Religious Tolerance logo

"Christian Polygamy:" A group
promoting conservative Protestant polygyny

horizontal rule

Sponsored link.

horizontal rule


Terms such as™ Continuing the ReformationSM"Polygamy really is Biblical!SM and Christian Polygamy INFO™ are registered.

horizontal rule

What Christian Polygamy is not:

The website is maintained by an organization that promotes polygamy within an Evangelical Christian belief system. They explain that Christian Polygamy is not about:

bullet Adultery -- sexual activity between a married person and someone other than their spouse.
bullet Arranged marriage -- Marriages in which one's spouse is selected by others.
bullet Dishonest bigamy -- An married adult who secretly enters into marriage with another person.
bullet Fornication -- sexual activity outside of marriage
bullet Group marriage -- a marriage among a group of adults who may be of various sexes -- for example two men and two women.
bullet Mormonism -- A Christian movement organized by Joseph Smith, now fragmented into one main denomination and dozens of small faith groups.
bullet Polyamory -- a close and potentially sexually intimate relationship among more than 2 adults.
bullet Polyandry -- a marriage between one woman and several men.
bullet Redefining marriage -- Allowing two persons of the same sex to marry.
bullet Under-aged marriage -- An adult marrying a person who is not of legal age to marry.
bullet Wife swapping -- (more commonly called spouse swapping or "the lifestyle") Temporary consensual sexual liaisons in which two or more couples exchange spouses.

horizontal rule

What Christian Polygamy is:

Christian polygamy is actually about polygyny as it was practiced throughout the time span covered by the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures -- Old and New Testaments. This is a marriage among three or more persons including one male and two or more women. This is one of the eight types of marriages and families mentioned in the Bible.

There appears to be one main difference between Christian Polygamy and the polygamy practiced in the Bible: In biblical times, women were rarely able to choose whom they wished to marry. Arranged marriages were the norm. Unmarried women who were raped were often required to marry their attacker. A woman whose husband died without fathering a child were pressured by custom to marry their brother-in-law and produce an heir for her dead ex-husband. In contrast, within Christian Polygamy, the polygynous marriages are absolutely consensual.

The term "Christian polygamy" may be a little confusing to some, for two reasons:

bullet It is currently linked to Evangelical Christianity, not to the full range of Christian faith groups.
bullet It actually advocates polygyny and rejects polyandry. Thus it does not accept the full range of marriage types implied by the term "polygamy." This is because polyandry -- one woman married to multiple men -- is not condoned or even mentioned in the Bible.

The term "Evangelical Christian polygyny" would be more precise of the group's current scope. However, many -- perhaps most -- North Americans are unaware of the meaning of the word "polygyny." So, a case can be made that "Christian Polygamy" is the optimum term.

horizontal rule

About the Truth Bearer ministry: describe themselves as a Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Scripture-believing, cross-denominational ministry that promotes Christian Polygamy with an outreach to conservative Scripture-believing Christian Churches. They appear to maintain a network of web sites. 1,2,3,4,5

They stress that they have no connection with the Mormon movement, either in doctrine or history. The early Mormon church practiced polygyny. The main Mormon denomination, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, suspended polygyny on at least a temporary basis on 1890-SEP-24, after having received what they believe to have been a revelation from God. However a number of other Mormon denominations continue to practice polygyny. The most notable of these is the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). It is a very different form of polygyny from that promoted by Christian polygamists. Christian Polygamy is free of manipulation, coercion, and spousal violence. Under-age spouses are not allowed. Male youth are not expelled in order to create an artificial surplus of young women for polygynous marriages.

The Christian Polygamy ministry was officially founded by Mark Henkel on 1997-SEP-01. Their headquarters -- referred to internally as "TRUTH BEARER Central" -- is in Old Orchard Beach, ME. Previous to that date, he had published a newsletter called "The Standard Bearer."

Some of their terminology includes:

bullet "Love not force:" This is the process by which a man gently persuading his first wife to accept the idea of polygyny without the use of compulsion.
bullet "Continuing the ReformationSM:"They regard Christian polygamy as a logical extension of the Protestant Reformation.
bullet "Scripture-believing Christian churches:" At first glance, this might be interpreted as referring to all Christian denominations, because they all Christian faith groups believe that they derive their beliefs from the Bible. However, the phrase appears to refer to Fundamentalist and other conservative Evangelical groups who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible.
bullet "Polygamy really is Biblical!SM:" They teach that polygyny is condoned and regulated in the Bible.

Their stated agenda is:

" 'sell' to the Scripture-believing Churches (our 'customer') that they can indeed 'buy' the truth of our message of Christian Polygamy being Scriptural and righteous."

To teach "That consensual, non-abusive Christian Polygamy is Scriptural, loving, pro-woman, and not fleshly."

Once they convince the conservative wing of Protestantism that Christian Polygamy is based on the Scripture and is moral, they believe that more liberal denominations should follow suit.

horizontal rule

Annual Celebration:

Since 2001, Christian Polygamists celebrate AUG-19 yearly as "Polygamy Day™." 6 The observances are numbered sequentially, so that the Polygamy Day for 2007 was called "Polygamy Day 7." Polygamy Day, Inc. was organized, in part, "To promote the date of 'August 19,' in each and every year, as the only, actual, exclusive, trademark, and 'official' date of 'Polygamy Day'..."

horizontal rule

References used:

  1. "Organization for Christian Polygamy," at:
  2.™ at:
  3. Biblical Polygamy at:
  4. Polygamy Day ™ at:
  5. Christian Polygamy INFO™ at:
  6. "Pro-polygamists are celebrating the sixth annual 'Polygamy Day' - with even more hope this year than ever before," at:

horizontal rule

Site navigation:

Home > "Hot" topics > Marriage > Polygamy > here, or

Home>Religious info>Basic religious info>Religious practices>Marriage>Polygamy>here

horizontal rule

Copyright © 2006 & 2007 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2006-AUG-19
Latest update: 2007-AUG-25     
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)

horizontal rule

Go to the previous page, or to the Polygamy menu, or choose:

horizontal rule


Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

GooglePage Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.