For a while now, a discussion has been taking place at the Roundtable of the Fellowship Hall. The topic is one which is controversial & even offensive: polygyny, the practice of a husband having more than one wife concurrently.
The wisdom of God as found in the Scriptures is more precious than gold, and because marriage is so absolutely foundational to society it is pertinent to understand “what saith the Lord” regarding it. That requires being able to draw truth from the Scriptures without inputting opinions or traditions back into the Scriptures. That isn’t always an easy thing to do, particularly when we’re so convinced that our beliefs are right. Pride can harden a heart pretty thoroughly.
I had my pride broken a while ago regarding the issue of polygyny. On the basis of sola Scriptura, I’ve seen every monogamy-only argument soundly defeated by pro-polygynists (who are not necessarily polygynists themselves, mind you). Check it out for yourself if you have a few minutes.
In my experience in the debate, I have found it much easier to play devil’s advocate, arguing for polygyny and against my own position of monogamy-onlyism. Often, I would do this to keep the discussion rolling. At other times — and in the mutual interest in Truth — I had no choice but to point out obvious errors in monogamy-only argumentation.
Concerning my position, however, I have seemingly left myself without a leg to stand on. I define marriage as a union of one man & one woman not because I have a laundry list of biblical verses to support my position, but because it’s simply what I choose to believe, what I feel is right.
I realize that violates sola Scriptura. Yet I hold out hope that somewhere someone has a sound defense of monogamy-onlyism. I’ve mentioned that on the Fellowship Hall in the course of the discussions before, but I’m sharing it here with my fingers crossed that someone reading this might be wise enough in the Scriptures to help me out.
I should make clear why this discussion is important to me. As I stated earlier, the wisdom of God is more precious than gold, and marriage is the foundation of society. Logically, God’s view of marriage must be vitally important and so it should be sought for by Christians hoping to further know the mind of God.
That is why this topic interests me, nothing more. I’ve no interest in having multiple wives.
We need to be as the Bereans were, diligently examining the Scriptures to see whether what we are taught and what we believe is so. Is the monogamy-only position scriptural? Or is polygyny permissible? And if it is, what then? Do we sweep it under the rug, hiding it from our “enlightened” society who might cry “sexist!”? Or do we proclaim it just as we would any other biblical truth, just as we do the sanctity of monogamous marriages?
Your comments on this issue are more than welcome. I may not get around to replying to all comments, but go on ahead and let your understanding of the Scriptures be voiced.
I’ll likely examine the issue further here — providing more that you may comment on. The bottom line is, if monogamy-onlyism is merely a tradition of men which condemns something which God has actually permitted, then I don’t want to be guilty of believing in it. Likewise, I want all the feedback I can get — and hopefully some good monogamy-only arguments — because I also don’t want to be guilty of accepting polygyny if God has actually condemned or otherwise forbidden it.