Interracial Marriages

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Interracial Marriages

Michael Pickford

In our society, there is still a great deal of concern about interracial relationships, especially when marriage is involved. In the earlier days of our Nation, it was objected to on the basis that the children would be “inferior.” There was and is no proof of this. Tiger Woods has an Asian mother and a “black” father. How many golfers would stand up and call Tiger “inferior?” In 1961 Virginia banned interracial marriages. There was a statute enacted in 1924 entitled "An Act to Preserve Racial Integrity." 1) The statute said that in Virginia no “White” person could marry anyone other than a “white” person. 2) The law made it a crime not only to enter into an interracial marriage in the State of Virginia, but it also criminalized interracial marriages outside the state with the intent of evading Virginia's prohibition. 3) Furthermore, the law stated that children born out of such a union were deemed in the eyes of the State to be illegitimate and without the protections and privileges accorded to the children of lawfully wedded parents. A trial judge asserted that: "Almighty God created the races of White, Black, Yellow, Malay, and Red, and He placed them on separate continents." "And but for the interference with His arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages." "The fact that He separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix." The Supreme Court of the United States reversed the decision on the grounds that the Constitution of the United States prohibits states from barring interracial marriages. In so doing, the Supreme Court invalidated similar laws in fifteen States. Thus, as of June 12, 1967, interracial marriages were no longer illegal in any State.

Now, let’s turn our attention to what God’s word has to say on the matter. First, let me state very clearly that God’s word has NOTHING, that’s right, nothing to say on this matter. There isn’t one statement in God’s entire word which would prohibit an individual from marrying another individual because they had a different skin color. True, God did prohibit the Jews of the Old Testament from marrying Gentiles. However, this had nothing to do with skin color, but, rather, He prohibited it because these Gentiles were likely to draw away their hearts after other gods, false gods.

There are some who refer to the statement made by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14 and try to use this statement to forbid mixed relationships. Paul stated there, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (NKJV) A close examination of the context, however, reveals that Paul has in mind the mixing of true worship to God with Pagan worship. Closely read verse 15 as well as the entire context. Marriage is not even under consideration in this context, much less skin color.

Genetically speaking, it is absurd to take a stand against interracial relationships. Biblically, every person living today is a descendant of Adam and Eve. The statement that trial judge made, "Almighty God created the races of White, Black, Yellow, Malay, and Red, and He placed them on separate continents," is totally in error. Nowhere does the Bible teach such a thing. Instead, the Bible says, “And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20). Notice that Eve is the mother of all living. Furthermore, the command was given to Adam and Eve, “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth" (Genesis 1:28). Adam and Eve were the ones who were to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth with other Human beings. God did not make another race of people different from Adam and Eve. They were the only two people ever created in a unique fashion. All other people came from them by means of the natural laws which we know so well today. Furthermore, Acts 17:26 states, “"And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,” God made us all from ONE BLOOD.

Thankfully, God does not judge humans by mere external appearances. Though humans have a tendency to judge people by how they look, including their skin color, God does not judge us by color; He judges the heart. The beauty of God's judgment is that he is "no respecter of persons" (Acts 10:34), and thus we are to judge the same way (1 Timothy 5:21; James 3:17). Scripture distinguishes people by tribal or national groupings, not by skin color or physical appearance.

All peoples can interbreed and produce fertile offspring. This shows that the biological differences between the "races" are not very great. In fact, the DNA differences are trivial. The DNA of any two people in the world would typically differ by just 0.2 percent. Of this, only 6 percent can be linked to racial categories; the rest is "within race" variation. In other words, if someone were going to condemn a “white” person for marrying a “black” person, in order to be consistent, they would have to condemn a brown eyed person from marrying a blue eyed person. Skin color is simply a genetic trait, just as eye color is. True, skin color is the most obvious genetic trait, but they are both ONLY genetic traits. And God nowhere condemns one person from marrying another person based on genetic traits. If this were so, who could I marry? Genetically, I am part Irish, English, German, and Native American. Does this mean that in order to be right with God, I would have to marry someone with the same exact blood mixture? Certainly not! Yet, we don’t hear too much opposition to this sort of thing. The opposition only comes from the more obvious genetic traits, such as “Black” skin and “white” skin. This is highly inconsistent.

Again, it is wrong to suggest that God condemns interracial relationships. The Bible nowhere condemns such a thing. If a faithful young Christian man were in love with, and wanted to marry a faithful young Christian woman, where in the word of God would this marriage be prohibited simply because she is “white” and he is “black?” Or because she is Chinese and he is American? Or because she is Korean and he is German? God’s word condemns no such thing!

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