“So, are you telling me it’s o.k. to marry a black man?”
After speaking at a youth even recently two young ladies came up and spoke with me. I had just spoken on the fact that there is only one “race” of people, the human race, and that every person on the planet is descended from Adam and Eve.
One of the ladies informed me that she is a PK (Pastor’s Kid) and that she had texted her youth group leader about what I had taught. He and her father said that I was incorrect in the teaching that there was only one “race” and that I was wrong to say there was no such thing as “interracial” marriage.
To support their claim she used Deuteronomy 7:1-3.
At the same meeting a different young lady came up and asked me, “Are you telling me it’s o.k. to marry a black man?” The message had obviously struck a nerve.
Well, let’s deal with this. Does Deuteronomy 7:1-3 and the usage of the word “tribes” mean that God does not permit different “races” to marry? Can a “white” person marry a “black” person and it not be a sin? Because this is such a big and controversial topic I’ll be addressing this in three separate blogs. Thanks in advance for sticking with me.
“So, are you telling me it’s o.k. to marry a black man?” Part 1
In Scripture there are a number of instances where we see God forbidding the Israelites to marry people from the nations around them. The question we have to ask is, WHY were the marriages forbidden? Is it because of “race” or some other reason? And, for what reasons are we forbidden to marry?
Let’s start with what we know God tells the church, the body of Christ, on this topic:
2 Corinthians 6:14
"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers."
1 Corinthians 7:39
"A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord."
Remember, God clearly set forth a pattern in marriage: it is to glorify Christ and the church. In speaking about marriage in Ephesians 5:22-31, Paul concludes by saying he speaks “concerning Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:32). From the Corinthians and Ephesians verses we can clearly see that God is ordaining marriage to be between believers, those who trust in the one true God.
The Bible NEVER uses the term “race” other than in the context of “running a race.” (See Psalm 19:5, Ecclesiastes 9:11, 1 Corinthians 9:24 and Hebrews 12:1.)
First Corinthians 7:39 makes it very clear that the Scripture teaches that God gave believers the freedom to marry anyone in the Lord regardless of “race” or “skin color." The question becomes, was this true for Old Testament believers, namely the house of Israel?
Let’s take a look at the verses in the book of Deuteronomy that the young lady brought to my attention:
1When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
2And 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:
3Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
My question to the young lady was, “Where does this say anything about races?” Research that I have done on these groups has never made reference to skin color or physical characteristics. And given that these people groups were also of the middle eastern region, it is highly likely they looked very similar to the people of Israel. However, we really don’t know.
In my next post, we’ll dig in more to understand exactly what Deuteronomy is talking about and who these groups were.
Again, thanks for your patience. In order to thoroughly address this topic we need to take some time!!
Ponder what I’ve said and return to read part 2.
Carl Kerby and the rforh Team!