The Doctrine of Polygamy and Restitution
This will be controversial but it needs to be said:
Those who came up with the doctrine of restitution that warrants a man who was married to more than one wife putting away the other wives and her children are wicked and the truth of the word of God is not in them
Nowhere was such a practice mentioned in the Bible, either in the old or new testaments
Polygamy was not an issue under Judaism and it is surely not an issue under Christianity
There was no where Jesus said, “If you believe in me and have two wives you will not make heaven”
He said “There is no marriage in heaven!
Which means whether you marry one or marry 50, it ends here
Remember the woman by the well, the one that has been with six men?
Did you notice that Jesus avoided dwelling on the issue of her “marital status” but spoke to her about the salvation of her soul?
Did you notice Jesus didn’t say “Leave the man you’re with now because when you left your first husband you became a serial adulteress and without leaving the current man you cannot be saved”
A lot of Jews who became believers in the early church had more than one wife
They were not made church leaders, they didn’t become pastors, evangelists, bishops or teachers but they were not useless in the house of God
They were lay leaders, men and woman of influence within the church who helped guide and shape the church throughout history.
Apostle Paul addressed the issue of marital relationships in the book of Romans, notice how he omitted polygamy while mentioning other practices that Rome was notorious for in his day which he condemned in strong terms
Look at 1 Corinthians 7:17
Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them.(R) This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.(S) 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised.(T) 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing.(U) Keeping God’s commands is what counts. 20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.(V)
21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person;(W) similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave.(X) 23 You were bought at a price;(Y) do not become slaves of human beings. 24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.”
He said to remain as you were!
Does this then mean that if you were single before you met the Lord you should remain single forever? Of course not !
At the same time it doesn’t mean if you have had many wives before meeting the Lord you should throw the other wives away and claim they are a mistake
A young lady I met while I was in the university was the daughter of the second wife of a non Christian
This man became a believer and the church prevailed on him to let go of all his other wives
He did so
His second wife, a nurse died of heartbreak and loneliness at the age of 51
We were in school when the news of her death was broken, this young lady (a believer in my fellowship) at the time had to be told
I had to follow her back home for the burial with some other leaders of the fellowship
The late woman’s friends and relatives talked about how frail, gaunt and sad she grew towards the time of her death
She felt that by being a second wife she was the devil and a sinner
She believed this was why the church told her husband to put her away and stay with the first wife
She had been in another religion all her life and didn’t know why she was the “problem” all of a sudden
Her children, two boys and this lady from my school didn’t get it too
Why were they suddenly fatherless?
What sort of God would instruct a man to abandon his own wife and children in order to make heaven?
Was salvation for the polygamous different from the salvation the monogamous enjoy so freely?
The white missionaries made a lot of adjustments to the gospel
Some of these adjustments were inspired by selfishness, greed, their worldview and their superiority complex!
Imagine that they justified slavery and told their congregation that the slave is nothing better than a domestic animal which must be put under subjection by instilling fear in them!
Fear can be instilled both psychologically, religiously and physically
It was an onslaught that the nations they sought to dominate had to bear on every side
Now someone will come claiming Jesus condemned divorce
I agree that marriage should be sacred and a man in Christ should live an exemplary life as an example to others
I also insist that Christianity is not adopting a white man’s cultural beliefs but faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and saviour
We preach Christ and Christ only!
Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him
This is the gospel!
Doctrines have changed over the ages but Jesus Christ has remained the same yesterday, today and forever
This is our message
Two years ago, I met with a new convert at Ebute Meta in Lagos
He had four wives and had met with the Holy Spirit in a hotel room while meeting with one of his concubines
He became a Christian and proceeded to preach the gospel to his wives and children by himself until the household became believers
Then he joined a church and they told him about “restitution”
This church’s founder had many wives and after becoming a pastor did restitution
This then became a standard in the church
This man didn’t know why he had to break his family to please God
It really shook his faith
His first daughter, a law student in the UK reached out to me
I went to see him and we studied the Bible together for weeks
I asked him when we were done if the Holy Spirit told him to let go of his other wives and children
He said, No, that it would be a betrayal of the grace of God upon his life, adding that it would mean he was trying to attain salvation through works and self-righteousness but at the detriment of his other wives and children who would feel rejected and unloved by his actions
I told him to follow his convictions and stay with his family
There is no other condition by which we must be saved except our faith in the Son of God
It is better to keep the family together in the love of God than to break it in the name of church doctrine
Yes, he will not become a pastor but to his household, he will remain a priest and a blessing!
PS: This is not an endorsement of polygamy in any way, it is written to address a flaw in a doctrine that does not represent Christ or the reality of the gospel