The Faith of Farrakhan: A Case for Christian Discernment

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Saints, I'll be the first to admit that I am not a fan of Farrakhan's ministry through the Nation of Islam (NOI). As most of you know, while he is a world-renowned and respected religious leader, his religion counters Christ. So he’s an automatic “no go” in my book.  But if this man has converted to believe on Christ, I'd be among the first to welcome him with sincere celebration and praising the Lord!

For the past week, a video posted by the Louis Farrakahn Ministries Facebook page has made its rounds under the caption “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth. My Jesus is Alive.” The short clip (less than 1 minute, 30 seconds) appears to show Farrakhan denouncing his NOI teachings, publicly professing his faith in the resurrected Jesus Christ, and it seems he’s confessing that he is believing on Jesus Christ for eternal life. The video has has gotten 1.1 million views at the time of this writing, and most folks in my social media circle, including myself, couldn’t help but let out a shout of praise at the prospect after viewing it for ourselves.

IF this is the Lord doing a “Saul-to-Paul” type of conversion in Farrakhan, I say BLESS the LORD!

But, y’all, I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit that I’m feeling hesitant to readily embrace him before I see more evidence of a conversion. The clip is just that: a clip.  And while much was said in this clip, it is challenging to know what else was said that might impact the context of Farrakhan’s statements. (If anyone has the full video, would you please kindly share it in the comments section below? Thank you.)

I want to be clear that my reservations about this matter aren’t because I lack faith in the power of God. I don’t doubt God’s ability to do a transformative work in Farrakhan’s or anyone else’s life. I honestly pray this is what it seems. In fact, I can see the great things this could mean for bringing many out of Islam and into the sheepfold of Jesus Christ!

Nevertheless, I am reminded of the first thing Jesus tells us to be watchful of in these last days: religious deception. He warns us to take heed that NO MAN deceives us. He tells us that in these last days there will be MANY coming in His name, claiming to be Him (Matthew 24:4-5; Mark 13:5; Luke 21:8) {FYI: Farrakhan previously claimed to be "the messiah"}. Paul later confirms that there will be a time of great religious deception leading to a great “falling away”. Many who profess Christ will come to show that they never truly knew Him or were never rooted in Jesus Christ after all. Like the seeds sown by the wayside or on stony ground, their faith will be devoured by the wiles of the wicked one, or they won't be able to stand during times of trials and persecution, which will be severe once the Antichrist is revealed (Matthew 13, 24:15-22Revelation 13:7). Not being connected to the vine (Christ), they will readily follow after the doctrine of demons. They'll follow after the Antichrist, himself (1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Thessalonians 2:3)!

So we must be vigilant in becoming rooted in Jesus Christ, and we must come to know who is for Him or against Him (as such individuals will also be for or against us).

(Image:  Jorge Zapata ,  Unsplash )

Tracking the One World Religion

This is especially important because, as the one world religion to come (Revelation 13)  begins to fully flesh out, we will see many claiming to believe in God; they may even say they “believe in Jesus”. Yet, they will be false apostles coming in under a false gospel that teaches a false Christ. From what I, and others who follow this topic, can tell it appears the two main religions leading this charge will be Roman Catholicism and Islam. You will see lots of “Christians” and Muslims promoting “solidarity” and unity in the name of  "tolerance" and “love” and especially in response to tragedy and terror. It appears innocent on the surface, but the danger comes as Christians begin to compromise their faith for the sake of religious unity, which is void of the truth. There are already instances of “Christians” praying in mosques and Muslims praying to allah in churches.  Last November, Amazon released a commercial demonstrating interfaith prayer among a priest and a cleric. To date, this odd coupling of faiths is paired under the portmanteau “Chrislam” (If you’ve never heard of it, I strongly encourage you to Google it and begin your research.).

Oddly enough, there has been some compromises in this area from Protestant “Christian” denominations as well, including some of the world’s most prominent ministries and faith leaders. You will identify them by ecumenical messaging, which says everyone is a “child of God” and that all religions believe in the “same God”. You might also notice their support of Pope Francis’ very public and intentional effort to reconcile Protestant denominations with to the Roman Catholic Church, which is part of his campaign to pursue world peace by uniting all religions.

Nevertheless, God’s word says that only those in Christ are children of God (Galatians 3:26-29); as Jesus tells us plainly that HE is the ONLY way to God, the Father (John 14:6). Put another way, to be a child of the Father one must first be IN the Son. Christ gives us new 'DNA' (Romans 12:1-2). We are born again of the Spirit of God and become one with Christ, who is one with the Father (John 3:1-31; 10:30). Jesus also says the peace He gives is not of this world, as He did not come to bring world peace, but division (John 14:27; Matthew 10:35-38). Put plainly, faith in Christ and following His teachings naturally divides those in Him from those who aren’t in Him. There's only unity in Christ or unity amongst those not in Christ (which includes lukewarm "Christians"). The latter "unity" is antichrist. 

(Image:  Josh Applegate ,  Unsplash )

Test Every Spirit & Inspect Fruit

Here’s what else Jesus tells us plainly: By their fruit, we will know them (Matthew 7:15-20)! By "them" Jesus is referring to "false prophets". This most likely only applies to church leaders. But to be sure no one goes unchecked, John warns us to test every spirit - that most certainly applies to everyone (1 John 4:1-6)! We don’t need to know them personally. We don’t need to read their autobiographies. We don’t need to know the people they know. We don't need to sit down with them first to ascertain their motives or intentions. The Lord says we will know them by testing every spirit and examining fruit (deeds) against the Word of God. So that's what we should do. 

To know if their spirit is of God...

  • they will confess that Jesus is the CHRIST. They must acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God (1 John 2:22-23).  As I noted in “Things Lukewarm Christians Say: Part 2” many undiscerning Christians have been fooled into believing that Christians and Muslims worship the “same God”. Islam is crafty in doing this because the Qu'ran does acknowledge “Jesus”. Nevertheless, it only acknowledges him as a prophet. It’s entire faith is based on denouncing His eternal deity as the Son of God. And Jesus says anyone who denies the Son does not have the Father. With their claim that “allah”, whom they present to be the “same God” as the I AM revealed in Scripture, has no Son, they also deny God’s Fathership. And Jesus says anyone who denies the Son and the Father is a “liar” and “antichrist”.

  • they will confess that Jesus CHRIST has come in the flesh (1 John 4:1-5). Some religions, including some wayward Christian denominations, might only acknowledge Jesus in spirit. Perhaps as a deity or merely as an ideology, but they will somehow reject that he came, died, was buried and was resurrected in a physical body. Other religions, such as Judaism, might acknowledge that the Messiah will come, but they reject the notion that He has already come. Essentially, this requirement challenges the individual to confess the deity and humanity of Jesus and His finished work on the cross, which is that He was the sacrifice for sin once for all (Hebrews 10:1-18). 

A true Believer on Jesus Christ will...

  • repent of sin; confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead (Acts 3:19; Romans 3:23; 10:9).

  • publicly profess their faith in Christ through water baptism in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Baptism symbolizes that we are one in the Body of Christ and have taken part in His death, burial and resurrection. Through it, we also acknowledge that we will be physically resurrected at His return.  To be clear, baptism is not required to be saved, but is commanded by Christ of those who are saved. Just as wearing a wedding ring doesn't make one married, the commitment does. Yet one who is married wears a wedding ring as a sign of his/her marital commitment (Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 15).

  • be born again. You will see evidence that they have received the Holy Spirit, which is demonstrated by their ability to discern spiritual matters such as understanding the truth of God's Word, and they will demonstrate one or more spiritual gifts. Keep in mind that there are various spiritual gifts; the gift of tongues is among them but not all will receive this gift.  The Spirit of God dispenses gifts to each Believer at His discretion, but we each receive gifts and we are to use them for the building up/edification of the Church. Thus, demanding that a new believer speak in tongues to prove their salvation is in error. (John 3; Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12).

  • readily and quickly, yet progressively mature in their faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Jesus tells us not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2). A renewed mind is the mind of Christ. We begin to reason like Christ, seeing things as God sees them. As such we will increasingly be convicted and repent of our sins. Maturity is a life-long process, indeed. Yet the most elemental areas of growth should be readily seen. Our most prevalent sin(s) will be put off at the time of sincere repentance, though there will be other areas the Holy Spirit begins to reveal to us requiring correction as we continue to grow. So, to know that a believer is truly in Christ, there will be evidence of repentance and spiritual maturity. You will notice the fruit of the spirit becoming more and more apparent in their life (Galatians 5:22-23). Though not yet perfected, they will be in a progressive state of pressing toward the high mark of Christ. And their world view will begin to focus more on things of the Kingdom of God and less on earthly things.  (Philippians 3:12; Colossians 3:1-4; 1 Corinthians 13:11).

Unreliable "Evidence"

As you begin to examine fruit and test every spirit, keep in mind that we are not merely judging appearances. We are judging what they say and do according to the criteria for faith outlined in the word of God, not what we believe makes one a “good person” or a “Christian”. Good works such as charity and community service are not evidence of salvation. We are saved by grace through faith, not good works. Anyone can do good in the ‘hood. But the works that justify those of us in Christ are spiritual works, which we do in obedience to the power of God working in us (Ephesians 2-8:10, Philippians 2:12-13). Friendliness/niceness is not a sign that one has been born again of the Holy Spirit. Until this week, before Hurricane Harvey hit Houston (I didn't intend the alliteration), Joel Osteen was the nicest guy the world and most lukewarm Christians had ever heard preach. But those of us who know better know that he's a false teacher with no regard for the eternal souls of his parishioners.  Charm is deceitful, so is flattery, and so are kisses, as even those can be from an enemy. Remember Judas? (Proverbs 27:631:30; Romans 16:18). Christian titles and well-articulated church phrases do not mean someone is preaching the truth. Satan misquoted scripture to Jesus, Himself. Why wouldn't he deceive men to deceive other men(Luke 4:1-13; Romans 16:17-18)? 

In short, Satan and his deceitful workers masquerade as angels of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-16). Do NOT be deceived. They will come as if they present the truth and typically say all the right-sounding things that you would be inclined to listen to them. But run everything through the word of God - even the things I share in this blog (I'm serious). Test everyone and everything. Judge everything with righteous judgment. Meaning, base your assessments of everything in life in the truth of God and His standards - not your emotions, not man-made philosophy or your own understanding (1 Corinthians 2:15-16; Proverbs 3:5-6; Matthew 4:4).

(Image: Louis Farrakhan Ministries, Facebook)

(Image: Louis Farrakhan Ministries, Facebook)

I Said all of This To Say...

Despite my abhorrence for Farrakhan’s NOI teachings, if this man is coming to Christ, I would surely welcome him into the fold. Yet, with his teachings being what they have been for so long, an 87-second clip isn’t enough for me to be fully convinced. And yes, I meant what I just said...I need to be convinced. I don’t say this from a holier than thou perspective. I say it because Christ told us to be vigilant in this regard. So, I urge all of my brothers and sisters in Christ to sincerely pray for Farrakhan, others in the Nation of Islam and those of other religions/faith persuasions who might come to Christ. Pray that that they come, truly converted, born again and ready to bear spiritual fruit that can be clearly discerned and received.  We are living in the times of Daniel's end-time prophecies. We are living in the times of John’s revelations. We are living in the times Jesus said would one day come and would require His people to watch and pray. It’s getting really real out here, y'all, which is why Jesus told us to  #staywoke (Matthew 26:41). The times we are in are only going to get darker as lawlessness abounds and the love of many grows cold. So we've truly got to be as wise as serpents, but harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16). May we be vigilant with examining fruit and testing every spirit. Yet, may our hearts remain light and filled with the love of our Lord that, once sincere conversion and faith are discerned, we are prepared to joyfully embrace even those we might have never thought would so much as cough Jesus’ name.

With all of the peace and love God intends,

~ @Veritéetfeu

*Update 8/31/17: A reader was kind enough to share the full sermon that produced the clip that appears to show Farrakhan's profession of Christ as his savior. Definitive conclusion: No. Farrakhan is NOT saved. He's still preaching the same mess he's always preached.