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Interracial Marriage

Updated on April 27, 2013
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I am a Christian pastor who wishes to bring glory to God in all that I do, and to help people through my writing to know Him better.

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Debunking a Myth

I find it utterly sad that in the Church there is still much misunderstanding and misinterpretation in regard to the subject of interracial marriage. But if we are to live as God wants us to live, it is imperative that we get this right.

Although we've made great strides in the United States, racism is far from dead. Men are still judged by the color of their skin by many, and not the content of their character. Some still think that people of other races are, somehow, inherently inferior, just because they aren't part of the same group.

And sadly, some still turn to the Bible for their false, degrading, and frankly, ungodly views. They somehow seem to ignore that the Bible teaches how all mankind is descended from two common ancestors: Adam and Eve. Indeed, we find in Genesis, the book of beginnings, that all were created in the image of Almighty God (Genesis 1:27).

What does all of this have to do with interracial marriage? Frankly everything. If all are equal in God's site, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with a person of one race, marrying a person of another. Further, there is absolutely no place in holy Scripture that tells us otherwise.

What the Bible does tell us is that "The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (I Samuel 16:7). Our God, indeed, is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).


I. The Old Testament and Interracial Marriage

A. Old Testament Condemnation is Religious

Some people claim that interracial marriage is condemned throughout the Old Testament. However they are not reading it clearly. Verses like Deuteronomy 7:3,4 are not telling the Israelite nation not to engage in interracial marriage because they would be marrying outside of their race. Rather it is saying that these foreign people, who were idolaters, would lead their sons and daughters astray after their gods. So the prohibition was not racial but religious. The New Testament has a similar prohibition when it says in II Corinthians 6:14 that we are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers.

Solomon married many foreign wives and was judged for this. However, it was not the fact that they were foreign that upset God, but that his wives lead him to follow foreign gods.


B. Moses Married Outside His Race

It is interesting that Moses himself married an African woman and was not condemned by God for it. Indeed Miriam, his sister and Aaron, his brother, spoke out against Moses for it (Numbers 12:1) but not God. The woman was a Cushite. A Cushite is from Cush, a region south of Ethiopia. The people there are known for their black skin.

The interesting thing is that, in responding to Miriam's criticism, God doesn't get angry at Moses, but at Miriam. He turns her leprous, which is quite ironic because leprosy turns your skin white (Numbers 12:10).


C. All Races Were to be Included in God's Plan

From the time that God chose Abraham and started a people for His name, foreigners were eventually included in the Lord's plan for the world. All nations were ultimately to be blessed through Abraham's descendants (Genesis 22:18). And there were provisions for Gentiles to convert to Judaism (Exodus 12:48,49).

Also from the time of the Exodus, a mixed multitude of Israelites and non-Israelites left the land of Egypt for the promised land (Exodus 12:38). It should also be remembered that Rahab and Ruth, who were both Gentile women, were both accepted into God's community of Jews. They were also in the genealogical line of Jesus (Matthew 1:5). So, obviously Jesus, in his human nature, was the product of interracial marriage.

And if we look at the prophets, it can be observed that they saw a time when all nations, both Jew and Gentile alike, would come into the Kingdom and the Messiah would be the light to both. (Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 22:27,28; Isaiah 49:6). All of these promises by God and the hopes that they represent have been fulfilled in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.


II. The New Testament and Interracial Marriage


There are absolutely no prohibitions against interracial marriage in the New Testament. We have already stated the only command. We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (II Corinthians 6:14). Other than that, the New Testament goes out of its way to teach us not to promote favoritism of any kind (James 2:1-10). The Apostle Peter was told by God in a vision that he is not to call anything unclean that God has made clean (Acts 10:9-15). In this way, the Lord was preparing Peter for the acceptance of Gentiles into God's program. Of course, the Apostle Paul, in His understanding of the Body of Christ, the Church, was clear that it is made up of all men, both Jew and Gentile, who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Ephesians 3:1-12). And a verse worth memorizing and quoting is Galatians 3:28, which states: "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." And, of course, there is Colossians 3:11 which tells us this about the New Humanity that Christ has created by his death, burial and resurrection:

"Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."

Finally, in the book of Revelation, we have a beautiful picture of the New Jerusalem in which the nations will bring their glory and honor into it. (Revelation 21:26). Thus we have God's promise to Abraham completely fulfilled in which all nations will be blessed through his seed.


Conclusion

We go through all of this and come to the ultimate conclusion that God places no prohibitions upon interracial marriage. All of us are descended from Adam and Eve and are created in the image of God. All humans are sinners in need of God's grace, no matter what race or color. And under Christ, God sees us all as brothers and sisters, who are heirs and joint-heirs of Jesus Christ. He doesn't look at your outward appearance, or the part of the world that you came from and put you in some inferior, or superior category.

When it comes right down to it, I like Martin Luther King Jr., am looking for a world in which a person is not judged by the color of his or her skin, but the content of their character. We need to put away our prejudices and stop placing prohibitions upon people that the Bible never gives. If those of various races want to get married, then we should accept them as we would a marriage between a couple of the same race. Let us not call unclean, that which God has made clean. May we celebrate the differences that make each of us a unique and vital part of the Body of Christ. And may we all glorify Him together.




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    • GodTalk profile image
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      Jeff Shirley 3 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      I appreciate your comments. Thanks!

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Great article abvot understanding and respect of others!

    • GodTalk profile image
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      Jeff Shirley 3 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      I agree RonELFran that the church needs to hear this. And thanks for joining the conversation. God bless.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      This kind of teaching is still sorely needed in the church today. So many continue to allow their prejudices to shape their understanding of the word of God rather than the other way around. Thanks!

    • GodTalk profile image
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      Jeff Shirley 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Rob Lattin profile image

      Rob Lattin 4 years ago from Born in Chicago, now I'm in Mostly Michigan

      Excellent Godtalk. With our hindsight knowledge and learning, what some call interracial is actually a throwback to a more ignorant time period. There is no such thing as multiple races - there is only one race - the human race. All humans have compatible dna if you want to look at it scientifically. Historically, all humans are descended from Noah and his family. All the rest of mankind perished in the Great Deluge. We all are human but come in different flavors (to put it another way.) If there were really different races, there could be no offspring from "mixed" marriages. It's a prejudice against color and looks that continues. Thank you for writing this HUB. As long a men marry women and have children, the human race will continue until an act of God. However, gay "marriage" does nothing for the propagation or the benefit of our race.

    • Rob Lattin profile image

      Rob Lattin 4 years ago from Born in Chicago, now I'm in Mostly Michigan

      Excellent Godtalk. With our hindsight knowledge and learning, what some call interracial is actually a throwback to a more ignorant time period. There is no such thing as multiple races - there is only one race - the human race. All humans have compatible dna if you want to look at it scientifically. Historically, all humans are descended from Noah and his family. All the rest of mankind perished in the Great Deluge. We all are human but come in different flavors (to put it another way.) If there were really different races, there could be no offspring from "mixed" marriages. It's a prejudice against color and looks that continues. Thank you for writing this HUB. As long a men marry women and have children, the human race will continue until an act of God. However, gay "marriage" does nothing for the propagation or the benefit of our race.

    • GodTalk profile image
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      Jeff Shirley 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Amen to that!

    • anoocre8ion profile image

      Amy 4 years ago from Texas

      Beautifully written. This is one of those subjects that needs to be addressed over and over. The sad thing is that it is not one single race guilty, but all races are guilty. We were all created by the same God, descended from the same people, Adam and Eve. It is not about skin color. It is a matter of the heart. If you love Jesus, then you are my brother and my sister, period.

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      Jeff Shirley 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      You are correct CertifiedHandy. The unevenly yoked passage refers to Christians and non-Christians, and has nothing to do with race, or skin color.

      Also, thanks for the insights from Sociology. God bless you!

    • CertifiedHandy profile image

      Chaplain Bernell Wesley 4 years ago from Jonesboro,Georgia

      People will often times site being unevenly yoked to support their misinformed prejudices. This scripture refers to being spiritually unevenly yoked; a believer and a non-believer. Being unevenly yoked has noting to do with "race" or skin color. Sociologists are just recently confessing that "race" is a social construct that was invented to justify slavery and white supremacy...His In Service

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      Jeff Shirley 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thank you shofarcall for reading and for your gracious comments.

    • shofarcall profile image

      shofarcall 4 years ago

      Hi Godtalk,

      Glad I have found my way to your hub page. What a clear, concise article. I would agree with you that there is still a lot of prejudice out there regarding inter-racial relationships/marriages and I 100% agree with you that it is a prejudice of man and not of God. It is almost as if God designed the lineage of Christ to include many different cultures/races to eliminate this argument! Thank you for tackling this difficult subject. May you be mightily blessed by Abba Father. Voted up, useful, awesome and sharing. Also following

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      Jeff Shirley 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      You are welcome MsDora. You are right. The Gospel of Jesus Christ will ultimately unite the whole universe, and remove the sinful prejudices that have plagued mankind since the fall.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      The power of the gospel is powerful enough to bind our hearts with the love of God and remove prejudice of all kind. Thanks for speaking plainly on this controversial topic.

    • GodTalk profile image
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      Jeff Shirley 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thank you graceinus. My hope is that this Hub will help people to see this from a purely biblical perspective and not from that of prejudice. God bless you, and thanks for stopping by.

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      graceinus 4 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

      GodTalk- This is one of the better Hub's I've seen on this subject. You have hit the nail right on the head. And I agree with everthing you have mention. There are many religion out there that condemn interracial marriage along with a large number of so called "christian churches".

      I give your Hub a thumbs up and awesome.

    • GodTalk profile image
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      Jeff Shirley 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thanks to each of you for stopping by. I appreciate your comments on this article.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Right to the Biblical point. Thanks for an accurate summary of God's plan.

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      Karla D 4 years ago

      nice article!

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      SirDent 4 years ago

      Couldn't have said it better myself. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

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      Jeff Shirley 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thank you celafoe. God bless!

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      charlie 4 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth. between the oceans

      excellent article