My position on interracial marriage is that, quite frankly, it is acceptable.
I base this stance on the authority of the Word of God. The irony, I realize is that many prejudicial preachers have attempted to use the Bible to condemn interracial marriage, but I feel that they must be reading into the Bible what they’d like it to say.
At the heart of the issue is the ugly sin of racism, which takes the form of hatred in its vilest form and respect of persons in its mildest. Jesus specifically denounced hate as murder during the Sermon on the Mount in the same way He denounced lust as adultery (Matt.5:21,22). John goes on to famously say that “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? (1 John 4:20).” James also notes that he that commits respect of persons commits sin (James 2:8,9), which only stands to reason since God Himself is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34; Rom.2:11).
To our shame, Scripture has been, by far, the most ill-used tool utilized by churchgoers to justify their racism. Most prevalent is the argument that blacks are the result of the “curse of Ham,” an idea derived from a false interpretation of Genesis 9:25, which was used to justify centuries of “the white race subjugating the black race (Washington 109).” The baseless opinion that “God marked Cain by giving him black skin after Cain killed his brother Abel (Trott 70)” is another example of racist Scripture- twisting, yet I’m compelled to agree that “the most bizarre theory offered by racists is the idea that blacks are the offspring of demons (Trott 71-72).”
As regards interracial marriage specifically, many segregationists maintain that “Miscegenation caused Israel to be judged by God (Trott 71).” This is a reference to God forbidding Israel to intermarry with the Canaanites. The issue in this case was not racial purity, but rather that God knew that if they married peoples of other faiths, they would forsake God for idol worship — which is exactly what occurred!
Another example of Scripture-twisting is this idea that when we read that God made everything after its kind that we should take this to mean that we are to maintain “racial purity.” However, this “kind” meant by this reference, as observable in nature, flatly refutes any such idea. Dogs can breed with dogs; horses can breed with horses; yet horses and dogs cannot breed with one another. Dogs are a “kind;” horses are another.
Humans, no matter their skin color, are yet another “kind.” Genesis states that God created mankind in His own image (Gen.1:27); therefore, “racism, in whatever form, tends to debase the other person. It is an affront to God, the Creator of multiple races (Keidel 28).” According to the Genesis record, we are all the genetic offspring of Adam and Eve (cf. Gen.3:20; Deut.32:8; Luke 3:38). The biblical view is of one human race, who were separated into different language groups at Babel (cf. Gen.11:1-9). It was from these separate language groups that the various cultures of the world developed. The idea of separate races (species) of humans is entirely alien to the Bible. Ken Ham explains:
“It was the evolutionary view that convinced anthropologists there were different races of humans at different levels on the evolutionary ladder. This led them to believe there were different levels of intelligence and ability. It is the Christian view that teaches there is one race (in the sense that we all came from the same two humans, and therefore there are no higher or lower evolutionary groups) and that all people are equal (Ham 87).”
God does not judge us by the color of our skin, but by the condition of our heart (1 Sam.16:7). In this respect, we are all, regardless of our race or culture, guilty before God Almighty and in need of a Savior (Rom.3:23; Gal.3:22). Christ, being our peace, has reconciled whosoever believes upon Him to God and made one body out of what was once two, Jew and Gentile (Eph.2:14,15). I find myself cynically amused, albeit saddened and disgusted, when I see Christians object to a marriage union between two loving persons of different races; nevermind that they themselves are already joined in a multi- racial union with every Christian who ever lived!
While interracial marriage may not be for everyone, it cannot be condemned on the basis of the Bible. Those interested in pursuing a bi-ethnic marriage should be counseled as to the special struggles such couples may face, but should not be prevented or discouraged from the union, excepting for reasons which one might do so for a similar couple of a shared ethnicity. As for the Christian who still harbors prejudice in his heart toward mixed marriages, we should lovingly guide them to the realization that “the color line was washed away by the Bloodline (Tenney ).”
- The Bible.
- Ham, Ken. The Lie: Evolution. El Cajon, California: Master Books, 1987.
- Keidel, Levi. Conflict or Connection. Wheaton, Illinois: Evangelical Missions Information Service, 1996.
- Tenney, Tommy. God’s Dream Team. Ventura, California: Regal Books, 1999.
- Trott, Jon. “Interracial Dating and Marriage: Is It Biblical?” Issues In Focus. Compiled by Margaret Rosenberger. Ventura, California: Regal Books, 1989.
- Washington, Raleigh and Glen Kehrein. Breaking Down Walls. Chicago: Moody Press, 1993.