Last week someone sent a link for a sect that calls itself “Biblical Families”. At first glance they seem like the usual patriarchal fundamentalist flavor of Christianity, like a thousand other versions of Christianity. In fact, this is how they describe themselves –
Biblical Families is a ministry run by a group of Bible-focused, Christ-centered, Spirit-filled Christian believers…
and then you read on to discover why they are so different.
…desiring to support, defend, and encourage Biblical-based marriages, including those with more than one wife. It is our hope that you will find this site a place to renew your strength, get practical advice and counsel, and be encouraged to press on toward the goal of serving God as you have been called.
Christian polygamists openly practicing plural marriage because there was plural marriage in the Old Testament.
Okay, so isn’t that still illegal under federal law? The feds have prosecuted Fundamentalist Mormons for the practice of polygamy going all the way back to the 1800s. There’s still the occasional prosecution of it to this day.
But it’s not the fact that it’s illegal under federal law or that I personally find polygamy to be something squicky and know that it opens up people to all sorts of jealousies and problems that I find reprehensible. It’s the fact that they actively attempt to recruit single mothers like they are throwing a lifeline to someone in desperate straights, combing the world for those Fantines before they shave their heads and go into prostitution to support their children. Check out their “Single Moms” page and tell me they aren’t trying to actively recruit from a vulnerable group.
It would be admirable if they were trying to help single moms because they believe that’s what the Bible wants them to do but to dangle the cheese of a stable successful life in front of them is pretty darn sickening.
Imagine a family where the father is such a trusted husband, and the wife so secure, that she is open to sharing him with another wife. Think it’s crazy? Think again – it’s only our Roman-influenced, easy-divorcing, post-Biblical Western culture that has convinced you of that. In fact, MOST cultures throughout history have accepted plural marriage at some level. We don’t claim it’s for everyone, but for the right people, the blessings and benefits are huge. And even for those who don’t decide to practice “polygyny” (the more technically correct term), there is a real blessing for learning God’s ENTIRE truth about marriage!
We live a culture where divorce, and therefore serial-polygamy (“many wives, one after another”) is rampant. In large measure because of this, we have a society with way too many single mothers and fatherless children. It breaks our hearts, and we know it breaks God’s. He told us to provide for the “widows and orphans”, but today’s single mothers are our modern-day windows and orphans! And “providing” doesn’t mean handing a few dollars every month – women and children have emotional and relational needs, too. We think God wants to provide families for them, but we all know there are not enough quality single men available to meet that need.
That’s where plural marriage comes in. Believe it or not, we know many families who are just waiting for God to send the right lady to join their family, and be a loving, fully-integrated part of it. We also have Godly single men, who already have it laid on their hearts to someday provide for more than one wife.
They even have an “Introduction Service” to help match single moms with a husband. If this lifestyle choice was something that was bringing in scads of people on their own without trying to get single mothers without a lot of options to think this is the best way to take care of their kids and everyone was happy with the arrangement that would seem far more, uh, errm, eech, less creepy.
Just my two cents worth. I’m interested in how this whole thing seems to you. Please let me know in the comments.
Comments open below
Calulu lives near Washington DC , was raised Catholic in South Louisiana before falling in with a bunch of fallen Catholics whom had formed their own part Fundamentalist, part Evangelical church. After fifteen uncomfortable years drinking that Koolaid she left nearly 6 years ago. Her blog is Calulu – Seeking The Light and The Burqa Experience
NLQ Recommended Reading …
‘Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich
‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland
‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce