[Editor’s note: The following article contains edited excerpts from the keynote address delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on Sunday, July 30, 2017 during an event honoring Reverend Willie Wilson’s 44 years of pastoral service at Union Temple Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. To order this message in its entirety on DVD, CD and MP3, please visit store.finalcall.com or call 1.866.602.1230, ext. 200.]
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
To my dear brother, friend, companion, and pastor, Reverend Willie Wilson, to his dear wife and lifelong companion, executive pastor Mrs. Mary Wilson; to her daughter and family, and to the wonderful brother who played the soprano saxophone so magnificently … to my brother and friend and pastor, Reverend Walter E. Fauntroy, and to all of you, my beloved brothers and sisters, I greet all of you with the greeting words of peace. As-Salaam Alaikum (Peace Be Unto You).
Moses brought 10 commandments; Jesus only brought two. Jesus said that the first commandment was to “love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” (that’s everything), and the second command is like unto it, “Love your brother, or your neighbor, as you love yourself.” Therein is a great problem. Because the slave master of the Wilson family, and the slave master of the Johnson family, and the slave master of the Barry family, and the slave master of the Walcott family—and the slave master of the family whose name you wear, as a sign that you’re still connected to the slave master of your father: that’s a problem, because all the good that you do in life, you do it in their name.
The White slave master made sure, as Reverend said, that he was going to teach us a certain version of Christianity, a version that Christ himself would reject; because that version made White people God, that version gave you the wrong image of Jesus. That version gave us White people as a god beside God, and therefore they beat us into calling them “massa.” They mistreated us if we didn’t say, “Yessa! Yessa!”; and when they were walking the street, we had to get off the sidewalk into the street to let massa pass. So that version of White man’s religion made us a more fitting tool or slave, therefore we could not love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, neither could we love our brother because we had not true love for ourselves.
So, truly, Black folk need Jesus all right—but we need the right Jesus. Black folk need Jesus all right, but we need a Jesus that can save us from White people; we need a Jesus that saves from their corrupted culture: we need a Jesus that can save us from lesbianism and homosexuality, fornication, adultery, drug addiction and gambling… . We need a Saviour.
So the Jesus that Dean Howard Thurman taught Rev. Wilson about was the real Jesus; that Jesus that could transform you from being a “nigga,” a “Negro,” and what I said the last time I was here that is put in the back of your collar (“Made in America”): We needed a Jesus that could save us from what White folk have turned us into. That Jesus was The Jesus that was to come. The Jesus that was here 2,000 years ago was a prophet; and the New Testament is 25 percent history of the Jesus of yesterday, but 75 percent prophetic of Jesus The Messiah Who would come at the end of the White man’s world. You can read the New Testament, but you just have to escape that version.
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