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Source: (consider it) Thread: Kerygmania: The Biblical basis of traditional marriage
The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
# 10989

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quote:
Originally posted by noelper:
quote:
This is an extraordinary claim, and one that is entirely unprovable. I don't think differences between the events related in different books demonstrates anything.
Whilst accepting that it is unproveable, why is it extraordinary ?
Because it more or less turns the entire Bible into one big hagiography. If you believe this, why believe that Jesus was really sinless, or performed the miracles that are recorded? The gospel accounts may have been "sexed up" because he loved God, and that's all that matters.

quote:
This might be the source of my misunderstanding...
Do you really believe that:
A)the woman stopped sinning ?
B)Jesus believed that she would cease the sinful life ?
C) If so, why ?

I don't know. I suspect that nearly being stoned to death would have had quite a profound effect on her, and probably prompted some sort of change, but I don't see that it's relevant. The point is that even while not condemning, Jesus leaves her in no doubt about the "right" course of action, information which seems to be lacking in David's case.

quote:
quote:
The question is, as it has been for a while, if polygamy is against God's will, why did He remain silent, rather than condemning it?
For myself, the answer is that He remains silent about the practice, even to now, because He prefers Salvation to condemnation.
But the Bible, especially the OT, is chock full of condemnation of this practice, that practice, and frequently the other practice. God's commands range from the deadly serious, to the apparently ridiculous, to the downright bizarre, so if you propose that God's preference for salvation over condemnation explains His silence on polygamy, I think you need to demonstrate why all the OT laws are different, and need to be laid down in this way.

[ETA: And what SteveTom said]

[ 04. July 2006, 08:29: Message edited by: The Great Gumby ]

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The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

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noelper
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quote:
TGG
But the Bible, especially the OT, is chock full of condemnation of this practice, that practice, and frequently the other practice. God's commands range from the deadly serious, to the apparently ridiculous, to the downright bizarre, so if you propose that God's preference for salvation over condemnation explains His silence on polygamy, I think you need to demonstrate why all the OT laws are different, and need to be laid down in this way.

I shall respond to your other points later, but note that your approach seeks to justify the ways of God to men and women - when the bible teaches that it is our ways which are not justifiable.

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Caz...
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quote:
Originally posted by noelper:
For myself, the answer is that He remains silent about the practice, even to now, because He prefers Salvation to condemnation.

Noelper, in this you are surely also justifying God's ways though?

I don't think 'justifying' is a helpful word though actually. Understanding might be better. We are all trying to understand God's way, in order to try and understand a tiny bit more of God and what he requires of us.

The point here though is that you seem to be putting forward the case that polygamy was a special case for God - that although he spoke against a myriad of other things in the OT, he did not speak against this one thing because he preferred salvation over condemnation - which is an admirable soundbite, but how does it stand against all the things he DID speak out on?

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SteveTom
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# 23

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quote:
Originally posted by noelper:
I shall respond to your other points later, but note that your approach seeks to justify the ways of God to men and women - when the bible teaches that it is our ways which are not justifiable.

This is a classic cop out - insist that you have a true and right understanding of God and that other people's are contradictory and inconsistent, then when someone points out the contradiction and inconsistency in your own, you say "Ah, but God is an incomprehensible mystery"

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tclune
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quote:
Originally posted by SteveTom:
This is a classic cop out - insist that you have a true and right understanding of God and that other people's are contradictory and inconsistent, then when someone points out the contradiction and inconsistency in your own, you say "Ah, but God is an incomprehensible mystery"

While I'm not in agreement with N's general thrust in this thread, I think that your point here is not well-taken. ISTM that the nature of our appreciation of God is that we see through a glass darkly. There are things that have been given to us, both as a Church and as individuals, to see clearly. Most of God's creation does remain a mystery to us, though. The fault, I think, is in attempting to argue one's way out of our God-imposed limits.

It is entirely appropriate to hold on to the Truth we have been given. I agree that this is a bit slippery -- we are sinful creatures, and can easily deceive ourselves that we have been given truths that are convient. Nonetheless, placing our ability to argue at the core of our faith seems absurd. So we are pretty much left with the "cop out," aren't we?

--Tom Clune

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noelper
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quote:
tclune
It is entirely appropriate to hold on to the Truth we have been given. I agree that this is a bit slippery -- we are sinful creatures, and can easily deceive ourselves that we have been given truths that are convient. Nonetheless, placing our ability to argue at the core of our faith seems absurd. So we are pretty much left with the "cop out," aren't we?

Agreed. The general thrust of my position ( as I have consistently made clear ) is that I have indeed 'copped out' in favour of a position where God is Right, no matter what. This in turn raises the question 'What is Faith?'- which I have answered in my own mind.

( Thanks for expressing your disagreement with courtesy.)

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by noelper:
The general thrust of my position ( as I have consistently made clear ) is that I have indeed 'copped out' in favour of a position where God is Right, no matter what.

That's all well and good, but the problem here is that it's difficult to extrapolate from the general "God is Right" to the specific "God wants us to be in monogamous marriages" based on what God has actually said on the subject - which, in the Christian Scriptures at least (which is the only thing relevant for a thread on the Biblical Basis of traditional marriage), is practically nothing.

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noelper
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# 9961

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quote:
TGG
Because it more or less turns the entire Bible into one big hagiography. If you believe this, why believe that Jesus was really sinless, or performed the miracles that are recorded? The gospel accounts may have been "sexed up" because he loved God, and that's all that matters.

It is because I believe that Jesus was sinless that I assert David and others' sinfulness. The scriptural picture painted of David is warts-n-all - a far cry from hagiography.

Wikipedia:
"The term "hagiography" has also come to be used as a pejorative reference to the works of contemporary biographers and historians whom critics perceive to be uncritical and even "reverential" in their writing."


quote:
The point is that even while not condemning, Jesus leaves her in no doubt about the "right" course of action, information which seems to be lacking in David's case.
You have not established which part of " Do not commit adultery " amounts to equivocation about marriage or to second, third or more spouses; nor about sexual relations with people already married. Jesus simply reiterated the old, old story and OT scriptures document peoples' failure to follow God's instructions.

quote:
Alan Cresswell
That's all well and good, but the problem here is that it's difficult to extrapolate from the general "God is Right" to the specific "God wants us to be in monogamous marriages" based on what God has actually said on the subject - which, in the Christian Scriptures at least (which is the only thing relevant for a thread on the Biblical Basis of traditional marriage), is practically nothing.

I can't believe we are reading the same bible.

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by noelper:
I can't believe we are reading the same bible.

Sorry, I thought we'd already concluded that the Bible is silent on the pro/con of polygamy
quote:
Originally posted by noelper about 3/4 down p2 of this thread:
Henry Troup

quote:
Can you provide a text explicitly against polygamy?
No. Can you provide a text explicitly in favour of polygamy ?
You can't offer a text that explicitely condemns polygamy. We can't offer a text explicitely in favour. The Bible is practically silent on the subject.

The same seems to be true of virtually everything else relevant to the question. We have a few verses in the Pastoral Epistles recommending that church leaders be men with a single wife - without any indication if that's a universal rule, or just that they should be respectable citizens (and, that in that culture, respectable men had a single wife). We have a "Creation Principle" that a man and a woman leave their parents and become one flesh - without any indication whether one flesh is exclusive (can a man have two wives, and each be one flesh?), nor how come this principle still holds when other creation principles such as veganism are considered to be no longer binding.

That seems to be the sum totally of the Biblical texts on the subject. Hardly a deafening, unmistakable command from God.

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noelper
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quote:
Alan Cresswell
Sorry, I thought we'd already concluded that the Bible is silent on the pro/con of polygamy.
And....

That seems to be the sum totally of the Biblical texts on the subject. Hardly a deafening, unmistakable command from God.

No. The consensus has been that the texts previously quoted do not constitute open dispprobation /condemnation of polygamy. It appears that only a cursing in Black and White constitutes a command. As if that ever made any difference with the human race....

quote:

noelper
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# 9961

Posted 21 June, 2006 09:21
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The basis for monogamy lies in the Ten Commandments , which advocate fidelity only to One Person and honouring of one's father and mother, whilst explicitly prohibiting adultery and forbidding the coveting of a neighbour's wife.

It seems very clear to me.
But as Jesus the realist said:


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
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Alan Cresswell

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Of course, honouring your parents isn't related in anyway to the monogamy/polygamy question, or divorce for that matter. If a man has three wives (whether serially following divorce or death, or polygamously) all of whom bear him children, those children all have parents (albeit different parents for some of the kids) to whom honour is due. Is there any reason for someone to honour their father less if he has more than one wife, or to honour their mother less if she's just one of several wives?

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noelper
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quote:
Alan C
Is there any reason for someone to honour their father less if he has more than one wife, or to honour their mother less if she's just one of several wives?

Is there any reason to pre-suppose that the child/ren of such relationships are less entitled to love, nurture or shelter from both parents (irrespective of marital/sexual relations)- apart from common sense, that is ?

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SteveTom
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# 23

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quote:
Originally posted by tclune:
While I'm not in agreement with N's general thrust in this thread, I think that your point here is not well-taken. ISTM that the nature of our appreciation of God is that we see through a glass darkly. There are things that have been given to us, both as a Church and as individuals, to see clearly. Most of God's creation does remain a mystery to us, though. The fault, I think, is in attempting to argue one's way out of our God-imposed limits.

I wonder if perhaps we are reading the post I was replying to differently. Perhaps not, but it's hard to see how what you say applies to it otherwise.

That there is a mystery at the heart of faith in God, and that at a certain point those who defend their faith rationally have to say "It's a mystery" - I don't necessarily have a problem with that. That's not what's going on here.

To condemn polygamy on the basis of repeated explicit condemnation in the Bible;
and when unable to demonstrate such biblical condemnation, to say that God has dropped subtle hints, it not being his way to condemn things explicitly;
and when confronted with the fact that God thoroughly condemns no end of things explicitly in the Bible, and asked how a theory that God does not condemn bad things is reconcilable with that,
to then say "It is not my business to justify the ways of God to men";
that is not bowing before the mystery of God. That's just talking shite, squirming every possible way to justify it, and when you can't see any squirm room left, saying that your own irrationality is truer than others' rationality because the ways of God cannot be justified to reason.

God may be mystery, but that does not mean that talking bollocks gets you closer to God than talking sense.

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I saw a naked picture of me on the internet
Wearing Jesus's new snowshoes.
Well, golly gee.
- Eels

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noelper
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Get off my case.

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SteveTom
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# 23

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quote:
Originally posted by noelper:
Get off my case.

You keep saying this. Can you explain what it means?

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I saw a naked picture of me on the internet
Wearing Jesus's new snowshoes.
Well, golly gee.
- Eels

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The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
# 10989

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quote:
Originally posted by noelper:
It is because I believe that Jesus was sinless that I assert David and others' sinfulness. The scriptural picture painted of David is warts-n-all - a far cry from hagiography.

[unnecessary definition of hagiography]

You can't say that David is portrayed warts-and-all, at the same time as you say that many of his sins were left out of the Bible in deference to his love of God. These statements are mutually contradictory, so which is it to be?

quote:
You have not established which part of " Do not commit adultery " amounts to equivocation about marriage or to second, third or more spouses; nor about sexual relations with people already married. Jesus simply reiterated the old, old story and OT scriptures document peoples' failure to follow God's instructions.
That's been established at great length on this thread already, and I see no reason to go over the same ground again. However, to keep you happy, adultery refers to sex with someone not your spouse. It says nothing about how many spouses one should have.

I think the problem here is that you seem to regard it as axiomatic that polygamy is against God's will. That would explain the extraordinary contortions you're going through to justify the Bible's silence on the matter, but it really doesn't help to address the OP. If you can discard your prior assumptions, maybe we can have a fruitful discussion about this, but otherwise, I don't think we're going to get very far.

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The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

A letter to my son about death

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by noelper:
quote:
Alan C
Is there any reason for someone to honour their father less if he has more than one wife, or to honour their mother less if she's just one of several wives?

Is there any reason to pre-suppose that the child/ren of such relationships are less entitled to love, nurture or shelter from both parents (irrespective of marital/sexual relations)- apart from common sense, that is ?
No reason at all. In fact, I'd say that the children of a polygamous marriage shouldn't expect to get any less love and nurture from both parents as children from a monogamous relationship. There is a danger of children of a wife who is more loved by the father being specially treated (eg: the story of Joseph and his brothers), but that's an issue of human jealousy and failing, and I don't think it's necessarily a part of polygamous relationships any more than poor parenting is a part of a monogamous one.

I'd even go as far as saying that a polygamous marriage provides better nuture for children than the modern trend of two parents bringing up their children on their own - though whether it's any better than more traditional social structures where those parents have their parents and siblings, and other members of the community, available to help out I don't know.

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noelper
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quote:
TGG
You can't say that David is portrayed warts-and-all, at the same time as you say that many of his sins were left out of the Bible in deference to his love of God. These statements are mutually contradictory, so which is it to be?

I can say so because it is simple fact. If you believe there is a contradiction, perhaps you should consult the authors.

quote:
However, to keep you happy, adultery refers to sex with someone not your spouse. It says nothing about how many spouses one should have.
This kind of hair-splitting is possibly appropriate in a court of law; less so in a discussion of christian theology where Jesus said in Matt 5:27-28 :-

"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

quote:
That would explain the extraordinary contortions you're going through to justify the Bible's silence on the matter, but it really doesn't help to address the OP.
I proposed a reason; take it or leave it. Makes no difference to me.

quote:
If you can discard your prior assumptions, maybe we can have a fruitful discussion about this, but otherwise, I don't think we're going to get very far.
This is a fair statement of the position, mainly because you have not given any good reason for discarding my basic assumption - that God knows what He is talking about. Moreover, since none of the participants in the discussion appear to consider polygamy appropriate to their individual lifestyle, the academic discussion is somewhat meaningless IMO.

BTW. Thanks for the courtesy.

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SteveTom
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# 23

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quote:
Originally posted by noelper:
quote:
TGG
You can't say that David is portrayed warts-and-all, at the same time as you say that many of his sins were left out of the Bible in deference to his love of God. These statements are mutually contradictory, so which is it to be?

I can say so because it is simple fact.
You're going to have to explain how two contradictory statements can make one simple fact.

--------------------
I saw a naked picture of me on the internet
Wearing Jesus's new snowshoes.
Well, golly gee.
- Eels

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The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
# 10989

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quote:
Originally posted by noelper:
quote:
TGG
You can't say that David is portrayed warts-and-all, at the same time as you say that many of his sins were left out of the Bible in deference to his love of God. These statements are mutually contradictory, so which is it to be?

I can say so because it is simple fact. If you believe there is a contradiction, perhaps you should consult the authors.
No, it isn't a fact, because you can't hold two opinions which contradict each other. If various sins were deliberately left out, as you maintain, it isn't a warts-and-all account. It's that simple.

quote:
This kind of hair-splitting is possibly appropriate in a court of law; less so in a discussion of christian theology where Jesus said in Matt 5:27-28 :-

"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

There's that prior assumption again. I see no mention of any form of marriage in this passage. This does nothing to demonstrate a link between a prohibition of adultery and a prohibition of polygamy.

quote:
quote:
If you can discard your prior assumptions, maybe we can have a fruitful discussion about this, but otherwise, I don't think we're going to get very far.
This is a fair statement of the position, mainly because you have not given any good reason for discarding my basic assumption - that God knows what He is talking about.
I wouldn't disagree that God knows what he's talking about. The problem is, you haven't demonstrated that God has ever said anything against polygamy, so the question has no relevance.

quote:
Moreover, since none of the participants in the discussion appear to consider polygamy appropriate to their individual lifestyle, the academic discussion is somewhat meaningless IMO.
Not at all. In particular, there is the issue of whether monogamy should be insisted on as a moral command in cultures where polygamy is the norm, or at least acceptable.

[Cross-post with SteveTom]

[ 05. July 2006, 10:29: Message edited by: The Great Gumby ]

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The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

A letter to my son about death

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Scot

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quote:
Originally posted by noelper:
Get off my case.

quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
Host hat on

SteveTom has criticized the clarity and logic of your argument. This is appropriate in Kerygmania. Saying 'Get off my case.' is not appropriate. It personalizes what should not be a personal argument. If you want a personal argument, call SteveTom to Hell.

Host hat off

quote:
Originally posted by noelper (again):
Get off my case.

ADMIN MODE

Noelper, when you registered to use these boards, you agreed to abide by the Ship's 10 Commandments. Commandment 6 requires that you respect the hosts and that you take any disputes with them to the Styx. By repeating the exact post that Moo warned you was inappropriate, you have shown a complete disregard for the rules and for the hosts' authority.

Your posting privileges are suspended for a period of at least two weeks. The admins will discuss this matter and determine whether you will be reinstated after two weeks or not.

Scot
Member Admin

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“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by The Great Gumby:
The problem is, you haven't demonstrated that God has ever said anything against polygamy, so the question has no relevance.
quote:
Moreover, since none of the participants in the discussion appear to consider polygamy appropriate to their individual lifestyle, the academic discussion is somewhat meaningless IMO.
Not at all. In particular, there is the issue of whether monogamy should be insisted on as a moral command in cultures where polygamy is the norm, or at least acceptable.
Thanks, TGG, this is really the issue here, I think.

Didn't I advance a half-way reasonable biblical argument earlier in this thread? I don't think we need to keep trying to pin Noelper down about it. The argument that I advanced is not the strongest in the world, but it has been pretty well accepted in Christianity for a very long time that polygamy is "a bad thing."

You can't say that there is no biblical argument. It's just not very direct or strong. Much like the arguments against slavery, child abuse, and a host of other "bad things" that we would all be happy to impose on other cultures.

Should monogamy be insisted on as a moral command in cultures where polygamy is the norm, or at least acceptable? The answer to that doesn't really depend on whether the Bible offers indisputable evidence that monogamy is a Christian principle. The question is really whether or not polygamy is "a bad thing." Does it hurt people? Does it harm society? Does it violate Christ's commands to love our neighbor, or to do to others as we would have them do to us?

I think that it is pretty clear that the Western answer to these questions is that polygamy is "bad." It is no fun to be a second or third wife. It does not make for good relationships, happy families, or happy children. It is not good for women or men. Sure it can work, and people can be happy in it, but you won't find many testimonies to that in the Western world.

It's not worth going to war over, but in the U.S. people are happy to have the government go after old-style Mormons over it.

So I think that it is perfectly reasonable for monogamy to be insisted on as a moral command, even among people for whom it is the norm - at least within a nation where it is not the norm.

I don't think that it rises to the level of things that are worth insisting on internationally. [Biased]

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The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
# 10989

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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
Didn't I advance a half-way reasonable biblical argument earlier in this thread?

Yes, certainly half-way. [Biased] I have various reservations about your reasoning, though, as stated since. In particular, I can't make the leap from a prohibition of adultery to a prohibition of polygamy.

quote:
You can't say that there is no biblical argument. It's just not very direct or strong. Much like the arguments against slavery, child abuse, and a host of other "bad things" that we would all be happy to impose on other cultures.
I don't say there's no argument. You can construct an argument for anything! [Biased] Seriously, a reasonable argument can be made, but I think it's rather short of convincing. I think you meant we would be happy to impose our condemnation of these "bad things" on others - I don't think we really want child abuse for all! But I think we would impose it on rather more secular "human rights" grounds, albeit drawing on Biblical principles of love and justice - would you agree? I don't think the same issues have much of a bearing on the subject of how many people you can marry.

quote:
Should monogamy be insisted on as a moral command in cultures where polygamy is the norm, or at least acceptable? The answer to that doesn't really depend on whether the Bible offers indisputable evidence that monogamy is a Christian principle.
I disagree. Let's say a woman lives in a polygamous culture, and has recently converted to Christianity. She loves a man, and he loves her, and they want to get married, but he's already married to another woman. I'd want to be pretty damn sure of my ground before I told her she'd be committing a sin if she married him. You appeal to our cultural consensus, but that doesn't have the authority of holy writ, and in any case, this woman's culture says different. So what now?

This position may be coloured a little by my professed agnosticism. I've noticed that one significant effect this has on me is that while I'm quite happy to live by my considered understanding of the Bible, I'm generally insufficiently certain of the correctness of this understanding to tell others to do the same. Explain what I think and why, yes, but when it comes down to "you must do this", I tend to step away. As I said above, I don't feel polygamy is the best model of marriage, but I don't think it's a bad thing* per se. I'm certainly not convinced that the Bible supports such an interpretation, even if it could be read as indicating that polygamy is generally "sub-optimal".


* - Talk about Freudian - I just typed that as "bed thing"!

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The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

A letter to my son about death

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Freddy
Shipmate
# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by The Great Gumby:
In particular, I can't make the leap from a prohibition of adultery to a prohibition of polygamy.

That's understandable, TGG. It's more of an inference than a link.
quote:
Originally posted by The Great Gumby:
I think you meant we would be happy to impose our condemnation of these "bad things" on others - I don't think we really want child abuse for all! But I think we would impose it on rather more secular "human rights" grounds, albeit drawing on Biblical principles of love and justice - would you agree?

Yes. I think that this is really the strongest way to approach it.
quote:
Originally posted by The Great Gumby:
I don't think the same issues have much of a bearing on the subject of how many people you can marry.

You never know. Marital issues have a pretty large effect on society. In the big picture it can be seen as being about people being hurt, children suffering, the moral fabric of society, etc. etc. Of course it is debatable.
quote:
Originally posted by The Great Gumby:
As I said above, I don't feel polygamy is the best model of marriage, but I don't think it's a bad thing* per se. I'm certainly not convinced that the Bible supports such an interpretation, even if it could be read as indicating that polygamy is generally "sub-optimal".

*Yes, it is a bed thing.

But you're right that it is debatable. Seems clear to me, but plenty of people on earth see it differently.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

Posts: 12845 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
# 10989

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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
But you're right that it is debatable. Seems clear to me, but plenty of people on earth see it differently.

So how would you act in my hypothetical? I thought from your earlier comments that you'd insist that the marriage shouldn't go ahead, but maybe I've got that wrong.

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The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

A letter to my son about death

Posts: 5382 | From: Home for shot clergy spouses | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Freddy
Shipmate
# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by The Great Gumby:
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
But you're right that it is debatable. Seems clear to me, but plenty of people on earth see it differently.

So how would you act in my hypothetical? I thought from your earlier comments that you'd insist that the marriage shouldn't go ahead, but maybe I've got that wrong.
No, you're right about that. If I had anything to say about it. My point was just that if it's in another culture I wouldn't have a say about it.

It's not that I don't think that polygamists can go to heaven. They can.

My own experience with living in West Africa, where polygamy is legal and fairly common, is that few people actually live in polygamous situations, both because of the number problem and because it is expensive. Also, no one likes polygamy, and every young African vows never to get involved with it. But they sometimes slip into it later, much like young people in the West vow never to be divorced but at some point run out of options.

I was friends with two half-sisters in a polygamous household and spent a fair amount of time with their family. It seemed like a happy enough family, but neither of the girls approved of their situation in the slightest.

On a visit to a church in Owo, Nigeria, I discussed the situation of the Awolowo of Owo, the local king, with the girls at the church. He added to his harem each year by picking a young woman to be his new wife. They apparently didn't have much choice in the matter. He was public enemy number one, as far as the girls were concerned.

I wouldn't tell someone not to become a second wife because it is a sin. I would tell them not to do it because it won't be any fun. But they already know this, so I probably wouldn't say anything. I don't think that true love is normally the main motivating factor in polygamous marriages - not that they don't love each other, but that the western-style romance is not where they are coming from, in my limited experience.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

Posts: 12845 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
SteveTom
Contributing Editor
# 23

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I can imagine people at some point in OT history feeling about polygamy like people today might feel about divorce - that it's not ideal but a fact of life.

Which is not to say that the OT itself presents it like that, but it would certainly give you plenty of support for that attitude.

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I saw a naked picture of me on the internet
Wearing Jesus's new snowshoes.
Well, golly gee.
- Eels

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The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
# 10989

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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
quote:
Originally posted by The Great Gumby:
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
But you're right that it is debatable. Seems clear to me, but plenty of people on earth see it differently.

So how would you act in my hypothetical? I thought from your earlier comments that you'd insist that the marriage shouldn't go ahead, but maybe I've got that wrong.
No, you're right about that. If I had anything to say about it. My point was just that if it's in another culture I wouldn't have a say about it.
OK, I was assuming that you'd be in a position where you did - say, as a missionary pastor of some type - and the woman was a member of your church who wanted advice.

You made some very interesting points after this - not Biblical, but interesting - which are all reasonable practical considerations of the issue, and I'd tend to agree with the thrust of your argument. The question remaining in my mind, though, is whether polygamy can legitimately be described as an absolute sin. I'd say not, but if you would insist, rather than advise, that the polygamous marriage shouldn't happen, maybe you'd disagree.

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The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

A letter to my son about death

Posts: 5382 | From: Home for shot clergy spouses | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Freddy
Shipmate
# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by The Great Gumby:
I was assuming that you'd be in a position where you did - say, as a missionary pastor of some type - and the woman was a member of your church who wanted advice.

Well in that situation I could be very clear. The New Church has very definite teachings about polygamy. And there are many New Church congregations in Africa, and this does come up.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Lynn MagdalenCollege
Shipmate
# 10651

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I am back from a longer tour of duty than anticipated (so weird you don't wanna know about it!) and I hope to read through this thread tomorrow afternoon and catch up, possibly comment further (who, moi?!) - so please consider this a *bump*... thanks.

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Erin & Friend; Been there, done that; Ruth musical

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Jamat
Shipmate
# 11621

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After skimming this.. amd I may have missed something Is there anyone who thinks Jesus comment "He who made them in the beginning made the male and female,,What God has joined together let no man put asunder" implies a spiritual jioning of the two that would necessitate the exclusion of anyone else from the relationship?

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Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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Jamac please could you give us the verses where Jesus said those things? Thanks.

P

[ 16. July 2006, 11:11: Message edited by: Pyx_e ]

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It is better to be Kind than right.

Posts: 9778 | From: The Dark Tower | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Freddy
Shipmate
# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamac:
After skimming this.. amd I may have missed something Is there anyone who thinks Jesus comment "He who made them in the beginning made the male and female,,What God has joined together let no man put asunder" implies a spiritual jioning of the two that would necessitate the exclusion of anyone else from the relationship?

Jamac, yes, I think that.

The reference is:
quote:
Matthew 19.4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

This seems to me to imply that two people become, in a sense, one person by marriage.

This would reasonably exclude others, although someone might argue that three, four or five may also become one.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

Posts: 12845 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
Jamac please could you give us the verses where Jesus said those things? Thanks.

P

oops sorry that sounded like I doubted He said them, I simply could not remember where and wished to put them in Context, thank you Freddy.

P

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It is better to be Kind than right.

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duchess

Ship's Blue Blooded Lady
# 2764

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This question always comes up from kidlets in jail that hear the story of Leah and Rachel. I just tell them "it is obvious that polygamy is shown to be full of jealousy and strife from the examples shown in the OT. God did not give his stamp of approval on it even if He did allow it to go on. In the New Testament later elders are told to only have one wife...and while every man is not an elder, the passages about elders are good examples for any man to folllow and for any young lady to look for in a potential husband. and Ephesians 5 shows one man and one woman being compared to Christ and the Church..."


But yeah, it ain't an airtight case one can make from Scripture. It is the bane of me anwering questions from kidlets in juvenille hall. I wish it were easier. The paragraph I wrote above is the best I can come up with at the moment.

[ 17. July 2006, 01:31: Message edited by: duchess ]

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♬♭ We're setting sail to the place on the map from which nobody has ever returned ♫♪♮
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Freddy
Shipmate
# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by duchess:
This question always comes up from kidlets in jail that hear the story of Leah and Rachel.

You tell jailed teens Bible stories? And they ask good questions? Way to go! [Overused]

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

Posts: 12845 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
duchess

Ship's Blue Blooded Lady
# 2764

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I am not worthy. I do it out of selfishness since it is like reverse therapy. But yes, it keeps me on my toes and actually makes me care about this OP. Usually I could not give a toss. Thanks Freddy. [Hot and Hormonal]

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♬♭ We're setting sail to the place on the map from which nobody has ever returned ♫♪♮
Ship of Fools-World Party

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leo
Shipmate
# 1458

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Interestingly nobody has quoted: Luke 20 V 34 onwards: Jesus said to them.'Those who belong to this age marry
and are given in marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in
that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given
in marriage. Indeed they cannot die any more, because they are like angels
and are children of God, being children of the resurrection.'

Some translations (plus Matt and Mr in paralel pericopae) make this out to mean that people do not get married in the NEXT life but the Greek as gamousin - present tense 3rd person plural.

The logic of the above seems to suggest that only those who do not marry are
the children of, and also worthy of, resurrection from the dead etc. So is it only single people who go to heaven?

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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