She told me she was depressed because of the trouble her daughter was in. Something was very wrong -I had never seen her so upset – so I sat down and asked her to tell me about it.
“She’s dating a black man,” she told me.
“Go on,” I said, stirring my coffee. I was waiting for her to get to the interesting part, but she just stared at me with tears welling up in her eyes. I was confused.
“I’m so sorry for you,” said a man in the room, “it’s not that it’s bad…it’s just not something you want your own children to do.”
Call me stupid, but I still had no idea what they were talking about.
“I must have missed something,” I said, “what happened to your daughter. You told me she was in trouble.”
Was she using drugs? Had she stolen a car? I wanted to know but no one was talking. But, as they stared at me, I finally worked it out.
The problem was that her daughter was dating a black man. That was it.
“Isn’t that wrong, you know, in the Bible?” She asked me.
I almost exploded. Was she being serious? Did she really think that the Bible had a section condemning this sort of thing, but she had just never run across it? Didn’t she know that Moses’ wife may have been black? I tried to express myself but I mostly just stammered. I was so dumbfounded that I couldn’t reply.
But they were convinced that the daughter was doing something sinful. Where had this room full of “adults” gotten this poor teaching? And what possible theological implications could there be in such a thing? (Did they know that Jesus, a Semitic man, probably didn’t look like an American white boy? I guess He wouldn’t be good enough for their kids.)
The Bible doesn’t tell us how to date. It speaks very little about marriage (despite what you’ve heard). And it’s not concerned about relationships between people of different skin color.
For those of you who don’t remember middle-school biology, there’s no such thing as “race” amongst humans. The biological differences between whites and blacks are only as significant as the differences between blonds and redheads. There’s no deeper meaning to skin color and there’s no difference in our humanity. (You probably remember learning about phenotypes in school. Here’s a refresher.)
Surely, no one would hold on to outdated biological theories just to keep blacks out of their families… right? And, surely, no one would presume that the Bible is against interracial marriage – and even teach that falsehood from church pulpits – just to advance their own racist agenda.
(More articles at www.ThinkingThroughChristianity.com)