I had just finished performing a wedding in North Carolina last Saturday when I checked my phone and saw the alarming news: White supremacists were marching in Charlottesville, Virginia, to protest the removal of a Confederate statue. A few minutes later, when my friends were about to begin the wedding reception with a barbecue feast, I learned that a 20-year-old white nationalist had plowed his Dodge Challenger into a group of counter-protesters, killing one person and injuring 19 others.
I lost my appetite.
I'm still sad today, especially after learning that the young man responsible for the mayhem in Virginia on August 12 was identified with Vanguard America, a hate group that promotes the idea that America should be an exclusively white nation.
James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, was obviously mentally disturbed. He had been diagnosed with schizophrenia—and this may explain why he wasn't accepted in the U.S. Army when he tried to enlist in 2015. Fields had been fascinated with Nazi Germany and white supremacy since ninth grade. He idolized Adolf Hitler.
Fields is now classified as a domestic terrorist. He is also part of a demonic movement in this country that needs to be denounced in the strongest terms.
Racism is sick. Neo-Nazism is sick. And despite what some smug, churchgoing racists may tell you, these philosophies are totally incompatible with Christianity. White nationalism is an idea that was hatched in hell itself.
Nazism was spawned in Germany with the idea that white Aryans ("pure" Germans with no mixed-race lineage) are the "superior race," and that nature has selected them scientifically to outlast darker-skinned people. This fueled Hitler's rise to power.
Hitler was totally opposed to belief in God. He was convinced that Darwinian evolution controlled the world, and that all of life could be understood by watching the Aryan race struggle to gain dominance. He championed the idea that Jews, Southern Europeans and Gypsies were human vermin, destined for extinction. (Hitler called these people "bacteria.")
Hitler also supported bizarre eugenics programs, forcing people he considered inferior to be sterilized. And a huge majority of Germans, under the spell of this spiritual deception, supported Nazi policies.
It is no surprise that many Christians in the 1940s viewed Hitler as the Antichrist. He once told an eyewitness: "The biggest evil for the German people is accepting Christian humility." Pride consumed the fuhrer. At least 6 million Jews died in the German holocaust because of his sinister ideas, along with 1.8 million non-Jewish Poles, 220,000 Gypsies, 250,000 handicapped people and an undetermined number of homosexuals.
When the Nazi regime failed in 1945, Hitler killed himself. But his ideas did not die. There are more than a dozen major neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups operating in the United States and Canada today. There are many more groups in Europe, South Africa and Asia. The White Nationalist Party operates in England, a Heathen Front exists in Norway and an organization called the Stormer Troll Army has an international membership.
The spirit that possessed Hitler is still at work. If this doesn't prove the existence of a real devil, I don't know what will.
White supremacy is part of the antichrist spirit mentioned in the New Testament. It is in complete opposition to Christ's gospel, for the following reasons:
- When God chose to send His Son into the world, He was born to a Jewish woman. Jesus would not have been considered "Aryan"--He was a man of color. Yet He called people of all races to a salvation that was not based on race but on faith in God's incredible love and mercy.
- The church that Jesus founded began with His first Jewish followers, but it quickly became mixed with Italians, Greeks, Ethiopians and other Gentiles. Jesus broke the "dividing wall" between Jew and Gentile (see Eph. 2:14). He defeated racism! And He commissioned His followers to take the gospel to all nations. Christianity has always been multiethnic.
- The first apostles made it clear that Christ's kingdom is based on love for one another. Christians are not allowed to hate people—and they are certainly not allowed to belong to hate groups. John made this clear when he wrote: "If anyone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar" (1 John 4:20a). Racial hatred, bigotry and prejudice of any kind are polar opposites of Christian faith.
In 2015 another young white supremacist, Dylann Roof, walked into an African-American church in Charleston and shot nine black Christians—including their pastor—during a Bible study. Investigations showed that Roof was "self-radicalized," meaning he adopted his white supremacist views from reading articles on the Internet. He later confessed that he shot his victims in order to start a race war.
Now another troubled man, influenced by similar teachings, has killed a woman in Charlottesville—and he has proved once again that this white nationalist philosophy is a demonic spirit that still haunts America.
We can't soft-pedal on this. We can't compromise with it. When Jesus cast out a demon, He named it. We, too, should name the evil that is in our midst. Every pastor in America, and every government leader—including our president—should expose white supremacy for what it is.
J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years before he launched into full-time ministry in 2010. Today he directs The Mordecai Project, a Christian charitable organization that is taking the healing of Jesus to women and girls who suffer abuse and cultural oppression. Author of several books including 10 Lies the Church Tells Women, he has just released his newest book, Set My Heart on Fire, from Charisma House. You can follow him on Twitter at @LeeGrady or go to his website, themordecaiproject.org.