Q. I agree that polygamy is scriptural. But about the two week abstinance, bisexual and homosexuals having to abstain from sex a full year before marriage? What scripture do you use to back up such commandments?
For the two week abstinance, please see FAQ 40.
As for a one year period of celibacy for those who have lived impure sexual lives before marriage, that is the apostolic decision of our own community - other Christians/Messianics are free to arrive at their own decisions. There are many obvious reasons for such abstinence which, though not directly stated in scripture, are, we feel, more or less derivable:
In a world where purity (and especially sexual purity) is becoming almost a collector's item, the Church of God (Assembly of Yahweh) must expect to lay a heavier emphasis on the matter of purification. Ages differ from one another, to be sure.
- (1) Anyone participating in unclean sex (including heterosexuals) have an obligation to be spiritually cleansed before uniting with a spouse. Those who participate in unclean sex acquire a lot of demonic baggage which is automatically transferrable by sexual intercourse - it is the means by which Satan has so demonised our modern liberal society. Proper deliverance ministry is required of ALL who have had unclean relationships - whether they are marrying or not - who enter our Order. And in our considerable experience, those who have been involved in homosexual relationships are controlled by very powerful demons (which is why homosexuality is not easy to be delivered from);
- (2) It is only right that those who have lived a promiscuous lifestyle be properly checked for STDs (sexually-transmittable diseases). With over 50% of some western country's populations affected thus, the matter takes on an ever greater urgency, especially where AIDS is endemic (such as in Africa);
- (3) Breaking impure sexual habits takes most people some time. A period of celibacy, as Paul enjoined, is a great strengthener of the spirit and a remedy for sin. Sexual control is enjoined on all in the Gospel of Yah'shua (Jesus). A time for emotional healing and mental reprogramming is self-explanatory, I think.
The need for care is especially important in a polygamous situation where cross-sexual contact means a greater risk of pathological as well as spiritual infection. And whilst it is true the Bible nowhere enjoins precisely a year of cleansing, we consider the local conditions of immorality to more than justify such a ruling. Of course, whether you accept this or not will in part depend on your view on apostolic authority.
I hope this has been helpful.