Probably everyone is familiar to a greater or lesser degree with the White Supremacy movement. We envision KKK members in their pointed white hoods, or survivalists holed up somewhere in the wilds of the upper mid-West fighting off ATF and FBI agents. And these are not unrealistic images. However, as with all cults there is a heretical theological basis to the movement.
The followers of this movement generally think of themselves as part of the Christian Identity movement, or simply the Identity movement. They call themselves this because the distinctive belief that characterizes them is the assertion that they are the true children of Adam, and the true heirs to the promises of Israel. Generally it is posited that only the white (or Aryan) race are true sons of Adam. Other races, especially Jews and blacks, are descended from some other source. There are several theories offered for their variant origin. Some believe that the inferior races are descended from a sexual liaison between the Serpent and Eve. Some think that they are a cursed race (or races) originating either with Adam’s son Cain, or Noah’s son Ham. Others say that the hated peoples are descendents of the demonic “sons of God” who fell in the days of Noah by having sex with human women. Today there are many groups which teach that the non-white races are descendents of pre-Adamite “bestial” peoples, i.e., they are literally “beasts of the earth” and while having bodies and souls, they have no spirits. Whatever their origin, it is commonly held by believers of the Identity movement that Jews, blacks, and all non-white, non-Aryan peoples are inferior, spiritually cursed, and rejected by God.
There are three main categories of Supremacists. The first is the most visible, and probably the most well known. This is the U.S. group known as the Ku Klux Klan, which began after the American Civil War as an attempt to “protect white southerners” and keep “uppity” blacks in their place. The Klan has waxed and waned in its membership and influence through the years. Their heyday was in the 1920’s and 1930’s in the U.S. The second group is those Supremacists who model their beliefs and organizations after Hitler’s National Socialist Party. This includes the more traditional groups which are rooted in the Nazism of the 1930’s and 1940’s, as well as the more contemporary Neo-Nazis groups. The Neo-Nazis are found not only in the U.S., but also in many other places, most notably in Germany, Britain, and other western European countries. The third category is comprised of the Christian Identity churches, such as the Church of Jesus Christ Christian, Aryan Nations. They characterize themselves as the true followers of Jesus Christ, and the promoters of the true gospel, which is meant exclusively for white Protestants.
It is common to see aberrant action and behavior follow heretical belief. This is no less the case with regards to the White Supremacists. There is a perverted and twisted theological base for this movement. The two main areas where the Scriptures are “twisted” by these groups is in their views regarding the true identity of Israel, and the spiritual/physical origins of Adam and Eve’s children. First, the identity of Israel…
In Britain and America in the late 18th and early 19th centuries there was a great deal of speculation as to the fate of the so-called “Ten Lost Tribes.” Out of these speculations arose the idea that the Lost Tribes had through the centuries migrated northward and westward, finally settling in Britain. It was asserted that the Anglo-Saxons are actually the true descendents of Israel. Supposedly this is even evidenced by their name: “Saxon” being held to be a contraction of “Isaac’s Sons.” Also, the word “British” was believed to be derived from the Hebrew words for covenant (berith) and man (ish): Berith+ish = British, or “man of the covenant.” (I am not making this up. They really believe this!) This odd teaching came to be known as British-Israelism. British-Israelites say that Great Britain is the biblical Ephraim and that America is Manasseh, and they are the true Israelites. This strange belief affected a number of cults, including the followers of Joseph Smith, as well as the followers of Herbert W. Armstrong. It also is a major component of the doctrinal structure of the Christian Identity movement.
A second major component of their belief system is the Two-Seed Doctrine. This doctrine asserts that there are two strains of heredity running through human history. In some forms of 19th century Reformed theology this referred to the elect and the non-elect. It was taught that God had infused good seed into Adam and Eve. But with the Fall, Satan had also infused bad seed. Whether you were part of the elect or not was evidenced by God’s providential decision as to which seed you belonged. This teaching is still found in some Primitive Baptist churches. In the Christian Identity movement, they have taken this teaching a step further and given a racial twist to it. They also assert that there are two seeds present in the history of the human race(s). First, there is the natural and godly seed. This seed began with Abel, the son of Adam and Eve. However, there is another seed, an ungodly, wicked and cursed seed. This seed began with Cain, who was the unnatural offspring of a sexual encounter between Eve and the Serpent/Satan. The first seed is represented in the pure, white, Aryan followers of God. The second seed is represented in the corrupt, “colored,” non-Aryan children of the Devil. Throughout history there is a spiritual and racial conflict between these seeds. And, of course, one of the greatest sins we can commit is to mix the seeds.
While some New-Nazi groups have reverted to a pagan theology, believing this to be the truest expression of their Aryan roots, most White Supremacists claim to be Christian. And while they may superficially seem to agree with many basic Christian beliefs, e.g., the Trinity, the Resurrection of Christ, etc., in reality they reject the true Gospel of Jesus. First of all, their faith is more about race than it is about grace. Racial purity and ethnic heritage is essential to salvation in their worldview. Also, the racist and hate-filled ideology they espouse is completely inconsistent with the Gospel of the Savior who died for the whole world, and desires that all men come to salvation.
Summary of Beliefs
God: Superficially orthodox in Christian Identity churches, including belief in the Trinity. Some
Neo-Nazi groups are pagan in theology.
Jesus: Jesus is the Savior of the Aryan people, true sons of Adam.
Salvation: Salvation is essentially a result of birth; race is of paramount importance.
Sin: Holiness and purity are expressed in racial terms; racial purity is the utmost good.
Afterlife: Basically heaven is for the good, white Christian.
Scripture: For the Christian Identity groups, and the Klan, there is an allegiance to the Bible, as
interpreted with their hermeneutic. The writings of Hitler, and other such leaders of the past may also be revered.
Truth: Truth is absolute, as determined by the heretical teachings of the leaders. The White
Separatists are the true church of Jesus. All other churches are heretical.
Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions and the Occult by George A. Mather and Larry A. Nichols.
The Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects and New Religions by James R. Lewis