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Old 11-12-2005, 10:33 AM
rushdoony rushdoony is offline
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Default The Bible and Racism

CONCLUSION: God's prohibition against intermarriage with the Canaanite and other peoples of the land was not based on racial but rather the religious and societal practices of those peoples. Using this prohibition to support racist theories of superiority or segregationist policy is inaccurate. A further proof that the covenant was not 'racial' in nature is found in the accepting and honoring of non-Israelite (and non-Semitic) people in Scripture:
1 John 2:9
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.
The Greek word for brother (adelphos) is used widely in the New Testament to denote a neighbor (Luke 10:29), the 'brethren' of Jesus bound by belief in Him (Matthew 25:40 and Mark 3:35), and is widened to include all human believers and angels (Revelation 22:9). Thus, hatred of any person for any reason, including race, is sinful.
Full article:
The Bible and Racism

The Bible is clear in teaching the equal opportunity of all races to join God's family by accepting God's laws and principles. There are no Scriptures which support the separation of races or the superiority of one racial group over the other. The Bible translation used is the New International Version (NIV).


Genesis 1:27
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Genesis 2:22
Then the Lord made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man.
These two verses illustrate that in the beginning there were two people, obviously of one 'race.' Just as both were made in God's image, so would their offspring be. Thus, all mankind is equal in the sight of God as all are offspring of Adam and Eve.

Genesis 1:24
And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds..."
The God-given natural law for each creature to reproduce according to its 'kind' may be applied to man: since there were only two humans, Adam and Eve, and all people descended from them, there is no Biblical mandate against racial intermarriage.

Genesis 9:1
Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth."
With the great flood, the only human life remaining on planet earth was Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives. The racial makeup of these wives is not known or mentioned in the Bible. If, however, racial characteristics are physical variations God allowed to help different peoples adapt to the habitat in the varied regions of the world, these wives could be the sources of the three races. Some scholars have postulated a racial breakdown of the three sons, with the Semitic peoples (such as the Jews), descending from Shem, the black peoples from Ham and white peoples from Japeth.

Genesis 9:24-25
When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, he said: "Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers."
Because Ham means 'dark' or 'black,' some have incorrectly theorized that Ham was cursed with blackness because of the sin of the 'youngest son.' Since Canaan is specifically named as the guilty party, it is likely that the crime (likely a homosexual act or action) was committed by him personally. The 'youngest son' refers to the grandson, a common literary practice in Biblical writings. This curse definitely does not cover all of the Hamitic peoples, just the Canaanites. Additionally, all Hamitic peoples were not 'black' or negro: the Babylonians were a Hamitic people.

Genesis 11:9
This is why it is called Babel - because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
The Tower of Babel is sited by some as the origin of different racial groups, but this challenges the specific nature of God's action in relation to language. The racial differences which result from living in different regions of the earth may have been a result of this scattering, but were not part of God's act at this time.

Leviticus 19:19
"Keep my decrees. Do not mate different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material."
Mating of different kinds of animals can produce infertile offspring, planting seeds together lead to problems in harvesting and different kinds of clothe create a problem in cleaning and care of the fabric. These are practical laws... there is no context to assume it applies toward humans. Even if it did, all mankind has two common ancestors and thus is classed as one 'kind.'


Genesis 15:16
"In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure."
God did not give the Israelites the land of an 'innocent' or 'inferior' people (the Canaanites), but rather of a wicked people whose religious practices were an abomination to God. This verse shows that God delayed the entry of Israel into the land until the magnitude of the Amorites' sin justified their annihilation.

Exodus 34:15-16
Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land (Canaanites and related peoples); for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices. 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.
This is the initial warning to Israel about intermarriage with the peoples of Canaan whose abominable pagan religious practices were the reason God was giving them the land. Adopting those practices would turn Israel from God, and this was the reason for prohibition of intermarriage and contact in general (Deuteronomy 7 expands on this as does Exodus 23:31-33). Numbers 25:1-9 records a plague sent from God which killed 24,000 Israelites as a punishment for sexual relations and idol worship with Moabite and Midianite women, stopped only by the spearing of a brazen couple by Phineas.

Judges 3:6
They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.
This passage summarizes the reason behind the events throughout the Book of Judges: the Canaanite people left behind as a 'test' (Judges 3:4) of the obedience of the Israelites to remain separate, entice Israel into idolatry and pagan worship, resulting in God allowing a foreign oppressor to assault them. The repentance of the Israelites and turning to God lasts only a short time, and the Israelites again return to their sin and disobedience

1 Kings 11:1-3
King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharoah's daughter - Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, "You must no intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods." Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray.
The 'greatest' King of Israel serves as the greatest example of the result of the sin of intermarriage with pagan women. The subsequent idolatry of the soon-to-be-divided nation of Israel/Judah, which led to their eventual conquest and removal from the land by foreign empires, is directly traceable to disobeying God's commands concerning intermixing with the pagan peoples.

Nehemiah 13:26-27
"Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned...Must we hear now that you too are doing all this terrible wickedness and are being unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women?"

Ezra 9:2; 10-12
"They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness."
"But now, O our God, what we say after this? For we have disregarded the commands you gave through your servants the prophets when you said: The land you are entering to possess is a land polluted by the corruption of this peoples. By their detestable practices they have filled it with their impurity from one end to the other. Therefore do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons...
The reason for remaining separate from the people is reiterated while post-captivity leaders Ezra and Nehemiah deal with the seemingly unending problem of intermarriage with pagan peoples. The term 'holy race,' or 'seed' as in the King James, does not designate a 'racial' group of people but rather is meant to designate the unique status of the Jewish people as a religio-ethnic group

CONCLUSION: God's prohibition against intermarriage with the Canaanite and other peoples of the land was not based on racial but rather the religious and societal practices of those peoples. Using this prohibition to support racist theories of superiority or segregationist policy is inaccurate. A further proof that the covenant was not 'racial' in nature is found in the accepting and honoring of non-Israelite (and non-Semitic) people in Scripture:
Numbers 12:21 - Moses marries an Ethiopian woman, resulting in Aaron and Miriam challenging his leadership; God forcefully supports Moses with no condemnation of the marriage
Matthew 1:5 - Rahab, the Canaanite from Jericho, and Ruth, the Moabite, are part of Jesus' genealogy
2 Samuel 3:3 - David's wife Macaah was a Geshurite, an Aramean
1 Chronicles 11:26-47 - the list of David's honored Mighty Men included Zelek the Ammonite, Ithmah the Moabite and Uriah the Hittite, all non-Israelite peoples.


2 Kings 17:28
So one of the priests who had been exiled from Samaria came to live in Bethel and taught them how to worship the Lord. Nevertheless, each national group made its own gods in the several towns where they settled, and set them up in the shrines the people of Samaria had made at the high places.
The 'Samaritans' were actually foreign peoples that Assyria brought in to populate the Northern Kingdom of Israel (also called Samaria) after the native Israelites had been deported. The mixing of their own pagan religious practices with the corrupted 'Israelite' religion which Jeroboam established at Bethel, led the Israelites to avoid contact with the Samaritans as the new 'Canaanites.' Their racial/ethnic makeup was not the issue.

John 4:21-23
Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks."
In His conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus reveals the true nature of the point of hostility between the two groups of people (true verses false worship of God), and the ultimate goal of God to have all, regardless of race or ethnic group, to worship Him together.

Matthew 28:19
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations...
While Jesus' personal ministry was spent with the Jewish nation (Matthew 15:24), He did minister to non-Jews (Gentiles) who called upon him (the 'woman of Canaan' in Matthew 15:22, the Samaritan leper in Luke 17:16, and the Roman centurion in Matthew 8). The New Covenant, however, was for all people and the disciples were given the Great Commission to spread it to all, regardless of race.

Romans 4:16-17
Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring - not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations..."
After writing that all men (Jew and Gentile in Romans 3:9-10) are equally guilty of sin, Paul writes that the true heirs of Abraham and his promise are those people of all nations who believe.

Acts 8:14; 8:34-39; 11:1
These verses show how the Samaritans, a black Ethiopian and white Roman Gentiles receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Ethiopian is a direct refutation of racists propaganda that declares blacks are not 'human.'

1 John 2:9
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.
The Greek word for brother (adelphos) is used widely in the New Testament to denote a neighbor (Luke 10:29), the 'brethren' of Jesus bound by belief in Him (Matthew 25:40 and Mark 3:35), and is widened to include all human believers and angels (Revelation 22:9). Thus, hatred of any person for any reason, including race, is sinful.

James 2:9
But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.
James is specifically addressing favoritism shown to wealthier individuals who visit the church. This command, however, is applicable to showing favoritism for any characteristic, including race.

CONCLUSION: The New Testament emphasizes that all men are equally guilty of sin and equally able to be saved by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. No where is racial separation or superiority taught or condoned. The interaction of Jews and Gentiles, the 'segregation' of the day in Israel, was specifically condemned (Galatians 2:11-12).

“...I realized I had to gain more knowledge to protect against evil and to protect myself from not becoming evil myself. This is our major goal in life...\" Terry Lee
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Old 11-12-2005, 11:18 AM
rushdoony rushdoony is offline
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Default Re: The Bible and Racism

Misconception 8: Racist Religion

Because we believe that the godly are called to exercise dominion in the earth; and because the notion of godly dominionism has been revived in the United States; and, finally, because some who claim to believe in dominion are also racists, it is occasionally presumed that we hold to a racist religion. The term "racism" itself can be and has been variously defined. One thing is for certain: We do not believe that one race is inherently superior to another, or that only one sector of the race is to take dominion as Christians, or that sinners of whatever race do not stand equally guilty in the sight of God, or that Christians of a certain race do not stand equally justified in the sight of God. Therefore, we believe that the racism of the KKK, the Arian Nation, the Identity Movement, Black Power, the Black Panthers, and the Asian, Hispanic, and Indian racist movements are anti-Christian at their very core.

Chalcedon supports only one form of "racism": God blesses, nourishes, and honors the Royal Race of the Redeemed, all of those of whatever physical race that have placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and God curses the race of the First Adam, all of those who live in unbelief, rebellion, and works-based righteousness (Rom. 5:12-21). This is the only "racial discrimination" the Bible knows anything about. God discriminates in favor of covenant-keepers, and discriminates against covenant-breakers (Dt. 28). Some may object that He favors the race of Israel in the Old Testament era, but it must be immediately noted that His choice was not fundamentally racial, but religious. For this reason, Gentiles could become a part of the Jewish race, and thus a part of the covenant people of God (Gen. 17:12-13). The non-racial aspect of Biblical Faith is clear from Ephesians 2:11-15:

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace....

All converted Jews and Gentiles stand on the same plane of blessing in God's sight, just as all unconverted Jews and Gentiles stand on the same plane of judgment in God's sight. The race God favors is the race of the Second Adam; the race He disfavors is the race of the First Adam. And this has nothing to do with physical race.
“...I realized I had to gain more knowledge to protect against evil and to protect myself from not becoming evil myself. This is our major goal in life...\" Terry Lee
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Old 11-12-2005, 11:45 AM
rushdoony rushdoony is offline
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Default Re: The Bible and Racism

Choosing a Wife
by Douglas Wilson

How should a young man seek a wife? What should his criteria be? First, a few important pointers on what not to do. Do not hand out Xerox copies of this article at the college and career class at church, announcing in a loud voice that you are ready for the marital state, and are earnestly praying about it. That makes godly young women jumpy; they want to get married too, but not to a blunderbuss.

Certain things should be assumed in the discussion. A man should not even consider marrying a woman who is not a Christian. "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness?" (2 Cor. 6:14) A man should not even consider marrying a woman who was divorced without biblical grounds (Matt. 19:9). Further, if he is divorced unbiblically (Matt. 19:9) then he should forget it. Simply put, before a man considers this woman or that one, he should have it resolved in his mind that he will marry only within the boundaries set by the law of God.

Beyond this, we come to the realm of wisdom; the task involves making important judgment calls. The various criteria set forth here are not ranked in an hierarchical order; they are simply considerations which should be very much a part of a young man's thinking.

Although a young man leaves his father and mother in order to take a wife (Gen. 2:24), the advice and approval of his parents should be very important to him (Gen. 28:6-9). If he is headstrong, and refuses to listen to counsel, he will likely regret it in his marriage. Our culture likes to pretend that wisdom belongs to youth, especially in questions of love. The Bible teaches us to look for wisdom elsewhere. The way of a man with a maiden does not necessarily make a lot of sense (Prov. 30:18-19).

A man should seek a pleasant woman. The Bible has a great deal to say about a quarrelsome wife, and the constant nuisance associated with living with such a one. The contentions of a shrewish woman are like a continuing dripping (Prov. 19:13). Some men, who do not want the responsibilities associated with leadership, may be content to marry a woman who brings "direction" to the relationship, but a hard-driving woman is likely to be an unpleasant companion after a very short period of time. A man should seek a pleasant woman, with a pleasant face.

He should want to marry a woman who shares a biblical work ethic with him; she should understand her work orientation as being homeward (Tit. 2:3-5). A woman who rejects domesticity, a woman who wants to live like some Barbie married to some Ken should be avoided along with all other sexual pests. A biblical man should want a woman who wants children, and who wants to be home-oriented.

At the same time, when a man is considering a woman, she should be sexually attractive to him. He should banish from his thinking all false gnosticism, which says that the "spiritual plane" is so much more important. Of course it is more important, but this does not make sexual attraction irrelevant. When a man singles a woman out for attention, he should have one thing clear in his mind. (Actually, a young Christian woman should understand the same thing as well.) To some extent, one of two things is happening. The first option is that the man is attempting to get the woman into bed dishonorably. The other possibility is that he is trying to do it honorably.

But of course, returning to the previous point, a man has to realize that the world is full of sexually attractive women who would turn his life into a wretched affair. Although the sexual chemistry is necessary for a good marriage, it is by no means sufficient. "Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised" (Prov. 31:30).

If a man and woman come from different cultures, the differences should be taken fully into account. The tendency is to look at all such differences through a romantic haze, and if anyone brings them up, to dismiss them with a wave of the hand. "Oh, we thought of that." But thinking "of that" and thinking it through are two different things. We cannot say that cross-cultural marriages (which would include interracial marriages) are unbiblical. We can say that they should not be approached thoughtlessly. The differences between men and women are great enough already; if a couple has to deal with the other cultural barriers to communication as well, it could cause considerable problems. The same thing goes for what might be called certain subcultural differences -- vocational, regional, etc.

Last, a young man must know that the woman he is considering respects him enough to follow his spiritual leadership. Doctrinal differences which may not seem huge in a "conversation" may become quite large in a family when practical decisions have to be made. For example,' how would a husband and wife handle a disagreement over infant baptism?

Because the husband is spiritually responsible in the marriage, the young man should think all such things through to the end before he puts on his court shoes.
“...I realized I had to gain more knowledge to protect against evil and to protect myself from not becoming evil myself. This is our major goal in life...\" Terry Lee
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Old 11-12-2005, 05:27 PM
rushdoony rushdoony is offline
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Default Re: The Bible and Racism

Racial Harmony and Interracial Marriage

Deuteronomy 7:3-4 & Colossians 3:9-11

My aim today is to argue from Scripture and experience that interracial marriage is not only permitted by God but is a positive good in our day. That is, it is not just to be tolerated, but celebrated. This is extremely controversial since it is opposed by people from all sides.

Interracial marriage was against the law in 16 states in 1967 when the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court Decision struck down those laws. That is very fresh historically. I was a senior in college. Laws reflect deep convictions, and convictions don’t usually change when laws do.

Opposition to Interracial Marriage
The first website that came up on my Google search for Martin Luther King and interracial marriage was the website of the Ku Klux Klan which still has this anachronistic quote today: “Interracial marriage is a violation of God’s Law and a communist ploy to weaken America.”

Many African Americans believe interracial marriage erodes the solidarity of the African American community. Lawrence Otis Graham wrote that “interracial marriage undermines [African Americans’] ability to introduce our children to black role models who accept their racial identity with pride.”

Some conservative whites oppose interracial marriage for a different reason. Syndicated columnist H. Millard wrote:

. . . we are seeing the death of the American and his replacement with a non-European type who now has enough mass in our society to pervert European-American ways. . . . White people . . . are going to have to struggle mightily to survive the Neo-Melting Pot and avoid being part of the one-size-fits-all human model. Call it what it is: Genocide and extinction of the white genotype.

One letter I received from a white Christian man went like this:

As individuals, they are precious souls for whom Christ died and whom we are to love and seek to win. As a race, however, they are unique and different and have their own culture. . . . I would never marry a black. Why? Because I believe God made the races, separated them and set the bounds of their habitation, Deuteronomy 32:8; Acts 17:26. He made them uniquely different and intended that these distinctions remain. God never intended the human race to become a mixed or mongrel race. So, while I am strongly opposed to segregation I favor separation that the uniqueness with which God made them is maintained.

Piper’s Personal Experience
To these opposing views I would add my own experience. I was a southern teenage racist (by almost any definition), and, since I am a sinner still, I do not doubt that elements of it remain in me, to my dismay. For these lingering attitudes and actions I repent. Racism is a very difficult reality to define. The Bethlehem staff have been working on it for months. We are presently most closely committed to the definition given last summer at the Presbyterian Church in America annual meeting: “Racism is an explicit or implicit belief or practice that qualitatively distinguishes or values one race over other races.” That is what I mean when I say I was a racist growing up in Greenville, South Carolina. My attitudes and actions were demeaning and disrespectful toward non-whites. And right at the heart of those attitudes was opposition to interracial marriage.

My mother, who washed my mouth out with soap once for saying, “Shut up!” to my sister, would have washed my mouth out with gasoline if she knew how foul my mouth was racially. She was under God the seed of my salvation in more ways than one. When our church voted not to admit blacks in 1963, when I was 17, my mother ushered the black guests at my sister’s wedding right into the main sanctuary herself because the ushers wouldn’t do it. I was on my way to redemption.

In 1967 Noël and I attended the Urbana Missions Conference. I was a senior at Wheaton. There we heard Warren Webster, former missionary to Pakistan, answer a student’s question: What if your daughter falls in love with a Pakistani while you’re on the mission field and wants to marry him? With great forcefulness he said: “The Bible would say, Better a Christian Pakistani than a godless white American!” The impact on us was profound.

Four years later I wrote a paper for Lewis Smedes in an ethics class at seminary called “The Ethics of Interracial Marriage.” For me that was a biblical settling of the matter, and I have not gone back from what I saw there. The Bible does not oppose or forbid interracial marriages. And there are circumstances which together with biblical principles make interracial marriage in many cases a positive good.

Now I am a pastor at Bethlehem. One quick walk through the pictorial directory that came out last year gives me a rough count of 203 non-Anglos pictured in the book. I am sure I missed some. And I am sure the definition of Anglo is so vague someone will be bothered that I even tried to count. But the point is this: Dozens and dozens of them are children and teenagers and single young men and women. This means very simply that we as a church need a clear place to stand on interracial marriage. Church is the most natural and proper place to find a spouse. And they will find each other across racial lines.

That is what I would like to give. First, we will make four textual observations and then some concluding implications for our experience.

1. All Races Have One Ancestor in the Image of God, and All Humans Are in God’s Image
The Bible portrays the human race as coming from one pair of human ancestors who were created in God’s image unlike all the animals and that this image of God is passed on to all humans. Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Again in Genesis 5:1-3, “When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Manwhen they were created. When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image.” In other words, the magnificent image of God goes on from generation to generation.

Then Paul makes the sweeping statement in Acts 17:26, “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth.” In other words, Adam, who was created in God’s image, is the father of all human beings in all ethnic groups. Therefore all of them are dignified above the animals in this absolutely unique and glorious way: humans are crated in the image of God. With all the beautiful, God-designed ethnic and cultural diversity in the world, that truth is paramount. That truth is decisive in setting priorities for how we respect and relate to each other.

2. The Bible Forbids Intermarriage Between Unbeliever and Believer, But Not Between Races
The Bible forbids intermarriage between believer and unbeliever but not between members of different ethnic groups. 1 Corinthians 7:39, “A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” “Whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” One biblical restriction on the man she marries: he must be in the Lord. He must be a believer in Jesus Christ.

This was the main point of the Old Testament warnings about marrying those among the pagan nations. The point was not to protect racial purity. The point was to protect religious purity. For example, Deuteronomy 7:3-4:

You shall not intermarry with [the nations]; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons. For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods; then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you.

The issue is not color mixing, or customs mixing, or clan identity. The issue is: will there be one common allegiance to the true God in this marriage or will there be divided affections? The prohibition in God’s word is not against interracial marriage, but against marriage between the true Israel, the church (from every people, tribe, and nation) and those who are not part of the true Israel, the church. That is, the Bible prohibits marriage between those who believe in Christ (the Messiah) and those who don’t (see 2 Corinthians 6:14).

This is exactly what we would expect if the great ground of our identity is not our ethnic differences but our common humanity in the image of God and especially our new humanity in Christ. That leads to the third biblical observation.

3. In Christ Our Oneness Is Profound and Transforms Racial and Social Differences from Barriers to Blessings
In Christ ethnic and social differences cease to be obstacles to deep, personal, intimate fellowship. Colossians 3:9-11, “You have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,free; but Christ is all, and in all.”

This does not mean that every minority culture gets swallowed up by the majority culture in the name of unity. God does not obliterate all ethnic and cultural differences in Christ. He redeems them and refines them and enriches them in the togetherness of his kingdom. The final image of heaven is “every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 7:9; 5:9). God values the differences that reflect more fully his glory in man.

The point of Colossians 3:11 is not that cultural, ethnic, and racial differences have no significance; they do. The point is that that they are no barrier to profound, personal, intimate fellowship. Singing alto is different from singing bass. It’s a significant difference. But that difference is no barrier to being in the choir. It’s an asset.

When Christ is all and in all, differences take an important but subordinate place to fellowship—and, I will argue, marriage.

4. Criticizing One Interracial Marriage Was Severely Disciplined by God
The fourth observation is that Moses, a Jew, apparently married a black African and was approved by God. Numbers 12:1, “ Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman.” Cushite means a woman from Cush, a region south of Ethiopia, and known for their black skin. We know this because of Jeremiah 13:23, “Can the Ethiopian [the very same Hebrew word translated “Cushite” in Numbers 12:1] change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.” So attention is drawn to the difference of the skin of the Cushite people.

J. Daniel Hays writes in his book, From Every People and Nation: A Biblical Theology of Race(Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2003), that Cush “is used regularly to refer to the area south of Egypt, and above the cataracts on the Nile, where a Black African civilization flourished for over two thousand years. Thus it is quite clear that Moses marries a Black African woman” (p. 71).

What is most significant about this context is that God does not get angry at Moses; he gets angry at Miriam for criticizing Moses. The criticism has to do with Moses’s marriage and Moses’s authority. The most explicit statement relates to the marriage: “Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman.” Then consider this possibility. In God’s anger at Miriam, Moses’s sister, God says in effect, “You like being light-skinned Miriam? I’ll make you light-skinned.” Numbers 12:10: “When the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous,like snow.”

God says not a critical word against Moses for marrying a black, Cushite woman. But when Miriam criticizes God’s chosen leader for this marriage God strikes her skin with white leprosy. If you ever thought black was a biblical symbol for uncleanness, be careful; a worse white uncleanness could come upon you.

Those are my four biblical observations.1) All races have one ancestor in the image of God and all humans are in God’s image. 2) The Bible forbids intermarriage between unbeliever and believer, but not between races. 3) In Christ our oneness is profound and transforms racial and social differences from barriers to blessings. 4) Criticizing one interracial marriage was severely disciplined by God.

Closing Implications
Now some closing implications for our experience.

Opposition to interracial marriage is one of the deepest roots of racial distance, disrespect, and hostility. Show me one place in the world where interracial or interethnic marriage is frowned upon and yet the two groups still have equal respect and honor and opportunity. I don’t think it exists. It won’t happen. Why? Because the supposed specter of interracial marriage demands that barrier after barrier must be put up to keep young people from knowing each other and falling in love. They can’t fellowship in church youth groups. They can’t go to the same schools. They can’t belong to the same clubs. They can live in the same neighborhoods. Everybody knows deep down what is at stake here. Intermarriage is at stake.

And as long as we disapprove of it, we will be pushing our children, and therefore ourselves, away from each other. The effect of that is not harmony, not respect, and not equality of opportunity. Where racial intermarriage is disapproved, the culture with money and power will always dominate and always oppress. They will see to it that those who will not make desirable spouses stay in their place and do not have access to what they have access to. If your kids don’t make desirable spouses, you don’t make desirable neighbors.

And here is a great and sad irony. The very situation of separation and suspicion and distrust and dislike that is brought about (among other things) by the fear of intermarriage, is used to justify the opposition to intermarriage. “It will make life hard for the couple and hard for the kids (they’ll be called half-breeds).” Catch 22. It’s like the army being defeated because there aren’t enough troops, and the troops won’t sign up because the army’s being defeated. Oppose interracial marriage, and you will help create a situation of racial disrespect. And then, since there is a situation of disrespect, it will be prudent to oppose interracial marriage.

Here is where Christ makes the difference. Christ does not call us to a prudent life, but to a God-centered, Christ-exalting, justice-advancing, counter-cultural, risk-taking life of love and courage. Will it be harder to be married to another race, and will it be harder for the kids? Maybe. Maybe not. But since when is that the way a Christian thinks? Life is hard. And the more you love the harder it gets.

It’s hard to take a child to the mission field. The risks are huge. It’s hard to take a child and move into a mixed neighborhood where he may be teased or ridiculed. It’s hard to help a child be a Christian in a secular world where his beliefs are mocked. It’s hard to bring children up with standards: “you will not dress like that, and you will not be out that late.” It’s hard to raise children when dad or mom dies or divorces. And that’s a real risk in any marriage. Whoever said that marrying and having children was to be trouble free? It’s one of the hardest things in the world. It just happens to be right and rewarding.

Christians are people who move toward need and truth and justice, not toward comfort and security. Life is hard. But God is good. And Christ is strong to help.

There is so much more to say about the challenges and blessings of interracial marriage. But we are out of time. I hope to write more. Suffice it say now by way of practical conclusion: at Bethlehem we will not underestimate the challenges of interracial marriage or transracial adoption (they go closely together). We will celebrate the beauty, and we will embrace the burden. Both will be good for us and good for the world and good for the glory of God.
“...I realized I had to gain more knowledge to protect against evil and to protect myself from not becoming evil myself. This is our major goal in life...\" Terry Lee
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Old 11-12-2005, 06:17 PM
Thumper Thumper is offline
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Posts: 763
Default Re: The Bible and Racism

go away mr. ADL secret agent :-P
\"six or seven men can plunge the nation into war, or, what is perhaps equally disastrous, commit it to entangling alliances without consulting Parliament at all.\"

--Andrew Carnegie
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Old 11-12-2005, 07:38 PM
rushdoony rushdoony is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 556
Default Re: The Bible and Racism

I cannot go away ZionistThumperJew,
because my leader and handler Abe Foxman would
claw at me, or scratch me with his left hand
as punishment, and that would be too
much to bear.

See photo:

Long live the ADL.
"Sieg...Heil! Sieg...Heil! Sieg...Heil!".
“...I realized I had to gain more knowledge to protect against evil and to protect myself from not becoming evil myself. This is our major goal in life...\" Terry Lee
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