What does the Bible say about interracial marriage?

It seems that the number of people getting married to someone of another race is increasing.  Many have asked me what the Bible says about this.  The Old Testament Law commanded the Israelites not to engage in interracial marriage. (Deuteronomy 7:3-4)  The reason for this was not primarily racial in nature.  Rather, it was religious.  The people of other races were idolaters and worshippers of false gods.  The Israelites would be led astray from God if they intermarried with idol worshippers, pagans, or heathens.  A similar principle is found in the New Testament, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”  (2 Corinthians 6:14)  Just as the Israelites (believers in the one true God) were commanded not to marry idolaters, so Christians (believers in the one true God) are commanded not to marry unbelievers.  The New Testament does not say that interracial marriage is wrong.

A Christian should not have a prejudice or favoritism based on race (James 2:1-10).  When selecting a mate, a Christian should know if the person has been born again through faith in Jesus Christ.  (John 3:3-5)  I teach that Christian young people should date only Christian young people.  The reason:  You will only marry someone that you first date and if you date only Christians, you will marry a Christian.

Interracial marriage should be considered carefully because of the difficulties a mixed-race couple may experience.  Others may have a hard time accepting them.  Many interracial couples and their children experience discrimination and ridicule, even from their own families.  An interracial couple needs to consider this before getting married.  Again, the only biblical restriction placed on whom a Christian may marry is whether the other person is a child of God because of salvation.

About Dr. Mike Harmon

Dr. Harmon began preaching at the age of 15 while living in southern California. He has conducted over 600 revivals and evangelistic campaigns nationwide, and has served as Senior Pastor at seven churches. Dr. Harmon has degrees from Central Baptist College, the University of Central Arkansas, and a Ph.D. From the Christian Bible College and Seminary. He has served as trustee for Southeastern Baptist College and Chairman of the trustees for the BMA Theological Seminary. He also served as Chaplain for the Mississippi Highway Patrol, the Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas State Senate. His many sermons and articles on Christian Apologetics are widely published. He is married to one wife of 43 years; has two sons, and seven grandchildren. He considers the simple pleasures of cooking, dining with family and friends, and liesurely rides on his Harley through the Texas Hill Country to be some of the most enjoyable blessings from the Lord.
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