The recent 50-year anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia case has renewed the discussion about interracial marriage, and how far America has come. In particular, renowned theologian John Piper wrote a piece concerning the topic and encouraging white Christians to marry and have children with Christians of other races. After reading the article I felt compelled to write a point-by-point response, mainly for my own benefit and peace of mind.
This article is best read as a companion to Piper's, which can be found here. All below quotes from John Piper come from this article and are marked in bold font.
After a brief introduction, Piper states, "God’s revealed will for the world is not undermined but advanced when a man and a woman from different ethnicities marry in Christ...Against all of these objections, I believe it is as important as it ever has been that Christians settle it in their minds that interracial marriage in Christ is not only a beautiful picture of Christ’s marriage to his church, but also a flesh-and-blood incarnation of the unity Christ achieved by his death and resurrection."
He continues to cover the reasons he believes the above statements, which I will get to in time. Before I do however, I would like to note that in these statements Piper has shown his thinly veiled "Hybrid Supremacy", and preference to mixed couples over homogeneous ones. This means that if you are a white person and you choose to wed another white person that you are not advancing God's "revealed will for the world" and not creating a beautiful picture of Christ's marriage to the church, or at least one not quite as beautiful. His statements reflect his belief that while a Christian who marries within their race is not exactly sinning, they could (and should) have a mixed marriage in order to advance God's will. His point is that if you are not willing to have your children mate with an children of another ethnic group then you will be distanced from them, and as a result not be able to witness to them. Would he bring this same argument to the many missionaries who sacrificed their lives, sometimes literally, to preach to the unreached tribes in the far corners of the Earth? Piper says "For all these reasons, Christians of every race should search their hearts and search the Scriptures, and bring their hearts, by the power of God’s Spirit into line with God’s word."
In short, his message for all of you whites with a white spouse, fiancé, boyfriend, girlfriend, or would prefer a white spouse for your children is this: That's not very Christian of you.
This kind of heretical rhetoric must be condemned in the strongest way possible.
Here are his five points on why you should race-mix, and refutations for each of them (number 5 will shock you!).
- “1. The biblical description of how so-called racial differences emerged from one pair of human beings, Adam and Eve, shows that interracial marriage does not contradict God’s purpose for diversity in this world and the next.”
Piper states that God's plan for humanity involves "ethnic diversity" and that having many different types of human brings more glory to God than if everyone was the same. His reference is the verse in Revelation that states there will be people of every tribe, tongue, and nation in Heaven. I have always understood that verse means salvation is offered to all peoples, not that God requires us to be as different as possible. There is no reason why the existence of different languages and races in Heaven is a reason to destroy your own, or merge it with a vastly different one.
The story of Creation, of Adam and Eve, and all humans beings descended from that pair is more of a curse to Mr. Piper's beliefs than a boon. Since all humans came from the same place there is no excuse for the abject desolation the Africans have been subjecting their people and continent to. It means that any disparity, mentally or morally, between the races is solely the fault of that race and their ancestors. Moreover, simply because a species starts in the same place, doesn't mean each branch finishes the same. Dogs are a perfect example of this. Different breeds of dog are genetically viable with each other, and all fall under the umbrella of Canis familiaris, but I doubt you would find many people who think a Shih Tzu and a Tibetan Mastiff would make a good mix. This is the logical conclusion of Piper's virtue signalling piety.
The next point is a silly and confusing argument that totally misrepresents the point of view of someone who prefers not to race mix. He says that because Noah's three sons did not have distinct and well-defined races, and because their children intermarried, that the very concept of race is fluid and without boundaries. Piper is taking a unique time in very early Biblical history when all of "diversity" was literally three men and saying that because they were similar enough to mix that we should do the same now. The fundamental misunderstanding that Mr. Piper has shown through this argument is that a people's genetic makeup remains unchanging throughout history. Put simply, as time goes on, certain genetic lines are purged from the group because those people possess undesirable traits. That could mean traits that get them killed before they can reproduce -either by the state or other violent humans- or traits that make them unattractive to potential mates, or only attract low quality mates. Over time a people is refined and traits deemed negative -in strictly evolutionary terms- are expunged from the gene pool. At the same time, positive traits mean an individual is more likely to get a quality mate. A good example of this is can be seen in how well Africans preform in Olympic sprinting verses swimming events. The list of world record holders of one of theses events is very black and the other is very white. Be honest, you already know which is which. The environment and people of Africa allowed for fast runners to prosper, thus propagating that specific gene and changing the African's genetic makeup.
Add to this knowledge the fact that nearly every aspect of our lives including intelligence, culture, and temperament can be linked to genetics and mate selection, and you should start to think about what 2,000 years of Christianity has done for Europeans, and what 10,000+ years of animism has done for Africans.
- “2. The Bible forbids intermarriage between believer and unbeliever — not between races or ethnic groups.”
If the Bible verses in the Old Testament about not intermarrying were really about protecting religious purity and not racial purity, then they would say, "Don't intermarry with other nations, unless they convert." But they don't. They just say, "Don't intermarry" and leave no allowance for converts. Deuteronomy 7 does give further reasoning by saying that foreigners will turn your children against God, but there are many more verses that do not give that reasoning and simply state that marrying outside the group is negative.
For example: “And Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, of the sons of Elam, addressed Ezra: “We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land, but even now there is hope for Israel in spite of this. Therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord...” (Ezra 10:2-3)
Surely some of the offspring of the interracial marriages should be able to stay, right? Why weren't they given the same chance of repentance as the rest of the Israelites? Verses 18-44 of the same chapter offer a list of the sons of priests that are guilty of intermarriage. Their crime was so significant that it has been listed as God's word to be read throughout eternity. The last verse mentions that some of these foreign wives had even borne children, as if to add to the severity of the offense.
As for the story of Ruth, Piper does not notice a very specific and significant verse in Deuteronomy. Chapter 23:3 states, “No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the Lord forever”. I find it difficult to believe that Ruth was a Moabite since she was three generations away from David and four from Solomon, which would bar both from entering the Temple. The more likely interpretation is that Ruth was an Israelite living in Moab.
- “3. In Christ, our oneness is profound and transforms racial and social differences from barriers to blessings.”
For this point Piper brings out the big guns, the oft quoted Colossians 3:11 which, along with Galatians 3:28, is a favorite of the left and egalitarians.
"There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. " Galatians 3:28
What these verses are referring to is the shared connection all believers have in Christ, and that all believers are valuable in the eyes of God. It does not mean that we need to abolish all differentials between believers. If this verse can be used to endorse interracial marriage, then it can be used justify homosexual marriage as well. Piper does not argue this point -although many leftists do- instead he goes even further. What Piper is saying is that these differences (Jew/Gentile, Male/Female, free/slave), become blessings in Christ. Which, ironically, might be a case against the abolition of slavery. You wouldn't want to get rid of that blessing among believers, would you?
- 4. God severely disciplined the critics of one interracial marriage.
Piper brings up Moses and his wife Zipporah, who is often thought to have been black. While there are many different views on the subject of Moses' wife, including the fact her father was a priest of Midian (Exodus 18:1, Genesis 25:1-2, related through Abraham), my main contention is that Piper's interpretation misplaces the sins of Miriam and Aaron. In the very next verse,
Numbers 12:2,8-9 shows what God was so angry about: "And they (Aaron and Miriam) said, 'Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?' And the Lord heard it...'With him (Moses) I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?' And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them, and he departed.”
The Lord was clearly angry that Miriam and Aaron were speaking out against Moses, and by proxy, against The Lord. If God was really so concerned about racism, why did he not even mention it after going through all the trouble of coming down as a pillar of cloud and handing out free leprosy? Piper states that God was not pleased with the criticism of Moses marrying a Cushite, but completely fails to mention that God's wrath was directed at them for trying to usurp his prophet. And to imply that Miriam was punished with leprosy for her "white supremacy" is completely ridiculous. Honestly, how tan do you think people living in ancient Egypt were? "White supremacy” did not even existed as a concept in those days. In-group preference is not a sin. Were all the founding fathers sinning when they only allowed white men to vote? Why do the following verses seem to condone treating people of other races and tribes differently?
They have dealt faithlessly with the Lord;
for they have borne alien children.
Now the new moon shall devour them with their fields.
We will not give our daughters to the peoples of the land or take their daughters for our sons.
Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and directed him, “You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women."
As soon as the people heard the law, they separated from Israel all those of foreign descent.
No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the Lord forever...
You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind. You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material.
So we’re left with a nice list consisting of discrimination, segregation, and anti-miscegenation. “Racism” is not listed as an act punished by God, but endorsed or even commanded by Him, even though it goes against our modern culture.
Weird, I’ve never seen anything like that before.
- “5. In Christ, the good effects of interracial marriage are worth the challenges it can bring.”
John Piper: "Will it be harder to be married to another “race” than to your own? Will it be harder for the children? Maybe. Maybe not. But since when is that the way a Christian thinks?"
Will it be harder to be married to someone HIV positive?
Will it be harder to be married to a transitioned transvestite?
Will it be harder to be married to someone with Downs? With Autism? With Tay-Sachs?
Will it be harder to be married to a pedophile? Will it be harder for the children?
Will it be harder for the children? Since when is that the way a Christian thinks? Since when did Christians care about their children? What a contemptuous viewpoint to have! Why on God's green Earth would Christians want what's best for their children? How hard does Christ want us to make our lives? How far should we go? Why not voluntarily blind yourself?
"It’s hard to take a child and move into a diverse neighborhood where he may be teased or ridiculed."
Let’s be honest, that’s probably only true if he's white in modern America.
"It’s hard to help a child be a Christian in a secular world where his beliefs are mocked."
It's a lot easier in a Christian world or nation, which is why our ancestors fought to create one.
"It’s hard to raise children when dad or mom dies or divorces."
Immensely difficult, which is why you should do everything in your power to prevent that, right?
"Whoever said that marrying and having children was supposed to be trouble free? It’s one of the hardest things in the world. It just happens to be right and rewarding."
So why is Mr. Piper trying to make it even more difficult? The level of difficulty does not align with the level of righteousness.
Piper says, "Who knows what blessings through pain God may have in store? Interracial marriage has an amazing potential for great joy and peace...Over time the suspicions and prejudices and hostilities die away, and something beautiful is born: reconciliation and respect and harmony, spreading out beyond the marriage in ways no one thought possible."
Sure, the genetic disorders aren't optimal, but everyone will be so much more respectful of the autistic if you have children with them! At this point, I would doubt your salvation if you aren't willing to marry someone who would add the most suffering to your life and the life of your kids. Since when do Christians think of their children? The very idea is absurd.
Give it all up for the vain, untested hypothesis that people won't be as bigoted anymore.
"The once-angry father now views all his ethnic colleagues at work differently."
What’s that? You're not willing to potentially sacrifice your relationship with your father to alleviate him of his mortal sin of not liking black people?
As for the positive effects, can they really be that great if 97% of Black fathers who have children with White women are not active in their children’s lives? Should Asian people also be compelled to mix with white, knowing the children of this coupling are twice as likely to suffer mental illness?
(You can read more about these statistics, and other studies, here.
John Piper finishes, "The freedom and the beauty and peace of interracial marriage..." the same one that is significantly more likely to end prematurely and, in Piper's words, will bring you "pain", "...is one ray of the glory of Christ that should be shining from this new humanity — this “chosen race” — which Jesus Christ died and rose again to create."
And just as Christ modeled his marriage to the church, so should you model your painful marriage with a disabled man of any race other than your own. And when it hurts, just remember that all the pain means you're doing the right thing. He's a Christian after all, that negates all other factors, and you have to keep creating the "chosen race"! Which speaking of, why not preach this message of love and tolerance among the "bigots" in Israel, Mr. Piper?
I'm not sure what possessed Piper to write this article and take the unbiblical and hateful stance on race that he has. Maybe he looked at history and saw an image of The Church as pale as the White Cliffs of Dover and thought to himself, "Heaven doesn't need any more white Christians, it's clearly got enough."
“‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”