The Issues Desk wishes to continue the discussion about whether it is wrong for Christians to practice polygamy or not. As we indicated in Parts 1 & 2, most pastors, preachers, Biblical scholars, theologians, as well as almost all Christians, contend that polygamy – or rather, polygyny (the practice of one man having more than one wife) – is un-Christian, sinful and unscriptural. They argue that a Christian is not allowed to have more than one wife for, to do so, they argue, is to go against one of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity.
In view of the foregoing, it’s worth asking whether it is actually wrong or un-Christian for Christians – or anyone for that matter – to practice polygamy. In short, it is important to consider whether the Bible condemns polygamy or forbid believers to practice it.
As clearly expressed in Parts I & 2, my position is that polygamy is not wrong, not un-Christian and not unscriptural. In short, there is nothing wrong – absolutely nothing wrong – with a believer practicing polygamy, except that believer is a bishop or a deacon. I Timothy 3 is my evidence.
The Apostle Paul says in I Timothy 3 that if a person wants to be a bishop or a deacon, that person should be the husband of one wife. This, by logical extension, means that if a person does not have any interest in becoming a bishop or a deacon, the one-man-one-wife imposition or restriction is not meant for him. And it is wrong for any pastor or Bible teacher to say definitively that the Bible condemns polygamy.
Frankly, I am fed up with pastors and Bible teachers telling people that the “Bible says” Christians shouldn’t do this and shouldn’t do that, when they know full well that they are lying on the Bible. If a pastor or a Bible teacher is not sure of what the Bible really says on a specific subject or topic, it is better for that person to say, “I think it is wrong for you to do this,” than for him to say, “The Bible says you should not do this.”
One example has to do with drinking. Most pastors and Bible teachers that I know ignorantly and unscripturally tell people that the Bible forbids Christians to drink. This is an embarrassing lie because there’s nowhere in the Bible where it is written that it is wrong for Christians to drink alcohol.
The point is that the Bible does not condemn drinking. What it does clearly condemn is drunkenness. In other words, the Bible does not condemn drinkers; it condemns drunkards. I Corinthians 6:10 says that drunkards (not drinkers) will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Ephesians 5:18 says, “Don’t be drunk with wine”; it does not say, “Don’t drink wine.” So it is not only hypocritical for people to ignorantly go around with their “the Bible says Christians should not do this” unfounded message, it is equally annoying and shameful. And it is even sad to reason that because every drunkard is a drinker, it must follow that every drinker is a drunkard.
I am tired of hearing people presenting their feelings or opinions about various subjects and topics and stating them as if they had any authority from the Bible. I am fed up with this.
Another area most of these so-called Bible teachers and preachers continue to spread their lies is polygamy. They bravely tell people that the Bible condemns polygamy. They preach and teach that Christians are not allowed to marry more than one wife. When they are asked to prove it, they have no scriptures, but only to say, “God made one man and one woman in the beginning. And that’s how He wants it to be.” Funny!
Anyway, as you will recall, I have already presented four arguments in favor of polygamy thus far, as proffered in Part I and reiterated in Part 2. First, polygamy is not an evil or immoral practice. Second, polygamy is nowhere condemned in the Bible. Third, polygamy is a normal part of man’s nature and existence. Fourth, the New Testament does not say that polygamy is wrong or unacceptable. The only group of Christians forbidden to practice polygamy are bishops and deacons because I Timothy 3 says that they should have only one wife; meaning, if I don’t want to be a bishop or a deacon, I can marry two, three, four or as many wives as I choose to. Again, I Timothy 3 is my proof. If any pastor or Bible teacher wants to debate this, I am ready.
Countering Some of the So-called Anti-polygamy Arguments
In this section, I desire to present some of the so-called points and Biblical arguments people are fond of proffering against this wonderful and natural practice called polygamy and then disprove those arguments and points in light of both the Bible and logic.
1. God created one man and one woman in the beginning, and we must follow this example.
One of the first Biblical passages most of those erroneously fond of deriding polygamy are quick to quote is Genesis Chapters 1 & 2, passages that have to do with God creating Adam and Eve, arguing that by God creating one man and one woman in the beginning means that every man that comes after Adam should have one wife.
There are many problems with this line of argument, and I venture to present and discuss a few of them.
First of all, God does not give any instructions for Adam or any other man, for that matter, to have only one wife because he had made only Eve. God’s acts are not necessarily His instructions. To argue that every man wanting to marry must marry one woman because God made one Eve for one Adam is to argue illogically and unscripturally. Making one Eve in the beginning is not necessarily a proof that all Christians must practice monogamy, just as his making two Eves would not necessarily be an indication that all Christians should practice polygamy.
Second, to argue that because God made one Eve in the beginning all Christians must practice monogamy is to argue hypocritically and inconsistently. I say this because there are many other things that God did in the beginning that we don’t follow or don’t use as examples of our lifestyle.
a. To start with, when God made Adam and Eve in the beginning, he made them naked and allowed them to live and go nakedly. Do pastors and Bible teachers argue that because Adam and Eve didn’t have clothes in the beginning, we should not wear clothes? If no, then why do some argue that because Adam had one woman in the beginning, all other men must have one wife? I know someone will say, “But God gave them meat skin as clothes after their fall.” Granted! But, then, will we also make it a requirement that all Christians or human beings should wear meat skin, since it is what God gave Adam and Eve in the beginning? Remember it is about following or doing what happened in the beginning. It is about consistency, not selectivity.
b. Besides, when God made Adam and Eve in the beginning, he did not place them in a house. He left them in the garden just like that. It is what happened in the beginning. Are we ready to follow what happened in the beginning to ensure consistency? Are we going to argue that it is unscripturally for Christians to live in houses since it was not what happened in the beginning?
c. Furthermore, when God made Adam, he made a woman right away because, according to Him, “It is not good for man to be alone.” Are we also going to argue that because God made a woman for Adam, it is compulsory that every other man have a wife? Most people contend that every Christian male must have one wife because God made one Eve. Wonderful! But then we should extend the argument. We should also tell people that by God making Eve for Adam, it means that we all, whether we like it or not, should have somebody. Of course, we can’t, as the Apostle Paul says in I Corinthians 7 that marriage is not a compulsory thing for all men.
If we cannot consistently go by what happened in the beginning, or how things were in the beginning, let’s stop fooling ourselves or pretending around here, telling people that every man must have one wife because God made one Eve for Adam in the beginning. An act performed by God is not the same as an instruction given by God. Monogamy is not required of all male Christians; it is required of only those wanting to be bishops or deacons in the church. Read I Timothy 3.
To be continued…
Believe me, my people. We will never stop following the issues.