Here’s a pickle…

So when pastors talk about God allowing Old Testament men to have multiple wives, exactly what does that mean that He allowed it? ‘Cause I’ve heard that “It was just part of their culture and God was just working within those cultural ideals. For them having more than one wife was acceptable.” Ok, well, pornography is acceptable in our mainstream culture. So is having sex before marriage, or living together. Is God allowing those things for us? Are pastors just saying that because they don’t know why it seems that God didn’t forbid it? I mean, I know that it never seemed to work out to well. Naturally, we don’t do too well when we are sharing husbands. In the Bible, whenever there was more than one woman in a man’s life, it was t-r-o-u-b-l-e. (Yes, I did hum Travis Tritt when I wrote that.) So there were consequences, but was God really ok with it? People make it sound like He’s up there rolling his eyes and saying, “Well, golly. Kids will be kids, I guess I have to allow this.”

What gives?


7 Responses to Here’s a pickle…

  1. matt s says:

    that is a very very good point/question. I’m not offereing an wnswer, cus i don’t know, but just wondering if things like slavery could be part of the same question- things God didn’t forbid but were/are wrong?

  2. cheryl says:

    if it’s “wrong” doesn’t God forbid it?

  3. matt s says:

    I’m gonna throw in a very odd idea that i don’t know if i believe or not- just chuck it out there like a can of worms, eh?…
    what if at the beginning of creation, certain things were not yet corrupted- in particular, the study of the stars, natural magic tradition, some forms of alchemy- these things were still in their newly-created state and had not been turned to the works of evil yet. As such, they were neither evil nor good, rather they were simply another mechanism through which God revealed himself. (particularly the stars)
    But after several millenia, those things which were benign became dominated by the use for evil, and as such it is difficult to reclaim them.
    Don’t think that relates to polygamy cus i would not ever put that in the same boat as astology, but the nature of changing truth is perhaps relevant?

  4. cheryl says:

    have you been reading Velvet Elvis?

  5. matt s says:

    nope, never heard of it. my ideas MAY have been influenced by That Hideous Strength by CS, he uses this idea in relation to merlin- merlin was brought back to life in the (almost) present day and still had power over the earth and elements and stuff, and when he had been alive, these things were benign, not evil. But since the nature of them had since changed, they were regarded with fear and assumption of evil intent… i dunno. interesting idea, tho.

  6. cheryl says:

    i think you’re a good idea:)! interesting thoughts. most of CS’s are. ponder worthy. read velvet elvis.

  7. Colleen says:

    I’ve asked this question many times, Cheryl. And I use it frequently as an example of those Biblical contradictions that I love to throw in people’s faces because I’m a bitter agnostic.

    I’m a little rusty on the Old Testament right now, so I can’t remember if God ever explicitly smacks down polygamy in the Old Testament without there being other extenuating circumstances. It can be extrapolated from Genesis 1 and 2 that it wasn’t his intention for men to marry more than one woman, but does God ever say that polygamy is wrong just because? There were lots of times when polygamy caused problems, but the only explicit example I can think of is Solomon, whose major problem I understood to be not that he had taken multiple wives, but that they weren’t all Jews.

    And in historical context, I think it’s important to remember that polygamy is pretty effective in nation building. And the Jews were always trying to increase their numbers (which is understandable since they almost got wiped out so many times). So it could be that God allowed it because, pragmatically, it was a quick way for his Chosen People to reproduce quickly.

    Or, I suppose you could go all touchy feely and take it as an example of how everyone screws up and God doesn’t wait around for someone perfect before He uses them for His will. Well…except for that one time with Jesus.

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