The importance of the life of PaulBy Jabril Muhammad | Last updated: Oct 28, 2013 - 5:28:24 PM
If you read the previous article, you read these words:
“Before continuing with the text of some of Minister Farrakhan’s report on the successful trip of Reverend Jackson and his delegation to and from Syria, let me call your attention to a few facts of great significance. What I am referring to has not yet occurred, as of the date of this writing. However, it will have by the time this paper becomes public.”
Do you understand these words, “What I am referring to has not yet occurred, as of the date of this writing.”
The word “occur” means: “take place; happen; ensue as an effect or result of an action or event; [with infinitive] chance to do something or come about; [with clause] come about by chance.”
Is this situation in the process of being fulfilled that we can read of in the Bible and in the Holy Qur’an?
“In this column, this week and next, I am presenting excerpts from Minister Farrakhan’s speech of January 8th, which was heard live in Chicago and on telephone hook-up in 61 cities. He reported on the trip to and from Syria.
“Also, I spent two days with him this week in Los Angeles, during which he addressed a significant group of Black professionals. There are so many significant details to respond to.
“So many people said to Reverend Jackson, ‘This is a fool’s errand. What do you think you can accomplish? You’re a preacher. Why would you go and meddle in governmental affairs? You are not a diplomat. What do you know about international relations and diplomacy, etc.?’
“In words, ‘You Negroes ought to stay in your own league, and get back in your church and have communion and sing hymns.’ “
“But we went on faith, and came back at the expense of the United States Government, aboard one of their—of course, the first flight, a leg of the flight from Damascus to Germany, was pretty rough—on one of those C141 troop transports and what not. But from Germany to Washington, I think we drove in fine style, or rode in fine style.
“In the face of this celebration which is going on all over America today in churches, celebration of Thanksgiving, because we, who are up from slavery, know that there is a Power bigger than we, Who is guiding us and blessing us to do things that the world deems impossible.”
In a book, I wrote these words:
“As Paul said, ‘When I was a child, I thought as a child, I understood as a child. We are now becoming men and women and we have to put away childish things. Childish things are marked by vanity, self-conceit and arrogance. Childishness is when we are only looking out for ourselves and do not care for our neighbors.
“We must start caring for each other, for we are flesh of each other’s flesh, and bone of each other’s bone. We are family and the care of all of us is our responsibility, especially those to whom God has given so much.’ ”
There are many Bibles here in the United States of America. Some aspects of them do not agree with each other. Why different Bibles?
These words are relevant to the remarks that Minister Farrakhan made in his report on the trip to Syria some years ago. The word “relevant” here means: “closely connected or appropriate to the matter at hand.”
In 1984 I wrote, “Without any thought that it can or should be refuted, I will state here that Minister Louis Farrakhan, the National Representative of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, is the most respected and influential Black man in America, by both Black and White. To the extent that he is not, he will be—for the glory of Allah and His Messiah.
“You will soon come to see. And you will soon come to see why.
“Don’t become indignant over this statement. Rather, look into the reasons for such an observation.
“Once the facts on which this statement is based become clear, then one can be in a position to see both the significance of the statement and the facts, which prove it to be true, valuable, and relevant to the struggle of Black people for liberation.
“This is a bit much for this article, but let us begin anyway. Let me go to two White writers one wrote about Paul, in the Bible, and I wrote this other recently about Minister Farrakhan.”
Professor James Kallas wrote in the preface of his little book, The Story of Paul, “No person in the history of Christianity had done more to set a standard of Christian witness for the church than has the Apostle Paul.
“Therefore, every Christian who comes into the life of the church, who has accepted for himself or herself the responsibility of Christian witness, should catch a glimpse of Paul’s dynamic life and faith.”
Professor Kallas was chairman of the Division of Theology and Philosophy at California Lutheran College in Thousand Oaks, California as of the time his book was written in 1966.
More than a glimpse of Paul is justified in the light of his importance to Christianity. Christian theologians, to my knowledge, are unanimous in their view of the importance of Paul in the Christian faith.
Professor Kallas wrote in his preface, in part, that the purpose of his book was to present the reader “... with the full-range opportunities, the problems, and decisions against which Paul threw himself with full energy.”
In his book, he asked this question, “Why study the life of Paul?” Part of his answer reads, “Outside of Jesus himself, the Apostle Paul is the greatest figure which dominated the church during its crucial early days. The influence of this man upon the whole shape of Christianity is too enormous to be summarized without sounding like an exaggeration.”
This professor further wrote, “... the Christianization of the Western World and the emergence of European-American culture ... can be traced back to this man. All of the traditions and institutions of Europe and later, America have been molded by the church—and this began with Paul.”
After outlining some of the factors contributing to Paul’s influence, Professor Kallas points out that every great reform, which has ever swept through the church, has been stimulated by a study of Paul’s epistles. He further states, “... the church has continually revitalized itself by turning anew to the life and work and witness of this consecrated servant, who called himself ‘a slave of Christ.’ ”
Those of you who have followed this column know that my position is that Paul is one of the Biblical types (the general word is signs) of Minister Louis Farrakhan. Many, many Black pastors and theologians and some White also theologians around America are coming to realize this.
On the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 29, 1984, Mr. Tom Masland wrote that Minister Farrakhan often fills the churches of mainstream Black preachers ... . He continues, “Minister Farrakhan’s endorsement gives Jackson a highly dedicated and disciplined core of supporters and volunteers from 61 temples and study groups ... .”
Mr. Masland referred to the Minister as “a charismatic speaker and crowd pleaser without peer in many Black communities—a man with a rapt following, particularly among the Black underclass.”
He goes on to say, “Although he has shunned publicity and virtually is unknown by Whites, Minister Farrakhan is one of the most electrifying figures in Black culture today.”
“During this past week, Minister Farrakhan spoke to 150 Black pastors in Atlanta, Georgia; 300 Black Theologians in Washington, D.C.; 5,000 Black people in Birmingham, Alabama, and led a few thousand to register and support Rev. Jackson in Chicago, Illinois.
“You need to understand this man and the Two Who back him.”
I wrote most of these words at that time on February 10, 1984.
More next issue, Allah willing.