Neo-Nazi Neighbor, Bacon, and Other Benefits of the Cross of Christ
The lie of a superior race in light of the Cross of Christ
By Andrew Powers
As you may have noticed when you glanced at the title of this article that my last name is Powers. I've always liked my last name. Never had a reason to dislike it. But I never dreamed it would be used by a neo-nazi, next-door neighbor to push a "white power" agenda. Yeah. I live next to a third generation Nazi. I don't condone Nazism but I understand why he's become one. His grandfather was a German Nazi officer in WWII. So I get why he is one, but I don't agree with his doctrine nor condone my last name and skin color being used to push his white power lie.
Don't get me wrong. He's a nice enough guy for the most part. He loves to talk. I rarely get a few words in when I speak with him. He doesn't have many friends. When he does talk to people around town, he talks about his two friends. The guy at the liquor store who delivers his beer and his neighbor Andrew Powers. People ask "Who is that?" And he says "You know, white Powers!" I was horrified and really pissed the first time I heard him mess with my name like that.
The other day I told him that white supremacy is a lie. I drove the point home by telling him that before I was married, I dated a black girl. I made a joke of it cause I actually dated two different girls with the last name Green. I dated a white green girl in high school and a black green girl in college. That always made me laugh. But he got all nasty and said some pretty terrible things to me. I had to set some boundaries. I told him I won't be communicating with him for a week as a result (Sucks for him 'cause today was his birthday and we always try to do stuff for each other's birthdays).
So I'm a Christian and Jesus loved sinners and so do I. I love my neo-nazi neighbor. He's a cool guy. I don't care about his swastika tattoos and messed up lifestyle. I think he's a real remarkable guy. He's very good at setting boundaries and doesn't 'take crap from nobody' and I respect him for that. A lot. Typically Christians think they've got to let authority figures dictate their every move. Not always the safest way to live, nor is it the example Jesus portrayed when interacting with the religious leaders. A clearer example is when the apostles were commanded by religious leaders not to preach about Jesus. They answered, "You decide for yourself if it's better for us to listen to your voice than the voice of the Lord!"
That was kind of a side point. My main thrust for writing this article was to look deeper into why race is no longer an issue because of the finished work of the Cross. The New Covenant that Christ purchased for us by dying on the cross has so many benefits, the revealing of which we will be experiencing for eternity. But there are also benefits for today. I'm being a little facetious, but my favorite benefit of the Cross of Christ is bacon! Yes. Crunchy, yummy, crispy (or not so crispy) bacon. Sounds silly, but there was a time when pigs were unclean animals and could not be eaten. Same thing with lobster. If it wasn't for Christ crucified, it's unlikely that the Red Lobster franchise would have taken off. Then we'd all likely miss out on those yummy biscuits too.
Enough goofiness! Time to get serious. Right? We're talking about our Lord here, dying a painfully excruciating death, naked on a cross in a public spectacle next to two bloody murderers. Not to mention he was beaten and marred beyond even recognition he was still human. Imagine a skeleton with chunks of flesh hanging off, carrying his cross up to the stinking landfill known as the hill of the skull.
Can you? Is it graphic enough yet? But then consider how bad your own sins in your life have been. How you've hurt others and had others hurt you and your picture of the graphic death of Christ might not be gruesome enough. Seriously, your sins have been pretty dang bad. You may think you deserve punishment. You'd be right. But this innocent man took your punishment for you. Willingly. No one killed Christ. He willingly laid down his life for the whole world. Hanging on a cross he prayed for his tormentors, "Father forgive them, they know not what they've done." Even today, we still don't know what we've done, but he does, and it's paid for and finished. Done.
We live in a culture steeped in Greek philosophy and Greek thinking. Paul said that to the Geeks the cross was foolishness and to the Jewish people in the Law it was a stumbling block, a hindrance of offence. So we live in a land where Christ's death is stupid and his resurrection unbelievable. Many don't believe. Many won't believe. But Christ crucified still needs to be preached because while its benefits are everywhere, accessing them is limited to when we do the work that God requires, which is to believe on the name of His Son as Lord. As our Lord, in submission to his kingship, advancing his kingdom which is within us.
What about race? Isn't that what this article was supposed to be about? It is. First I had to establish a baseline. Christ came as savior to deliver people from sin. All sin. Regardless of its type or severity. From the beginning of man, after sin comes death. After Adam & Eve sinned, God made them clothes from animal hides. It's not likely that those animals survived being skinned. Even by God because He was making a point. Sin causes death. If not our own death then the death of something or someone to cover our behind. Literally, in their case and actually in ours too.
I was speaking with a Hmong man yesterday. I was surprised to learn that in his home country of Loas a portion of one's prison sentence can be served by one's spouse! This means the guilty one goes free while an innocent one goes into jail till the remainder of the sentence. He said: "Typically it's the women who serve for their husbands because most of the work involves hard manual labor instead of desk jobs like they have here in the US." After the sentence is completed, both are free and no one is guilty anymore.
This is a crazy, clear picture of what Jesus did for us, his bride. An innocent man that took the punishment for his wife. But it wasn't just a portion of prison time, it was a death sentence followed by eternity in hell. All for his guilty bride he died. And in doing so he took on all of our heavy lifting too. All of our hard manual labor to get right with God was completely finished and done. Religion died with Jesus on the Cross.
Religion is doing stuff to be good enough so God will accept you. It's all bogus. Religion started the first day after we sinned. We tried to cover our shame with flimsy fig leaves and by hiding from God. We're still trying. Still failing. Still hiding. There is no religion in the world, if it's based on our own efforts or experiences, that can save us. Not Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Satanism, Anarchism, Atheism, Socialism, Communism, Nazism, Capitalism, or even Christian religions that make you work for what Christ has already accomplished for us. Yes. Even going to church religiously is not enough to get right with God. Church is awesome but we're not God. God is God. To get to God you have to approach Him the way He accepts. That's only through his Son.
I use to pray to God for years with no results. Till a girlfriend spoke to me "Who do you pray to? I said I prayed to God and 'hit all three' (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) or so I thought. She's like "No one comes to the Father except through the Son." So I went to Jesus.
I spoke directly to Him. I couldn't see him. But I believed the words I heard preached to me. They got stuck in my heart and so I confessed Him with my mouth. "Jesus, I want you to be my Lord." Boom! In an instant, I had complete access to the Father in my heart. Everything changed. The kingdom is within you. Not far off. God already split the heavens and came down as Jesus. We live in the age of dwelling with God on the Earth. It's all accessible through faith. But this kingdom only comes once you believe in the King. Once you do, you become the king's domain, and He rules and reigns through you. You wanna help people? Help yourself first. Accept Christ. After that helping people is easy. God's been a father for a long time and He knows how to love. He is love. Love comes out of you, once Christ has come into you.
Before that moment, I was led to believe the thinking that there were many ways to God but that's a big fat lie. One way, Jesus or the highway that leads to hell. Those are the only options. Not lots of trails up the mountain to get to God. No. Not even keeping the Ten Commandments can get you closer to God. Only Jesus.
So when I was young, I tried hard to do the Ten Commandments everyday. The more I tried, the harder I failed. Guess what? That's what they were designed to teach us! They are designed to make you give up trying to be good enough for God. When I quit and approached God, not based on my sinfulness, but on my thankfulness for the warm sunshine that day, everything changed for me. I still didn't know God, but I finally wanted to because I found out He's a cool dude.
The law is good but in us it's death to us. Why? Because the law requires perfect perfection 100% of the time without ever failing ever! If you break God's law one time it's sin. The punishment is not jail time, it's death. Eternal death. Forever separated from life. Guess what. God is life. Forever separation from life is forever separation from God. That's not just a state of mind. It's a place. It's called hell.
Commercial break: Hell - to infinity and beyond! Horaay! Oh wait. No. Not really. Hell is hell. It's hopeless, full of regret, pain, and punishment. So all of that torture Jesus endured is yours to experience firsthand if you don't want to accept his offer that he already paid off your account in full. So now you can finally start paying back your sin debts on your own, with your own efforts and experiences.
But your currency is worthless. His blood was sinless and priceless for rarity. Your blood, apart from Christ, is tainted by the fall; the blood of a murderer of Jesus. Your sins put him through that punishment for nothing. You don't accept him, you don't accept the gift he's personally provided you.
So if you won't accept him and what he's accomplished for you, you've basically, personally killed a father's only son. Do you think he'd be a little stern with you? Give you a good talk'n to? Or would will you be torn into pieces, with no one to rescue you from his hand? Jesus prayed for you already. That the Father would forgive you. So you got that going for for ya. But if you don't believe Jesus's death meant anything, why would you trust in a dying breath prayer of a condemned man?
Christianity in its pure form is a faith. It's not a set of rules to follow. That's legalism and it's exactly opposite of why Christ died. He died to free us from self-effort to please God. God is pleased in Jesus. His perfect life and sacrifice. You believe in Jesus as Lord and then God is pleased with you too. That's it. No special prayer. No repeating or cleaning up your life first before you come to God required. Just come. He'll take care of the rest. He really good and really good at being God.
As I said before, God did the heavy lifting for us. You see, that crooked cross that disfigured bloody skeleton carried up that hill wasn't even his cross to carry. That was our responsibility. That was our cross and punishment to bear and carry out. But it was too hard for us. So he did it for us because God wins.
That's what my drunken, neo-nazi neighbor told me last year. "God wins man! God wins!" He came over to my house for my 34th birthday party pretty hammered already. He didn't really know me then so he came with a gift. A six pack of beer. It was a nice thought. I don't drink. Not that I can't. The freedom Christ purchased for me allows me to drink in moderation but I don't do it all out of respect for my wife. She came from a family riddled with drinking problems. So I don't do it, it's just simpler for me. Funny thing and an example of the freedom my wife and I have in Christ. My cake that year was grasshopper pie. It's an ice cream cake but it's got a few shots of mint flavored alcohol in it. But we didn't tell anyone. (So keep it on the down low, okay?).
So there's my Nazi neighbor at a party with all spirit filled Christians playing card games with us as we were practicing our gifts of prophecy (another fun benefit of the Cross) by calling out the number or the color of the next card to be laid with amazing accuracy. Listening to the Holy Spirit is way more effective than just simple guessing and he could tell. He kept saying "You guys are crazy."
We even got him started prophesying the next cards, and the Spirit was present, and he was getting a lot of them right. Don't believe me? Same thing happened to King Saul late in his life after the Spirit had left him and he got among a company of prophets. He prophesied then too. That was the old before the Cross. Luckily, Christ changed all this. Now you get Jesus, you get the Spirit and he doesn't leave you. No matter what you do wrong. It's a way better deal than in the old days. Saul messed up too many times and he lost the Holy Spirit and after that his kingdom, sanity, soul, and eventually his life. That's why the next king prayed, "Don't take your Holy Spirit from me Lord!" Because of the cross, it's not this way anymore!
So at the party, the spirit of prophecy was present and my Nazi friend spoke this bold declaration over his life "God wins man! God wins!" We all roared with laughter. Knowing how true this drunken declaration really was. God's got my neo-nazi neighbor, I ain't worried. Later that year, he even started preaching to meth heads when he was in jail!
He told this young guy "You need to get your life together and get off meth! God's sent me here to give you that message. You need to get it right!" The kid stammered, "Well what did God say about you?" "Don't you worry about me, that's between God and me. You need to get your act together and get right with God!" All of the other inmates roared with laughter. It was a riot brought in by the ever expanding, yet invisible, kingdom of God. Yet another benefit of the Cross.
The truth came through a neo-nazi but he also happens to have a very strong stance against methamphetamine drug use. Because it really messed him up. It screwed up his life and made him lose all his teeth. He wears dentures now, but it was all caused by meth. He hates it. So he's like the perfect agent of heaven to set a young meth head straight, even if he believes in nazi doctrines from hell.
As you may have caught previously, I classifieds Nazism and white supremacy for that matter as a religion. It's all about doing something to get to God through works or experiences. In this case it's about hating to feel godlike. The god of this world is the devil. Hate is what he excels at. White supremacists hate as hard as they can. The more they hate the more they act like their dad the devil. The devil hates Jews. That's why the Nazis tried to kill them all in the Holocaust.
The devil hates all of humanity, but salvation has come from the Jews so he hates them most of all. Jesus is Jewish. God selected one nation out of all the nations of the world for his name to reside upon. Jesus has brought salvation to the entire world. All that remains is for the world to look to Jesus and accept the thing that he's done for us. If the devil can turn people away from Christ because he's Jewish, then more humans will be with him in the Lake of Fire. The more humans he harms the more he can spite God because the devil is weak and he cannot fight God directly. He tried that and got da' boot!
That's why he's on the earth. Most of the stuff he does or had a hand in gets blamed on God. Either way, the devil is as big as one of the worms I saw on the wet pavement this morning as I went out to get the mail. One day the nations will see him as he is. A huge liar, tiny tiny worm that led armies against the God of Heaven and destroyed himself and all his followers. Just like Hitler did. He massed a glorious army and marched them into utter defeat. Destroying Germany and himself in the process. So it's no surprise that the devil is bad and Nazism is a religion, but how does the Cross of Christ make the idea of a superior race a lie?
So it all comes back to bacon. Yes. Bacon. After Jesus died and rose from the dead and went up to heaven to be with Father then God made all the changes Christ had accomplished on the Cross really clear and dramatic. The apostle Peter was hungry and it was taking a long time for food to get done so he went up to the rooftop to pray. In a sleepy-hunger-slumber, Peter had a vision about food. About bacon of course, and lobster and shrimp scampi and... maybe those yummy Red Lobster biscuits too.
Anyway, in the vision, God showed Peter all these animals that were previously classified as unclean under the old law. Such as: pigs, lobsters, clams, shrimp, badgers, rabbits, catfish, eagles, vultures, seagulls, hawks, storks, owls, bats, gross bugs, spiders, lizards, chameleons, geckos, mice and rats. So God tells Peter "Rise up, kill, and eat." Peter's like "No way Lord! All those animals you're showing me are unclean. I've never eaten that stuff." God's like, "Don't call unclean what I've made clean."
This conversation and vision repeated itself three times. Which is God's way of confirming something big. Christ was in the ground three days. He rose on the third day. God doesn't need to repeat himself. He spoke and the world was created. If He says something the same way three times in a row, trust me. It's gonna be a big deal.
Then Peter wakes up and the Holy Spirit's like 'There's some dudes at the gate asking for you. Go with them and don't make a big stink that they're of a different race.' Peter needed that encouragement because under the old law, a Jewish man like Peter, wasn't suppose to associate with people from a different race. So he went on faith the Holy Spirit was up to something and it was directly related to the vision somehow.
I can just see him walking with these foreigners and all these upright Jewish dudes are staring at him being like "What the heck dude. Your breaking the law!" All the while, all Peter keeps hearing in his head are the words of Jesus in his vision saying "Don't call unclean what I've made clean." He'd think: 'Could this apply to people too? Not just food? Naaah... that's too far out there.' The Jews base a big part of their identity and faith on the fact that they're Jewish (but when you think about it something they didn't really choose but God chose for them. Allowing them to be born into it for the most part).
So Peter shows up at this non-Jewish dude's house. And he's like this awesome Greek or something who prays to God always and pretty much rocks apart from the fact he wasn't born Jewish. So he's pretty much screwed from joining into all the Jewish festivals and temple worship activities, which would rock because he constantly worships the God of the Jews (who also happens to be the God of the whole Earth and everything else too for that matter).
This dude was warned by God to have this Peter guy come to his house so he can hear what he has to say. So Peter's like 'cool.' So he preaches to them about Jesus and they believed it. Then the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke in a spiritual language.
And the Jewish dudes that followed Peter to this guy's house are like, 'What the heck? This is amazing.' Peter's like, 'Yeah. This makes sense. These foreigners use to be unclean to us Jews but now they're clean because God had made the clean! God hasn't just made the Jewish nation clean but Jesus' Cross and resurrection is for all nations!'
Since they believed and Jesus had already supernaturally baptized them in His spirit, they're like "Hey, why can't we be submerged in water as a prophetic act that our old nature is completely dead and gone?!" Pete's like. "Heck yeah!" So they get baptized (slam) dunked in water.
So Peter on his way back and his old countrymen confront him saying 'What are you doing at that guy's house? That's against the law dude. You need to be punished!' Peter's like listen to this amazing story of our Lord's amazing grace. So he tells them the full story from the vision to how he got to that guys house, how they believed and even received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. They were like, 'Whoa... that's awesome. God has determined that Jesus is not just for the Jews he's for the entire world and all the other races in it!'
Of course that's the paraphrased version. I didn't want to put a big chunk of Bible text into this article, it's too long already. But this is end. So you made it this far so it's just a little bit more.
To recap, in case you missed it. White supremacy is a lie because Christ made all races equal in himself. God showed Peter pigs and lobsters and told him to eat'em cause they're clean now because of the Cross of Christ.
The law has been accomplished by Christ. It's impossible standards met. When we chose Jesus we are counted by God as having fully fulfilled the law. It's like we carried our cross up that hill and died when Christ died. Dead men cease from striving and rest in the grave. Luckily for us, we supernaturally went into the grave with Christ and the Father raised us up with Him. That's why Jesus called himself the Resurrection. It's for today. I encourage you to make a decision for Christ if you haven't already. It's benefits far outweigh bacon.
Andrew Powers, MBA, BA Communications & PhD candidate in Management Sciences.ASL worship minister. Been running crazy hard after God since 2000, but He's been with me the whole time. "We don't need to work for what we already have. We just need to believe we have it and in Christ we do!"
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