Christian polygamy movement

Discussion in 'The Pilgrims Progress' started by CDM, Mar 20, 2006.

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  1. CDM

    CDM Puritan Board Junior

    There seems to be a growing "Christian" polygamy movement. Even spreading to mainstream denominations. The logic being, "God said King David was blameless before him and he had hundreds of wives." Or, "Scripture had laws about polygamy but didn't condemn it." Most say the "leave and cleave" passages don't neccessarily exclude this happening several times. On and on it goes. Some of the more sensible ones will acknowledge the qualifications for Elders and Deacons of having one wife. But they see all others as fair game.

    Here is a recent argument I heard:

    Numbers 3:40-43 provides us with a census of the firstborn in Israel. The number given is 22,273 firstborn sons. We may safely conclude there were at least 22,273 families in Israel, since a family cannot have more than one firstborn son. There were, no doubt, families which had no sons.

    That has no bearing upon this remarkable fact:

    22,273 families are responsible for a total count of over 600,000 fighting men (Numbers 1:46). If you take 600,000 and divide it by 22,000, you get 27. The average Israelite household with sons had 28 of them!

    The patriarch Jacob required four wives to get twelve sons. Is it too much to suppose that the typical Israelite needed twice as many wives to get 28 Sons? What about the daughters? If there was a daughter for every son, then there was 56 children per Israelite household, on the average scale. There is no way to know how many wives the average Israelite may have had, but it is impossible that the average woman could have had 56 children. Israelite society was a polygamous society.

    The host of this website, Vox Day, is a professed "Southern Baptist Christian Libertarian." He claims that the ideal for Christians is NOT TO BE married as the Apostle said (according to him).

    Some of this is so elementary and foolish, I've found myself at a loss for just where to begin on this thinking.

  2. fivepointcalvinist

    fivepointcalvinist Puritan Board Sophomore

    this is stupid, dont waste your time with it...
  3. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Its just $#X obsession, with a biblical veneer. If a man is bound and determined to have multiple wives, he's bound to move to Provo, too, eventually.
  4. MeanieCalvinist

    MeanieCalvinist Puritan Board Freshman

    This position is unbiblical:

    The Gospel of Matthew clearly refutes this; "No man can serve two masters..." Matt 6:24

    I believe all of the married men on this post can back me on this one :lol:

    In Christ,

  5. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Wow, how do you argue with this logic?!?!
  6. Cuirassier

    Cuirassier Puritan Board Freshman

    Let's assume these statistics are right (and had I the time, I'm pretty sure I'd conclude otherwise). To base a moral position on something that the OT children of Israel did (and not, insofar as I can tell, with neither God's blessing or nor expressed instruction) is a leap of titanic proportions.

    God, in his infinite sovereignty and grace may have allowed this to happen - but God's instruction universally on this is quite clear. Genesis 1 states that a man and woman will leave their parents and "these TWO shall become one flesh". Not these three or four ...

    This argument strikes me as a pathetic attempt to twist the Rock of Scripture into a conveniently-shaped moral pretzel in order to feed a sinful appetite. :mad:


    [Edited on 3-21-2006 by Cuirassier]

    [Edited on 3-21-2006 by Cuirassier]
  7. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I was wondering:
    If we are a religiously neutral and pluralistic government, can the state still discriminate against religious polygamy?
  8. MeanieCalvinist

    MeanieCalvinist Puritan Board Freshman

    That is a good question......
  9. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Divorce. Polygamy is a very real problem in many mission contexts. Say a tribal leader gets converted but has many wives. Does he divorce all but one of them? No. Polygamy isn't normative, but it isn't the end of the world either.

    [Edited on 3--21-06 by Draught Horse]
  10. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    It's always hard to compare sin with sin. I agree that a polygamist is not called to put away his wives if he converts to Christianity. He needs to provide for them. I do, however, believe it disqualifies him from Church leadership so the missionary needs to stick around long enough to allow, perhaps, a new generation that does not practice polygamy before elders might be raised up.

    I didn't really respond to the article because there are too many kooks with crazy ideas. What a dope.
  11. Cuirassier

    Cuirassier Puritan Board Freshman

    Interesting question,

    Since I think we agree that God despises both, it's a question that'll go 'round and 'round.

    If the real question is what happens in a missionary/conversion situation - I believe God allows his grace to triumph where sin previously abounded. I don't believe know that God would want the commission of one sin (divorce of the not-because-of-adultery kind) to follow another (polygamy).

    Much like a couple who divorced and then remarried other partners, and then are converted. Was their divorce wrong? Yes. Was their subsequent remarriage wrong? Yes. Is the answer then to "undo" that wrong by making another (another divorce)? I don't believe so.

    God in his mercy and grace, can work within a flawed relationship to bring about His divine will. As Jacob says, though, this does not make it normative.

  12. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

  13. yeutter

    yeutter Puritan Board Senior

    Walter Trobisch

    Walter Trobisch, a Lutheran, dealt with these issues in a manner I found helpful. InterVarcity Press used to publish him. I do not know if he is still in print.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2008
  14. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    It's surprising the circles in which this kind of issue pops up.

    Luther, Bucer and Melanchthon all endorsed the bigamous marriage of Philip of Hesse. And polygamy is promoted as Biblical in Michael Brown's introduction to the Geneva Bible, citing Luther and Milton.
  15. CDM

    CDM Puritan Board Junior

    The "Christian polygamists" main point, according to them, IS scripture. Many many of the godly men had multiple wives the polygamist argues. There were rules and regulations on polygamy. Never a condemnation of it they say.

    I was also most concerned with the point "the ideal for Christians is NOT to be married" according to Paul.

    What would you say to that? You're right, Rich, adn others, most, if not all, of this is so ludicrous it is not worth rebuking. But this movement is seriously growing. Especially in light of the secular culture in America condoning and authorizing same-sex marriage.

    Sadly, if our past is any indication, the American "church" follows the culture not transforms it.
  16. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    They can selectively reference Scripture all day long. What do they do with the words and logic of Christ himself? Should that be "And the three (four, five, twelve?) will become one flesh"?

    How do they handle Paul's limitation on elders--to men with ONE wife? Doesn't that imply that one marriage is normative?

    As for Paul's "I wish all men were as I am," i.e. single, that has to be harmonized with "the marriage bed is honorable." The two thoughts can't be prejudicial to each other. To make Paul's statement (one NT reference) "normative", or even to combine it with Jesus' teaching about "eunuchs" (Mt. 19:12)--which in essence is a rebuke to his disciples--and overthrow the norm of marriage, is preposterous.

    As another has pointed out, two wrongs don't make a right. So if someone has violated God's pattern it does not follow that the solution is to boot out "illegitimate" wives (or husbands, I suppose). But obviously wrong behavior carries consequences--hence a bigamist may not exercise leadership in the church. That is a stiff penalty, if it is properly appreciated.

    Like I said earlier, and has been echoed--this is all about LUST. The deal with the Mormons is the same--a religion without grace, that "sanctifies" and even "normalizes" bad behavior by external, legal regulations.
  17. CDM

    CDM Puritan Board Junior

    Well said. Thank you for your comments, Bruce.
  18. smhbbag

    smhbbag Puritan Board Senior

    In a Freudian reading slip, I read this as "Just to throw a wench in here....." and I died laughing.

    Then, even realizing I was wrong, it was still funny.
  19. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Seven wives might be one thing, but who could handle seven mother-in-laws!!!
  20. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    You mean mothers-in-law. Yes Mom, I corrected his grammar...
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