Christian Identity

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Symbol of the Christian Identity ministry, Aryan Nations

Christian Identity, also known as Kingdom Identity or the Christian Israel Movement, is a label applied to a wide variety of loosely affiliated believers and churches with a racialized theology. They believe that The Holy Scriptures reveal throughout that Israel, the White Caucasian peoples, are a race chosen and set-apart by The Creator to be Kings and Priests on earth. [1] Many promote a Eurocentric interpretation of Christianity. The founders of the worldview in the 20th century were from Protestant backgrounds: Wesley Swift was a Methodist, while Howard B. Rand was a Baptist.

The Christian Identity movement holds that non-Caucasian peoples were created before the White Caucasian Adamic race and refer to them as the Pre-Adamic races. [2] They believe that only the White Caucasian peoples are the True descendents of the Biblical Jacob-Israel and that the modern-day "Jews" are race-mixed descendents of the Biblical Esau and the Pre-Adamic Canaanite peoples. On the foundation of Scripture, they believe that the Adamic race was created to receive the indwelling of the Creator's Spirit and to be "Sons of God" unlike the Pre-Adamites who were not given this capacity. Believers of the theology affirm that Jesus Christ paid only for the sins of the House of Israel and the House of Judah and that salvation must be received through both redemption and race.

Christian Identity's key commonality is British Israelism theology, which teaches that white Europeans are the literal descendants of the Israelites through the twelve tribes that were taken away into captivity by the armies of Assyria. Furthermore, the teaching holds that these (White European) Israelites are still God's Chosen People, that Jesus was an Israelite of the tribe of Judah, and that modern Jews are not at all Israelites nor Hebrews but are instead descended from people with Turco-Mongolian blood, or Khazars, and are descendants of the Biblical Esau-Edom who traded his birthrights for a bowl of soup (Genesis 25:29-34).

The Christian Identity movement first broke into the mainstream media in 1984, when the white nationalist organization The Order engaged in revolutionary activities against the United States government. Tax resister and militia movement organizer Gordon Kahl, whose death in a 1983 shootout with authorities helped inspire The Order, also had connections to the Identity movement.[2][3]. The movement returned to public attention in 1992 and 1993, in the wake of the deadly Ruby Ridge confrontation, when newspapers discovered that former Green Beret and right-wing Christian fundamentalist Randy Weaver had at least a loose association with Christian Identity.[3] However, it should be noted that Christian Identity, which is a non-violent faith, has a long history of ADL/FBI-sponsored agent provocateurs infiltrating the Christian Identity churches and performing various acts of violence. [4] The controlled media is more that happy to report such events and misrepresent the Christian Identity Movement as a supposed extreme right-wing terrorist organization. Nothing could be further from the truth.

No single document expresses the Christian Identity belief system; however, adherents draw upon arguments from linguistic, historical, archaeological and Biblical sources to support their beliefs. Estimates are that these groups have 2,000 to 50,000 members in the United States of America,[5] and an unknown number in Canada and the rest of the Commonwealth.

Christian Identity believers reject the beliefs of most contemporary Christian denominations. They claim that modern Christian churches are teaching a heresy: the belief that God's promises to Israel (through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) have been expanded to create a spiritual people of "Israel," which constitutes the Christian "Church". In turn, most modern Christian denominations and organizations denounce Christian Identity as heresy and condemn the use of the Christian Bible as a basis for promoting anti-Semitism. Adherents claim that Europeans are the true descendants of the Biblical Jacob, hence the true Israel, and that it is those who are against the interests of European-descended Christians that are the true anti-Semites.


Background in British Israelism

Christian Identity developed out of British Israelism, a Protestant-derived religious movement popular in the Victorian era of British history. British Israelism asserted that the Anglo-Saxons were the original descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes and that the modern-day Jews were true descendants of the tribe of Judah. However, this form of the belief contained little or no resistance to Jewish supremacism (unlike CI, which is very critical of Jews), its followers instead holding that Jews made up a minority of the tribes of Israel, with the British and some other European peoples making up the remainder. On the contrary, most of the creators of the ideology were Lowland Scots Presbytarians who were pro-Jewish in a time when the Rothschilds and Benjamin Disraeli were prominent in the 19th century British Empire. The principal purpose was seek to justify the alliance between these two groups, typically through freemasonry, during the Victorian imperial era.

Contrary to British Israelism, Christian Identity believes that the Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Germanic, Scandinavian and Kindred peoples were the original descendants of ALL Twelve Tribes of Israel which were taken into captivity by the Assyrians. At that time, there was a small remnant of the Israelite tribes of Benjamin and Judah which remained in Jerusalem and vicinity and were not taken into the Assyrian captivity but were later taken into Babylonia captivity and released. Jesus was a descendant of these True Judahites.

Christian Identity believes that modern-day Jews are non-Israelite peoples who later filled the vacuum created by the two Israelite captivities. They became residents of the geographical area known as Judea and assumed the name "Jews" but they were never ethnically True Israelites.

Christian Identity asserts that the Twelve Tribes of Israel were never lost but were to be known prophetically, and actually were known historically, as Saxons (an abbreviation of Isaac's Sons). They were renamed as such in the language of the surrounding nations. Their history and migrations are well documented in the annals of history.

Swift and Dual-Seedline Christian Identity in America

English banker Edward Hine (1825–1891) published an influential book on British Israelism in 1871 called Forty-Seven Identifications of the British Nation With Lost Israel. In 1884, Hine sailed to America to spread his ideas there. Howard B. Rand (1889–1991), born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, took Hine's ideas, added resistance to Jewish supremacism, and called the result "Christian Identity."

Dr. Wesley A. Swift

Wesley Swift (1913–1970) is considered by the FBI to have been the single most significant figure in the early years of the Christian Identity movement. Swift helped popularize a new element: the "two-seed" (or "seedliner") theory, which holds that Eve was seduced by the Serpent, conceived Cain as a result, and that modern Jews are actually descended from Cain. (Some figures once prominent in the Identity movement (Pete Peters, Ted Weiland) believe that modern Jews are descended from the Khazars rather than from Satan.

Swift was born in New Jersey, eventually moving to Los Angeles to attend Bible college. It is claimed that he may have been a "Ku Klux Klan organizer and Klan rifle-team instructor."[6] In 1946, he founded his own church in Lancaster, California. In the 1950s, he was Gerald L. K. Smith's West Coast representative of the Christian Nationalist Crusade. In addition, he had a daily radio broadcast in California during the 1950s and 60s, through which he was able to proclaim his ideology to a large audience. With Swift's efforts, the message of his church spread, leading to the creation of similar churches throughout the country. In 1957, the name of his church was changed to The Church of Jesus Christ Christian, which is used today by Aryan Nations (AN) churches.

One of Swift's associates was retired Col. William Potter Gale (1917–1988). Gale had apparently been an aide to General Douglas MacArthur, and had coordinated guerrilla resistance in the Philippines during World War II. Gale became a leading figure in the anti-tax and paramilitary movements of the 1970s and 80s, beginning with the California Rangers and the Posse Comitatus, and helping to found the militia movement. Numerous Christian Identity churches preach similar messages and some espouse more violent rhetoric than others, but all hold to the belief that Aryans are God's chosen race.

Butler, Aryan Nations and development

It was Col. Gale who introduced future Aryan Nations founder Richard Girnt Butler to Swift. Until then, Butler had admired George Lincoln Rockwell and Senator Joseph McCarthy, but had been relatively secular. The charismatic Swift quickly converted him to Christian Identity.

When Swift died, Butler took over the Church, to the apparent dismay of both Gale and Swift's family. Neither Butler nor Gale were anything like the dynamic orator Swift had been, and attendance dwindled under the new pastor. Butler eventually renamed the organisation "The Church of Jesus Christ Christian/Aryan Nations" and moved it to Hayden Lake, Idaho.

Lessor luminaries were also present as Christian Identity theology took shape in the 1940s and 1950s, such as Baptist minister and California Klansman San Jacinto Capt[sic] (who claimed that he had introduced Wesley Swift to Christian Identity), and one-time San Diego Deputy City Attorney (and lawyer for Gerald L. K. Smith) Bertrand Comparet (1901–1983).[7] But for the most part, today's Christian Identity groups seem to have been spawned by Wesley Swift, through his lieutenants William Potter Gale and Richard Butler.


Christian Identity asserts that the people of Europe are God's servant people according to the promises that were given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It further asserts that the early European tribes were really the Twelve Lost Tribes of Israel and therefore the rightful heirs to God's promises. The argument is that the lost tribes of Israel were taken into captivity and deported by Sargon, king of Assyria as punishment for failing to honour the terms of the first covenant, given by God to Moses. After the death of King Solomon, the Hebrew people experienced a civil war that resulted in two houses, the House of Israel, and the House of Judah. As punishment for their sinfulness, God warned both houses through Jeremiah, and the minor prophets that both houses would be punished for 2520 years ("seven times" or also known in the Bible as "the time of the Gentiles"), by being divorced as a people from their God, and removed from the land of their forefathers. From 745BC Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria started this invasion of the House of Israel plus 2520 years comes to 1776, and Identity holds that America is the tribe of Joseph's younger son, Manasseh. In 721BC Tiglath-Pileser III continued his invasion plus 2520 years later was 1801, marking the Act of Union and the formation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland which Identity holds to be the great commonwealth of nations promised to Joseph's eldest son, Ephraim. Christian Identity believes that the remaining tribes to be the remainder of the western European nations. By extension, the theory goes, this would mean that the European tribes inherited God's first covenant, subsequent punishments, and the "New Covenant" as well.

Christian Identity, through British Israelism, has formulated the belief that the historical House of Israel, which was captured by Sargon, did not stay long in the "City of the Medes", the Biblical destination of Sargon's deportation. Rather, the House of Israel became nomadic and became the source of the invading Celto-Germanic tribes that ravaged the Roman Empire and Rome itself. Much is made of folk etymology such as the Hebrew word for exile (Glh, or Gal) compared to "Gaul", or "Issacsen" and "Saxons". In a similar way, some Identity believers claim the Biblical "tribe of Dan" became the tribe known as Danes, claiming that they left alleged clues scattered about Europe (such as river names like Danube, Dnieper, Dniester ) or that part of the Biblical "tribe of Judah", that was taken with the House of Israel in the Assyrian captivity, became known as the tribe of Jutes.

White Caucasians Are The True Biblical Israelites, Jews Are Imposters

One of the most distinguishing beliefs held by Identity Christians is the belief that modern Jews are not the Biblical "House of Israel" and that only the White Caucasian race fulfill the Biblical "Marks of Israel". [8] Identity Christians hold that modern Jews are not even the Biblical "house of Judah", but rather claim they are Edomites, descendants of Esau, that mixed with the House of Judah in Babylonian captivity, or are Khazars that adopted Judaism in 838 A.D. to avoid warring with Christian Europe, or the emerging power of Islam in the Middle East.[9] This is known as the single-seedline version of Christian Identity. Other Identity Christians, known as dual-seedliners, believe that Jews were a result of Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden having sexual intercourse.[10] Some Identity Christians believe that a version of Christianity must have existed before Roman Christianity entered Europe. Proponents of this theology cite the existence of Celtic Christianity and its struggles with Roman Christianity as evidence, arguing that Celtic Christianity must have been a reflection of the native beliefs of many European tribes. On a related note, many Christian Identity churches display animosity towards the Roman Catholic Church, referring to it as the Whore of Babylon.

The Seedline Doctrines

In Christian Identity there are two different branches of what is known as "The Seedline Doctrine". There is the branch of Christian Identity adherents who follow a Dual-Seedline Doctrine. This branch has different interpretations of who "Nachash" of Genesis 3:15 is. Also, there is a branch of Christian Identity adherents who follow a Single-Seedline Doctrine.

"Dual-Seedline Ministries (Believing Nachash of Genesis 3:15 was Human)" adherents believe that the Adamic race (White Caucasians) were created after the Pre-Adamic races (Blacks, Asiatics, etc). The Adamites were created to be "Sons of God" and to have the capacity to receive the indwelling of the Creator's spirit. The Pre-Adamic races were not created so. Scripture refers to the Pre-Adamic races as "beasts of the field" (Gen. 1:25); for example, the "beasts" which wore sackcloth and cried unto God (Jonah 3:8) are considered Pre-Adamic peoples. These Dual-Seedliners believe that Esau, (an Adamic Israelite), married Canaanite women (Pre-Adamites) and created a mixed-race people who became known historically as Edomite Jews and who have since been adversaries of the True Israelite Adamic race. This event is documented in the Biblical story of Jacob and Esau.

These Dual-Seedliners believe that all references to "satan" (Hebrew: "adversary") in scripture refer to one or more natural men who became adversaries of God's people and not to some all-powerful spirit being. They do not believe that Eve was seduced by a ‘snake’ but by nachash (Hebrew for serpent, or a deceptive, crafty, evil, man), a Pre-Adamic man. For example, in modern English, we refer to an evil person, as a ‘snake’.

"Dual-Seedline Ministries (Believing Nachash of Genesis 3:15 was Satan)" adherents believe that Eve was seduced by the serpent (Satan), shared her fallen state with Adam by lying with him, and gave birth to twins with different fathers: Satan's child Cain and Adam's son Abel. Cain then became the progenitor of the Jews in his subsequent matings with the non-Adamic races. This is referred to as the two-seedline doctrine. This doctrine is a revival of a medieval folk belief ascribing the ancestry of legendary monsters such as Grendel to Cain. Most Christians see this ancestral argument as absurd since for them a literal interpretation of Genesis would indicate that Noah, a direct descendant of Seth (another son of Adam), is the father of all modern day peoples since his bloodline was the only one saved in the flood. Main stream churchianity believes the flood to be world-wide, which it was not. However, Christian Identity adherents claim the flood in Genesis only rose high enough to drown the region of the Tarim Basin below sea level (Gen. 7:20) and that therefore the Hebrew word "eretz" which appears in those verses should be rendered "the land" (as in a specific place) rather than "the earth."[11]

"These Dual-Seedline" adherents believe Jews are genetically compelled by their Satanic ancestry to carry on a conspiracy against the Adamic seedline and today have achieved almost complete control of the earth through their illegitimate claim to the white race's status as God's chosen people.[12] As a general rule, Christian Identity followers carry the traditional orthodox Christian views on the role of women, abortion, and homosexuality, and view racial miscegenation as a sin and a violation of God's laws as dictated in Genesis of "kind after kind". (Ex. 21:22, Lev. 20:13). They assert a variation on the creationism account of the earth's creation; they say the pre-Adamic races inhabited the earth for an unknown period of time before the six-thousand year history of Adamic people.[13] Many Christian Identity ministries reject the two-seedline doctrine but still consider Jews evil as an entire race.[14][15]

"Single-Seedline" adherents believe that Genesis 4:1 (Quoting: "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from Yahweh") proves Cain was the son of Adam. However, they don’t seem to realize that Eve was already pregnant with Cain before Adam “knew” her. This is proven from a systematic study of related scriptures.

Observance of Israelite Law

In addition to these positions Christian Identity adherents distinguish themselves from mainstream Judeo-Christianity in various areas of theology. Most Christian Identity adherents follow the Mosiac law of the Old Testament (e.g. dietary restrictions, the True Israelite solar calendar, the weekly Sabbath, True Israelite festivals such as The Feast of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost and The Feast of Tabernacles)

Some Christian Identity adherents follow the Sacred Name Movement and insist on using the original Hebrew names for referring to God (Yahweh) and Jesus Christ (Yahshua). They criticize modern Bible editions as well as the Jews for the removal of the original Hebrew name of God in the Bible. Other Christian Identity adherents believe that the names Yahweh and Yahshua were absent from the earliest extant manuscripts of the Bible such as the Septuagint and were inserted into the manuscripts created by the Jewish scribes some 700 to 1000 years after the time of Jesus Christ.

Although their adherence to Old Testament Mosiac law may make them appear "Jewish", they claim that they are the True Israelites of the Bible. They believe that the Edomite Jews are impostors who have usurped their heritage as True Israelites and corrupted their True Israelite Laws. The Edomite Jews have accomplished this overpowering deception through rewriting Scripture (The Jewish Masoretic text); incorporating Babylonian Jewish Talmudic teachings into Christianity; and the seizure of modern Palestine.

End of the Age and Armageddon

As in The Seedline Doctrine, there are two branches of Christian identity adherents as it comes to the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.

Historicists believe that prophecy has unfolded since the time of the Apostles and that the Roman Catholic church and the Edomite Jews together have and are fulfilling the role of the Biblical Anti-Christ/Mystery Babylon. Christian Identity followers who are Historicists however, view the end-times as being a mistranslation for the 'end of the age' rather than the end of time, and they also believe that the Kingdom of God is here and now and is merely waiting for good Christian men of Adam-Israel stock to take hold and build the Kingdom of God here and now, and thus they are neither awaiting a second coming, Armageddon, nor any race war. Interestingly, all True Christians, including the Reformers, held to the Historicist belief in prophecy. It wasn't until Emanual Lacunza, a Jesuit Priest, who authored the volumes entitled, "The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty" which was published in London in 1816 under the pseudonym of Rabbi Ben Ezra that the "Secret Rapture" doctrine entered the world stage. Christians fell for this deception and the non-Biblical Rapture doctrine rapidly established a foothold in Judeo-Christianity teachings. So unlike many Judeo-Christians, Christian Identity adherents reject the notion of a Rapture, believing it to be a Catholic/Judaised doctrine which the Bible does not teach. [16] [17]

Futurists believe that end-time events are yet to occur and that the Biblical Anti-Christ/Mystery Babylon is yet to appear. These Christian Identity adherents believe in the inevitability of the end of the world and the Second Coming of Christ. These End Times events are seen as part of a cleansing process that is needed before Christ's kingdom can be established on earth. During this time, Jews and their allies will attempt to destroy the white race using any means available. The result will be a violent and bloody millennial struggle, which will be a race war. The white Christian Identity believers see themselves as God's agents battling what they see as the forces of evil: Jews and non-Whites.

The view of what Armageddon will be varies among Christian Identity believers. All contend there will be a race war in which millions will die; many believe that the United Nations, backed by Jewish representatives of the anti-Christ, will take over the country and promote a New World Order.

One Christian Identity interpretation is that white Christians have been chosen to watch for signs of the impending war in order to warn others. They are to then physically struggle with the forces of evil against sin and other violations of God's law (e.g., miscegenation and internationalism); many will perish, and some will be forced to wear the Mark of the Beast to participate in business and commerce. After the final battle is ended and God's kingdom is established on earth, only then will the Aryan people be recognized as the one and true Israel.

Christian Identity adherents believe that God will use what they believe is the Chosen Race as his weapons to battle the forces of evil. Christian Identity followers believe they are among those chosen by God to wage this battle during Armageddon and they will be the last line of defense for the white race and Christianity in general. To prepare for these events, they engage in survivalist and paramilitary training, storing foodstuffs and supplies, and caching weapons and ammunition.


The main Christian Identity groups are Aryan Nations (Church of Jesus Christ Christian) and Christian Identity Ministries. See the External Links section below for a complete listing of all Christian Identity groups. Christian Identity is a major unifying theology for a number of diverse groups of racially conscious Christians. It is a belief system that provides its members with a religious basis for racial separatism.

It should be noted that Herbert W. Armstrong is inaccurately described by some of his critics, as well as by supporters of Christian Identity, as having supported Christian Identity, due to his belief in a modified form of British Israelism, and the fact that during his lifetime, he propounded observances favoured by many Christian Identity groups, such as the observance of the Sabbath and Biblical festivals. The Worldwide Church of God which Herbert W. Armstrong founded did not subscribe to the Non-Israel heritage of modern-day Jews commonly held in the Christian or Israel Identity groups but instead adhered to the traditional beliefs of British Israelism; i.e. the belief held that modern-day Jews were descendants of the Tribe of Judah whereas the Anglo-Saxons, Celts, Danish etc. were descendants of the remaining Ten Tribes of Israel formerly known as the Northern Kingdom.

Aryan Nations

The Aryan Nations (AN) is a group that adheres to the Dual-Seedline Christian Identity belief system. The group espouses dislike towards Jews, blacks and other minorities, as well as the United States federal government. The original ultimate goal of the AN is to forcibly take five northwestern states - Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington and Montana - from the United States government in order to establish an Aryan homeland. This particular ideology is known throughout the White power movement as the Northwest Territorial Imperative. The AN was headquartered at Hayden Lake, Idaho from the late 1970s until February 2001. Its annual World Congress attracted a number of different factions from the patriot movement. The World Congress was a sort of round table to discuss racialist issues. Since the main Aryan Nations property in Idaho was dismantled following a costly lawsuit against the group and the death of Richard Butler, there have been several struggles over control of the movement that are as yet unresolved. But one man that seems to be making pretty good headway in the restoration of Aryan Nations is the long time Aryan Nations member, Morris Gulett who from his property in Northwest Louisiana that he has dubbed the new World Headquarters for Aryan Nations is making a pretty good showing of bringing the organization back to it's former glory. Since Gulett is also ordained a Pastor in the Christian Identity faith by Richard Butler himself, his credentials seem unimpeachable.

Christian Identity Ministries

Christian Identity Ministries a group that adheres to the Single-Seedline Christian Identity belief system. It is an organization of worldwide Christian Identity pastors, teachers, and researchers. They believe that the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic-Germanic-Scandinavian people are True Israel. Christian Identity Ministries has been publishing the Covenant Messenger Newsletter for more than 30 years. In addition, they publish an extensive list of Christian Identity Books, Audio CDs and Video DVDs.

Groups in South African

Christian Identity in South Africa (where it is often called "Israel Identity") has a longer history than elsewhere. Ideas similar to the Christian Identity belief system continue to exist in South Africa. Some members of these Israel Identity groups follow the teachings of Siener van Rensburg, an Afrikaner prophet who lived during the Second Boer War and predicted, amongst other things, the death of Koos de la Rey.[18][19]

Leaders of Christian Identity

See also


  • K. D.: Christianity’s Criminal History. Daybreak, 2018, ISBN 9780359124565. An abridged translation of some chapters of the first three volumes of the magnum opus of the German author Karlheinz Deschner: Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums, translated from the Spanish edition, slightly edited by César Tort, book presentation


External links

Dual-Seedline Ministries

Christian Identity Resources

Christian Identity Magazines

Christian Identity Podcasts

Christian Identity on Shortwave

Christian Identity Forums

Christian Identity Infiltrators and Defamers

Critics of Christianity

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