Is It Really the Same God?
Benjamin Chavis, former NAACP leader, has his nose out of joint. It seems that he decided that he was called to be a minister in the Nation of Islam, the black Muslim sect of Minister Louis Farrakhan. There was only one hitch: he was already a minister in the United Church of Christ. (A.P. report in the Colorado Springs Gazette, April 27, 1997). The United Church of Christ decided that the Islamic faith was "incompatible" with his standing as a Christian minister, and suspended him from preaching, administering the sacraments or performing other pastoral duties. Now the Church and Ministry Commission of the UCC's Eastern North Carolina Association has voted to recommend his termination as a minister. The vote of the board of directors will come in May or June.
In an irrational world, Mr. Chavis is correct. The truth that the Nation of Islam rejects the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, the unique claim of the Gospel, and considers white folks as devils, should not be considered contradictory to the Christian Faith. Don't we all serve the same God? Aren't there many paths to God? It seems that the Commission of the church has taken a position that is contrary to the basic tenets of modern humanism, and is setting itself up for charges of intolerance, bigotry, and probably racism.
If there is no absolute truth; if there is no objective standard; if there is no divine Scriptures to settle such issues; if what is important is sincerity of heart; if what is important is what a man feels inside; if religion is a private matter which every man is to decide for himself; if liberty in doctrine is the mark of a "loving" church; if God reconciles all contradictions in His own perfect Oneness, then we should extend congratulations to Mr. Chavis for showing us all the right way of tolerance and goodness. After all, isn't tolerance and love the true mark of our humanness and true love for God? Why should we be so narrow as to believe that the Bible is God's revelation of His eternal truth? Aren't we all God's children?
To quote the A.P. "Chavis said Friday he never left the Protestant faith and did not need its permission to join Minister Louis Farrakhan's sect." Is there no bottom to the abyss of irrationalism?