In history, God has always worked in the "here and now" - seemingly mysteriously. But if we study providence we become aware of a practical and logical plan of God. There are many examples of this both in the Bible and the Koran.
Are there still great men through whom God works His providence of restoration even today? The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Rev. Sun Myung Moon seem unlikely to be such persons.
For instance, both black and white people call Farrakhan a racist. Moon has been labeled a brain washer. But are they in good company? When Jesus was on the earth, people labeled him a heretic.
Let us take a look at Minister Farrakhan and Rev. Moon through the lens of providence. Rev. Moon is from the Far East, and from a Christian background, while Minister Farrakhan was brought up in the West and represents Islam. They are different in their character and culture.
What about the question of "racism"? Farrakhan has said, "White people are the devil." Out of context, this statement sounds not racist, but outrageous. But the context changes things. The actual statement was something quite different: "Any men who would enslave and kill their brothers," insisted Minister Farrakhan, "are in fact controlled by the devil." He spoke about horrible deeds which are part of America's history.
Rev. Moon, speaking theologically, said that America is an "archangelic" nation. This too can be understood to mean that this is the nation of the devil. If the devil is in charge of the country, it may well mean also that whoever runs the country is controlled by the devil.
Again Jesus is not that far different. Jesus once said to the Scribes and Pharisees, "Do not go to the Gentiles." Jesus also said, "I come only for the house of Israel, the Jewish people." He said to his disciples, "You are of your father the devil, and your desire is to do your father's will." Does this mean that Jesus was anti-Semitic, or racist? I think not.
Every prophet starts his ministry in his own environment, and among his own people and race. Since the prophet is chosen and called by God, it intimates that the nation of the prophet must in a similar sense be chosen. Jesus was a Jew, he started with Jews; Minister Farrakhan is Black-American, and so he began his ministry with America's black people. Rev. Moon is Korean, and even though he teaches universalism and inter-racial marriages, neither he, nor any of his 13 children are inter-racially married. Because Reverend Moon's early disciples are all Koreans, his children ended up with spouses who were chosen from that group.
In his early ministry, Jesus said to go to the Jewish people only, but later he changed and said, "Go preach the gospel in all the world, in every nation and every tongue." This shows that he began with a small number of his own people, but the message they carried was completely universal. The case is similar with Rev. Moon. He once called America an archangelic nation, but now he calls America "the elder son nation." Minister Farrakhan who once spoke primarily to the black people, today is creating the Million Family March explicitly to embrace all peoples and all nations.
So who are the chosen people at this time of history? I am reminded of the time when Jesus was teaching, and someone interrupted him saying his mother and brother were calling for him outside. Jesus answered, "Who is my mother and my brother?" Then pointing to the group to whom he was speaking, Jesus said, "It is these who are doing the will of my father."
We must know God's will clearly. Jesus pointed out the important fact that whoever does the will of God is his brother and sister. This is why we need prophets to help us to understand exactly what the Will of God is. In this new millennium, all agree that this world needs to unite in a spirit of love and forgiveness.
How fascinating it is to see Minister Farrakhan and Rev. Moon with other denominational leaders working together to bring a million families together to fellowship, rededicate their marriages and to make a new covenant with God by taking responsibility for our country and the world. One could say that all who gather in the mall on October 16th are the new chosen people. The people of this time, for the whole world.
What is the qualification of a prophet? Does Harvard or Oxford confer degrees for professional prophets? The answer is no. All the prophets in history are individuals who were called by God. The job of a prophet is to appoint, guide and advise rulers, even to tell them when they do wrong. The prophet advises them to repent and change to the direction given by God. History has shown that the most difficult thing to do is to change from old habits to a new way of life.
When the leaders ruling people do not follow the direction shown by a prophet, then the prophet must go past those leaders to the masses. Government might call such an action anarchy. Rev. Moon was imprisoned 6 times for his faith. Though Minister Farrakhan was never imprisoned, he has been criticized and branded a troublemaker. The masses, and especially the media, did not trust him. However, these two men, despite their difficulties, grow ever stronger in their ability to influence people.
Though both Minister Farrakhan and Rev. Moon performed their labors differently from one another, they now converge to combine efforts in solidarity. In history, only Minister Farrakhan has brought a million men together to hear a message from one man. None have done this either before or after -- though many have tried. On Moon's side, only he has ever blessed and married over a million couples in a single ceremony, and on that one, no one else has ever even tried! These men hold the world records in their ministries.
On the day of the Million Family March, Minister Farrakhan will speak to a million families, and also hold a wedding and rededication ceremony on the mall. It will be up to history to determine whether they are really prophets or not. Either way, I am not going to miss this historical event, and when my grandchildren ask me if I was there, the answer will be in one word, "YES!"
Were you there?