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Following The Issue

Does the Bible Condemn Polygamy? – Part 10

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I have not minced words in indicating that polygamy is scriptural. Simply stated, polygamy is a normal, Biblical practice just as monogamy is a normal, Biblical practice. It is a matter of choice.

Any man can choose to be a polygamist, if he wants, just as he can choose to be a monogamist, if that is what he desires, except that man is a bishop or deacon, or is interested in becoming one. Other than that, he has the green light to marry as many women as he desires. The Bible is my evidence.

That person would not be doing anything strange, as he would be practicing a normal thing that has been part of our existence as human beings for ages. He would just be continuing what faithful men like Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, and others, including New Testament people, had done before him.

Now, dear readers, don’t get me wrong here. I am not arguing that polygamy is right because it has been part of our tradition for ages. That would be an example of appeal to tradition, which is a logical fallacy that would have no place in the world of logic. My point is that polygamy is a normal, scriptural practice that has been in existence for millennia.

I have heard or read a few so-called strong arguments against polygamy. For example, some argue that polygamy is wrong because God created one man and one woman. Others contend that polygamy is wrong because the Apostle Paul says in I Corinthians 7:2 that EVERY man must have his own WIFE. There are those who say that polygamy is wrong because it is a sign of greediness. Still, others argue that polygamy should not be practiced because it does not prove true love. I have also listened to a lot of people who say that polygamy is unscriptural because Genesis 2:24 says that a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they both shall become one flesh.  Many other people say that polygamy is wrong in that it promotes unfaithfulness in relationships.

Others say polygamy is not good because it puts too much stress on the man. Others bravely contend that the Bible does not support or allow polygamy at all. A few other individuals argue that polygamy is wrong because Deuteronomy 17:17 suggests that a man should not have more than one wife. I have disproved all of these arguments in light of the Bible and logic. See Parts 3-8.

In Part 9, I re-emphasized these points and many more, ending the article with the One-Man-One-Wife Proponents’ Dilemma. I strongly urge all those reading this current article without reading the nine previous articles to do so in order to get a clearer picture of the discussion.

Because I have received new anti-polygamy arguments in recent days, I will continue the task of refuting or disproving the arguments against polygamy. Let’s begin.

10. All the things you wrote about the practice of polygamy in the Old Testament are true, but you have to understand that we are now under the New Testament, not the Old Testament. Polygamy is an Old Testament thing; monogamy is a New Testament thing. In short, polygamy was an appropriate, Old Testament practice, but not a New Testament practice because we are no longer under the Old Testament, but the New Testament. And the New Testament says Christians must practice monogamy, not polygamy. Period.

Frankly, this is one of the most interesting arguments I have heard about polygamy since I started the discussion. And the interestingness can be looked at from various perspectives.

First of all, the very people who are fond of condemning polygamy, using Old Testament books, including Genesis, are the same people saying I should not use the Old Testament to prove the rightness or scripturalness of polygamy because we are no longer under the Old Testament. How come?  For instance, the same people who, using Genesis 2:24 (an Old Testament book), argue that polygamy is wrong because, according to them, God created one man and one woman, and not one man and many women, are the same people saying that I should not use the Old Testament to prove polygamy because the Old Testament is no longer in force. How come, folks?

Second, the very people who say polygamy is wrong because Genesis 2:24 (an Old Testament passage) says, “For that reason, the man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his W-I-F-E (not W-I-V-E-S), and both shall become one flesh,” are the same people saying that I should not use the same Old Testament to prove polygamy. Why?

Third, the same people who say I am wrong to say that polygamy is a normal, scriptural or Biblical practice are the very people indicating that polygamy is a normal, scriptural practice, but only as far as Old Testament scriptures and practice are concerned.

These people cannot eat their cake and have it. They cannot use Old Testament passages to prove monogamy and at the same time argue that we are no longer under the Old Testament. If they truly believe that we are no longer under the Old Testament, that the Old Testament is no longer in force, why do they choose the Old Testament Book of Genesis to prove monogamy?

Clearly, one can see these people’s scriptural hypocrisy and logical inconsistency when their arguments are juxtaposed with the Old Testament arguments they use to prove monogamy. Ah, so the Old Testament is relevant when it suits their purpose, but irrelevant when it does not.

Anyway, another interesting aspect of the anti-polygamy argument presented above is that it indicates that those propounding the argument now agree with me on what I have been saying all along – that polygamy is a scriptural practice, meaning, it is based on Biblical evidence, examples and teachings.

Now, let’s focus on the argument that polygamy is an Old Testament practice and that monogamy is a New Testament practice. Well, this cannot be a truly logical and Biblical saying for four reasons, and here they are:

First, there is no scriptural passage, neither in the Old Testament nor in the New Testament, that says that polygamy is an Old Testament practice, and monogamy is a New Testament practice. This is a mad-made proposition. I refuse to accept it.

Second, the argument is not true because both monogamists and polygamists existed in Old Testament time, just as there have been monogamists and polygamists in New Testament time. In short, every dispensation or period has had some men favoring monogamy, with others favoring polygamy. There were polygamists and monogamists in Paul’s days, just as there were polygamists and monogamists in King David’s days.

Third, if monogamy is only a New Testament practice, what became of those who were polygamists when they accepted the good news of the Lord and became Christians in those days? Did they divorce some of their wives? Was general clemency given them to keep their wives, but only those coming later would have to obey the monogamy-is-a-New-Testament-practice teaching, no matter what? Similarly, in our days, what will become of any polygamist who decides to become a Christian? Will he be rejected, or will he be told to divorce his wives and marry a new one, or divorce all of his wives, except one?

Fourth, if the monogamy-is-a-New-Testament-practice teaching is true, then the Apostle Paul didn’t know anything about it, which is a defeat for those who are presenting this argument. I say this because in I Timothy 3:1-2 & 12, Paul says this: “This is a true saying, if a man desires the office of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife… Likewise, Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife…” This is my point. If monogamy is a New Testament practice, why did the Apostle Paul single out bishops and deacons for it? Permit me to be repetitious here.

If monogamy is for all Christians, why did Paul say the bishops and deacons, not all Christians, must practice monogamy? Was Paul ignorant of this New Testament teaching? Paul was not a stupid man. He was one of the well-learned, if not the most educated, figures of the New Testament and its teachings. Paul wouldn’t have singled out bishops and deacons for the practice of monogamy, if it was an obvious New Testament teaching that every Christian man – whether bishop or not, deacon or not, ordinary member or not – must have only one wife. Paul was not stupid!

To be continued…
Believe me, my people. We will never stop following the issues.

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