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Monday, March 01, 2010

Polygamy: a missionary's response

This is a response given to a new Christian seeking counsel on polygamy.

Dear new Christian, I noticed that you married to more than one woman. Are you legally married to them, or just living with these women? Normally, Christians do not have more than one wife; however, if this is a legal arrangement, you are obligated to support each of them and treat them equally.

The problem that you have created by marrying more than one woman is not unforgiveable; but it is not an ideal situation under the best of circumstances. I really hope that you have made every effort to bring them to Christ. Paul’s advice to someone in a complicated situation in 1 Corinthians 7: 20 was, "Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called." In that chapter, you will notice that there are several conditions listed, including marriage, and I suppose that would include multiple marriages.

However, the bottom line in all of this is that this is between you and God; but under no circumstances are you to kick a poor woman out into the street simply because you have several wives. So, I leave this up to the grace of God, and I believe that you can live a success Christian life; but you should not encourage others to take more wives. God allows only one wife for a Christian, unless you have already married others.

Now, please understand that not everyone will agree with my position on this, particularly Western Christians or those heavily influenced by Western Christians; however, since you are already in the situation, you must accept the facts and God's grace to carry you through.

Please write to me the first ideas that come to your mind on how you can know God's plan for each day of your life. I look forward to helping you discover in the Bible God's answers for your life. I believe this will be an exciting journey for you - and I will be glad to walk along with you.

May I encourage you to find a church in your city to attend. When you celebrate your relationship with Jesus with other Christian brothers and sisters, you will be encouraged to continue on your new journey.

As I close for now, let me encourage you with these words from the Bible: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Discovering this new life you have in Christ will be the best journey you have ever been on - and it has a guaranteed happy ending! And I believe you will find that God's plan for each day of your life now is very satisfying.

May you know the joy of God's love for you,