OceanSide church of Christ

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by: Dalton Gilreath

I.                Introduction

A.    Polygamy is becoming more accepted in our country today

                                                    i.     Popular television shows are promoting such behavior (such as Sister Wives on TLC)

                                                   ii.     Studies who that less than 75% believe it should be illegal today

B.    Polygamy was banned by Congress in 1862

                                                    i.     Today it isnít enforced in all states, such as Utah

                                                   ii.     In fact, the same arguments used to justify homosexuality are used and can be used for polygamy

1.     Animals do it so it must be natural right?

2.     If they love one anotherÖ

3.     What they do in their own home is up to them

II.              Old Testament

A.    Polygamy has always been around even near the beginning of time

                                                    i.     Lamech was the first to enter a polygamous marriage (Gen 4:19)

                                                   ii.     We see this trend continue through all the kings (2 Chr 24:2-3)

B.    It is interesting to note God never condemned polygamy in the Old Law

                                                    i.     In fact, there may have been a case it was almost necessary (Deut 25:5)

                                                   ii.     If a wife became a widow and had no child her husbandís brother was to marry her (no exception was made for a previous marriage nor divorce commanded)

                                                 iii.     David did not willfully sin against God for having multiple wives (1 Kings 15:5)

1.     His sin was adultery with Bathsheba (2 Sam 12:8-11)

2.     His other sin was murdering Uriah

C.    However, the Old Testament does have warnings against it

                                                    i.     God warned kings not to marry multiple wives or have too many riches as these things can turn ones heart (Deut 17:17)

                                                   ii.     God also never wanted divorce or for a spouse to be treated unfairly (Mal 2:14-15)

III.            Polygamy was allowed but never glorified

A.    Abraham, Hagar, and Sarah fought a lot

                                                    i.     There was envy between the women (Gen 16:4-6, 21:9-10)

                                                   ii.     Naturally, polygamous relationships will culture envy between wives

B.    Jacob treated his wives differently (Gen 29:30-32)

                                                    i.     He loved Rachel more than Leah

                                                   ii.     They fought for his time (30:16-18)

C.    Solomonís wives led him into idolatry (1 Kings 11:1-6)

                                                    i.     So, while polygamy occurred and was allowed it was discouraged

                                                   ii.     Good never came from multiple wives only sin

IV.            New Testament

A.    Under our law today we understand silence is prohibitive (Heb 7:14)

                                                    i.     That is, we do not make unauthorized decisions

                                                   ii.     The only authority is for two people, man and woman, to become one not three or more (Matt 19:3-9)

1.     Paul mentions having one wife (Eph 5:33)

2.     Christ has one bride as well, the church (Eph 5:24ff)

B.    If there was an anti-polygamy passage it would be 1 Tim 3:2, 12

                                                    i.     In the qualifications for elders and deacons they are told to have one wife

                                                   ii.     Not only must they be married but to only one wife at a time

C.    Lastly, the Bible has all we need to good and righteousness (2 Pet 1:3)

                                                    i.     If God desired or allowed polygamy He would tell us

                                                   ii.     We have no authority by command, example, or inference under the New Testament to have more than one wife at a time, period