By now most of you have probably heard of the small church in rural Kentucky that voted to ban interracial couples from membership or taking part in singing specials and other forms of public worship.  It was a slim vote--only 9 to 6, but passed all the same.  Many bloggers have commented and I now throw my hat into the ring.

The Bible is clear that it is God who adds to His church, not man.  Therefore it is wrong to place any standards for membership other than those set forth in scripture.  The only requirements are to trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior and to submit to believer's baptism.  That's it.

Now if a person claims the above but is living in a sinful lifestyle, then that person can be denied membership.  And thus the Kentucky vote.  They apparently believe it is sinful to be in a mixed marriage.  If they were right, then it would be okay to ban these couples.  But the Bible not only does not say it is wrong, it gives numerous examples of interracial marriages that had God's blessings.

The first example I cite is Moses, who married an Ethiopian.  When his siblings objected, God struck his sister Miriam with leprosy.  Now if this marriage was wrong, don't you think God would have been on her side?

Next we find the harlot Rahab who married an Israelite after the battle of Jericho.  As a Canaanite, she was a foreigner and was thus not to be considered for wedding material.  Yet the book of Matthew reveals that she became an ancestor of Jesus Christ.

And then there is Ruth the Moabite who married Boaz and Israelite.  God inspired an entire book of the Bible to be devoted to her story.  Her words of love to her mother in law have been read at many Christian weddings.  God had forbidden the people to marry Moabites, but He did not object to this union and she also became an ancestor of Jesus.

So why did God tell the Israelites not to intermarry with foreigners and then allow it at times?  The reason is the ban was not for racial reasons but for spiritual reasons.  He told them not to marry these people because they were pagans and would turn their hearts away from Him.  But when one of these people turned from their idols and accepted  the one true God, they were then acceptable candidates for marriage.

Thus the problem is not interracial marriage but rather the union of a believer and a nonbeliever.  Indeed, the scriptures say it is wrong to unequally yoked together with an unbeliever.  But that has nothing to do with race.

My own daughter is married to a fine young African American.  There were some disapproving looks at one church I pastored while they were dating.  Now that I ampastoring a mission church with no building yet, they requested and were turned down by yet another church to use their facilities for their Christian wedding.  We finally used a nice community center and had a wonderful service.  One of the people who helped the most in getting the wedding ready was one of the members of the church that turned us away.

So what is my point?  First, God is not opposed to interracial marriage and there are example in the Bible to prove the point.  Second, don't throw the baby out with the bath water.  I have read many posts by people saying bad things about Christianity because of this vote by the Kentucky church.  But remember the ones who voted against it.  Remember the lady who helped at my daughter's wedding.  Just because some Christians have it wrong, is no reason to throw out Christianity.

One day all the saved of all races will be together with the Lord in heaven.  I look forward to that day when red, yellow, black, and white become meaningless and all that matters is that we are brothers and sisters in Christ.  To God be the glory!