Marriage And The Norm Of Monogamy Analysis

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Marriage And The Norm Of Monogamy Analysis



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The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy

The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Matthew Henry comments on 1 Corinthians He informs them that marriage, and the comforts and satisfactions of that state, are by divine wisdom prescribed for preventing fornication v. To avoid these, Let every man, says he, have his own wife, and every woman her own husband; that is, marry, and confine themselves to their own mates. And, when they are married, let each render the other due benevolence v. For, as the apostle argues v. Note, Polygamy, or the marriage of more persons than one, as well as adultery, must be a breach of marriage-covenants, and a violation of the partner's rights.

And therefore they should not defraud one another of the use of their bodies, nor any other of the comforts of the conjugal state, appointed of God for keeping the vessel in sanctification and honour, and preventing the lusts of uncleanness, except it be with mutual consent v. Note, Seasons of deep humiliation require abstinence from lawful pleasures. But this separation between husband and wife must not be for a continuance, lest they expose themselves to Satan's temptations, by reason of their incontinence, or inability to contain.

Note, Persons expose themselves to great danger by attempting to perform what is above their strength, and at the same time not bound upon them by any law of God. If they abstain from lawful enjoyments, they may be ensnared into unlawful ones. The remedies God hath provided against sinful inclinations are certainly best. John Gill comments on 1 Corinthians 7 and states that polygamy is unlawful; and that one man is to have but one wife, and to keep to her; and that one woman is to have but one husband, and to keep to him and the wife only has a power over the husband's body, a right to it, and may claim the use of it: this power over each other's bodies is not such, as that they may, by consent, either the husband allow the wife, or the wife the husband, to lie with another.

Although the New Testament is largely silent on the issue, some point to Jesus' repetition of the earlier scriptures, noting that a man and a wife "shall become one flesh. For, as it is written, "The two will become one flesh. Most Christian theologians argue that in Matthew —9 and referring to Genesis Jesus explicitly states a man should have only one wife:. Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Polygamists do not dispute that in marriage "two shall be one flesh", they only disagree with the idea that a married man can only be "one flesh" with one woman.

Assuming the man is married, the fact that a man can even be "one flesh" with a harlot apparently does not negate his being "one flesh" with his wife. Gill argues that polygamists in disagreeing with the idea that a married man can only be "one flesh" with one woman are in fact disagreeing with Apostle Paul, who makes it clear that in the Christian Covenant the man who already has one wife can not add another wife because his body belongs to the one wife and is no longer his; if the man adds another wife, then that woman is coveting another woman's husband.

In the Christian Covenant, a woman shalt not covet another woman's husband just like in the Mosaic covenant a man is shalt not covet another man's wife. Many critics of polygamy also point to the Pauline epistles that state that church officials should be respectable, above reproach, and the husband of a single wife. In the time around Jesus' birth, polygamy also called bigamy or digamy in texts was understood as having several spouses consecutively, as evidenced for example by Tertullian's work De Exhortatione Castitatis. Paul says that only women older than 60 years can make the list of Christian widows, [ clarification needed ] but that younger widows should remarry to hinder sin. Some conclude that by requiring leaders of the Church be monogamous, Paul excluded remarried widowers from having influence.

The issue is not the number of covenant relations the man had—he would only have had one at a time, since the empire was monogamous—but his womanizing. This of course does not eliminate the grievous sin of marrying and divorcing in order to have sexual relations with a number of women. But that too is not the issue in polygyny. Jewish polygamy clashed with Roman monogamy at the time of the early church :. It is true that we find no references to it in the New Testament; and from this some have inferred that it must have fallen into disuse, and that at the time of our Lord the Jewish people had become monogamous. But the conclusion appears to be unwarranted. Josephus in two places speaks of polygamy as a recognized institution: and Justin Martyr makes it a matter of reproach to Trypho that the Jewish teachers permitted a man to have several wives.

Indeed when in A. In A. But with the Jews, at least, the enactment failed of its effect; and in A. Even so they were not induced to conform. Tertullian , who lived at the turn of the 2nd and 3rd centuries, wrote that marriage is lawful, but polygamy is not:. For Adam was the one husband of Eve, and Eve his one wife, one woman, one rib. Basil of Caesarea wrote in the 4th century of plural marriage that "such a state is no longer called marriage but polygamy or, indeed, a moderate fornication.

Moreover, he stated that the teachings against plural marriage are "accepted as our usual practice, not from the canons but in conformity with our predecessors. Socrates of Constantinople wrote in the 5th century that the Roman Emperor Valentinian I took two wives and authorized his subjects to take two wives, supporting that Christians were then practicing plural marriage. Valentinian I divorced his first wife according to John Malalas , the Chronicon Paschale and John of Nikiu , before marrying his mistress, which was viewed as bigamy by Socrates, since the Church did not accept divorce. Justin Martyr , Irenaeus and Tertullian all spoke against polygamy, condemning it. Tertullian explicitly tackled the objection that polygamy was allowed for the patriarchs.

He wrote, "each pronouncement and arrangement is the act of one and the same God; who did then indeed, in the beginning, send forth a sowing of the race by an indulgent laxity granted to the reins of connubial alliances, until the world should be replenished, until the material of the new discipline should attain to forwardness: now, however, at the extreme boundaries of the times, has checked the command which He had sent out, and recalled the indulgence which He had granted".

De Monogamia chapt. This is the same Hermogenes mentioned above. Tertullian writes that he was a sect leader, who mixed Stoic, Gnostic and Christian views to create a new religion. Chapter 10 issued by the synod declared that marriage is allowed between one man and one woman, and separation but not divorce is only granted in the case of adultery, but even then remarriage is not allowed. In the medieval period, multiple wives were often obtained through kidnapping. It is with this in view that we must interpret the following laws: The Frankish Laws of —9 strictly forbade kidnapping of women.

According to the Hungarian law, the kidnapped girl was then free to marry whomever. The Roman councils of and suspended from communion those laymen who had a wife and a concubine at the same time. Nicholas the Great —67 forbade Lothair II of Lotharingia to divorce his barren wife Teutberga and marry his concubine Waldrada, with whom he had several children. In Scandinavia, the word for an official concubine was "frille".

In , the Norwegian king Eirik Magnusson —99 declared that men were exempted from having to promise marriage to the frille if they went to confession and did penance. The Church answered by making several declarations in the 14th century, urging men to marry their concubines. When asked for an opinion on polygamy in , Luther wrote, "It is my earnest warning and counsel that Christians especially shall have no more than one wife, not only because it is a scandal, which a Christian should avoid most diligently, but also because there is no word of God here to show that God approves it in Christians I must oppose it, especially in Christians, unless there be need, as for instance if the wife be a leper, or be taken away from the husband in some other way.

Monogamy was the norm among Christians, [46] [47] However, in the context of the sickness of a wife preventing matrimonial intercourse, [48] the founder of the Protestant Reformation , Martin Luther wrote: "I confess that I cannot forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict the Scripture. If a man wishes to marry more than one wife he should be asked whether he is satisfied in his conscience that he may do so in accordance with the word of God.

In such a case the civil authority has nothing to do in the matter. Arthur Cushman McGiffert also states,. Even among Luther's followers and associates there was no little uncertainty about the matter, as was not altogether surprising when the old order of things was undergoing revision at so many points, including the marriage of monks, priests, and near relatives. But Luther himself was unalterably opposed to any such revolution. Monogamy he considered, under ordinary circumstances, alone tolerable in a Christian community, and held that no Christian ruler has any moral right to legalize polygamy. At the same time, finding no explicit prohibition in the Bible, he believed exceptions might be allowed in certain extreme cases such as are now generally recognized in Protestant countries as justifying divorce.

Lutheran theologians approved of Philip of Hesse 's polygamous marriages to Christine of Saxony and Margarethe von der Saale for this purpose, as well as initial disapproval of divorce and adultery. As well as Phillip, there was much experimentation with marital duration within early German Lutheranism amongst clergy and their erstwhile wives. Anabaptist leader Bernhard Rothmann initially opposed the idea of plural marriage.

However, he later wrote a theological defense of plural marriage, and took nine wives himself, saying "God has restored the true practice of holy matrimony amongst us. The 16th-century Italian Capuchin monk , Bernardino Ochino , 77 years old and never married, wrote the "Thirty Dialogues", wherein Dialog XXI was considered a defense of plural marriage. Evidently, he borrowed some of his strongest arguments from a Lutheran dialogue written in in favor of plural marriage which was written under the fictitious name Huldericus Necobulus in the interest of justifying Philip of Hesse.

The Lutheran pastor Johann Lyser strongly defended plural marriage in a work entitled "Polygamia Triumphatrix". His book was burned by the public executioner. In , his book was ordered to be burned. Friedrich escaped with his life, but was fined one hundred thousand gold pieces. One of the more notable published works regarding the modern concept of Christian plural marriage dates from the 18th century. The book Thelyphthora [61] was written by Martin Madan , a significant writer of hymns and a contemporary of John Wesley and Charles Wesley. Although Madan was an adherent only of polygyny in a Christian context, this particular volume set the foundation of what is considered the modern Christian plural marriage movement.

The Council of Trent condemns polygyny: "If any one saith, that it is lawful for Christians to have several wives at the same time, and that this is not prohibited by any divine law; let him be anathema. The Catechism forbids polygamy as a grave offense against marriage and contrary to the original plan of God and equal dignity of human beings. Nevertheless, in parts of Africa such as Kenya , many Roman Catholics including catechists , have more than one wife although these people are usually not vocal about the cultural practice because it is in conflict with Roman Catholic teaching.

Martin Luther deplored divorce only permitting it in the cases of adultery and the Pauline privilege and taught that that polygamy was allowed in Scripture, citing positive examples of it from the biblical patriarchs ; as such in , he granted the approval for a man to take a second wife, and again in for Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse to take a second wife. Polygamy was first discussed during the Lambeth Conference of This Conference upholds monogamy as God's plan, and as the ideal relationship of love between husband and wife; nevertheless recommends that a polygamist who responds to the Gospel and wishes to join the Anglican Church may be baptized and confirmed with his believing wives and children on the following conditions:.

Polygamy which was called "plural marriage" by Mormons in the 19th century or "the Principle" as it is called by modern fundamentalist practitioners was taught by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints LDS Church [74] and publicly practiced from to , nevertheless, it was not the norm but the exception, even during this period. On September 24, , Wilford Woodruff , the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at that time, issued the Manifesto, which advised church members against entering into any marriage prohibited by the law of the land, and made it possible for Utah to become a U.

Nevertheless, even after the Manifesto, the church quietly continued to perform a small number of plural marriages in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, [a] [76] thus a Second Manifesto was released during U. Although neither Manifesto dissolved existing plural marriages, plural marriage in the LDS Church gradually died by attrition during the early s. The Manifesto was canonized in the LDS Church standard works as Official Declaration 1 [77] [78] and mainstream Mormons , believe it was prompted by a divine revelation in which Woodruff was shown that the church would be thrown into turmoil if they did not comply with it. Interviewed by Time magazine about his book, Michael Coogan said that, from a strictly literalist view, fundamentalist Mormons are right about polygamy.

William Luck states that polygyny is not prohibited by the Bible and it would have been required if a married man seduced Ex. However, in a book-length consideration of the problem, William George Blum argues that monogamy was always God's ideal. He argues that the concept of two becoming one flesh makes polygamy a violation of God's plan for marriage. On August 29, , the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood released a manifesto on human sexuality which is known as the "Nashville Statement".

The statement was signed by evangelical leaders, and it includes 14 points of belief. However, an estimated 50, Evangelical Christians practice Christian polygamy in the West, based on their belief that the Bible glorifies this form of marriage, which they justify by citing the fact that many biblical prophets had multiple wives, including David , Abraham , Jacob and Solomon. What have we done to the Africans in the name of Christianity? Polygamy which Christ does not forbid, we have fought against as the greatest of all evils, but divorce and remarriage which he does forbid, we have introduced. We have truly managed to Europeanize them. Mission theory should teach us to preach the gospel but not our own national traditions.

Indeed, in many cultures, there is the possibility that the image of Christianity can be marred when a cleric in a Christian denomination which opposes polygamy "suggests that these wives may marry others, while the community regards them as still married to the first man"; in these cases, the Church can be seen as "a promoter of immorality and a destroyer of home and family" and become a stumbling block to nonbelievers. Vincent Mulwa of Christ Pilgrim Restoration Centre opines that polygamy is a biblical practice, because it was the standard for various biblical prophets, and opposition to having more than one wife stems from Westerners imposing their views on Christians who belong to other cultures.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Polygamy in Christianity. See also: Marriage in ancient Rome. Main articles: Mormonism and polygamy and Manifesto. Almost all of the monogamous marriages which are recorded were performed in Arizona or Mexico. Of the 25 plural marriages which are recorded, 18 were performed in Mexico, 3 were performed in Arizona, 2 were performed in Utah, 1 was performed in Colorado and 1 was performed on a boat on the Pacific Ocean. If you're going to be a strict literalist, there's nothing wrong with polygamy. Retrieved 4 June Polygamy: a cross-cultural analysis. ISBN Daily Nation. Retrieved 9 October Deseret News. New York, Boston: Twelve. Hachette Book Group. OCLC Have women benefitted from these changes like some Feminists suggests.

Are these trends signs of moral decline like the The New Right suggest, or are these trends just part of the broader process of individualisation and increasing reflexivity and nothing to worry about? Feminists would generally see the decline of marriage as a tradition as a good thing, because traditional marriage is a patriarchal institution. Most divorces proceedings are initiated by women which suggests that marriage works less well for women than for men. Would interpret these trends in a negative way, as indicating a decline in morality, and a breakdown of social structure and order — the family is supposed to be the fundamental building block of society, and it is difficult to see what will replace it.

Without the family we risk less effective primary socialisation and more problem children as well as more anomie for adults. The decline of marriage and increase in divorce reflect the fact that we are part of a consumer society where individual choice is central to life. The end of the ideology of the nuclear family is seen as good, and Postmodernists tend to reject the idea that the traditional married nuclear family is better than other family forms, so these trends are not a significant problem for either the individual or society. People now delay getting married not only because of needing to establish a career first, but also because of the increased cost of mortgages and weddings, and because of the increased fear of getting divorced — with cohabiting the new norm before marriage.

New institutions also emerge to help us cope with the insecurities of modern relationships — marriage guidance and pre-nuptial agreements are two of the most obvious. Explaining the changing patterns of marriage. So the material here is still relevant. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Skip to content This post examines the effects of declining in marriage and increasing divorce. The idea that marriage is a necessary tradition or a sacred duty have declined drastically, marriage is now seen as a choice. There is greater family and household diversity as a result. Cohabiting couples are more likely to break up, so relationships have become more unstable. High levels of divorce create more single parent households and more single person households, as well as more reconstituted families Finally, it is important not to exaggerate the decline of marriage — most households are still headed by a married couple.

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