Be the peoples of God.
When I was a young man I was taught to not be unequally yoked. To marry within the faith. I thought I did: over time I was counselled that this was not the case. As a result, I have inter racial children, now grown, and now gone from my current, very NZ, home. My beloved is of a very similar background and the same race as I am.
And the question we have is do we trust the Pravda or the Bible? Do we disavow the words of Ezra as applying only to the Jews? Or is it to the people of faith?
For there is something attractive about the other. It is an extension of the incest taboo: we don’t want to marry our sisters, cousin or whanau. Generally.
First the Pravda.
It’s no secret that interracial relationships are trending upward, and in a matter of years we’ll have Tindered, OKCupid-ed and otherwise sexed ourselves into one giant amalgamated mega-race.
But what will we look like? National Geographic built its 125th anniversary issue around this very question last October, calling on writer Lise Funderburg and Martin Schoeller, a renowned photographer and portrait artist, to capture the faces of our nation’s multiracial future.
The Wall Street Journal reported a few years back that 15% of new marriages in 2010 were between individuals of different races. It’s unclear whether they’ve included same-sex unions in the count, but as currently stated, this number is more than double what it was 25 years ago. The proportion of intermarriages also varied by race, with “9% of whites, 17% of blacks, 26% of Hispanics and 28% of Asians [marrying] outside their ethnic or racial group.” Interracial unions now account for 8.4% of all marriages in the U.S.
Image Credit: Wall Street Journal
In addition, more than 7% of the 3.5 million children born in 2009, the year before the 2010 census, were of two or more races.
The future: As for how this looks moving forward, studies have repeatedly shown that young people, especially those under 30, are significantly more amenable to interracial relationships than older adults, while college grads are more likely to have positive attitudes toward them than those with only a high school diploma. What does this mean for Millennials? As a population composed largely of over-educated 20-somethings, our generation is primed and expected to play a major role in populating this projected future America. That goes double if you live in a Western state, where people intermarry at higher rates; Hawaii is winning at the moment, with 4 of 10 new marriages identifying as interracial.
But Ezra talks about the covenant, faith, and sin. To intermarry outside was sin, and to bring in the religious practices of those who are not of the covenant apostasy.
1After these things had been done, the officials approached me and said, “The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. 2For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons. Thus the holy seed has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands, and in this faithlessness the officials and leaders have led the way.” 3When I heard this, I tore my garment and my mantle, and pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat appalled. 4Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the faithlessness of the returned exiles, gathered around me while I sat appalled until the evening sacrifice.
5At the evening sacrifice I got up from my fasting, with my garments and my mantle torn, and fell on my knees, spread out my hands to the LORD my God, 6and said,
“O my God, I am too ashamed and embarrassed to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens. 7From the days of our ancestors to this day we have been deep in guilt, and for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been handed over to the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plundering, and to utter shame, as is now the case. 8But now for a brief moment favor has been shown by the LORD our God, who has left us a remnant, and given us a stake in his holy place, in order that he may brighten our eyes and grant us a little sustenance in our slavery. 9For we are slaves; yet our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to give us new life to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judea and Jerusalem.
10“And now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments, 11which you commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land that you are entering to possess is a land unclean with the pollutions of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations. They have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness. 12Therefore do not give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters for your sons, and never seek their peace or prosperity, so that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.‘ 13After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved and have given us such a remnant as this, 14shall we break your commandments again and intermarry with the peoples who practice these abominations? Would you not be angry with us until you destroy us without remnant or survivor? 15O LORD, God of Israel, you are just, but we have escaped as a remnant, as is now the case. Here we are before you in our guilt, though no one can face you because of this.”
Christianity, unlike Judaism, is not given to a tribe. It is for all the nations. It is universal: and the people of God are no longer the Jews but the people of faith. The simplest interpretation is that we must cling to the people of faith and live with those who are of the faith.
This means that we both need to live in obedience to the commands of Christ. As Scott says, this requires raw courage: the pravda is that any obedience, even unto God, is oppression.
Basically, wives, on an individual basis have to wake up tomorrow and try it, voluntarily. They have to arise in the morning and resolve “I am married and living under the authority of my husband. I am going to behave that way on faith.” This is very unlikely. But its why I regularly implore the women of the Christian red-pill (the Elspeths and so on of the world) to network together and plead with younger Christian wives before its too late. To get together and speak of these things — no catty shit talking about their husbands — just building each other up in Christian love and desire to fill the role laid out for them as wives. Maybe they already do, and that is all that can be asked. The basis for this could be as easy as “hows snarky #hesnotthebossofme working for us? Maybe, just maybe, we could try something else. It certainly couldn’t be worse.” This would require raw courage. Courage is a precious commodity among all of humanity. It is even more so among women, because they were not built to be heroic risk takers.
Otherwise, I am afraid the “enjoy the decline” types are right. The correction will come after a collapse. It will be a dystopian world where order is restored through much pain and suffering. I do not want that. There is enough of that in this world already.
Christ is for all the nations: There is nothing wrong with being Chinese, Indian, Maori, Samoan or Black. Every culture has faults and virtues. We are different: if this was not the case then the All Blacks would not be full of Tongans and Samoans and the professional basketball teams full of West Africans (a fair amount of the US Black genes link back there). There is variation within each race, yes, and there are some supremely talented individuals who break the stereotypes.
But the differences are good. They make for a less boring world, and they mean that in Christ one group can correct each other.
I would rather my sons wed (won’t happen soon: they are in the gaming stage of the post adolescent transformation into adulthood_).within the faith. But this I lived: if you marry across cultures you will be having arguments based on which culture is correct. And in that there is no right answer.