One of the hardest things in the Gospel of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is getting everything into proper balance because there is an unfortunate tendency in man to exaggerate, distort and unbalance. Just a casual look at the denominations, the names they bear and the doctrines they emphasise, illustrates this tendency only too well. We remember, I hope, that wonderful and masterful allegory of the Christian life created by John Bunyan, and one of man's greatest temptations which is the City of Pleasure, and we understand that pleasure is not so much a question of lawful versus unlawful things but the way in which both can actually become an impediment to the life which Yahweh has mapped out for us. A friend recently and wisely pointed out to me that if Satan isn't destroying us by tempting us to sin then he is masterfully encouraging us to engage in activities blessed by Yahweh which are wasting our time because they aren't what we are supposed to be doing now. Gospel issues are not therefore only a question of lawful versus unlawful, but also of doing what we are supposed to be doing verses what we are not.
A few nights ago I had a dream which brought home this salient truth which I would like to share with you. I was in prison along with many others only I lived separately from the other prisoners. I had just been appointed the prison cook and set about my task as best I could. I changed the diet that was being served and generally tried to improve things. It wasn't long before I was receiving word of the general satisfaction of the other prisoners who wished to encourage me in my work as chef. And though this was gratifying to hear I was yet reminded that I was still in prison.
The message that I have to bring to this community and its friends today is that whilst polygamy is a true and godly principle that is necessarily a part of the end-time work we are engaged in, it isn't the end-time work itself. The end-time work of our Lord and Saviour Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is bringing the Gospel of Salvation to an increasingly enslaved and demonised world. Our mission is not to convert the churches to polygamy. It never has been and never will be. It is to convert the elect to polygamy so that it can be better equipped to do its major job which is preaching salvation and gathering the remainder of the elect out of Babylon. And whilst it is yet true that polygamy is a sacred pattern that suffuses everything, it is not true that polygamy is the message. And it never can be.
My concern, as you perhaps may have by now discerned, is to bring yet another warning to the polygamous community and to those investigating our message. And the warning is not to make polygamy into a Gospel hobbey-horse as some denominations have done with the Sabbath, water-baptism, the charismatic gifts, authority, Torah, and so forth. None of these vital Gospel ingredients were ever intended to polarise Christians but to bring them to a collective unity of the faith. If Yahweh brings a revelation, for example, reminding women that they are to wear head-coverings when praying and prophesying it is not with the intention that a new denomination called the 'Head-Coverers' should come into being.
In recent months (2001) a very wonderful and thriving FICP community has come into being that revolves around the doctrine of polygamy. It embraces people from many denominational backgrounds though of late it has been evident that most are Sabbatarians. I have, moreover, no desire that it should end, but rather should grow. Our coming together is no accident, nor is it to be despised. But what we can't do is remain static, nor allow the polygamy theme to crystalise out our specific identity. In other words, I don't want people to meet us, and go away and tell their friends: "Oh, they're the 'Polygamist Christians'" as though this were a category all on its own like the 'Methodists' or 'Seventh Day Adventists'.
As you can imagine, spending so much time writing polygamy-related materials, managing clubs and chat rooms, etc., (which ended in 2003) has meant that this theme has dominated much of my thinking. The dream I received was a warning to me ... and to all of us, I suspect ... that if we allow polygamy to occupy too much of our thoughts that it will lead in the end to spiritual imprisonment and become a distraction from our main mission instead of its ally (a reason this ministry was closed down in 2003).
We may say the same thing about marriage in general. Marriage does not exist for itself. And whilst Yahweh created marriage to bring us companionship, intimacy, and happiness, we must remember that above all it exists as a tool for Kingdom-building. Yahweh made marriage for man, not man for marriage. And Yahweh has made man for _____________ ?
I wonder how you would individually complete this statement? What has Yahweh made us for? What is the purpose of our existence? And what should be our singular goal? What are we living for? What do we want to use our spouses and families for? To what end are we teaching and training them ... including the ways of patriarchal marriage?
Following this dream, I have been taking a closer look at my own calling in the wider sense and trying to reprioretise my time. I have never believed that I was some kind of 'polygamy apostle', someone with a specific commission to focus on and promote polygamy. As you all know, I am a part of a much wider work which is defined by the website that hosts this ministry. Indeed, I am involved in many other parallel ministries (e.g. deliverance) about which I have said little here as few have bothered to ask. Indeed, most have erroneously concluded, I think, that I am a kind of 'Paul to the polygamists'.
My great passion is in building the end-time community which embraces so much more than polygamy and yet which is heavily reliant upon this principle in order to clarify it -- though perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it is reliant on the mystical marriage of Christ rather than 'human polygamy' per se since polygamy is but one facet of marriage - 'Stage 2 Marriage', if you like, remembering that not everyone is called to have more than one wife or to marry into a polygamous family. This ministry exists not only for polygamists but also monogamists and those presently single who believe and understand the importance of Yahweh's marriage laws.
In a way I am facing a choice as to how I move this ministry forwards. Do I allow it to continue as it is and devote less of my time to it, allowing others to have more of their 'say' here (we have some very talented writers whose profile I would like to enlarge on this website and who have already made contributions), or do I make it less of a polygamy-specific ministry and integrate it into the wider work which which I am involved? Or is there a happy middle course? (In the end it was integrated into the wider work).
In truth, there are probably multiple solutions rather an an 'either/or' one. Heinrich and I have been planning in outline (it's only in our heads at the moment) a completely separate website with a different name in the form of a School of the Patriarchs to teach polygamy and patriarchy systematically as an on-line course. (This project was subsequently abandoned as Heinrich had to deal with some life-changing circumstances).
I suppose what I am saying is that I am trying to find a solution to enable me to fulfil my other callings which require much of the time I am presently giving to this ministry, including a new one which is only just now developing and which is going to require a lot of preparation. And as a bread-earner I have to spend more time on making ends meet. I'm going, very soon, to therefore ask others to manage the men's club (fortunately with three wives I have workers for the women's club) and to contribute more in the way of writing on the FICP webpage. (All the online clubs were closed down in 2003).
More generally-speaking, though, I am more keen to alert everyone to the problem of Gospel hobby-horsitis. I know one other minister who has grown tired of this phenomenon and is already de-emphasising polygamy in his ministry, with whom I strongly empathise and identify. Like me, he is tired to the cattle-market that polygamy has degenerated into generally and wants to refocus on the call of all ministers, which is to make disciples of all nations. And whatever polygamy is, it is not an evangelism tool but a consequence of salvation and of discipleship-training. We are to preach Christ-crucified and bring people to trust in Him for new life. Teaching Torah comes afterwards. The Law, of which marriage and polygamy are a part, is the cart and not the horse.
(Comments made in 2016 are in grey/gray font)