RE: Polygamy and evolutionary bases for sexuality

Sweitzer, Dennis (
Mon, 19 Aug 96 08:34:00 EST

I wrote (to stir things up)>>>>>>>>>>
>We find no prohibition of polygamy in the Old Testament, and limited
prohibition of it in the New Testament, yet there seems to be the assumption
that monogamy is the explicit norm.

>I have to point out that many OT folks were polygamists, and there it seems
to be accepted as normal throughout the OT. In the NT, pastors were to be
the husbands of one wife, but that's about all that's said. Scripturally, I
can't make a case against polygamy, other than by example. (Of course, it's
also illegal, but that's Federal/State law).

(someone responded)>>>>>>>>>>...
There's plenty of verses telling us to obey governemnt laws if they don't
conflict with God's law. As far as an absolute moral aspect, it seems like
polygamy didn't work well in all examples discussed in the OT-one wife
favored over the other, quarrels among wives or children, etc.

Ok, but these are still not scripture based (I agree that polygamy doesn't
work very well).

>However, in the case of evangelizing a polygamous culture, it seems that
polygamy is better than divorce (particularly if wives are dependent on
their husbands in the culture - non-favorite wives become outcasts).

Thank you for saying this.

Discussing polygamy seems like an academic issue anyway--it's so far out of
most social norms that we don't take it serious. But it is a problem in
Africa. There the church/missionaries mandated that all polygamous
believers become monogamous--resulting in many ex-wives and
newly-illegitamate children, and at a severe social cost to them.
Sometimes, the ex-wives are so destitute that they turn to prostitution.

Grace & peace,

Dennis Sweitzer