"Look at the legalized adultery we call divorce.
Men marry one wife after another and are still admitted into good
society; and women do likewise. There are thousands of supposedly
respectable men in America living with other men's wives, and thousands
of supposedly respectable women living with other women's husbands."
- R. A. Torrey From R.A. Torrey's book How to Pray, pages 94-95
R.A. Torrey (1856-1928) was a very well-known Christian writer, evangelist, pastor, graduate of Yale University, and was also the superintendent of Moody Bible Institute for 19 years.
TRINITY BARS THE
DIVORCED.; No Remarriage in the Church or Any of the Chapels.
The clergy of Trinity Church announced yesterday that under no circumstances will divorced persons be married by any of the clergy of that Episcopal parish, nor will such marriages be permitted either in the church at Wall Street and Broadway or in any one of the parish's eight chapels. The announcement was as follows:
View full article New York Times
December 7, 1904, Wednesday
In Deut. 25, the living brother is to marry his dead brother's wife, and there is absolutely no statement whatsoever in regards to the living brother's marital status. He could be single, or he could already be married. The passage says nothing either way. All that is said is,
If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the family; her husband's brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her.
If the living brother was already married, then we have here a command from God for a man to have a polygymous relationship. If the living brother was already married, in order to obey the Lord, the man would be required to have more than one wife. If he refused to do so, he would be spitting in the face of God and bear reproach (Deuteronomy 25:9-10).
See, in the above, you are inserting your opinion that God looks on polygamy as "good", therefore it is assumed by you that the brother that dwells with the other must be married. Yet, scripture does not state that, so all we can do is wonder about the brother's marital status.
Don't you think it's somewhat manipulative to measure God's endorsement for polygamy as merely "tolerable" simply because you personally find it repugnant?
I don't think I ever said that I find polygamy "repugnant", though I do see IN GOD'S WORD that He never created marriage to be ONE MAN/MANY WIVES. Jesus was pretty clear about taking TWO and making them ONE flesh............not taking three, four, five, six, etc. TWO. That is the Lord's Word on marriage, not mine.
I dislike answering a question with a question, but can you show me where a man having extramarital relationships was ever defined in the Bible as being adulterous, apart from that relationship involving another man's wife? I would be very interested to see any reference of which you may know.
Wow, so it's adultery for a SINGLE person to take to themselves a married person, but it's ok for a married person to have illicit relations with a SINGLE person? Here's a good passage for you: Mk. 10:11--"whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery AGAINST HER." I would say that is an "extra-marital" relationship that is CLEARLY defined as adulterous, no?
Right before Abraham's death, we're told that he had other wives according to Genesis 25. There are those who assume that concubines were not really wives, when in fact they were, with the only distinction being that the offspring of the concubines were not entitled to a portion of the inheritance. Sleeping with another man's concubine(s) was tantamount to sleeping with his wife, which is indeed adultery. One need only read about David's reaction to men sleeping with his ten concubine wives.
Scripture says that he had concubines (you inserted wives into that). Scripture shows that a first wife was the preeminent one in God's sight(Sara, Leah, Michal(whom David took back from her 2nd husband).
Very true indeed. My purpose for addressing the negative attacks against polygyny is to cast a measure upon the inordinately negative focus cast upon those great men who happened to have had more than one wife, and how allegedly wrong it was for them to do so, and yet we have people in our circle of fellowship, friends and family living adulterous lives right under our noses, and say nothing about it.
After all, we don't want to offend them, do we?
The thing is, that this thread is not about polygamy. It is true that polygamy is used as an example of one type of relationship that is NOT God's intent for marriage. Polygamous marriage is no better than adulterous marriage in the sight of God. BOTH pervert His creation intent for marriage---1 woman, 1 man for life..........TWO made into ONE flesh. Both relationships are adultery against the original mate that God joined one to. In the OT we find that God allowed divorce/remarriage without it being called "adultery". In the OT we see that God allowed polygamy without it being called adultery against the original spouse. However, Jesus brought marriage back to the creation intent for marriage---so again, BOTH types are sinful.
There are those who think that an adulterous remarriage somehow ceases to be an adulterous relationship after the point of acquiring a piece of paper providing legal recognition of the marriage from City Hall. Oh, how daft so many people are.
Here's the deal: If I steal from other people, repent before the Lord, and go right back and steal again, it's theft all over again, lending ample evidence to the fact that my initial repentance can indeed be called into serious question. Ongoing theft doesn't become acceptable before the Lord simply because I acknowledged my wrong at some point, and yet continued in the error.
Most people, however, think that adultery falls within a completely different category of sin, therefore making any comparison illegitimate. I have yet to meet the man who can effectively defend such thinking, but in practice, most remarriages are an attempt at idealizing such a concept as legitimate, although such a moral philosophy is simply absent from the word of God.
No disagreement with you there.
Conversely, many an ignorant fellow and gal will sit back upon haunches, and spew a parade of condemnation against a marital form within which God actively involved Himself, and declare it as being inferior in relation to what Adam was given in the Garden. How crass. How philistine. The lowbrow approach to this topic is at times a remarkable demonstration of aggrandizement of a philosophy that clearly is of this world.
Again, Jesus spoke. Shall we listen or shall we try to justify what we want by finding those instances in the Old Testament. Using the OT to proclaim the rightness of polygamy is no different than using the OT to proclaim the rightness of divorce/remarriage. Both were "tolerated" before Jesus came in the flesh and spoke HIS WILL/command in regards to the use of marriage.
God gave Adam one wife, but He gave David several. So what?
David TOOK many wives............very different than God GIVING them to him.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
That wasn't a suggestion, or a mere prompting to do right. It speaks of a direct measure of one's love for a Lord to whom many pay nothing more than lip service.
Absolutely. God commanded that man (or woman) should not put asunder (come between, pull apart, etc) what God has joined together. Bringing a third, forth, fifth, etc is certainly COMING BETWEEN what God has joined together, no?
So, the question remains unanswered in the hearts and minds of many: Is my remarriage to my wife an adulterous relationship? Given the fact that divorce courts have no power to alter what God has sealed in heaven, what is the truth about my relationship with another man's wife? Many can deny the obvious, but they can never escape its ultimate end when the Day of Judgment comes upon us all.
The cultural and religious norm is to ignore the moral dynamics of wrongful divorce and adulterous remarriage, and thus make it more acceptable so long as we can keep any and all scrutiny beyond arm's length.
What it comes down to is each one asking himself as to what's more important; following after a theological system of thought defined by hedonistic tendencies, or seeking after truths that are not subject to our whims and fancies, therefore truly objective.
Yes, that really is what it comes down to, isn't it?
When again did it say in the Bible that when Christ died on the cross they he was essentially taking us back to the "original" plan for marriage??? You haven't answered that either.
It is found in Matthew 19:1-7.............and Mark 10:1-10.
Jesus spoke this not only to UNBELIEVERS, but to His disciples as well. If you believe divorce and remarriage is permissible, do you also believe that polygamy is acceptable in God's sight?
Polygyny is a marital form the God described within the bible not only directly involved Himself, but He also gave plural wives and even commanded the plurality of wives in certain instances.
Even God's Law made governing provision for men to have more than one wife.
God Himself actively gave plural wives to men.
It's also something the Lord practiced when He divorced Israel while still married to Judah.
you stand as an accuser of God Himself, for He gave men plural wives.
Could you please provide all the verses where God COMMANDED man to take more than one wife, since you seem to believe that for God, it is a GOOD thing for a man to have multiple wives (and I do know of the practice of a man taking his brother's wife as wife if they had no child prior to the husband's death). Personally, I believe it was a "tolerable" thing for SOME cases, yet it was NOT how God designed marriage (1man/1woman for life).
The only way a man could commit adultery against his wife is to divorce her to marry another. That's it. Period.
Really? You do not believe extra-marital affairs are adultery in God's sight?
You also stand as an accuser against Abraham, the father of the Christian faith, who also had plural wives.
If you are speaking of Hagar, she was certainly NOT what God wanted for Abraham. She eventually was sent away and Abraham resumed the role of husband ONLY with Sara until her death.
No LB, I don't promote polygamy or say that God endorses it. What I do say is that the weak attempt at logic put forth by the standers cultists doesn't fly. They try to claim that God ONLY sees the first wife as a REAL wife and that ALL the others are just whores and not wives at all. Most inconveniently for them, Scripture simply WILL NOT ALLOW such nuttery.
Why will scripture not allow it? Can you point me to scripture in which Jesus says that God will join the 2, 3, 4, + and they shall be ONE flesh? I only see Jesus saying the 2 will become ONE flesh. Are you basing what you believe to be true based on the actions of men in the OT who went against the creation intent for marriage?
As to the questions on polygamy, Scripture is very notably silent on the issue in some contexts where one would expect it to be most verbose if it were an abomination to God's Way and Will. Our Savior was the product of a lineage that involved MANY polygamous marriages. The simple fact is that near eastern cultures did not find it immoral at all. Our western cultures do. Which should we give the greater credence to? ...God's Word? ...or our Western cultural heritage?
Does cultural acceptance define what is "good" in the sight of God? Scripture seems to indicate not so. Again, Jesus in His dealings with marriage/divorce/remarriage says that the TWO shall become ONE. That whatsoever GOD has joined together is no longer TWO, but ONE. I think Jesus made it very clear what He thought about polygamy.
For more study on polygamy and remarriage see
The Testimony of J.M Humphrey
Sermons & Radio Broadcasts on marriage, divorce, remarriage & more.
Fellowship, Support & Discussion Forum
Theological Foundations has an online fellowship and discussion forum for those who are standing for their covenant marriages and for those who have repented of adulterous remarriages.
The Hosea Project is an international, nondenominational effort by volunteers to contact each Pastor and leader of the Christian Church worldwide with this message of repentance and restoration.
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I do NOT in any way endorse the entirety of a number of these sites below, nonetheless, they may contain useful information and/or resources.
By Dr. Leslie McFall
Former lecturer in Hebrew and Old Testament. Now a full-time researcher in Biblical Studies.
Former Research Fellow at Tyndale House Library (Cambridge, England).
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