International speculation abounds over an 88 second video of Louis Farrakhan, Sr., the longtime face of the Nation of Islam, uploaded to his official Facebook page on Aug. 22.
“I know that my Redeemer liveth,” Farrakhan said. “I know, I’m not guessing, that my Jesus is alive.”
News organizations such as The Christian Post and Canada Free Press have interpreted the remarks to mean that Minister Farrakhan may be vacillating on his faith or he may be outright converting to Christianity.
Leonardo Blair, writing for The Christian Post, put these remarks into the frame of a man facing judgment after his “inevitable physical death.” Judgment, according to Blair, for his decades of “teaching.”
Dan Calabrese, in an article for CFP, took a more measured approached.
“My first instinct was to find a loophole in his wording,” Calabrese wrote. “When Farrakhan said ‘my Jesus lives’ and emphasized the ‘my,’ I thought maybe he was trying to give himself license to declare that his ‘redeemer’ can be whoever he wants it to be, and that he could express that by referring to said redeemer as ‘my Jesus.’ That would be more consistent with the way Farrakhan has expressed himself throughout his public life.”
Calabrese also found the teachings of Farrakhan to be worth repenting for but withheld judgment on whether the Minister was converted or on the brink.
“It’s always wise to be circumspect about a single statement someone makes, no matter how earth-shaking it may appear to be,” he wrote. “If Farrakhan has decided to profess Christ as Lord, that’s absolutely wonderful, but you’d expect he’d expound upon it in future statements or interviews. He’d explain how and why he came to that decision. He’d address all the reasons people find this surprising and explain how he came to make this profession.”
Just who is Minister Farrakhan’s Redeemer?
The AFRO made a call to the Nation of Islam (NOI) central office asking for comment and was directed to the offices of The Final Call, the official newspaper of the NOI. While the editor’s desk did not have comment, they did direct the AFRO to a video of the minister’s entire hour and a half of remarks.
The video, recorded July 30, shows the entire proceedings of an event recognizing the 44 years of service provided by Rev. Dr. Willie Willie Wilson, of the Washington, D.C. based Union Temple Baptist Church, to his community.
As Farrakhan explained to the crowd, Jesus may just be a metaphor for the prime mover of the universe, an energy that “gave me strength to withstand the government of America, the Jewish powers of America that were on my back for over 30 years.”
The same power that allowed Farrakhan to endure was the same power that sustained the Reverend.
“The real power, that kept him going for 44 years is the same power that gives fuel to the sun. Who gives fuel to the sun? It is the love of God himself and his spirit that energizes the sun. And that’s why, in the Koran, there’s only one or two prophets that were strengthened by the Holy Spirit and one of them is the Messiah, Jesus.”
Since this recording, Farrakhan has spoken out multiple times about his faith.
Recently, The Final Call, published remarks of his in an article last updated August 29. The carried the headline “Seek Refuge in Allah.”