Skip to comments.Does Old Testament Polygamy Justify Same-Sex Marriage?
Posted on 08/20/2018 11:39:54 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
I was recently confronted with a challenge about marriage at one of my events. The claim was that God permits same-sex marriage today because marriage is not clearly defined in Scripture. Adam and Eve were a monogamous heterosexual couple, but later in Scripture God allowed men to marry multiple women. This signals a trajectory in the Bible towards more openness of sexual expression and in the definition of marriage. Therefore, same-sex marriage should be allowed by Christians today.
I dont think the Bible permits same-sex marriage for a whole host of reasons, but Ill only explain the ones I offered in response to this challenge. First, although God tolerated polygamy during Old Testament times, He never condoned it. In fact, when marriage begins in the Genesis creation account, its instituted as a monogamous and heterosexual relationship (Gen. 1:2728; 2:24). That the patriarchs and other Old Testament figures practiced polygamy is not evidence that God intended them to do so. Thats just what they did. The same could be said of divorce. God never intended married couples to divorce, but He tolerated it. Even Jesus said that divorce was permitted because of the hardness of the hearts of men. Yet, He also clearly reminds the Pharisees that divorce was never intended by God from the beginning (Matt. 9:8). Therefore, when it comes to polygamy (and divorce), Scripture is descriptive but not prescriptive.
Second, even if God made provision for polygamy in the Old Testament, the 613 commands of the Mosaic Law are no longer binding on the New Testament believer. They are part of the Old Covenant (or contract) that has been replaced. Jesus said He came to fulfill the Mosaic Law and its requirements because we never could (Matt. 5:17). He didnt merely abolish that covenant, however. He established a new covenant in His blood. In fact, the entire book of Galatians is an argument against making the Mosaic Law binding on believers living under the New Covenant of Christ.
Third, even if God had ordained polygamous marriage throughout all of Scripture (which I dont believe He did), it doesnt follow that He affirms same-sex marriage. Polygamy is fundamentally different from same-sex marriage. When a man marries a woman, he meets the male-female requirement of biblical marriage (Gen. 1:2728 and 2:24). If he marries another woman, that is also a heterosexual marriage. Every instance of an additional marriage is still an opposite-sex marriage. Its not same-sex marriage because the women hes married to are not married to each other. Its also not group marriage because he and all the women are not married together as a group. Marriage remains an opposite-sex relationship between two people as God defined in His Word.
Fourth, contrary to the claim that the Bibles trajectory is towards greater openness in sexual expression (and consequently more openness in marriage), it seems the opposite is true. The trajectory in Scripture, especially with Jesus, is towards greater restriction. God may have tolerated polygamy in the Old Testament, but we dont see it permitted during New Testament times. The pastoral epistles, for example, mandate that a church leader be a man of one wife (e.g. Tit. 1:6; 1 Tim. 3:2, 12). Jesus also cites several Mosaic laws and, far from loosening their prohibitions, makes them more restrictive. For example, He says, You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matt. 5:2728). Jesus takes a Mosaic prohibition and makes it more restrictive.
Fifth, the New Testament specifically rules out same-sex marriage by prohibiting homosexual sex. Although this is explicitly taught in Romans 1:2627, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and 1 Timothy 1:10, Pauls epistle to the Romans contains the clearest condemnation. Within the context of a creation narrative (beginning at Rom. 1:18), Paul argues that God made men and women to function in a heterosexual way. Women, he says, exchanged the natural sexual function of a man for unnatural sex with women. Men, in the same way, abandoned the natural sexual function a woman provides and had unnatural sex with other men (Rom. 1:2627). By prohibiting same-sex sexual contact, Scripture rules out same-sex marriage.
Finally, we should give Jesus the last word on this question. Our King specifically ruled out same-sex marriage by upholding the male-female prerequisite of marriage taught in the Genesis account of creation. When asked about divorce, Jesus replies,
"Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate. (Matthew 19:46)"
Notice Jesus quotes the two Genesis texts that affirm the binary nature of the sexes and the male-female prerequisite of marriage (Gen. 1:2728; 2:24). Thats because He believes those texts are still authoritative and that marriage is still whats described in them. Then Jesus adds his own commentary on the passage (What therefore God has joined together
), indicating He believes God instituted monogamous and heterosexual marriage.
For your interest.
Any excuse to justify their disgusting behavior.
Besides, it’s not as if they believe the Bible is the Word of God, anyway.
They’re just trying to torture the text in order to fool those that do.
But those who do believe that the Bible is the Word of God are much more familiar with it than these sophists, so all they’re gonna get is a resounding ...
“marriage is not clearly defined in Scripture”
But all forms of gay relationships is clearly defined:
Romans 1:26-28 26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.
“marriage is not clearly defined in Scripture”
Neither is the word “is”.
It wasn’t defined because everyone knows what it is.
You’re talking to people who don’t believe Jesus Christ ever existed in the first place.
marriage is not clearly defined in Scripture
Huh-— Genesis, John, Luke, 1 Corinthians, 1 Peter, etc-—The Bible IS very clear on marriage and starts by stating in Genesis, “When a man is united with his wife the two are one-—
Genesis 2:24 “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one” flesh.
Polygamy used to also be an act of charity.
Men who could afford to were encouraged to take in widows and their children, especially widows of men who died in battle. In some cases a less attractive daughter was married off to a man as a condition of his marrying the more attractive daughter.
There is no such comparison with homosexuality.
Leviticus 20:13 King James Version (KJV)13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Man, I’ve heard some stupid arguments by the LGBTQUERTY crowd, but that one is pretty amazing. Because God allows heterosexual marriage, it stands to reason that two men can marry as well.
What twisted logic.
Shouldn't Christians be paying attention to the New Testament for religious guidance? - Tom
If it were legal I might do one more with a child for the reasons you state. We’re both disabled but we usually have enough food for a few more people, the air conditioner is going to run whether there are 2 people or 4 or 5 and I wouldn’t mind having a kid around. And we have enough space.
You could go to prison in Europe for quoting that.
Shouldn’t Christians be paying attention to the New Testament for religious guidance? - Tom
Luk 24:27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Polygamy carries a harsh sentence here:Two mothers-in-law.
Even though same sex attraction and sexuality was common in both the old testament and new testament (outside of the Jews), there was no same sex marriage.
Marriage was always between a man and a woman, or a man and multiple women.
Calling two men or two women living together a “marriage” is an Orwellian change in the meaning of the word.
Jesus Himself siad he did not come to abolish the law OT but to fulfill it. so OT still has it’s place as valid guidance for believers and all people.
All scripture, IMHO.
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