Last week I wrote about an encounter that I had where a young lady disagreed with the biblical teaching that there is only one “race” — the human race. She also disagreed with my conclusion that there really isn’t any such thing as interracial marriage. The argument raised was that Deuteronomy 7:1-3 teaches it is wrong for people of different “races” to marry. Deuteronomy refers to a number of people groups, including the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, and more. The question is, do these groups represent what we classify as “races” today? The short answer is, “No!” What is the text talking about then?
This week I’ll continue with ...
“So, are you telling me it’s o.k. to marry a black man?” Part 2
Most of the people groups mentioned in Deuteronomy 7 were closely associated with the Canaanites and the Bible clearly tells that the Israelites were instructed not to marry the pagan Canaanites. And yet Rahab, a Canaanite woman, married an Israelite man and from that union came King David. In fact, Rahab’s name appears in the genealogy of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5). Remember Rahab? She and her family were spared during the destruction of Jericho because Rahab, by hiding the spies (Joshua 2:6), had demonstrated her faith in the God of Israel (Joshua 2:10-11). In other words, she was a believer. This further supports my position that it wasn’t skin color, but rather God was denying intermarriage with non-believers as a way to keep His people holy and set apart for Him.
From the time that God called Abraham, He began a long process of building a nation, growing and strengthening them in their faith and devotion to Him, and preparing them to be ready to recognize their Messiah when the time would come. Intermarriage with people who did not worship the God of Israel would cause them to turn away from true worship and turn to the idols and false gods of other nations. You can also see this truth taught in Joshua 23:6-13 and Ezra 9:1-2, 10-14.
Most people would agree that the main issue of God forbidding intermarriage had to do with keeping the people faithful to God, but yet some still want to hold on to the idea that “race” is also a factor. Again, we return to the question, “does the Bible say that?”
We’ve already mentioned one case of intermarriage that God clearly did not condemn (Rahab), and in fact He blessed it because through the line of Rahab came both King David and ultimately Jesus Christ.
Let’s take a look at what God says about “race." The bottom line must always be that it doesn’t matter what I think, you think, or what the pastors or professors teach. What truly matters is what God says. The phrase that has to be the rallying cry of every Christian is: “... and God said ...”
God said in 1 Corinthians 15:45, “... the first man Adam ...”
God said in Genesis 3:20 that Eve was called Eve because she was the mother of “all living.”
In Acts 17:26 we read that we are all “of one blood.” That makes it very clear that there is only one race, the human race, and that there is no such thing as interracial marriage. When we label people in terms of white, black, brown, yellow, red, etc. we are imposing labels based on the color of their skin. Modern science clearly defines these differences as being a result of the amount of melanin in one’s skin as well as how certain genes interact with that melanin, which is most affected by the geographical region in which they live or their ancestors lived.
In addition, Observational Science claims that race is not a biological concept. Mitochondrial DNA, Y Chromosome studies, as well as the Human Genome Project, show this to be true. Dr. J. Craig Venter said, "Race is a social concept, not a scientific one." And, when the research was released, it concluded, “Dr. Venter and scientists at the National Institutes of Health recently announced that they had put together a draft of the entire sequence of the human genome, and the researchers had unanimously declared, there is only one race -- the human race.”
We could have saved a lot of time and money on that research. God has been telling us that from the beginning.
I hope you’ll return to read the third and final post about this important subject.
Until then, Jesus said,
If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31-32)
Carl Kerby and the rforh Team!