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Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: Mountain Man] #134135
06/04/11 03:35 AM
06/04/11 03:35 AM
Green Cochoa  Offline

Group: Admin Team
5500+ Member
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,812
The Orient
Originally Posted By: Mountain Man
Adultery is definitely a married person having sexual relations with someone other than their spouse. Two unmarried people having sexual relations is fornication. The punishment for adultery was death, whereas the punishment for fornication was marriage (see passage below).

Quote:
Deuteronomy
22:28 If a man find a damsel [that is] a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;
22:29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty [shekels] of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

This passage is referring to consensual sexual relations, not rape, because the punishment for rape was death not marriage.

Polygamy does not involve adultery because it involves marriage. Nevertheless, God intended for couples to be monogamous.


Thank you for that perspective, Mike.

I was in a situation working at one of our institutions in Asia at one point where two unmarried staff committed "fornication." Unfortunately, the administrator counseled them to separate, as he thought they were ill-matched. They separated. So much for following the Bible.

Blessings,

Green Cochoa.


Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong. -- Thomas Jefferson

Error is never harmless. It never sanctifies, but always brings confusion and dissension. -- Ellen White

The Bible, and the Bible alone, is to be our creed, the sole bond of union; all who bow to this Holy Word will be in harmony. ...Let us meet all opposition as did our Master, saying, "It is written." -- Ellen White
Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: Green Cochoa] #134142
06/04/11 02:53 PM
06/04/11 02:53 PM
G
gordonb1  Offline
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Active Member 2014

Veteran Member
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 936
Quebec

Hey Green,

Do you know any church administrators that follow the Bible & SOP?

_______________________________

Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: gordonb1] #134153
06/04/11 10:05 PM
06/04/11 10:05 PM
Green Cochoa  Offline

Group: Admin Team
5500+ Member
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,812
The Orient
It is something to think about, Gordon. Do we still choose to follow those old "Levitical Laws" today? Or is our modern way superior to those now?

Blessings,

Green Cochoa.


Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong. -- Thomas Jefferson

Error is never harmless. It never sanctifies, but always brings confusion and dissension. -- Ellen White

The Bible, and the Bible alone, is to be our creed, the sole bond of union; all who bow to this Holy Word will be in harmony. ...Let us meet all opposition as did our Master, saying, "It is written." -- Ellen White
Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: Mountain Man] #134166
06/05/11 12:58 AM
06/05/11 12:58 AM
E
Elle  Offline
Active Member 2019
Died February 12, 2019

2500+ Member
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,536
Canada
Originally Posted By: MM
Two unmarried people having sexual relations is fornication.
I don't believe that is the correct definition of fornication. 1Cor 7:36 it doesn't say so and there's other scriptures to evaluate.

Fornication used in Mat 5:32 is mis-understood and so is why Jesus said what he said in Mat 5:31. Most interpret that it says that adultery is the only reason for divorce. So I need to address Mat 5:31 to come later with the correct understanding of fornication in this text. This is a study I did in another forum that I tailored it a little bit for here.

Context

Mat 5:31 is part of the sermon of the mount.
In a nutshell, the purpose of the "Sermon on the Mount" was to improve upon the Laws of Moses interpretation and application. Jesus started with the 10 C's and followed with other laws found. Jesus was giving the true spirit of the laws by which had been lost through the traditions of the elders and the Leaders.

Jesus Emphasizing to Give a Written Divorce
With that context in mind, and knowing that Jesus did not come to destroy the law, let us look at Matthew 5:31, 32 in greater detail. These two verses are a part of His comment on "Thou shalt not commit adultery,"(v.27) that is part of the 10 commandments. So the final thrust of His comment is to define adultery in relation to the laws of divorce and remarriage found in Deut 24:1 which Verse 31 simply refers to. In that Law, God demanded that men give their wives a WRITTEN bill of divorcement before they could lawfully put away their wives. Deut 24:2, of course, allowed divorced wives to remarry after a lawful divorce. So let us take another look at Matthew 5:31, 32, inserting a few key words in the original Greek, so that we get a proper translation of the passage.

31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away (apoluo) his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement (apostasion). 32 But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away (apoluo) his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery; and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced (apoluo, lit. "put away") committeth adultery.

To paraphrase this: The law says that she commits adultery if she remarries (or lives with another man ) without a written bill of divorcement. BUT I SAY UNTO YOU that whoever puts her away (without divorce papers; that is, unlawfully) causes her to commit adultery (if she remarries or lives with another man under such conditions). Thus, he who simply put her out of his house without divorcing her properly is JUST AS LIABLE AS SHE IS. And whosoever marries her (or lives with her) that has been put away (without divorce papers) also commits adultery, because he is marrying another man's wife.

Jesus is here condemning men who put away their wives the Babylonian style (verbally), instead of putting her away in the manner prescribed by God's law. Under the laws of liability, this would make him (the husband who neglects to give a bill of divorcement to his wife before putting her away as God prescribed) guilty of adultery if she were to remarry or living with another man. So we see that the whole point of this commentary is to bring out a point of law that had not been covered by the Pharisees in their interpretations.

Besides for the Cause of Harlotry
But what of the section, "saving (parektos, near outside, i.e. besides) for the cause of fornication (porneia, harlotry)?" What does this mean? Most people assume it means that if a wife commits adultery then it is lawful to divorce her. However, it does NOT say, "because of ADULTERY." It says “besides for the cause of fornication or harlotry”. Further, the penalty for adultery was death -- not divorce. So what is meant by "fornication?" Why is it alright to put away one's spouse without divorce papers in a case of fornication?

A look on the Biblical Meaning of Fornication
Prostitution is the main sexual relationship that is call Fornication which is considered unlawful.

In Ex. 22:16, this is where a man has sexual relations with an unmarried woman. In Deut 22:23-29 gives more details on all the different circumstances. If she is bethroth and does not cry for help and is a rape, only the man is to be stoned. But if she is bethroth and doesn’t cry for help then both are stoned. This is not fornication. This is adultery and the penalty is stoning.

Now, if the damsel is not bethroth, then the man has to marry her and he may not put her away(divorce her) all his days of his life. The father of the damsel decides whether she is to marry him or not. If it is rape like in the case of Dinah the Daughter of Jacob, Jacob still decided to give her as a bride even with the case of rape. So regardless if it was rape or not, the man has to pay up the dowry to the father that is kept for her needs. I don’t know if the rape in this case would be considered fornication. I don’t think if it was a consenting affair it is fornication because in 1Cor 7:36 says they did not sin and to let them marry.

Esau a Fornicator

In Hebrews 12:16 Esau is called a fornicator ; yet there is no record in Scripture of his buying the services of a prostitute. But Genesis 26:34 does say that he married Hittite wives. From the account in Scripture, this obviously went against God's command not to take a wife from among the Canaanites. Thus, it may be classified as an unlawful marriage.

Incest is Fornication

We find the term "fornication" is used again in 1 Cor. 5:1. “ It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.” Thus we see that Paul uses the term "fornication" to describe another unlawful marriage or sexual relationship that had been forbidden in Leviticus 18:7, 8, namely, incest.

Homosexuality is Fornication

In Jude 7 we read of the people of Sodom and Gomorrha who had given themselves over to "fornication," going after "strange flesh." This, too, is obviously a sexual sin, and yet the only thing we have on record of their sexual tendencies is homosexuality, or "sodomy" (Gen. 19:4-8).

Unlawful Sexual Relationships is Fornication

Each of these examples have one thing in common: they are unlawful sexual relationships, and therefore, there is no LAWFUL marriage contract to bind the two parties together. In other words God does not recognize the "marriage" in the first place. It is void from the start.

Conclusion

So, when Jesus says it is alright to "put away" (separate without divorce papers) one's spouse in the case of fornication(or harlotry), the reason is quite obvious. There was no lawfully-binding marriage contract in the first place, so how can one appeal to the law of God to have it voided? God requires no such divorce papers. However, if the couple had obtained a marriage license from the government such as those of this world order, then they would have to petition it for a divorce as well, because governments recognize many marriage relationships that God's law does not. God does not recognize relationships which are homosexual, incestual, or otherwise forbidden as in the case of Esau, even if the parties sign a marriage contract. Another case where divorce papers are unnecessary is in the case of prostitution. Since prostitutes do not enter marriage contracts with a client, the solution is separation, not divorce.


Blessings
Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: Elle] #134170
06/05/11 02:58 AM
06/05/11 02:58 AM
Mountain Man  Offline
SDA
Charter Member
Active Member 2019

20000+ Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 22,256
Southwest USA
Elle, what word does the Bible use in the case of consensual premarital sexual relations?

Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: Mountain Man] #134247
06/07/11 10:55 PM
06/07/11 10:55 PM
E
Elle  Offline
Active Member 2019
Died February 12, 2019

2500+ Member
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,536
Canada
Originally Posted By: Mountain Man
Elle, what word does the Bible use in the case of consensual premarital sexual relations?

According to the Biblical definition, it is considered as a marriage. Intercourse between two people is the marriage itself. That is why this matter must be taken seriously. If there is intercourse between a man and a woman they are in the eyes of the Lord married for they have become one flesh, even in the case of a man having intercourse with a prostitute, as it is written, "Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For 'the two,' He says, 'shall become one flesh.'" 1 Cor.6:16.

It is true that God does not recognize as a marriage relationships when men buys a prostitute's services, or sexual relationship between two persons of the same sex, or incestial relationships. But anything outside of these "fornication" is viewed as a marriage. Even in the case of rape if the father of the maiden agrees to allow the union. God is wise and have put it in the hand of the father the decision in the case the young man was workable and since the dowry to be paid was large, the young man needed to work it off in the father-in-law household where there would be plenty of time to teach him to be a proper young man for his daughter.

So today's definition of what constitute a marriage is very different from God's definition. As a church we should look to have the same outlook as God and not the world.


Blessings
Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: Elle] #134280
06/08/11 04:10 PM
06/08/11 04:10 PM
Mountain Man  Offline
SDA
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Active Member 2019

20000+ Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 22,256
Southwest USA
Elle, I used to serve the church as a pastor and an evangelist. We were taught people living together under common law must get married before they can be baptized and join the church. I hear you saying, no, they are already married in the eyes of God.

Also, the punishment for rape was death not marriage.

Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: Mountain Man] #134301
06/08/11 11:45 PM
06/08/11 11:45 PM
NJK Project  Offline
Banned Member
Dedicated Member
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,098
Laval, Quebec
The following statement made by glenm in Post #134285 is to me quite indicative as to where God stands on this issue of polygamy and/in the Bible:

Originally Posted By: SOP 1SP 379.1
I was shown that it was when David was pure, and walking in the counsel of God, that God called him a man after his own heart. When David departed from God, and stained his virtuous character by his crimes, he was no longer a man after God's own heart. God did not in the least degree justify him in his sins, but sent Nathan, his prophet, with dreadful denunciations to David because he had transgressed the commandment of the Lord. God shows his displeasure at David's having a plurality of wives, by visiting him with judgments, and permitting evils to rise up against him from his own house.


Along these lines of a “plurality”, I find quite significant that in the examples in the Bible where bigamy/polygamy is explicitly discussed (i.e., in the accounts of Biblical episodes), and where God did not express a displeasure, nor deliberately visit that household with judgements, as with David, there is always an underlying issue of a wife not being (at least at first/naturally) able to have children. (Though I have not gone through all of the Biblical mentions cited in this website). That can be seen with Abraham; Jacob; Elkanah (1 Sam 1:2).

Summarily said, my view that this was one of the ‘post-marriage discovered indecencies’ for a man could divorce his wife (Deut 24:1ff) , however for those who did not want to divorce their wive, but still have children/descendants, as the Law of God, greatly encouraged, indeed as this was also the Plan of God for this planet (Gen 1:22, 28; 8:17; 9:1, 7; cf. 17:6; (17:20); 35:11), particularly with (His) righteous people, God may have allowed for bigamy, or even polygamy (as I see it, only in Jacob’s case; Abraham was no longer married to/living with Hagar when he later also took Keturah as his wife, -apparently he wanted to have more than one child and Sarah of course was past the age of (natural) child bearing), so that either those men/women could have children. That would explain the regulation of this in the Law (Deut 21:15-17 - notice the specific: “two wives” and not “two or more”; or even: “one or more”).

So as God had condemned in the Law for kings (Deut 17:17) as it was indeed common and facilitatively likely for monarchs to do so, God was opposed to this “mindless” multiply of wives, i.e., having more than two =(polygamy vs. (tangibly-reasoned) bigamy). That may indeed be what the sin of the Antediluvians was (CC 36.5) and also other instances where God considered this to be “sin”.

I also see a relation with the justified bigamy and the Levirate unions, i.e., the issue of having children/descendants. In that prior discussion, I have not seen a Biblical reference to where this brother had to be a batchelor.

So my “working thesis” understanding thus far is that God allowed for only a second wife for legitimate issues/reasons of child bearing, and those who married outside of this justification or took more than two wives, were indeed acting contrary to God’s Law and sinning. (In the case of Jacob, it can be seen that he was tricked into marrying a extra wive with Leah, and then was actually jsutified, as I understand it in taking Rachel’s maid as a wive since Rachel was manifestly barren. So it is really with the issue of Leah’s maid that he would have sinned, merely giving to Leah’s jealousy and competitiveness with her sister to have children. However this was done under an apparently genuine worry of Leah that she had become barren (Gen 30:9); though that was not the case (vs. 16ff). And God did consider those 2 children of Zilpah, Leah maid (Gad and Asher) as equals in His Israel.)


“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: Mountain Man] #134303
06/09/11 01:37 AM
06/09/11 01:37 AM
Green Cochoa  Offline

Group: Admin Team
5500+ Member
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,812
The Orient
Originally Posted By: Mountain Man
Elle, I used to serve the church as a pastor and an evangelist. We were taught people living together under common law must get married before they can be baptized and join the church. I hear you saying, no, they are already married in the eyes of God.

Also, the punishment for rape was death not marriage.


Mike,

Despite what the church may or may not say, Elle has the Biblical support for her stance on both of the points above. The church, for as much as God has honored us with wisdom, has not always been right. This is one of those points where I feel the church has diverged from a clear "thus saith the Lord."

Now, if you can show Bible support for your position.... smile

Blessings,

Green Cochoa.


Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong. -- Thomas Jefferson

Error is never harmless. It never sanctifies, but always brings confusion and dissension. -- Ellen White

The Bible, and the Bible alone, is to be our creed, the sole bond of union; all who bow to this Holy Word will be in harmony. ...Let us meet all opposition as did our Master, saying, "It is written." -- Ellen White
Re: The Bible and Polygamy [Re: NJK Project] #134304
06/09/11 01:45 AM
06/09/11 01:45 AM
Green Cochoa  Offline

Group: Admin Team
5500+ Member
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,812
The Orient
Originally Posted By: NJK Project
The following statement made by glenm in Post #134285 is to me quite indicative as to where God stands on this issue of polygamy and/in the Bible:

Originally Posted By: SOP 1SP 379.1
I was shown that it was when David was pure, and walking in the counsel of God, that God called him a man after his own heart. When David departed from God, and stained his virtuous character by his crimes, he was no longer a man after God's own heart. God did not in the least degree justify him in his sins, but sent Nathan, his prophet, with dreadful denunciations to David because he had transgressed the commandment of the Lord. God shows his displeasure at David's having a plurality of wives, by visiting him with judgments, and permitting evils to rise up against him from his own house.


Along these lines of a “plurality”, I find quite significant that in the examples in the Bible where bigamy/polygamy is explicitly discussed (i.e., in the accounts of Biblical episodes), and where God did not express a displeasure, nor deliberately visit that household with judgements, as with David, there is always an underlying issue of a wife not being (at least at first/naturally) able to have children. (Though I have not gone through all of the Biblical mentions cited in this website). That can be seen with Abraham; Jacob; Elkanah (1 Sam 1:2).

Summarily said, my view that this was one of the ‘post-marriage discovered indecencies’ for a man could divorce his wife (Deut 24:1ff) , however for those who did not want to divorce their wive, but still have children/descendants, as the Law of God, greatly encouraged, indeed as this was also the Plan of God for this planet (Gen 1:22, 28; 8:17; 9:1, 7; cf. 17:6; (17:20); 35:11), particularly with (His) righteous people, God may have allowed for bigamy, or even polygamy (as I see it, only in Jacob’s case; Abraham was no longer married to/living with Hagar when he later also took Keturah as his wife, -apparently he wanted to have more than one child and Sarah of course was past the age of (natural) child bearing), so that either those men/women could have children. That would explain the regulation of this in the Law (Deut 21:15-17 - notice the specific: “two wives” and not “two or more”; or even: “one or more”).

So as God had condemned in the Law for kings (Deut 17:17) as it was indeed common and facilitatively likely for monarchs to do so, God was opposed to this “mindless” multiply of wives, i.e., having more than two =(polygamy vs. (tangibly-reasoned) bigamy). That may indeed be what the sin of the Antediluvians was (CC 36.5) and also other instances where God considered this to be “sin”.

I also see a relation with the justified bigamy and the Levirate unions, i.e., the issue of having children/descendants. In that prior discussion, I have not seen a Biblical reference to where this brother had to be a batchelor.

So my “working thesis” understanding thus far is that God allowed for only a second wife for legitimate issues/reasons of child bearing, and those who married outside of this justification or took more than two wives, were indeed acting contrary to God’s Law and sinning. (In the case of Jacob, it can be seen that he was tricked into marrying a extra wive with Leah, and then was actually jsutified, as I understand it in taking Rachel’s maid as a wive since Rachel was manifestly barren. So it is really with the issue of Leah’s maid that he would have sinned, merely giving to Leah’s jealousy and competitiveness with her sister to have children. However this was done under an apparently genuine worry of Leah that she had become barren (Gen 30:9); though that was not the case (vs. 16ff). And God did consider those 2 children of Zilpah, Leah maid (Gad and Asher) as equals in His Israel.)


NJK, very interesting perspective. I've never seen anyone lay it out quite like that. I'm not entirely sure that I agree with it, but will give it some thought. There were some good points made there.

Regarding David, God disciplined him for stealing Bathsheba at the cost of Uriah's life. There is nothing in the Bible which adds to God's reasoning behind that discipline. That Mrs. White says it was partly on account of his polygamy is interesting. If that is true, I wonder if David got the message? We don't see David picking up lots of wives after that...mostly just one more, from what I can tell, and that being one in which the marriage was never consummated. Since David was king, he was indeed in the wrong to have so many wives. He transgressed a commandment just for kings on this point. (As with the issue of wine, polygamy was not for kings.)

Originally Posted By: The Bible
Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. (Deuteronomy 17:15-17)


Blessings,

Green Cochoa.


Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong. -- Thomas Jefferson

Error is never harmless. It never sanctifies, but always brings confusion and dissension. -- Ellen White

The Bible, and the Bible alone, is to be our creed, the sole bond of union; all who bow to this Holy Word will be in harmony. ...Let us meet all opposition as did our Master, saying, "It is written." -- Ellen White
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