A 'maniac' may be defined as a person as one who is wild and disorderly to the point where his behaviour, according to the etymology of the world, borders on madness. And thus I would classify anyone who is incapable, or unwilling, to make a calm and reasoned study of the circumstances that have provoked such behaviour.
The term "monogamanic" was recently coined by one of our ministers, Wayne MacGregor, in the Christian Polygamy-Monogamy Debate to describe a person who is so passionately committed to the monogamy-only position that, in his (or her) zeal to defend his tradition, all logic, common sense, decorum, decency and Christian temperance desert him (or her) in a wild surge of hormonal frenzy which, in an age not governed by law, might (and has in the past) have led to violence and bloodshed.
If there is one thing that has become abundantly clear in the 'Monogamy-Only Wars' of the monogamaniacs it is that almost all of its proponents run around like lit sticks of dynamite on a short fuse. But what is it that arouses such an impassioned and unreasonable response? And how can we distinguish between genuine godly passion and the sort whose origin is the dark side of the human condition? This is the subject I would like to briefly examine in today's essay.
As we peruse the pages of scripture we are at once made aware that a characteristic of Yahweh, and of Yahweh's servants, is passion under control. Rather than being barrels of dynamite with short fuses, they are more like executors of justice on a short leashe. Whilst Yahweh our Heavenly Father is indeed a fearsome Judge of wickedness and unrighteousness, we learn through the course of sacred history that this fierceness is strongly tempered by love, patience and long-suffering. He is never sparked into the kind of instant rage that characterises some types of fallen man but waits as long as He can - with great generosity and forebearance - in order to try and instill reason into His rebellious subjects. Contrary to the popular pagan notion that He is a dark deity of instant vengeance and destruction, we learn that He waits - sometimes seemingly for ever - to give mankind every possible opportunity to make ammends until, finally, constrained by the Law of Justice, He executes righteous punishment.
Were the Monogamy-Onlyers the possessors of a righteous cause, fighting a crusade against intemperate and profilgate polygamy (as they suppose it is), one would expect something of the qualities that possess those Christians who are possessors of that incomparable gift, the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). For we learn from Paul, and know from our own experience, that not only is Yahweh "good, forebearing, and long-suffering" (Romans 2:4) but the fruit of the Ruach (Spirit) in blood-purchased believers in Christ is "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control" but that against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23, NKJV). Is it not therefore a revelation to one who knows, loves and tries to imitate the Word of Elohim (God) to find the vast majority of those zealots in their crusade against Christian polygamy displaying all of the traits - not of a born-again believer - but of a frenzied heathen consumed by hate and ... dare I say it ... lust?
As Christians we are called to exhibit patience and long-suffering
In the numerous debates which I and my wives have taken part in, what has actually converted the most people has not been (what we believe to be) our sound scriptural exegesis but the fact that we have such a quiet and gentle assurance of the Ruach (Spirit) in our cause that we do not need to resort to the harranging and unchristian slandering of the monogamaniacs - which had we been wrong, and known we had been wrong, and which would thus have caused the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) to cease justifying us and to therefore withdraw from us offended, have led us to the same kind of vile behaviour as our opponents?
Whilst we have by no means converted all who have come to our chatrooms, the vast majority of them have said that our case won them in the first instance because they saw the fruits of the Ruach (Spirit) in our behaviour, which is surely one of the most compelling arguments in its favour. That is by no means to say that right theology is unimportant, but it is most certainly to say that raw theology alone is not enough - if a principle like Christian/Messianic polygamy is not promoting virtue and displaying the qualities of one who claims redemption in the blood of Christ, of what possible use or witness is it for the Kingdom we are aspiring to build?
One of the most remarkable and pleasantly surprising fruits of our 'Christian/Messianic Polygamy Mission' is that it has led otherwise irascible and hostile unbelievers to reconsider Christianity, not because the topic of polygamy necessarily interests them, but because it shows them a side of Christianity they have never before witnessed. For the first time they make contact with Christians opposing the hypocrisy of false brethren who are amongst the first to condemn the unbeliever without making the slightest effort to show him the hallmark of the Gospel of Christ, which is love, patience and long-suffering.
Only two days ago I was in long conversation with a witch about Christianity. Long hostile to it because of what she saw as the general hypocrisy of the religion, she at once began to mellow when she understood that she was loved and respected, and could see that we were willing to stand up to the quite vile things said to us by those naming the Name of Christ without responding with the kind of wrath that such had been meeted out to her. The women turned out to be a very lovely person and, for the first time, willing to learn more about Christ. She could not understand how we, as Christian/Messianic polygamists, were living this lifestyle so successfully and withiut jealosy and malice caused by such, that she was experiencing in her own polygamous relationship. It gave me the opportunity to explain just what Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) was capable of doing in what the world considers to be an impossibly 'explosive' lifestyle where peace and joy are not possible because of human nature. Christ is thence shown to be able to conquer human nature and replace it with His own. This is, I would contend, the true miracle of Christian/Messianic Polygamy against which the monogamaniacs have no answer. For rather than give them a handle with which to attack a godly principle, it throws back a mirror on their own spiritual darkness and exposes them for the religious hypocrites and bigots that they are. And it is THIS which provokes them to rage - the anger of the flesh exposed as the dominating force in their lives.
I have always maintained that the issue of Christian/Messianic polygamy is far wider than the right of a man to take more than one wife (or of a woman to enter an existing family), and that what really matters is that it is, if lived properly, one of the most potent tools in revealing the love, healing, and flesh-conquering power of Almighty Yahweh. Since polygamy is, in human terms, ultimately 'unworkable' because of the fleshy nature with its wildly unpredictable and unruly temper, passion, tantrums, possessiveness, jealosies and meanness, the fact that the power of Christ can transform it into something utterly beautiful, wonderful and desirable in terms of the spiritual life surely makes it one of the most powerful witnesses of what the living Christ can do not just for an individual but for a family unit as a whole. For ultimately what a Christian/Messianic Polygamous family does is provide a model for an Assembly or Congregation of the Body of Christ (Messianic Community), showing the kind of spiritual union and intimacy that is possible in selfless giving.
Monogamania will, unfortunately, remain with us. The important thing is knowing how to treat it and in a way that would please Christ. Above all we must not imitate their bad behaviour but show the monogamaniacs that not only is Christian/Messianic polygamy 100% scriptural but that our lives are truly blessed with the Christian/Messianic graces, the evidence of the presence of Yahweh.
There are, of course, unsanctified and (dare I say) unconverted 'Christian/Messianic' polygamists who themselves react like the monogamaniacs - the 'polymaniacs', showing that the issue is not monogamy vs. polygamy but whether you are in Christ or not. And the fact that Christ can be, and undeniably is, in those who practice polygamy with right hearts, demonstrates that polygamy is not a sin, for would Christ inhabit something so wicked? Obviously not, which was why Yahweh was with the great polygamists of old - Abraham, Jacob, Moses and David. Did they sin and make mistakes? Of course, just as modern monogamists and polygamists do today. Again, that is not the point, is it? The point is that monogamy and polygamy are biblically sanctioned and so you will not find Christ in polyandry, polyamory or same-sex 'marriages'.
If the monogamanics will listen, they will discover all these things to be true. If they won't, then we can do nothing but shake the dust off our feet and peacefully go on our way. What we must not do is react like the sons of Boanerges (Mark 3:17) in wanting to call fire down from heaven when the people did not respond to their message (Luke 9:54-56). We leave the unrepentant monogamaniacs to do that, something they do with the glee for they rarely come to 'save polygamists' (as they suppose is right) but to destroy them.