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    PM Interviews 6

    James Dryden and Stanisław Discuss
    New Covenant Concepts
    of Marriage

    The following is a compilation of discussions between James (red text), a Patriarch belonging to a different ministry, and Stan (blue text) that took place in 2001. The purpose of this discussion was to try and thrash out a common understanding on the biblical teaching about the duration and form of polygamous marriage in general.

    TOPICS: Eternal Marriage (Marriage in Heaven/Millennium), Female Holy Spirit, Trinitarianism, Married Christ, Torah, Diversity in Polygamy Ministries, Secondary Scriptures, Women Ministers.


    Brother Stan, I want to first begin by saying how much I, and others like us in patriarchy, appreciate your ministry and many useful articles. Many of us look up to you as the 'daddy' of this movement since you've been living polygyny for so long. However, there are one or two aspects of your teaching that give us cause for concern. And I know there are several like myself who would have joined this ministry had these not been real stumbling blocks for us ...

    Well, James, I appreciate your remarks, and especially your honesty and sincerity. You know, there are substantial disagreements between most ministries over scriptural interpretations of one sort or another. Since the beginning we've had the split over force vs. love, and now we have a new one over the legitimacy of monogamy-only covenants. However, I don't see why these differences should be a barrier either to fellowship between Christians/Messianics or to others joining this ministry. One of HEM's partners disagrees with a number of my teachings, and I with his, but we don't let that hinder our joint-service. I think a measure of Christian/Messianic maturity must be whether we can disagree and get on together in Christian/Messianic love.

    Sure, I understand that, but I'm sure you'd agree that there are limits. For instance, if someone started teaching that Jesus was a lesser god like the Jehovah's Witnesses, that'd be grounds for breaking fellowship.

    True, James, there are certain fundamentals which can't be compromised, the deity of Christ being one. But then you find there are others who who draw the lines closer and closer to themselves and virtually exclude others altogether. I know some Messianics like that - if you use the word 'God' or 'Jesus' they consider you worse than a heathen - they split hairs to such an extent that they disappear down the crack of all reasonableness!

    {laughs} Yeah, I know what you mean!

    But if I can read your thoughts for you for a moment, the problem that you and others often have with this ministry is our belief in eternal marriage, the possibility of further inspired scripture (even if it is clearly designated as secondary to the Bible and not binding on other Christians), and our belief that Yah'shua (Jesus) was in all likelihood married ...

    Right - those are exactly my problem areas. And not just because orthodox Christianity has never accepted them, but because I genuinely can't find any grounds for such belief from the Bible. I know you'll answer by saying that polygyny has never really been accepted either, and I agree - which is why I'm prepared to discount history and just see what the Word itself says.

    I respect you for that, James, because that's pretty well my position as well. History is a peculiar species anyway since it tends to be written through the lenses of particular belief structures. In the end, scholars tend to assume that the historical records which have survived the ages are accurate representations of the one-and-only 'Christian way' when in actuality they may simply reflect the dominant view which came to prominence through any number of mechanisms.

    Like the Catholic view of history, for instance?

    For instance. We know now, thanks to the research work of a number of patriarchal Christians/Messianics, that polygamy was practiced by Christians for as long as six centuries before the Catholic Romans stamped it out in accordance with their emerging beliefs in the priestly sanctity of celibacy which thereafter became an ideal, monogamy being tolerated as a necessary evil to propagate the species.

    So what you're suggesting is that there was an early Christian belief in eternal marriage but that because Catholicism replaced the New Testament Church that all knowledge of this was suppressed?

    That is certainly part of the story, though not the most important one - we know even from the epistles that there were factions and sects at the time of the apostles, not to mention false scriptures. However, why don't you fire off your questions so that we can get a handle on something.

    OK. Maybe you can begin by summarising why you believe in eternal marriage. You agree, I'm sure, that there isn't one direct statement in the Bible supporting such a belief. Instead, there is one - repeated three times in the Gospels - where Jesus says there is no marriage in heaven. So I think the burden of proof must come from your side - the ball's in your court, as it were.

    Fair enough. But before I give you a summary, let me point out that some of the dogmas in Orthodox Christianity fall into exactly the same category as the one you have correctly detailed for eternal marriage - in fact, it's such a cardinal doctrine that to reject it is to be heretical in the eyes of most Christians.

    What do you mean?

    {Grins} Well, do you agree that there is no concrete statement anywhere in the Bible on the Trinity doctrine?

    {Mouth drops open}

    Surprised you there, didn't I, brother James!

    But it's deducable ... !

    Of course it is, just as eternal marriage is, only Trinitarianism is only 'deducable', as you put it, if you ignore certain scriptures like the pre-eminence of the Father over the Son. It's a mathematical formulation which goes far beyong anything that the Bible teaches. It's a nice, compact doctrine, to be sure, and I won't disfellowship anyone for believing in it (as some Messianics do), because I accept that we'll probably never know for sure who Elohim (God) is in His fullness while we're down here. Trinitarianism could be right, but then so could a number of other Godhead formulations. The point is that the Bible teaches we can't fully know Elohim (God) as He really is, but only as His incarnation as the Master Yah'shua (Jesus).

    But, Stan, Jesus specifically repudiated marriage in the next life when he talked to the Sadducees ... you can't ignore that!

    I haven't actually ignored it at all. In actual fact, I've explained it quite reasonably, I believe, just as Trinitarians have found ways of explaining why they believe that Christ is co-equal with the Father. The scriptures used to show that He is not co-equal are co-opted by them by saying that this only refers to His humanity as a mortal, even though they really have to stretch a number of scriptures in order to do that.

    Again, don't misunderstand me - I'm not saying that Trinitarianism isn't a legitimate model based on the limited scriptural data we have. I'm just saying that there are other ways of interpreting the data - equally legitimate (if not more so), just as there are ways of looking at marriage in terms of eternity and not just mortality. But I think the main problem that I have with many of my orthodox brethren is not so much their belief in Trinitarianism but the fact that it has become enshrined as extra-biblical SCRIPTURE, thus contradicting their sola scriptura mantra. To my way of thinking that is hypocrisy. It was the Catholics who made it a dogma, so what are Protestants doing promoting Catholic councils and modus operandi?

    {pause}

    I think it is outrageous and unchristian that anyone should be given the cold shoulder, let alone accused of being a heretic, simply because he arrives at an honest and sincere biblical exegesis which contradicts what the majority believes. It's a form of religious persecution. And Christian/Messianic polygamists should especially be more understanding in this matter, since they espouse a minority position and have felt the full weight of orthodox monogamy-only wrath. It is one thing to deny what Scripture clearly and plainly teaches whilst claiming to believe in the Bible, but quite another to arrive at conclusions on subject material which is not so clearly stated.

    But why don't I give you my reasons for a belief in eternal marriage, since that's really what you want to discuss?

    Great.

    To begin with, I will agree with you - the Bible says nothing directly about eternal marriage. There is, for instance, no statement by a prophet, apostle, Christ or Yahweh Himself that we shall be married in heaven. But I do most emphatically maintain that such a doctrine can be inferred, and in an overwhelming way, without making any a priori assumptions. And the reason I, and our fellowship, believe in eternal marriage is not so much because I have pasted together a preselected group of scriptures as the Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons might do, but because I see an entire eternal marriage PATTERN permeating the whole Bible. It's more like a consistent current that interpenetrates the whole Word of Elohim (God).

    Firstly, I assume you agree, James, that when Yahweh described His relationship with Israel (and subsequently with Northern Israel and Judah) as a 'marriage', that the allegory was not accidental?

    Sure.

    And do you agree that when Christ co-opted this same allegory to describe His relationship to the Church (Messianic Community) as her Bridegroom, that this also was purposeful?

    Yeah.

    And do you agree that this allegory extends throughout the scriptures?

    Yep.

    And do you agree that the Bible begins and ends with marriage - first, with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis, and then with the Marriage Feast of the Lamb in heaven in the Book of Revelation?

    Yes.

    Would you agree, then, on the basis of this alone, that the principle of marriage at least strongly influences the Word of Elohim (God), and at best dominates it?

    I guess.

    Good. Because I agree with you entirely. It's inescapable. And if Yahweh hadn't wanted a theology dominated by the marriage principle He would surely have chosen some other kind of allegory.

    I guess.

    And yet as we have seen, the Bible begins and ends with marriage - it's a kind of "alpha/alef and omega/taw" principle. The grand consummation is descirbed using the imagery of a bridal feast because it involves the same kind of joy.

    Now, correct me if you think my logic is faulty ...

    Sure, I will!

    We learn from the Torah (law) that the marriage bond is sacred. Indeed, we are told by Christ Himself that what Elohim (God) has joined together, let not man divide asunder (Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:9).

    OK, let me ask you a question at this point: if marriage is eternal, then why is there provision in the Law of Moses for the wife or wives to remarry when the husband dies? Surely, if marriage is eternal, and the husband and wives will be reunited in heaven, remarriage would be unthinkable?

    That's the best question you've asked so far!

    {Grins}

    Paul said that "when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears" (1 Corinthians 13:10, NIV). I'm sure you'll agree that the Law of Moses wasn't complete, which is why Christ came to fulfil it ... that is, to fill it up, or bring it to perfection. We know that at His death the ceremonial aspect of the Law was done away with completely - the need for animal sacrifices and other rituals which pointed to Christ ...

    Agreed.

    But we also know that the moral and ethical law was not done away with, but continued in the New Covenant.

    OK

    However, even the moral and ethical law was not complete in every area because Yah'shua (Jesus) modified it. We know that some parts of it were defective.

    No! The Law is holy and pure.

    I'll not dispute that. However, you must not forget the reforms to the Law which Yah'shus (Jesus) instituted, and in particular those concerning marriage. For instance He said, when he tightened up the rules on divorce: "Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so" (Matthew 19:8, KJV; cp. Mark 10:4-9). In other words, the statutes on divorce which we find in the Torah are defective and were given specifically to meet the stubbornness and heart-heartedness of the people of that time. He then says that it was not like this in the beginning, i.e. in the Patriarchal Times - then divorce was not permitted at all! A woman could be sent away (as Hagar was) but not divorced. Thus Yah'shua (Jesus) clearly states, contrary to Torah, that the only grounds for divorce are if a a woman sleeps with another man while she is betrothed (see The Issues Surrounding Divorce and Remarriage, Part 1 and Part 2).

    OK, I get your drift so far, but what of the Sadducee incident when Jesus said there was no marriage in heaven?

    This I have dealt with at some length already in several articles. But to summarise, there are two things that need to be born in mind. First, Yah'shua's (Jesus') Torah reformations were not yet in force because the New Covenant had not been inaugurated, even though He had already given notice of what was to come in His teachings. The Sadducees posed a Levirate question about the responsibility of a man raising up sons to his dead brother if he had none, for the purpose of inheritance rights. The issue here was about the resurrection, which they did not believe in. The discussion about resurrection centred in the teachings of the Pentateuch (the first five books of Moses), since the Sadducees (unlike the Pharisees) didn't accept any other scriptures (the Pharisees accepted the whole Old Testament), and the Pentateuch says nothing about the resurrection - hence the Sadducees' 'legal grounds' for rejecting the doctrine. They refused to accept anything that any of Yahweh's other prophets had said, nullifying the Word of Elohim (God) in the rest of the Old Testament. So the context of the discussion on resurrection, and the incidental issue of marriage in the next life, was exclusively the first five books of the Bible.

    So what you're saying, if I understand you right, is that since the Sadduccees believed only in the Pentateuch, which says nothing about eternal marriage, and which is defective in terms of divorce laws, that Jesus answered them out of what their own scriptures taught?

    Partly. Which brings me to my second point, namely, the Bible speaks of two types of marriage, and on two different levels.

    • (a) As Yah'shua (Jesus) said, there was Patriarchal marriage, which is also New Covenant Marriage, and there was Mosaic Marriage which was in the process of being reformed to make it Patriarchal again;

    • (b) There was, and is,

      • (i) the type of 'marriage' that Adam and Eve had, and
      • (ii) the type of earthly marriage that Yah'shua (Jesus) spoke of to the Sadducees, in which He said that there is no 'marriage-making' in heaven.

    Adam and Eve were husband and wife but they were not exactly "joined together" (except in the act of union) since Eve was already a part of Adam, being made from him.

    Now bear with me for a moment before you ask your next question. We know, for example, that there are two types of birth: physical birth and spiritual birth. We also know that there are two types of sonship - earthly (with our biological parents) and heavenly (with Elohim/God the Father through faith in Christ, whence we become adopted). Is Elohim (God) my literal Father? Certainly - we are not speaking allegory here - for Paul tells us in his discourse in Athens that Elohim (God) is the Father of our spirits - He made them, just as our bioligical parents made our physical bodies. We are therefore literally the spiritual sons and daughters of Yahweh through the divine creative process, as well as being His 'legal' sons and daughters through faith in Christ.

    I don't quite follow what you're getting at ...

    Just hang on a moment. I'm sure you'll agree that we are not going to be 'literally' married to Christ in heaven?

    No, it's an allegory.

    Right. We are to compare marriage to the union of the saints with Christ in terms of its intimacy, intensity and joy.

    We are to understand that this union is eternal, are we not?

    Yes, of course.

    Do you think that Yahweh would use a temporal allegory in order to describe something eternal?

    {Pauses} I see what you're getting at ...

    We are told also that what Elohim (God) (notice that, it's not 'man') joins together, let none divide. To me that suggests permanency. Notice that this statement was made by Yah'shua (Jesus) on the eve of the inauguration of the New Covenant and quoting from the Patriarchal era in the Book of Genesis. The marriage He is talking about is NEW COVENANT-PATRIARCHAL, not Mosaic. Indeed, He is shaking the Mosaic system up, reforming the parts given because of the hardness of the hearts of the followers of Moses! He is talking about marriage "as it was in the beginning", not as it was during the pre-New Covenant dispensation. And what is the beginning of beginnings?

    Adam and Eve!

    Right! We are talking about beginnings (Adam and Eve) and endings (Christ) - alpha/alef and omega/taw - and incidentally, it's worth pointing out that all marriage begins with monogamy, as was the marriage of Adam and Eve (at least in the beginning), and ends polygamously (as depicted allegorically by the polygamous relationship of the bridal saints to Christ) - alpha/alef and omega/taw again. And Christ is the ......

    ... Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End! Wow! I get it now. Man, this is exciting!!

    Isn't it just?! There are two different marriage realities - earthly and heavenly - and an allegorical type to point us in the right direction. We are supposed to measure everything in terms of this allegory. It's from this allegory we get a restatement and re-emphasis of the primacy of patriarchy and righteous headship coupled with righteous submission. It's from this allegory that we get a picture of where everything is headed. It's from this allegory that we understand the NATURE of all true relationships in the sanctity of Christ, and ALL relationship is marriage - ALL of it!

    Wow!

    But it isn't carnal - it operates on a totally different set of principles to what might well be called 'Mosaic marriage' which is concerned about the rights to have sex and children, property rights, etc.

    So you don't bellieve we will have children in heaven?

    I have no idea, and though I don't think so, I wouldn't be adverse to the idea. And if we do, it will not be on the same basis as it is here.

    So you don't agree with the Mormon position, then?

    No. I can find no evidence for that, but I won't be dogmatic.

    What about Jesus Himself ... you claim He was married, almost everyone else, including most Christian/Messianic polygamists, say he wasn't. You seem to be in a tiny minority.

    Very tiny! Funnily enough, most Christian/Messianic patriarchs recognise that the Catholic notions of sex which the Protestants inherited were defective, namely, as Augustine implied, that sex was in some way dirty. Israel Lim of the Patriarchy Website in Singapore (now defunct) was the first, as far as I know, to expose the Augustine underpinning of 'dirty sex'. Though he wasn't talking about Yah'shua (Jesus), he was laying to rest the fallacy that the desire for polygamy was in some way sexually motivated and therefore 'dirty'. He showed that the procreative mandate given our first parents in the context of marriage was pronounced 'good' and therefore pure and clean.

    The main objection to Yah'shua (Jesus) having been married was that to have been so, He would have had to engage in sex, which is 'dirty' and 'beneath' someone so holy as He, a notion inherited from Catholic aceticism, itself loaned from paganism. But this is nonsense. Sex within marriage is not dirty but pure, which is why we are told to keep the marriage bed undefiled (Hebrews 13:4).

    The second objection to Christ being married in the flesh is that any children he had would have been 'christlets' or 'godlets'. That is perhaps the most serious objection and one we cannot ignore, but it presupposes that Christ's flesh was as much 'God' as His spirit. This is not, however, a warranted conclusion from Scripture: Christ is Elohim (God) (Elohim) in the flesh - i.e., in human, mortal flesh. If His flesh had been God (Elohim) it would have been immortal, as in the resurrection, which His most certainly wasn't, because He was subject to pain and death like ordinary human beings. This means, quite simply, that if Christ had any children, they would have been ordinary mortals like Mary, you or I - in short, sinners.

    Alright, I think I understand your position on that. But where is there any evidence that He married or had children?

    There isn't any directly any more than there is any direct evidence that the apostles had wives or children, because such was not relevent to the salvation message. There is, actually, quite good historical evidence that He was at least married to Mary Magdalene, and possibly to Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus. This is documented on the main website. If it hadn't been for the abnormality called Catholicism, which had sway over the Western Christian world for so many centuries, and in so doing deeply infected Western Christian consciousness, we would never have thought twice about a married Christ. Indeed, it would have been the most normal thing imaginable, so normal, in fact, that for Him not to have been married would have been considered abnormal. Celibacy simply was not an option in Judaism and all ministers had to be married. And since Paul and Yah'shua (Jesus) were both regularly ordained Rabbis with the freedom therefore to preach publically, we are forced to conclude that both were married on that basis alone.

    But perhaps more importantly, at least as far as His mission to love the Torah (Law) perfectly without sinning once was concerned, not being married would have excluded Him from being tempted in every point "even as we are", and that He could not have been had He been single. So my conclusion, which cannot be refuted from Scripture, is that He was almost certainly married, and undoubtedly polygamously. Had he been not, that would have most certainly prompted rebuke from His critics for being a bad Jew.

    Which is the same argument you use for the New Testament Church not changing the Sabbath from seventh day to Sunday?

    Absolutely. If the apostles had changed the Sabbath day, the Jews would have gone wild and there would have been an enormous controversy that would have required much apologetic material from the apostles. But there is none, and no change was ever made. Again, it was the Catholics who changed the Sabbath.

    But you'll admit, even if you're right, that eternal marriage and a married Jesus are controversial and likely to create disunity in the Body?

    I'll not deny that, but then since when has the Bible ever given us the luxury to seek artificial unity through ecumenical compromise? If unity is the issue, then we might as well scrap all the fundamental tenets of the faith and become Universalists ... or Catholics ... or whatever else you want to unite with.

    When I first brought up the issue of a married Christ, I was urged by one of the larger Polygamy Ministries to drop it as it would be an obstacle in converting orthodox Christians and Messianics to polygamy. Though I appreciated the concern, it was not simply in my power to cover up what I consider to be a basic truth. Hence our ministries have gone separate ways over this matter. I don't blame the man since he did not believe in a married Christ, and so from his point-of-view his decision to exclude this topic from his ministry is justifiable even if I consider him to be wrong. That is why, I believe, Yahweh permits and promotes diverse ministries at this time to make sure that at least polygamy is accepted more widely than it already is, even if that means excluding other principles. Change is often slow. He has his mission, and I have mine. And mine will undoubtedly remain in a tiny minority - I have accepted that, just as I have accepted that Christ's true Church (Messianic Assembly) will be a tiny remnant when He returns as it was in the days of Noah (Luke 17:26).

    Stan, I'm not sure I agree with you over these issues, but I can at least now see that you have a good biblical case. It does make sense - and who knows, maybe I'll come around to your way of thinking eventually.

    {Laughs} That would be nice, to be sure!

    But we've not dealt with one other matter, namely, more scripture than the Bible. I just don't buy that.

    That's fair enough. I am not an evangelist for more scriptures even though I recognise that there can be, and likely is, more than the Bible since the Bible itself speaks of scriptures which are no longer to be found, with the exception of the Book of Jasher (Joshua 10:13; 2 Samuel 1:18) which was first translated into English in about 1840. (I have since come to doubt that this is authentic Scripture though I believe ot contains truths here and there - see ). From the point-of-view of Patriarchal Christianity it is very interesting indeed.

    What I find rather ironic, and sometimes amusing, is that hungry, searching Christians/Messianics are in search of more but feel trapped by a single Canon. And although they pay lipservice to the final authority and completeness of the Bible they are not above going to, and enjoying, other sources of information, particularly works like the Book of Jasher. But unlike Mormons who not only have scriptures which contradict the Bible and which they regard as being of equal (if not superior) quality to it, I hold no such position. The Bible is primary scripture for me and everything else purporting to come from Yahweh must harmonise with it or be rejected. The Mormons, on the other hand, are not slow to attack the Bible if it contradicts their scriptures.

    My advice to people who sincerely believe that Yahweh has only ever revealed the Protestant Canon of the Bible and nothing else, and will never reveal more, is that they look upon our writings as they would that of the sermons of a minister. I am comfortable with that. If they don't agree with them, that's fine by me. As I have said, our Order is not evangelising our secondary scriptures - they are simply there for anyone who wants to use them.

    Then you don't consider them to be infallible?

    No, we do not.

    OK, I think I can live with that so long as you are not pressing me or other Christians to regard them as inspired.

    Well, that's not quite what I said, since I believe there are different degrees of inspiration. Obviously I believe in inspired preaching which, if written down, would still be inspired, for it is by the foolishness of preaching that people are saved (1 Corinthians 1:21). Doesn't that suggest to you that such preaching is inspired?

    Hmmm ...

    I don't wish to get into semantics but the idea that nothing outside the Bible is in some way influenced (and therefore inspired) by Yahweh I find hard to swallow. But if you were to ask me whether I believe the Bible to be a unique and infallible record (in the original autographs), then I would go along with that. Perhaps the qualifier 'infallibly inspired' would be a better designation.

    Sure, I'll buy that. Well, I guess that covers my three principal areas of objection. Oh, there's one other - a fourth - that I forget to mention, and that's your belief in women ministers. Most other patriarchs I have met would break out into a cold sweat hearing that.

    Well, I'm not alone in this, praise Yah, for the biggest patriarchal ministry in Asia, Christ Taberbacle, the ecclesiatical wing of Brother Israel Lim's Patriarchy ministry (now defunct), believes in women ministers, and I know for a fact that one of his wives is a co-pastor with him, or used to be.

    Let me straighten out one misconception for I am not a liberal who believes in carte blanche ordination of women. I do not believe that men and women have the same priestly authority and areas of responsibility, in spite of considerable overlap. For instance, while I believe in pastresses, eldresses and deaconesses, I do not believe that they have headship over congregations. Thus a female pastor (pastress) is the #2 in a congregation under the Pastor, who is the head, and is more a counsellor or 'helpmeet' for him but with special headship responsibilities over the wives and single women. That such a system is biblical particularly in the light of the fact that the Royal Priesthood consists of all true believers, men and women alike, I would insist on. And whoever heard of someone having a Priesthood without the authority to perform priestly functions?

    What about the passage where Paul says a woman should be silent in Church?

    He doesn't, otherwise there wouldn't be women teachers in the New Testament. People try to wriggle out of that by trying to limit her silence to church 'buildings' but there weren't any then, and ministry is in any case not limited to one particular space or time. Such is carnal thinking. The issue is in fact not about women generally but wives in relation to their husbands. But this is discussed elsewhere on the main site if you want to pursue this further as we don't really have enough time to do justice to that subject now. (See our Women in the New Covenant website).

    Do any of your wives have priestly offices?

    Yes, my wives have served as both Deaconesses and Eldresses at different times in our local fellowship.

    So who's authority do they come over in your local congregation?

    Under the Pastress.

    Do they preach and teach in church?

    They do a lot of teaching of children, which is one of the offices of the Teacher-Deaconesses, but they do not preach as they do not hold that office. Occasionally they may stand in for me if I am away and there are no Elders of Deacons to assume my responsibilities as Pastor.

    This is really interesting, Stan, and I guess we could discuss this further if we had the time. One final question: is it true that you believe that the Holy Spirit is female? That's surely not a biblical notion at all.

    Big subject, James, and not easily answerable here in the time we have left. But yes, we believe the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) is female.

    Created or uncreated?

    'Created', but not like men or angels, but out of Yahweh's side, like Eve was created from Adam. 'Derived' would be a better word.

    Radical!

    Yes, but similar beliefs were once entertained by early Christians and survived in various formes in the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Catholics simply idolatrously transferred female deity from the Holy Spirit to the Virgin Mary.

    Do you worship the Holy Spirit?

    No, absolutely not. Only Yahweh is to be worshipped through Yah'shua (Jesus) the Son as taught in the Lord's Prayer.

    You know, you can't blame other Christian polygamist patriarchs getting their hair up about your belief system - you're radical!

    So was Christ, and I make no apology for my radicalism. The whole issue of salvation is radical, is it not?

    Yes, I guess so ...

    The litmus test of any teaching is whether it works or not - what are its fruits? As far as its application to my own family, it has only brought good. One reader wrote in to me and said that HEM was the most pro-women of all the polygamy sites, which was comforting to hear, especially coming from a woman. I believe Christ was pro-women too - all the way down the line. Understanding and appreciating that there is female divinity automatically gives you a deep respect and admiration for women whereas I have noticed that all-male Godhead systems tend to breed either an insensitivity towards them or outright contempt. Common sense alone tells us that there must be a female element in the Godhead, and not just female 'characteristics' in the male Personages of the Father and Christ. What's even more radical is the very real possibility that there are seven Spirits, as opposed to a merely 'seven-fold' Spirit, which neatly ties in again with the topic we started off with, namely, how polygamous marriage permeates everything (cp. Isaiah 4:1). One discovers that that there is a golden thread running through every principle of the Gospel, and that thread is polygamy - from the Godhead down to man, from Genesis to Revelation, from Eden to Heaven.

    I've heard it argued by other patriarchs that the women in a polygamous marriage aren't married together in any way and that the ultimate 'mystery' is just a husband married to many wives in separate marriages.

    That's shere nonsense. Firstly, if that is true, then there is no such thing as the Body of Christ (Messianic Community). We are all allegorically married to Christ, but we are also all allegorically 'married' together too. Christ's High Priestly prayer was that the saints should be one (echad) with each other just as Christ is one (echad) with the saints, and as the Father is one (echad) with Christ.

    Secondly, it destroys the whole concept of Betrothal and reduces marriage down to a sexual, non-spiritual level, as it largely was in the Mosaic Law.

    That, I would suggest, is the principal difference between this ministry and nearly all of the other ones. The others, for the most part, define marriage in terms of the Mosaic Law and then put a New Covenant coating on top of it, which explains why so many of their marriages are harsh and controlling. We define marriage out of the Allegory of the Body of Christ that Yah'shua (Jesus) taught and Paul expanded upon and which represents a higher - more complete - understanding of marriage. That means I consider my wives to be spiritually 'married' to one another in a secondary sense just as I believe the saints are allegorically married to one another as Christ's Bride. (For a study on this subject, see Sister-Wife or Wife: How are Polygamous Wives Related?).

    You identify, I think, another major division her in the patriarchal movement.

    I find that ironical because you claim to be a Messianic Israelite!

    Oh yes, I am a Messianic Israelite alright - I believe in the Messiah and I believe in Israel, the Redeemed of Christ. I also believe in the Torah but not in the ceremonial law nor in those parts of the ethical law that were added because of hard-heartedness and which Christ repudiated or reformed, bringing Torah to its New Covenant completion, ready to be written on the hearts of true believers. I believe in the New Covenant or Melchizedek Torah, not the Levitical Torah.

    If there is one reason many Christian polygamous women are 'biting the bullet' it is because, I feel, they are being forced into a semi-Mosaic mould and are being denied in substance (if not in word) the higher ground of freedom in Christ. One of our female writers repeatedly told me how, in talking to women from other polygamous ministries, she found them repressed to one degree or another, whereas she found my wives completely open, transparent, free and joyous in their polygamy. Those are, I believe, the fruits of our doctrine, and that is why I am so confident in it.

    You certainly stick closely to what you preach Stan, and I can't deny that it seems to work. Maybe we all have something to learn from you.

    You are very kind. In truth, we must all learn from each other, and be a mutual leavening influence. Attempts have been made to suppress and then marginalise these radical teachings by certain persons because they are a threat not so much to polygamy (though they claim it is) but to their own religious traditions. The truth is threatening to such but is a wonderful blessing to those who are open and teachable. It will take time for these principles to percolate down to the Body of Patriarchal Christians/Messianics. In the end, it will not be how clever we are in theology that persuades people, though, but in the fruits in our lives. If it doesn't work, it should be dumped in the trash can, no matter how much time and effort have been invested in its exposition.

    New Covenant Plural Marriage works, and it works well - very well. My women consider themselves to be free - as free, if not freer, than women in monogamy. I do not need to police them, because the Word, which is increasingly written on their hearts, does that for me. (It's only when it's imposed from outside that you need to police them). They do not need to put on an act in order to convince others that polygamy works, and that they wouldn't have any other way - what they share is genuine, so genuine that it has disarmed our previously hostile inlaws, amongst others. Though the latter are still very opposed to our way of life, they can no longer say that their daughters were 'brainwashed' or 'forced' into polygamy and are pretending to be happy. They can see the happiness for themselves. And my wives aren't just defending polygamy out of sense of obligation or duty 'because the Bible (and therefore Yahweh) says so' but OUT OF THE CONVICTION OF THEIR HEARTS.

    I do not know what other patriarchal wives feel but mine feel an eternal marriage bond between themselves as well as (though primarily) with me. They are investing for New Covenant eternity and not just for a preparatory Mosaic earthly life.

    I've looked at all the various polygamous formulae being offered and I am satisfied that we are on the right path. It means, as you say, being 'radical' and provoking the wrath of the traditionalists from time to time. And that has meant a degree of isolation, to be sure. But we could no more abandon our way of life and embrace their form of polygamy than an Evangelical Christian or Messianic Jew could renounce Christ and embrace Talmudic Judaism. That would be worse than death!

    We come with the bold pronouncement that this form of polygamy is THE polygamy of the coming Millennium and the eternities. Some may consider us arrogant, just as Christians are considered arrogant by religionists who say they are preaching an exclusivist faith. And we are. There is no salvation apart from Christ, and you can't get more radical than that. And there can therefore only be one type of true marriage - the marriage which is reflected in the allegory of the union of Christ with His Church (Messianic Community).

    Thanks, brother Stan, this has been a fantastic journey through your thinking and practice. I am sure other patriarchal Christians will be blessed.

    Author: SBSK

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    First created on 16 May 2001
    Updated on 20 May 2016

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