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    Without Polygamy:
    A Contradiction in Terms

    A 66-year-old man in India's remote northeast with his 39 wives,
    94 children and 33 grandchildren, all living under one roof.

    The biblical doctrine of polygamy and patriarchy are one and the same. You cannot separate them. To have a monogamy-only mindframe implies a rejection of patriarchy in favour either of matriarchy (woman-rulership) or equality of rôles and authority (coheadship).

    You cannot read the Bible and believe in it without having a polygamy world view. Just open up on any scripture that discusses church/assembly organisation and marriage and you are at once confronted by patriarchy (ecclesiastical and domestic government by the male pastor and husband, respectively) and polygamy.

    We can as well begin in Ephesians 5:

      "Wives, submit to your husbands as {in the same way that you submit} to the Master. For a husband has authority over his wife as {in the same way as} Christ has authority over the church {fellowship of believers}; and Christ is Himself the Saviour of the church (messianic community), His body {in the same way as the husband is saviour of his wife, his body}. And so wives must submit completely to their husbands just as the church (messianic community) submits itself to Christ. Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church (messianic community) and gave his life for it. He did this to dedicate the church (messianic community) to Elohim (God) {Yahweh} by His Word, after making it clean by washing it in water, in order to present the church (messianic community) to Himself in all its beauty - pure and faultless, without spot or wrinkle or any other perfection. Men ought to love their wives just as they love their own bodies, A man who loves his wife loves himself. (No one ever hates his own body. Instead, he feeds it and takes care of it, just as Christ does the church (messianic community); for we are members of His body). As the scripture says, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one.' There is a deep secret truth revealed in this scripture, which I understand as applying to Christ and the church (messianic community). But it also applies to you: every husband must love his wife as himself, and every wife must respect her husband" (Ephesians 5:21-33, GNB - author's additions in {parentheses}).

    Christ is a person. The Church (Messianic Community) is not. The "church" is merely a symbolic representation of a collection of people. It is not an institution, for how could Christ hold a marriage banquet in heaven for an institution?? Though the "church" is a single 'entity' like a 'police force', everyone knows that without policemen you don't have a 'police force' and that that 'police force' does not consist of one person but many. Paul could just as easily have written that a husband has authority over his wife "as Christ has authority over all true believers".

    Simply put, the "church" is a uniplural entity, i.e. it is both 'one' and 'many'.

    Elohim (God) is described in exactly the same terms. The Hebrew for 'God' is Elohim which can be translated as both 'God' and 'Gods'. It too is a uniplural (uni=1, plural=many) word and is therefore used to designate the Godhead which consists of 'one God' and 'three persons' (Father, Son and Ruach haQodesh/Holy Spirit - even the Ruach haQodesh/Holy Spirit is uniplural, consisting of seven-in-one - see Revelation 3:1; 4:5; 5:6 - consistent with the Spirit's subordinate (female) position - e.g. John 14:26; Psalm 104:30).

    If the "church" (messianic community) is uniplural (being a single entity consisting of many individual Christians/Messianics) then obviously the word "wife" is intended in a uniplural sense too, otherwise the comparsion would be meaningless:

      1 Christ : 1 Church = Many Christians & more
      1 Husband : 1 Wife = Many wives & more
      1 Head of State : 1 Police Force = Many policemen & more
      1 Director : 1 Company = Many employees and more
      1 Field Marshall : 1 Army = Many soldiers & more
      1 Principal : 1 School = Many pupils/teachers & more

    As the Church (Messianic Community) is growing in numbers, so the Wife can grow in numbers too, until those predestined/foreordained to salvation have been saved (Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:5,11), and those wives predestined/foreordained to be married to their husband have been gathered. We see this principle illustrated in similar associations as between the Head of State (President/Prime Minister/King) and the police force, the Director of a company and his employees, a Field Marshal and his army (soldiers), and the Principal and his school (children). All of these are uniplural relationships.

    Conservative (fundamentalist) Christians rightly talk about male headship but for the most part ignore the fact that male headship (patriarchy) implies authority over many. This is perhaps because our Western mind is not accustomed to thinking in this way because of the linear approach we take to the objective world. The 1 Husband: 1 Wife principle is, of course, absolutely true, but it does not imply that a man may only have just one wife. The "wife" in Paul's analogy is both a single person as well as many, just as the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) is both one and seven. Whilst we recognise this is true in most arenas (e.g. "Hitler invaded Poland" doesn't mean he did it single-handedly but used the plural Soviet army with lots of soldiers) there is a blind spot when it comes to important theological issues like marriage and the Godhead. But why? It is not because it isn't obvious but because people have been conditioned not to see it because of centuries of tradition. Therefore they don't want to see it.

    Debates between Unitarians, Trinitarians and others are really quite pointless because in certain espects they are all correct. There is only One Elohim (God) as the Shema declares (Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29): "Hear, O Israel, Yahweh [the Lord] (1) our Elohim [God] (many), Yahweh [the Lord] is one (echad) (1)". But there are three Persons in this One God - Father, Son and Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) (Matthew 28:19) and the 1 Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) is 7 (Revelation 3:1).

    This harmonises perfectly with Paul's marriage-to-Christ allegory:

          1 Father : 1 Son : 7 Spirits
          1 Christ : 1 Husband : 7 Wives
          (see Is.4:1)

    From this pattern we learn that 7 is the ideal number of wives in a polygamous marriage because it reflects the same pattern found in the Godhead. It was the full compliment of David's lawful wives.

    Just as Christ is the Son of the Father, so we too are the sons of Christ by adoption. And in a way, we are collectively "one son" just as Christ is the "only begotten Son of the Father" (John 1:14,18; 3:16,18; Hebrews 11:17; 1 John 4:9). And as Paul explains in the passage we began with in Ephesians, the wife/wives obtain her/their identity from their husband, as we obtain ours collectively from Christ. Christ is the Saviour of His sons just as the husband is saviour of his wives. We are the Body of Christ just as our wives are their husband's body. The sons must be submitted to Christ completely just as wives must be completely submitted to their husband. How can anyone deny the plain sense of Scripture?? There simply is no other interpretation.

    To deny polygamy is to deny patriarchy, and to deny patriarchy is to deny Yahweh's sovereignty over mankind. It's that simple. To deny either of these is to deny Elohim's (God's) Word, the Bible, and to thereby be led by deceiving spirits (1 Timothy 4:1-3).

    Polygamy is not therefore a 'side issue' of 21st century Christianity/Messianism but is a FUNDAMENTAL OF THE FAITH. The true fundamentalist Christian/Messianic will preach polygamy from the hilltops and the false one will deny it. Indeed, the 'fundamentalist' who denies, and even opposes, polygamy becomes, by biblical definition, one who has denied the faith to some degree and become an unbeliever.

    It would therefore be true to say that polygamy very much becomes a salvational issue. To deny women their rightful place as plural wives and force them to marry unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14) when there is a shortage of godly men is to deny them salvation. And to break up polygamous marriages, as some churches force converts to do, is flagrantly DEMONIC. (See East African Polygamy: From Tradition to Yah's Kingdom for a history of this crime in two countries).

    I know there are many patriarchs who would urge me to be more restrained on this topic so as not to antagonise other Bible-believing (so-called) Christians/Messianics, but can we really do this? Did Yah'shua (Jesus) use the softly-softly approach or did He call a spade a spade? He said, without apology that: "Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law" (Luke 12:53, NKJV), not because He wanted that to happen but because that is the inevitable consequence of being a Christian/Messianic disciple/talmid committed to the truth.

    There was a time when I didn't think polygamy was a salvational issue. Now I believe it is. That is not, of course, to say that those who do not marry (polygamously or monogamously) won't be saved since not everyone is called into it, but to deny and actively oppose it, when all the facts of Scripture are laid bare on the table of Light, surely is. The souls of tens of thousands of godly women will cry against such people at the last day! Then there are the godly men living this principle who have been thrown out of ministries and church fellowships and messianic assemblies and falsely accused of adultery and fornication, many of whose lives are broken because of the ill-treatment they have received. Woe unto those who have brought such suffering to them! And finally, there are the children of polygamous families, ostracised and persecuted by a society steeped in 'serial polygamy', fornication, adultery, homosexual and lesbian perversion, and all manner of sin. Woe unto the religious hypocrites! For they will not recline in the bosom of the polygamist Abraham as righteous Lazarus did (Luke 16:23), neither have any part in the Kingdom of the Son of polygamist David (Luke 18:38) nor be a part of New Covenant polygamist Israel/Jacob. Indeed, how can they fulfill the commandment to do the works of Abraham, of which polygamy was one of his works (John 8:39)?

    The prophets of polygamy have exposed the religious hypocrisy of those who claim the title of 'orthodoxy' and 'historical Christianity' - who, indeed, may now be said to be truly 'orthodox' - the adherants of Biblical truth or the neo-Catholic Protestants?

    The old Catholic-Protestant divide is disappearing thanks to the ministries of those like Messianics, polygamists, and others. The incomplete Reformation of Martin Luther et al, full of defects as it was, is now being taken to its fulfillment and completion. We are at that stage in Church History which may rightly be called the Restoration (not to be confused with other 'Restorations', so-called, such as the Campbellites, Mormons, Kingdom-Now'ers and more recent claimants):

    NT Church » Catholicism » Reformation » Restoration

    As the Reformation (Protestant) Churches become progressively more neo-Catholic, so they will be absorbed back into the Catholic Church leading to a small cluster of true Restorationist churches:

    NT Church » Catholicism-Reformation » Restoration

    To be sure, the picture is more complex than this simplified representation but it does convey the general direction of the churches/assemblies today.

    It is surely no accident that the majority of the leaders of the Christian/Messianic Polygamous Movement are progressively moving in the direction of the Restoration of Israelite/Hebraic Christianity (the three biggest and most influential are Sabbatarian even if they don't all have the 7th day sabbath properly identified yet), for it is inevitable that as Christians return to their Hebrew roots, and remove all the Greco-Roman baggage, that patriarchy and polygamy naturally follows in the wake of all the other restoration processes.

    I think it is manifestly clear that Patriarchy and Polygamy are inseparable. With these two keys, which in many ways are a single key, many of the mysteries or secrets of the Gospel which Paul mentions in Galatians 5:32 are effortlessly revealed. Everything begins to fall together naturally, and imagined contradictions in the Bible vanish.

    What, then, must now be done?

    • 1. "A husband should love his wife (wives) as much as Christ loved the church (Christians) and gave His life for it" (Galatians 5:25, CEV);

    • 2. "A wife should put her husband first, as {in the same way that} she does the Lord" (Galatians 5:22, CEV).

    Simple as that.

    Author: SBSK

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    First created on 22 June 2001
    Updated on 8 February 2016

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