Sunday, December 9, 2012

Is Polygamy A Sin?







More On "Can A Christian Have Two Wives At The Same Time?"


In Reply to my post "Can a Christian have two wives at the same time?" : http://www.apostolicrevelation.info/2010/09/can-christian-have-two-wives-at-same.html, this was written back to me.

Feedback : It's a false teaching, because Bible never teaches that polygamy is a sin. The Greek version of the New Testament also confirms that Jesus used the words "sending away" and "divorce" differently. At the same time he never condemned polygamy. Jesus himself is a descendant of those polygamist. God himself is a divorcee. Read the Bible and teach it correctly. Also, do not mix the Western culture with the Biblical one. One wife for one man is not a biblical teaching. God can bless you even if you have many wives. Jesus is the only Savior. Praise be to Him. He is the Lord of lords, and God of gods. Love him.

Answer : To say that that polygamy is Biblical and acceptable is to stay in the Old Testament times and completely forget that we Christians are now in the New Testament times
(Heb 8:13, 6-7). In the Old Testament times God allowed polygamy and divorce because of the hardness of the hearts of men (Matt 19:6). In Matthew 19:3-9 Jesus Christ explicitly states referring back to the Old Testament creation of God in the beginning in Genesis 2:24, that a man should have only one wife by saying : "4...Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matt 19:4-6). This so clearly has shown to all us in the New Testament times that God's original will for all humans is to have only one wife and not wives.


Is Monogamy God's Original Will Still? 


Think about it for a while saints, if God wanted man to have more than one wife for life, then he would have given to Adam a Eve and then a Eva to accompany her to clearly signify that it is His perfect will for man to have more than one wife. In the reference verse which Jesus referred in the first marriage that God conducted, it is written that,
"20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. 21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed." (Gen 2:20-25). In the above verses, we learn that God was the one who found that Adam needed a helper comparable to him. Adam did not decide that he needed a companion helper or more than one, but God was the one who understood the exact need of Adam's longing for companionship. God cannot make a mistake by deciding just only one helper rather than two or more for a man because as God knows the exact need of a man, that is what exactly he had given to Adam in the beginning [i.e. one wife], it is man's hardness of heart that had caused him to seek for more than one wife and also seek to justify it Biblically (Matt 19:8-9). Once Adam accepted God's initiation to provide him with a wife which he understood to have taken out of him, God conducted the first marriage and made it to get consummated within the garden of Eden. When a man is joined to his wife [Note : not wives] he becomes one flesh with her spiritually because God starts to connect their spirit, soul and body to act supernaturally united in love and oneness. But the singularity of a male and a female to become one spiritually in marriage has never been changed to plurality anytime by God anywhere in the Old Testament again. Thus God clearly implying that only within this boundary of one man and one woman relationship within marriage, the sacredness of becoming one spiritually by coming of two together physically, that oneness and sanctity can be maintained. In the privacy of the nakedness of coming together physically, only when a man and his wife remain within, they can enjoy the relationship without being ashamed. Thus we have the perfect will of God for all humans.

Jesus revealed that the law of Moses was more liberal to keep the hardened hearts of men from rebelling against God openly and as a result of it be judged by God for it, so God kept all the people who transgressed under guard by the law so that soon Jesus could arrive and bring a New Covenant of blessing in which the power of God by faith could be provided to every people to keep a higher standard of monogamy in marriage which is the original will of God declared in the holy institution of marriage which God instituted in the garden of Eden
(Gal 3:19, 21-25). Now that faith had come in to our heart towards Christ we are no longer under the tutor of law of the Old Testament which restrained us and kept us from transgressing more and more, instead we are under the higher Law of the Spirit which gives God's life to fulfill His perfect will in our lives (Rom 8:2-4). God is so much concerned about the marriage institution being honored within the boundary of one man and one woman relationship that He warned all men not to deal wrongly and deceitfully in infidelity with the wife that God has joined to them through His Spirit. Monogamy builds godly children and gives them self respect and faith to follow the good example of their parents, so that they could live within monogamy boundary in their marriage. God hates divorce of that one wife which He has given to man in marriage who is the companion and wife by covenant made before God (Malachi 2:14-16).


Old Is Old And New Is New


In the Old Testament times, God did not give the saints the power and promise to overcome sinful tendencies because Jesus had not yet arrived to provide the Holy Spirit within like we are privileged to have in the New Testament times
(Heb 11:40; John 7:39; 14:15-17). Having given Spirit of grace to all New Testament saints through Jesus (John 1:16-17; Zech 12:10; Heb 10:29), God says, "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace." (Rom 6:14). Being under grace of Jesus which is given for us to bring salvation to every area of our lives by teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, we have no excuse to give to God except to obey Him and live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age (Titus 2:11). Yes in the Old Testament times Patriarch's like Abraham and Jacob practiced polygamy (Gen.25:1; 1 Chron 1:32; Gen.16:1-16; Gen.30:1-10; 35:23-27). Gideon who judged Israel had many wives and at least one concubine (Judg 8:30‑31). In spite of God's clear instructions to kings from having many wives, which was God preventive measure for them from being adversely influenced by their many wives to turn away from God (Deut 17:14-19), Saul the first king of Israel had wife and concubine (1 Samuel 14:50; 2 Sam 3:7; 21:8, 11), of which David took some more and had wives who brought more confusion in to his family (1 Samuel 18:27, 25:42-43, 2 Samuel 3:2-5; 12:8) and then his son Solomon the king saw his bad example and had hundreds of wives who turned him in to idolatry in his later life (1 Kings 11:1-8). We the New Testament saints cannot compare ourselves with these Old Testament saints by pointing to their areas of weakness where they have failed, and then try to justify such things in our lives too. One thing we must understand with God is that He will never demand anything more than what we are able to do from us (1 Cor 10:13). When we know that we are able to avoid sins through the Holy Spirit's power in the New Testament and yet if we choose to enjoy it, we will be held accountable by God for our willing choice to entertain ourselves with such sinful lifestyle, that we will lose the earthly blessings of God and eternal reward that comes to us along with it (James 4:17). Jesus said, "47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more." (Luke 12:47-48). God has committed much spiritual treasure through Jesus to us the New Testament saints than the Old Testament saints who knew hardly any such overcoming power over sin. So according to the lesser revelation of the Old Testament it was acceptable and even appreciable for the Old Testament saints to have walked with great faith in spite of such failures. But it cannot be acceptable to God now with the New Testament saints, as we are all empowered through Jesus to walk in a higher level of righteousness by faith and keep the perfect will of God with one wife for life in the area of marriage.

According to the New Testament standard, it says in
James 4:17, "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." So is polygamy a sin? Of course it is if we are in the New Testament standard of living, knowing that we have the potential within us to keep a monogamous marriage which God's perfect will requires. Those who say that monogamy was insisted by the apostle Paul because it was given for those who want to get qualified to the office of an bishop, deacons and elders and it was not given for all Church members (1 Timothy 3:2; 3:12; Titus 1:6), fail to realize that in the primitive Church nearly all the members who got converted in to faith were completely from Paganism. In that local culture it was normal to have a legal wife, a concubine for personal enjoyment and a female friend for emotional relationship. They had no New Testament moral law, so they had a lot of problems once they came in to faith. To prevent these people to come and claim eldership in the Church without even setting right their own personal lives, Paul the apostle put a restrictive clause for those who were not willing to let go of their past ways and a appreciative clause for those who were willing to let go of their old ways of immorality and strive for excellence by embracing a new way of living in Christ. Absolute Biblical standard of the New Testament is given to us irrespective of the culture that we come from or that which people adhere in our locality. It is a universal one. Thus these above verses are not just for bishop, deacons and elders only, but for the whole Church which God wants to be perfect as He is perfect and holy in all things (1 Peter 1:15-16).


Did Christ Love The Church or Churches?


Moreover in the New Testament, like Christ loved the Church by giving Himself unconditionally, each husband is instructed to love their wife unconditionally to nourish and cherish them
(Eph 5:22-33). Just like how a husband and a wife mystically become one flesh after they become married, in the same way Christ and His body of saints are connected in a mystical spiritual way to be one body. We see Paul by comparing the marriage of a Christian to the relationship between Christ and the Church, he establishes a monogamy in relationship and when he uses plurality by saying, "22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. .. just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church...28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. ...Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." (Eph 5:22-33), in the above verses Apostle Paul is actually saying to all the families of the Church collectively and this should not be deceptively used to mean that Paul is promoting polygamy when he is using the plurality of the word to both gender i.e. "Husbands" and as well as to the "wives". In actuality to prevent this misunderstanding, He also uses clearly the word "each one of you" to indicate that he is saying to both the individual "husband" and "wife" within a family and not husband and wives. No untaught and unstable people should twist the Scripture to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). When Paul has clearly told about the mystical relationship between "the Church" and "Christ" it is a monogamous relationship that he was speaking about, some twist it as multiple churches and then connect to the parable of ten virgins and then try to emphasize that the ten virgins waited for a single bride groom, and thus they try to make it to seem like God supports polygamy in the New Testament. What a baloney! When Christ told about the parable of the ten virgins in Matt 25:1-13, he likens the kingdom of heaven to those bridesmaid with the bride, which people understood in that Jewish culture because they used to wait with the bride to receive the bridegroom who may come at any time even in the night to create an anticipation and honor for himself. Once the bridegroom comes, only those bridesmaid who were prepared to wait for the bridegroom along with the bride were let in to the wedding to be a special guest of honor in to the wedding. Those who try to sneak in to the wedding as bridesmaid at the last moment were rejected from that honor. Thus the "five wise virgins", were not the Churches but the individuals who were ready for His secret coming, who heeded the warning that Jesus has warned all guests in which He said to watch for the day He will suddenly come to snatch away or rapture His holy spotless bride which is the Church, which He has made to be spotless and without wrinkles in holiness without blemish by the washing of the word by that time (Eph 5:25-27). These five wise virgins are those people who would believe in the Messiah Jesus at the last moment before the tribulation starts to come upon the whole earth, and as a result of it they will be awake to be raptured with the Bride as a part of the Universal Church of all time (Rev 3:10). All those five virgins are still considered as one Church spiritually and not as five different individuals. If the five virgins have continued to be a physical entity, it can be said like they are five virgins waiting for consummation with a bridegroom who will also be a physical entity. But Christ has one bride and that is the Church which is a spiritual entity. So it a monogamous relationship without doubt and not a polygamous relationship.


A Good Wife Or Good Wives?


There are many scriptures that speak about the benefits that a good wife can provide and the admiration and honor that such a woman should receive. The following are a few of the things that are said about a good wife:

"He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD." (Prov.18:22, NKJV).

"Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD." (Prov.19:14, NKJV)

"An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones." (Prov.12:4, NKJV).

"Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies." (Prov.31:10, NKJV).


In all the above Scriptures, God's original will has been revealed when Solomon the polygamist who by the fear of God being inspired by the Spirit wrote "Wife" and not "Wives", thus declaring that though he had failed to achieve God's standard because of his own weakness and failings by disobedience, yet he has faithfully written the truth that God's intention for all marriages is to have monogamy within. If he had written the above Scriptures with the word "Wives" in plurality instead of the word "Wife" in singularity, it would have been an error in direct contrast to the revelation of God's original will in Genesis second Chapter in which God instituted the first marriage institution with the actual ceremony of it taking place in the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:20-25). But not so with Solomon who feared God in spite of his own failings and did not commit an error, certain type of crooked reasoning's and wrong interpretation of people who try to say that they can be a polygamist because Solomon the writer of the Bible himself was one, will lead themselves and other people to destruction who try to justify that which they are involved in to. All person who fear God will be ready to say, "...Let God be true but every man a liar" (Rom 3:4), in agreeing with this, they themselves will be justified with God who is always true (Rom 3:5-8, 9).


Conclusion  


Do not try to deceive people by saying, 'It's [i.e. monogamy] a false teaching, because Bible never teaches that polygamy is a sin. The Greek version of the New Testament also confirms that Jesus used the words "sending away" and "divorce" differently.' A cat is a cat and a dog is a dog, no matter whether you see it in the Greek, Latin or Hebrew to find its meaning, it will all be the same. If someone seeks to find the root word to reinterpret rather than for clarity in understanding, it means the whole interpretation becomes a twisted one. The various versions of the Bible are already available to give great clarity to Scripture, so don't ever try to fool people by saying that you are referring to Greek root word and then pull the Scripture out of its context. Just because God did not condemn anybody who practiced polygamy doesn't mean that God has given His consent to practice it, it does mean that God had patiently waited seeing His own people caught in polygamy bondage which had come in to their lifestyle because of the hardness of their hearts (Matt 19:8; Deut 21:15; 2 Peter 3:15), so that in His zeal God did send His salvation at the right time when Jesus came to the earth two thousand years ago, so that again people can receive the Power of the Holy Spirit within them and practice monogamy according to the perfect will of God just as when God instituted the marriage institution on the day when He instituted it.

Jesus himself is a descendant of those polygamist Patriarch's and Kings of the Old Testament because they were under the lack of Holy Spirit's power within them during the Old Testament times to overcome this sinful habit. God himself is a divorcee not because God was unfaithful to the Israelites, but because Israel as a nation in spiritual infidelity, again and again broke the covenant it actually promised to keep. It was not a good thing to gloat over it, it broke the heart of God and brought His wrath towards their lives (Ezekiel 23:4; Jeremiah 3:6-14; 31:31-34). God gave a certificate of divorce legally against his people because of their infidelity, which is absolutely according to the law a legal breaking away of God due to the fault of the defaulter who are His people Israel and who were in contract with God, which Jesus also described as the only reason which should give permission to make a way out of monogamous marriage binding (Matt 19:9; Jer 3:8). God uses spiritual analogy for expressing His sincere grief of the non-cooperation and unfaithfulness of Israel His nation which was considered to be as God's wife spiritually during the Old Testament times. You have to better read the Bible carefully and understand it spiritually before you can accuse God of wrong doing.

Then the Bible is beyond the western or eastern culture, and all cultures in the world should adhere to it to really discover the blessing of heaven to be upon their nations (Psa 33:12). As we have seen it again and again in the above exposition, one wife for life is the ultimate will of God for all humans because God set this trend in the Garden of Eden in which He conducted the first marriage and declared marriage as His own institution to be honored and followed. God cannot bless when His perfect will is not done, so along with you professing Jesus as the only Savior, if you really love Him, do keep God's perfect will revealed in His institution of marriage through being monogamous in your belief or else it is not real love at all (John 14:15).

Much Blessings.....






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