While it may be hard to believe for many readers today, there are still proponents of racist policies in professing Christian circles today, and while it may be even harder to believe, some of these proponents are in roles of leadership. This problem requires discernment from us today.
I am not speaking of the covert, subtle, or sometimes subconscious expressions of racism that are often complained of (that is a different matter). I am speaking of ministers and preachers who openly espouse and teach doctrines that are racist. These must be opposed, even when such views are held by our friends.
Were it only random believers here and there, or even online groups, I would leave them to their own relatively obscure attrition. When, however, such men are purported leaders, ordained ministers, missionaries, etc., their unacceptable positions must be openly discussed and confronted. They ought not to be welcomed as teachers or lecturers in any Christian doctrinal forum.
There are various vestiges of racism in views from the Old South, segregational groups, Apartheid, Alt-Right, Nationalists, etc., which persist to differing degrees. Some, like Christian Identity and British Israelist cults may have more extreme positions. Others may have relatively relaxed views on social mixing of races (“Hey, they can come to church with us!” “I have lots of black friends!”). One point that persists universally throughout such groups, however, is the prohibition on interracial marriage in the name of the Bible. It is this that most concerns me here.
Such groups may disagree with each other on differing degrees of segregation, and they may even use more extreme positions as foils to condemn racism or heresy, or in an effort to prove their own freedom from racism. But in the end, the shared prohibition on interracial marriage shares the same principles at root as the more extreme views, and thus shows they are all of the same principle, just differing in degree.
That principle is essentially that God created the races to remain separate, and that any mixture of the races in marriage is sin.
Various biblical arguments have been attempted to support such a view, and various answers manufactured in attempts to refute the obvious examples of Zipporah, Ruth, and others, not to mention the clear New Testament erasure of the relevance of all racial barriers among believers.
These positions have been utterly and admirably demolished in different places. For our purposes, the efforts of Gary North on hybridization laws and Brian Schwertley on so-called “Kinism” (anti-miscegenation) are adequate. (I would disagree with Rev. Schwertley on other aspects of God’s law, and he has critiqued me also. But on this and several other studies we would agree completely.) I don’t see the need to provide a long paper covering ground they have already.
I will say simply that my position is this: race or genetics have never had any determining effect on godly culture. Even the bloodline laws of the Old Testament were symbolic and ceremonial in nature. Faith and the law were the determining factors in both Old and New Testaments. Different people groups or “races” have never produced different cultures based upon their genetics or racial backgrounds, but upon their faith, beliefs, values, laws, and traditions. To hold otherwise is to partake of a materialistic paganism than is ironically akin to a type of Marxism and/or Darwinism itself (a belief that material differences (i.e., race, blood, flesh, genes) determines the superstructure of culture).
Anyone, therefore, appealing to such factors (skin color, race, ethnicity, etc.) as barriers to marriage between two Christian believers, forbidding such marriages, and especially calling such marriages a sin is in defiance of God’s law order themselves, and (all else being equal) trying to separate what God would allow to be joined.
The persistence of Christians today who would forbid interracial marriages on the grounds of race is very unfortunate. It is sin. The persistence of ministers doing so is an abomination. That anyone would tolerate any ministers or leaders who have published such a position is unbelievable. That anyone would welcome them as teachers within their midst is simply mind-numbing.
With these things in mind, I feel it is my duty to relate to readers my cognizance of such ministers close to my circles who do so. These men may be manly, brave, accomplished, and orthodox from several other angles, but on this measure they are sadly unbiblical and should not be acknowledged as teachers of God’s Word until such a time as they repent.
Peter Hammond of Frontline Fellowship
While in the past, American Vision has referenced and shared some of Peter Hammond’s teachings, I sadly have removed them in light of his published views on race and marriage. These views have been published for some time, and when questioned on it (by trusted friends), Hammond has persisted. He has had long since the opportunity to review and revise his published article on the issue, but he has chosen not to.
In his article, Hammond does not only question the wisdom of certain interracial marriages on pragmatic grounds, or think that race may be incidental to greater cross-cultural differences that may place strain upon a potential marriages, but he argues from various grounds that such marriages are themselves a violation of the fifth commandment and a betrayal of God. He also strongly implies, if not argues, that interracial marriages are a form of adultery and constitute no marriage at all in God’s eyes.
Hammond warns against “catastrophic consequences” for interracial marriages, and argues that they break the fifth commandment: “Generally speaking, two people from different races, or cultures, getting married are not honouring their parents.”
Hammond more directly says that interracial unions are “unbiblical,” and summarizes them as sin with the following claims: “to marry across the colour line would be to me to betray my parents and all of our ancestors, and my children and future generations. Most importantly I believe it would be a betrayal to Almighty God.”
On the contrary, for believers to marry across the “color line” is not by any means a betrayal of God. It is not sin. Hammond’s claims not only have no biblical warrant whatsoever, they are frankly pagan, materialistic, and disobedient to God. Calling such marriages a betrayal of God is calling evil something that God calls good.
In one of the classic hallmarks of modern segregationist or “kinist” argument, Hammond sees interracial marriages are part of a Marxist conspiracy to destroy Christian civilization by, in part, mixing African skin colors with those of European descent. He writes,
For centuries, actually millenniums, interracial marriage was either illegal, strongly discouraged or frowned upon. However in the latter part of the 20 th century, and now at the beginning of the 21 st century, Hollywood and the news media have bombarded us with images and propaganda to promote all manner of previously unacceptable conduct, including interracial marriages. Nowhere has this been more intense than in South Africa over the last two decades. It often seems like two out of every three advertisements have a black male and a white female. Numerous New World Order Advocates openly say that mixed marriages are necessary to eradicate the whites in future generations.
Further, he states, “For hundreds of generations our ancestors married within their race, or none of us would exist. But now Europe is in danger of being swamped by multitudes of non-Europeans, especially Muslims.”
No account is taken here of faith, biblical law, or values. All the weight is placed upon “race,” with non-European races constituting a “danger.”
Near the end of his article, Hammond refers the reader to another study he wrote called “Unequally Yoked.” He tells us that while it deals mainly with marriages between believers and unbelievers, many of the Scripture passages “are very specific about marriage with other nations as well” (Old Testament passages do, in fact, on the surface, mention this, but only in that they tacitly involved marrying unbelievers).
Hammond then draws our attention specifically to the definitions he lists in that article. Those definitions include a passage from the Book of Common Prayer: “those who marry, other than as allowed by God’s Word, are not joined together by God, and the marriage is not lawful in His sight.” He adds definitions of “adultery”:
Webster’s Dictionary defines adultery as “Violation of the marriage bed; a crime or civil injury, which introduce, or may introduce, into a family, a spurious offspring…” . . .
Webster’s Dictionary defines adulterate as “To commit adultery, debase by foreign mixture.”
Adulterated is defined as: “Corrupted; debased by mixture with something of less value.”
These statements and definitions have no place in a discussion of interracial marriage between believers. In Hammond’s articles, however, marriages between two “nations” (i.e., races) apparently constitute a form of adultery, “foreign mixture,” “debased,” “corrupted.” His comments consider some races “of less value,” and that interracial marriages lead to “spurious offspring,” and are not even marriages in God’s sight.
Even if we were to overlook such implications (which are more than mere implications), Hammond’s view that interracial marriage constitutes a betrayal of God is absolutely unacceptable. His view that races are to remain separate in this regard and that national-ethnic ancestries must remain unmixed are de facto segregationist arguments and are identical to what has come to be called “kinism” today. Even if they may be expressed to differing or lesser degrees than previous Apartheid or historical American segregationism, they still hinge on the same principle. This sinful belief disqualifies one from consideration as a Christian leader or teacher (no matter how much missionary or pastoral work one has accomplished in the meantime).
Especially at such a time as this, when issues of race constitute such a point of radical division in our society, when they provide a foothold issue for humanists, when the Church of Jesus Christ ought to be leading the way in confronting sins of racism and upholding the righteous paths of healing, and when churches in both America and Africa have historically not done so well in this area, this point must be insisted upon as non-negotiable, and no place of teaching or leadership must be given to those who persist in error on it.
John Weaver of Freedom Ministries
Another example is Pastor John Weaver of Freedom Ministries in Fitzgerald, GA. Weaver is a well-known speaker at League of the South events (as recently as 2017), and is a gifted preacher known for his many sermons on the Old South, Southern heritage, biographies of Confederate icons like Jackson, Lee, and many others. He has a long history and some associations among Christian Reconstructionists as well. Unfortunately, he also forbids marriage purely on racial grounds, teaches other racially-motivated errors, and refuses correction.
In the following sermon, Weaver expresses his views that
1) God created the races to be separate.
2) God wants the races to remain separate.
3) Interracial marriage violates the creation ordinance of producing offspring “after your kind.” (This is untrue. Skin colors and ethnicities are not “kinds” as Genesis describes them.)
4) Interracial marriage is a “form of adultery.”
5) Racial mixing in marriage destroys and dissolves the bonds of marriage and family, including between parents and children.
Weaver goes even further in expressing ethno-nationalist sentiments, adding
6) That the “our posterity” spoken of in the U.S. Constitution does not include blacks, Indians, Mexicans, Asians, or “other races.”
7) White European culture and Christian culture stand in distinction to “African culture” or other cultures.
In Weaver’s words:
Had God desired only one race, He would not have created the other races. And if God had desired that we intermarry and amalgamate and become one, why would He have begun the other races to begin with? Very obviously it was not His desire that we intermarry. Because when you intermarry what you do then is basically destroy the races. You cannot maintain the differences.
One of the principles that is laid down very plainly in the book of Genesis, what God created is that everything was to bring forth fruit after its kind. Now that’s very simple. Now how in the world can you bring forth fruit after your kind if you intermarry? The answer is you can’t. You produce a different kind.
Now let me just make a statement and then I want to show it to you from the Bible. You see the amalgamation of races is a form of adultery. You say “What?” Yes, the amalgamation of the races is a form of adultery. The eighth commandment is “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” I want you to understand that adultery is far more than a sexual sin. It is that, but it is also a watering down, and a dissolution and destruction of a bond and/or a substance. Certainly, physical adultery involves sexual sin. But what is the great calamity of that sexual sin? It is destroying and dissolving the bond that exists between the husband and the wife. It also destroys the bond that exists between the parents and the children. It also destroys the bond that exists between the families. Do you see what I’m saying? So what happens is, it is a watering down.
Now, listen carefully to what our Founding Fathers said. “To secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and out posterity.” The question must be asked, How many Mexicans? How many Orientals? How many blacks and other races were present and participating in the execution of that document. What is the answer? None. Not one. Yes, there were blacks in the country, but they were slaves. Yes, there were Mexicans and there were Indians out in the Western frontier that had not yet been conquered or purchased, but none were at the founding of this nation.
Now I’m not trying to sound racist, nor am I being racist. I’m simply, pointing out a fact, and here is the fact, this country was founded by White European Christians who wanted to establish a Christian culture. Not an African culture. Not a Oriental culture. Not a Muslim culture. Not a Mexican culture. But a Christian culture. And it was this Christian culture that was to be passed down to our posterity. Now what is happening in America? Are you listening? The exact same thing that happened in Israel. Interracial marriage, idolatry, and multi-culturalism.
There should be no need for further comment on the racism and unbiblical nature of these views of race and interracial marriage. Weaver’s views, however, partake of the more extreme materialist views of ethno-nationalism that suggests different ethnic origins produce different cultures as well.
Weaver goes out of his way here to deny that he is being or even sounding racist, but this is not so. Some have noted that Weaver openly repudiates more extreme racist groups that would hold broader segregationist views, and that he refuses to associate with them. Yet when pushed to defend his views in private, Weaver has shared whole papers against interracial marriage written and published by a Christian Identity proponent Robert McCurry.
For those who may not know, Christian Identity is a fully white supremacist view in the guise of Christianity, openly arguing that the New Covenant was made only with the bloodline people of Judah and Israel, and that the white European nations are the tribes of Israel. Only these Anglo-Saxon races can be saved in their view, though we should treat other races kindly (“I have lots of black friends!”). Some believe even that all non-white races are not Adamic and are little more than glorified beasts. As can be imagined, this view vehemently forbids interracial marriage as well.
While Weaver would say that he opposes such groups, he shares their materials in private to explain and defend his views. This has happened, recently, to at least one couple I know whom Weaver has personally criticized for their interracial marriage. Further, Weaver’s view that the ethnic “races” are literally different “kinds” in terms of Genesis partakes of the same doctrine expressed by Christian Identity. Likewise, Weaver’s broader views concerning the special role of white Europeans as the only “posterity” to the Christian culture of America suggests that Christian Identity-type beliefs have either had a greater influence on him that he would recognize, or a greater influence than he would admit.
Either way, his relationship with Christian Identity thought would at the very least bespeak a lack of discernment that would disqualify him from Christian leadership until thoroughly remedied. His views on interracial marriage alone are enough to draw that censure as well.
American Vision, and I personally, oppose all forms of racism, including prohibitions on marriage due to ethnicity, as unbiblical and legalistic disobedience to God. Sins in this area, especially in a society where issues of race are so aggravated by history and division, are pernicious, destructive of the witness of the Church, and detrimental to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A lack of discernment on this issue constitutes an error significant enough that no proponent of such views should be entertained as teachers or leaders until repenting and having shown fruit of that repentance.
On this issue, I and American Vision stand firm in the same position with evangelical leaders as diverse as John Piper, Ken Ham, R. C. Sproul, and Gary North. There is only one “race,” the human race. In Christ, there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Believers are forbidden from marrying unbelievers, but not believers of any other ethnicity. All ethnicities in Christ are one, and two believers of any differing races may marry in good conscience, freely.
We believe marriage is not to be entered into lightly in any case, and ought to be done so only with good and wise counsel. The wisdom of marrying in any particular case should be considered in its own context and on its own merits, and is ultimately the decision of the Christian couple.
Based upon these values, we will not partner in ministry or minister in venues where such teachers are accepted or tolerated, except that we make our opposition public, vocal, and clear. We will otherwise abstain from such venues, even when hosted by friends, and we will make our reasoning public. It is our hope that those who are close to Hammond and Weaver, and any others like them, will hold them accountable as strictly as possible. We would hope that our own friends in ministry and fellow Reconstructionists would see the particularly egregious and pernicious nature of this error, its denial of biblical truth and witness, and take an uncompromising stand against it, even when that means holding long and admired friends accountable for it.