DOES THE BIBLE FORBID INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE?



There is much false and incorrect information around on this topic, but Christians need to be familiar with true biblical teaching in order to correctly represent the teachings of Jesus!

Some say that when Noah is called 'perfect in his generations' (Genesis 6:9), this is a comment about purity of racial stock. But the Hebrew used in this verse does not suggest any reference to race, and the verse is rendered much more clearly in the NIV:
'This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.'(Genesis 6:9, NIV).

Others say that when God forbad the Israelites to mix with the Canaanites this was for racial reasons. They are completely incorrect: it was for religious/cultural reasons! The Israelites were warned not to form alliances/friendships with the tribes within the Promised Land in order not to dilute/compromise their knowledge of the things of God which had been revealed to them.

The Bible does not forbid interracial marriages. It does, however, forbid a Christian from marrying an unbeliever: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14). This Scripture starts to get to the root of the problem! The Bible never forbids interracial marriage but it does attack what the modern Western world calls 'multiculturalism'!

So, first of all, in what sense was Noah 'perfect in his generations'? As the NIV rendition of Genesis 6:9 suggests, this was a reference to decency of character:
Noah was a fine and decent man in that he was a decent husband, father and – most importantly – he walked with God: He believed that God had granted him his parents, wife, children and that to genuinely love is to love God. He wanted to obey God and we can be sure that he sought after God.

Secondly, does the Bible indicate a particular attitude towards interracial marriage?

Yes, it does. In Numbers 12:1-8 we find an account of Moses marrying an Ethiopian woman,

'And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman' (Num. 12:1, KJV).

The NIV refers to this woman as a 'Cushite.' The perceived wisdom of most scholars is that this woman was black, although she could have been brown-skinned. Now the LORD repeatedly asks Moses to be a faithful, consistent and obedient leader, but on this occasion, Moses is not challenged by the LORD, but by Miriam and Aaron! Miriam and Aaron were upset with Moses because he married a Cushite woman. This could have been an indication of racism by Miriam and Aaron, perhaps they had mistaken the LORD's 'mono-culturalism' for 'mono-racism,' but in any case, if race was an issue, this would have been an ideal place and circumstance to set the matter straight once and for all. But the LORD showed anger towards Miriam and Aaron for their challenge to Moses over his non-Israelite wife! Read the entire Scripture!

'The anger of the LORD burned against them...' (verse 9).

We might also carefully consider the LORD's warning for the Israelites not to marry the tribes within the Promised Land in Exodus 34:10-16 and note how this is clearly shown to be a religious (or, cultural) matter – not a racial one:

'And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.' (Exodus 34:16, NIV).

In fact, any foreigners willing to accept the LORD and His revealed laws were always welcomed among the Israelites and we find several Old Testament examples including Rahab and Ruth!

So What About Multi-Culturalism?

The multi-culturalism being strongly promoted in modern Britain and America, however, is not good! The LORD did not want the Israelites mixing with the tribes of Canaan for cultural (not racial) reasons; Multi-Culturalism says that all religions and all creeds may be mixed together – this is but one facet of Practical Atheism, since it is only concerned about harmony between peoples and assumes that religion is pretty much meaningless.

Neither is it good that both Britain and America seem determined to fill (overfill in the case of Britain!) their borders with immigrants of very different cultures/religions. This is ultimately bound to lead to conflict. The problem is that we have robbed ourselves of our future generations through the evil practise of abortion and we are now starting to realise that we are headed for a situation in which a majority of our populations are going to be over 60 within around 25 years, and there will be few people actively contributing to the economy, so liberal social schemers are seeing huge immigration as the only answer. I am reminded of the very true comment that if one breaks God's laws for long enough, they have a habit of coming back to destroy the transgressor!
Robin Brace, 2005.

UK APOLOGETICS

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