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:
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.
About the Truth Bearer ministry:
TruthBearer.org 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:
Their stated agenda is:
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.
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'..."
Copyright © 2006 & 2007 by Ontario Consultants on Religious