Dr. Ray PritchardDr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries, in Internet-based ministry serving Christians in 225 countries. He is the author of 29 books, including Stealth Attack, Fire and Rain, Credo, The ABCs of Christmas, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul and Why Did This Happen to Me? Ray and Marlene, his wife of 39 years, have three sons-Josh, Mark and Nick, two daughters-in-law--Leah and Vanessa, and four grandchildren grandsons: Knox, Eli, Penny and Violet. His hobbies include biking, surfing the Internet, and anything related to the Civil War.
- 2006 Sep 05
The following email arrived this morning: "A couple asked me if there was any biblical teaching on interracial marriages (whether or not they were right or wrong). I recall verses about being unequally yoked but believe that applies to believers and unbelievers. Any thoughts you could offer would be appreciated."
The whole concept of “race” as we use the term is not a biblical concept. When the Bible talks about groups of people, it uses words such as nation or kindred or tribe or language. Today we might use the term “people group.” But the Bible never categorizes people on the basis of skin color. The whole notion of a white race or a black race or a brown race doesn’t stand up to biblical scrutiny. God does not divide the human race on the basis of skin color. There is another way to say it. From God’s point of view, there are only two “races”--the saved race and the lost race. That’s a spiritual issue entirely and has nothing to do with skin color or culture or background. Put simply, there is no biblical rule against interracial marriage in the way we use the term today. That doesn’t mean that every marriage makes sense. If a person from Thailand marries a person from Finland, there were will huge cultural barriers to overcome. If a person from Bolivia marries a person from Japan, there will be differences that cannot be overlooked. And so it goes. Marriage is hard enough even when there is very little cultural difference to overcome. But to say that is simply to say that each case should be judged on its own merits--and that believers in Christ should not knowingly marry unbelievers. That’s the only “unequal yoke” in the Bible (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). To be specific, I do not think that Christians should marry Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists or atheists or secularists. If a Christian and a Muslim marry, one or the other (or both probably) will have to compromise something along the way.
Here are two sermons where I deal with this question in some detail. The third message discusses the importance of Paul's proclamation in Acts 17:26, "From one man he made every nation of men." The fourth sermon deals with the whole race question from a Christian perspective.
Ken Ham, Don Batten and Carl Weiland discuss the question in light of the book of Genesis.
You can reach the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to sign up for the free weekly email sermon.