Interracial Marriage

October 22, 2010

This is an important question that we don’t often address in church. First of all, let me say that interracial marriage is a non-issue biblically. It may surprise you to know that the Bible says nothing about races per se. That is, the modern concept of a “race” of people is not really a biblical concept. The Bible speaks of tribes and of nations, but not about races.

Here is the most important biblical truth: All humans are descended from Adam. Because of that, we all share a common humanity. That’s what Acts 17:26 means when it says that God has “made from one blood” all the nations of the earth.

We can say clearly and definitely that there is no such thing as a superior race or an inferior race from God’s point of view. As descendants of Adam we all share the same heritage and stand on the same footing as bearers of God’s image.

Racism with its belief that certain races are inferior to others is an evolutionary concept, not a biblical one. Throughout the centuries it has been used by kings and dictators to justify the worst kinds of genocide and cruelty. In American history the idea of racial superiority has been used to justify slavery, segregation, and racial discrimination. But none of those ideas can be justified on the basis of the Bible because God’s Word does not teach discrimination on the basis of skin color or racial heritage.

Interracial marriage is not condemned in the Bible. Moses married an Ethiopian woman. Miriam and Aaron criticized him for this and Miriam was struck with leprosy as a result (Numbers 12). Furthermore, no one can say what color Jesus was. Or Moses. Or Abraham. Or Noah. Or Adam.

There is only one prohibition on marriage given in the Bible. Believers must not marry unbelievers-1 Corinthians 7:39-40; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. This constitutes an “unequal yoke” that drags down the believer spiritually.

In a general sense, we can say that from God’s point of view, there is no such thing as inter-racial marriage, only Christian marriage and non-Christian marriage. In the end it is far better for two believers from different cultures to marry than for a believer to marry an unbeliever of the same culture or ethnic background.

See The Curse on Canaan and the Problem of Racism

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