Does the Bible teach that interracial marriage is wrong? Throughout the Old Testament, God commands His people, the nation of Israel, to not marry or live among the surrounding nations. But what was the reason for this instruction? Surely it’s not just the color of their skin.
Back in August, Mississippi woman, LaKambria Welch took a trip to Booneville, MS to confront the owners of Boone’s Camp Event Hall where her brother was supposed to be getting married. After receiving news that her brother, who is African-American, was marrying his white bride, Welch and her mother wanted some answers.
The owner of the wedding venue had just discovered that Welch’s brother and his wife-to-be were of a different race. When Welch asked for an explanation, the owner responded, “First of all, we don’t do gay weddings or mixed race, because of our Christian race, I mean, our Christian belief.”
After Welch explained that her family was also Christian and asked the woman what the Bible says about the subject, the owner replied, “Well, I don’t want to argue my faith. We just don’t participate… we just choose not to.”
Shortly after, Welch posted a video of her conversation with the owner of the wedding venue that went viral immediately. The internet didn’t have to wait long before the owner posted a lengthy message on Facebook. Below are parts of the post:
“On Saturday my husband asked me to show him in the Bible where it was located as to the content concerning biracial relationships. I was unable to recall instances where the Bible was used giving a verse that would support my decision… after church, I have come to the conclusion that my decision which was based on what I had thought was correct… was incorrect!”
“To all of those offended, hurt or felt condemn by my statement I truly apologize to you for my ignorance in not knowing the truth about this. My intent was never of racism, but to stand firm on what I ‘assumed’ was right concerning marriage.”
God’s command to not marry or “live among” those belonging to the surrounding nations had absolutely nothing to do with race or skin color. Israel was “called out” (sanctified) to be different than their sinful neighbors. This was not an attempt at ethnic cleansing or a way to oppress the other nations.
In fact, the Bible speaks on several occasions on how the Israelites were to treat others. Exodus 23:9 says, “You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.” Genesis 22:18 also says, “and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
The surrounding nations were evil and worshiped idols rather than the living God. His commands have always been the means to keep His people holy and “untainted by this world.” The Israelites were told to refrain from these relationships because of the ungodly influence it would have. Race and the color of someone’s skin was never the issue.