More on “Interracial” Marriage

My friend Minda asked a thoughtful question in response to this post. I assumed that the original post would be met with more discussion than it was. Apparently, most readers took it as a “duh-ism,” which is a great thing. I thought it would be useful to post the discussion that followed Minda’s question, however, as it moves us beyond theory to actual practice. Feel free to chime in. Here it is:

Minda: Thanks, Pastor Chris, for this article. I find it rather sad that such articles even need to be written. I was wondering how you answer people who say that while such a marriage is not prohibited by the Bible, it is still not best because it would likely limit one’s ministry in many churches and it would hurt the children. That’s a comment I’ve often heard. What do you say to it?

Me: Hi, Minda.

I think there’s some warrant to the idea that people need to think about all of the ramifications of any marriage, really. In fact, a good friend whose parents are of different ethnicities [Greg Linscott] suggested that I mention the need for couples to think about all that such a marriage entails. However, I didn’t essentially because sometimes that legitimate advice can be used as a loophole to perpetuate the old idea that condemns such unions, and may even be a cover for racism: “Well, it may not be wrong, but it’s certainly not wise.” I have no time for that, but I do think it’s true that the couple should be prepared for whatever might come. Honestly, though, it’s a generational thing. The “think of the children” angle doesn’t play anymore; most people don’t care, or even think about it.

One more thing: I did get a note from a rather offended older man that said essentially “That’s sounds nice in theory, but what would you do if your daughters brought home a _____ man?” (His omitting the word evidently proves that he’s not racist. Nice.) I blew it off, but I was tempted to say, “I don’t understand what you mean. A short man? A chubby man?” :)

Truth is, as much as I know my heart, if they bring home a genuinely godly man who will cherish them and lead them in their pursuit of Christ, his appearance and background won’t matter a bit.

Dan (my friend of Pyro fame): Chris, I’m on vacation, in a room where family is sleeping. Your “I don’t understand” response made me chuckle aloud. Good thing I didn’t wake anyone up.

Here’s my response:

Weighing possible negative repercussions is for the couple to consider.

Our business is to make darned sure we aren’t part of any such repercussions, and to stomp any that arise like the pestilent cockroaches they are.

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6 Responses

  1. After moving out on my own and getting engaged to a black girl, we regularly attended her church. But I insisted that we get married at my first childhood church, for sentimental reasons. We attended a service there and asked the pastor to allow us to be married there. In no uncertain terms, he expressed his disapproval of interracial marriage, and said we couldn’t be married there anyway, because we were not members. This was an outright lie, since my sister was married there 2 years earlier. We got the message, and were married at her church. Personally, it never occurred to me that he considered it a scriptural issue; I just figured he was racist.

  2. Hi Chris,

    Thank you for both the original and this follow-up post. I guess the days of going back and forth on this and related discussions at SI (from years ago) are almost ancient history by now. Thankfully, like you said, it does appear to be a “duh-ism.”

    It seems like after the Please Reconcile campaign and BJU’s statement last year, this issue is resolved for the BJU fundies.

    Eric

  3. As a person who is currently interracially married, I have had to deal with this subject first hand. My dad, as an assistant pastor advised to think about the challenges to be faced, but then also reminded me that any couple has challenges to face and some are more daunting, such as a language barrier, or dealing with handicaps. When you look at it this way, interracial is not as much an issue.

    I had to deal with a father-in-law who wouldn’t even speak to me, and pastors that refused to marry us. The Lord changed my father-in-law’s heart and he gave me permission to marry his daughter and gave me a hug in front of the family. After getting married, I attended a church that initially said there would be no restrictions on service as an interracial couple, but the deacons dissented. So I ended up moving my membership to another church.

  4. I also think your post was somewhat of a “duh-ism” (thankfully) and I also agree that you have to consider ministry opportunities as well as potential stumbling blocks when you marry anyone! Would you marry someone in a wheelchair if you felt called to be a missionary in Africa? Would you marry a Hatfield if you were a McCoy and you were hoping to minister in a county full of other McCoys?

    I guess I have always looked at it as a matter of Christian liberty – weighing what is allowable against potential stumbling blocks. But I also want to have enough faith in God that if I am marrying in His will – He can (and will) work out the problems that come with problematic circumstances!

    Good post!

  5. Absolutely, of course she was!

    Looking at the use of the term “Cush” in the OT and contemporary extrabiblical literature, there’s no doubt that she was. Isn’t that one reason why Aaron and Miriam complained about Moses wife in Numbers 12?

    And we have no record in scripture that God ever condemned Moses for this marriage to a non-Hebrew.

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