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Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church in Pike County, KY recently voted nine to six in favor of denying church membership to interracial couples. But, does Scripture teach that interracial relationships are wrong?
The Bible does not diminish one race below another. All humans are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14), which does not mean some humans are more fearfully and more wonderfully made than others. All races of humanity are created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-28). Thus, the mixture of various human blood is not prohibited by God. In other words, God doesn’t care if different races intermarry. However, He does care if Christians intermarry with non-Christians.
There are many Scriptures used by those against interracial marriage (such as Genesis 6:2-3; Exodus 34:15-16; Joshua 23:12-13; Judges 3:6-7; 1Kings 11:2; Ezra 9:1-2; Nehemiah 13:23-27). The problem is that all of these Scriptures come from the Old Testament as God commanded Israel to be a nation set apart from other nations. God was concerned about His people worshiping the gods of other nations, not about them marrying persons who were a different race than they were. Every nation or race God commanded the Israelites not to marry worshiped other gods. If God was speaking against interracial marriages, why did Moses marry an Ethiopian woman? His sister even spoke against him, and God smote her with leprosy (Num. 12:1-16).
It seems according to Scripture, God is more concerned with who we don’t marry than who do we marry. In other words, we are free in Christ to marry any Christian person of the opposite sex we choose to covenant together with before God to determinately love until death do us part. We are not free to marry non-Christians. Thus, Christians shouldn’t even date or court non-Christians:
Deuteronomy 7:3-4 – 3You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, 4for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the LORD would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly.
1 Corinthians 7:39 – 39A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.
2 Corinthians 6:14-16 – 14Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, ”I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
In the Old Testament, part of God’s plan for Israel to remain faithful to Him when they entered the Promised Land was the requirement they only marry other worshipers of Yahweh (Deut. 7:3-4). We see similar commands in Scripture when Paul told widows they were free to marry whomever they wished, only in the Lord (1 Cor. 7:39). Paul, in 2 Corinthians, tells Christians they shouldn’t be unequally yoked with unbelievers in anything (2 Cor. 6:14-16). The context is not necessarily speaking about marriage, but marriage would be included. If Christians aren’t to join in business endeavors with unbelievers, surely we shouldn’t marry unbelievers either. Paul’s concern is with professed Christians leaving Christianity.
Finally, if you have married a non-Christian, you have still covenanted together with that person to determinately love him or her until death do you part. To those Christians who may be considering marrying a non-Christian, ask any Christian who has married a non-Christian, and you will hear how difficult it is to not share in your marriage relationship the reason why you live: your relationship with God. We date to enjoy God through Christ. We marry to enjoy God through Christ, but it is impossible to enjoy God through sin.
What are your thoughts?