You probably read the story this week where a Georgia politician faced calls to resign based on this statement:
“…when you see blacks and whites together, it makes my blood boil because that’s just not the way a Christian is supposed to live.”
Councilman Jim Cleveland, also told reporters “I’m a Christian and my Christian beliefs are you don’t do interracial marriage.”
Now, before we go any further, I probably need to say that I think this man is not only a little confused about what it means to be a Christian, he’s also a racist.
But, when Relevant Magazine shared this story their headline said this:
“Georgia Politicians Face Calls to Resign After Saying Interracial Marriage Is Unbiblical.”
But, that’s not what was said. If the politicians in this story had said Interracial Marriage was Unbiblical, then they would be exactly right. However, that’s NOT what they said. What they said was that Interracial Marriage was not Christian [or “Christlike”] and that is where they are wrong.
Let me explain.
The Bible contains roughly 15 verses that very, very explicitly command God’s people NOT to intermarry with people of other races or cultures.
Here are a few of them:
Deuteronomy 7:2-5 – “…and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you and you defeat them, you must completely destroy them. Make no treaty with them and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them. ”
Joshua 23:11-13 – “So be very diligent to love the Lord your God, because if you ever turn back and cling to those who remain of these nations by intermarrying with them and associating one with another, know for certain that the Lord your God will not continue to drive out these nations ahead of you. ”
Judges 3:5-8 – “The Israelis continued to live among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, taking their daughters as wives for themselves, giving their own daughters to their sons, and serving their gods. The Israelis kept on practicing evil in full view of the Lord.”
Genesis 24:1-4 – “Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. Abraham said to his oldest servant, who was in charge of everything he owned, “Put your hand under my leg. Make a promise to me before the Lord, the God of heaven and earth. Don’t get a wife for my son from the Canaanite girls who live around here. Instead, go back to my country, to the land of my relatives, and get a wife for my son Isaac.”
Ezra 9:12 – “Therefore do not give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters for your sons, and never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.”
1 Kings 11:1-5 – “King Solomon loved many women who were not from Israel. He loved the daughter of the king of Egypt, as well as women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites. The Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not marry people of other nations. If you do, they will cause you to follow their gods.”
Nehemiah 13:24-27 – “Furthermore, half their children spoke the language of Ashdod or of some other people and could not speak the language of Judah at all. So I confronted them and called down curses on them. I beat some of them and pulled out their hair. I made them swear in the name of God that they would not let their children intermarry with the pagan people of the land.”
Now, I could go on, but I think you get the point: Interracial Marriage IS Un-Biblical.
Like it or not, that’s a fact.
However, no one who follows Jesus should ever forbid Interracial Marriage. Why? Because that would be Un-Christlike.
See, you can’t be a racist and follow Jesus. It just doesn’t work. First, because Jesus commanded us to love others – even our enemies – as Christ has loved us. That’s to say: More than we love ourselves.
Secondly, because Jesus was Jewish. And even though Jesus was Jewish, he showed love and compassion to the Romans [Gentiles] and to the Samaritans, who by the way were the most hated people group in that region at the time.
Thirdly, because the rest of the Apostles quickly realized that the Gospel was for everyone – not just for the Jews – and that Christ’s Kingdom was made of every tongue and tribe and nation on earth.The Apostle Paul also went as far as to say that, in the Body of Christ (the Church) there was “no longer any Jew or Gentile, Slave or Free, Male or Female, Rich or Poor, etc.,” but that “we are now all one in Christ Jesus.” [See Galatians 3:28]
What’s more, Paul’s statement was that there is “neither Jew, nor Gentile” in the Church, which means that we no longer even recognize racial identity any more. We only identify as children of God and brothers and sisters in Christ. All those other labels – including and especially race – are now obsolete and irrelevant.
Peter also got the memo when the Holy Spirit revealed to him that the Gentiles were not unclean and that “God was no respecter of persons” and that no race on earth was above any other. [See Acts 10]
So, I just felt the need to set the record straight on the misquoted headline at Relevant Magazine.
Forbidding Interracial Marriage is not Un-Biblical. But it is very, very Un-Christlike.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a more Biblical world. I want a more Christlike one.
Keith Giles was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church 11 years ago, to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today, He and his wife live in Meridian, Idaho, awaiting their next adventure.
His new book “Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible”, is available now on Amazon and features a Foreword by author Brian Zahnd.
He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb” with a Foreword by Greg Boyd.
Keith also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean.
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