Thinking Cap #30 - Interracial Marriages
This could be a potentially hot topic depending on what country and the part of the
country which you live in. It could also vary greatly depending on which generation you
find yourself in. But, all preconceived opinions aside, the question remains, what does
the Bible have to say about interracial marriages? Are they wrong? Is it a sin? Would you
allow such a couple in your church? On your deacon (or elder) board? Would you as a pastor
perform the ceremony?
This is just my opinion, but here are the points that I would ask you to consider.
- From the beginning, there was only one human race. Scripture clearly teaches that we all
descended form Adam and Eve (Gen. 1-2; Matt. 19:4; Ro. 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:22, 39). Thus all
the potential for all the different features that we as human beings have (skin color, eye
color, hair color, body build, ....) was present in Adam and Eve.
- Scripture reveals two major events that affected human genetics. The first was the
flood. Noah and his seven companions were the only survivors of the flood. Only four of
the people on the ark (the women) had distinct genetic makeups that were separate from
Noah's (the three children had a combination of Noah and his wife's genes). So of all the
genetic possibilities initially present in Adam and Eve, the post-flood human race was
rebuilt with only five separate gene "pools." Scripture doesn't tell us what
these eight people looked like, but it is certain that every feature humans have today was
brought into the world by them.
The other major event to influence mankind was the dispersion at the tower of Babel
(Gen. 11). After God judged the people with different languages, they grouped together by
those languages and spread over the face of the earth. As these people settled, they
brought with them their own genetic features. The initial isolation of each language group
and thus the isolation of the special gene "pools," is the reason we see
distinct traits and characteristics in certain people groups, and not in others.
- The Bible makes mention of interracial marriages in a couple instances. In Song of
Solomon 1:5-6, we see Solomon (Semitic) in a relationship with a black women. God had
opportunity to make a statement regarding interracial marriages at this point. He did not.
There was no condemnation regarding this point.
- In Numbers 12, we read that Moses married a Cushite woman, a descendant of Ham whose
skin was presumably black. So, did Moses make a wrong decision? Moses' siblings, Miriam
and Aaron, thought so and spoke against him for the marriage. Again, God had the
opportunity, if He felt it was needful to make a statement regarding interracial
marriages. Rather, God rebuked Miriam and Aaron and struck Miriam with leprosy. Nowhere do
we read of God taking issue with Moses' marriage to this woman. Rather, He defended His
- In Jud 3:5-7 and Ezra 10:2-3, we find intermarriage being condemned, not on racial
grounds but faith grounds. Believers were taking unbelievers as a spouse. We must listen
to what the Bible says and what it does not say. In 1 Sam 16:7, we see that God looks on
the heart, not the skin.
- The New Testament strongly emphasizes the unity of the human race. All are sinners; all
are in need of salvation; God is not the respecter of any person; all are saved through
faith in Christ; and, all are one in Jesus Christ. Col. 3:11 states that salvation puts
off the old barriers that separated people. We now have a body of people, "where
there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond
nor free: but Christ is all, and in all." In Christ all previous religious, cultural,
and social barriers are destroyed.
- The primary marriage restriction given in the New Testament parallels that of the Old
Testament. A believer should marry another believer (1 Cor. 7:39; 2 Cor. 6:14). Nothing is
said of cultural or racial sanctions.
- Certainly, some societies have for years looked narrowly on "mixed" marriages.
But this was for cultural reasons, not Biblical reasons. Though this attitude is wrong,
the effects of it must still be recognized. Based on where people live, they or their
children may face prejudice from others. While that is wrong, it must be considered.
- The primary issue in selecting a spouse should be that you are fully convinced that the
prospective partner is a true Christian who loves the Lord (Mark 12:30). If this is true,
then the other issues such as "race," personality type, appearance, and
background are secondary in importance. If a man and woman are totally committed to living
for Christ, then they will have the capability through the power of the Holy Spirit to
resolve any difficulties that might arise from those other areas.
Dr. Kent Haralson - "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean
Berean Baptist / GMAU - not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways
West Palm Beach, FL USA - acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths."
"The unexamined life is not worth living."
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