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Amanda S. 07-23-2009 10:09 PM

Polygamy in the Bible
 
Perhaps I am totally wrong in starting a new thread to continue the discussion over at the thread Acceptable/Unacceptable Reasons for Divorce here. Bro. Brandon please correct me if I am. But I thought that this topic was deserving of it's own thread.

A couple of things were said in that thread that I felt was getting lost in the back and forth commenting and I wanted to kind of start over fresh and perhaps give others an opportunity to chime in or perhaps study this out more.

Poor Jassy. :( I am sure she did not intend for her thread to morph into what it did!

I would first like to address the idea that because God allowed something that it is in some way condoning it. God allows for many things. God allowed slavery (find me a verse anywhere that THAT was ever forbidden...Oh it's not there!). God allowed Moses to murder an Egyptian with no obvious punishment. Is murder condoned?

Who knows why the Lord does what He does? Who knows why God allowed sin to enter the world. Who knows why the Lord allowed righteous men in the Bible to ignore His plan and let them pervert it. I've heard it speculated that the Lord allowed things for so long to eventually destroy it. To establish a right way and a wrong way. To show us a good way and a bad way.

Who knows why...but we do know -

Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

The main thing I would like address if I may, is the idea that God commanded a man to marry a second wife while still married to another.

Deut. 25:5-10 was used to prove this point.

5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.
6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.
7 And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother.
8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
9 Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house.
10 And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.


I present a similar situation again in Genesis 38

1 And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.
2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her.
3 And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er.
4 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan.
5 And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him.
6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.
7 And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.
8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.
9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.
10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.


First of all I'd like to point out that brother / brethren does not necessarily mean the son of your mother or father.

Abraham called Lot his brother:

Here it is referring to his nephew Ge 14:12 And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

Yet here he is referring to his nephew as brother Ge 14:16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

Again Gen. 29:12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother, and that he was Rebekah's son: and she ran and told her father.

But here he was her father's nephew Genesis 28:5 And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother.

It is common in the Bible to speak of your kinsmen as brothers.

Having said that however, in the instance of Onan the lineage is detailed to establish where one would whittling this process down. Start with the closest related brother to fill this need to raise up seed to the deceased brother...

Nowhere in any of these passages can you insert another wife. Just. not. there.

In the case of Onan, as wicked as it was that he disobeyed God's command in this area, one could understand how unhappy he would be to be told who he had to marry! I daresay some of us would certainly not handle this situation any better than Onan!

But Onan, rather than go through the ritual of going before the elders was deceitful, went in unto her looking as if he obeyed but did not. He thought he could hide from God or didn't realize the grave consequences of disobedience.

But let's move on...

One more instance where this happens is the beautiful story of Ruth.


Ruth 4:1 Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.
2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.
3 And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's:
4 And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.
5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.
7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.
8 Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.
9  And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi.
10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.


Here rather than the term brother, the word kinsman is used. What is the kinsman asked to do? To raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.

Is there a second wife mentioned here? Nope...but because he was concerned for his inheritance one would think he already had a wife and a son. He wanted the land...didn't want the wife that came with it. Could he refuse marrying her? Yes...and he did so.

Why did he refuse? Who knows? But he did and passed her along to Boaz he married her, loved her and what a perfect union. A wonderful type of Christ and the church.
I love this story!

But let's back up a bit. Remember when I pointed out that with Onan it is detailed from the first-born down the line...Onan being the second?

Well, look at this:

Ruth 3:9 And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.
10 And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.
11 And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
12 And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.


Boaz couldn't just marry her because he was one of her husband's brothers. He obeyed the law that had been set in Genesis and offered her to the nearest kinsman of her husband.

I truly hope I've made sense here and hope dispel this idea that God commanded a man to marry to wives. Allowed it...OK. Regulated it...perhaps. But not commanded.

I have more thoughts but this will suffice for tonight :)

PaulB 07-24-2009 09:00 AM

Part 2!!!
 
Hello Amanda, whow!!! fancy meeting you here on a topic like this!

I agree with you that this topic needed a new thread in order for it to start afresh from the “suppose so” scenario that I presented in the previous thread. I also would love to see some of the grayer saints have some input on this topic as it was becoming a little bit of a shoot and duck game between one or two people only.

When God created the world was the world that He deemed to be “very good” however, sin brought a great deal of deviation from that which Jesus Himself even bore witnesses to as being ordained by God from the beginning. In between all of that a lot of things took place that have no stamp of divine approval upon them (even though) they may have been used in God’s overall plan of redeption.

If I remember right, it isn’t until Gn.4:19 that there is any hint of a second wife mentioned but again, this is mentioned in passing rather than in any form of authorisation. This also is a few generations after the fall and is not something that you find everyone in the OT doing as though it was expected of them. This act also comes from the line of Cain and is mentioned in a way to suggest that it was something that was happening for the first time “And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah”.

In between that time and the time of Christ there are people who obviously had followed this pattern, but that doesn’t suggest in anyway that it was a righteous thing to do. Some may argue that “well, God blessed Jacob, David, Solomon etc..,” He used them and also spoke to them. But again this doesn’t prove anything, as God used Moses, David and Saul (Paul) who put innocent people to death.

So when we consider the creation and the words of Jesus in the NT we are not looking at “God’s ideal” (i.e. His best for us) we are looking at God’s only design for marriage. It does seem a striking coincidence that after the teachings of Jesus on the matter that acts such as these decreased rapidly in the countries that heard the gospel (I wonder why?)

Well, Amanda – I thought that I would just help to get the ball rolling for you!

God bless;)

PaulB

Amanda S. 07-24-2009 09:23 AM

WoW.......! Bro. Paul!...............Long time no see!
 
Quote:

it was becoming a little bit of a shoot and duck game between one or two people only.
I had to chuckle at that word picture....LoL :peep:

Quote:

If I remember right, it isn’t until Gn.4:19 that there is any hint of a second wife mentioned but again, this is mentioned in passing rather than in any form of authorization.
You are right of course....That is the first mention and it is more of an historic account. But given that everything had a meaning in the Bible I find it interesting that the line is Cain's that it is first mentioned.

Quote:

In between that time and the time of Christ there are people who obviously had followed this pattern, but that doesn’t suggest in anyway that it was a righteous thing to do. Some may argue that “well, God blessed Jacob, David, Solomon etc..,” He used them and also spoke to them. But again this doesn’t prove anything, as God used Moses, David and Saul (Paul) who put innocent people to death.
The aspect that I am currently studying through is the verse where God tells David:

II Samuel 12:8 And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.

Quote:

It does seem a striking coincidence that after the teachings of Jesus on the matter that acts such as these decreased rapidly in the countries that heard the gospel (I wonder why?)
Well, according to things said in the other thread it could be said the reason it decreased wasn't because they had to leave their wives that they were already married to because they were to "abide in the same calling wherein he was called" but because those with more than one wife died out.........I guess? LoL

Bill 07-24-2009 01:55 PM

Re: murder and slavery mentioned in first post
 
To Amanda S: First, welcome to the forum.
Second; I disagree that Moses committed murder. The Egyptian he killed was assaulting a Hebrew and Moses defended the person being assaulted.
Moses was acting outside the laws of Egyptian slavery but not outside God's law and that's why Moses was never reproved, as David was for his murder of Bathsheba's husband.
Third: It's not true that the Bible never condemns slavery. Exodus 21:16 specifies the death penalty for both trade and ownership. 1Timothy 1:8 condemns menstealers.
I think that it was specified in the instructions God gave to Israel that a man was supposed to marry the widow of a brother or close relative to keep the family line going. However, Kings were warned against multiple marraiges and kings (such as David and Solomon) who ignored God's instructions got themselves in trouble because of that.

Amanda S. 07-24-2009 02:30 PM

Bro. Bill thank you for the welcome! :)

You said:
Quote:

Exodus 21:16 specifies the death penalty for both trade and ownership.
This verse says it is forbidden to steal and and keep or to steal and then to sell slaves, not to buy and to keep them.

Exodus 21:2 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.

In the NT - Eph. 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;


Eph.6:9 - And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.


Tit 2:9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;

Quote:

You said that 1 Timothy 1:8 condemns menstealers.
Yes, it does...menstealer is defined in Exodus 21:16.

PaulB 07-24-2009 02:57 PM

Hi Bill!
 
Hey Amanda….we got one! I knew that if I said something controversial that we would eventually entice someone to join in with us and guess what? - it worked!

Hi Bill – thanks for your input, I take your point concerning Moses and I take what I said back. Perhaps I was a bit too quick in naming him as a man who committed murder. My intention was to use this example to express the way in which God uses sinners (despite their open failings) and my haste lead me into an error on that particular point, so thanks for pointing that out!

Whatever the case, Moses knew that his actions would probably lead to his death so as a result he fled for his life (I think that it was murder in Pharaoh’s eyes) but an act of bravery on Moses part in trying to deliver his kinsfolk.

Although I don’t agree with your point concerning Exodus 21:16 – as this is speaking about taking someone who does not belong to you and then selling him – the passage is condemning theft trade.
Your reference to 1 Tm.1:8 is a couple of verses out – I think that you mean 1 Tm.1:10 “menstealers”.
Again, this is speaking on the issue of kidnapping/ abduction and not slaves.

Now the Bible is clear concerning the role of a servant, as these were very much a part of OT culture, it was a living for them and more. Some even became inheritors of their master’s estate if they had no kinsmen after many years of faithful service. The NT even encourages a right relationship between masters and servants but it doesn’t condemn servanthood (which many people mean when they use the word slave).

I like your points on many wives though – thanks again for joining in with the conversation!

God bless

PaulB

Brother Presswood 07-25-2009 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amanda S. (Post 24643)
I would first like to address the idea that because God allowed something that it is in some way condoning it. God allows for many things. God allowed slavery (find me a verse anywhere that THAT was ever forbidden...Oh it's not there!). God allowed Moses to murder an Egyptian with no obvious punishment. Is murder condoned?

Who knows why the Lord does what He does? Who knows why God allowed sin to enter the world. Who knows why the Lord allowed righteous men in the Bible to ignore His plan and let them pervert it. I've heard it speculated that the Lord allowed things for so long to eventually destroy it. To establish a right way and a wrong way. To show us a good way and a bad way.

I believe Jesus summed it up pretty well for us when he said:
Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so
.

It is my opinion, based upon Jesus' own words, that God's original intent from the beginning was, one man for one woman for one lifetime.

CKG 07-25-2009 02:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brother Presswood (Post 24677)
I believe Jesus summed it up pretty well for us when he said:
Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so
.

It is my opinion, based upon Jesus' own words, that God's original intent from the beginning was, one man for one woman for one lifetime.

Brother

I quoted those exact passages repeatedly on another thread when the topic of polygamy came up stating that God's original intent for marriage was one man and one woman and on more than one one occasion I was told the context of the passage was "putting away" implying that the context (putting away) somehow nullified what Jesus said in verses 5 and 6. My question for these folks is if the context is "putting away" then what is being put away? A spouse! You don't talk about divorce without also talking about marriage. The pharisees asked Jesus a question about putting away and Jesus responded by telling them God's intent for marriage. He is quoting what has already been said in Genesis 2 (and He ought to know since He was there) and what Paul affirms again in Ephesians 5. Notice also Jesus didn't say Moses permitted putting away because they had found grace in God's sight; it was because of the hardness of their hearts! If God's intention for marriage is one man and one woman, then divorce and polygamy are deviations from God's will and same-sex marriage is just a plain out perversion of it. All through out the New Testament books whenever the topic of marriage and divorce are written about the indication is one man for one woman. On the topic of polygamy, why do folks keep running to passages in the OT that were written for the Jew under the Law to somehow try and apply them to the church age saint?

Bill 07-25-2009 03:58 PM

More about slavery
 
I should apologize about continuing conversation about slavery in a post referring to a marraige question, but I'll link the two subjects together by remembering that when Cher Bono filed for her divorce from Sonny, she cited "involuntary servitude" as the reason.
The prohibition against stealing people would outlaw any servitude other than a voluntary contractual arrangement, such as paying off a debt. Any force or deception used in establishing this arrangement would merit the death penalty. The 6 year time limit established an upper limit on how much debt a person could run up. Much of the slavery in the ancient world and all of American slavery was initially established by force and any participation in the business would be condemned under the laws in Exodus.
To Paul B regarding the intentional terminology confusion between "servant" and "slave": I have a post in the BIBLE VERSION forum posted on 3/14/09 showing how the NIV incorporates deceptive use of this confusion in a way that would support an unbiblical doctrine.
Also, 1 Timothy 1:10 is the verse reference I should have quoted; glad you caught that.

PaulB 07-26-2009 09:26 AM

Just a quicky to put the slavery issue to bed!
 
Hi Bill after being so versed in the NASV I was totally shocked to find that the word “Slave” only appears once in the KJB. I am in no way promoting a servant as a slave but was simply stating that our modern day lingo tends to confuse the two (as the example was given in a previous post saying that the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery). I agree that it doesn’t condemn it (in the form of servant belonging to a master), yet it does condemn it in the sense of stealing and selling someone like one would with cattle. What I was getting at was that OT servants (the property of a master) would be seen today as a form of slavery and such an understanding may view the Bible to be promoting slavery.


Thanks for your comments


God bless

PaulB:)

custer 07-26-2009 02:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CKG (Post 24679)

If God's intention for marriage is one man and one woman, then divorce and polygamy are deviations from God's will and same-sex marriage is just a plain out perversion of it. All through out the New Testament books whenever the topic of marriage and divorce are written about the indication is one man for one woman. On the topic of polygamy, why do folks keep running to passages in the OT that were written for the Jew under the Law to somehow try and apply them to the church age saint?

Very good points!!!

One thing we should consider in that hypothetical situation with the ex-Muslim/now-Christian man with several wives...we may not be able to come up with a scriptural "remedy." It wasn't right for him to marry more than one woman and it's not right for him to put any of them away...(Besides, he'd have to be an oil tycoon to pay all the alimony and child support!)

When Adam sinned, there was no way of avoiding the consequences - we can not do anything to "fix" it...now we just have to live with it. My husband and I married out of God's will twenty-one years ago - should we seek to be loosed or should we live the remainder of our married life, out of the perfect will of God? As sinful beings, we can get ourselves into messes that do not have a solution...call it part of the law of sowing and reaping!

Pam
www.custerfamilyfarm.com

Jassy 07-26-2009 05:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amanda S. (Post 24643)
Poor Jassy. :( I am sure she did not intend for her thread to morph into what it did!

Sister Amanda,

The above is only a tiny partial quote - but I noticed my name in there.

Within the constraints of the Forum, you have the freedom (remember Christ gives us freedom in GRACE) to morph an original topic into whatever you like or into whatever pleases you or, perhaps, whatever you can find Bible verses to wrap around. It isn't up to me to oversee or rein-in posts to conform to whatever the topic has been. As for whether or not I'll participate in that, well, that's just another freedom (in GRACE) that I have from our Lord, to choose NOT to participate, when I see that it is not edifying to do so. Even so, I'm not going to misuse that grace.

Remember, in Him, there is no CONDEMNATION! (Romans 8:1)

As for "polygamy" and the like, see my post #96 under the original topic of "Acceptable/Unacceptable Reasons for Divorce." As brother George has said, straining at gnats and being legalistic is what you have labored to do. I've had a very different personal experience that gives me a whole lot of insight into this topic as well as what it has morphed into. I do not feel at all needful to go into detail on that, since - from what I see - it would morph into something completely unintended.

I praise the Lord that He has called me out to witness to people that Westernized Christians usually scorn, attack, and/or ostracize. He has given me the experience, skills and temperament necessary to witness to such people. Indeed, I consider it a privilege and blessing that I'm given the opportunities to do so.

One has to be pretty thick-skinned to withstand the insults and mud that gets slung by people who immediately attack, when you tell them that you are a Christian. However, I leave it to the Holy Spirit to lead me and guide me, individually, with how to witness to each person. Some people may require years of patient ministering to, in order to bring them to Christ. It isn't up to me. Sometimes I may never see the fruit - but who knows if someone else may see it one day? It matters not to me to receive any praise or to glory in it. It gives me JOY to see one brought to Christ - whether I've had any hand in it or not. God's hand is ALWAYS in it. He is the only one to receive the GLORY and PRAISE.

Jassy

Amanda S. 07-26-2009 09:02 PM

Quote:

I praise the Lord that He has called me out to witness to people that Westernized Christians usually scorn, attack, and/or ostracize. He has given me the experience, skills and temperament necessary to witness to such people. Indeed, I consider it a privilege and blessing that I'm given the opportunities to do so.
Praise the Lord indeed! Amen sister...shame on any Christian who would scorn, attack or ostracize another believer or an unbeliever for that matter!

I will be praying for your ministry.

:)

Amanda S. 07-26-2009 09:10 PM

Bro. Bill and Bro. Paul,
You 2 are obviously correct on the slavery issue. The slavery that we are well aquainted with was in no way voluntary and certainly fell into the men stealing category. Thanks for pointing that out.

I talked to my pastor this afternoon and asked what he had to offer on this hypothetical Muslim and the first thing he said was "What did the vows say that they took?"...I thought that interesting!

Here is what I found was the common Muslim wedding vows:

Quote:

Muslim couples do not generally recite vows but rather listen to the words of the imam, or cleric (although any adult male Muslim may officiate), who speaks about the significance of the commitment of the marriage and the couple's responsibilities toward each other and Allah. The bride and groom are asked three times if they accept each other in marriage according to the terms of their traditional marriage contract, or Nikah. Then they sign, the marriage is sealed, and the gathered congregation may bless them.

However, some Muslim brides and grooms do choose to also exchange vows. Here is a common (quite traditional) recitation:

Bride: "I, ______, offer you myself in marriage and in accordance with the instructions of the Holy Koran and the Holy Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him. I pledge, in honesty and with sincerity, to be for you an obedient and faithful wife."

Groom: "I pledge, in honesty and sincerity, to be for you a faithful and helpful husband."
Now does this change anything at all?

Jassy 07-26-2009 09:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amanda S. (Post 24753)
Praise the Lord indeed! Amen sister...shame on any Christian who would scorn, attack or ostracize another believer or an unbeliever for that matter!

I will be praying for your ministry.

:)

Thank you very kindly, sister Amanda! I truly covet your prayers.

Jassy

Amanda S. 07-27-2009 09:41 AM

Sis. Pam...

I do think that you've hit on something here...You stated it so simply without out of context verses that it really did hit me upside the head LOL :brick:

Consider this:

RECOMMENDATIONS

How, then, should the African Christian Church promote monogamy while allowing the polygamy of converts to remain? The following recommendations are offered toward the implementation of this alternative.

1. The church should undertake biblical sex education and marriage counseling for teachers, church-workers, youth, engaged couples, people in early years of marriage, elderly couples, and converted polygamists. The teachings should affirm monogamy as God’s ideal. Celibacy, for example, must be taught as an option for singles. Christian parents should assist with the education.
2. Childlessness is a critical pastoral problem in African society because the idea of procreation in marriage still dominates and overshadows the solid principle of authentic married love. Marriages rarely last without children. The church should encourage “adoption” within the clan as an alternative to childless couples.
3. The church should combat chronic diseases like tuberculosis and typhoid fever which kill infants at a high rate.
4. The church should set up vocational training centers for unmarried women. Here, women are to be assisted to define their place in the church and society, recognizing new emerging roles for African women.
5. The church should set up a fund to support widows.
6. The church should shape and contribute toward social transformation of the African culture in all fields with respect to the full recognition of the equal dignity of men and women. The free-will and basic worth and dignity of individuals, especially of women and young people, needs to be deeply respected in a developing African society.
7. The church should take an active interest in drafting just legislation concerning marriage, divorce, remarriage, and inheritance.
8. The church should teach good methods of family planning.
9. Converted polygamists should affirm at baptism that they will teach monogamy and not advance polygamy.

The proposed alternative has missiological, pastoral, and theological implications. First, it is a witness to the gracious God who meets humans where they are and accepts them as they are, and then by His Spirit transforms their lives. It grants all of us the opportunity to manifest our gratitude for God’s enduring patience for us by learning to be more patient with the different ways of other peoples and by allowing them also the time required for the leaven of the Gospel to become gradually more active in their different cultures. Second, the African Christian Church will experience growth as many polygamists and their families, including the chiefs, will be encouraged to join the church. They will be a powerful and influential witness to their community. Third, the Africans will fully embrace and feel at home with Christ as their truly incarnated Savior on the basis of faith alone. It will grant them the basic tools for assessing their own cultural heritage, for making their own contribution to Christian life and thought, and also for testing the genuineness and Christian character of that contribution.

Fourth, this alternative will guide foreign missionaries working among Africans. It will be a rebuke to missionaries who promote Western tradition rather than the Word of God. It will reflect the importance of taking the cultural context of the recipients of the Gospel seriously. Fifth, it will aid Bible colleges and seminaries in Ghana in the training of pastors and the development of a balanced biblical theology of mission. And finally, it will aid the Western church in dealing with marriage and polygamy in their context, where simultaneous polygamy is on a steady rise.

Here is the full article. http://www.directionjournal.org/article/?1486

Amanda S. 07-27-2009 11:06 AM

Sis Pam,

Well after discussing with my husband on his lunch break I am just so confused LoL I think I'll have it figured out and BAM! I am rethinking again. Then I'll get it almost figured out and BAM! another brick upside the head LoL

One thing to remember too is the law...it is illegal to be married to more than 1 wife in this country...I do think that should be considered.

Amanda S. 07-27-2009 01:18 PM

I still do not have an answer I am happy with...

This idea that something is wrong...is not God's will...was not God's plan from the beginning...IS not God's plan now or ever...is ok because of the consequences are just disastrous is not sitting well with me. But given that the consequences ARE disastrous I don't feel comfortable coming down hard on the "offenders"...

It reminds me of instances of an alcoholics or drug addicts that are converted. It is right that they quit their substance abuses...Do I expect them to quit and never turn back? No, not really...Should they? Of course...Can they? Not in every case...

Being in a family where everyone of my truly saved extended family smoked I can understand the hold these things can have on you.

The same can be true for polygamist marriages and the fall-out from leaving their families.

Pam, I liked your comparison of your marriage to your husband but there is nothing to suggest we should divorce because we were out of God's will when we married (1 man 1 wife). The same can be said for other sins...When we are saved we are not told to fix all the things we did wrong before.

But knowing how the Bible is very clear as to what it considers a marriage is a polygamist living in fornication when he keeps his wives and what / if any bearing does that have on the church and the other Christians/polygamists.

We need to establish -

Truth

Sin

Repentance

Being very careful to heed this verse:

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

CKG 07-27-2009 01:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amanda S. (Post 24774)
Sis. Pam...

I do think that you've hit on something here...You stated it so simply without out of context verses that it really did hit me upside the head LOL :brick:

Consider this:

RECOMMENDATIONS

How, then, should the African Christian Church promote monogamy while allowing the polygamy of converts to remain? The following recommendations are offered toward the implementation of this alternative.

1. The church should undertake biblical sex education and marriage counseling for teachers, church-workers, youth, engaged couples, people in early years of marriage, elderly couples, and converted polygamists. The teachings should affirm monogamy as God’s ideal. Celibacy, for example, must be taught as an option for singles. Christian parents should assist with the education.
2. Childlessness is a critical pastoral problem in African society because the idea of procreation in marriage still dominates and overshadows the solid principle of authentic married love. Marriages rarely last without children. The church should encourage “adoption” within the clan as an alternative to childless couples.
3. The church should combat chronic diseases like tuberculosis and typhoid fever which kill infants at a high rate.
4. The church should set up vocational training centers for unmarried women. Here, women are to be assisted to define their place in the church and society, recognizing new emerging roles for African women.
5. The church should set up a fund to support widows.
6. The church should shape and contribute toward social transformation of the African culture in all fields with respect to the full recognition of the equal dignity of men and women. The free-will and basic worth and dignity of individuals, especially of women and young people, needs to be deeply respected in a developing African society.
7. The church should take an active interest in drafting just legislation concerning marriage, divorce, remarriage, and inheritance.
8. The church should teach good methods of family planning.
9. Converted polygamists should affirm at baptism that they will teach monogamy and not advance polygamy.

The proposed alternative has missiological, pastoral, and theological implications. First, it is a witness to the gracious God who meets humans where they are and accepts them as they are, and then by His Spirit transforms their lives. It grants all of us the opportunity to manifest our gratitude for God’s enduring patience for us by learning to be more patient with the different ways of other peoples and by allowing them also the time required for the leaven of the Gospel to become gradually more active in their different cultures. Second, the African Christian Church will experience growth as many polygamists and their families, including the chiefs, will be encouraged to join the church. They will be a powerful and influential witness to their community. Third, the Africans will fully embrace and feel at home with Christ as their truly incarnated Savior on the basis of faith alone. It will grant them the basic tools for assessing their own cultural heritage, for making their own contribution to Christian life and thought, and also for testing the genuineness and Christian character of that contribution.

Fourth, this alternative will guide foreign missionaries working among Africans. It will be a rebuke to missionaries who promote Western tradition rather than the Word of God. It will reflect the importance of taking the cultural context of the recipients of the Gospel seriously. Fifth, it will aid Bible colleges and seminaries in Ghana in the training of pastors and the development of a balanced biblical theology of mission. And finally, it will aid the Western church in dealing with marriage and polygamy in their context, where simultaneous polygamy is on a steady rise.

Here is the full article. http://www.directionjournal.org/article/?1486

That is good guidance, but my question is (and I'm not trying to be a smart-aleck) which "the church" are you talking about? Sometimes you can't even get two KJV churches to work together or agree on matters. I think it is good guidance for individual missionaries and churches to consider, but I always get a little uneasy when people start talking about what "the church" ought to be doing.

Concerning the original topic of polygamy I think the guidance is good. If a man who has multiple wives gets saved and he lives in country in which that is permitted then you just about have to let him continue in that condition, yet at the same time if he really wants to follow the Lord then he will listen to the teachings of God's Word and be taught about God's will for marriage so that he can pass down to his children God's will of one man for one woman.

Amanda S. 07-27-2009 01:35 PM

Bro. Craig,

You are correct of course to question which "church"......Honestly I didn't look :o

I did find the comments interesting and as I said earlier...I don't have it all figured out...ugh...Frankly I don't know that it can be figured out. As you said it's hard enough to get 2 KJV churches to agree let alone denominations, Christians etc...

I just thought I'd share the things I had come up with on the topic. Thank you for pointing that out Brother.

Amanda S. 07-27-2009 07:35 PM

I'd like to submit the situation of Abraham and Sarah and Hagar who were before the law.

Genesis 16:3 And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

Genesis 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.
10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.
11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.
12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.
14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.
15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.
16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.


God here told Abraham to hearken to his 1st wife and put away his second and not to be too tore up about it.......?

Ezra 10 - And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel.
11 Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives.
12 Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do.
13 But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand without, neither is this a work of one day or two: for we are many that have transgressed in this thing..........
19 And they gave their hands that they would put away their wives; and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their trespass..........
44 All these had taken strange wives: and some of them had wives by whom they had children.


Then here, even though there were wives and children involved there was still a right and a wrong that had to be obeyed before the situation would be made right.

I fully admit that both of these situations dispensationally do not apply, but am only trying to say that according to Scripture there are some things more important than whether a family stays together or not.

I am totally not unsympathetic, but also am not going to ignore the fact that our thoughts are not God's and we have to allow for that when considering these things.

Japan is a very hard place to win souls because basically one has to totally forsake their families when they convert. They are shunned and the family has nothing to do with them. It's as if they never existed. While actually this is an opposite situation to the one presented, it still is a very very sad situation but it is still the right thing to do to get saved. Sometimes there are conversions but that is as far as it goes and that conversion is kept a secret because so as not to be ostracized. Is it right to accept the gift of salvation and yet remain quiet and never grow in the Lord because you fear the fall-out?

Amanda S. 07-27-2009 08:13 PM

I Cor 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

I would like to point to you all these 2 little words that carry big meaning.

Have is present tense. To have something is to posess something. Present tense. To maintain something. Present tense. Right now.

How many wives should a man HAVE? One. Why? To avoid fornication.

How many husbands should a woman HAVE? One. Why? To avoid fornication.

Shofar 07-28-2009 05:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amanda S. (Post 24782)
I still do not have an answer I am happy with...

This idea that something is wrong...is not God's will...was not God's plan from the beginning...IS not God's plan now or ever...is ok because of the consequences are just disastrous is not sitting well with me. But given that the consequences ARE disastrous I don't feel comfortable coming down hard on the "offenders"...

It reminds me of instances of an alcoholics or drug addicts that are converted. It is right that they quit their substance abuses...Do I expect them to quit and never turn back? No, not really...Should they? Of course...Can they? Not in every case...

Being in a family where everyone of my truly saved extended family smoked I can understand the hold these things can have on you.

The same can be true for polygamist marriages and the fall-out from leaving their families.

Pam, I liked your comparison of your marriage to your husband but there is nothing to suggest we should divorce because we were out of God's will when we married (1 man 1 wife). The same can be said for other sins...When we are saved we are not told to fix all the things we did wrong before.

But knowing how the Bible is very clear as to what it considers a marriage is a polygamist living in fornication when he keeps his wives and what / if any bearing does that have on the church and the other Christians/polygamists.

We need to establish -

Truth

Sin

Repentance

Being very careful to heed this verse:

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Because we are all sinners and have departed from wholly keeping to the Commandments of God in heaven and the Ceremonial Law that Moses wrote, we have no say to judge others. LORD Jesus stated that clearly that unless we are completely free of sin ourselves, who are we to cast stones at another? Also, the Word of God is clear to understand so long as the words read are defined as the LORD placed them and not by the presumption of men's vanity. Example, the word "fornication" in recent days is coined by many to be just exclusive to sexuality; however, the original intent was not exclusively just that, but far more toward the worship of other gods other than the LORD God of Israel. Committing whoredom and fornication to other gods is a serious matter and is bad news for anyone to do.

but in relation to the original subject, I have read the answer mentioned earlier in this thread, our LORD's original intent is the sure way to approach this matter, but if the gentiles or benders of the Word of God will not hear after a warning is given by they in Christ Jesus and continue to be rebellious to the will of God in heaven, then their continued actions will be between them and the LORD on the day of judgement.

Amanda S. 07-28-2009 07:54 AM

Bro. Shofar,

Excellent post. I couldn't agree more.


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