As one who in this community of those who believe and practice Christian/Messianic polygyny, and who has responsibility as a teacher and a counsellor, I thought I would pause to remind those of you who accept this ministry's vision of plural marriage that our purpose is essentially a spiritual one. Whilst it is certainly true that there is, biblically speaking, no such thing as 'polygamy' or 'polygyny', but only marriage (one man married to one or more women), we need to remember that there are conditions:
There is a widespread belief amongst Christian/Messianic polygynists that a man needs divine permission from Yahweh to take a second, third, or fourth wife, but not his first, as though polygyny is permissive but monogamy isn't. I suspect that this is in part due to a residual guilt on the part of the man who has been conditioned to believe that as monogamy is 'normal' (as society defines it), and polygamy isn't, that somehow Yahweh has to be more involved in the polygamy decision making process than in the monogamous one. What tends to happen as a result of this mindframe is that polygamy is seen as some sort of élite luxury reserved for a special class of people whereas monogamy is the normative, colourless and rather dull way for the spiritual proletariat. If anybody believes such a thing they have fundamentally misunderstood what marriage is, for essentially marriage is a sacrament. And by a 'sacrament' I mean something which is sacred having as its primary moving force a spiritual end. That this must be so is proven by the fact that Christ chooses to allegorise it as an illustration of the spiritual relationship between Him and the saved. Christian/Messianic Marriage, then, at its heart, is spiritual; and if it fails to point back to Christ and His Church/Messianic Community then it has not been entered into for the right purpose.
- (1) Yahweh's permission and blessing over any union as Paternal Arranger; and
- (b) The man's ability to handle such a marriage economically, managerially, emotionally, sexually, etc..
It is my unmovable belief that all marriage (monogamous or polygamous) must first and foremost (and if necessary, to the exlusion of everything else until it has been attained), be launched on the railroad of spirituality by the engine - not of passion - but of the Ruach haQodesh or Holy Spirit. To do this, it must be seen as a sacred stewardship and custodianship for by its very existence it will always point back to the mystical marriage of Christ to His people or to the abyss and to hell itself. For good reason, then, people like myself have said that plural marriage either leads to Heaven or Hell.
The majority of Christian polygamous marriages are, in my view, funfairs, circuses, candy shops, or meat markets. They are not at all focused on spiritual truth but have added spirituality merely as an outer coat or gloss. It is not, I freely admit, easy to separate romance and sexuality from spirituality, nor is it ultimately desirable, for in marriage these things combine and unify. However, unless a marriage is launched from a dock which is spiritual, and spiritual alone, it rarely - if ever- qualifies, in my view, to move from the monogamous to the polygamous level. And the reason I say that is because if you begin a plural marriage from a romantic/sexual focus, you are going to introduce dangerous destabilising forces that more than likely lead to destruction.
An analogy will, I hope, help here. Those of you who know anything about aviation history will perhaps be aware of the problems aircraft designers had in trying to break the sound barrier. At the point an aircraft reached near Mach 1, the jet planes would experience violent shaking and then spin out of control. Many pilots lost their lives in trying to attain this goal. It was subsequently discovered that all that was needed was to sweep the wings back and this kind of destabilising and ultimately destructive phenomenon could be eliminated.
To move a marriage from being monogamous to polygamous you have to redesign the vessel from forward swept to backward swept. If you don't, adding a second wife will introduce violent forces which will likely destroy not only the first marriage but the subsequent ones too. Monogamy is represented by the solo-Christian/Messianic in personal relationship with his or her Saviour; but polygamy is all about community or the church. Most people find it hard enough yielding soverignty on a one-to-one basis with Christ, but even more have major problems when it comes integrating into the Body of Christ or community of believers. Finding churches or assemblies which have that Christ-dynamic, which haven't fossilised into clubs or institutions, is not easy these days. And many try to fake it by injecting counterfeit forms of love.
Having lived this principle most of my adult life, and as I approach the half-century mark (2003), is is not unnatural that I should regularly look back and reflect on the lessons learned. In the last few days particularly I have done some deep prayerful thinking and in trying to identify the most important, if not crucial, aspect of Christian/Messianic polygamy, I have time and time again come back to one essential truth: to be successful and evidence divine approbation, Christian/Messianic plural marriage must begin, continue, and end on an immovable spiritual foundation, which is not just its base but its walls, inner space, and roof as well.
There are, of course, many ingredients to a successful marriage. Added to this we may say that there are many different types of 'marriage dynamic' with greater or lesser spiritual elements. Some marriages are purely carnal and others may be said to have realised the perfect ideal of a containing, leading and exalting spirituality. And then there is the spectrum of carnal-spiritual mixtures inbetween. The polygamist husband, unlike the mongamous husband, must be a leader-type with a spiritual vision. In short, he must be a kind of family pastor. This means that he must not only possess pastoral skills but must himself be:
For if he has not been called by Yahweh to add wives to a monogamous marriage then one of the reasons is almost certainly because he lacks the skills to make such a marriage work. And if his wives reject that pastoral headship, then he is faced by the equivalent of a church mutiny by the members. And no Church/Assembly can survive with dissenting members - either that Church/Assembly must split or the dissenting members must leave. And as we know from the history of congregations and denominations, divided churches rarely come together again and denominations rarely re-unite. And when they do, it is usually on the basis of compromise and a dilution of the Gospel.
- (a) Appointed of Yahweh; and
- (b) Accepted as such by his wives.
As a polygamist husband I am a family pastor. I place the spiritual guidance of my wives at the top of my list of all family priorities. Though a local congregation must function on many levels - from praise, education, and fellowship, to social activities, it can never function aright if its spiritual path is not first clearly mapped out. Irrespective of the correctness or otherwise of a denomination's credo, its strength will lie in its unswerving committment to a clear doctrine and practice. A church or assembly that doesn't know exactly what it believes in, or which is chopping and changing all the time, will be an unstable one and not create grounds for confidence in its members. That is not to say that as individuals we do not chop and change as we grow in Christ and learn about His ways: but it is to say that a Pastor who doesn't know where he is going is not going to be a good father of his people. In the same way, no man should take two or more wives until his spiritual base is firmly established and he knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, where he is going.
The husband and father is the pastor of his family
This is not to say that we must all be error-free. My family has made major doctrinal shifts over the decades. And such shifts can have a destabilising effect on a family if certain of its members do not agree to these shifts. If the husband has been teaching and preparing his wives well, they should ideally move in unison when such changes need to be made. Thus when a few years ago our Assembly (Church) made a major doctrinal shift to being Sabbatarian, there was much potential for strife. However, I prepared the ground well and my wives already had confidence in me as their pastoral head so we had few difficulies. Had such a change been made some years before when some of my wives did not know me so well, there might have been problems.
It is very, very important, in my view, in bringing a new wife into your family that she is first spiritually prepared and shares the same beliefs. Moreover, it is vital that you ensure she is built upon a stable, spiritual platform. If she is a young Christian/Messianic with little spiritual experience and growing in the faith, then it is important that she accepts her husband-to-be with the same confidence as she would the pastor of her local church/assembly. It is, indeed, his duty to teach his wives the Gospel, resolve doctrinal disagreements, and for them to follow his lead. Clearly he will not be successful if he is a Baptist and his wife a Mormon, or if he is a Messianic Jew and his wife a Presbyterian. The first will have different sets of scriptures and the second will want to honour Yahweh on different sabbaths. And it is naïve to enter into such unequal marriages in the hope or expectation that the wife will convert to the husband's belief system: he should convert her first, not afterwards, because afterwards there will always be the dangerous temptation to exert force and so create even more instabilities. I am sure you could paint any number of scenarios with intolerable, destabilising forces for a marriage, and one of the worst I can think of is of a new wife who enters polygamy because she is in love with her Christian/Messianic husband but who has no belief in Elohim (God) at all.
Our particular Assembly is, of course, geared towards the acceptance, discipling and integration of polygamous families, and over the years we have developed quite an intricate system which has worked very well for us. Its premise is that marriage must unfold in a proper way that lays emphasis on the spiritual first and the physical last whilst denying or repressing neither.
It begins with a couple solidly building a relationship as brother and sister in Christ, as good friends in the fellowship of salvation, having as their base a spiritual ahavah/agapé love which is entirely detached from romance and sexuality. Thus their first covenants as prospective husband and wife are what we call Dedication Covenants which commits them to pursuing this whilst at the same time keeping romance in a very definite second place. It is a covenant of spiritual exploration with a long term view to eventual marriage which may be dissolved if the couple decide they are not, after all, right for each other in Yahweh's will.
It proceeds to the second stage which are Betrothal Covenants. This is an irrevocable life committment to marriage without sexual contact of any kind. It emphasises, therefore, that the essence of true marriage is spiritual, and is always a polygamous marriage, because the first partner is always Christ. It is during this time that the couple, previously dedicated, now contemplate the wider meaning of what the allgorical marriage of Christ is, and is usually accompanied by intense service in the local church or congregation to underscore the point. We try to involve betrothed couples as much in the community as possible. Only when there is an obvious and joyfully accepted communal engagement both in the local congregation and (if polygamous) in the family which is accepting the new wife, are Full Marriage Covenants entered into and the consummation of the marriage through sexual union takes place.
These things I have discussed at length before but are most certainly worth repeating and re-emphasising especially with so many carnal doctrines of marriage in circulation -- see, for example, a recent heresy which insists that sex be engaged in before covenants of committment are entered into, and which opens the door wide for Cassanovas and Don Juans to exploit weak-willed and lonely women into presumptuous and explotative sex. I know there are many patriarchs who hold different philosphical views about marriage to this ministry and who lay much more emphasis on the romantic and physical side but I am frequently unimpressed by their results and consider them at times to be spiritually reckless. Common sense alone ought to tell us that there is no harm in stressing spirituality but that the reverse leads to a string of potential dangers.
Then we come to the next, and sometimes vexing, question: what is 'spirituality'? Take a dozen patriarchal families who profess an emphasis on spirituality and you will see different results. Without wishing to get into theological minutae and so get sidetracked from the main point of this essay, by 'spirituality' I mean to be led by the Holy Spirit and not human emotions/ or admixtures of the two. Much confusion reigns in the churches/assemblies over the difference between Spirit-power and Soul-power which has naturally had an impact on polygamous families coming out of these various traditions. And the interesting thing is that Soul/Nefesh-power (which may have been mistaken for Spirit/Ruach-power) is applied in a plural marriage context to resolve difficulties it invariably fails. This not uncommonly leads to a loss of faith on the part of sincere Christians/Messianics who believed they were led by the Spirit but which turned out to be their own soul- or psychic-energy. And it is very common.
Furthermore, such a revelation offends. What does one say or do when confronted with the embarrassment and loss of face upon realising one has not been led by the Holy Spirit after all but by something else? It is not enough to just believe in Scripture - even the cults like the Jehovah's Witnesses profess a belief in the Bible - one has to have a genuine anointing of the Holy Spirit.
And so we open up the can of theological worms that divides the denominations. And that is my point: the polygamy question cannot be treated in isolation but must always have a spiritual context. It is here that the inevitable controversies begin between patriarchs living polygamy, from the extreme legalistic Ebionite Messianics to the 'once saved, always saved' ultra-orthodox KJV-only Baptists ... and never the twain shall meet.
It is at this point that every Patriarch must stand accountable for the faith system which he espouses and leads his family to espouse. Perhaps there are some Christian/Messianic polygamous families having a multi-denominational mix that are successful. I only know that this is not the arrangement I pursue for I am not interested in the lowest common denominator by which I cement my family together but in the highest common factor. Finding out what which of these two ways a patriarch follows is very important for a wife to discover before entering a polygamous family.
My own belief is that the way into the Kingdom of Heaven is an exceedingly narrow one and that very few ever enter it. Perhaps that is why I am fussy in my selection of wives. And as readers of this website know, I make no apology for my theological stance whilst respecting the right of others to stand by their own belief systems. I admit my bias which is why I created this website in the first place, and I realise that not everybody will accept my system of belief or wish to live it out. Others have created their own websites and ministries to reflect their respective positions. Only Yahweh can judge between us. Two of my wives and I have been walking this path on a continual basis now for over a decade (2003) and are irrevocably committed to it -- and I suspect it is its narrowness which has deterred potential wives from joining our family and caused struggles for the others. We pursue it enthusiastically because we know it works.
The Kingdom of Heaven has always - and will always - require much sacrifice. And without a doubt, polygamy requires far, far more sacrifice than monogamy. You can no more stick a jet engine on a World War 1 wooden biplane and expect it to hold together than you can simply add a wife onto your typical monogamous marriage, secular or Christian/Messianic. The whole plane has to be redesigned and built with new materials. The ground is strewn with the wreckage of such ill-planned marriages, initiated by people consumed with enthusiasm but lacking the required wisdom or pastoral skills. And in many ways, this evil generation is one of the most ill-equipped to live the principle ever.
On the positive side, it is my firm belief, which I have acquired as a result of a personal revelation from Yahweh, that at this time Yahweh is only calling those who have the spiritual maturity and wisdom to incarnate the mystical marriage of Christ in their own marriages, and that therefore He is only calling those with the necessary pastoral skills to do so - Elders, Pastors and those who will eventually be called into such offices. Furthermore, I also believe that He is only calling those women who are able to walk in comparable rôles in the Body. Many are called but few - because they will not live it the way Yahweh wishes them to live it - are chosen. This holds true for the Gospel as a whole as much as it does for the principles within it, of which sacred marriage is one. So in a way, the high casuality rate in polygamy, in those instances where the husband is not to blame, is not unexpected, just as many fall away from Christ. One can no more blanket-blame a husband for a failure in marriage than one can blame Christ when believers turn away from the truth.
Marriage - and in particular polygamy - is one of the most complicated group dynamics there is. Having been a Pastor for over a decade (2003) as well as a polygamous patriarch, I have come to appreciate just what a difficult and at times thankless job leadership is. Leaders are invariably blamed for failure even when they are not responsible. Do we not blame sometimes Yahweh when things go wrong in our lives? It is a carnal disposition to "accuse the brethren" (Revelation 12:10), something that Satan relishes in, because he knows that if you strike the shepherd, the sheep tend to scatter (Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 26:31) - that way you can kill hundreds of birds with one stone. And that is why Satan always takes first aim at pastors, parents, and husbands. Because of the heavy burden they must carry, Yahweh compensates by requiring respect for the office, even making it a capital offence for a man to strike his parent. In a parallel way, the Torah mandated the cutting off of a woman's hand who grabs the testicles of a man who is fighting with her husband, and so castrates him. Though her wish to intervene in defence of her husband is understandable, to cut off a man's ability to be a progenitor is a serious crime against Yahweh's purpose for man. By spiritual extension, a woman who opposes a man's marriage by seeking to destroy it in anyway merits having the instrument of her evil cut off, which illustration Yah'shua (Jesus) used to His disciples in telling us the kind of drastic measures we should take in opposing sin in our lives. The Saviour Himself also warned that a sign of end-time lawlessness would be when children rose to put their own parents to death (Matthew 10:21). Who are hated the most when they unapologetically declare Elohim's (God's) Word to souls darkened with iniquity? Prophets, pastors, and husbands (v.22), because to them has been given the charge to lead and guide.
Pastors and husbands are charged with the spiritual clothing of their congregations and wives, respectively. Without them, their congregations and wives are naked. Yahweh, who is the antitype of the pastor and husband, says:
This relationship between Yahweh and Israel, as between Christ and the Church or Messianic Assembly, should not be missed in the pastoral and marriage relationships. There are always two sets of clothing or covering taking place - the covering of Yahweh/Christ of Israel/the Church, and the covering of Pastors and Husbands of their congregations and wives. The carnal tendency of both parishoners and of wives is to take off their clothes and "make gaudy high places, where you carried on your prostitution" (v.16, NIV) and "made for yourself male images and played the harlot with them" (v.17, NKJV). Please note that Israel made male images, in other words, substitutes for Yahweh, who is Divine Male Principle, and of godly pastors or husbands, who are human ruler male principle.
"And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, 'Live!' Yes, I said to you in your blood, 'Live!' I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful. Your breasts were formed, your hair grew, but you were naked and bare. When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,' says the Yahweh-Elohim. Then I washed you in water; yes, I thoroughly washed off your blood, and I anointed you with oil. I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk. I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate pastry of fine flour, honey, and oil. You were exceedingly beautiful, and succeeded to royalty. Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you,' says the Yahweh-Elohim.
"But you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot because of your fame, and poured out your harlotry on everyone passing by who would have it. You took some of your garments and adorned multicoloured high places for yourself, and played the harlot on them. Such things should not happen, nor be. You have also taken your beautiful jewelry from My gold and My silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself male images and played the harlot with them. You took your embroidered garments and covered them, and you set My oil and My incense before them. Also My food which I gave you -- the pastry of fine flour, oil, and honey which I fed you -- you set it before them as sweet incense; and so it was,' says the Yahweh-Elohim" (Ezekiel 16:6-20, NKJV)
Idolatry - the making of images or idols - occurs when Yahweh, Pastors, or husbands are replaced by male (=leadership) idolatrous counterparts by their congregations or wives. They become "wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight" (Isaiah 5:21, NKJV) and you get a society - and indeed churches/assemblies and marriages - where there is no rulership and "everyone did as he saw fit" (Judges 21:25, NIV).
Our most serious problems lie today in the erosion of male and female differences. For churches and marriages to succeed, these differences have to be restored and reasserted. You can change churches or abandon a marriage if your salvation is being jeapordised, but you cannot have a church consisting of members who all think they are pastors and should do as each 'feels' is right, and you cannot have marriages where wives think they can pursue independent paths. Such is to overturn the whole order of heaven. It is to set up male images or idols, to unclothe yourself spiritually, and to commit harlotry with them. Yahweh gives only one answer to those who are disposed to such a course of action:
A high priority of any man thinking of embarking upon polygamy (and having obtained Yahweh's clear leading to do so, and his wife's consent if he has previously entered monogamy-only covenants with her) is to establish a spiritual order in his home. Without it he will just have chaos. Husband-wife rôles and lines of authority must be clearly defined. He must be the undisputed spiritual head. He must teach what I call the knocking-principle - that is, the rights and privileges of access or otherwise.
"Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble,
And the flame consumes the chaff,
So their root will be as rottenness,
And their blossom will ascend like dust;
Because they have rejected the law of Yahweh-sebaoth,
And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
(Isaiah 5:24, NKJV).
'Knocking' occurs in two directions. Firstly, Yahweh, the Pastor, and the Husband have 'knocking rights' when it comes to the Church or Assembly, the congregation, and the wife. Christ says:
This well known passage, which has been incorporated into hymns and into evangelistic calls to repentance and salvation, tells us that by virtue of their position or calling Yawheh, Pastors and Husbands have the right to make certain prescribed demands of believers and wives. The word "knock" is our rendering of the Greek krouo which means to 'rap' or give a sharp, quick blow. I have personally heard this sound in the Spirit and it has at times shocked me because it is quite loud. The false images we have been given of a meek and mild Christ holding a lantern quietly knocking just above audible level distorts the image of an awakening call - a sharp banging on the door, to react before danger strikes. This is, of course, the sinner's call when it comes to Yahweh and, to a lesser extent, evangelists and preachers. The knocking must not be such that it is threatening but it must be of sufficient strength to make the one aware that serious business is meant. It's an alarm call.
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me" (Revelation 3:19-21, NKJV).
BUT if we try to reciprocate in the same manner - in male position as Yahweh, Pastor, or Husband, when we are sinner, parishoner or wife, when this is not our calling - the result is not good:
And what was the background of this saying of Yah'shua (Jesus)?
"When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open for us,' and He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know you, where you are from,' then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.' But He will say, 'I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity'" (Luke 13:25-28, NKJV).
You see, it is a narrow gate. So before you join a church/assembly and place yourself under pastoral authority - and before you enter a marriage and place yourself under patriarchal authority - you had better be sure you know what you're doing. Because once you have been placed under such authority, you are bound to obey that authority, like it or not. In short, choose the right church/assembly and husband!
"Lord, are there few who are saved?" And He said to them, Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able" (vv.23-24, NKJV).
'Ah, but what about our knocking rights', you may well ask, and proceed to quote the following:
Yes, indeed, those who are not pastors and husbands have 'knocking privileges' also. But as everyone knows who has tried it, you can't just go and thump on Yahweh's door and expect to get whatever you want. The clear implication, of course, is that we seek and ask with a proper spirit - with humility, sincerity and perseverance. Also implied within this saying of the Messiah is that we can only ask for the things which Yahweh has promised to give and which may be consistent for Yahweh to give - in other words, those things which are best for us and which give Him honour and glory:
"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened" (Luke 11:9-11, NKJV).
Wives who make demands of their husbands should remember these things. It is the husband's stewardship and authority to give them what he considers best for them and what they need, and not what they want for themselves or feel is best for them. That is why he is their husband. Similarly, a Pastor must lead and guide the congregation as the Spirit leads him, and not how they think or feel he should lead it. And so long as neither is disobeying the commandments they have no business to complain or protest.
"Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him" (1 John 5:14-15, NKJV)
Yahweh answers our prayers only if our requests are in His will. A husband will answer the requests of wives only if such requests are according to the direction that Yahweh is leading him to lead and guide the family. If they pound on his door he will naturally turn them away. If they demand that the family be directed along a different path to which he has been called to lead it, he will naturally tell them, "I don't know you".
Now none of this may be to the liking of some people reading this, but this is the order of heaven. So I repeat, choose the church/assembly and husband you intend to be united to with great care, i.e. make sure it is in Yahweh's will and not your own personal choosing! And when you have chosen, subject yourself in the way required of you. A third way is, of course, no way at all, and it is to make yourself churchless and husbandless. And whilst sometimes circumstances may force you into such a temporary situation, it can only ever be temporary.
Getting spiritual principles in place in ones life has to be the priority. When you have ministered to hundreds of souls as a pastor does, you soon realise that nothing else ultimately matters. Problems start when - as happened with one of my earlier wives - a demand to separate the Gospel from marriage was made, as though romance/sexuality and spirituality were two mutually exclusive things. They aren't. Spirituality is the raison d'être of Christian/Messianic marriage, and once it is excluded you neither have a Christian/Messianic marriage nor are you fulfilling the primary purpose of marriage, which is be a spiritual witness and vessel of the mystical marriage of Christ. Romance and the propagation of the species, though a part of the marriage mandate, are not its exclusive principles, and certainly not its primary ones. Paul rightly calls it a mystery and urges us to understand it.
What this means in practice is that as the family pastor a husband must, in order to serve his wives as their counsellor and head, occasionally put emotions to one side in order to focus clearly on spiritual issues. I have at times in the past not done so and not only been battered by the emotional upheavels a struggling wife has had, but in so doing rendered my pastoral leadership impotent. The ability to detatch, if a husband does not have the spirit > mental > emotional > physical hierarchy in solid place in his life, in order to minister to the spiritual, is very important. That is not to say in 'detatching' he crucifies his deep feelings over a matter but rather has them properly harnassed and in a position of control where they will not cloud his spiritual deliberations and ministry. This is not a licence to be cold or callous though a woman, who is more naturally disposed to an emotional focus, may be tempted to think he has become heartless and uncaring when he ministers in the pastoral rôle. Christianity is never about suppressing or killing off feelings (as is the goal of Buddhism) but about establishing proper hierarchies. Thus it is, Christ tells us, our love for Him should be so great that our love for everyone else - and especially a spouse - will seem like hatred by contrast.
Divine hierarchy of the soul
In a world where people are often very badly damaged spiritually and emotionally it is important that the modern patriarch-husband-pastor be a psychologist and deliverance minister too. As our world becomes more demonised owing to physical violence and spiritual abuse leading to demonisation, the modern patriarch increasingly needs more and more pastoral skills, especially as there is a high chance that he will be bringing in wives who have been abused or who have led destructive, promiscuous lives. These days in the West there's anything from a 20-50% chance that a person has been sexually molested by parents, family or peers, and a 90% chance that that person has been living a sexually immoral life at some point. And whilst accepting Yah'shua (Jesus) as Lord and Saviour places a soul into a new spiritual life, it does not automatically deliver him/her of demonic strongholds. To casually dismiss the seriousness of these problems by saying 'we all sin' and to live a life of constant repetitive sin with constant repetitive repentance that does nothing ultimately to conquer a sin area is to go around in circles. And there are many theologies that teach this is the best one can do whilst leaving believers as life-long prisoners of forces that they cannot overcome and which their pastors don't begin to understand. Polygamy has a tendency to highlight these problems because of the close contact sister-wives have with each other. A husband may be at work all day and a monogamous wife can, if she has major problems, simply lock herself away most of the day and force best behaviour out of herself when she is home (or vice versa). But there is no hiding in polygamy - issues are spotlighted and have to be dealth with. Another reason so many polygamous marriages fail is that husbands simply don't have the pastoral skills to deal with the problems, and likely the pastors of their local assembly don't either.
Domestic violence, sexual abuse, and occultism affect almost everybody these days. They are becoming as common place as breathing. Even Christians/Messianics are becoming subtly demonised by such books and movies as Harry Potter which is raw witchcraft seductively packaged as harmless children's entertainment. Worse, important ministers are saying there is nothing wrong with it. But your average patriarch hasn't a clue how to deal with these problems and wonders why there are so many stresses and upheavels when he enters polygamy. Worse, many patriarchs are themselves oppressed by demonic strongholds and become ministers of darkness to their wives. Such should NEVER enter polygamy! And there are polygamy ministries who have irresponsibily flung open the doors of polygamy and sounded the clarion, 'Come on in no matter who you are!' And men, many with serious problems, are coming in droves; and because there is such a shortage of women, they flood the polygamy meat-market in search of anyone they can find, no matter what their credentials. They are so desperate they are making proposals of marriage after only a day or two in case some other patriarch should pip them at the post.
The polygamy movement is out of control because spirituality has not been stressed nearly enough, many of the patriarchs have serious problems of their own, and the skills required of husbands to be domestic pastors are not being taught. Add to this all the women who have major problems and who enter this unholy mix and it is not hard to understand why the movement is a war zone. And instead of bringing order by saying: 'Everyone stop! Let's get to the spiritual roots!' polygamy ministers are coming down with an iron fist, taking over the lives of others, and turning their ministries into cults. And the reason they are doing this is because they are terrified to have the truth of their internal bedlum exposed to the public. Rather than repent, they cover up. Result: people come into the movement lured by false promises and then fall victims to cultism. Those who escape are invariably embittered and turn against the Word, for all they have seen is perversion.
The spiritual dimension must overwhelmingly predominate, not just because that is the correct way in a general sense, but because of the age of promiscuity and heathenism we live in and because in a polygamous marriage it is vital. The increase of the spiritual life is never to be at the expense of the others, however: becoming more spiritual doesn't mean a diminution of an emotional or sexual life in marriage - it isn't a 'what you gain on the roundabout you lose on the swing' principle, which is a carnal one - but of increasing in all areas whilst maintaining the right balance.
Marriage is very complicated: because:
At least this is true on the psychic or carnal plane. For most this is their only experience of plural marriage. But there is a spiritual dimension, and once you have found it, and yielded to it, and got yourself spiritually cleaned up, you enter into the peace, wonder and joy of what true polygamy is really about. Many seek for this and few there be who find it because it absolutely requires:
- (a) People are complicated; and
- (b) because people living in close proximity to one another are even more complicated.
It requires no less than that required of one who truly wishes to follow Christ, which is why polygamy is either the most glorious and sanctifying principle available to the earnest seeker after truth, or a recipe for disaster and a ticket to hell for the one who will not carnally die or completely yield to its demands.
- (a) Death of self; and
- (b) Complete consecration and sacrifice.
Inevitably, there are going to be more people who view polygamy as hell than those who view it as heaven, not because it is inherantly flawed, but because humans are inherantly flawed, and few there are who want to yield their lives totally to it. There are many who believe they have yielded who continue to hold on to sin-areas and then wonder why everything has gone wrong. And if they are dishonest (as one tends to be when one is emotionally in tatters), they will then blame the principle instead of themselves.
The only reason that my wives second, third and fourth and I pursued polygamy so enthusiastically, and continue to witness of it, was because we had found that spiritual paradise (2003). It was a hard journey but absolutely worth it. Had we not, I think I would have denounced it years ago, and certainly never created this webpage. We are not, however, evangelists for polygamy, because polygamy is not for everybody, and certainly not for the majority of pro-polygamists whose attraction to it is either because of carnal reasons or whose failure to successfully live it if they have been genuinely called is because they simply don't have the required pastoral skills. When men's monogamous wives want polygamy more than they do - when men hesitate and shy away because they have caught a vision of the responsibility and burden of polygamy, then they are likely ready for it. But if they are all on fire for it and don't think twice about the frightening possibilities of disaster that polygamy can bring, or who don't care, then you may know they are not called.
Get your spiritual priorities established. If you have been called to enter polygamy then the chances are you will require several years preparation before you are ready to enter it. Preparing to be a patriarch is no different from preparing to be a pastor. You need training and maturity. And that requires time and patience. The headlong rush into the Klondike of Polygamy is what has ruined so many people. Polygamy isn't a goldrush. It's a sacred stewardship reserved for those who love the Lord their Elohim (God), Yahweh, with all their souls, who love their neighbour as themselves, who have self-control, self-discipline, a big heart, patience, long-suffering, and a SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE.
Most prospective polygamists - of the Klondike variety - don't come to this website because they don't like what I say about these things. They're in truth swingers looking for some sort of legitimacy, or suffer from power complexes, and polygamy, they think, offers them the legitimacy to conceal these dark impulses. They're obsessed with sex and control, and are only too ready to cloak themselves with scripture and an aura of respectibility in order to recruit often naïve Christian/Messianic women who end up getting hurt. Then there are the irresponsible women who enter it, for various reasons, who try to control and manipulate to meet their carnal ends, lesbianism being one example.
We shall remain here to warn and guide according to the revelation that we have been given and lived. Don't give Satan a field-day and yourself lifelong heartache. Enter polygamy properly, with Yahweh's permission, or don't enter it at all. And if you don't know how to hear the Voice of Elohim (God), now is the time to learn how to by getting into some serious discipleship training.