the Moors

The Death of Meme Theology

By: Cam Triggs

I've had it happen a dozen times. I respond to a Facebook post or Twitter thread dismantling some false statements about Christianity, and then someone responds with a MEME. No, not a book, reputable quote, article, or peer-reviewed research… but a meme. These memes often depict stereotypes, characterizations, and blatant fallacies concerning the Christian faith. Sadly, they are also the worst of quality… fuzzy memes with shallow logic. It's the worst. Even scarier is the blind allegiance and trust someone has towards these viral graphics.

I understand this cultural phenomenon. Of course, it is easier to run with a two-second message rather than listen to a two-hour lecture or read a two-hundred-page book. However, these memes are not good sources for intellectual exchange. They add absolutely nothing to most conversations. When challenged with research, history, and logic, many memes crumble like dry cornbread. 

A few questions could actually save you the intellectual embarrassment of relying on such poor sources. Simply think and ask: 

 

  1. What is the origin of this graphic?
  2. Can it stand the test of peer-reviewed research?
  3. Are there any scholars who agree or disagree? 
  4. Is it logical? 
  5. Is it historical? 
  6. Where is the burden of proof? 
  7. Is it biased? 
  8. What presuppositions are left unfounded? 

 

You can't make good arguments with sound conclusion relying on a picture produced for propaganda. No, not all memes are false or malicious. Some may actually point to truth and promote accurate information. Regardless, no meme should be a foundation for rejecting or accepting a belief. There is too much left uninvestigated or researched. This leaves people unable to accurately and adequately articulate what they believe.

Family, if there really was a malicious conspiracy theory out to destroy us all, I fully expect it would be hidden within the confines of a book versus fuzzy memes and poorly produced YouTube videos. Think about it; where would you put secret information? Online, where people are passing off poorly cited information? Or in a book, where few people are reading and actually fact-checking sources?

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently did a study that indicated “fake news” travels faster than facts.[1] This is why we need to truly research the information we access online. More importantly, we need receipts for every claim made.

Ladies and gentlemen, let's not amuse ourselves to death with inaccurate presumptions being created by someone with troll-like tendencies and endless time to waste. We need to reach deeper and research widely. Take a look. It's in a book. Read widely and critically. It’s bad practice to get your worldview from a meme. 

 

[1] http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43344256


CAM TRIGGS.jpg

As lead pastor of Grace Alive Church, Cam has a heart for Jesus and for the city of Orlando. He hopes to see people discover the greatness of Jesus through Grace Alive.

He graduated from the University of Central of Florida as a religious studies major and also received additional training at Reformed Theological Seminary-Orlando. During his time in Orlando, he made great friends and developed a passion for ministry in the Beautiful City.

More importantly, he is married to his beautiful best friend Tymara Triggs and the proud father of Cameron Triggs II and Charis Triggs.

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).