What an interesting and unsettling time the last few weeks have been. As one who was born and raised in a very conservative area, I was brought up in the traditions of our traditional denominations and never thought to question them. Of course I never thought to emulate them, either, thus my not becoming a believer until very late in my life. I could never understand why spirituality seemed so dry and lifeless. When I did finally become a believer I went on a mission of discovery. I studied and continue to study scripture on a daily basis. I searched and prayed and looked for information anywhere I could find it. This has been a steady search for about two years now and there has been a major renovation in my entire belief structure, ongoing and dynamic. The Holy Spirit has led me to new truths and opened my eyes to them at an ever-increasing rate.
Imagine my surprise, when a short few weeks ago, I happened onto a web site promoting this concept of Christian/Messianic Polygamy. Remember, I am conservative born and raised. My initial reaction was visceral and vehement. The only context in which I had ever heard polygamy expounded was in fundamental Mormon groups and certain fringe sects and cults and the reports of abuses and oppression of women were well documented and rampant. I was absolutely certain that there could be no scriptural foundation for this practice and I set out to prove this. Unfortunately, no spiritually honest individual can do that if they study and accept what scripture has to say. I will not attempt a scriptural exegesis here. Others far more capable and knowledgeable than I have already done it. However I would like to share the insights I have developed as I have studied the principle and fellowshipped with people living it. I must say I have undergone a profound cultural and emotional reassessment.
To begin with, I had certain stereotypes in my mind regarding the people who choose to live polygamously. I had this image of docile, subservient women with no voice or independent thought of their own. In my mind the men living polygamously would have to be heavy-handed, authoritarian tyrants wanting only servitude from their wives. While no doubt there are some that fit these categories, I dare say they are far from the ideals that true Christian/Messianic polygamists live with and by.
Let me tell you what I found in my fellowships. I have found a group of people whose sole focus is service to Elohim (God) and lifelong commitment to family and community. I have found strong, Godly men who feel no need to run roughshod over their families to prove their authority and gentle, devout women of intelligence and industry who rejoice in service to their Master and families. I have found encouragement for everyone to seek knowledge and truth in their own right and I have found a profound respect among the Body for each other and everyone they come in contact with. This alone convicts me as a Bible-believing Christian/Messianic that this is a truly blessed life. The fruits of the Spirit literally shine in these people.
For those who wish to insist against evidence and scripture that this life is somehow wrong or immoral, I wish to remind you that scripture tells us that darkness cannot abide with the light. The strength of faith and the joy of Yahweh could not abide in this life if it were not of Him. And for those of you that think that somehow it is restrictive or oppressive to the women, I would council you to look at your own traditional churches if you want to see oppressiveness. Most modern churches so oppress women that they are not allowed to serve in any capacity other than music service or Sunday school teaching due to faulty interpretation of scripture and centuries old prejudices. In our monogamous society how many divorces and broken homes and splintered families do we see? How many children have been devastated and left destitute because of the way we have devalued marriage and family? Most modern churches have specific ministries for divorced people because it is so prevalent. Our so-called correct monogamist society has definitely missed something here. It is called commitment folks.
Are there instances of abuse in polygamy? No doubt, since people are involved and where you have human involvement, sometimes things go disastrously awry. But that in itself is no condemnation. The abuses that occur in monogamous marriages are vast and well documented. I know that to be a true fact as I barely escaped from an abusive monogamous marriage with my life. The simple truth is, if any marriage does not have Christ at the center as leader and guide, trouble is certain to follow. If you do not believe me, read the papers. Hardly a day goes by that does not contain a story of some horrendous abuse up to and including murder that occurs in marriage in this world. And Dear God help the poor babies caught in these situations.
So now what I am left with is this conclusion. If I am to marry, would I rather marry into a family already known to be devout and Godly, with a profound love and respect for each other and Elohim (God), or would I rather chance marriage with someone who may or may not be totally committed? I donít know about you but for me the answer is a no-brainer. Be blessed and be at peace.