What about polygamy? Does God FORBID it?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by rjprince, May 1, 2006.

  1. rjprince

    rjprince
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    This came up on the "Does God ever allow divorce?" thread.

    OK. Here is the question...

    A missionary leads a man to the Lord Jesus in a foreign culture where polygamy is standard practice. What does he tell the man to do with his other wives? I heard of one such instance where a man got saved and the missionary was relpused upon learning that the man had 5 wives. He explained that this was contrary to Scripture and that God's pattern was one man, one woman, for one lifetime. Next week the man showed up for services with only one wife. The missionary asked, "Where are your other wives?". The man replied, "Teacher you told me it was wrong to have more than one wife. I killed the other four..."

    I heard this some years ago AS a true story. I cannot vouch for its authenticity as I do not even remember who told it. Pretty sure it was at a large missions conference in Chattanooga in the late 70's, though.

    In any case, if polygamy is wrong, why do we find numerous instances of it among some of the great patriarchs of the OT? Did God forbid it, but just overlook their sin and bless them anyway? Or, did God allow it?

    Won't even attempt to discuss God's clear command that a brother "go in" to his deceased brother's widow in order to raise up children in his brother's name... The law of the "goel" is another one of those difficult questions. May save that one for later, but it does relate in that God did not always do things in ways that fit the current cultural views of the modern church...

    What say ye? This one ought to be lively...
     
  2. menageriekeeper

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    I would have to say that He showed us a better way, but stopped short of actually forbidding it(except for leaders of the church).

    I believe it is culture that forbids polygamy.

    And I also believe there is scripture that supports the possiblity of polygamy again becoming an approved way of life in the future:

    Isa 4:1 And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name; take thou away our reproach.

    Unless ya'll know more about ancient history than I and this has already happened.
     
  3. J.R.Maddox

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    Man I hope it is...I got enough trouble as it is....

    (For those of you lacking a sense of humor, I humbly apologize)

    J
     
  4. rjprince

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    Menag..

    I too am a futurist... Not a preterist...
     
  5. menageriekeeper

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    Hehe, we're getting off topic before anyone gets ON topic!
     
  6. Gina B

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    I've thought about that before. It doesn't look like God allowed it ever though. Anytime people had multiple wives in the bible, it was a bad thing and resulted in trouble. It didn't seem like it was ever condoned, or used as a blessing.
    In fact, who are you using for an example of an old testament person who married more than one person after believing, and didn't have bad things happen because of it? :confused:

    In another culture, or in a case where a man is already married to more than one woman, I have heard missionaries say that they do tell the man that the first wife is the true one. I don't agree with this, and would say they are just as married to one as the other. As there don't seem to be any procedures to follow in such a case, I'd say the man would have to go with the leading of the Holy Spirit as far as what to do, although it's obvious that no matter what, he still has the obligation to support the woman/women and his children if he puts any aside.
     
  7. menageriekeeper

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    I don't know, Gina. I think probably David already had more than one wife before he stole Bathsheba and he didn't have trouble with the others. It was the adultry and murder that got him in trouble, not taking another wife.
     
  8. rbell

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    Polygamy is inexorably linked to the value of women in a particular culture. In a culture where women are property, or close to it...polygamy is a sign of wealth for the man, and derivations of polygamy (marrying the dead brother's widow) in some ways protected the woman, who when her husband died was utterly destitute.

    I think it was a concession to a culture that didn't have it right with respect to women having equal value. In our culture, where at least we do better in this area, there is absolutely no need for it in a functional sense.

    In addition, whenever God seems to "raise the bar" (e.g., describing requirements for overseers, etc.) it makes statements such as "husband of one wife." That, to me, is one indication of God's ideal for the family.
     
  9. Brother Bob

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    If anyone is trying to live under the Law you are in trouble before you start.
     
  10. rjprince

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    I would fully agree!

    But here it is not a question of living under the law, but whether the law tolerated polygamy...
     
  11. rjprince

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    I agree in principal, but have a hard time making the requirements for elders and deacons apply to all families. That is stretching the text...

    Besides, I don't think "husband of one wife" was addressing polygamy so much as moral purity...
     
  12. Brother Bob

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    Apparently it did, Solomon, David and he was a man after God's own heart. I have always wonder why? I always wondered why Israel was God's chosen people when they were so disobedient but who has known the mind of God or who has been His counselor.
     
  13. Gina B

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    Is that in the scriptures, that he had other wives first? Did he marry her?

    I'm not arguing, I really don't know much about who was married to who and when. I didn't know David had ANY wife before he committed adultery with Bathsheba.
    And I never noticed her name was Bathsheba, and she was taking a bath...was that done on purpose? LOL
     
  14. UnchartedSpirit

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    I found a "Christian" website that claimed Polygamy is acceptable according to scriptures, but I just found a buch of indecient products offered by the site and not a single scripture quotation to support their stance
     
  15. menageriekeeper

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    Okay, you called me on it so now I'll have to go look. I do know he had at least one and that was a daughter of Saul, Michal, I think (big fiasco not that it was David's fault). I'll go see about the rest. It may just be an assumption I've made based on bits and pieces from different places in scripture that deal with David's rule.


    Back already. :D

    2sa 5:12 And David perceived that Jehovah had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel`s sake.
    2sa 5:13 And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron; and there were yet sons and daughters born to David.

    This happens before the bit with Bathsheba which occurs a few chapters later. So I think I'm right in my assumption that there were wives in between Michal and Bathsheba.
     
  16. donnA

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    Wouldn't polygamy be adultry? As it is an intimate relationship with another woman, other then your actual 'wife'. I think it's an excuse to play around.
     
  17. rbell

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    Does God forbid polygamy?

    In the USA, of course. It's against the law.
     
  18. menageriekeeper

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    Donna, I think that's how we think of it now. But nowhere is David accused of adultry for marrying more than one (or even for having concubines) except for the occasion of Bathsheba.

    Solomon had even more women than his daddy and yet wasn't accused of adultry. His problem was that he didn't make them convert!
     
  19. Brother Bob

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    I have known several preachers over the last almost 34 years that believed in it. As a matter of fact they ran off with a young woman and are no longer with us. [​IMG]
     
  20. AresMan

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    Gina L said:
    I am pretty sure David was married to Michal, Saul's daughter (I Sam 18:21) and Abigail, Nabal's wife (I Sam 25:42) before he committed adultery with Bathsheba (II Sam 11:3-4) and she later became his wife (II Sam 11:27)
     

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