The Spirit of Racism
“We are praying against the pandemic of division and hate. Because that’s what racism is. It’s just a division…a divisive strategy of the enemy to divide and conquer. Jesus said a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. As believers, we have to make sure that we don’t divide ourselves, so that light will prevail, that justice really will happen in our lifetime.
Pastor Erica R. Moore, Spirit of Faith Christian Center, Phoenix, AZ
The spirit of racism is a vile, murderous spirit. I have tried to personify it as best I could in the artwork for this cover. I believe it is one of the ranking principalities over America. There is an atmosphere, a “high place” over America where this evil spirit has been allowed to remain comfortable.
This spirit has a secure place in the atmosphere over America, or as T.D. Jakes said in the “fabric of America,” because it has been given a comfortable place in the minds and hearts of Americans. Instead of adhering to the admonition in 1 Cor 10:5 to demolish ungodly arguments and cast down wicked imaginations, Americans, since the time of the Founding Fathers, have embraced them.
The Bible says that we should “give no place to the devil.” For too long in America, and particularly in the Church, we have excluded racism and division as major sins. In this book’s predecessor, “The Making of a Great America (Vol 1),” I shared how division was one of the first sins in Heaven, likely right behind pride. I shared how Satan used division to make war in Heaven and to separate Adam and Eve from God in Eden.
More than any other issue, racism has both divided and defined America. More than any other issue, including abortion, the spirit of racism has led to death. The spirit of racial hatred caused America’s early leaders to sanction the genocide of Native American tribes. The Native Americans that were depicted as friendly in our historical portrayals of the first Thanksgiving were massacred away from “sea to shining sea.” From Plymouth Rock to the gold-rush coasts of California, this murderous spirit was allowed to taint the legacy of the great republic.
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that eternal life does not reside in a murderer. 1 John 3:15 (Berean Study Bible, BSB)
Murder Begins in the Heart
You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. Matthew 5:21-22 (NKJV[IT1] )
Racism and hatred are heart issues. Hatred is the root of racism. Racism is the sugar coating on top of an ugly inner heart that is a safe haven for hatred. The Bible says harboring hatred in your heart is the root of murder.
The spirit of racism caused even America’s most renowned patriots to ignore the horrific conditions that resulted in the deaths of multiplied thousands of Africans en route to enslavement in America. This spirit superintended the death, dismemberment, and rendering of unspeakable cruelty to African men, women, and children. Moreover, this spirit convinced Americans, including the Founding Fathers, to change the identities of Africans from “human” to “slave” and generationally erase their rights to freedom and even life.
In the generations following slavery, America and the American church at the time participated in, endorsed, winked at, or turned a blind eye to the spirit of racism and its operation. In “The Making of a Great America (Vol 1),” I quote Jemar Tisby, who says a Christianity that allows racism and discord to coexist with it a “compromised Christianity.” (Williams, 2019)
Racial hatred is a profoundly spiritual issue. It can’t be legislated away or protested away. Slavery was legislated away. Segregation was protested away. But the spirit of racial hatred was allowed to remain. Hatred divides, it separates. This is true even in the church. This divison was on display in the Azuza Street Revival of 1906. The revival at Azusa was one of the greatest Pentecostal revivals America has ever known. People of every nationality came together in worship, and unity and a mighty outpouring of the Spirit of God was manifested.
In “The Making of a Great America (Vol 1),” I shared this about unity:
“I believe that in America, there may be no more important sermon or message in this hour than unity. Racism, discord, and division threaten to tear our nation apart. It is at such a time as this that the Church needs to speak…that the Holy Spirit is poured out in great power when unity is present, especially among the races. The Church at that time heralded the great manifestation of the Holy Spirit that they saw at Azusa. They made this revelation the focus of the revival. Looking back, I do not believe that they had the revelation that unity in the Spirit across the races was the key ingredient for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the measure that was seen at Azusa.”
Unity across the races is needed in order for America to fulfill its great destiny in the earth. Just as people have a “call of God” on their lives, I believe America has a call in God’s great end-time plans for reconciliation of all the people of the Earth. America has an assignment given to her by God. It is the reason she has been given great wealth and prominence in the Earth at this time.
One of America’s greatest visionaries, Benjamin Franklin, saw this centuries ago. Here’s a Franklin quote that I include in “The Making of a Great America” (Vol1):
“MANIFEST DESTINY, Of America. Providence seems by every means intent on making us a great people. May our virtues public and private grow with us, and be durable, that liberty, civil and religious, may be secured to our posterity, and to all from every part of the Old World that take refuge among us.
MANIFEST DESTINY, American Freedom Part of God’s Plan. It is with great sincerity I join you in acknowledging of Providence in our favor. America has only to be thankful, and to persevere. God will finish his work and establish their freedom; and lovers of liberty will flock from all parts of Europe with their fortunes to appreciate with us of that freedom, as soon as peace is restored.
AMERICA, Land of Opportunity. Persons of moderate fortunes and capitals who, having a number of children to provide for, are desirous of bringing them up to industry, and to secure estates for their posterity, have opportunities of doing it in America which Europe does not afford.
AMERICA, Room for Many Artisans. Artisans generally live better and more easily in America than in Europe; and such as are good economists make a comfortable provision for age, and for their children. Such may, therefore remove with advantage to America.” (Allison, 1982)
Franklin envisioned the greatness of America and acknowledged that the source of her greatness was the providence of God and indeed part of God’s plan. He saw the great impact that our values could have on the world. He saw the great promise of prosperity, even generational wealth for immigrants to America.
The problem is that Franklin only envisioned the promises of the “New World” being obtained by the inhabitants of the “Old World,” Europe. I have poured over Franklin’s writings, and nowhere can I find any evidence that his vision of a great America included anyone other than Europeans.”
Franklin had the right vision, God’s vision for an America that would be a symbol of hope for the world and also a source of light to the world. The problem was that he had the wrong plan to achieve the vision. Benjamin Franklin’s plan for America to achieve its God-ordained greatness did not include all the people of America. It did not include America’s indigenous people, the native Americans. Nor did it include a future vision of liberty and opportunity for the enslaved Africans. Franklin’s vision was short-sighted, and his vision was limited to a “New Europe” for those who had left “Old Europe.”
How would it be possible to build a New Europe that did not include the people that already lived here? How would be possible to build a New Europe without the descendants of the Africans that were forcibly brought here? Enter the spirit of racism, the spirit that leads to hatred based on race, racial identity, and ancestry.
Jesus said that the spirit of hatred was the same as the spirit of murder. The spirit of racism was the fuel needed to build a New Europe, exclusively for Europeans, on the American continent. The spirit of hatred was needed to fuel the massacres of the native Americans and their forced relocation Westward and eventually onto Reservations so that the greatest amount of American soil could be devoted to the New Europe.
The spirit of hatred was needed to bring Africans on slave ships where the expected death rate was 12[IT2] %. The spirit of hatred was needed make slavery permanent, even generational, to build wealth for a New Europe only for Europeans.
The spirit of racism was allowed to become so prevalent in its operation in America that even Christians ignored every Biblical concept about how to treat other human beings, including Biblical concepts that spoke about how to treat slaves (Leviticus 25, Col 4:1, Eph 6:9, Deut 15:12-15).
Post-slavery expressions of the spirit of racism fueled Jim Crow legislation, lynchings, mass incarceration, segregation, gerrymandering, and suppression of voting rights, all in an attempt to preserve the New Europe for Europeans indefinitely. These hatred-inspired tools would attempt to create an invisible “Reservation” outside the plantation for the descendants of slaves so that they could live in a separate America, like the native Americans, and not muddy the waters of the vision of a New Europe.
The spirit of racism was the instrument used to discriminate against Asians and Latin Americans to keep them from finding a place within New Europe, a place that would later become known as the “American Dream,” or more recently “Making America Great Again.” Interestingly enough, the same tools were used to a lesser extent on the Germans, the Irish, Italians, and Eastern Europeans when they were considered “immigrants.” We see this clearly in the quote from (Vol 1) below:
“Franklin’s vision was not the great American ‘melting pot.’ Indeed, he had a moderate degree of difficulty in accepting the immigration of other non-British immigrants. He expressed the same type of sentiments towards German and Irish immigrants that we hear expressed toward Mexican and other non-European immigrants today.
‘GERMANS, Early Immigrants to Pennsylvania. As few English understand the German language, and so cannot address them either from the press or the pulpit, it is almost impossible to remove any prejudices they may entertain… Few of their children in the country learn English… The signs in our streets have inscriptions in both languages, and in some places only German. They begin of late to make all their bonds and legal instruments in their own language, which (though I think it ought not be) are allowed in our good courts… In short, unless the stream of their importation could be turned from this to other colonies, as you very judiciously propose, they will soon so outnumber us that all the advantages we have will not, in my opinion be able to preserve our language, and even our government will become precarious… Yet I am not entirely for refusing to admit them into our colonies. All that seems to me necessary is to distribute them more equally, mix them with the English, establish English schools where they are now too thickly settled… I say I am not against the Germans in general, for they have their virtues. Their industry and frugality are exemplary. (1753)
IRISH, Political Influence Through Mass Migration. It is a fact that the Irish emigrants and their children are now in possession of the government in Pennsylvania, by their majority in the Assembly as well as a of a great part of the territory; and I remember well the first ship that brought many of them over.’ (Allison, 1982)
Their children aren’t learning our language. The signs in their neighborhoods aren’t in English. Soon they might outnumber us and take over our government. I’m not saying we should refuse to let any of them into the country; we need to spread them out among other English-speaking neighborhoods. I’m not against them in general; they have their virtues. They are hard workers!
These are the words of Benjamin Franklin about the Irish and the Germans! The fear of losing ‘what’s ours’ has existed since the beginning of our nation. This fear drives us often to villainize others and results in division, discord, and racism. It was not God’s vision of America that its vast wealth and resources be limited to a few nor that the virtues that its Founders sought to achieve be only spread to a few.
To his credit, Franklin did come to a broader view that sounds more in line with ‘bring me your poor, your tired, homeless,’ etc.:
‘IRELAND, Poverty in. Ireland is itself a poor country;… the appearances of general extreme poverty among the lower people are amazing. The live in wretched hovels of mud and straw, are clothed in rags, and subsist chiefly on potatoes…
IRISH, Desire to Migrate to America. I received some time since a letter from a person at Belfast, informing me that a great number of people in those parts were desirous of going to America, if passports could be obtained for them and their effects, and referring me to you for further information…
IRISH, Deprived of Rights by English. I admire the spirit with which I see the Irish are at length determined to claim some share of that freedom of commerce which is the right of all mankind, but which they have so long been deprived by the abominable selfishness of their fellow subjects. To enjoy all the advantages of the climate, soil and situation in which God and nature have placed us is as clear a right as that of breathing, and can never be justly taken from men but as a punishment for some atrocious crime. The English have long seemed to think it a right which none could have but themselves. Their injustice has already cost them dear, and, if persisted in will be their ruin.’ (Allison, 1982)
Franklin saw the impoverished people of Ireland and declared that it was the right of these impoverished people, indeed “the right of all mankind” to “enjoy all the advantages of the climate, soil and situation” that God had provided in America. (Allison, 1982) He further considered the English abominably “selfish” for thinking living in America “was a right which none could have but themselves.” (Allison, 1982)
An all-white America with every other people group displaced to Reservations, visible and invisible, is not God’s vision for America. This vision of America will not be the witness to the world that God intended. This compromised Christianity, built on the foundation of hate, discord, and division dims “the light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (2 Cor 4:4). It will not attract the predominantly brown, black, and yellow people groups of the world—and the devil knows it. Sadly, many Christians don’t know it.
The Bible says in Ephesians 6:12 (KJV), “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Daniel 10:13 (NLT) says, “But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia.” We see in Daniel that these principalities, these high spiritual rulers, are only displaced by prayer. Daniel fasted and prayed for 21 days and set spiritual forces in motion to defeat this principality known as the “prince of Persia.”
The Bible talks about principalities and spiritual armor (Ephesian Chapter 6) to give us a strategy to combat these supernatural powers over entire regions and nations. In addition, to praying for the displacement of these powers over our nation, we are also told to guard our hearts so that we don’t “give place” (Eph 4:27-20) to these spirits.
The Bible says repenting of a sin is not enough. You have to avoid that sin in the future. You have to close your heart to the influence of the spirits behind the sin. 2 Cor 7:9-11 and Matt 12:43-45 give a Scriptural checklist for the actions and mindset that should accompany “godly” repentance:
“Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
An Unclean Spirit Returns
When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”
The Scripture above describes a cycle in which an evil spirit is identified, expelled, and then unfortunately allowed to return to the “house” with seven “spirits more wicked than himself.” In my imagination, America became the spiritual house. I looked at America’s spiritual house being swept clean of the massacres of the Indians, but allowing the evil of slavery to flourish, then sweeping out the evil of slavery on the plantation only to allow a more dignified form of slavery which restricted access to voting rights, equal education, housing and protection under the law.
Then the spiritual house of today’s America came into view. Through the windows, I can see inside. I see racism against Latin immigrants, police brutality, and television and social media filled with hate speech. I wonder to myself, what are the “more wicked” spirits that have been allowed to come into the house? I also wonder who is responsible for sweeping America’s spiritual house clean? Who is responsible for taking a stand against the spirit of racism that just keeps morphing its expressions over the centuries?
Mark 3:27 says, “No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.” Matt 18:18 says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
The Church, the body of Christ in America, has the authority and the revelation needed to bind the strongman of racism in America’s spiritual house. It also has the responsibility and the ability to help ensure that America’s spiritual house is not left “empty” but filled with the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and the revelation of the love of God.
On the cover of the book is an evil hand depicting the spirit of racism. In my spirit, I see a hand reaching down to pull up the roots of racism in America. It is the hand of God. God’s hand moves in response to cries for help. God’s hand moves as Christians pray in faith. How can God respond if even the church won’t cry out? How can God answer prayers of faith that have not been prayed or that have been prayed and abandoned?
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