Interracial Marriage and Pants - 02/15/2004
Hi. I have a few questions (pardon me if they seem a bit off the wall).
Most of my childhood I grew up with a very strict pentecostal/apostolic background (can't wear pants, can't cut your hair, etc.). Since I've been an adult, I have gotten away from that faith. Don't get me wrong though, I do still believe in God.
Two questions -
1. I grew up with the belief that interracial relationships were wrong by the bible - was that an opinion of someone or is there somewhere in the bible that references this?
2. In order to be "saved" - or one of God's children - are women really not allowed to wear pants? They must wear skirts all the time?
I do miss the "spirit" that I had experienced in the pentecostal churches as a child. I've been to several Methodist services and they just seem so dead - almost superficial.
Any reference you can provide would be appreciated.
CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:
Hi Ellen. Thanks for writing to Contender Ministries. I'm sorry to hear you had such bad experiences in your childhood church. I've heard of others that have had bad experiences with some Pentecostal beliefs/practices. An acquaintence of ours with Down's Syndrome was told by a Pentecostal that the reason he had this disease was because he lacked faith. That's just plain wrong, and so are a lot of the ideas with which you were indoctrinated.
Regarding interracial relationships...there is nothing in the Bible that forbids them. Growing up, I had heard people speak disapprovingly of interracial marriages by saying, "The Bible says not to be unequally yoked." This is an example of missing the context of a verse. 2 Corinthians 6:14 tells us to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. So a verse that tells us not to marry unbelievers has been used by some to say we shouldn't marry someone of another race. Another example worth noting takes place in Numbers 12. Aaron and Miriam chastise Moses for marrying a woman of another race. In turn, God chastised them for chastising Moses. If God approved of Moses marrying outside his race, then we should consider this matter put to rest.
Likewise, you'll find nothing in the Bible instructing women to wear pants. The Bible does instruct women to dress modestly. I'm sure you'll agree that you can dress modestly in pants. If you read through the book of Romans, you'll see that Paul spoke often of a righteousness apart from the law. He frequently vented his frustration with those who burdened new believers with rules and regulations that had no scriptural basis and were not part of the salvation we are freely given when we place our faith in Jesus Christ. If you miss the spirit of the Pentecostal services, but don't want to return to the rigid, extra-biblical rules, then the answer might be in a church that is not what you would consider part of a "mainline" denomination. Many independent community churches as well as newer "denominations" such as Calvary Chapel have very contemporary worship services that you would likely enjoy. The church we attend is a non-denominational community church. The music is upbeat and contemporary, and the messages are always biblically sound. Don't be discouraged. Keep looking for a church home in which you feel comfortable, and remember that no church saves anyone -- only Jesus does. God bless you!
Ben and Jennifer Rast