By Rev. Bruce Sutchar
I have just returned from a prayer breakfast at the Salaam restaurant where Minister Farrakhan was the featured speaker. The audience was so enveloped in his enunciation of the Word of God that it was like being frozen in time- nobody wanted to leave the restaurant, which he transformed into a Sanctuary of God.
A day later, I have had an opportunity to reflect on my interaction with Minister Farrakhan over these past twenty years. The first time I had the opportunity to meet with the Minister was at the Life Center Church of God in Christ. As a small group of us were being introduced, the Minister and I began to shake hands. At that moment a mutual brother in Christ and Allah informed the Minister that I was of the “Jewish persuasion.” At this point Minister Farrakhan embraced my hand that much tighter in a deep gesture of love.
I remember well, his talk from that day. He said that although people think he hates White people, or Jewish people, or Republicans or anyone else, he said that in fact, the only thing that he really hates is hypocrisy. He went on to intimately share with us how, all he witnessed, as he grew up in a Christian Church was hypocrisy and that he actually found God in a mosque. He referred to himself as a Christian Muslim, much as I might refer to myself (after converting 30 years ago) as a Jewish-Christian.
I have had the blessing of being with Minister Farrakhan on many occasions since. I prayed for him during his illness. I stood in front of the television cameras with him as he proclaimed his re-birth after recovering, and I have joined him on many occasions during Saviours’ Day. In fact, a few years ago he looked down at me, as I was seated in the first row and he said, “I know you, you are always at my events.”
I have rarely heard a better Christian sermon from another pulpit. On Tuesday, (July 23) at the Salaam Restaurant, there were so many people crowded into every seat that I nearly got thrown out, because the waitresses couldn’t get through. It was a fellowship, a homecoming and proof that under God, all races, creeds, nationalities, religions and people of good faith can harmonize–for truly if God is our Father than we are all brothers and sisters.
Minister Farrakhan began his sermon with the story of the prodigal son and he applied it to each of our lives right here in Chicago. He spoke many truths at the pulpit, but I never saw him look down at any notes. He shared with us-the meaning of Ramadan: for 30 days no food or water between sunrise and sunset; no physical relations between a legitimate heterosexual husband and wife (he strongly emphasized this point two different times); and he said that if you are centered on God and good during these 30 days, how can you get involved with anything evil; for the 30 days you read one section of the 30 parts of the Holy Quran every day.
He explained that there are 2 Jesus-Jesus the prophet and Jesus the Messiah.
In his only foray into our present day world-he commented about how politicians are forced to compromise-something that prophets never do-and as a result they are susceptible to corruption.
The Ministers Sermon:
Judgment will start first, he warned – in the house of God!
In the beginning was the Word. It is our time now– so you have to get back to God, so you can assume the position that God originally intended for you.
The Earth is in complete obedience to the Law- so it revolves perfectly in its orbit around the Sun.
Thus, we need to be in complete obedience to the Law of God so that we can also exist in perfect harmony with the Will of God —what was meant to be our original position.
When Jesus is present-God is present.
He concluded by saying that,” My hope for you is that maybe one or two of you can become the true friend of Jesus Christ”.
I challenge any Christian preacher in America to give a better sermon!
For me personally, this is what hit me the hardest:
“It is better to live a righteous life so that when you lie down at night you know that you have not injured any person this day”.
This rang especially true for me, because a dear friend, the former President of the Unification Church ( a New York Jewish man from Brooklyn whom Reverend Moon introduced to Jesus) taught me that, at the end of every day he asks himself, “How many acts of loving kindness have I performed today.”
As Minister Farrakhan walked off the podium to the shouts of Amen, Amin and Hallelujah, the crowd was standing on their feet and I did not see one soul making a dash for the exit. We knew full well that we were in the presence of a man of God (Allah)!
Post Script. I had a chance to be sitting at the same table as the Honorable Minister and watched him in prayer as he was preparing to speak. After the introduction, the MC accidentally called him up to the stage before the singer who was to precede him. As he began to speak, the mistake was realized and to everyone’s embarrassment, he stopped in mid-comment (something that is not easy to do) and left the stage so this heavenly singer could better prepare the atmosphere for the word of God. Yet, Minister Farrakhan was so humble. He just smiled that beautiful smile, returned to his seat, returned to prayer and made everyone feel as much at ease as he obviously was.
It’s now two days later and I am still breathing with the word that Doctor Farrakhan administered to the congregation in order to help heal our souls.
Contributed by Rev. Bruce Sutchar
Minister of Outreach
American Clergy Leadership Conference – Chicago