“Interracial Marriages, What Does God Say?”
- There is a word for those who oppose interracial marriage… “Anti-miscegenationists”
- There are a variety of these types of people who oppose interracial marriages…
- Racists – These are most often white supremacists who think that all non-whites are inferior (not as good as) to whites. Anyone who is not white is referred to as the “mud”
- Divisionaries – These people believe that God divided humans into different races and expected them to remain separate from each other forever.
I. Wrong Interpretations
A) Looking at the Beginning
- In Genesis 2:7…And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
- Note that there is no mention of being red, black or white.
- In fact, we believe that man was created with dark skin and hair color (black) as the original Jews.
- God divided the nations after the flood…Genesis 10: 32…These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.
- The descendants of Japheth (Gen. 10:2-5) – They split into two groups: ONE, settled in India. TWO, settled in Europe. They became coast-line people of the Gentiles.
- The descendants of Ham (Gen. 10:6-20) – Ham’s family inhabited NW Africa, the western coast of Arabia from Egypt to Mesopotamia.
- The descendants of Shem (Gen. 10:21-32) – Shem’s family settled in what is known today as Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. These are the Hebrews, the nation of Israel.
- Genesis 11:9… God divided the languages and made the different races because of their sin against God by trying to be equal with God. These families also could not get along well with one another.
- People today still cannot get along with one another except they be “in Christ.”
- Christians are to try and get along with everybody and love everybody unconditionally.
- God demands “unity.” Christ brings “unity.”
- In order for a family to live happily together there must be unity.
- To get to unity we must learn to overlook and accept the differences of others.
B) Wrong interpreting by man
- Many pastors will use this verse to justify their belief in not marrying outside of your race. Let us look at our text of Genesis 28:1…And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.
- After studying out the O.T. and history of God’s people, you will find that this is talking about not marrying people outside your faith not your race.
- Not only that, this is a “charge (hard rebuke)” from Isaac to Jacob. It is not a command of God.
- And furthermore, the rebuke comes from Isaac because his father Abraham had showed care and concern in trying to get a wife for his son Isaac from a branch of his own family. This is why she was brought from Syria.
- Now Isaac’s wife is afraid, or pretends to be afraid, that her son Jacob will marry among the Hittites, as Esau had done.
- Genesis 28:1 has nothing to do with marrying outside your race.
- Another passage of scripture used by those people who try to say “Do not marry outside your own race” is Leviticus 19:19…Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.
- Now they are really grasping at straws. This passage is talking about animals not being cross bred. It is not talking about humans cross breeding.
- One more passage of scripture we will look at that is used is in…
Deuteronomy 7:2…“And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: 3) Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
- Now again, this is a command of God through Moses to God’s children “Israel” that they are not to marry the pagan (idol worshippers) It is talking about people who marry other people in a different faith, belief or religion.
- Interdenominational marriages rarely work. WHY? Because they are divided in their faith, their customs, their families, their characters and cultures.
- When two different races marry, it becomes difficult to maintain a peaceable relationship because of so many differences. It becomes a hard challenge.
- Marriage is God’s way of creating unity between two people, not division.
- Check out these verses in your spare time… 22:9. Deut. 23:2 and Jer. 13:23.
II. The Right Interpretation
A) Paul discusses marriage
- Look at I Corinthians 7:39…
- Let us first know that this is Paul writing to the church there at Corinth because they have issues with marriage.
- In this chapter of I Corinthians 7, you will notice the points of interest in marriage concerning the Corinthians as to be…
- Verses 1-8… touching inappropriately, marrying to avoid fornication, to have a good will towards one another (benevolence), not to withhold your bodies from one another except for prayer and fasting, it is better to be single if you can control your urge for sex, if you cannot control your desires then you need to get married.
- Verses 10-24… Paul gives the Corinthians here as he states in verse 10 is that Jesus had already made it clear the following statements. That being about “keeping your marriage vows.” 1. Not leaving each other. 2) If a believer is married to an unbeliever and God will bless them both. (Through sanctification, just like we are sanctified/made holy in Christ and without Him we are not sanctified) 3) If the unbeliever leaves the marriage then God will bless and sanctify only the believer only. 4) Divorce is necessary in an unbeliever and believer marriage only for the purpose to preserve peace. 5) The marriage bond is only broken by death, adultery, or abandonment.
B) Paul preaches contentment
- Read carefully I Corinthians 7:17…But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so, ordain I in all churches.
- Understand first the word “called” here as always in the letters to the churches refers to God’s grace, salvation, and sanctification by His choice.
- Verse 18) Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. 19) Circumcision is nothing (being a Jew is nothing), and uncircumcision is nothing (Being a Gentile is nothing), but the keeping of the commandments of God.
- What Paul is stating here in this letter in verses 18-19 is that it doesn’t matter if you are Jew or Gentile serving the Lord. The key ingredient that makes God pleased is to keep His commandments.
- The Judaizers were demanding that all Gentiles that were converted from Judaism to Christianity be circumcised.
- At the same time there were Jews not wanting to be associated with Judaism would have surgery done to make themselves uncircumcised.
- Paul had to make it clear to them that neither was necessary.
- The point Christ made was that neither Jew or Gentile needed to give up their identity by changing their culture, or life style (unless it opposes God’s law).
- Basically, saying this… It doesn’t matter your race, what is important is faith and obedience to God by staying peaceful.
C) Old Testament Law is aborted
- When Jesus Christ came and established the New Testament churches, He was very clear on His distinctions.
- According to O.T. law, Israelites were restricted in their marriages…
- These laws were to protect God’s people from being influenced by pagan (idol worshippers) (See Deuteronomy 7:3, 4)
- The O.T. Laws were to also to help protect the priesthood (Leviticus 21:13, 14)
- Inter-tribal marriages were designed to keep a tribe’s inheritance from being lost in a marriage to another tribal member. (Numbers 36:3-9).
- All of these laws of the O.T. were annulled by the New Testament in 3:27…For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29) And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
- First we need to understand that we are Baptized (being submersed in Him not water, but every deed, thought, and spirit) means to put away all prejudices and thoughts or actions of pride in your cultures or status and be “one body.”
D) Example of inter-racial marriages
- We can look at Moses (The Law giver) who created quite a stir in his immediate family in Numbers 12:1…And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. 2) And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. 3) (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
- Mariam and Aaron was Moses’ sister and brother. Both of them became upset at Moses marring a black woman from Ethiopia.
- But God brought judgment upon Mariam for her actions against Moses (The man of God) in Numbers 12:9…And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed. 10) And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was
- You see Mariam was dark skinned as any Hebrew. Now she became white as snow. She was judged according to her sin. When she complained about the color of skin and race of the wife of Moses…her skin was changed in color.
- You don’t play with God’s laws when it comes to judging others. He tells us not to do that in Leviticus 19:15 (KJV)Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.
- Did you understand that? It is an unrighteous act to judge others wrongly.
- The above verse in 19:15 is using rich and poor, or stronger and weaker as examples.
- Jesus tells us in Luke 6:37 (KJV) …Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
- This verse is one of those “reap what you sow” verses. If you judge others, then you will be judged also of others.
III. What Does The Bible Say About Minorities
A) Anyone can be a minority
- Israel was a minority in Egypt. What did God tell them?
- Exodus 12:49…One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
- In other words, what laws you have established for the people in your land to obey should be honored and obeyed by the foreigners the same.
- Remember that “…God is no respecter of persons.” (Acts 10:34)
- Exodus 22:21…Thou shalt neither vex (wish bad things on) a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. We are not to place unnecessary laws or demands on foreigners that we do not expect our own people to do.
- Leviticus 24:22…Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God. You do not have two sets of laws (one for your countrymen and second set of laws for foreigners.)
B) Love the Foreigners
- Leviticus 19:33…And if a stranger (foreigner) sojourn (lives) with thee in your land, ye shall not vex (Wish bad upon) 34) But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
- Many times, foreigners have different colors of skin, different ways, different cultures, different attitudes, and etc.
- We are to be as God our Father and love all people, and be willing to treat all people the same as we would our own family.
- Interpreters of the Bible many years ago were wrong in their study of the scriptures. I believe they did the best they knew how but were lacking in their wisdom because many did not seek the wisdom of God and trusted the heart and wisdom of mankind.
- We are to be like wise King Solomon said in Proverbs 3:5…Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
- Trust God and not your own self or others. Don’t criticize others for wanting to marry a person of another race.
- It is however okay to talk to them about the differences that they may face in marrying outside their own race. But make sure that they agree on marrying someone within their own belief. Their belief should be that of Jesus Christ.