Wow! What an interesting topic.
There are people who have used a variety of scripture passages to justify their own feelings about this particular topic. I'll discuss a few of them here:
Genesis 11:6-8 "The Tower of Babel":
The Lord said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand one another." So the Lord scattered then from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city."
It just seems silly to me that this text would be used as a justification for the church condemning interracial marriages, and yet this is precisely what happens.
Those who use this text argue that God desired to have people of different races separated, and therefore, he scattered them all over the face of the earth.
The only problem with this point of view, is that the text speaks nowhere of race, simply of language. If this hermeneutic is correct, then we should not marry people who speak a different language than us, and put simply, it would be a sin to learn a foreign language at all.
When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations-- the Hittities, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you-- and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons.
It is clear that God doesn't want the Israelites intermarrying with the foreigners who lived in the land before the Hebrew nation arrived.
Those who state the Bible forbids interracial marriage point to this text, stating that God didn't want racial impurities, and therefore condemns interracial marriage.
To best understand this text, we must look at WHY God made this prohibition, and, lucky for us, the rest of the text points this out.
For they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord's anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.
The issue is not interracial marriage, but inter-religious marriage. God is not concerned with the purity of the Hebrew race; he is concerned with the purity of the Hebrew religion.
The fact of the matter is this: foreigners were accepted into the Hebrew nation as long as they were willing to forsake their former gods and worship the God of Israel.
But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God."
Ruth was a Moabite woman (Ruth 1:4) who intermarried into the Hebrew nation. She accepts the God of Israel as her God. Marries another Hebrew named Boaz and has a child name Obed. Obed has a son named Jesse. Jesse is the father of David... the KING OF ISRAEL. And it is out of this lineage that our Lord and Savior is born.
It seems that God isn't so much concerned with interracial marriage, as he is with the tainting of Hebrew worship.
And perhaps the most quoted text condemning interracial marriage:
2 Corinthians 6:14:
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
or you may have heard a different translation of this text (look at the KJV)
Do not be unequally yoked.
Some have argued that to be married to someone is to be unequally yoked. There are two problems with regard to using this Bible verse as a justification for banning interracial marriages.
1) It is racist. To imply that race is what makes someone unequal with regard to marriage implies that one race is "higher" or "better" or "more suitable" than another. Put very simply, this is a racist statement, and one that the Bible speaks against:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
All are created in the image of God. All are equal and loved the same in Christ Jesus.
2) It is just a bad interpretation. Once again, we see that the issue with marriage spoken of here has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with religion. Don't stop after the words, "Do not be unequally yoked" continue on and read the rest of the verse, "with unbelievers."
In short, the Bible holds NO PROHIBITION for interracial marriage.
It is true, in the past the church has made very racist claims. We spoke out for slavery, using biblical passages to support our theories. We spoke out for segregation, using the Bible as a sword where it should not have been used.
We were wrong.
The truth of the matter is, the Bible speaks a message about unity and peace with regard to race, language, color of skin, ethnicity and gender, while speaking against the tainting of our faith with false religions and the foolish teachings of men.
So stand beside your brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter what color they are. Bury the hatchet of racism and let's get to work serving God.... together.