One of the more prominent black preachers in Atlanta has decided that it is time to join forces with the Nation of Islam in order to eradicate violence, drugs, and crime from the black community. Jasper Williams, Jr, pastor of the well-known Salem Bible Church (formerly Salem Baptist Church) c0-organized with a local Nation of Islam mosque what they called a Stop the Violence Unity Coalition Silent March. This march took place in an Atlanta neighborhood on November 11, 2006. The organizers hoped to demonstrate the so-called unity that exists between people of faith when it comes to the issue of crime and violence in the streets of our communities. As one on the outside looking in, I must applaud Rev. Williams for the laudable ends which he seeks. All of us desire to see the crime rate go down in Atlanta, and to see black on black (or any type for that matter) violence cease. This is a commendable goal and the ends of the march should be an ends we all strive to attain. However, the problem with Rev. Williams' decision to be cobelligerents with the Nation of Islam is that the ends do not justify the means.
(You can click on the above link to see a video summation of the march, and to listen to the inter-faith service that was conducted at the end of the march.)
As Christians we are not called to stop crime at all cost. We are not called to bring about an end to violence and drug trafficking by any means necessary. While we may implore a variety of means and promote different agendas, we must not do so to the detriment of our witness to the uniqueness and glory of Christ. By becoming co-laborers with the Nation of Islam, Williams became co-laborers with anti-Christ. Question: Are we called to walk hand in hand with anti-Christ so long as the there are no more drugs on our streets? Question: If conspiring with anti-Christ meant that you could walk the streets safely at night, would you conspire with him?
Any way you slice it, the Nation of Islam (from Elijah Muhammad to Louis Farrakhan) is anti-Christ. To walk hand and hand with them is to give legitimacy to their blasphemous teachings concerning our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The interesting aspect to any cooperation between Christians and the Nation of Islam is that it always benefits the Nation of Islam. As an illegitimate religious organization, it seeks legitimacy by seeking alliances with Christian leaders. The Christian leaders who give them a platform to speak and/or to pray will inevitably hear Christ blasphemed, as did Rev. Williams and those in attendance.
Rev. Williams may yet be successful in silencing the violence in our communities. But is it worth the price of silencing the uniqueness of Christ in the process? The name of Salem Bible Church may be more known, but what of the name and character of Christ? Unfortunately, this is what happens when we become more concerned for our communities than we are for the person and glory of Christ.