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Why did Jesus revere Abraham?


The Mormonator

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Not necessarily to change your views, but simply to become better informed about other positions. And to see why folks like myself (the non-Bible thumpers who also have not ignored OT polygamy) see God indeed condemning polygamy.

How? Based on scripture alone, the bible is, if anything, slanted "pro" instead of "con". Cultural bias I think plays a HUGE role in why so many today reject plural marriage, and yet overlook its practice amongst prophets of God.

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CI: Explicity? Hardly. You can make the argument that it's implicity, but it most certainly is not explicit.

RA: Sure, ok, it does not use the actual word "polygamy." I have no problem agreeing to that. But as you know, the very same thought and teaching (about anything really) does not necessarily have to use an explicit word. In other words, polygamy means "more than one wife." Use either expression. or you can reverse it and instead of making it a negative (i.e, don't do that) you can make it a positive (i.e., do this). So whether you say: 1) don't practice polygamy; or 2) don't have "more than one wife; or 3) you should have only one wife," you are essentialy saying the same thing. Plus there are the other issues surrounding the picture of the church as the bride (singular) of Christ. Polygamy sort of messes that whole thing up.

RAbanes

Onece more: GO GO GO GO WHITMER! Yaaahoooooo!!!!! :P

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CI: Explicity? Hardly. You can make the argument that it's implicity, but it most certainly is not explicit.

RA: Sure, ok, it does not use the actual word "polygamy." I have no problem agreeing to that. But as you know, the very same thought and teaching (about anything really) does not necessarily have to use an explicit word. In other words, polygamy means "more than one wife." Use either expression. or you can reverse it and instead of making it a negative (i.e, don't do that) you can make it a positive (i.e., do this). So whether you say: 1) don't practice polygamy; or 2) don't have "more than one wife; or 3) you should have only one wife," you are essentialy saying the same thing. Plus there are the other issues surrounding the picture of the church as the bride (singular) of Christ. Polygamy sort of messes that whole thing up.

RAbanes

Onece more: GO GO GO GO WHITMER! Yaaahoooooo!!!!! :P

The only New Testament verse that I can think of off the top of my head that might apply is where Paul indicates that a Bishop should have "one wife."

The mere fact that he makes the statement shows that he was familiar with the practice of plural marriage (as were all jews of the day). (Unless, of course, you want to posit that he wasn't thinking about plural wives but rather some sort of serial monogamy. Maybe he was saying that Bishop should not be divorced and remarried?)

Second, the argument can easily be made that he limited that restriction to the office a bishop only.

However, none of this explain why God can appear to Abraham and tell him to murder his own son, but God can't appear to him and tell him to keep his Johnson parked in the garage. There is a disconnect there that I have yet to see explained satisfactorily. And I find it very telling seeing as how sexual sins such as homosexulaity were punished in such a draconian nature only a few years later in the mosaic code.

C.I.

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Elihu, I disagree with just about everything you said.

But I appreciated your long condescending sermon. Thank you very much.

After all the jibber jabber you and other Mormon critics dish up about this issue, these facts remain:

1: Abraham was a polygamist (an abundance of non-Mormon Christians agree).

2: There is no condemnation by God for Abraham's practice of polygamy.

3: There is no text that suggests Abraham repented of it, or even needed to repent of it.

4: Jesus said twice that Abraham is in the Kingdom of Heaven.

5: Jacob was a plygamist (an abundance of non-Mormon Christians agree.)

6: There is no condemnation by God for Jacob's practice of polygamy.

7: There is no text that suggests Jacob repented of it, or even needed to repent of it.

8. Jesus said twice that Jacob is in the Kingdom of Heaven.

If you dispute these facts then you just need to take your Bible blinders off your eyes and see things as they really are.

It is as clear as mid day to me that the polygamy that Abraham and Jacob practiced was sanctioned by God.

Otherwise you must concede to the fact that a sinful, lustful, disobedient person is worthy of the the mantle of a Prophet and dwelling in the Kingdom of God.

To me, this is counter-intuitive.

Because these were the type of men you are saying Abraham and Jacob were, if their Polygamy was not sanctioned. If their polygamy was not sanctioned, they were not righteous men, they were lustful abject sinners.

The belief that polygamy is ALWAYS prohibited is merely a European appendage to the original Christianity as taught by the Lord himself.

It is merely a doctrine of man, not God.

I prefer to stick with God's doctrine.

All this bickerying about polygamy in the Bible has brought a more real understanding of what Joseph Smith meant when he said the following:

...the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.

Amen, brother Joseph. Amen!!!

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I found a good article on Polygamy on the Internet. I have not read it all yet, but it seems to do a good job with actually addressing the question.

mormonator;

Wiht thinking like this no wonder your so confused on this subject. Do you realise that your saying in one breath--that you haven't read the article, but in the next breath, you say it does a good job of addressing the topic----UH?????

Are you a god or what---with out reading it you know it is good----------

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The BOM's viewpoint:

Jacob 1:15 And now it came to pass that the people of Nephi, under the reign of the second king, began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, his son.

Jacob 2: 24 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.

The BOM clearly indicates that thing which was a wicked practice or abominable was having many wives and concubines.

And the contradictory viewpoint of the D&C, 132:

38 David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.

39 David

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Wiht thinking like this no wonder your so confused on this subject. Do you realise that your saying in one breath--that you haven't read the article, but in the next breath, you say it does a good job of addressing the topic----UH?????

Are you a god or what---with out reading it you know it is good----------

You are really good at twisting text to say something you want it to say.

Well, everybody has a talent.

This is what I said:

I found a good article on Polygamy on the Internet. I have not read it all yet, but it seems to do a good job with actually addressing the question.

"I have not read it all yet, but it seems to do a goood job with actually...."

You claim that I said I did not read the article, but what I REALLY said was that I had not read it ALL YET.

That means that I had read some of it, just not all of it. And the parts that I had read seemed to do a good job of addressing the topic.

What motivated you to be blatantly dishonest about something so dumb?

Is your hatred for Mormons that intense???

No roman. I am not a god. I'm sorry if I confused you.

The fact is that I did read more than half of the article I was referring to, and I said in my statement that I had not read it all yet.

None of that requires divine powers.

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It is as clear as mid day to me that the polygamy that Abraham and Jacob practiced was sanctioned by God.

Allowed yes, sanctioned no. There is nothing to suggest God encouraged or supported Abraham's polygamy.

Otherwise you must concede to the fact that a sinful, lustful, disobedient person is worthy of the the mantle of a Prophet and dwelling in the Kingdom of God.

David was a sinful, lustful, disobedient person. Go figure. I don't know of any prophets (except Jesus) who weren't sinful, do you?

All this bickerying about polygamy in the Bible has brought a more real understanding of what Joseph Smith meant when he said the following:
...the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.

Amen, brother Joseph. Amen!!!

Yes, fortunately Joseph Smith cleared everything up. Mormons never understand passages of scripture differently.

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It is as clear as mid day to me that the polygamy that Abraham and Jacob practiced was sanctioned by God.

Allowed yes, sanctioned no. There is nothing to suggest God encouraged or supported Abraham's polygamy.

Okay, so then why is it that LDS critics claim that polygamy disqualifies Joseph Smith as a prophet. You seem to be saying that a true prophet can be accepted of God, even if He practices polygamy, which God does not like. Why is polygamy and Joseph Smith such an issue then?

T-Shirt

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Here is my take on this subject (taken from a debate I had on this board over a year ago):

God never condoned polygamy as the normal or natural state of marriage.  It was never the ideal relationship.

Makarios, that was a very good post.

I do have one comment about this statement:

Answer: In Dt. 25:5 it says

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Okay, so then why is it that LDS critics claim that polygamy disqualifies Joseph Smith as a prophet.  You seem to be saying that a true prophet can be accepted of God, even if He practices polygamy, which God does not like.  Why is polygamy and Joseph Smith such an issue then?

I don't claim that JS's practice of polygamy disqualified him from being a prophet. I do believe he taught contrary to Paul's instructions, which puts into question (in my mind) whether he was really speaking for God.

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Well, thanks so much for the decent words Mormonator:-), after all, it was you who invited my comments to your post! As the invited guest I'll just have to make comment.

Those who are of Christ will take what He said on the topic as supreme truth. After all, He often said 'you have heard, but I say to you' on various topics.

"From the beginning it hath not been so".

Well, just how was it from the beginning then?

One man and one woman.

Joseph even changed this to fit his desires, which were certainly not of God.

Thereby I can discern Josephs qualification of speaking for God on the matter: You either believe Jesus or Joseph - you really can't do justice to Jesus if you believe Joseph instead.

And how many wives did Adam have before he came to earth instead of being created out of the dust of the earth as Moses said? (and Jesus said we should believe Moses, for Moses spoke of Him)

Even David had the morality to not marry Bathsheba with her husband still alive. Joseph married other mens wives while they were still married to them!!!!! :P

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This has certainly been fulfilled:

He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.
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Jesus has only one bride (AKA the church), not many. His relationship with the church is compared naturally with monogamous marriage (Eph. 5:22-33). Therefore monogamy is the way marriage is normally conceived. It is the assumed standard; others forms are deviations.

His relationship to His Church is compared to the relationship be a husband and a wife. Sacrifice. Something that Christ did for many people.

Generally we would agree with your comments that the norm is monagomy. The ideal is obediance to God's commands. Polygamy in LDS teachings is only allowed when it is a commandment, which would only be among more fully faithful/righteous people.

Given the problems you cite, we can see where righteousness of all parties is probably a requirement for polygamy to be eternal.

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The BOM's viewpoint:

Jacob 1:15 And now it came to pass that the people of Nephi, under the reign of the second king, began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, his son.

Jacob 2: 24 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.

The BOM clearly indicates that thing which was a wicked practice or abominable was having many wives and concubines.

Is this really difficult for you to discern????

The BoM said the indulgence of desire with hardened heart (i.e., non-covenant) was wicked. Read all of the words if you want to understand.

And the contradictory viewpoint of the D&C, 132:

38 David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.

39 David

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1dc: Is this really difficult for you to discern????

Not at all. A child could understand it is a contradiction, and a serious one.

1dc: The BoM said the indulgence of desire with hardened heart (i.e., non-covenant) was wicked. Read all of the words if you want to understand.

I wouldn't doubt that I have read the BOM more than you and more than most LDS. I know what it says. In fact, I quoted it for you. The sin was in desiring many wives and concubines. If you are trying to highlight a difference in that the "desire" and the "having" of many wives are different, well you go ahead and play that game okay? Jacob 2:24 says that the having of many wives and concubines was the abomination.

1dc: God knows the heart . . David may have had greater "desires", but obviously the sin was not in having many wives, it was the case the Lord specified.

According to the D&C, the sin was not in having many wives. According to the BOM the sin was in having many wives and concubines. Hence the contradiction.

1dc: Nevetheless, that sin was great, with a resultingly great punishment.

And no punishment mentioned for Solomon, what about the abomination and wicked practice that the BOM mentions for Solomon? The D&C claims it wasn't an abomination or wicked practice, yet clearly the BOM claims it was.

1dc: One might also note that the wives (plural) were given to another by the Lord. you can bet he was a righteous and exalted.

You mean like Absolom? I see.

sr

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sr1030 writes:

The bible doesn't actually indicate that the brother who would marry the widow was already married. There are reasons to believe that he would not be, but simply it is not stated in the text, so it would be only conjecture to say that he was already married. This being the case this passage cannot positively be used to show a command for polygamy.
In practice, however, the brother was often married. This resulted in over 100 clarifications on the practice in the rabbinic legal code dealing specifically with levirate marriage on the issue of polygamy.

So, while speaking from a theoretical point of view, it might be possible to claim that the pracice cannot be positively used to show a command for polygamy, in the historical record, it frequently was used as such.

Even in modern secular Israel, which rejects polygamy outright, levirate marriage is still a requirement, and the ritual divorce which is allowed for levirate marriage is still required, even if the brother is already married. In fact, should the brother not go through the ceremony (for whatever reason), the widow is still considered to be married to him in the sense that he is required to pay for her support until the ceremony is completed, and she is not allowed to marry anyone else. This being the case, it is evident from the way it has been practiced, that it was (and still is) viewed as a requirement to engage in polygamy in certain circumstances within the Jewish culture.

Your Western, Christian cultural setting is of course the basis for your bias.

The Book of Mormon in Jacob 2 deals with David and Solomon - both kings of Israel, who were in violation of the Deuteronomic Kingship codes found in Deuteronomy 17 - esp. verse 17 where the OT text reads:

He (the king)must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.
This leads right into Jacob's comments about David and Solomon:
Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.

This doesn't imply that polygamy as a whole was bad or an abomination (as sr1030 asserts) but rather that the abuse of polygamy which David and Solomon engaged in against the commandments in the Books of Moses was an abomination. The same could be said of those Nephites who were engaging in polygamy since Lehi instituted a ban on polygamy (see Jacob 3) which would affect them, although to apply Lehi's ban backwards onto David and Solomon is clearly ludicrous, as a condemnation of polygamy in general would be a contradiction of Mosaic Law which the Nephite community held in very high esteem.

Ben

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Seems to me that Davids concubines were a political item. What was to become of these women when the previous king died or whatever. It seems a righteous thing to continue to provide for them as the previous had rather than banish them. Women did not have the social status then they enjoy in Western society.

Few are kings to need to deal with the matter.

There are scriptures about a time when the men are scarse and women will seek them out to take upon them their name, but that is a far cry from the situation in the early LDS Church in the American frontier.

1. Christians are to obey the laws of their land out of reverence and respect for Jesus Christ. If it is illegal to have more than one wife at a time in a nation, then that is Gods rule that we obey, as govenments are set up and destroyed according to His good will.

2. Never has God made marriage or polygamy a standard of righteousness or salvation - except to say it is better to marry than burn with lust or sin. If you have desires to have more than one wife - go do it somewhere else. Don't try to dishonor Jesus with you lust.

ps Mormonator, I only have one:-) because I believe Jesus :P

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Elihu writes:

1. Christians are to obey the laws of their land out of reverence and respect for Jesus Christ. If it is illegal to have more than one wife at a time in a nation, then that is Gods rule that we obey, as govenments are set up and destroyed according to His good will.
But there has to be a caveat of some sort to go along with this statement. If the law is one that requires what a Christian would consider to be a sin, or one that prevents a Christian obligation (or even the practice or public mention of Christianity), do Christians actually beleive that these laws should be embraced and followed? If so, why do we treat those who promote their faith and become criminals as martyrs?
Never has God made marriage or polygamy a standard of righteousness or salvation - except to say it is better to marry than burn with lust or sin. If you have desires to have more than one wife - go do it somewhere else. Don't try to dishonor Jesus with you lust.
Paul nevertheless states he believes that all should be married. Not some, not most, not just those who are susceptible to weakness - every man and every woman.

Nor did Jesus ever say that polygamy was wrong.

Ben

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If you have desires to have more than one wife - go do it somewhere else. Don't try to dishonor Jesus with you lust.

I don't recall stating that I desire to have more than one wife. One wife is plenty good enough for me.

I guess that means that I am far more righteous than both father Abraham the great Patriarch and Father Jacob, both of whom are in the Kingdom of Heaven despite their polygamist activities.

If you can be a sinful polygamist and still make it to the Kingdom of Heaven "with all the other Prophets" it makes me wonder what else one could get away with and still make it there. I guess the standards that God has set for entering his Kingdom are just not very high at all huh. But that is according to you.

ps Mormonator, I only have one:-) because I believe Jesus

And Jesus said there are Polygamists in Heaven. Do you believe that too??

Maybe when you get to Heaven you'll be able to sit down and have a cup of tea with Abraham and Jacob and their polygamist wives.

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