I met an interesting woman the other day who in many ways represents the diametric opposite of what we at this ministry stand for. She told me, point-blank, that she wanted to be a polygamist but didn't want to have any 'sister-wives'. I was confused. 'What do you want, then?' I asked, my curiousity awakened. 'I want to be an equal but I don't want a relationship with your wives,' she replied. In short, what she wanted was the maturity that polygamy brings to a polygamous man but his other wives at a convenient distance in their own boxes. Her husband could visit them by dividing his time equally between them but she wanted nothing directly to do with them. The time that he used to be with his other wives she would use to pursue her several interests.
I would describe this dream-situation (which for all I know may exist) as the ultimate form of multiple-monogamy and the woman who wanted it a sufferer of a spiritual condition which I dub multiple-monogamosis. In many respects it is the ultimate expression of selfishness within a marriage relationship. Using our echad model of the Mystical Marriage of Christ, this would translate into a Christian/Messianic who wanted a relationship with Christ and to partake of the blessings of the Messianic Community (Church) without having anything to do with other Christians/Messianics. In short, a 'solo-Christian' mentality.
The reason I am even discussing this is not because I happened to chance upon a philosophical curio seeking for a manifestation in the world of marriage but because it is an extreme illustration of a problem that men and women alike face in true Christian/Messianic polygamy who do want to establish sister-wife relationships. It is an illustration of the carnal principle called selfishness and exclusiveness which manifests in all of us from time to time whether within plural marriage or within the Body of Christ itself. It is a condition - the spiritual disease of multiple-monogamosis which places walls or barriers between people who have been called by Yah'shua (Jesus) to be echad or one, and thus impedes the free flow of the Holy Spirit in relationship-building.
Multiple-monogamosis is the natural condition of small children. A newborn child can think of nothing else other than its own need for food, warmth, love and protection. And this is perfectly natural and good. It is at this stage of human development that our ego crystalises and we learn the ability to love and accept ourselves on an unconscious level. Nearly all our psychological problems stem from these basic needs not being met at this critical time of our growth. It is therefore perfectly right and good that parents should shower their babies and infants with a waterfall of love and indulgence. As a small child learns to feel safe and loved so it begins to explore its environment and especially other people and the first sibling relationships and friendships begin to form. It is a gradual process, not without a few psychological bruises and tears, as the child who has a healthily forming ego learns that there are boundaries or limits to personal wants and desires without which they hurt others. As egos interact they learn that not all good things are to be found exlusively in the egotistical drive for 'me' and 'mine'. And whilst the egotistical drive is inherited and has a force all of its own, the ability to yield, submit and interact is something which most definitely has to be learned. By the time a child is 7-9 he is usually old enough to be able to establish a relationship with Christ which is not based on mere imagination or taking his parents' word for what he has been taught about Yahweh and His Son. He can get to know for himself.
Yahweh's plan is that we grow from egotism (multiple-monogamism) into relationship-building (plural marriage) and finally into Body-oneness (echad):
What this means in practice is that in the case of the relationship between the women in a plural marriage, their relationship moves from simply being 'friends' or 'women' into being, first, 'sister-wives' and finally 'wives' in their own right ... relative to each other. The whole goal of echad is complete oneness in every respect so that the merging that takes place between the husband and each of his wives is the same, or similar to, that which obtains between the wives themselves. If this spiritual echad oneness is true of the Bride of Christ and is so intimate that we become, to all intents and purposes, One Bride (as is true - for it is the Bride (singular) of Christ ... not mutliple-Brides), then it must be true of the anti-type which is human marriage. Any spiritual process which interrupts the echad imperative - which being 'merely' a 'sister-wife' would do - is to admit the ego as one of the two possible spiritual driving forces in the marriage. If the Bride of Christ (and therefore every component ego thereof) is to be properly submitted and obedient to Christ to qualify as that Bride, then the same must be true of plural marriage too. And what that means is that the 'sister-wife' relationship between the wives can only be a transit relationship to the higher, profounder, deeper and more liberating relationship in which wives call each other 'my wife' (or "my echad wife") instead of simply 'my sister-wife'. When this happens the plural wives become ONE WIFE to their husband, just as the Messianic Community - fully redeemed and submitted - becomes ONE WIFE to Christ.
This is the mystery of Echad Plural Marriage which Yahweh taught to me and has commissioned me to bring to the Christian/Messianic polygamous community. There are, as I have said many times, three types of Christian/Messianic polygamous marriage around today:
Multiple monogamosis is a pathological form of polygamy because it binds the infant to the cradle so that it develops abnormally. It might equally be called compartmental polygamy. It is unnatural and a miserable way to live. Even the man, though he may think the distance between his wives is beneficial to him, suffers ultimately as much as his wives because he can never get close to them. He ends up alone or in relationships that have degenerated into Dom/sub or BDSM ones. Those who live this way ultimately suffer in the spiritual realm too because in order to maintain this form of marriage some very fundamental urges of the Holy Spirit have to be suppressed, which is the substance of Christ's High Priesthly Prayer and His call for echad. Consistently and persistently the drive of the Spirit is the crucifixion of the carnal nature - the natural man - so that Christ may fully dwell in the soul. Sister-wife polygamy is a kind of half-way house, an uneasy alliance between the spirit and flesh which must inevitably - when challanges to echad are repeatedly made - lead to a quenching of the Spirit. And if it is quenched to such an extent that what results is multiple-monogamy, every other area of the Christian/Messianic life will be effected by Her absence. And when this happens, it is not long before the soul - which still yearns for the fullness - begins compensating for the absence with psychic enegery and sometimes demons. In short, those Christians/Messianics who live the multiple-monogamy way will eventually descend into cultism. And that is one reason why so many patriarchs are getting such a spiritual thrashing at this time.
- (1) Multiple Monogamy as promulgated by one group which, by its teachings and deeds, is now openly proclaiming itself to be a cult and is of the 'polygamy-by-force' brand which may be practiced by believers and unbelievers alike;
- (2) Sister-Wife Polygamy, as originated by Mormonism and is the normative form of the 'love not force' brand of polygamy (minus the Mormon theology and practices of 'celestial marriage') which may be practiced by Christians and non-Christians alike, and which in some quarters includes practicing bisexual women; and
- (3) Echad Christian/Messianic Polygamy which is the calling of this ministry to teach and live, which is also a 'love-not-force' form of polygamy which takes #2 to its logical conclusion in an exclusively Christian/Messianic context, since it can neither be lived not experienced without Christ.
I maintain - not because I am trying to promote 'myself' or 'my vision' - that there is only one true form of Christian/Messianic polygamy, which is echad polygamy. And the reason why it is the only true form is because other forms quench out the Spirit, in part or in whole, since they aren't antitypes of anything that is biblical. Yes, the 'sister-wife' model may be said to reflect more of the Old Covenant-type of marriage, and it is true that it is a natural transition form, but if it remains that way, stagnation of spirit results and the fullness can never be enjoyed. Because the things we do affect the way we believe (and not just the other way round), living after a false pattern will have a detremental affect on the spiritual life ... in the end. Because Yahweh is a loving Elohim (God) it is His desire to reveal to us the correct steps we must take in order to flow with the Spirit and find happy, fulfilling lives. That means that wrong thinking has to be corrected and the demonic strongholds that often lie behind them must be demolished. Because He is full of grace and mercy, He does give us time to explore, repent of errors, and make the necessary adjustments that would being us into alignment with His Way again. Of late my own family has been making huge spiritual adjustments as we progressively leave the sister-wife mode behind us and move into echad. It is a process and is not done over night. It can't be forced but must await all the parties to walk together in love once they have grasped the vision. It takes time and Yahweh allows for this.
Having said this, please to not think that Yahweh's mercy is endless when truth is violated. It is the truth which sets us free, and the only true form of polygamous marriage that has eternal content is echad. It must be, because that is the Way Yah'shua (Jesus) has proclaimed for the Body in its allegorical marriage as well. We therefore need to take note of the spiritual realities enjoined upon us, and so clearly expounded in the Bible, and start making the adjustments in our lives in order to realise them.
The first place to start is in our thinking. We need to talk about echad and try to visualise the practical implications of this kind of lifestyle, and initially we need to talk about it a lot. As we talk, we create within ourselves a desire in our hearts for our hearts to be changed too, and as we entertain these desires so we silently and vocally invoke the Ruach (Spirit) to make this happen, setting into motion a spiritual stream that activates out whole soul. This may take months or years to realise as various mental, emotional and spiritual bottlenecks are encountered in our system which we can then take care of one by one through deliverance. There is inevitably much dismantling of wrong thinking patterns, emotional triggers that set off fear or panic attacks. Demons who often conceal themselves behind such things need to be expelled. In short, the soul must be discipled fully to be conformed to the image of Christ. And that is why I have taught that true Christian/Messianic polygamy is a wonderful ground for cleansing and sanctification because the plural marriage-imperative couples and dove-tails so perfectly with, and into, the Way to Christ and taw/omega-salvation. There is no better catalyst than echad Christian/Messianic marriage for Christian/Messianic discipleship in my view provided all the correct ingregients are in place.
Whatever you do, don't fall into the egotistical trap of multiple monogamosis which is guaranteed to wreck the spiritual life. And don't get too comfortable with the sister-wife mode either, because this is just a transition form of Christian/Messianic polygamy. Because we dislike change, there is a tendency to get stuck in ruts and to stop moving on. Echad polygamy calls us to no less than perfection in the complete work of Christ. Moreover, it is not something to be feared but to be eagerly anticipated, being superior not only to other forms of polygamy but to the whole monogamy-only deathtrap which wants to incarcerate the soul in a cradle. We do have to move on, taking the best of what we have where we are, and aspiring to the fullness of Paradise which our loving Heavenly Father so very much wants us to be a part of. And we can become a part of that today - in this life - in properly-lived echad plural marriage.
First created on 7 May 2003
Updated on 28 March 2016
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