Thursday, June 24, 2010

Interview with Roderick C. Meredith concerning Race

Interview with Roderick C. Meredith
Presiding Evangelist of the Global Church of God

by Ewin H. Barnett and Sue Ann Pomicter
Q: Are there any aspects of British-Israelism that could be considered racist?

A: Not if it is presented correctly. God is not a racist at all, and He created all the races. People can misunderstand British-Israelism if we constantly harp on the fact that God chose America and Britain and blessed them and so on. [Who defines "racist" or "racism"? Does the ethnocentric Bible - with its focus on the family of Jacob - "harp" on how God has chosen Israel? - DBA]

But, on the other hand, most of our actual preaching based upon that teaching is not [that] America and Britain is the greatest, but the main thrust of the preaching that I do publicly, which means the work, and most of us do in the telecast and magazines and booklets, is the fact that we are going to be punished with the greatest national tribulation in human history because we have failed to do what God wanted us to do. So we are being racist against ourselves, if you want to look at it like that.

Q: Are all races welcome in Global, and what role will they play in the Kingdom?

A: All races are welcome in Global, and as you know we have Mr. Wesley Webster, our minister now in Washington, D.C., and still overseeing Guyana. But he is actually our Washington, D.C., minister.
We have some elders in the Philippines now, and we are going to have other elders from other ethnic backgrounds as soon as God calls them and brings them along. We are very happy to have them.

People of other races will have the same opportunity in the world ahead, in the Kingdom of God, that any of us have. They are going to be given blessings of being kings and priests right along with us. Remember, all races become spiritual Israelites when they are converted. All of us become spiritual Israelites when we inherit the promises God gave to Abraham.

Q: In the matter of interracial dating and marriage, is there anything you wish to that you had stated differently?

A: No, I've always made it very clear that we had practiced for 40-some years, going into the homes of brethren of different races, loving them, helping them, praying for them, eating with them, having them in my home for dinner, encouraging all kinds of social fellowship and loving Christian fellowship--but we discourage interracial dating and marriage. Not as a capital sin, but as something that brings a great deal of trouble, frustration, unhappiness and sorrow to the vast majority of people who get in that situation.

Following the clear example in the Bible of Abraham, even though his own household was taught the ways of God, as God says, he sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac of his own people. That is God's way. It is clearly in the Bible.

It is not put as a capital sin. We do not put people out of the church for that. We will have, and have, some interracial marriages and people in that situation in the Global Church. But we feel it's more loving to tell the people about the problems than to let them drift into problems like that without any guidance whatsoever.

Q: So, you're saying that you would perform an interracial marriage if the circumstances were correct?

A: We do not recommend interracial marriage. Our ministers have the option to perform them, and that is up to them. There could be circumstances where some of our ministers do that, I imagine.

Q: How would you respond to somebody who would then say that this is racist?

A: I would say that they themselves simply do not understand God's plan and God's purpose. God clearly, though examples and statements in the Bible, indicates that in this human, physical flesh we are male and female, we are black or white or whatever, and that we ought to emphasize our own strengths and marry within people who share those same strengths.

When I was in England, Muhammad Ali said over the BBC, this interviewer asked him: "A lot of black athletes are getting white wives. Why don't you get yourself a white wife?"

He said, "I want my sons to look like me."

That statement was very well thought out, that's normal, that's right: "I want my sons to look like me." I think people should be taught that.

You see, when they vary greatly, marrying across wide racial lines, they are in one sense repudiating their whole ancestry. They're going to change what their family and their lineage has always been, whether it be black, white, yellow, American Indian, whatever.

Of course some say that there is no sin involved, and often there isn't. The only sin that could be involved, and quite often would be, is if both parents are very knowledgeable and dedicated and perhaps both sets of parents would tell the children, "Don't do that."

In that case, they would be directly breaking the Fifth Commandment. They would be dishonoring their father and their mother by such an action, and that is breaking the Ten Commandments.

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