More about Gay Marriage, Progressive Churches, and Plural Marriage
If you have not read my immediately preceding post/essay about plural marriage, you must go back and read it before responding to this one which is a continuation or possibly a lengthy footnote to it.
It has never been proven that every plural marriage is bad for women or children. Some obviously are. So are some monogamous marriages. But it is obviously conceivable that a plural marriage might be truly mutual.
There are Christians in the world involved in plural marriages and it is inevitable that some will immigrate to the United States and Canada, Australia, etc. (where most of my readers reside). Some people “in the know” have already informed me about this and say it is already happening even if “under the radar.”
Many people who read my previous blog post misinterpreted it. It was not at attack on or critique of welcoming and affirming churches (those that have chosen to affirm gay marriages as valid for them). It was a question to leaders of welcoming and affirming churches about how they will respond when Christians involved in plural marriage ask them to affirm their marriages.
*Sidebar: The opinions expressed here are my own (or those of the guest writer); I do not speak for any other person, group or organization; nor do I imply that the opinions expressed here reflect those of any other person, group or organization unless I say so specifically. Before commenting read the entire post and the “Note to commenters” at its end.*
Contrary to what one would-be commenter said (I didn’t post his comment because he was entirely wrong), my post/essay did not amount to “assailment by entailment.” I was merely asking a question, not accusing or assailing.
I think it is always a good idea, when making a major change, to consider its possible and likely consequences. I am not confident that welcoming and affirming churches have done that. I’m asking them to now stop and consider and ask themselves what reason they will give to Christians involved in plural marriages (who otherwise fit their membership requirements) if they decline to affirm their marriages as valid and admit them to full membership and even leadership.
Over my many years of involvement in organizations and institutions I have acquired many commendations and something of a reputation for looking forward to possible and likely consequences (often far off) when a proposal for a major change is made by someone in the organization or institution.
One example offered: Many years ago a college where I taught decided to establish a new program and I was asked to help formulate and lead it. I very firmly warned about some of the potential and likely consequences of the new program and was not believed. Several years later my predictions came true. It was easy to see the almost inevitability of that—at least for me.
Years and years ago I predicted to myself and several others that conservative and evangelical churches’ loosening of the customs and rules about divorce and remarriage would lead to a total acceptance of divorce and remarriage within the churches. I believe that has largely happened. At the time I was told it would not happen.
Have I ever been wrong in my predictions? Of course. I’m not a prophet or the son of a prophet and I do not make prophetic claims. I make claims about future consequences based on logic and human nature and the nature of organizational life.
I predict that progressive, welcoming and affirming Christian churches will have to face and deal with two issues about which most of them have not yet thought. (I am speaking especially about relatively conservative-evangelical churches here.)
Already some Christian churches in Europe are having to deal with plural marriages among immigrants who begin attending their churches. If it happens in Europe, it’s likely to happen here as more and more immigrants come from countries and cultures where polygamy is affirmed.
To be absolutely blunt, and addressing this only to progressive Christians who do really care about the Bible and Christian tradition and are not interested in accommodating to culture just to be nice and relevant, I believe you are naïve. I think you have not thought about the doors you have opened—by becoming welcoming and affirming of gay marriages.
*Note to commenters: This blog is not a discussion board; please respond with a question or comment only to me. If you do not share my evangelical Christian perspective (very broadly defined), feel free to ask a question for clarification, but know that this is not a space for debating incommensurate perspectives/worldviews. In any case, know that there is no guarantee that your question or comment will be posted by the moderator or answered by the writer. If you hope for your question or comment to appear here and be answered or responded to, make sure it is civil, respectful, and “on topic.” Do not comment if you have not read the entire post and do not misrepresent what it says. Keep any comment (including questions) to minimal length; do not post essays, sermons or testimonies here. Do not post links to internet sites here. This is a space for expressions of the blogger’s (or guest writers’) opinions and constructive dialogue among evangelical Christians (very broadly defined).