As the biblical truth of Christian/Messianic Polygamy becomes more and more plain to serious students of the Word, and as fewer and fewer of those who are honest can no longer say that polygamy is a sin as they once used to, I am increasingly hearing women say such things as: "Yes, I can see now that all you say about polygamy and the Bible is true. I even admire the way you and your family live. But I just know that I will never be called to live polygamously." And that is where our discussion often ends.
What we see here is a case of mind-conversion but not heart-conversion. And as I have maintained many times before, a person only mentally converted is not really converted at all. In many ways, they are converted against their will, and so they are really not converted at all.
The statement (or its variants), "I just know that I will never be called to live polygamously", is actually so similar to the 'Mormon testimony experience' that it is uncanny. For those of you who have had some exposure to Mormonism you may have heard of the Mormon 'Testimony' or the once a month 'Fast and Testimony Meeting' in which the faithful of that religion come to the preaching stand and one by one declare that they know that Jesus is the Christ, that they know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, that they know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one and only true church upon the face of the earth, that they know that the current president of their church is a prophet, and so on. Even tiny children parrot these things. But as you look at these statements in the context of their experience (and sometimes their age - they often say these things from 3 years old upwards) you soon realise that a better verb than 'know' would be 'hope' or 'would like to believe'. Indeed, 'knowledge' and 'faith' are words used interchangeably in the Mormon vocabulary.
I use this illustration because many of the women I am hearing in the Christian/Messianic world who are firmly declaring that they know they will never be called into polygamy are actually saying that they don't want to be called into Polygamy. Their 'knowledge' is not so much of the divine will but of the their own wills. It is not truthful.
I was talking to a very intelligent and basically honest Christian lady about this very thing. I told her I respected her belief/knowledge that she would not be called into polygamy and asked her, now that she knew polygamy was not a sin and that is was scripturally-sanctioned, whether she would now be willing to defend it as a godly principle. This had her floored. I went on to ask her if she believed she was called to be a Pastor, and she said that she knew she wasn't. I then asked her if she believed in the principle of Pastorship and whether she would defend the Pastoral office if someone came along attacking it and saying there was no such thing. And of course she answered in the affirmative. I then asked her again if she would defend the principle of plural marriage even if she was never called by Yahweh to live that lifestyle.
Her silence demonstrated that she was not. No, she could not argue against plural marriage but at the same time she obviously was not willing to defend it. In effect, she was talking a position of neutrality. And whilst that is perhaps better than being hostile to a true biblical principle, it is not the same as actively agreeing with Yahweh and His Word. To be neutral is little different than being lukewarm, as the Laodicieans were, and being spat out by Elohim (God) who says that He would rather we were hot or cold - hostile or affirmative. When someone is living in the truth then without exception they bear affirmative witness of that truth. Always.
I know a godly man who has had Yahweh bear witness to him that he is to lead a polygamous lifestyle and has even been shown who would be his second wife. And this other woman has also agreed to marry him. But his wife, who says she now understands and accepts what the Bible says about polygamy, has resolutely said that she knows Yahweh has not called her into this way of life.
Both cannot be right.
Actually, I have now come to the conclusion that anyone who makes this statement is a liar and I am now going to explain why.
I do not believe that anyone can categorically state that he or she has been categorically called by Yahweh not to get married. The most that anyone can truthfully say is that if we are currently single (or monogamously married) that at this moment in time (today, this 24 hour period of time) it is not Yahweh's will that they be married (monogamously or polygamously). And the reason I say that is because everyone has been called to be married - it is the Adamic Mandate given to the whole human race. Everyone is called to be married, but not necessarily at this very moment in time (and in some cases, not during this life).
It follows from this that everyone is therefore called to marry monogamously or polygamously - everyone. That doesn't mean that every man will have more than one wife because that is solely in Yahweh's sovereign will. When you realise that there is no distinction between monogamy and polygamy in the Bible, then you cannot errect an invisible 'barrier' between monogamy and polygamy either ... because there isn't one. A Christian/Messianic woman who marries must be prepared to share her husband with one or more wives if that is Yahweh's will. But one thing she can never say is that she knows that she will never do this. She doesn't! No man or woman does. If anyone can show me from the Bible that Yahweh has definitely said to any man or woman that he or she will never get married, or that there will only be one wife in the family, then I will reconsider my position. I guarantee you won't be able to. And that's because Yahweh never tells anyone how large or small their family will finally be.
I have been shown in visions wives and children that I will have, but never how many of each. I may have some 'ideas' or 'beliefs' but they are, ultimately, speculation. In the Bible, Yahweh tells men and women to marry and have children but never declares a limit, save not to go to excess in polygamy (and even that commandment was specifically directed against kings who, because of wealth and power, might be tempted to go over the edge in carnal indulgence).
So whenever you hear a woman (or a man for that matter) say, "I know I will never be called to live polygamously" you may know for sure that their statement is not inspired but in all likelihood is a cry of fear based in a lack of faith. They would be far more honest to say: "I don't want to live polygamy even if I know it's a true biblical principle." Once someone is able to honestly say that, they are on the road to repentance and positive change. But if they say they 'know' then their spiritual growth has come to a halt - they are in a spirit of rebellion and untruth.
Having said this, I am not saying that a woman should be forced to change her attitude. Absolutely not! She must lovingly and gently be encouraged to be honest with herself and admit that she is lying to herself and to others. I suspect that the main reason women don't want to take that step is because it removes the 'monogamy security barrier' from her life and she must thereafter learn to live in FAITH and TRUST that Yahweh will do whatever is right and best for her.
My own belief (which has changed over the years), after considerable study, meditation and prayer, is that every man and women is called into polygamy but that Yahweh, knowing that the vast majority would reject it, has created our circumtances in such a way that this majority can live monogamously. And as I have pointed out, these people are really the equivalents of the solo-Christian who want a personal relationship with Christ but not the responsibility of building a deep personal relationship with the members of the Body of Christ (Messianic Community). The fact that churches/assemblies exist is not proof that these people actually want that depth of relationship in a fellowship - indeed, if my experience with churches/assemblies is anything to go by, there are very real and large barriers to communication and relationship-building because people have created walls of isolation around themselves and their families. When you have a real Church of God (Assembly of Yahweh) then you have the kind of Church (Messianic Community) that existed in the days of the apostles where everyone had their material possessions in common and loved to be with each other in the Name of Christ so much that they ate and fellowshipped together every day.
Now that I am rarely, if ever, seeing in the churches/assemblies because that is the equivalent of polygamy on the church/assembly level. That level of intimacy is almost entirely absent because of their rejection of literal polygamy, at least in the spiritual sense.
Yes, there are some exceptions - where Christians live in communities that share but which are monogamy-only, but I would suggest that in spite of the very real and blessed achievements of such communities (that receive my unquestioning praise), that there is still a level of fellowship and intimacy that is absent and which can only be met by families actually living polygamously.
Most polygamy-minded Christians aren't willing to take the implication of polygamy to its logical conclusion. For them polygamy is just something 'extra' to deal with social evils of single mother families or a surplass of marriageable women and the like. But as you look at the spiritual roots of polygamy in the Bible you will see that Yahweh our Father in Heaven has a much grander plan and purpose. For we learn that in actual fact the redeemed worlds are polygamous from pole to pole. Salvation is a monogamous event that quickly becomes polygamous and the rewards of the future lives are a perpetuum mobile of polygamous relationships.
No Christian/Messianic, who is not in some kind of spiritual denial, will ever find complete peace in Christ until they have accepted the principle of polygamy in their hearts and are willing to live it if so called by Yahweh. Having reached that truth plateau, he or she must thereafter be willing to accept Yahweh's judgement to remain single or be married monogamously or polygamously. This applies to all believers. Indeed, if you think about it, isn't this the only way to live a life in Christ? - to accept any calling He may give you even if He doesn't actually call you? And isn't the ultimate test of acceptance our willingness to lay down our lives for His sake? Isn't that, at least on one level, in a parallel pattern to the Abrahamic test?
Yet not everyone is willing to go that far and so Yahweh, in His infinite mercy and loving kindness, adapts out circumstances and life-choices to what He knows we are willing to do. The monogamy-only Christian/Messianic environment is basically for those who are not willing to follow Christ all the way or who simply haven't got that far yet. But once they do, then without a shadow of a doubt they will be called out of that environment and into one where the faithful can come to complete fruition as disciples.
I make no apology for the fact that I have been saying for many years now that the polygamy issue will be one of the ones (and perhaps the major one) that is being used by Yahweh to separate the sheep from the goats. But I do not believe Yahweh is using it in isolation. Whilst the primary challenge is undoubtedly to the women brought up in the bondage of false marriage traditions, that is not to say that it is not a challenge to men also. But for the men there is another challenge, which I have already mentioned, namely the calling to live as the first Jerusalem Christians/Messianics by having everything in common in a communitarian environement. Polygamy + communitarianism with all things in common will be the most potent Gospel mix ever. And rarely has it ever survived long because it is the DEATH KNOLL to selfishness, covetousness and pride.
So, I repeat, no one can ever say that they know they are not called into polygamy at any time. They may say that they are not called into it today (this particular day of the week) but they absolutely cannot say what tomorrow will bring. To claim that they can or do know is to claim powers that only the Omniscient One has, and to lay claim to a kind of revelation that the Bible nowhere gives them.
So, please, let us be honest with ourselves and live with clean consciences before Yahweh, not denying and grieving the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). We none of us know what Yahweh will have of us tomorrow for we are given only to live each day in His power and strength. We must leave tomorrow up to Him.