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Vol.  10  No. 5 May 2008  Page 4
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D. Gene West

Then, There Is Polygamy

By D. Gene West

    From time to time, both the printed media and the television come up with news clips on the practice of polygamy in such places as Utah, Nevada and other western states that come under the influence of a large cult that, until it was outlawed by the Federal Government in 1890, practiced polygamy openly according to the teaching of their Prophet. This prophet himself practiced polygamy, as did his successors, until the law passed by the U. S. Congress outlawed it. That it is still practiced today cannot be doubted in light of what we see documented on TV and other places. However, members of this large American cult are not the only people in the world to practice these “plural marriages.” It is practiced commonly among those who embrace Islam, as well as other so-called world religions. However, usually in Islam there is a limit placed on the number of wives a man may have—that limit being four at a time.

    However, all this is beside the point if God endorses polygamy. If God commanded, or even authorized, plural marriages, then we should be permitted to engage in that kind of behavior with no penalty whatsoever, because those of us who practice monogamy (one wife at a time) are wrong in our practice and the others are correct.

    Marriage, like every other aspect of life, is well regulated by the Word of God, that book we call the Bible. Jesus taught in Matthew 19:1-12 that God’s original plan for marriage was one man for one woman for life. We would have probably caught on to that, even if Jesus had not said so by simply looking back at the first couple ever created and placed upon this earth. God created Adam and then Eve—one man and one woman. He did not create for Adam both a man and a woman, nor did he create for him two women. Nor did God ever intend for the relationship between that one man and one woman to be destroyed by anything. When, in the above context, his disciples asked the Lord why Moses had given a “writing of divorcement” in his law, the Lord told them it was done because of the hardness of men’s hearts, but from the beginning it was never so planned by God.

    Men, even great men, in the Old Testament broke this law of God, and he tolerated it, but he never endorsed it. As a matter of fact, from time to time he would give commandments against it. For example in Deuteronomy 17:17, God said in the laws he gave governing the lives of Kings, “Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.” Both David and Solomon broke both these commands of God, and their lives were made more sorrowful for it! Hence, we can see from the Bible that plural marriages were never God’s ideal, neither for men in ancient times nor for men today. God tolerated many things in the Old Testament periods of time that he no longer tolerates or allows in the enlightened Christian age. Polygamy was one of those things. God loved people in the former times not because of their sins, but in spite of them. As he developed his plan for man’s salvation, he gave more and more enlightenment and called man to a stricter account.

    Is polygamy to be considered a sin in our time? When one accumulates all the evidence of the Bible on this vital subject and looks it over very carefully, he can answer with a resounding, “Yes!” Did God communicate with the original “prophet” of this rather large cult on the matter of polygamy? Dear reader, God never communicated with this man on anything, and there is not one of his followers on earth today who can prove He did. When you keep pressing them for proof, they tell you to pray for wisdom. We pray for wisdom constantly, and God has revealed nothing to us that is not found in his holy Book—the Bible. These dear people need to surrender what they cannot prove, and come to the Word of God accepting it and it alone as their guide in all matters spiritual.

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