Questions From Readers
● Is it wrong for a white person and a colored one to marry if they truly love each other? Does the Bible give any counsel in this regard?—W. M., U.S.A.
God’s Word does not forbid marriage between the races. On the contrary, it shows that all races are related in that they all came from one man originally. (Acts 17:26) No one race is esteemed better in God’s sight than another. As the apostle Peter expressed it: “God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.”—Acts 10:34, 35.
What God’s Word does command is that dedicated Christians should marry “only in the Lord.” Should it happen that one or the other had been married before, it would be necessary that they be Scripturally free; either in that the mate is deceased or has been legally divorced because of adultery.—1 Cor. 7:39.
Obviously, those who marry seek happiness. And the Scriptures indicate that a marriage or wedding should be a very happy occasion. The countless happily married couples give evidence that marriage can bring deep satisfactions, contentment and much joy. However, it also follows that due to human imperfection marriage does bring with it a certain amount of “tribulation in their flesh,” as the apostle Paul terms it.—1 Cor. 7:28.
It is quite likely that those who marry across racial lines will have more of this tribulation than will others. Christians cannot change prevailing human customs, prejudices and laws but must put up with them. They should therefore take a very realistic view of matters and recognize the added difficulties such a marriage will have to face. In many parts of the earth there is still much racial discrimination, and entering such a marriage may result in restricting the Christian’s opportunities for preaching the good news of God’s kingdom. Also, children born of such a marriage most likely will face similar added obstacles as soon as they are old enough to mingle with other children.
Then again, the law in certain lands and states forbids interracial marriage. Since Christians must recognize Caesar’s right to regulate marriage, Christians residing in such states or lands and contemplating interracial marriage would have to move to a land or state where such marriages are legal, and it would be inadvisable for them to return to their own land or state or to go to any others having such laws.
In view of these factors, those who contemplate such a marriage will do well to consider the step seriously. Is it truly love or chiefly physical attraction? Would it be in the best interests of both? Is this marriage the best possible solution to their problem or reason for wanting to marry? Before marriage the love between two persons may seem sufficiently strong, but is it strong enough to endure the added obstacles such a marriage brings with it? If two persons of different races decide to take such a step, no one should criticize them. The really important factors, it may not be forgotten, are those plainly stated in the Scriptures.
● Why did Jesus insert the parenthetical statement “let the reader use discernment,” as recorded at Matthew 24:15? Should we not use discernment whenever considering the application of prophecy?—R. B., U.S.A.
True, discernment should at all times be used when considering the Word of God, but there is apparently a special need to be alert as to the application of the portion of Daniel’s prophecy referred to in Matthew 24:15. “Therefore, when you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place, (let the reader use discernment).”
The Jews applied Daniel 11:31, to which Jesus was here making reference, to the pollution of the temple by Antiochus IV (Epíphanes) in the year 168 B.C. Since this application, which is still commonly accepted, was incorrect, Jesus apparently added the word of caution so that we would not fall into the same error. Far from being fulfilled back there, Daniel’s prophecy regarding the “disgusting thing that causes desolation” is having fulfillment in our day as part of the great sign proving Christ’s second presence. As pointed out time and again in the Watch Tower publications, it is the Devil’s substitute for God’s kingdom, at present the United Nations, for which reason it is disgusting in God’s sight, and it causes desolation in that all those that put their trust in it instead of in God’s kingdom will be desolated, destroyed, at Armageddon.
● At 1 Corinthians 11:29 we read: “For he that eats and drinks eats and drinks judgment against himself if he does not discern the body.” Is this body spoken of here still Christ’s human body, mentioned in the context, or is it the body of 144,000 spirit sons?
Yes, the body that is here referred to and that is to be discerned if one does not want to eat condemnation to himself is still the literal body of the Lord Jesus Christ, the same as in the preceding verses of this chapter. It is not the spiritual body of Christ composed of 144,000 members. What the apostle Paul is here emphasizing is the need for the participants to appreciate the value of Christ’s sacrifice in their behalf and not to be so dull in their sensibilities as to partake of the emblematic bread without regard to its symbolizing the precious sacrifice of Jesus Christ and thus eating this emblem in a way that is unworthy of the sacrifice of Christ and that does indignity to it.