be on the prize, not on the perpetuator of one’s oppression. In short, Elijah Muhammad’s project remained captive to the supremacy game—a game mastered by the white racists he opposed and imitated with his black supremacy doctrine.”[6] 
Jesus Christ is the only hope to tear down the barriers of racism in the world today. Not a black Jesus or a white Jesus. Only the Jesus of the Bible is both man and the Son of God. The Apostle Peter said in Acts 10:
“I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.”[7]




[1] Louis Farrakhan, Transcript from Minister Louis Farrakhan’s remarks at the Million Man March [Online], 1995, Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/US/9510/megamarch/10-16/transcript/index.html
[2] Brad Bromling, "Apologetics Press - Black Muslims and the Nation of Islam." (Apologetics Press, 1996), Retrieved from http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/226.
3 New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. 1995 (Ge 1:26). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
4 P.S. Karleen, The handbook to Bible study: With a guide to the Scofield study system. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 321.
[5] Louis Farrakhan, Transcript from Minister Louis Farrakhan’s remarks at the Million Man March [Online], 1995, Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/US/9510/megamarch/10-16/transcript/index.html.
6 Cornel West, Race Matters (Boston, MA: Beacon, 1993), 100.
7 New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Ac 10:34–35). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bethany Hamilton

Awesome testimony by pro surfer Bethany Hamilton. She's great.