Adjust the Bible to Polygamy?
IN Bijeen (Together), a Roman Catholic magazine from the Netherlands, columnist Sjef Donders discussed the conflict that exists in some African countries between the Biblical command on monogamy and the accepted custom of polygamy. That conflict is resolved, he said, by “simply declaring the church doctrine [on monogamy] invalid.”
Demonstrating the ambiguous views of the church, Donders quoted American priest Eugene Hillman, a member of the Holy Ghost Fathers, a Roman Catholic order that has spearheaded Catholic missionary work in Africa. In a book dealing with polygamy, Hillman wrote: “If, due to one or other natural disaster or man-caused calamity, there ever would be all of a sudden almost no more men, but almost only women, then there certainly would be found reasons in the Bible to permit these men to have relations with several women.”
Would there? Regardless of the priest’s liberal views, polygamy is not to be condoned for any Christian regardless of nationality or circumstance. Monogamy was God’s arrangement for mankind in Eden, and Jesus Christ indicated that there should be a return to this in the Christian congregation. (Matthew 19:4-6) Under inspiration the apostle Paul wrote: “The overseer should . . . be irreprehensible, a husband of one wife.” (1 Timothy 3:2) And with regard to all Christians, he counseled: “Because of the prevalence of fornication, let each man have his own wife and each woman have her own husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:2) This leaves no room for polygamy among true Christians.