Perhaps one helpful way of describing what Echad Christian Polygamy (ECP) or Holy Echad Marriage (HEM) is is by telling what it is not. The pupose of this final essay will be contrast with its main rivals which, for want of better terms, I shall call:
Multiple Monogamy is one man married to two or more women at the same time consisting of two or more separate marriages (see diagram to right). This model, which is currently the dominant one in modern Christian and Messianic Patriarchy, posits that the only covenants of marriage exist between the several wives and their shared husband singly, with no marriage covenants between the sister-wives. The relationship between the sister-wives is defined solely on the basis of their covenants as believers and would be the same whether they shared the same husband or not. Such union as they experience in the marriage covenant (as opposed to their baptismal covenants, actual or implied) comes exclusively viā their husband. In our view, this is not true New Covenant polygamy but has more in common with the Old Covenant concept of marriage.
True polygamy, we believe, consists not only of a marriage relationship between the husband and his wives, but also between the wives also (see diagram opposite). Unfortunately, this has been interpreted in two different ways:
The second, which consists of a heterosexual male married to two or more bisexual and/or heterosexual females, has begun to appear amongst certain Messianics and perhaps some others. Because the Old Covenant Torah only condemns homosexual relationships between men and not lesbian relations between women, and because (they claim) the single passage in the New Testament that condemns lesbian sex can be interpreted differently (Romans 1:26-27), these Messianics are saying that lesbian sex between bisexual sister-wives is permissible. This we at HEM utterly reject (see our website, The Bisexual Christian Woman Polygamist for the clear biblical teaching on homosexuality, lesbianism and bisexuality).
Before we examine the HEM concept of Echad Christian Polygamy let us take a closer look at heterosexuality and homosexuality.
We start with a herosexual monogamous relationship between one man and one woman (see diagram opposite). Male principle has been represented by the protruding part of a jigsaw puzzle piece and its female receptive compliment (a). Notice, however, a second smaller protrusion coming from the female side (b) which is the woman's male principle with its female receptive compliment on the male side. The fact that men and women respectively have female and male principles in addition to the dominant male and female ones, has been known by psychologists for some time, and is known by them as the anima (in men) and the animus (in women). Though no mention of this is to be found in the Bible it was something I believed in large measure by faith but which I had confirmed when I entered deliverance ministry and began to study and minister to the victims of MPD or Multiple Personality Disorder (now known as DID or Dissociative Identity Disorder - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, DSM-5, American Psychiatric Publishing, Washington DC: 2013, pp.291-298).
In brief, MPD/DID is the fracturing of the persona into multiple sub-personalities caused by repeated violent abuse and is an inner psychological mechanism to allow the victim to survive. What are otherwise facets of a single personality dissociate into multiple subpersonalities. In ministering to those with MPD/DID I have found, in the case of women, a few male subpersonalities which are without doubt the fractured parts of the original animus. The Jungian psychologists were right.
Thus a better representation of Echad Christian Polygamy (HEM) would be the diagram opposite. Notice how the male and female anima and animus, respectively, compliment each other in the same way as the primary male and female principles. At this stage the links between the co- or sister-wives are not accurately represented and indicate only, at this stage, an undefined complimentary system.
What is the purpose of this animus (in woman) and anima (in men)? According to my underststanding, they exist primarily to allow an individual to be creative both before marriage (when they obtain their compliment) and during it. Our capacity to be creative lies in having these opposite sex/gender principles within us. This is one reason why those who are psychologically damaged (like homosexuals, lesbians and bisexuals) are very often very creative and artistic as I shall now explain.
Homosexuality is caused by an inversion of both the primary sexual characteristic (a to a') and the secondary sexual characteristic or anima (b to b') as shown in the diagram opposite. Though still living in a male body with all the usual male sexual characteristics, the homosexual believes that inside he is a woman. The dominant male characteristics become recessive and reside in the reversed anima (now an animus). Lesbianism is a similar reversal
Bisexuality is often regarded as a half-way house between heterosexuality and homosexuality, being in reality just another kind of homosexuality or lesbianism. The diagram opposite shows a female bisexual. Bisexuals are attracted to both members of the opposite sex as well as members of the same sex. What happens is that the primary sexual principle is inverted (A>a), as in typical homosexuality and lesbianism, as does the secondary animus which becomes an anima (B>b), only there is an adjustment between the primary and the secondary, so that the primary is diminished as the secondary is increased.
The diagram opposite shows two women in a bisexual relationship. Whilst the physical characteristics are are all wrong (not being complimentary) so also are the spiritual, only (like the homosexual or lesbian) they think they are uniting with an opposite. What tends to happen is that bisexuals are attracted to roughly equivalent opposites so that the actual 'pairing' is usually between Woman A's enlarged and inverted animus (now an 'anima') and Woman B's inverted and reduced primary female characteristic (now male) - and vice versa.
But neither homosexuality, lesbianism nor bisexuality are natural, and all are forbidden by Yahweh's Law. They are internal spiritual/psychological illnesses with no means of finding fulfilment or completion except through a substitute, namely, sex, for these processes are not changed (unless forced by surgery - transexuality - which is even more drastic and perverse). For counsel on homosexuality and its cure, please see our parallel ministry.
If New Covenant Echad Polygamy is not Bisexual Polygamy, what exactly is it? And what is the basis of the spiritual union in the marriage covenant between sister-wives? As an introduction to this, we recommend your studying the article, Sister-Wife or Wife: How are Polygamous Wives Related? which talks about Echad Covenant-Wives. In the remainder of this article, I should like to develop the concept of the Covenant-Wife and what this actually means in practice.
To begin with, let me make this statement: echad polygamy works and it works successfully and joyfully if lived in the proper way. My own family was called to pioneer this form of polygamy and, inspite of initial difficulties (which all experience in the eary days of any pioneering work) and the usual struggles with the carnal nature, has found great happiness and peace. It has been a continuous adventure as we find new spiritual depths and even more joy.
However mystfying the theoretical side of this may be, there is a covenant union between wives in addition to the primary covenant union between the wives and their husband. And herein lies the clue - the female:female union is SECONDARY though by no means less important. In fact, it is the completion of the understanding of the anima and the animus.
My discovery of this mystery came initially through simple observation of female:female interaction but came to fruition from greater aquaintance with MPD/DID. What I have hitherto called the primary sexual principle and the secondary sexual principle is, in fact, not entirely accurate, for each of these is a UNIPLURAL PRINCIPLE. For those of you who know some biology, the nearest analogy I can come up with would be the alveoli of the human lung (see diagram opposite). The simple jigsaw puzzle piece analogy is defective because it is not nearly complex enough. Moreover, our sexuality is so completely intertwined with our personality that is is not possible to separate the 'sexual' from the 'non-sexual'. Thus when one observes the inversion of a normal heterosexual into a homosexual or lesbian we witness not just a change in sexual preference but a whole change in personality.
I was once shown in vision what I would look like and how I would behave were I ever to be a homosexual. I was profoundly shocked -- horrified -- because the 'person' I was looking at wasn't 'me' at all. Inspite of having the same physical body, even my appearance was different. The same phenomenon is observable -- and I have seen it hundreds of times -- when people are demon-possessed and when they are MPD/DID. In the case of the latter, as one subpersonality phases out and another phases in to the conscious body, there is a discernable change in facial appearance leading one to believe one is dealing with a completely different human being. We all experience this in a less pronounced way when we observe mood swings in people.
It is a fact that when you place a group of men together some will tend to be more dominating than others. The same is true of women. When a person 'dominates' or 'presides' we say that he is in 'male' or 'directive' principle; when he 'submits' or 'yields' he may be said to be in 'female' or 'receptive' principle. We also know that at different times men are submitted (female) and women are directive (male). Two examples would be men submitted to Christ and women who preside over other women. This does not mean that the men cease to be men inwardly (as they do in homosexuality) or that women cease to be women (as in lesbianism) - the primary characteristics are permanent (or ought to be) but the secondary are INTERCHANGEABLE. In other words, what we call an animus in a woman can and does becomes an anima when she is in subjective position to another woman by reversing its position. This happens in all teacher-pupil relationships. (For a full discourse on these things, see the Cosmic Principle).
The diagram opposite shows a husband with two covenant-wives. The one husband is in union with both his wives but in this example one wife is in male position (B) and the other is in female position (b) relative to the other covenant-wife. Remember, this latter union is not a permanent one but temporary, for whatever the particular purpose is (e.g. educational). Where such an arrangement becomes perverse is if 'B' wife tries to remain permanently in the dominant position and 'b' (by choice or not) remains in the submissive position. Then you are on the way to concubinage which this ministry rejects as being antithetical to New Covenant Echad Christian/Messianic Polygamous Marriage.
As a man and a woman draw close together in the sublime unity of Christian marriage, their personalities entwine more and more. The initial 'fit' may not be very good but in time they intermesh like two pieces of dovetailed wood. The alveolar model is by far the better illustration of this inter-penetration of personalities (see diagram opposite). And as several wives begin to merge with their husband, so they in their turn begin to 'converge', as it were, through an exchange of character traits. As this is rather difficult to depict diagrammatically, I shall not attempt a sketch of it at this time.
Just as the primary sexual trait is multi-faceted, so also is the secondary. Thus a plural wife may be in simulaneous union with both her husband by means of her primary sexual nature and her covenant-wives by means of her anima in either male or female modes. As this would require a three-dimensional sketch, I shall limit the illustration to only two sister-wives in interaction in 2D, as shown opposite. This is therefore a true model of heterosexual New Covenant Echad Christian/Messianic Polygamy on every level: spiritual, mental, emotional and physical. Again, it is simplified for clarity.
Because marriage is an intensely sexual thing (and I am not just speaking of the physical aspects, but also the spiritual, mental and emotional), it follows that in polygamy there are very real risks because of all the sexual abberation in our sex-crazed world. The admission of bisexuals into a polygamous marriage is therefore fraught with dangers; and when Christian or Messianic ministers, who ought to know better because of what the Word says, allow their wives to practice bisexual lesbianism, they are on the slippery slope to spiritual destruction, even if they contain the expression of such deviant behaviour within their own marriage.
There is a world of difference between bisexual lesbianism and the kind of physical affection that I permit between wives such as holding hands, hugging, and kissing. There is a natural mutual sexuality between women that is represented in the secondary sense that I have been speaking of but it is not driven by the inverted, perverse and demon-mediated impulse which is lesbianism. Interestingly, there is no natural male equivalent that I have ever come across, for we are talking about characteristics peculiar to the genders - women are much more naturally physically affectionate with one another than men are with their own sex, because that is the way they were created. This is further testimony to me of the truthfulness of polygamy and why there is no such thing as polyandry (one woman with several men) or polyamory (mixed male and female marriages) in Yahweh's eyes.
As one probes deeper into the mystery of marriage so one finds many astonishing things. And like hitting a vein of gold in a rock, you know there's more where that came from. Pick a rock with no gold and that's usually the end of that. Similarly, it is vitally important that we find the true (spiritual) principles of marriage in Christ and shun all others (carnal) like the plague: the former will flourish and multiply goodness but the latter cause stagnation, tension and finally destruction in a marriage which seeks to hold together through true love and not force. Of course, any marriage can be held together by force - for a time - but it will never be a happy one. And I have seen enough in the emerging patriarchy movement to know where true happiness lies.