Q: Can a Christian marry a person of another race? I’ve been told that God forbids inter-racial marriage.
A: Wikipedia defines the concept of race as the classification of humans into groups based on physical traits, ancestry, genetics or social relations, or the relations between them. In other words, the concept of “race” is a man-made concept.
In reality, there is no objective, scientific standard for defining a race of humanity, since the standards for determining race are arbitrary. In fact, it’s impossible to identify a person’s “race” simply by examining their DNA, because all human beings differ from one another to some degree in physical traits, ancestry, genetics or social relations (since no two people are exactly alike). Therefore, these normal variations are meaningless apart from whatever meaning we may assign to them.
Therefore, the assignment of racial identities is entirely subjective and inherently biased. Sinful humanity has always used whatever means possible to discriminate and impose injustice and oppression upon those perceived to be enemies. For example, historically Arabs have oppressed Jews, Greeks have oppressed Turks, Europeans have oppressed Asians, men have oppressed women, the healthy have oppressed the sick, the strong have oppressed the weak, and of course in American society, caucasians have oppressed noncaucasians.
In every case, these arbitrary distinctions are sinful and unbiblical. Sinful hearts magnify meaningless differences in physical traits, ancestry, genetics or social relations to arrive at justification for our cruelty against others, and such sinful attitudes and behaviors have no place in the life of a Christian for they are neither loving nor godly.
This is especially true for the believer who understands the Creation account in Genesis, since that account reminds us that all humanity descends from the same parents, as we read in Acts:
Acts 17:24-26 (NKJV)
24 “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,
If all humanity has descended from one man, then what is race? How can we hold that all humanity come from the same parents and yet also say we are different from other people? Whatever differences we possess are no more meaningful than those that exist between a brother or sister in the same nuclear family. Therefore, for a Christian to hold prejudice against another because of a physical feature (e.g., skin color) is both illogical and unbiblical.
Any Christian harboring hateful or discriminatory thoughts toward another person for any reason is sinning and should repent. We must love everyone, even those we perceive to be our enemies, as Jesus said:
Matthew 5:43-48 (NKJV)
Love Your Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Consequently, there is nothing to be found in the Bible concerning interracial marriage, because in reality there is no such thing as “race” from God’s point of view. All humanity are the same, and therefore a marriage union is possible between any man and any woman, since the physical traits of the two are completely irrelevant to the Lord.
(We should add that the Bible requires a believer to marry only another believer.)
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