The following was from a magazine called THE REPORT. The month
and year is missing, it's been in my files for many years - Keith
QUESTIONS and ANSWERS
Is it a sin for people of different ethnic and racial backgrounds
to marry? For example, does the Bible have anything to say about
a black person marrying a white person?
This is an extremely controversial question. It is actually
a very easy question to answer from the Bible, but many people in
certain regions of the country especially, and also from certain
religious backgrounds don't like what the Bible teaches on the
subject. You have asked, "Is it a SIN?" Let's define what sin is
from the Bible. First John 3:4 teaches us that "Sin is the
transgression of the LAW." For interracial marriage to be a sin,
there would have to be a Biblical LAW forbidding it. Remember,
conscience does not dictate what is sin. Man's laws, traditions
and customs do not define sin. And neither do man's prejudices,
bigotry, and racism.
Believe it or not, there is NOT A SINGLE LAW AGAINST
INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE found in all the Bible!! Those who teach
otherwise are forcing the Bible to say something it does not say.
Much of this misinterpretation results from personal prejudice
and not Biblical scholarship.
This does not mean that we would recommend interracial
marriage in our society. Due to existent prejudices in our
society there is tremendous pressure on any couple who are
married across racial lines. It is not wise to do so because of
racism and bigotry among men. However GOD DOES NOT CONDEMN IT!
Some will ask about Nehemiah's condemnation of interracial
marriage found in Nehemiah 13:23-28. Let's look at it.
"In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod,
of Ammon, and of Moab.... And I contended with them, and cursed
them, and smote certain of them and made them swear by God,
saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor
take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves. Did not
Solomon king of Israel SIN by these things? ... nevertheless even
him did outlandish women cause to sin.
"Shall we then harken unto you to do all this great evil, to
transgress against our God in marrying strange (that is, Gentile]
wives?" (Nehemiah 13:23, 25-27).
Did God's LAW forbid intermarrying with other races simply
because they were different nations and racial groups?
Nehemiah was condemning the interracial marriage in his day
based on RELIGION -- not race. Notice he gives the example of
Solomon, who married HEATHEN wives! Notice I Kings 11. "But king
Solomon loved many strange [Gentile] women, together with the
daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites,
Zidonians, and Hittites: of the nation, concerning which the Lord
said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them,
neither shall they come in unto you; for surely they will turn
away our heart after THEIR gods"! (verses 1. It was because these
other races and nationalities were HEATHEN, that God had
forbidden Israel to intermarry with them, NOT because of their
race alone! When a heathen from another nation became a believer
in the true God, the God of Israel, then be was considered EQUAL
with the Israelite! (See Exodus 12:49 and Numbers 15:15-16).
Since all the Laws of God in the Bible were given through
Moses, there would have to be some statement found in the Law
against interracial marriage based on race itself, for such to be
Yet, Moses, the great Lawgiver of Israel himself married
inter-racially!! Moses was Semitic, an Israelite of the tribe of
Levi and therefore of the white race. Yet he married a BLACK
woman of Ethiopia. Moses' brother and sister were upset, yet God
took the side of Moses and DEFENDED him! (See Numbers 12:1-11 for
proof). Since this Ethiopian woman had accepted the same religion
Moses had, she was considered equal in the sight of God. Even the
New Testament say Christians should only marry other believers
and not the Heathen! (I Cor.7:34). Yet- neither the Old or the
New Testaments speak against marriage on the basis of race. It is
NOT a sin to inter-racially marry and it will NOT keep a person
out of the Kingdom of God.
To those of you who once entangled in whatever way with the
Worldwide Church of God, as led by Herbert W.Armstrong; here is a
little piece of history you may not know.
The very fist Feast of Tabernacles I attended was in Big Sandy,
Texas; it was either 1963 or 1964. There was about 5,000 in
attendance. I well remember the black brethren had their
"section" of the chairs for the services. The black people had
their own dining hall. The "church" organized "fun times" were
divided into fun times for the whites and fun times for the
blacks - SEGREGATED!
What I'm saying is that in those years, Herbert Armstrong and the
then Radio Church of God (a few years or so later to be called
The Worldwide Church of God) - its leaders, were VERY MUCH with a
lot of America - into SEGREGATION of whites from blacks, in the
physical at least. Herbert did say in one of his sermons, that we
ALL would change color one day when in the Kingdom of God, and
glorified. BUT, nevertheless, in those years of the 1960s there
was SEGREGATION in the Radio Church of God.
And low and behold the passage given to uphold segregation was
Deut.7:3 (missing verse 4, where it shows it was to do with
"religion" NOT race). And Exodus 34:16, where again it is
"religion" not race that is the factor.
The old Radio Church of God was INFLUENCED in certain teachings
by the popular American religions of the time, as well as society
in general, the whites, that also taught segregation.
This was also true of Herbert Armstrong's teaching on DIVORCE and
remarriage, his teaching then was right in line with the Church
of England, and many other mainstream churches like the Roman
Catholic church and many Protestant churches.
At that time in "church history" VERY FEW had the scholarship or
the "will power" to ADMIT their errors on SEGREGATION and
DIVORCE. It took years and people like Martin Luther King to set
the record straight, and understand the Bible on the issue of
race segregation correctly. Keith Hunt
Entered on this Website November 2007