Saturday, July 15, 2017

Can A Christian Have Two Wives At A Time, And Still Be A Good Christian?

Is The Restriction Of One Wife For Life Is For Ministry Purpose Only Or For All Christians?

Question: Here again you find the Ministry telling lies that all believers should have only one wife for life in the following post : Can a Christian have two wives at the same time?, the Scripture is very clear the only restriction to having one wife is for the Ministry only (1 Tim 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6), you cannot without bending and misquoting Scripture out of context prove otherwise.

Answer: Greetings in Jesus wonderful name!

I remember one person asking me quoting the following verse of the Firstborn Inheritance Rights, "15 “If a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and they have borne him children, both the loved and the unloved, and if the firstborn son is of her who is unloved, 16 then it shall be, on the day he bequeaths his possessions to his sons, that he must not bestow firstborn status on the son of the loved wife in preference to the son of the unloved, the true firstborn. 17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his." (Deut 21:15-17), then saying to me, does not the above verse shows that a man can have two wives at the same time the one loved and the other unloved? Even in the above verses we can see that a man in his natural way, can love only one woman truly from his heart, so that the other woman becomes unloved.

In other words he was asking me, 'Was there not polygamy in the Old Testament which God in His law permitted lawfully?'

Levirate Marriage, which may result in polygyny, is commanded in the Bible in Deuteronomy 25:5-6, this would not be a true case of polygamy, because if a Brother of the deceased Husband refuse to do this for her Sister-in-law at her request, it would deprive her of her rights within the family. Her father contracted with her husband’s father that she would be a wife in that house, that she would provide heirs to the house who would have rights to his share of the inheritance. His death does not change the family’s obligation towards her. So levirate marriage was rather a necessity and a obligation of fulfilling a promise according to the Law and should be distinguished from polygamy by choice. This is not a normality, but an emergency backup support system God has given Israelite families to keep their inheritance and name before their countrymen, and to keep the honor of their word to retain the family system in the society and above all honor God and please Him (Gen 38:6-10).

It is a misunderstanding that people have, that make the above Scripture in Deut 21:15-17 condone polygamy, when in fact it opposes it by presenting one wife as loved who may be a Jewess was married later after divorcing a slave beauty to send her away because of paganistic behaviour which she inherited from her heathen culture who is actually the other unloved who had been taken as a captive from war just like Paul was saying in the New Testament that if a unbeliever wants to go away send them peacefully (Deut 21:10-14; 1 Cor 7:15-16), which in fact points to the perfect marriage union of one man and one woman that was conducted by God in the Garden of Eden before sin came in to the world as the only solution for a happy marriage where the wife loves the man and the man loves the wife by choice and commitment rather than by one's feeling. The marriage which God ordained for Adam and Eve is one spouse for life, which is God's perfect will for all humans, yet because sin corrupted the heart of humans by and by, God through His law of Moses permitted divorce and remarriage, and even polygamy not by God's perfect will but by the condition of man's heart which has become hardened by sin (Matt 19:8).

Based on God's perfect desire and His will for humans which we understand from the creation story and the first marriage conducted by God, the standard set forth by Him and expressed by Jesus only permits, "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” (Matt 19:9), which was a hard thing to keep [(i.e.) Because what if the wife is not submissive, rebellious and unfaithful to her husband internally in her heart] which the disciples of Jesus understood from what Jesus expressed and they spoke back to Jesus saying, in that case it is better not to marry (Matt 19:10). Jesus replied promptly back saying, all cannot accept this saying except to those whom God has given grace to accept and obey (Matt 19:11). Thus we can come to understand that because God has given more grace to the New Testament saints, more is expected of us unlike the Old Testament saints (Luke 12:48). The Old Testament saints did not have Holy Spirit within them to help them walk the Christ life, but we the New Testament saints have Him with us, in us and upon us in a tri-dimensional way (John 14:17; 20:22; Acts 1:8; 2:4). The Holy Spirit Himself is given by God to each individual believer to teach them to walk with God in holiness to see His activity in their lives (1 John 2:20, 27).

Yes polygamy was there in the Old Testament, but where did it actually start? The Bible says, "Then Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah (Genesis 4:19). Polygamy originated with the godless descendants of Cain. As with all the other instances of polygamy in the Old Testament, the practice is recorded, but not condemned and at the same time is never encouraged.

We see that when a believing faith community that came through the line of Seth (Gen 4:25), when they began to see the beauty of the line of unbelieving women of Cain's line, they took wives [i.e. more than one as it is in plural] for themselves apart from the Spirit's leading and guidance which was further revealed through the tradition of their elders and the word of mouth which is to have one wife for life, that is when God decreed the judgment upon the whole of mankind which has become corrupted in its thinking and became violent to make the earth like a living hell (Gen 6:1-4, 5, 11-12, 13). God was grieved with the life style of polygamy of believers who lived like the unbelieving counterpart's of Cain's line (Gen 6:6), and even Jesus warned that in the end of days, the same will happen where polygamy will be promoted in all the earth and violence will increase as a result of it for God to bring his judgment upon the whole earth (Matt 24:37-39; Luke 17:27-28).

Never mind about the mixture during the pre-flood times, but Noah and his family who found favor in the sight of God lived in monogamous relationship at the same time when these apostate mixture were having polygamous relationship and were promoting it, Noah had only one wife and even his three sons had only one wife each (Gen 6:8, 9-10; 7:13; 1 Peter 3:20). This shows how God appreciated the family life of Noah and his sons as perfect in the midst of a perverse generation of believers and unbelievers mixture because of lust in the heart of all humans at that time.

Even after the Flood, there are many mentions of polygamous relationships—including among the patriarchs of Israel. Abraham, Jacob, David, and Solomon all had multiple wives.

As for Abraham specifically, aside from the affair with Hagar which made her to become his wife [(i.e) proxy or surrogate maid servant to conceive a baby] under Sarah's guidance, he stayed married to one wife (Sarah) until she passed, after which he married Keturah and had children with her and might have had some more (Gen 11:29-30; 16:1-2, 3-4; 25:1, 4, 6; 1 Chron 1:32).

Jacob had two (and not by his choosing) wives and two concubines – four women to whom he was connected through children. Jacob, he never intended to have any other wife but Rachel whom he loved and only ended up in this polygamous situation because of trickery of his Father-in-law (Gen 29:16-17, 18, 23-25, 26-30, 31).

Esau had a polygamous relationship by his own choice of marrying Hittites of Canaan's land who were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah his father and mother, so trying his luck to please his father with another good woman who will please his father in his old age he went and married Ishmael's daughter (Gen 26:34-35; 28:8-9).

After this we don’t see any of the twelve sons of Jacob having multiple wives, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, the Judges (not even Sampson) or the prophets. It simply was a rarity because they all understood that it was not God's intended perfect will for His children.

God through Moses clearly told that the Israelites should only choose the king whom He chooses, and that they must not acquire many wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; also silver and gold he must not acquire in great quantity for himself (Deut 17:14-17). So did David and Solomon knew about this fact of truth from the Law? Yes they must have known these things as they studied the Law of Moses and meditated on them constantly to know the Lord and love Him (Psa 89:30-31, 32, 33, 35; Prov 5:18; 7:1-5; Eccl 12:13-14). Yet in this matter of the Law they disobeyed the Lord's command, and the result of such a polygamous lifestyle was not a good one but rather a sorrowful one.

King David appears to have had at least seven wives officially and had a number of concubines along with them, when David committed adultery & murder, the Lord God even told him He would have given him more wives and riches if he would have asked for even a better status than that, and further questioned him why he chose to instead commit adultery and murder to tarnish the image of His God Jehovah (1 Chron 3:1-9; 2 Sam. 12:7-8). David's many wives led to other problems - Absalom's uprising, the rape of his daughter, etc. And King Solomon was said to have 700 (1 Kings 11:1-3). 1 Kings 11:4 notes how Solomon's wives did indeed lead him astray after other gods apart from Jehovah His true love of his youth (1 Kings 3:3).

It is interesting to note that there are no passages in Scripture that clearly state, 'No man should have more than one wife,' even though God has implicitly expressed His perfect will and desire for all humans as one man and one woman relationship for life. We can infer this from the day of human existence as God created a man and a woman in the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:20-25). It would be noteworthy to notice that God created Adam and Eve--not Adam and Eve and Shirley and Tina and...Beena...

Jesus pointed out to the hardness of man's heart as the reason the law of Moses gave permission for divorces and remarriage, and even extended the option for more wife than one (Matt 19:7-8). In other words, when sin came in to the world, the original purpose of God's desire for a pure one man one woman relationship for life was disrupted. Now in the New Testament, in Christ Jesus with the help of the Holy Spirit we regain God's desire to make it our desire for a pure one man one woman relationship for life. Praise the Lord!

In the New Testament, 1 Timothy 3:2, 12 and Titus 1:6 give “the husband of one wife” in a list of qualifications for spiritual leadership. While these qualifications are very much mandatory for positions of spiritual leadership, they should also apply equally to all Christians because Christ Jesus wants all of us to excel in our spiritual life and earn eternal reward and crown for our holy life and overcoming life of faith on earth. Should not all Christians be “above reproach...temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money” (1 Timothy 3:2-4)? Should not all Christians be holy as they cannot see the activity of the Lord without holiness in their lives (1 Peter 1:16; Heb 12:14)? And if these standards are holy for elders and deacons who are none other than trainers who train other believers to grow like they themselves are (1 Tim 4:12), then are holiness commandments of monogamous relationship is only for the elders, deacons and bishops only? No it is for all believers who want to follow Christ and want to be called a Christian (2 Tim 2:14, 15, 19, 21-22; 4:8). Don't you want to be a vessel of honor useful for the Master Jesus? Then be sanctified from the lust of the flesh, eyes and pride of life (1 John 2:15-17), and learn then to from call on the Lord with those who call out of a pure heart.

Ephesians 5:22-33 speaks of the relationship between husbands and wives. When referring to a husband (singular), it always also refers to a wife (singular). Paul in Col 3:18-19, refers to husbands and wives in the plural, but he is addressing here all the husbands and wives among the Colossian believers, and therefore is not stating that a husband might have multiple wives. So seeing this monogamous system in context within the Scripture, hence we find the original desire of God being fulfilled through such examples like as Jesus and the Church as his bride, the husband and wife seen through the lens of Christ and the Church, which projects the unconditional love, submission, intimacy, obedience and oneness revealed to us through the God appointed apostles in the New Testament. Even most modern nations outlaw polygamy, therefore according to Romans 13:1-7, we are to obey the laws the government establishes unless it opposes God's commands or principles directly, and acts against it to be broken in defiance to God (Acts 5:29). Thus polygamy does not honor God and is not His design for marriage in the New Testament times. Especially “one flesh” aspect of oneness and intimacy with in marriage can be fulfilled only through one man one woman relationship which God has revealed in the first marriage that He Himself conducted in the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:20-25). As a mature Christian it is good to learn to please God to fulfill His desire first, than for ourselves to fulfill our desire and displease the Lord especially in the area of marriage. That is real Christian maturity!

Much Blessings....


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