Now THAT’s a Good Question!

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I once had a church member (when I pastored in Louisiana) refuse the brownies and home made ice cream I offered him at a potluck. It wasn’t because he didn’t like brownies and ice cream (duh. . . who doesn’t?). Rather, and I quote: “I don’t even like to integrate my stomach.”

Yes he did.

So I proceeded to punch him the stomach among other places throughout his frail body.

Okay, so I didn’t do that – but I wanted to.

What I really did was work up a 10 year sermon series on racism where each sermon would last an hour and a half.

Okay, so I didn’t do that either – but I wanted to.

Today’s question has to do with this sort of thing.

Some questions are difficult simply due to the subject matter. Others are hard due to the culture.

This question is one of the culture ones.

Here goes:

“Is there anything in the Bible about interracial relationships? I’ve been wondering.”

(Sent to me via text message late one afternoon last week.)

I get this question a lot. Adopt a child of a different race and you will too. 🙂 Due to where I live (the South) and the history of my surroundings (ever wondered why the SBC started?), this is an important question.

Here was my text back (There was no way I was going to type on my phone what I am going to lay out here):

“The brief version: No, the Bible is NOT against interracial relationships. The Bible IS against a Christian being married to a non-Christian. My advice? Be wise in your relationships and find someone who loves Jesus and helps you love and obey Him more.”

That’s my answer in a nutshell. I assumed (due to the volume of similar questions) the person asking wanted to know if it was biblically wrong.

Here’s a more extended explanation. . .

The idea that God opposes interracial marriage (which is VERY prevalent in the South) probably comes from passages that demand God’s people (Israel) to marry within their own tribe and people. Why? In order to ensure they didn’t go follow after other gods. Deuteronomy 7:1-6 spells it out clearly.

The purpose, of course, is NOT because “birds of a feather flock together” (which is not in the Bible, by the way). Rather, the purpose is to protect God’s people from being tempted to worship and serve other (false) gods. During this time in history the ONLY people who worshipped the LORD were Israelites.

The Bible’s emphasis on marriage and relationships is to befriend, date, marry, and stay married to one who knows, loves, worships, and eagerly serves the God of the Bible!!!! For those living on this side of the cross of Christ – this means we are to marry other Jesus followers.

This is spelled out clearly in 2 Corinthians 6:14 . . .

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (See also 2 Corinthians 6:15-18)

This is the same principle from Deuteronomy 7. In the Old Testament, God’s people (Israel) were to only marry each other. In the New Testament, God’s people (Christians) are to only marry each other. Why? Well, “what fellowship does light have with darkness?” In fact, regarding ‘types’ of people to marry, the Bible only speaks in terms of Christian and non-Christian.

When it comes to dating and marriage, the Christ follower should first and foremost ask: “Will this person help me know and love and value and obey Jesus more?” 

If the answer is yes – use wisdom, discretion, and some common sense if you decide move forward.

If the answer is no . . . end of discussion.

I am often asked about Birti. “What if she wants to date/marry a white man?” Or, “What if she wants to date/marry a black man?” It’s a fair question that I have thought alot about.

I would much rather her date and marry a man who passionately loves Jesus than date and marry a man who is ‘all things NOT Jesus’ – regardless of what color he is. I don’t care what the man looks like as long as he loves her and desires to make her a better follower of Jesus! The same is true of my boys. Now, is there a part of me that secretly hopes they will all date and marry within their own race? Sure. Our culture can be a killer on those who don’t and I don’t want them to get hurt. I am not advocating here that interracial dating and marriage is or isn’t the way to go. But at the end of the day – being as biblical as I can possibly be – I would MUCH rather them date and marry someone who makes them look more like Jesus than date and marry someone simply to fit into our culture’s mold.

What about you?

Agree?

Disagree?

Any wisdom or advice you want to share?

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2 thoughts on “Now THAT’s a Good Question!

  1. Becky and Johnny says:

    Oh, Pastor Matt!
    What a delightful picture to introduce your subject! Who could begin to question the love on those sweet faces?!
    When He brings each of us into “our world”, we are so innocent and clean all the way through!
    As my Momma, who grew up in East Texas, used to tell me; “Becky, God made all of us, and if you could see inside of each person, you would notice all of us are the same colors on the inside!!” She was embarrassed when the little black children had to move to the muddy ditch when any white person met them on the sidewalk! She also knew that her family was among the poorest in that small town, so it didn’t have anything to do with what the families had.
    Where did all of this prejudice come from? I grew up in New Mexico in a town of about 10,000, and only a few brown people, actually more Indians and Hispanics, but it was my Mother who taught me to look beyond a person’s color! Johnny and I have lived in many places, and I loved our church in Houston where people from all over the world worshipped together!
    Our church also housed a Messianic Jewish congregation, and we shared our special celebrations often.
    I always thought of this song: “Jesus loves the little children….Red and Yellow, Black and White; All are precious in His Sight!…..
    Thank you for having this special way of giving us a place to share our thoughts!
    In His Love and Service,
    Becky

  2. Agreed. A picture is worth a thousand words. Good text, too.

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