The Inconsistency in “We’re Not under Old Testament” – Pt.2
Allow me to restate or re-emphasize some of the points I made in Part One before presenting new points. As I indicated in Part One, since I commenced writing my articles in support of polygamy, many Christians, including Christian leaders, have argued that polygamy is an Old Testament, not a New Testament, practice; therefore, I should not use Old Testament passages to prove the Biblicalness of polygamy.
While some express their views via emails and text messages, others, such as pastors and preachers, use the pulpit not only to attack me, but also to state that polygamy was only an Old Testament practice, that we are no longer under the Old Testament and that, since we are no longer under the Old Testament, we should not bring or force Old Testament practices under the New testament.
Some of them do it civilly, while others do it uncivilly, but I welcome all. One Jimmy Pailey, after reading one of my articles, sent me the following message in an email:
“Hello Paul Yeenie Harry,
“I read your argument to polygamy.
“You lie and you are a sinner. We are in the Christian age; we should live like Christ. It is wrong to marry more than 1 wife because we are in the Christian age. Secondly, if you want to drink, do it. It is wrong to drink because drinking leads you to drunkenness & drunkenness lead you to sin. You sinner read Matthew 19:4-7 &proverb 20:1. I'll email you more & I'll address Your Greatness of God article.”
To Jimmy Pailey I replied: “Thank you, non-sinner and truth-teller. Your faithfulness in the things of God is even highly graded by your conscience!”
But, frankly, if I were an unbeliever or a confused sinner that knew nothing about the Bible and Jesus Christ’s saving grace does the response of Jimmy Pailey, a Christian who lives like Jesus Christ, help me in a Christ-like way?
Anyway, as I also pointed out in the previous article, for those who write, whether via email or text message, I respond for two main reasons. First of all, I do it out of respect. If a person reads an article and, after reading it, takes some time out of their busy schedule to write me, I feel that I am under obligation to respond. Second, I do it because I enjoy the exchange of ideas. Because the issue of “individual differences” is a reality and because it is said that no one has monopoly over ideas, I like to interact with others to discover or know what they think or know.
For the pastors and preachers who use their Sunday morning pulpits to respond to my articles about polygamy, I think the exercise is somehow sad and painful because I lack the chance to respond to them in front of the same audience. And I think it is unfair to me, too. If they were to challenge me to a debate in front of their members, I would gladly accept it. I would like for the same audience to hear me, too, not only to hear them.
If such people don’t want us to engage in a face-to-face debate, let them write some articles based on the anti-polygamy sermons they are preaching and send them to the Dew Dawn newspaper. We will publish them free of charge. We hope a preacher will send one or two articles this week, next week or some other time. In that case, I can use another article to respond to that pastor or preacher.
On the subject of polygamy, I maintain that it is a normal, Biblical practice. In fact, the Law of Moses, as depicted in Deuteronomy 25:5-10, instructed or encouraged Jewish men to practice polygamy. It says that if a married man dies, his brother (whether already married or not) should marry the wife of the dead brother. Besides, God Himself gives clear instructions in Deuteronomy 21:15-17 about how a polygamous father should divide his property among the children of his various wives.
I repeat. Polygamy is a normal Old Testament and a New Testament practice. The Old Testament does not condemn it. The New Testament does not condemn it. God does not condemn it; Jesus does not condemn it; the angels do not condemn it; the prophets do not condemn it; the Apostles do not condemn it. I know that in the study of logical fallacies, it is illogical to argue that something is right because it has not be condemned; however, if polygamy is that unbiblical and wrong and un-Christian to the extent that nearly all Christian denominations have labelled it as one of the un-Christ-like practices, why is it not condemned anywhere in the entire Bible, and why isn’t there any condemnation for those who practiced it?
It is said that Abraham had at least three wives; Esau had at least three wives. Jacob had at least two wives; David had at least six wives, including the one he took from Uriah; Solomon had at least seven hundred wives, and Rehoboan, Solomon’s son, had at least eighteen wives.
This normal practice that started in the Old Testament continued in the New Testament. Let’s not forget that those who became Christians on the Day of Pentecost, as indicated in Acts 2, were Jews. If this is the case, then it cannot be ruled out that some of them where polygamists. And if there were polygamists, then we cannot conclude that they divorced their wives when they were baptized; meaning, they continued with their polygamous marriages in the Christian Age.
As a normal practice, polygamy is nowhere condemned or forbidden in the Bible. As a specific practice, the only place it is forbidden is in I Timothy 3. And the only people for whom it is forbidden are bishops and deacons. No part of the New Testament says Christian men are prohibited from having more than one wife. It is only a special group of people – bishops and deacons – that are given such a restriction, and it is clearly written in I Timothy 3:2 & 12. It is not a general forbiddance. And by giving that specific restriction for bishops and deacons, the Apostle Paul is indicating that those not falling in that category are free to decide whether they want one wife or more than one. While all New Testament-time bishops and deacons were men, not all men in the church were bishops and deacons. Hence, the only one-wife restriction was not, and is not, for all Christian men; it is only for bishops and deacons.
In spite of all the facts that the Bible does not give any general forbiddance of polygamy, some church leaders and members still argue that polygamy is unbiblical. How sad! But there is a second group that argues that, yes, polygamy is biblical, but it is only biblical as far as the Old Testament is concerned. Differently stated, they argue that polygamy happened in the Old Testament that we are no longer under the Old Testament, but the New Testament and that, because of this fact, polygamy is not an accepted practice in the Christian Age. In other words, their argument is that in talking about Christian living and church activities and practices and doctrines, we should not use Old Testament scriptures and passages.
Frankly, I do not really have problem with this position. But the problem is that those who propound this argument are hypocritically inconsistent. They are quick to use the Old Testament when it suits their doctrines and practices and beliefs, but they don’t want to hear about anything called Old Testament when it goes against their doctrines, beliefs and practices. Isn’t this hypocritical inconsistency?
Take the paying of tithe, for example. The paying of tithe is an Old Testament doctrine and practice. It is not a New Testament doctrine or practice, yet most church leaders ask their members to pay tithe. I don’t understand why they are hot to engage in this Old Testament practice. Do they forget that we are now in the Christian Age? Have they forgotten that tithe paying started with Abraham in Genesis 14:18-20, an Old Testament passage? This is the hypocrisy and inconsistency I am referring to.
Let us also consider the use of instrumental music in the church. Almost all of the churches around here use instruments – drums, organs, guitars, pianos, etc. – in their worship services every Sunday. Don’t they know that the use of instrumental music in worship is an Old Testament practice? Don’t they know that David and others who used instrumental music used it in the Old Testament, and not in the New Testament? This is the hypocrisy and inconsistency I am talking about.
Also, in proving that monogamy is what Christians should practice, most church leaders and members quote Genesis, arguing that God made one man and one woman. Don’t they remember that Genesis is an Old Testament book? Why are they happy to use it to talk about polygamy? This is the hypocrisy and inconsistency I am pointing out.
Let’s also mention dancing. Most of the Christians around here practice dancing in their worship services. Some of them dance as if they were in some night clubs. Pastors dance and deacons dance in church. Song leaders and members dance. Almost everybody dances in services every Sunday. Now here’s the question. Have they forgotten that dancing in worship is an Old Testament practice? Don’t they remember that Psalms 150:4 and other Old Testament passages say people should dance? Don’t they know that there is no New Testament passage or scripture that says that Christians should dance in church? If they dance because David danced in the Old Testament, then this is the hypocrisy and inconsistency I am pinpointing.
How can you say that we are not under the Old Testament, that we should not use Old Testament passages or scriptures to talk about or practice polygamy, while you use the same Old Testament to talk about and practice tithe paying, instrumental music in the church, monogamy, dancing any other doctrines and practices at the same time? Isn’t this inconsistency – I mean, hypocritical inconsistency? One cannot eat his cake and have it.
To be continued…
Believe me, my people. We will never stop following the issues.