Cultic Tactics of the
Day after day in my ministry I meet Christians and Messianics with this mindframe who, in spite of being shown the overwhelming scriptural evidence in both Old and New Testaments that polygamy is not sinful but God-blessed, remain implaccably hostile. They can be very patronising persons indeed, auomatically claiming the high moral ground without a scriptural foot to stand on, and start preaching down to you about sin and salvation. I don't know how many mono-only Christians I have met who refuse to discuss the Bible and who have launched into prayer for the salvation of my soul, or who start casting imaginary demons out of me, all over the top of my scriptural protests. I tell them whilst they are doing these things that they are wasting their time because their actions are not sanctioned in the Bible they claim to believe. Usually they will 'hand you over to the buffettings of Satan' or, if they are more kindly disposed, start saying how much they love you (which many of them probably do, to their credit) and that the power of prayer will overcome this imaginary sin. I prophesy to them in the Name of Yah'shua (Jesus) that they will be unsuccessful, and they are. But they remain transfixed on their imaginary self-righteousness.
A man I met in a chat room said to me yesterday: "The monogamy-only mindset of the traditional christian churches has probably done much damage to people, families and society as a whole than we realise." And as I look at the evidence in terms if the behaviourism of people in chat rooms, I am forced to agree with him.
Somehow I doubt that the majority, or even a large section of the Christian/Messianic community (true and false) will ever accept polygamy as Biblical. Most people I meet don't even bother to hang around and wait for the Biblical evidence. And when I do, I am merely accused of twisting the scriptures. What they don't seem to realise is that the Scriptures can be twisted in both directions. The only resolution to the problem is, in fact, an in-depth study of all the Scriptures on marriage, divorce, adultery, etc. (see my book, The Truth About Biblical Marriage), but most don't want to do this. There is no way you can 'twist' the scriptures into a pro-polygamy stance when you have ALL of them in front of you and when they ALL harmonise and dovetail together! It is the monogamy-only camp who are selective with their scriptures - in my expertience, it is usually a selection of four or five quotations, all of which can be interpreted either way - but they will not consider the overwhelming bulk of other scriptures which are incontenstibly pro-polygamy: it's then that they start attacking parts of the Bible.
I am forced to conclude, after literally thousands of discussions with monogamy-only people, that the spirit that lies behind the monogamy-only syndrome is cultic. It is, in all its characteristics, no different from the cultic spirit that I meet when I am discussing the Gospel with Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, or others into cultic mindframes. This I will now explain more fully.
One expert in cults, John M. May, a former Jehovah's Witnesses, has identified twelve characteristics or symptoms of 'cultic activity' which most ministers dealing with cultism agree on, many of which surface amongst the monogamy-only folk:
1. Total dependance on the leader or leaders of the group;
2. Blind obedience (and since compliance with every instruction is taught as maturity, many find themselves doing and saying things they would never have done before joining the group);
Most of the monogamy-only camp depend not on the collective witness of the Bible but on what their Pastors, parents, or friends tell them and on the consensus of the majority. And since so many Christians have believed in monogamy-only for so long, accepting polygamy becomes inconceivable on these grounds alone. When scriptures are shown demonstrating the falseness of the mono-only position, the result is always reflexive posturing like, 'Satan knows the scriptures and always twists them.' This is a symptom of brainwashing.
3. Constant repetition which eventually and inevitably creates an artifical atmosphere of unity where pretentions replace reality and nobody dares venture a different opnion because of unadulterated fear of what the group many think;
Some of the most horrible things I have heard have come out of the mouths of monogamy-only Christians defending their doctrine. Though they have not 'joined a group' per se as one might 'join the Jehovah's Witnesses', they have nonetheless joined a 'group or mob spirit' which is implaccably hostile to a Biblical truth-principle. Since they believe polygamists are sinners, adulteres, false teachers, etc., they reflexly believe that everything they say and do is born of impurity without reference to the standards of holiness delineated in the Bible. Not all of the monogamy-only camp are like this to be sure, but the vast majority are, just as there are a few 'reasonable' Jehovah's Witnesses with whom one can intelligently discuss things.
I have had pastors, evangelists, Bible teachers and others in responsible positions of ecclesiastical authority use abusive language at me, accuse my wives of being whores and lesbians, and much else besides. It does not take a spiritually-tuned person long to discover where such a spirit originates.
The monogamy-only doctrine has been preached from the pulpits, taught in the seminaries and Bible Schools, and been reinforced mentally and culturally for over 1,300 years. People have had this mind-frame 'for so long' now that the whole idea of polygamy might just as well be an alien from Mars for them. Yet that is how the early pagans viewed Christianity when it first appeared on the scene - remember how the brilliant philosophers of Athens received Paul's message of the Cross? Thus the great length of time in which the monogamy-only doctrine has held sway has undoubtedly created an artificial atmosphere of unity amongst its proponents. Talking to one individual from this milieu is bad enough, but confront a whole crowd of them and you get the feeling that you are about to be lynched. That is why polygamy has to be restored, for the most part, on a one-to-one basis.
4. The idea that all in the 'family' (group) are 'good' and all outside are 'bad'; therefore tiny infractions of rules are obviously magnified and necessarily punished;
Perhaps one of the greatest cultic symptoms that I meet in the monogamy-only crowd is unadulterated FEAR. Even if they are convinced in their own minds that polygamy is a true principle, they are consumed with terror at the reaction of wife, parents, pastor, church members, and community. They don't want to be different. They don't want to stick out like a sore thumb. And most of us, if we are honest, have felt like that at some time.
And yet that is a fear that the first Christians/Messianics had to work with and overcome when they found themselves witnessing amidst a sea of hostile, and sometimes murderous, pagans. They even had to stand up against the Imperial Cult of Emperor-Worship and put their lives on the line. We are living in a post-Christian world in the West where paganism is on the ascendancy, where Christians once again are becoming a persecuted minority. Christians may understandbly feel in these circumstances, therefore, that polygamy - even if it is true - is divisive and unhelpful to the struggling Body of Christ. But they would be wrong. The reason the Body is struggling is because it has compromised with the truth and cannot, as a result, be properly endowed spiritually. Polygamy, I maintain, is one of the essential pillars of the restored faith of the apostles that we dare not turn a blind eye to, since it is a doctrine that is a golden thread running through the heart of our Christian/Messianic faith on both the spiritual and physical planes. So this fear HAS to be overcome by faith in the truth and in the blood of Christ. And any Church or society that does not allow you the freedom to express your sincere and honest opinions about a subject that is biblical is under a cultic spirit of oppression.
5. Fear to displease the leadership and their sycophantic officials becomes the fuel that fires the mind which dulls the heart, so consequently injustice finds the climate to breed in;
Aren't all male polygamists depraved perverts and all their women poor deluded, deceived, manipulated and violated virgins? There are many who think in this way, as though all monogamists were angels in white! This is another cultic mentality - of lumping together all those who espouse a teaching you don't agree with (rightly or wrongly) and placing them underneath your own moral feet, thereby elevating your own feeling of self-righteousness. There is, in the minds of most monogamy-onlyists, the notion that nothing good can come of polygamists by virtue of their association with the evil and hated practice of polygamy. Mothers, lock your daughters away! Jehovah's Witnesses, keep your family away from the goats! Jews, keep your children away from the goyim! Mormons, don't read anti-Mormon literature ... it's poisonous! You people, don't even glance at a polygamist! And whatever you do, don't see what the Bible says about the matter!
Yes, we've heard all of this before. It is utterly irrational. It is cultic.
6. Everyone ends up watching each other to report perceived infractions or to measure their purity (worthiness) against the less zealous;
I don't know how many happy polygamous families have been broken up by zealous monogamy-only missionaries. For a study of the devastation they have caused in East Africa, see East African Polygamy: From Tradition to Yah's Kingdom. Broken hearts, children made fatherless, wives left destitute, and suicide are all the fruits of the evil anti-polygamy doctrine. The missionaries have plenty of zeal and a form of righteousness but it is utterly without any moral fibre, quite apart from denying the Word. Pastors have acted as gods and defied the Word, only too willing to put human offerings on the altar of mongamy-onlyism. The sobs of forcibly separated wives and children have no place in their hearts.
The modern missionary has mellowed a bit in some denominations. They allow polygamous families that convert in the Third World to remain together but forbid the husbands to take more wives. They, the polygamist families, are, of course, looked down upon and 'suferred' as poor wee primitive souls who do not know the blessed state of the monogamous, to be pitied and comforted in their 'terrible' condition.
No wonder human hearts grow calloused and breed hypocrisy.
7. Rewards and chastisements are constantly placed before the unfortunates to spur them on to more and more work;
How many churches do you know who would countenance a free and open discussion on polygamy where only the Bible is the mediator of truth? I have tried it, only to be stamped down by the Pastor who made the 'decision' that polygamy was culturally acceptable 'then' but isn't culturally acceptable 'now'. If I ever tried to raise the subject again, I was met with fiercely hostile eyes and made to feel like an outcast. I was frozen out of that fellowship. Those who rallied to the Pastor's defence were lavished with praise and in their own conceit looked down upon those who displayed any pro-polygamy sentiments as pitiful spiritual mutants.
8. Intolerance of other people's viewpoints which is intensified through misrepresentation and ridicule at official level (yet always predictably denied!);
The rise of the Christian/Messianic Polygamy Movement has caused a kind of 'counter-reformation' amongst the mono-only people. We have seen something of the old 'Crusader Spirit' reborn as swords are raised and pens cast aside. The anti-polygamy pogroms are definitely being fought in the spiritual realms and Satan is more than willing to oblige! The monogamy-only faithful are lavished with threats of hell if they do not follow the mob spirit. Oh, yes, doesn't hell suddenly become a popular place when the cultic spirit raises its ugly head? Heaven is suddenly forgotten - now we have to rescue those poor deluded polygamists from the pit! 'Onward, Monogamy-Only Soldiers!'
But polgamists don't live in that kind of fear because we know what the Scriptures teach. We have been forced to dig deep to find out the truth of biblical marriage. We daren't do otherwise. The monogamy-onlyist feels no such compulsion since he derives his security from the cult of the terrorised democratic majority.
9. Definite feelings of superiority over all other people in various faiths regardless of their sincerity. This is particularly sad when one realises the rampant abysmal ignorance most of these people have regarding other persuasions (faiths);
Oh yes, polygamists are barbarians from the primitive past, cultural misfits, socially deprived, mentally sick, anti-women, consumed with sexual lust, and so on. It won't be long before we are accused of metaphorically drinking the blood if monogamy-only babies in our sacraments! There's nothing like a good scare story to get the rabble roused.
The truth never needs to wage a propaganda war because it relies solely on truth and facts. When misrepresentation and propaganda start appearing in the churches and messianic synagogues you know that something is seriously wrong and that the Spirit of Elohim (God) is no longer there. Satan is the propagandist, whether he uses a Josef Goebbels, or a Léon Trotsky, or a monogamy-only rabble-rouser. They live a two-faced life - the epitome of geneality and kindness one minute, deadly like a spitting cobra the next.
10. Constant feelings of uselessness;
The ignorance of the majority of monogamy-onlyists is frankly shocking. They have absolutely no idea what Christian/Messianic polygamists believe or do but rely on gossip and rumour. And in conversations with these people, most, I have discovered, have no interest in finding out what we believe in and would rather carry on their misrepresentations.
I take the view that in nearly all cases a Christian should listen to everyone at least once no matter what they may feel about their viewpoints. And as disciples of Christ it is their sacred duty never to misrepresent anyone. As the Christian/Messianic Polygamy Movement grows, and as it gains more media coverage and, hopefully, sympathy, the rabble-rousers will be forced to change their approach. Hopefully the success of polygamists will make them more honest men and women. Frankly, I sometimes find more respect amongst your average pagan than I do amongst traditionalist Christians.
11. Suppression of true feelings along with the consequent guilt;
The more honest and sensitive monogamy-onlyists who yet cling to their tradition may well steer clear of polygamists and polygamy debate. They may see that they are losing the debate or they may be shocked by their disrespectful and unloving behaviour, and simply choose to separate themselves from that which disturbs their conscience. I know many such people. Some of them come back to our chat rooms attracted by some special bond and spiritual fellowship. They don't know why but there is life there, and they want it. But, for fear of peers, they cannot change sides. They defend the polygamists when they are attacked but resist any incursion into the wall of defence they have set up, and are easily hurt if anyone comes up to it. 'Keep a safe distance and we can be friends,' they say. Many of these people start revealing psychological problems because of their neutrality. They see the defects in their monogamy marriages and marvel at all the blessings they see amongst some of the polygamist they know and start losing self-esteem. They seem to oscillate between self-pity and explosive belligerence both to those who try to dirty the polygamists' image and to those who would come up to their emotional monogamy-only defence works. There is a sense of hopelessness in their situation, a siege mentality. The result is they must, eventually, make a choice: to say 'no' to monogamy-only or 'no' to biblical marriage. Most count the cost in terms of family and church and return to the monogamy-only camp, steering clear of polygamy and polygamists.
12. Pathetic and hysterical demands for unity by habitual portrayals of any who question as apostates/heretics. (It is interesting that most hard line groups use this "whipping boy" to terrorise all into submission to their cruel dictates).
Many monogamy-onlyists KNOW in their heart-of-hearts that polygamy is not a sin and that it offers some wonderful blessings. Once they have got to know polygamists and can see they are not depraved monsters and heretics, start warming to the truth. But because of family, work or church situation they are forced to suppress what they know is right. This leads to guilt.
Some, however, are courageous enough to admit the truth and trust Christ to see them through whatever crises their commitment to the Word brings them. These are blessed. They come to chat rooms and discussion boards for support in what can be a very lonely experience until they have made sufficient new pro-polygamy friends to enable them to settle down to a normal and livable life again.
From this brief analysis of May's 12 Points, can there be any doubt that the monogamy-only spirit is cultic? I have met the same spirit in the King James Version-Only Controversy - it is the same spirit of the 'one and only true church' mentality of the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, early Worldwide Church of God, and other 'only true churches' too. The Cultic Spirit is the same as the Spirit of the Crusader, the Jihadist, the Jewish Conspiracist, and the Pogrom, the spirit of the Master Race or the Master Class. It is the spirit of cultivated blindness and wanton indifference to truth. It is the spirit of the 'holier-than-thou' attitude of self-superiority. It is the spirit of death. And it doesn't matter whether the one possessed of this spirit is 'atheist', 'Jew', 'Christian', 'Muslim', 'Hindu', 'Buddhist' or 'animist', for they belong to the same fellowship of darkness.
Pogroms against the Christian Polygamous Community have not begun yet because we are still too small in numbers but they will come. Traditionalist Churches will band together to wage war on polygamy to the death. They will find some excuse - the propagandists always do. Didn't nazi troops dressed up as Poles attack the radio station at Gleiwitz in 1939, giving Hitler the pretext to attack Poland? Didn't the Japanese do them same thing when they paid Chinese gangsters to blow up the trans-Siberian Railway in Machuria? The devil will always find a pretext for aggression and persecution.
Fortunately, when this happens, Yahweh will endow His people with power to meet the emergency and the result will be the opposite of what the enemy hoped - masses of people, seeing the power of Yahweh at work, will flock to the patriarchal banner. This has always been the divine pattern. Persuade by words and then when this is met by violence, anoint the people with power.
No, polygamy is a great refiner of the soul and an instrument that Christ happens to have chosen in the last days to test His people along with a few other shakers like the divine calendar. And what a test it is proving to be! May you, the reader, pass it with flying colours and not find yourself in the unlikely ragtag alliance of Yahweh-haters:
"The Spirit expressly says that some people will abandon the faith in later times; they will obey lying spirits and follow the teachings of demons. Such teachings are spread by deceitful liars, whose consciences are dead, as if burnt with a hot iron. Such people teach that it is wrong to marry [one man to one or more women] and to eat certain foods. But Elohim (God) created those foods to be eaten, after prayer of thanks, by those who are believers and have come to know the truth. Everything that Elohim (God) has created is good; nothing is to be rejected, but everything is to be received with a prayer of thanks, because the word of Elohim (God) and the prayer make it acceptable to Elohim (God)" (1 Timothy 4:1-5, TEV).
None of what I have written here about the 'monogamy-only cult' implies that there aren't polygamists who display cultic tendencies or who, like some fundamentalist Mormon groups and extemist Islamist sects, are full blown cults in their own right. There are many Christian and Messianic cults (that practice monogamy), like those aforementioned ones that practice polygamy, that fall within the cultic categories outlined by John May. It is important, therefore, not to confuse categories. A polygamist group that claimes that only polygamy is the biblical-accepted form of marriage, excluding monogamy, would rightly be categorised as a 'polygamy-only cult' in the same way that Christians and Messianics today claim that only monogamy is the biblically-accepted form of marriage, and are rightly categoried as a 'monogamy-only cult'. The emphasis is on the word 'only'.
First created on 12 July 2001
Updated on 13 February 2016
Copyright © 1987-2016 Chavurat Bekorot All Rights Reserved
Wszelkie Prawa Zastrzeżone | Alle Recht vorbehalten