I Am The God Of Polygamists
The countries in green are where polygamy (or more accurately polygny) is legal and practiced.
To begin with, I wish to state that I am speaking about polygamy in Africa and not on other continents. Due to my missionary travels I do have some experience with this practice and I wish to share some perspectives with you for the purpose of dispelling a few of the erroneous notions Christians have about polygamy. This is important to speak about because, even in our age of biblical enlightenment, many are still in the dark about this particular subject.
It is written,
“I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”
Though many people know this scripture as a “proof text” about the resurrection it also speaks very plainly to our topic. Jesus demonstrated to those who said there was no resurrection that, due to the fact that Abraham, Issac, and Jacob were presently with God, there obviously is a resurrection. This text also proves that God accepted these men of faith to be in heaven with Him.
Historically, we know that Abraham had 2 wives, Issac had one wife, and Jacob had four. These facts lead us to the inescapable conclusion that God accepts both monogamists and polygamists because men who practiced both types of marriage are currently with Him in heaven. Regardless of your cultural viewpoint on plural marriage, if you are honest with the scriptures, you must admit that God accepts monogamists and polygamists.
This is an important point to consider because there are millions of such families throughout Africa and they represent an undeserved peoples group. Unfortunately, due to cultural biases many otherwise will intentioned missionaries have discriminated against or excluded these types of men and their families from christian fellowship. This has been and continues to be a grave error that is hindering the spread of the gospel in Sub-Saharan Africa. Many polygamist families are headed by men who are looked upon as leaders in their communities. If these opinion leaders and their families would accept Christ many people, who look up to them favorably, would consider the gospel too.
This is also one of the major reasons that the good news fails to reach Muslim believers in these areas. Polygamy is openly accepted and practiced in many Islamic countries. The insistence by western missionaries of “monogamy only” when speaking to Muslims with more than one wife adds a further barrier to accepting the gospel. When you couple this with the instance of teaching the error of the trinity to Islamic monotheists, it is little wonder that Christianity has so little impact on Muslim believers.
In conclusion, God accepts monogamist as well as polygamists and we should not let our ethnocentric values blind us to this fact. We must preach and teach the pure gospel, free of traditions of men that God never mandated and that are, in fact, extra biblical. This is easier said than done for if you dare to confront long standing error you risk much. However, if we are serious about becoming Christ-like, we must also pick up our cross, even in this area, and follow after him.