"The Christian churches are full of polygamists; men who've remarried without providing
their first wives legitimate bills of divorcement.1 Such men are no
less polygamists simply because they're ignorant of what constitutes a
legitimate bill of divorcement. Jesus words were clear about what constitutes an
illegitimate divorce, 'Whoever divorces his wife, except for the cause of
fornication, causes her to commit adultery and whoever marries her that is so
divorced commits adultery.'2 Since a woman who remarries after being
illegitimately divorced commits adultery by marrying (according to Jesus) then it
is the first
marriage that is still in force. That means that her so called former husband is
not her former husband at all but he remains her one and only husband and the
one she believes to be her current husband is in fact a co-adulterer with her in
a marriage that is not a marriage at all. The woman is
still married to her first husband and if her first husband marries another he becomes a polygamist
upon taking a new bride.
"The part about the woman is clear." Salesa replied. "But I don't
understand why you aren't calling the man an adulterer as well."
"I knew that question was coming Salesa. The ignorance
about the topic of marriage in churches is so prevalent that it is clear to me
that this is
one of those areas where the Lord has allowed hearts to be hardened. How else
could it be that the Scriptures are full of metaphors and allegories about
marriage and yet the typical Christian does not even know what biblical marriage is?
I truly believe that the Lord has a grand plan in allowing the church to be so
led astray concerning marriage for so many years."
"I'm listening. Maybe you can help me to understand more about
the bible's teachings on marriage. What do you mean by
fornication and are you saying that there are women who are unknowingly in adulterous
"Well, to the second part of your question, yes, there are
lots of women who are unknowingly in adulterous relationships. To the first part of your
question, it's not what I mean by fornication but what the bible says about
fornication that counts so let's open
our bibles and read
Isaiah 50:1 Have you got it, Selesa?"
"Yes, I have it Jim, I'll read it; Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of
your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away?"
"That's right, Selesa, the LORD makes it clear that a bill of
divorcement must be obtained by a woman from her husband for her divorce to be considered
valid. No divorce provided by a court, a church, or anyone else is valid. The man is in total authority in granting a divorce. A woman simply cannot divorce her husband. He must
the divorce, and for her sin of fornication and no sin short of fornication."
"How is it that the Christian world is so blind to a man's
authority in marriage?" Selesa looked up into my eyes admiringly having
found a new mentor. Single ladies on fire for
the Lord were a joy to talk with, always spouting the party line, that a man
should have authority over his woman. I wondered how many actually found men
willing to take such authority. Furthermore, how many were willing to submit to
such authority given the opportunity.
"Quite simply," I said, "if the Christian church accepted biblical
marriage, which is patriarchal marriage with the man in charge, they would
also have to accept polygamy."
"Why is that?" Selesa was still sipping at her cup, holding
it delicately in her petite fingers.
"Well, so many of the scriptures concerning marriage are about
polygamous unions. Even Jesus describes Himself as being in a polygamous union
with believers. You remember the story of the ten
virgins, don't you Selesa?"
"Oh yes Jim, five of whom had oil for their lamps and went into the marriage chamber with our Lord? "
"Yes, now that's a polygamous marriage. Five brides, one
groom, all at one wedding."
Selesa now cleared her throat as if to caution me about my topic.
"I'll say, but to my question on what is fornication."
"Oh yes, fornication. Fornication is any sexual sin as well as
any sin that puts another man's authority higher than the husband's authority. Adultery
is the most serious type of fornication but any sexual sin or sin against a
husband's first position of authority over the wife qualifies as
"Could that include flirting?" Selesa said. This time I realized
her deep gaze into my eyes was beyond admiration. She was in fact flirting while
asking the question about flirting. I wasn't sure whether she was doing this to
give effect to her question or if she really intended it.
"Absolutely! There is no reason a Christian wife should ever
flirt. Flirting by a wife is not a small sin. Not in the slightest. It is a
great sin for it leads to adultery just as coveting leads to theft."
"You say, flirting by a wife is not a small sin. But isn't flirting by a husband also
This time I fixed my gaze on hers and said,
"Well, it depends on who he's flirting with. If he's flirting
with someone he could and would possibly like to marry then he is not flirting
with the possibility of sin. He's flirting with the possibility of marriage.
However if the man would never consider entering into a polygamous marriage with
the woman with whom he is
flirting then he is flirting with the possibility of sex outside of marriage and
that is a sin."
"What?" Selesa nearly shouted. "So you really
believe a man can have more than one wife?" Selesa no longer appeared so delicate as her formerly tender expression
"Well, surely you didn't think this discussion was simply an
intellectual exercise. What the bible says should be applied in our daily lives."
"I don't know what I thought, b..but you're sick. Sick!
Everyone at the coffee was now looking at Selesa as she left the room
stomping. They must have wondered what
planet she'd been on. She hadn't even realized she was talking to a man with
seven wives; one polygamist among many in the congregation. Could there have been a visitor
in Andok who wasn't familiar with the latest events? She went to the foyer and
of all women to start a conversation with she began talking
with my wives. The first opportunity
they had to get a word in edgewise they informed her who they were.
"You're married to who?" Still muttering, she left the foyer to come back
and give me a piece of her mind. Striding in with all the confidence of a three year old whose toy
has just been stolen she got in my face. "Listen you, if you were my husband I,
I, I wouldn't share you with anyone!"
"Well, I'll take that as a compliment."
Selesa stormed out of the church.