DA Horton

Nick Cannon and the Moors

In light of Nick Cannon's recent comments on the Breakfast Club, we decided to repost a blog by our friend and brother, DA Horton, on the Moors a.k.a The Moorish Science Temple.  

Watch Nick Cannon's comments below:

Overview of The Moorish Science Temple (The Moors)

By: DA Horton (Orginally posted on DAHorton.com)

The Founder: Timothy Drew, later known as Noble Drew Ali was born in North Carolina in 1886. Ali began to teach the ”Negroes” in America they are truly ”Asiatic”[1] with a lineage going back to the Moors who lived in Northwest and Southwest Africa before they were enslaved in North America. Ali taught his followers that Marcus Garvey his forerunner similar to what John the Baptist was to Jesus. In 1913, Ali founded the Canaanite Temple in Newark, New Jersey whose named served as an “indication that the so-called Negroes were of Asiatic origin from the Holy Land of Canaan”[2]. After a fractional break off in 1916, Ali moved changed the name of his movement to the “Holy Moabite Temple of the World” and in 1925 he moved his congregation from Newark to Chicago.[3] In 1926 Ali changed the name of his movement again to “Moorish Temple of Science” and in 1928 the organization reorganized under the name “Moorish Science Temple of America”[4]. In 1929 Ali passed away and shortly after at the 2ndAnnual National convention, controversy would over future leadership would split the movement in three ways.

The Followers: During Ali’s lifetime his movement grew to have over 30,000 followers with in New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Michigan, and Illinois.[5] Today there are roughly 400-600 Moors located in Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.[6] Although these numbers seem low, the Moors recent and future growth has taken place due to their evangelism inside of America’s prisons.

The Focus: The overall goal of the Moorish Science Temple of America is to see divine salvation brought to their people. In 48:6-8 of the Circle Seven Koran, Ali declares they, his pure nation, does not desire to marry the pale skin nations of Europe, serve the gods of the Europeans, and are therefore, “returning the Church and Christianity back to the European Nations, as it was prepared by their forefathers for their earthly salvation.While we, the Moorish Americans are returning to Islam, which was founded by our forefathers for our earthly and divine salvation.” (48:6—8)

The Faith: The doctrine for the Moorish Science Temple derives from The Holy Koran of The Moorish Science Temple of America (also known as the Circle Seven Koran). It is said to have been written by Ali between 1913—1929.[7]

The Friction: In the very first verse of Chapter 1 titled, “The Creation and Fall of Man”, it is said that there was not a time when man didn’t exist because he is a “spirit and a part of Allah”. Ali arrives at this conclusion because he believes man is a thought of Allah and all of Allah’s thoughts are infinite, so man is then an infinite being. The Circle Seven Koran takes the liberty of quoting Jesus supporting the worship of Allah and even going as far to say all people worship Allah even though He is said to be Zeus, Thoth, Yahweh, and Parabrahm to some yet, is the same being.[8]

The Moorish doctrine of salvation is one the proclaims the forgiveness of sins through ceremonial washing and the “purity of life” (4:18). In 4:19—28 the narrative expresses the fact that as the body is being washed, it is symbolizing the soul’s cleansing. Chapter 7:27 records Jesus’ describing salvation as; “Salvation is a ladder reaching from the heart of man to heart of Allah.” the Circle Seven Koran teaches that in 7:24 heaven and hell are not above or below, because Allah never created a heaven or hell to put man in, man does this to himself (12:9). What this teaching is saying is that heaven and hell are here on this side of eternity. The struggles and pain we have on this side of eternity are hell while heaven is defined as, when one is filled with peace and joy after they have toiled (12:6). To reinforce this teaching, Ali quotes Jesus in 12:8 saying “heaven is a state of mind”.

Notes:


D.A. Horton serves as Pastor of Reach Fellowship a church plant in North Long Beach, CA & as Chief Evangelist for the Urban Youth Workers Institute (UYWI). Prior to his current roles he served as an urban church planter/pastor in Kansas City, MO, a National Coordinator of Urban Student Ministries at the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the Executive Director at ReachLife Ministries, the non-profit ministry of Reach Records.

He earned his B.S. in Biblical Studies from Calvary Bible College, his Masters Degree in Christian Studies from Calvary Theological Seminary and is currently working on his Ph.D. in Applied Theology with a North American Missions emphasis at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He has authored three books; G.O.S.P.E.L.DNA: Foundations of the Faith (published through Moody Publishers) and Bound to Be Free: Escaping Performance to be Captured by Grace, (published through NavPress). He and his wife of 13 years Elicia are co-authoring a book on marriage. D.A. and Elicia have two daughters, Izabelle and Lola and one son, D.A. Jr. (aka Duce).

Overview of Rastafarianism

By: D.A Horton (Article Originally Posted on dahorton.com on Sept. 27, 2015)

The Founder: In Rastafarianism no one person is championed as the founder. The movement is seen as the fulfillment of a prophecy of Marcus Garvey. Marcus Garvey was born in Jamaica in 1887 and was the leading advocate for the Back to African movement.[1] Garvey encouraged both Jamaicans and African-Americans to not be ashamed of the African heritage and return to Africa. Garvey is credited with publicly declaring/prophesying a king rising out of Africa that will be the redeemer for those of African descent living in the west.[2]

On November 2, 1930 Ras Tafari Makonnen was crowned Emperor Halie Selassie I of Ethopia, an event that would lead Leonard P. Howell to declare Selassie as the “great Black Messiah”, the Second Coming of Jesus, before declaring himself as Selassie’s representative in Jamaica.[3]Howell view heavily influenced by his time with Marcus Garvey in addition to the work of Reverend Fritz Balintine Pettersburgh.[4] Howell returned to Jamaica in 1933 and began a faith healing ministry that he would use to gain a platform in preaching his beliefs regarding Selassie being God incarnate. Howell was soon charged with preaching doctrines that were deemed to be anti-church, was arrested and sentenced to prison. When he was released in 1940 he founded the first Rastafarian village in Jamaica that sat on 400 acres at Sligoville, St. Catherine.[5]

On April 21, 1966 Emperor Haile Selassie visited Jamaica and was welcomed by the largest crowd every gathered at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.[6] During his visit, Selassie, encouraged the Jamaicans to not depart from their land and immigrate to Ethiopia but rather remain and work to liberate their own countrymen.[7] Selassie endured much turbulence during his reign in Ethiopia and was eventually forced out of office in 1974 when revolutionaries performed a successful overthrow. Selassie’s death a year later would be interpreted by Rastafarians as everything from a lie to inconsequential as he was deity and death could not be a reality for him.

The Followers: Estimates range between 200,000 and 2 million people that are identified by Rastafarian faith and or lifestyle. Adherents.com identifies the current number as 600,000[8] with sizable groups in such US cities as; Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.[9]Perhaps the Rastafarian faith’s most public and known adherent was the Reggae artist Bob Marley.

The Focus: The suppression of Black in Babylon (Jamaica) will come to an end and a migration to Zion (Ethiopia) will become a reality.

The Faith: Much of the Rastafarian belief systems is taken from the Bible alongside the interpretation of Howell’s writing, The Promised Key.

The Friction: Since there is no official organized and recognized leader of the Rastafarian movement, the beliefs of each congregation differ from each other. There are however some similar teachings that are embraced by many Rastafarians. Howell identified the foundational beliefs of Rastafarian doctrine as; Anglo-Saxons are inferior while the Black race is superior[10], Ras Tafari is God Incarnate who provides salvation for his oppressed Black people[11], the Pope is the Devil who uses the hypocritical religious system called the Church to keep people ignorant, and heaven being a place in the afterlife is a lie that has prevented the Black man from enjoying this life and pursuing earthly riches[12].

Since Howell’s contributions there have been other theological expansions in Rastafarian doctrine that include; Jeremiah 8:21 serving as a proof text of Selassie being God incarnate, further development of Selassie being from the lineage of the Queen of Sheep and King Solomon’s union[13], Marijuana being seen as the holy herb to be used as a form of sacrament that can be ingested through smoking or drinking in tea[14], dreadlocks are seen as physical evidence of communal unity with Rastas worldwide and is often supported by citing no biblical passage describing Jesus ever cutting his hair.[15]

Notes:


D.A. HORTON currently is preparing to relocate his family to Los Angeles to plant a church. During this season of preparation he will be serving on staff at Summit Churchwhile continuing his speaking and writing ministries. Prior to his current role he served as; the National Coordinator for Urban Student Missions at the North American Mission Board (NAMB), the Executive Director of ReachLife Ministries, the non-profit ministry of Reach Records and as an urban church planter, pastor and Lead Teaching Elder in Kansas City, MO for close to 6 years. For over 16 years D.A. also used the medium of Rap music as a tool to help educate the people of God on the precepts of Scripture as well as how to evangelize to the lost by presenting them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. D.A. also has served as an Adjunct Professor at Calvary Bible College teaching systematic and contemporary theology courses in addition to the seven urban-focused courses he wrote for the Urban Studies major. D.A. earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies at Calvary Bible College and his Master’s Degree in Christian Studies from Calvary Theological Seminary. D.A. is currently working towards his PhD in Applied Theology with a North American Missions emphasis at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

With a heart to provide local churches with quality Bible-centered tools and resources for evangelism and discipleship, D.A. wrote two books; G.O.S.P.E.L. and DNA: Foundations of the Faith both published through Moody Publishers. His third book, Bound to Be Free: Escaping Performance to be Captured by Grace, will be released through NavPress in spring 2016. He and his wife of 12 years Elicia have two daughters, Izabelle and Lola and one son, D.A. Jr. (aka Duce). If you would like to book DA for an event, please contact his manager Elicia by email at e.horton82@gmail.com

Overview of The Black Hebrew Israelites

By: D.A Horton (Article Originally Posted on dahorton.com on Sept. 26, 2015)

Heads upsince there is no “one set of beliefs” that all Black Hebrews, Black Hebrew Israelites, and Hebrew Israelites fall under, this blog will highlight a few of the movements that are often identified as having similar beliefs. This section will be longer than others as I’ve attempted to consolidate several different movements under the term Black Hebrew Israelite while giving each respected entity recognition for it unique nuance and history.

The Founders: Most groups that identify themselves with being Black Hebrew Israelites residing in America trace their inception back to the Pre-Civil War era of American History. One of the first preachers known to harmonize the American slaves with the biblical account of the Israelites was Martin Prosser, a slave preacher in Richmond, VA. In 1800 he helped his brother Gabriel organize what is now known as Gabriel’s rebellion.[1] The first known leader to organize a movement around the connection between American slavery and the Israelite narrative recorded in the Bible was William Saunders Crowdy.

Crowdy, a Civial War veteran established the establishing of The Church of God and Saints in Christ (COGASC) in 1896.[2] Crowdy began to preach new revelations that God gave Him known as the “Seven Keys”[3] that make up the doctrine of the COGASC. Crowdy remained the leader of congregation until his death on August 4, 1908 after which Bishop James M. Grove was elected as the new leader.[4]

In 1866 F.S. Cherry organized the Church of the Living God, Pillar of Truth for All Nations in Chattanooga, TN.[5] Cherry’s doctrine focused on the blackness of Adam, Eve and Jesus while arguing the white/white Jews altering of the blackness of biblical figures to fit their purposes. Cherry claimed his call to ministry was given by God to make Blacks aware that their true religion was indeed Judaism.[6] Cherry also taught Blacks were of the lineage of Jacob and God hated White Jews because they rejected Jesus while using Revelation 3:9 as his proof text. Cherry moved the church from Chattanooga to Philadelphia in 1915 and remained the leader of the church until his death in 1965 after which, his son Benjamin Cherry took over as the leader.

In 1919 in Harlem, New York the Commandment Keepers of the Living God (also known as the Royal Order of Ethiopian Hebrews)[7] began assembling under the leadership of Rabbi Wentworth A. Matthew.[8] The group gained momentum due to their response to the Great Depression, World War II, and the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. Matthew, born is West Africa but raise in the Caribbean created a hybrid theology that had influences from March Garvey, Arnold Josiah Ford to the point he took over Ford’s congregation when he left for Ethiopia.[9] Matthew’s congregation stayed in tact while other organizations around them were closing their doors, most notably Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association. Matthew’s views and practices were known to be the closest of all Black Jewish movements to Orthodox Judaism yet at the same time, he taught; original Jews were black and white Jews are products of generational intermarriage with Europeans and the sufferings of Blacks was caused by their violation of God’s commandments.[10] Before his death in 1973 Matthew ordained his grandson, Rabbi David Dore to be his successor. At the time of his ordination, Dore was only seventeen years old. His ordination caused a great division between Dore and Rabbi Chaim White that lasted for over three decades that eventually led to self-destruction.[11]

In the 1960’s Ebner ben Yomin (also known as Abba Bivens) left the Commandment Keepers and began the Israeli School of Universal Practical Knowledge. Three of Bivens’ followers teamed up with four “high priests” to take over the school and were collectively known as the “Seven Heads”.[12] These leaders later changed the name of the school to the Israelite Church of Universal Practical Knowledge and then changing the name again to rebrand because of a failed prophecy of Christ’ return in 2000, the name became the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, Inc.[13] The current leader, Apostle and Chief High Priest Tazadaqyah, born Jermaine Grant, rose to power after Ahrayah’s, one of Bivens disciples, prophecy of Christ’s return in 2000 to “slay or enslave” all the Edomites (whites) failed to come to pass.[14] Tazadagyah is known by his followers as the Comforter, a direct reference to Holy Spirit and is propagated as such at the website dedicated to him.[15]

Yahweh ben Yahweh was born Hulon Mitchell, Jr on October 27, 1935 in Kingfisher, OK to a pentecostal minister. After graduating high school he served in the Air Force, earned a degree in Psychology from Phillips College in Oklahoma before earning a master’s degree in economics from Atlanta University.[16] He was briefly involved with the Nation of Islam before moving to Miami, FL in 1979 when where he declared himself as Yahweh ben Yahweh and began the Nation of Yahweh.[17]His ministry was to rebuild the Liberty City section of Miami and by October 7, 1990 Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez declared the day to be Yahweh ben Yahweh Day all the while a federal grand jury was preparing to indict he and over a dozen of his followers with charges ranging from extortion, racketeering and over a dozen murders.[18]The trial ended with a conviction that landed him in prison for 18 years but only served 11 of those years and after his release was informed he could not have any contact with any of the members of his group. On May 7, 2007 he passed away from cancer.[19]

The Followers: It is hard to identify how many followers in the United States align themselves with the various groups that identify with the Black Hebrew Israelites. Part of the challenge is due to the strong emphasis put on a Jewish bloodline as being a prerequisite. According to an article by Michael Gelbwasser published in 1998 there were he cites Robin Washington (who organized the Alliance of Black Jews) claim of 260,000 black Jews practicing Judaism in America.[20]Although the entirety of this number does not state how many align with Black Hebrew Israelite teachings, those who do would argue there are more since Black Hebrew Israelites include Latino and Native American heritages as well.[21]

The Focus: The overall focus of all groups regardless of Scriptural interpretation is to bring an awareness of Israelite identity to those living in America that are unaware of such heritage. In addition, they live to see all true Israelites obey the Commandments of the Only True and Living God and forsake all forms of paganism. Some groups such as African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem go as far as mandating a migration to Israel.[22]

The Faith: Many Black Hebrew Israelites affirm the King James (1611) Version of the Bible as their only rule of faith and practice and the interpretation of it is reserved for their ordained leader. Some groups accept some books of the New Covenant (New Testament) yet, many reject Paul’s writings on the idea, they were used often by White masters during the American slavery years.

The Friction: In addition to a high regard for the KJV, other Black Hebrew Israelites look to the Torah alone or Talmud while others the ApocryphaBook of EnochBook of Jasher, andPseudepigrapha texts as being with equal with the KJV. Many Black Hebrew Israelites reject God’s nature being triune and separates Jesus from God the Father by forcing a dichotomy between the Supreme Being in the Universe and Jesus the “mere human being, a noteworthy prophet”.[23]Jesus is then also seen as one who practiced Judaism, did not change any laws in Torah, lived an exemplary life.

According to the Hebrew Israelites sin is defined by 1 John 3:4 which says, “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness”, but on their website they quote the KJV which says, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (italics original).[24] They go onto to explain the “laws of Yah can be found in the first five books Scripture which are known as the Torah or Instructions” which include the Ten Commandments and various dietary laws. In addition, many Black Hebrew Israelites teach the only days that are to be celebrated are the Feasts found in Scripture.[25]

Salvation to many Black Hebrew Israelites is defined by one of two schools of thought; it is obtained through total obedience to the Law of Moses and calling on the Hebrew name of God (or Jesus for those who see Him as the Messiah) or exclusive to those who have a bloodline that leads back to Israel. According to the ICOGIJC, different nations who believe in the Lord Jesus “will not be spared from God’s wrath” using Isaiah 14:1—3, 34:1—3, and 66:15—6; Jeremiah 3:23; Daniel 2:44; Micah 4:11—3; and Revelation 19:11—5 as proof texts. They also say only the 12 Tribes of Israel will be saved and spared from His wrath.[26] Heaven and hell are seen as states of mind not literal locations.

Notes:


D.A. HORTON currently is preparing to relocate his family to Los Angeles to plant a church. During this season of preparation he will be serving on staff at Summit Churchwhile continuing his speaking and writing ministries. Prior to his current role he served as; the National Coordinator for Urban Student Missions at the North American Mission Board (NAMB), the Executive Director of ReachLife Ministries, the non-profit ministry of Reach Records and as an urban church planter, pastor and Lead Teaching Elder in Kansas City, MO for close to 6 years. For over 16 years D.A. also used the medium of Rap music as a tool to help educate the people of God on the precepts of Scripture as well as how to evangelize to the lost by presenting them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. D.A. also has served as an Adjunct Professor at Calvary Bible College teaching systematic and contemporary theology courses in addition to the seven urban-focused courses he wrote for the Urban Studies major. D.A. earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies at Calvary Bible College and his Master’s Degree in Christian Studies from Calvary Theological Seminary. D.A. is currently working towards his PhD in Applied Theology with a North American Missions emphasis at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

With a heart to provide local churches with quality Bible-centered tools and resources for evangelism and discipleship, D.A. wrote two books; G.O.S.P.E.L. and DNA: Foundations of the Faith both published through Moody Publishers. His third book, Bound to Be Free: Escaping Performance to be Captured by Grace, will be released through NavPress in spring 2016. He and his wife of 12 years Elicia have two daughters, Izabelle and Lola and one son, D.A. Jr. (aka Duce). If you would like to book DA for an event, please contact his manager Elicia by email at e.horton82@gmail.com