[Editor’s note: The following article is an edited excerpt from an address delivered by Minister Farrakhan to the Union of Black Episcopalians on June 30, 1993,]

by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.


The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

There is something in the nature of man that makes man want to equal up to God. There is something in the nature of man that makes man want to be a god besides God, and that nature has to be corralled in ordered for man to achieve the purpose for his creation.


Adam failed in that he disobeyed Allah (God), thinking that maybe Satan was right in telling him that God told him that he would die if he ate the forbidden fruit because God wanted to keep him in a certain position. Since Adam wanted to be more like God, he was deceived to think that if he ate the fruit, his eyes would come open and he would be able to see. What Adam did not realize was that his eyes were already open; but when he ate the forbidden fruit, his eyes came open to the world of carnal desire.

Adam did die and his eyes came open. Both Allah (God) and Satan told the truth. Adam did die—but he died in his mind, in the power to be what God had made him to be. And his eyes came open to a lower realm—the lower half where men live from the navel down—that he would never have been exposed to if he had obeyed God.

It is the world of desire, the world that puts the desire of the flesh above the desire of the spirit. It is the conflict between the carnal mind and the spiritual mind to which Jesus and Paul so eloquently speak. In the New Testament, Paul said, “The carnal mind is death.” The spiritual mind is life. So when Adam died, he died in the spiritual mind and he became alive to the senses of the flesh; and they became his master.

That is the reason the church must be revived because the church now bows to the carnal mind. The fruit of the spirit is joy, peace, life, unity and all of the wonderful things that are far off from us. The fruit of the carnal mind is envy, jealousy, strife, contention and schism. That is the church and that is the world of religion. It is sick with division and strife, which is rooted in envy, false pride and greed.

Why was the church established? Allah (God) knew that Satan was going to overtake the world, but He also knew that He would not leave the people in total darkness. He would send prophets into the world to remind the people of His Promise and His Light: that this transitory world would soon give way to the reign and the rule of God.

Moses said, “Build me a tabernacle” so that the people who are affected by the rule of Satan could come out of Satan’s world into the tabernacle to be reminded of Allah (God) through the feeding of His Word. In the New Testament, Jesus said of Peter, “On this rock, I build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Jesus was not talking about the edifices that we have built in various cities and towns. He was talking about a community built on faith. The rock, Peter, is not a man; it is the faith and conviction of the man in whom the Man was that he met.

Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say I am?” because the people did not know the identity of Jesus. He answered, “They say you are that prophet that was to come.” Evidently, Jesus was not talking about himself because he made himself of no reputation. He was working and his works would testify of him. Jesus wanted to know what the people were thinking about him, so he specifically addressed Peter, and asked, “Who do you say I am?” Peter said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” That is the faith upon which the church is built.

What is the mission of the church? Do you think your mission is to go to church on Sunday, partake in the sacraments the first Sunday and drink some wine or grape juice every month? Do you think your mission is for you to sing in the choir and be a part of the pastor’s aide guild and the church roof restoration drive? Is that the real purpose of being a part of the church? How are you serving Christ? We must ask these questions because it is clear to me that the church has lost the purpose for its existence.

These words may hurt because each of us who are pastors go to schools of theology and they teach and train us; but I believe I can do more to help the church in one month than every school of theology can do in the years that it takes you to get your degree, because after you come out of the school of theology you get into a tradition that takes you away from the real spirit of Jesus Christ.

Brothers and Sisters, the mission that you have, that I have, that we have is this: What did Jesus say to Peter when he found him fishing? “Come, follow me.” In other words, give up that which you are doing to accept what you see me doing. Jesus told Peter, “I will make you a fisher of men.” Have you ever been fishing? It is not easy. Some people sit out there all day long with their pole and come back with a sad story because they did not catch anything.

Fishing requires skill and every Christian is supposed to be skilled in the art of bringing people out of the world of sin into the renewed life that is represented in Jesus Christ. If you, as a Christian, have not brought one person to Jesus Christ, if you walk by the bandit, drug addict, pimp, whore, drug dealer, gang banger because you do not want them sitting beside you in your church, then you are not a real Christian and you should not ever be called a saint.

These are sinners who themselves need to be brought to Jesus. The truth is a mirror, and we must look in the mirror and see where we stand with Christ. How many people do you walk by on Sunday morning as you go to church? Some of you are so ashamed of church that you do not bring anyone there with you.

You are dying. People in the church are getting old and gray and the young people are not in the church. The youth are in the street. If a church has some young ones, how long will they stay? Young people used to respect men and women of God. Today, they will beat and rob a preacher. There is no more respect for the House of God because that house has gone away from the real purpose of its founding.

The church is founded on the work of a Fisherman and you are not doing any fishing. You are founded on the principle of going after people, not to make them join an actual building, but to make them join in the labor and mission of Jesus Christ—which is to give life to those whom Satan’s world has killed, to give sight to the blind, hearing to the death, the art of speaking to the dumb and cleansing the leper. Do you think that these acts were only to be done by Jesus? He said to his disciples, “Greater works that I do shall you do.” How many of you are doing greater works than Jesus?

Saints, we have work to do. The mission is more than singing. It is nice to have a nice choir, but I have never read where Jesus traveled with his choir and musical instruments. Jesus carried nothing but the Word and the Word was sufficient. What is wrong with us is church has become business and ministers have become professionals who preach Jesus not because they really believe in him, but because the people’s charity to the church brings them money and material possessions. The church has degenerated to this state.

My fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ, our house needs to be revived. I want to see a revived church. Will that take away from my pursuit in building a mosque? No. The purpose of the mosque, church and every religious house is for the remembrance of God; for the people to be revived and repaired by the Word of God; and for the fellowship of those who believe in God that we are strengthened to go back out into an adverse world and challenge it in the Name of God and in the name of His Christ, until the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ. That is our assignment. That is our duty. But how did we go astray from our mission?

The Bible says, “All we like sheep have gone astray.” Jesus called the people “sheep” but then he said, “I am the good shepherd.” The ship in religion, politics and all of the institutions that shape and mold the human mind and spirit has gone off the path. The leadership is astray therefore, the people follow their leaders and are led away from their mission. That is why Jesus said, “If the blind lead the blind, both fall in the ditch.” The ditch is hell.

The church is in hell. The mosque is in hell. The synagogue is in hell. The cathedral is in hell. How can you be a saint in hell? Jesus descended in hell, but he did not stay there. He did not make hell his home. What are you doing hanging out in hell? I must speak straight words, but I love you and I love the church and I want to see the church revived. How did the church, synagogue and mosque go astray?

In the Holy Qur’an, there is a beautiful verse where Allah (God) and Satan are having a conversation that reminds me of the same kind of conversation found in the Book of Job in the Bible. In the Book of Job, the Sons of God came to present themselves before God and the devil came also with them. The Sons of God were walking with the devil, but they did not even know him. The devil had hidden himself so well that he could hang out with the Sons of God. When he gets to God, God shocks the Sons of God when He asked, “Whence cometh thou Satan?” God called the devil out. I imagine the Sons of God were shocked.

Satan answered with arrogance: “I come from walking up and down, to and fro in the earth, seeking whom I may devour.” He is telling God, “I have eaten up just about every person that once belonged to you. They have become a part of my body. I am eating them. I am devouring them.”

We are supposed to be a part of the body of Christ. If we are a part of Christ’s body, then he is your head and he is directing our actions.

When Satan said, “I have been walking up and down, to and fro, seeking all that I can devour, eat up and make a part of my plan, Allah (God) said, “Have you considered My servant Job?” He did not ask, “Have you considered My church?” He dealt with one individual, His servant, Job. Then, Satan told Allah (God) that He was protecting Job, but if God removed His hedge from around Job, Satan would make him curse God. So Allah (God) agrees to remove the hedge, and allowed Satan to do what he wanted to against Job, except take Job’s life. Allah (God) knew that His servant was going to stand up.

Job is a sign of the church. Jesus said, “On you, this rock, Peter, I build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Why? Because Christ is the head of the house and Satan cannot prevail against Christ.

So Jesus was telling his disciples that, if you are in me and I am in you, then you are one with me as I am one with my Father. Then, the gates of hell shall never prevail against you, for greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. The question is: Is he in you?

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