Interracial Marriage & Minding Our Own Business

The Associated Press has reported that, “A tiny Appalachian church in Pike County [Kentucky] has voted to ban interracial couples from joining its flock, pitting members against each other in an argument over race.”

As I read the article, three things stood out to me which require attention from Scripture.

Nowhere in Scripture does God frown on interracial marriage. Some folks have badly misused passages from the Bible to condemn that which God does not condemn. For example, Ezra 9:2 says, For they have taken some of their daughters to be wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands. And in this faithlessness the hand of the officials and chief men has been foremost.” Guess what folks? The “holy race” is not white people or black people or yellow people or brown people. The holy race was Israel and what was holy about the race was not the color of their skin or distinctive features of their faces. What was holy about the people was their faith. And it was that faith that God didn’t want getting mixed and muddled with the pagan religions that were practiced by the peoples around Israel. God is concerned about maintaining the purity of the faith! Study these other passages on your own to see if this isn’t the truth (Exodus 34:11-16; Deuteronomy 7:1-4).

Second, no church has any business voting on what is acceptable or unacceptable belief or behavior. God has seen to that very well, thank you very much. If a thing is sin, he has said so in his Word. And if he has said a thing is sin, all the wishing and twisting and voting won’t make that go away. If he hasn’t said a thing is sin, that inherently gives people the freedom to make their own personal judgments about those things. People may disagree about what others should or should not do. They may even have some good reasons to believe as they do. But the church belongs to the Lord. It is his body, his church. You and I have no say in the matter as to what’s right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable. The Bible says, “There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:12). One lawgiver; one judge. That means there’s not two. That leaves me and you out.

And third, the church has no business having a “local governing conference”. It is God’s will that the local church be overseen by qualified men (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9) whose primary responsibility is to see to the spiritual needs of the people they serve by shepherding their souls (Acts 20:28-32; Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 5:1-5). That model has worked quite well every time it’s tried. Conventions, conferences and boards of directors will fail to serve the Lord and his church. They indeed are corruptions of God’s grand design to grow and mature the church.

Christians will do well, in every facet of their lives, to go to the Bible, God’s Word, and see what he has to say. If it’s not a problem with him, it shouldn’t be a problem with me.

Brad Fry

Published in: on December 1, 2011 at 10:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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