Q. First let me start by saying that I absolutely love your site and thank God for someone who is determined by his faith to be the best he can and to aid in others achieving that level in our beloved Lord ... your site as well as yourself have been an inspiration in my life.
I myself am a born-again Christian and am believing God to bring me together with the family who [He] has set aside for me. But I digress this is but one of the reasons I am writing you. I recently had a discussion with two separate groups of people whom I got into a heated debate with because I did not understand how they could call themselves Christians while behaving the way they do and I would like your clarification on these points as to whether I am wrong in my thinking or right in my thinking and then also for clarification for myself why it is that I am either wrong or right and what one should then say to these groups of people to make them understand the errors of their ways.
To begin ... There were two "families" at a gathering I attended.
The first "family" consisted of a married couple and the husband's live-in girlfriend. From what was said to me is that there is no intention of marrying because of the laws of the country ... now this I can understand. Then they proceeded to explain to me that they had not made a spiritual marriage commitment to the girlfriend but had made an emotional commitment for life. They then proceeded to tell me that they all shared the same bed as they felt that it was unnecessary to have separate bedrooms as they considered themselves as life partners and as being "one".
The second "family" was a young woman and two men both who said more or less the same thing that none of them were married to each other and didn't intend to because they felt it unfair that only one "couple" could get married and exclude the other even though the three of them had made a life long commitment to each other. These three also felt that it was important to share the same bed.
Now here is where it got a little "tense" I said that I totally disagree with what they were doing and that even though they had made a lifetime commitment to each other that it was not under the law of God and that the three of them sharing the same bed was also perverted and an abomination to God and that they should consult the Word of God and ask for his forgiveness and stop this sinful behaviour. That a sexual relationship between people was to be a glory to God, a proclamation of their love for one another and for our loving father God who saw it fit to bring us together and not to shame his name with this vile practice.
So therefore to come back to my question... am I right in my thinking and if so I'd like your opinion on this and if I am wrong I'd like to know why I am wrong in my thinking and also how should one then approach people like this to explain that it is wrong or should one just hand them over in prayer to our loving Father-God?
Thank you for writing in and for sharing your concerns. I am glad that you have found FICP edifying in some way.
Whether or not the couple have made formal committments to each other is, on one level, immaterial, if the relationship with the second woman is consummated sexually. As far as Yahweh our Father is concerned, that man is bound to the second woman.
For a marriage to be fully binding in His eyes relative to SOCIETY as a whole, there must be :
What's to stop the man throwing out the first or second women once he had had enough of her? With no witnesses, no one would be there to keep the man accountable.
- (a) Spoken committments (vows) which are at the very least binding for this life (for the next too if you believe in eternal marriage); and
- (b) The presence of TWO or THREE WITNESSES in order to make the behaviour of all concerned ACCOUNTABLE.
Therefore this first family is living in a state of fornication. Were they ignorant of Yahweh's commandments in respect of Biblical Law, then Yahweh would probably wink at them in the days of their not knowing. But if they KNOW what the Bible is teaching, then (at least, the husband and second wife) they are in a state of open rebellion. Were such a family to come to my congregation for fellowship, I would give them an ultimatum.
Emotions are fickle and are never the basis of any covenant in Yahweh's eyes. It is good they have such but it is definitely not enough.
As to their sleeping arrangements, I make it a point not to interfere in peoples' personal preferences. My only concern is that there is no lesbian/bisexual relationship. I don't recommend the practice of all wives sharing the same bed with their husband (as you probably have read in my articles) and would definitely discourage it if there has been a past of lesbian/bisexual activity in any of the parties. The risks are just too great. But at the same time I would not outrightly condemn anyone for sharing the same bed if it is done in purity. I know of some families who prefer this arrangement and I have no problem with that. On the other hand I know of other families where I definitely object because of the lesbian/bisexual issue.
This polyandrous relationship is, quite simply, pure perversion and an abomination. And I have nothing more to add.
Your concern for these people is commendable and I think your basic approach is right, with the caveat I added about the first family. These days Western people coming into polygyny are so sexually messed up that I would recommend most members of families to have their own beds. But if there is no history of perversion in the past I would probably not be as concerned but would, as a Pastor, strongly counsel them to be careful and, if in the remotest doubt, to have separate beds.
Where there is ignorance of Yahweh's laws, patient teaching and much prayer is required. Where His laws are known, and willful rebellion is evident, sharp rebuke and a shaking off the dust of your feel is mandated. If in doubt, give them the benefit of that doubt, for to condemn when one is wrong is not a safe course of action for one's spirituality.
If they were unbelievers, then it is not our position to judge.