Monday, March 12, 2007

Thoughts on not having more than one wife

I'm going to have to find something more productive to do besides sitting through the Sunday sermons at my church. I still attend this particular church for several reasons, some probably more valid than others. Some of them are, in no particular order,

Tradition--I have attended here off and on for more than 40 years. My wife's parents helped start the church. We were married here. Some of our children were baptized here and married here (not that we are in any way sacremental).

Fellowship--I have Christian friends here. Some of my closest friends have left and I have trouble finding new ones that I can talk seriously with.

Ministry--while it is definitely a minority of the members who are involved, the church does sponsor an active ministry to meeting the basic human needs of the poor and gives me opportunities to be a doer of the word.

But the Sunday morning sermons are just bad. Yesterday he was talking about God's plan for the family (no not submission but he did throw in an anti-gay marriage comment) and he at least acknowledged that there were some in the OT who did not live up to God's plan for the family. Some of them had more than one wife and some had concubines. He then gave us examples to show us why this is not a good idea.

The examples he used:

Abraham, of course only had one wife, and his wife was the one who had him sleep with Hagar and if only he hadn't done that we would not have an Arab/Israeli problem today.

Lot--as far as we know only had one wife, but have she turned into salt, his daughters got him drunk, had sex with him, and became the mothers of the Moabites and the Ammonites. Then he gave us serveral examples of how that was a bad think for Israel, especially the Moabites. The OT is just full of examples of how they did the Isrealites wrong. So Lot could have avoided all that if he had just kept it in his pants.

David--He really didn't talk about David or his wives just the trouble that came up between the half-brothers and half-sisters.

Solomon--No real discussion was needed here, because everyone knows that the wisest man in history allowed his foreign wives to lead him astray. What I really wanted to know was how Solomon managed to make it with all those wives and concubines. How did he even keep track of who he had slept with and who he hadn't without a computer.

So in light of those stories having more than one wife if not a good idea. But then he really muddied the waters by telling us about Ruth and Boaz (not because of polygamy, he had moved on to another point in his outline). Just after I had written a note to my wife that Ruth was a Moabitess, he said she was a Moabitess but never dealt with the obvious problem that raises. If Lot had not had sex with his daughter resulting in the birth of Moab, then Ruth would never have been born and since she was the grandmother of David, does that mean David would not have been born and since Jesus had to be of the house of David, then Jesus would not have been born and God's plan would have been all messed up. So obviously it was God's will for Lot to drunk and have sex with his daughter.

Oh well, back to reading the Apocrypha.

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