Last week, a little-known political candidate from a small town in Michigan garnered national attention after she claimed the Bible forbids interracial marriages, and now a popular pastor is responding.
Jarrid Wilson, a pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, and founder of the nonprofit Anthem of Hope, posted a tweet Tuesday making clear the fact the candidate’s words don’t reflect true Christianity.
“On behalf of Jesus,” Wilson wrote, “let me apologize to all people of color for these disgusting remarks made in the name of Christianity and the Bible.”
What’s the background?
Jean Cramer, who hails from Marysville, a small town with a population of just under 10,000 people, was running for city council when she said during a public forum last week she wanted to keep the town white “as much as possible.”
A reporter with The Times Herald later gave Cramer the opportunity to clarify her remarks. In response, she said:
Husband and wife need to be the same race. Same thing with kids. That’s how it’s been from the beginning of, how can I say, when God created the heaven and the earth. He created Adam and Eve at the same time. But as far as me being against blacks, no I’m not.
Questioned later outside her home, Cramer said she has “no problem” with a black couple moving into Marysville, but suggested it would be antithetical to Scripture for a black and a white person to be married and live in her community.
“It’s simply against the Bible,” she asserted. “God created Adam and Eve — same kind, same race all around. He’s our example right there.”
Cramer withdrew her candidacy Monday after facing intense backlash for her racially charged comments.
What does the Bible say?
Russell Moore, author and president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said many years ago that “nowhere” in Scripture is marriage between two ethnicities forbidden.
“The distinctions to worry about should be of the Spirit not the skin-color,” he said, later adding, “I will not marry a believer to an unbeliever. But I will marry a godly, Christ-honoring couple, regardless of how much skin-color is in each set of flesh.”
In 2015, he said, “People who would object to an interracial marriage on the basis of Bible verses are misinterpreting the Bible verses to the point of textual harassment. The scripture never forbids interracial marriage.”
I remember sitting in a biology class in college when my professor divulged one of her biggest pet-peeves: that we even use the term “race” when talking about skin color. Technically, our differences are ethnic — not racial. There is only one human race, so “interracial marriage” is actually an artificial concept.
And while some will point to the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 as proof God is opposed to mixed-ethnicity marriages, it’s important to remember the context. God didn’t scatter people across the earth because he didn’t want them blending together; the dispersion was the result of their trying to unite in rebellion against the Lord.
Others still will say that Scripture tells believers not to be “unequally yoked,” and that’s true. But the Bible isn’t talking about skin color or physical characteristics. Rather, it is, like Moore noted, forbidding believers from joining together with unbelievers.
Ultimately, those who are opposed to interracial marriage have no biblical leg to stand on. It’s an ignorant, fringe belief that — as Wilson noted — bears no resemblance to Christianity.