For those who have read this site from time to time, you probably have read that I have come to the conclusion that God is not opposed to one man having several wives,commonly referred to as polygyny.
My reading of Isaiah 3 and 4, especially 4:1, leads me to the conclusion that Jesus will use this form of marriage in the early stages of His millennial reign. Isaiah 3:25 shows that Armageddon will see the male population of the planet decimated to a seven times greater extent than the female population. For the surviving women, this system of marriage will be the only way for them to have a family, in a world where there are seven women per man.
The subject is based on God’s love for women, as well as the fact that it is still His plan to fill the earth with people. He never rescinded the command to “be fruitful and multiply”.
Some people have accused me of holding this belief because I want another wife. This is not the case.
When I told my mother my findings she said to me “you’re not being fair to Bev”, as if I was reading my own desires into Scripture. To be fair this is what a lot of professing Christians actually do!
A cousin who read “The Spirit of Prophecy” sent me several gushingly positive emails, as she went from chapter to chapter, at one point saying “this is the best prophecy book I have ever read”. And then she read the introduction to Chapter 8. At that point she put the book down and refused to read any more.
I started the book with a chapter on biblical interpretation, where I showed how we must read the plain-sense of Scripture, and harmonize the whole book, while listening to the Holy Spirit. This is called the literal hermeneutic, and is the same method of hermeneutics that most fundamentalist bible believers espouse.
Take it literally, unless it uses language that indicates it is to be taken figuratively. If it uses the word “like”, as in “something is like something else”, then you know that it is not literal, but allegorical, for comparison’s sake. Other times it will say that it is a “parable”, or “spiritual”, and then you know that what it says is not to be taken literally.
A perfect example is when Jesus said that we must eat his body, and drink his blood, if we are to be saved (John 6:53-58). Later on he stated “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” So we know that he was not talking about eating his flesh, and drinking his blood, literally, but spiritually. Not symbolically, but actually taking his words, and making them a part of ourselves. So the Roman Catholic Church totally misses the point here, taking allegorically something that is literal, and taking something literal that was meant to be allegorical.
Most conservative preachers will preach, and follow, this method of hermeneutics until they come across a subject they disagree with. At that point their own understanding trumps the plain sense of Scripture.
The problem is that I used the literal method of Scripture interpretation in “The Spirit of Prophecy“, for prophetic Scriptures, and continued through Jesus’, and Moses’, teachings on marriage. I have been consistent throughout.
I was indeed able to harmonize all the Scriptures on this subject, but my conclusion is not the same as is commonly taught in Christian circles. For this I am not welcome among many Christians.
Last year, on Facebook, I befriended Andy Woods of Sugarland Bible Church, but after a few months he posted an article which said that polygyny is wrong. I gave him some biblical passages, in context, showing that what he was saying is biblically incorrect, and as a result he unfriended me.
That is not entirely unexpected, since most Christians hold their traditions to a higher level than the Holy Scriptures.
The truth is that the “Christian” tradition that polygyny is wrong actually can be traced to the political practices of ancient Greece, and Rome. During the time of Christ, Israel was the only part of the Roman empire which allowed men to marry more than one woman. The Roman Senators were not more moral men than the men of Israel, in fact they were famous for their affairs. What this law did was to condemn the children of these relationships, and protect their fathers from their responsibility!
When Rome became “Christian” they simply incorporated their political teachings into the “Christian” church, and looked for Scriptures which might be used to support their tradition.
It’s not hard to do this if you take Scripture out of context.
In the fall of 2014, I joined another Facebook group “Modern Christian Polygyny”. Since they used the name Christian, and had come to a similar conclusion to this subject, I thought they would be interested in what the Scriptures say on this subject.
As it turns out, while there actually appeared to be one or two real Christians in the group, the administrators were not entirely welcoming to the literal understanding of Scripture.
There was a discussion where someone brought up the idea that women could be involved in Lesbian relationships, so long as they were covered under an “umbrella” relationship, of having being married to the same man.
I pointed out to them that Jesus said;
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female… Matthew 19:4
Now clearly Jesus was talking about divorce, but in the process of a talk on marriage and divorce, Jesus clearly states that marriage is between a man and a woman. There is no room for homosexual relations within a polygamous/polygynous marriage.
When David married Abigail and Ahinoam, he had an individual marriage relationship with each of them, but the women were not married to each other! This is the same in every polygynous marriage you can find in the bible. Lesbianism is not mentioned in the context of these marriages, because the thought did not even occur to them! It was not a part of their culture at all!
This idea is something that is modern, as a result of our modern western depravity.
Their answer was “that’s your opinion”.
I then showed them what Paul said regarding homosexuality in Romans 1;
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
Actually I think I only posted verses 26-27, but the truth of the whole passage is visible in these two verses.
Their answer was again “that’s your opinion”.
I then pointed out to them that the word “likewise”, as found in verse 27, means “in the same way” or “in the same manner”, and clearly links the sin of the women with the sin of the men. The women and men who received Paul’s judgment in Romans 1 were both involved in homosexuality, and it is irrelevant whether, or not, they were married to a person of the opposite sex at the same time.
If you study the history of homosexuality in the ancient world, especially Greece, you will find that most of the men were actually married to women, and had children, but that they also had their homosexual relationships on the side. It was not as if they refused to have children, and married men instead. Even Nero married women, before he married the young man, Sporus.
By the way, an excellent resource on the subject is “The Pink Swastika” by Lively and Abrams. Not only do they delve into the homosexuality of the German Nazi party, but they trace it back to ancient Greece and Rome, and to philosophers such as Plato.
So anyway, once I had explained that the condemnation of Paul towards homosexuality extends to Lesbianism, as well as male/male homosexuality, I was unfriended again! (As I went to post this I searched Facebook, and the group is gone. Maybe I got to them? Or, maybe the Lord got to them through something I said? Maybe they just didn’t want their practices to be exposed.)
My so-called “interpretation” was to simply accept the plain-sense meaning of the words in Scripture.
Some people look for license in Scripture, to do things which are sinful, and claim “the Lord never prohibited this behaviour”! The truth is that God gave us everything we need in the pages of His Word!
So, I came to the conclusion that God is not opposed to polygyny over 15 years ago, so why haven’t I married another wife by now?
As I said before, we need to harmonize all of Scripture. We can’t take one part and place it higher than another part. It all works together to form our minds into the image of Christ.
Remember when Israel was wandering in the wilderness, and God commanded them not to make an alliance with the nations of Canaan?
“And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee (Israel); thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:” Deuteronomy 7:2
In Joshua 9, the Gibeonites wisely tricked Israel into making a covenant with them(Judges 9:14-15). Three days later they discovered that they had been tricked, but by then it was too late. God expected Israel to abide by the treaty that He had specifically prohibited them from making!
Why? God keeps His promises, and expects His people to honour their promises, even ones they should not have made in the first place! There were times when God wanted to destroy the whole human race, but because of His word, He didn’t do it.
It is the same today on the subject of marriage; Even though God nowhere commands men to promise that they would have no other woman, once you have said it in your wedding vows, He expects you to keep it. It is a matter of honour.
As Jesus said;
“But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” Matthew 5:37
Jephtha understood this, and when he had made a foolish promise to God, to sacrifice as a burnt offering, whatever was the first thing to come out of his house, after his victory in battle, he knew he was obligated to keep his word. Unfortunatelly for him, it was his daughter who came out to greet him!
Read the story in Judges 11:30-40. Jephtha even allowed his daughter the chance to escape, sending her away for two months to “bewail her virginity” but when she returned he had to keep his vow. In keeping his vow, however, Jephtha became a type of God the Father, and his daughter became a type of Christ! The Father sacrificed His Son for you, in spite of His great love for His Son!
Those who reject Jesus are also rejecting the Love of God!
Who was it who chose Jephtha’s daughter for the sacrifice? There can be no doubt that it was the Lord Himself; Jephtha gave the Lord the opportunity to chose His own sacrifice! Once he had done that, he knew that it was wrong to break a promise, especially one to the Lord!
It is a serious thing to break a vow. Don’t do it!
If you have already broken your vow, now is the time to repent, and do what is right. Don’t do it again! But remember that the law reveals the Lord’s character to us on every subject that it touches;
And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. Exodus 22:16
Jephtha is named in Hebrews 11:32, in the “hit parade” of men of faith, as an example for the Christian Church! And no, Jephtha is not an example of what-not-to-do, but an example of how we too ought to take our promises very seriously!
Do you take your word as seriously as Jephtha took his? If not, now is the time to start. Remember that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”? The fear of the Lord is not something that was done away with at the cross;
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28
But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. Acts 10:35
So this is why I cannot be a polygynist, but what should you do if a Muslim polygynist gets saved and comes to your Church? Let’s talk about that next time.