What Does The Bible REALLY Say About Race?

About Race?

Pastor Don Carpenter

What Does The Bible REALLY Say? / Marriage; Segregation / Numbers 12; Genesis 1

When Pastor Esseppi died, our church had several leaders pulling us in several directions. It took over 3 years to unify enough to choose a leader. The one thing that the church could agree on was that they wanted a King James preacher. I sure hope we are still there. But friends, there are a lot of folks who teach error but preach from the King James Bible. If someone were to come in teaching that truth is not absolute, or that Jesus is not the Christ, or that Salvation can be lost, he would be tossed out on his ear! Tonight we continue a series that will peer into the subtle underbelly or error held by some teachers who call themselves Independent Fundamental Baptists. These are folks who preach from the King James Bible. These are folks who use the right words. These are folks who espouse teachings that can lead to vain, empty, worship. These subtle teachings though preached with volume and passion are not found in the Bible… not really. Sure someone may lift a verse or a phrase from context and read their own cultural or racial bias into it… but that does not mean that it is Bible truth.

Last week we learned that Satan is a subtle deceiver who hides error under a thin skin of truth. As we start to see what deceptions lurk in the shadows of the IFB we will see one theme over and over.

Matthew 15:7–9 KJV

Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 

But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

As we introduce our topic for this evening, it is helpful for us to be reminded of some cultural and historical context that influenced teaching and perception of what the Bible meant to say. At the turn of the last century, mainline denominations were turning from a long held belief in the inspiration of scriptures… and embracing dangerous liberal, and unorthodox positions on major doctrines. Among the Baptists, the Northern Baptist Convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention were headed in that direction.  Bible Believing Fundamentalists rose up in each group to split off. The GARBC was born out of the Northern Baptist Convention and Independent Fundamental Baptists came from the SBC. Think about that… the IFB was born in the deep south in the 1930’s. The culture was deeply racist and did not even realize it. Racism, both passive and blatant, made it’s way into church culture and teaching. I am going to show two clips. One of a preacher who has done a lot of good, but was very comfortable with racial joking around… and one whose view on interracial marriage reveals his very bigoted views.

** Show Clips**

Racism within the IFB can be seen in three unbiblical errors that are still being taught today. Let us answer together: What Does The Bible REALLY Say About Race?

God Does Not Divide By Race!

Genesis 1:26–27 KJV

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 The belief of Darwinian evolution claims that human beings changed “from-molecules-to-man” over millions and millions of years, with one of our intermediate states being that of the apes. This belief logically implies that certain “races” are more ape-like than they might be human. Ever since the idea of evolution became popular and widespread, Darwinian scientists have been attempting to form continuums that represent the evolution of humanity, with some “races” being placed closer to the apes, while others are placed higher on the evolutionary scale. These continuums are formed solely by outward appearances and are still used today to justify racism — even though modern genetics has clearly proven that our differences, few as they might be, are no deeper than the skin. On the last page of his book The Descent of Man, Charles Darwin expressed the opinion that he would rather be descended from a monkey than from a “Savage.” In describing those with darker skin, he often used words like “savage,” “low,” and “degraded” to describe American Indians, people groups from Africa, and almost every ethnic group whose physical appearance and culture differed from his own. In his work, those once called pygmies have been compared to “lower organisms” and were labeled “the low integrated inhabitants of the Andaman Islands.”

Ware, A. Charles; Ham, Ken. One Race One Blood: The Biblical Answer to Racism (Revised & Updated) (p. 19). Master Books. Kindle Edition. 

Exodus 22:21 KJV

Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Mark 12:31 KJV

And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Colossians 3:25 KJV

But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

Revelation 7:9–10 KJV

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 

And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

 More and more scientists find that the differences that set us apart are cultural, not racial. Some even say that the word “race” should be abandoned because it’s meaningless. . . . We accept the idea of race because it’s a convenient way of putting people into broad categories, frequently to suppress them . . . the most hideous example is provided by Hitler’s Germany. . . . What the facts show is that there are differences among us, but they stem from culture, not race.5

Ware, A. Charles; Ham, Ken. One Race One Blood: The Biblical Answer to Racism (Revised & Updated) (p. 102). Master Books. Kindle Edition.

What Does The Bible Really Say About Interracial Marriage?

Misused Scriptures

Genesis 1:11 KJV

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

 Due to beliefs that interracial marriage was at worst sin, and at best unwise, many fundamental/evangelical leaders supported segregated communities and segregated churches.

 In 1956, evangelist John R. Rice expressed the following thoughts: But I say frankly that many things are worse than these, and most intelligent people would prefer to have Jim Crow laws than to have unrestrained intermarriage between the races. Christians everywhere should try to avoid oppression and take particular pains to be kind and thoughtful and unselfish in all inter-race relationships.10

 Socially, it is better for both Negroes and whites to run with their own kind and intermarry with their own kind. The mixing of races widely differing is almost never wise. . . . Thus if a girl would do wrong to marry a Negro boy, she would be wrong to keep company with him, mixing regularly with him in a social life.11

 In 1961, M.R. Dehaan expressed his view about interracial marriage with these words: I feel Negroes and Whites should never intermarry, but where possible live in their own social and religious groups and churches. . . . as far as the intimate relationship and fellowship which comes by living in the same sections in a community, I do not believe that the time is ripe.12 It should be acknowledged that Rice and DeHaan were seeking to deal with cultural realities of their day. Both expressed concern about oppression of African Americans, but they also supported, at least for their time, the segregation of the so-called human “races.”

Ware, A. Charles; Ham, Ken. One Race One Blood: The Biblical Answer to Racism (Revised & Updated) (p. 40). Master Books. Kindle Edition.

Leviticus 19:19 KJV

Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.

Deuteronomy 22:9–11 KJV

Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled. 

Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. 

Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.

Deuteronomy 7:1–6 KJV

When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; 

And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: 

Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. 

For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. 

But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. 

For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

Ezra 9:1 KJV

Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.

The Bible Supports Interracial Marriage.

Numbers 12:1–2 KJV

And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. 

And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it.

Jeremiah 13:23 KJV

Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

Numbers 12:3–9 KJV

(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) 

And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. 

And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. 

And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. 

My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. 

With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? 

And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.

The Prohibition is Mixing With Unbelievers, not Different Races

2 Corinthians 6:14 KJV

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

What Does The Bible Really Say About the Curse of Canaan?

Genesis 9:25–27 KJV

And he said, Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. 

And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; And Canaan shall be his servant. 

God shall enlarge Japheth, And he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; And Canaan shall be his servant.

Errors Preached From This Text

While belief in Ham’s curse can be traced to early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, its popularity grew exponentially in America prior to 1865. The curse served as a prooftext for pro-slavery preachers, enabling them to make heavenly sounding justifications for the hellish enslavement of dark-skinned image-bearers.

Baptist pastor and Southern Seminary trustee Iveson L. Brookes (1785–1868) taught that “Negro Slavery is an institution of heaven and intended for the mutual benefit of master and slave, as proved by the Bible. . . . God himself . . . authorized Noah to doom the posterity of Ham.”

Patrick Mell (1814–1888), the fourth president of the Southern Baptist Convention, proposed: “From Ham were descended the nations that occupied the land of Canaan and those that now constitute the African or Negro race. Their inheritance, according to prophecy, has been and will continue to be slavery . . . [and] so long as we have the Bible . . . we expect to maintain it.”

Satan is a master of Scripture-twisting.

Sadly, quotes like these were commonplace across denominations in the 1800s. And though slavery was abolished in 1865, echoes of this false doctrine continued to reverberate throughout America’s culture and churches. Prominent pastors used it to support segregation, and its sentiments fuel modern-day white supremacist theology. Just recently I had to take down racist posters promoting these lies near our church building.

Look At This in Context – The Ravings of a Drunkard.

Genesis 9:20–24 KJV

And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: 

And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. 

And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. 

And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness. 

And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.

What Does The Bible Really Say About Segregation?

Acts 17:26 KJV

And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

Famous Preachers of the Last Century Used This Verse to Support Segregation.

O “Never Had I Been So Blind”: W. A. Criswell’s “Change” on Racial Segregation Curtis W. Freeman The Fiery Sermon n February 21, 1956, W. A. Criswell addressed the South Carolina Baptist evangelism conference. Criswell was pastor of the largest congregation in the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the denomination’s most popular preachers. Standing in the grand pulpit of the First Baptist Church of Columbia before an overflow crowd, he exhorted his listeners, many of whom were fellow ministers, to be true preachers of the gospel. But he warned them that a passion for evangelism comes at the cost of undergoing a “baptism by fire.” Describing the sort of fiery ordeals they must face, Criswell segued into a heated attack on the forces of desegregation. He expressed astonishment at the cowardice of ministers “whose forebears [sic] and predecessors were martyrs and were burned at the stake” but who themselves refuse to speak up about “this thing of integration.” True ministers, he argued, must passionately resist government mandated desegregation because it is “a denial of all that we believe in.” This rhetorical move portrayed Southern Baptists as the de facto established church of the South and gave the ministers the privilege to speak for all white southerners. He denounced as “foolishness” and “idiocy” the recent ruling of the Supreme Court that was meant to ram integration down the collective throat of the South. Irritated with the carpet bagging supporters of civil rights, he exclaimed: “Let them integrate. Let them sit up there in their dirty shirts and make all their fine speeches. But they are all a bunch of infidels, dying from the neck up.”11 Criswell saved some of his harshest invectives for the National Council of Churches and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He challenged his fellow Baptists to hold the line against those “two-by scathing, good-for-nothing fellows who are trying to upset all of the Curtis W. Freeman is Research Professor of Theology and Baptist Studies at Duke University Divinity School.

W. A. Criswell’s “Change” on Racial Segregation 2 things that we love as good old Southern people and as good old Southern Baptists.” With a jab aimed at ecumenical church leaders who were pushing integration, he asserted, that half of the things they say “are just as blasphemous and unbiblical as they can be.” “Let them stay where they are,” he exclaimed, “but leave us alone.” Still, he confessed, it was not easy to withstand such fierce criticism, claiming that integrationists had done their best to make him feel “like a dirty, low-down, mangy louse of a dog.” Criswell admitted that in many respects their shame technique was working. Then in an ingratiating attempt at humor he invoked a thinly veiled racial epithet as a punch line that came close to violating the most sacrosanct rule of polite southern social etiquette: “Why the NAACP has got those East Texans on the run so much,” he jibed, “that they dare not pronounce the word chigger any longer. It has to be cheegro.” The ugliness and insensitivity of his remark was not easily forgotten or forgiven.2


The Context Has Nothing to Do With Segregation.

Acts 17:24–26 KJV

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 

Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 

And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

This Bigotry Shows Up In Other IFB Extra -Biblical Teaching.

By way of various stages and generations, the “rhythm and blues” of America’s black people originates in the African jungle. The people captured from Africa for slavery in America in the 18th and 19th centuries took with them nothing but their religion. A central element in their religion was their music. (For the details concerning the “primitive” origins of rock, I am indebted to a tape of a speech by G.J. Nijhof, entitled “De Wereld Achter de Grammafoonplaat.” No details as to place or date of the speech is mentioned on the tape I have.)

In our western society today, we are accustomed to distinguish between religious music (that is, church music) and amusement music (for example, “Mary had a little lamb”). The music of the African bush did not know this distinction. To the natives of Africa (and it’s true also of the natives of Australia, America and India), all music was religious; their music was part of their religion. In fact, it was the medicine man (priest, sorcerer, call him what you will) who was the chief musician. The purpose of the music was to get the tribesmen into contact with the gods, be it to drive the evil spirits away or to attract the favour of the good gods. How did the medicine man use music to get his tribesmen into contact with the gods? He did so through the beat. The incessant repetition of sound, without a break, combined with volume, has an effect on the human being.



When the time comes to hire an assistant Pastor or a Senior Pastor, we must not just assume that all folks who preach the KJV and generally Okay. Ask the following questions and listen carefully to the answers:

 • Is Interracial Marriage wrong? Why/ Why not?

 • What the is Curse of Canaan? How Does it affect us today?

• Is Racial Segregation part of God’s plan?  

When the time comes you may want to word it differently in order to get honest discussion… but Satan is Subtle! Now we know what the Bible REALLY says about Race.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:43 PM May 31, 2023.