How to deal with Polygamy & Islam?

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by JohnB, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. JohnB

    JohnB
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    I was reading a missionary blog the other day.
    http://www.voiceinthedesert....uk/keith/
    This fellow works with the Fulani Muslims in Africa.

    His story was about what to do when a polygamist Muslim is converted? Do you let him continue in polygamy? Does he have to divorce his "extra" wives? Does one sin outweigh the other? Can he be baptised?

    How would you think missionaries are supposed to handle this?
    I asked a Southern Baptist missionary, and they waffled on it. They also said that the IMB has no written policy on this matter.
     
  2. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    I'd follow the NT example.
    What example you ask I don't see any?
    That's the point. While polygamy was not uncommon in the NT world, the NT is fairly silent on the subject. The only passages dealing with "how many wives" are the ones in the Pastoral Epistles dealing with those candidates for positions of official leadership.
     
  3. Johnv

    Johnv
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    I'm in agreement with Squire here.
     
  4. Gold Dragon

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    What do countries that do not allow polygamy do about polygamists entering the country from a country that does allow polygamy? I'll see what I can find.
     
  5. JohnB

    JohnB
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    US law prohibits polygamy. And polygamists cannot immigrate to the US. I think the same is true in Canada.
     
  6. Gold Dragon

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    Yep. That is what I found.

    Polygamy is one of the criteria that makes an immigration VISA application ineligible.

    US Dept of State : Travel.State.Gov : Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas

    Dept of Justice Canada : Immigration and Refugee Protection Act : Part 1 : Division 2 : Family Relationships

    [ November 10, 2005, 05:22 PM: Message edited by: Gold Dragon ]
     
  7. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    Mind you, I was speaking only to situation where polygamy is legal under the laws of a given country. I will further revise and extend my comment to say
     
  8. JohnB

    JohnB
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    How would you deal with Jesus' teaching about marriage and divorce?

    A guy is married, wants greener pasture, divorces his wife, remarries. Jesus says he's committing adultery.

    Another guy is married wants greener pasture, just adds second (third etc.) wife.
    And he's not committing adultery?

    (Aside from this, the laws of a land are irrelevant. )
     
  9. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
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    fyi JohnB, your link doesn't work.
     
  10. JohnB

    JohnB
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  11. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
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  12. woodyR

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    good point johnb- i agree
     
  13. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    Anyway, the answer is not divorce. God hates divorce. But the guys with the extra wives cannot become pastors or deacons.
     
  14. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I'm with Squire on this one. He has hit the nail on the head.

    This problem has occurred quite a bit in other works in Africa, not just works with Muslims. Having never faced this problem, I would be very hesitant on criticizing any one missionary's approach. However, for myself I would only require monogamy in a man who wanted to be a pastor, and I would not require divorce in a polygamous marriage--I think the harm would be great.

    Of course this is not a problem you will encounter very often working in Muslim lands--most have truly Gospel resisitant cultures. You have a hard enough time winning them to Christ without making typical USA Baptist conservatives in less than a couple of decades. [​IMG]
     
  15. Ben W

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    I am told that Jews that are returning to Israel from places where they have Polygamy, are permitted to return to Israel and are able to keep the wives that they have, yet are not permitted to marry more, and their children are not permitted to be involved in polygamy when they choose to marry.
     

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