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The Bible On African Cameroun Polygyny

The Bible On African Cameroun Polygyny

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Published by Lee Tyler
An examination of African Cameroun polygyny in light of anthropology, ethnology, the Bible and the Christian community
An examination of African Cameroun polygyny in light of anthropology, ethnology, the Bible and the Christian community

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Published by: Lee Tyler on Apr 04, 2009
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POLYGAMY, ECONOMY, AND CHRISTIANITY IN THE EASTERN CAMEROUN, BY WILLIAM D.

REYBURN, 1958 [READINGS IN MISSIONARY ANTHROPOLOGY II Enlarged 1978 edition edited by William A. SmalleyPublished by William Carey Library]---with applications and conclusions for the women and men of Africa and America today by R. Tyler, September 1999. [Revised 2003. Cameroun is next to Nigeria]For anyone considering polygyny, it is wise to both study it in the Scriptures,and study it in societies where it has been practiced for generations.On one hand-----The KaKa woman of Cameroun wanted [1958] polygamy because it gave her more freedom for herself, freedom from domestic duties periodically so she could do social things that were important to her. If she had a co-wife, she and the co-wife could take turns watching the kids, tending gardens, preparing meals, cleaning, fixing and making clothing. That would enable her to play and have fun with her children some time during the day. She could periodically take a day and visit relatives. She could go in to town to shop without taking all the kids. She could go to school or to a church meeting without having to take all the kids, or worry about gardens, meals not being prepared or domestic duties not being done. [REYBURN p. 256]. This works if the co-wife is committed and devoted to the family and conscientious about her responsibilities.On the other hand -----"The Christian church bases its objection to polygamy upon the Scriptures. However, on the level where these anti-polygamous decisions are made, it is commonly assumed that the New Testament is explicitly clear on the subject. This is not the case. The New Testament is conspicuously unconcerned with the subject." [REYBURN p.268]"Now it is very significant, and a point often overlooked, that there is no record of a question about whether a man might, in any circumstances, take a second wife. If there had been any doubt at all about whether a serious-minded Jew could have several wives, we should very probably have some reference to it in the Gospels of the Epistles. This would certainly have been preserved by the early Christian communities, if the problem had ever arisen in their own moral life. The absence of a negative command against polygamy, in the New Testament, is therefore significant, in exactly the opposite direction to that which is commonly and rashly assumed. It shows that the question no longer arose among the Jewish or Gentile communities to whom the gospel was addressed." [Parrinder, Geoffrey: TheBible and Polygamy, S.P.C.K.: London, 1950. p.43] [REYBURN p. 268]In apostolic times polygamy was nonissue and was practiced by a significant number of people in Israel, both Jew and Gentile. "Herod had nine wives at once. . . [Polygamy's] possibility is implied by the technical continuance of the Levirate law, [Deut. 25:5-10] and is proved by the early interpretation of 1 Ti 3, whether correct or not. Justin reproaches the Jews of his day [AD.] with having 'four or even five wives,' and marrying 'as they wish, or as many as they wish.' The evidence of the Talmud shows that in this case at least the reproach had some foundation. Polygamy was not definitely forbidden among the Jews till the time of R. Gershom (c. A.D. 1000), and then at first only for France and Germany. In Spain, Italy, and the East it persisted for some time longer, as it does still

among the Jews in Mohammedan countries>41.[Footnote: (>.(40. Septuagint Lev. 21:13 "He shall take for a wife a virgin of his own tribe.". .>41. HASTINGS DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE; p.583ff.]"Polygamy and concubinage among the aristocracy is attested by Josephus [Ant. 12, 186ff.; 13, 380; War 1, 97.] The continued practice of levirate marriage (Yeb. 15b) evidently led to polygamy, which was countenanced by the school of Shammai but not by that of Hillel. [NIDNTT:s.v. "Marriage, adultery, bride, bridegroom"; See also ANF, vol. 1, p. 266;] "Rome was laden with polygamy and disorderliness. Concubines, wives, and undisciplined children could be seen from the Caesars’ house down to its subjects. The ill-ordered household was in contempt in the eyes of the Christian." [http://www.apuritansmind.com/Pastoral/McMahonElderAndDivorce.htm]See the History of Polygyny document at my web site listed below.Christian elders agree that during Jesus' physical and visible walk on earth, during the period of the Gospels and the book of Acts, the Jews practiced polygamy>24. [Footnote: >24. Trobisch; MY WIFE MADE ME..P. 23. ; Abrahams, 1., Jewish Life in the Middle Ages (1917);Westermarck, E., History of Human Marriage (1901);Spencer, H., Principles of Sociology idem, Descriptive Sociology;Lay, Wilfrid, A Plea for Monogamy (1923);1986, Funk & Wagnalls NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA;Tr. Maurice Hutton, in Tacitus: Dialogus,Agricola, Germania, Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1914); HASTING'S DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE, p.584. ; A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of The Christian Church, Vol. iv; pp.289ff. A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of The Christian Church, Vol. V, p. 267.; A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of The Christian Church, Vol. iv, p.290.; A Select Library of the Nicene and PostNicene Fathers of The Christian Church, Vol. VIII, p. 258. ; St. Augustin: On The Trinity, p. 402.; HASTING'S DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE, p.259, 583ff.] Unfortunately African polygyny has been perceived as an exercise of POWER rather than a Biblically acceptable form of marriage."Christianity, in its total condemnation of polygamy has failed to discriminate between things which are totally different. . . . From the side of missionary science we must learn that the case involved in this area is primarily economic and not primarily isolated polygamy. From the side of missionary theology we need to take the findings of such information and in true Christian identification with the human being involved move with our theology to his inner longings and WITH HIM communicate a gospel that speaks to the roots of his real need and show him that Christ is the ultimate answer to the POWER problem of his heart. . . " [REYBURN p. 255]"The gregarious nature of the large polygamous family fits the Kaka personality, which is constantly endeavoring to express itself in interpersonal relationships." (REYBURN p.256) "Perhaps the most commonly voiced reason given by people of the Cameroun for the continu°ation of polygamy is the desire to have numerous children. . . When a man has been given the gift of life from his father he will be most unfaithful to his father, if he fails to pass it on himself. Not only is there a sense of responsibility for reproduction among men, but the woman is likewise

prepared to conceive of herself as the property of a man who has paid for her reproductive rights and she is responsible to produce children as well as gardens." (REYBURN p.256)This concept of the woman as the property of the man is in direct conflict with Scripture. 1 Cor. 7:21-24 makes it clear that Jesus does not want one person to own another person. Gal. 3:26-29 and 1 Peter 3:7 make it clear that in Christ, in eternal reality, males and females are equal spiritually, coheirs in Christ and that sexuality is significant only in terms of one's service to Christ, where the female serves as mother and wife, and the male serves as father and husband. The husband is commanded to have the divine 1 Cor 13 Love for the wife and the wife is commanded to respectfully and affectionately love her husband and children (Ephes.± 5:2233; Titus 2:5-7; 1 Tim. 5) "¶ Do not sharply rebuke an elder, but exhort as a father, [and] the younger ones as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, the younger as sisters in all purity. 3 ¶ Honor widows who are widows indeed." There is not one scripture that says a male may make, force or coerce a woman to obey him. There are many scriptures that say that the man is to serve the woman as a servant leader who asks her to follow him, leaving the decision to her whether or not to follow or submit to him, if he wants to be honored in heaven (Lk. 22:23- 30)."The girl's father is more concerned to prove his long standing friendship to a man of his own age class than to arrange a compatible marriage for his daughter. To the traditional Kaka father his friendships come before the assumed conjugal compatibility of his daughter. He conceptualizes his daughter in terms of service and not in terms of happy marriage union. It is because of this attitude, which many young African girls no longer share, that such marriages become extremely pathetic." (REYBURN p.257)Rejoicing and being glad in your marriage is stated as a goal in Scripture [Pr 5:18; Ec 9:9]. We are commanded to Love, to be affectionate, and to have sexual ecstasy in our marriages, but not happiness. We can expect to experience joy in our marriages by the Holy Spirit, not necessarily by our own efforts. Following the Lord I courted and married my present wife, to whom I was not attracted at first. The only reason I struck up a relationship with her was because I knew I was under the King’s command to marry (1Cor 7:1,2,8,9) and I had submitted my will to His, committing myself to marrying whoever He picked for me. I knew I was to be “sparrowing about” seeking His provision of a wife, and I knew He would meet this sparrow’s need to obey Him by marrying. I preferred a brown wife, but instead He gave me a lilly white Irish Canadian. I came to love her and by the time we were engaged I passionately loved her.Tejero’ second lady was an object of pity and compassion when he first saw her walking down the street. She looked so broken, so sad, so heavily burdened that he was compassionately drawn to her. She looked as if she were in her 70s, skinny as Auschwitz Holocaust survivor, and wearing old lady clothing, with a sad expression stuck on her face. He parked his car ahead of her and walked back to her. He introduced himself and gave her his name and phone number, telling her that he would be honored if she ever let him take her to lunch. He told her that he was a serious and committed Christian. He wished

her good day and returned to his car and drove on.A couple of weeks later she called him and said she would prefer that he came to her house to eat with her. He later found out that she has a serious stomach condition and can’t eat most restaurant food. So He began going to her apartment at the end of his "work week", to spend a couple of hours visiting and fellowshipping with her, doing James 1’s visiting the widow thing. He came to learn and understand that she was a dear and very devout disciple of King Jesus. He learned that about 5 years earlier she had lost both her husband and her son. Her son died quickly from aninoperable brain tumor. His death so crushed her emotionally that she had to get away from all, even from her bedridden and disabled husband. As she grieved for three days in a motel, she had a precious and beautiful encounter with Jesus the Comforter and she was able to go on. She returned to care for her husband who died a few months later. Her griefbecame a mantle and mask of sadness but she was able to go on in Jesus.She felt that she would be alone for the rest of her life. After a couple of months, one evening while he and she were seated in their respective sofas watching TV and as he was beginning to nod off, she got up and came over and sat right next to him. She sat so close to him he felt the only right thing to do with his arm was to put it over her shoulders. Her move really woke him up and he was curious what it meant. Gradually he learned that she ached and yearned for the loving embrace of a man who loved her, and that she ached and yearned for marriage and marital intimacy. Directed by His Love, Deut 25:5; 1 Tim 5:14; 1 Cor 7:1,2,8,9; and 1 John 3:17-19 he proposed a marital pact/covenant with her and she accepted, becoming his own lady and he her own man. Compassion in him became respect and affection for the beauty of Jesus in her. Respect and affection became passion and committed Love and both are very happy now. It is possible for the passionate love of Prov 5:15-19 to grow out of the unselfish and compassionate cherishing of LOVE. She has bloomed and all are amazed about the transformation of this little old lady, transformed by Love, She has bloomed and all are amazed about the transformation of this little old lady, transformed by Love, and Tejero feels richly blessed with his two godly ladies.Pt 1``PART TWOComments, a report and updates on-------POLYGAMY, ECONOMY, AND CHRISTIANITY IN THE EASTERN CAMEROUN, BY WILLIAM D. REYBURN, 1958 [READINGS IN MISSIONARY ANTHROPOLOGY IIEnlarged 1978 edition by W.A. Smalley;Published by William Carey Library]---with applications and conclusions for the women and men of Africa and America today by R. Tyler, September 1999. [Revised 2003. Cameroun is next to Nigeria]For anyone considering polygyny, it is wise to both study it in the Scriptures,and study it in societies where it has been practiced for generations.PART TWOIn contrast to the KaKa father who sees his daughter as an object of trade, a godly father who truly loves his daughter would care deeply about her feelings and desires, and would prayerfully seek the Lord's leading in advising her and instructing her about her marriage. He would seek the Lord's leading and Word in the matter and act accordingly, even if it was not exactly what he or the daughter had hoped for in real life. Yes,

daughters and sons are to obey their parents, but if they are children of God they must first obey their Heavenly Father if there is a conflict between their Father and their dad. However once they have left their homes and cleaved/united/covenanted in marriage there is a significant change in the line of authority, Father and Jesus, civil authorities, parents of the husband, assembly elders, husbands who have left their parents to wed, wives and finally their children. The line of authority is different for the single adult female, Father and Jesus, civil authorities, her parents, and assembly elders. KaKa sons are desired to work as laborers and to perform the menial labor tasks the father doesn't want to do. These sons are very important in countries ravaged by war (like Rawanda, Burundi, Sudan, Angola etc.) where so many of the men have died and there are no men to take their places. Daughters are desired to perform the domestic chores that the mother doesn't want to do. One man told him "I have eighteen children. Some are bound to die, some will be of no account and I hope that the few that are left will grow up to be worth something" (REYBURN p. 258). In a continent where HIV and the violence of war are the two leading killers, this is a desperate hope.These plagues of HIV, war and violence make an African man aware that he "may lose his wife through death . . . .Since a marriage union is not often viewed as being a lifelong association, a man is prone to view the taking of a woman as a temporary arrangement in life. Many Kaka men have said that they would not have much security if married to only one wife. 'What would I do if I had only one wife and she died?' It is especially true that a man who has has plural wives and has a large number of children feels it necessary to keep a retinue of mothers for his children." (REYBURN p.258)It is natural and understandable that the marriage union would not be considered a lifelong association in poor and primitive communities, given the high death rate of wives/mothers from a number of causes including childbirth complications. We are called to live as citizens of the New Jerusalem, of Heaven (Heb. 11:13-16), and to know no one simply according to their physical body (2 Cor. 5). If genuinely saved Yaounde and Douala are married in the Lord, they are both maritally bound in the Lord as long as they both live. If Douala should sleep in death before Yaounde, they have the hope and the expectation that they will ultimately be together worshiping and serving the Lord in Heaven and on the millenial earth. Christian marriage is an eternal bond of soul and spirit, so that it is far greater than merely a lifelong association and so it is to be greatly prized and treasured."While sexual considerations per se are probably secondary as a motivation for polygamy, Kaka men often express their concern that the death of a wife would leave them deprived of sexual contact. Also a man finds it convenient to have more than one wife for sex contacts when one wife is sick, called to her paternal village, or is having her monthly period." (REYBURN p.258)This is a real concern, given the Word in 1 Cor. 7:1,2, 5,and 9. If the wife dies, the normal man without the gift of celibacy would find himself subjected to the sexual temptations engineered by the Enemy and would find himself needing to avail himself of God's solution for the avoidance of sexual immorality,

coming under the command to marry. If he had a second wife, he would not experience that vulnerability and that crisis of need. Polygyny is still very desirable for a wife whose husband wants sex more often than she wants it, and for the wife who wants to go without sex for a while for a break or to travel. She feels much better about knowing that he is having sexual initimacy with the co-wife instead of with a STD infected stranger. The sick wife and the wife with the menstrual flow could possibly feel the same way, glad not to have to have sex, glad that hubby is having sex with a co-wife instead of with her."It is the NYA TOU [The first wife] who directs the other wives and makes the final decisions when problems and arguments arise among the co-wives. . . . NYA TOU plays a very important role in the husband's decision to espouse another woman.” (REYBURN P.259)The scriptures of Titus 2 and 1 Tim. 5 would make it logical in the Christian family for this seniority of the first wife. But it is always in the context of Luke 22:23-30, 1 Peter 5:5 and Eph. 5:21, where it is clear that no sister in the Lord is to boss around or force another sister in the Lord to do anything. The godly senior wife serves by leading and teaching, always recognizing that she has no authority to make a junior wife obey her, and that is has to be the decision of the junior wife to submit herself to the senior wife’s lead, or not to submit. If the senior wife teaches and asks the junior wife to do something the Bible commands us all to do, and she as a believer refuses to do it, then the senior and other wives in the family would need to follow the instructions of Gal 6:1; 2 Tim 2: 24-26; Mat 18:15-18; 2 Thes 3:6-14 and 1 Cor 5. The senior wife would be the one who probably benefits the most from observance of the principles in Ex 21:10 *** "If he take himself another [wife], her food, her clothing, and her conjugal rights he shall not diminish. 11 And if he do not these three things unto her, then shall she go out free without money."*** It is quite possible that each new wife joining the family would have less conjugal rights than the senior wife/wives, as there is less of the conjugal rights "pie" to be divided with each wife who joins the family. The hope is that the "having all things in common and divided outas needed" principle of Acts 2 and 4 and 2 Cor 8 would move the senior wives to share some of their conjugal time with newer wives.END OF PART 2Tyler, at oldservant8@aol.com; Elkanah21stCent@aol.com; The complete document is available athttp://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/OrthodoxBiblicalMarriagePolygamy
http://groups.aol.com/_cqr/biblicalpolygamyhttp://groups.aol.com/biblicalpolygamy
http://www.etext.org/Religious.Texts/Polyamory

http://groups.msn.com/OrthodoxBiblicalPolygamy http://smartgroups.com/groups/orthodoxbiblicalpolygyny

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>END OF PART two<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<PART THREEComments, a report and
updates on-------ADDING WIVES AND HUSBANDS SUBMITTING TO WIVES---with social anthropological applications and conclusions for the Christian women and men of Africa, Asia and America today by R. Tyler, September 1999. [Revised 2003. Cameroun is next to Nigeria]For anyone considering polygyny, it is wise to both study it in the Scriptures, and study it in societies where it has been found to be practiced successfully for generations. PART THREEAdding wives? Adding co-wives? The Word is:***1Ti 6:6 But godliness with

contentment is great gain.***Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of the One who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the One who raised up Christ from the dead shall also make your mortal bodies alive by His Spirit who dwells in you. . . . 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.The godly man will be content with what He has in Christ, not driven by selfishness, self-will and natural desires. A godly man will be led by the Spirit of God and the Word of God in the matter of adding another wife to the family. A godly man may come under command, principle or precept to take another wife, as in the Dt 25:5ff case where a brother-in-law should marry the widow of his deceased brother. In the case of the Church where all are brothers and sisters in Jesus, a married brother may have the leading, means and ability to meet the need of the widow who has come under command to marry and no other “brother” will marry her (1Cor7:8,9; 1Tim5:10-14).In Paul Bohannan's Social Anthropology (BSA 1963), he indicates that there are three critical relationships that must be right for polygyny to work: 1.) the relationship of the co-wives; 2.) the relationships of the half-siblings; and 3.) the relationships of the half-siblings with the cowives of the family [BSA p.106].Harmony among the co-wives is far more important than harmony among the half-siblings. The more personalities in the mix the more difficult it is to maintain the families’ harmony. [BSA p.109ff]Dr. Bohannan declares that the wisest polygynist husbands let his wife/wives have a big say in the taking of a new wife, "for no matter how much a woman likes a man, she is not likely to stay with him if she does not like his other women." If she finds herself in the midst of a congenial group of co-wives, "she may put up with a lot from a husband" and stay in the marriage. [BSA p.107]“NYA TOU usually talks over with her co-wives the advisability of another wife, and if they are agreed that the presence of the potential wife would disrupt the ‘harmony` of the compound, NYA TOU presents these facts to her husband and often makes alternative suggestions to him. If the husband disregards NYA TOU's advice, he soon finds out that the price of peace means returning the new woman to her family." [Polygamy, Reyburn P.259]There is a time when the husband must submit to his wife. ***Ephes 5:21 ¶ submitting yourselves to one another in [the] fear of Christ.*** If he is an ungodly man, then the godly wife is bound by 1 Pet 2:183:7 and may not expect and should not ask her husband to submit to the Word of God spoken by her when it is time to for him to submit. When a godly wife is called on to exercise Gal. 6:1 and 2 Tim 2:24-26 with her godly husband, she is acting as the servant messenger of the Most High God who humbly and gently brings to his attention the Words of the King which he must obey, without telling what to do about it (1Tim2:11,12).As servant of the King and wife of her husband she must speak the Word without teaching him how to do and what he should do (1 Tim 2:11,12). So if he is practicing partiality and favoritism with his wives, the godly wife would come to him saying, “My head and my husband, it appears to me that you are practicing partiality and favoritism with us your wives. My head and my husband, is it not the Word of our King “that thou keep these things without prejudice, doing nothing by favour, bias or partiality” (1 Tim 5:20,21; James 2:1; Lev 19:15; Mal 2:9) in the manner in which you are husband to each of us? Beloved head and husband, please consider the Word of the Lord in this matter. If he continues in the sin of prejudice and favoritism in the way he relates to his wives, then they are under command to do Gal 6:1; 2 Tim 2:24-26; Mat 18:1515; 2 Thess 3:6-14 and 1 Cor 5 with the separation option of the wife (1 Cor 7:10,11). This should be the procedure whenever a husband is disobeying the Word of God in Scripture and wronging or offending his wives.The godly husband should submit the the Word of God from Scripture spoken by his godly wife. In such a case it is not a matter of a husband submitting to his wife’s will, but of a godly husband submitting to the Word of His King in Scripture, being spoken or written by his godly wife. In this way we are all to submit to the Word of God presented by each other in the Lord (Ephes 5:21). If the daughter of one of his wives sees him speaking harshly and abusively to one of his wives, the godly daughter is to humbly and meekly come to him saying, “My father, please hear and consider the Word of God in Scripture in this matter of speaking harshly and abusively to your wife, where we are told the following:***Eph 4:29* No rotten, putrefied, corrupt, bad, unfit and worthless word should go out of your mouth, but if [there be] any good one for needful edification, that it may give grace to those that hear [it].***Col 3:8* But now, put off, *ye* also, all [these]

things, wrath, anger, malice; foul speaking, injurious, impious, reproachful, detracting and ungodly speech out of your mouth.”“NYA TOU usually talks over with her co-wives the advisability of another wife, and if they are agreed that the presence of the potential wife would disrupt the harmony of the compound, NYA TOU presents these facts to her husband and often makes alternative suggestions to him. (Polygamy, Reyburn P.259)The NYA TOU confers with the other wives, Ebolova, Douala and Yarunda and they agreed that Nagounde is often contentious and argumentative, seeking her own way with others. They know that sweet, gentle, kind and godly little Kaura in the next village is available and wanting marriage to a godly man. So NYA TOU SUGGESTS to her husband that marrying Nagounde would be a hardship for her and the other wives, whereas marrying Kaura would be a joy and a delight for all in the family. The godly man, not seeking his own benefit and good, hearing the godly advice of NYA TOU and seeking to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace in his family, he submits to the need and desire of his wives and marries Kaura. If for some reason he feels compelled to go ahead and marry Nagounde, social anthropologists and wisdom recommend that she have her own residence apart from the other wives. If he went ahead and married her he does not have the option of abandoning or disowning her if he is in Jesus, since the godly husband is bound to the godly wife as long as they both live(1Cor7:10,11,39), and if she is an ungodly wife his relationship/marriage with her is governed by the Word in 1 Cor 7:12-16.For centuries men successfully practicing polygyny in polygynous societies have learned the importance of each of his own women having her own kitchen, room/studio/ apartment/house, as in the African and aristocratic Indian models. This is especially important if there are any conflicts between the co-wives, giving each a safe conflict-free zone to which she can retreat or in which she can feel safe and free of harassment or pressure. [BSA p. 107]For centuries men successfully practicing polygyny in polygynous societies have learned the importance of retaining “the quality or content of the relationship" when the "number of similar relationships" is increased. The failure to do this is what internally doomed Mormon polygyny, according to Mormon women. [BSA p.108] The African and Asian polygynist came much closer to the model given by Jesus-Jehovah to Israel in Ex 20 & 21, where the godly polygynist is told to be diligent and careful to not diminish the quantity and quality of the food, clothing andintimate conjugal rights of any wife/wives of his when taking on another wife:***Ex 20:22 And Jehovah said to Moses, Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel: Ye have seen that I have spoken with you from the heavens. . . . 21: 10 If he take himself another [wife], her food, her clothing, and her intimate conjugal rights he shall not diminish.The godly polygynist should count the cost before takingon another wife to see if he can do so without reducinghis time and provision for the wife/wives he already has.This is especially important when he realizes that he isunder God’s command to continue to intimately be havingeach of his own women (1Cor 7:1-5), recognizing and submitting to the authority God has given to each of hisown women over the sexual use of his body (1Cor7:3-5);and that he is under God’s command to at all times to be satisfying/intoxicating/saturating himself with her breasts and love making (Prov 5:18-20). END OF PART 3Tyler, at oldservant8@aol.com; Elkanah21stCent@aol.com; POLYGAMY, ECONOMY, AND CHRISTIANITY IN THE EASTERN CAMEROUN, BY WILLIAM D. REYBURN, 1958 [READINGS IN MISSIONARY ANTHROPOLOGY IIEnlarged 1978 edition edited by William A. Smalley; Published by William Carey Library]The complete document is available at http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/OrthodoxBiblicalMarriagePolygamy http://groups.aol.com/_cqr/biblicalpolygamyhttp://groups.aol.com/biblicalpolygamy http://www.etext.org/Religious.Texts/Polyamory http://groups.msn.com/OrthodoxBiblicalPolygamy http://smartgroups.com/groups/orthodoxbiblicalpolygyny AddingWives&HusbandsSubmitting2Wives>>>>>>>>>>PART

THREE<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<". . . . the first wife was not anxious to have co-wives provided that the husband's demands were not too great. Also, if he bought her European goods which represented an equitable share in the cash income and if she had children, she did not feel extremely anxious for

the presence of co-wives." (REYBURN p.259) . . . "Polygamy dies out where the status of the woman is raised and where the woman becomes highly conscious of her own personality and aware of marriage as a sharing reciprocal relation rather than a servant relationship." [Polygamy, Reyburn p.269]So we see that Kaka women are as normal as Western women. If they had their choice socially and economically, usually it would be for monogyny. If cellibacy enables one to wait on the Lord better and with fewer distractions than marriage enables (1 Cor 7), then monogyny would enable a husband to wait on the Lord more than polygyny would. Polygyny being more distracting and demanding than monogyny, the husband would have to be careful to guard, have and insist on his time alone in Word meditation and prayer. Even though polygyny is no where in the Bible declared to be sin or sinful, no where condemned or forbidden in Scripture, it is obvious that the more wives a man has the more all of their hearts might be turned away (1Kings 11:4) from Jesus to all the distractions and demands of married and family life (1 Cor 7:33,34). You can get away with ignoring your neighbors next door, but you can't get away with ignoring the members of your immediate family. Marriage, like puberty rites, like graduations, like employment, and like birthing rituals may take many different forms in many different places of the world. The wonderful thing is that the Word is so wisely given that one may marry and experience marriage in Biblical terms and realities in most of the cultures of the world, without doing grave violence to the culture. It was no mistake that Jesus didn't mandate a certain ceremony, certain vows, certain covenants, legal marriage, church marriage and certain rituals for marriage because He well the knew the varieties of the human condition and cultures on this planet."In the Cameroun today there are also polygamous marriages in which the family is the center and the relations in the polygamous family are most pleasant. Co-wives treat each other like sisters and all appear to be interested primarily in the welfare of all the members of the polygamous family group. The husband has a genuine concern for his wives and children and provides for them in a truly benevolent fashion. After one has lived in close contact with such a family, there can be no doubt why some Africans say: 'I am proud of the fact that I was raised in a peaceful, compatible polygamous household.' . . . . It is a true and unfortunate fact that the majority of polygamous unions in the area or our study classify themselves as 'incompatible marriages,' due often to reasons related to the economy. In all five villages there is at least one generally recognized 'ideal' polygamous family (REYBURN P.267)." There were compatible and incompatible monogynous marriages, justÎ as there were compatible and incompatible polygynous marriages. [REYBURN p. 267] In the Christian context, the "peaceful, compatible polygamous household"would be one under Jesus direction where the Holy Spirit is bearing His spiritual fruit (Gal 5:16,22,23) in the members of the family. The "incompatible marriages" would be those in which they "bite and devour" each other, the members being manipulated by society's pressures, by the evil and natural desires of their bodies, and the demons in their lives (Gal 5:19-21; Ephes 2:1,2)Polygamy is evil when it is an

"open attempt at female monopoly . . . " Monogyny and polygyny are both evil when they are "incompatible with the Golden Rule. Any people who idealize and live in expectation of that which is unrealizable and impossible are thereby imposing serious strain on the structure of their society" and their own souls. [REYBURN p.269] " . . . . polygamy varies and in some cases it is concerned for the family welfare and in others, just as in many cases of monogamy, it has no such concern. . . . ." [REYBURN p.269]Polygamy dies out in those circumstances not because polygyny is evil or undesirable, but because the husbands fail to be genuinely and Lovingly concerned for the the welfare of the wives and the children; because the husbands fail to grant or accept the equal-heirs status of the wives; because the husbands fail to recognize and cherish the unique personality of each wife; and because the husbands fail to assume their responsibility in the Lord to serve, bless, comfort, spiritually feed, and spiritually leadtheir wives in the reciprocal relationships required by being married and being members of the one Body of Christ.Polygyny still has a place where war, violence and/or disease have greatly decreased the number of men available for marriage and there are many widows, orphans and women who want marriage. The godly woman who has sexual and heterosexually affectionate longings will know that polygyny with a godly man is far better than unsuccessfully struggling with her longings, falling into sexual sin outside of marriage. She knows that polygyny with a godly man is much better than living in the sins of lesbianism, adultery, lustful imaginations, enjoying pornographic sex, lustful self-stimulation or sex outside of marriage."Most fundamental of all perhaps is the necessity for Christian village men to conceptualize their wives as partners in a permanent marriage concerned for the welfare of their families." [REYBURN p.271] 1 Peter 3:4 "but [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, the meek and quiet spirit, which is of great price in the sight 8of God. 5 For so once indeed the holy women hoping in God adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands; 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; whose children you became, doing good and fearing no terror. 7 Likewise, husbands, live together according to knowledge, giving honor to the wife as to the weaker vessel, the female, as truly [being] CO-HEIRS TOGETHER of [the] grace of life, not cutting off your prayers.***1Cor 7:10 ¶ But to the married I enjoin, not *I*, but the Lord, a wife should not be separated from husband; 11* (but if also she shall have been separated, she should remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband;) and a husband should not leave a wife. . . . . 39* ¶ A wife is bound for whatever time her husband lives; but if the husband be fallen asleep, she is free to be married to whom she will, only in [the] Lord. “There is a great Spiritual need for "male and female equality of rights with mutual respect" [REYBURN p. 272].***Ga 3:28* There is no Jew nor Greek; there is no bondman nor freeman; there is no male and female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus:***Ephesians 5:18* . . . be filled with the Spirit, . . . 21 ¶ submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to [your] own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the

head of the wife, even as Christ [is] the head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, 27 that He might present it to Himself [as] the glorious church, without spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So men ought to love their wives as their [own] bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself."A first step in a Christian solution to the problem in the eastern Cameroun would be to reconsider the idea of church membership and to embrace a fellowship of families without consideration for the status of the marriage union. As it is presently, the father of the [polygynous] family is forced to be an outsider. The source of authority is excluded. The family takes on a feeling of separation from the one they really honor, the father." [REYBURN p.270] "The church in the Cameroun is by and large a female church where the man who needs the teaching of the church is felt unwanted." [REYBURN p.271]Behold how the religious teachings and traditions of people about polygyny have made of no effect the Word of God for these families.***Mat 15:3 But he answering said to them, Why do *ye* also transgress the commandment of God on account of your traditional teaching? . . . 6 . . . ye have made void the commandment of God on account of your traditional teaching. . . . 9 . . . in vain do they worship me, teaching [as God’s] teachings [the] commandments of men.***Mrk 7:7 But in vain do they worship me, teaching [as God’s] teachings the commandments of men. 8 [For], leaving the commandment of God, ye hold what is delivered by men [to keep] - . . . . 9 And he said to them, Well do ye set aside the commandment of God, that ye may observe what is delivered by yourselves [to keep about marriage]. . . . 13 making void the word of God by your traditional teaching which ye have delivered; . . . As a result of slavery, Jim Crow and these human and religious traditions, this failure to recognize and honor the fathers and husbands in the family continues to the be the case in most African American churches today. Most are dominated and manipulated by the women. The ratio of women to men is usually at least 2 to 1, sometimes as high as five to one. This is no the condition in many EuroAm Protestant churches as well. The Western church's failure to recognize and legitimize common law marriages continued this devastation throughout the 1900's, forcing many out of the church who would have been in the church if it weren't for this unBiblical and unScriptural demand for monogyny, civil and legal marriage. No where in the Scriptures are monogyny, civil and legal marriages required and mandated, except in the case where the civil authorities require and mandate them (Rom 13). The folly of this practice by the church is seen in the fact that the divorce rate among those married in churches is the same as those married outside of churches in civil and common law monogyny."The step which is badly needed in the communication of the gospel to the African is that the presence of this power [of procreation, of regeneration, of an abundant and victorious life] is

realized in submission to the role of the humble servant to be filled with a [Christ given, worked and led] power for service to others." [REYBURN p.273] When the individual sees, believes and receives that Jesus is the Life, believes and receives that when one has Jesus he has Life, believes and receives that when one yields himself to Jesus to be an instrument of His Life that he is a part of God’s flow of Life to others, believes and receives that when he is a part of the flow of Life to others he has become a part of the Power and Life of God, believes and receives that when that Life flows through him to others He has become a significant part of the "be fruitful and multiply" will of God for us both physically and spiritually ---- his life has taken on a greatly enhanced meaning and he has been a faithful steward of the precious gift of Life in passing it on to others, physically and spiritually. Now, today 1999, due to the incredible death rates from Africa'santi-human violence, political chaos, famines, HIV and many warsthere are far more Jesus women than there are Jesus men wanting to marry. Hundreds of thousands of Jesus widows and orphans are found in the center of each of these human disasters. If they find marriages, even polygynous marriages, they are given a much safer context in which to survive and raise their children than if they are cast out alone and vulnerable in the midst of all this human tragedy. Due to HIV, incarceration, inner city and gang violence there are far more marriageable African American women than there are marriageable African American men willing to commit to family and marriage. Culture factors are dominant in America where 40% of African American women never marry, and fatherless single parent homes abound with the social chaos that creates for the families and the sons who grow up in them. This is especially true of the single mom raising a son.Even in the Caucasian churches in America, the ratio of women to men is usually at least 3 to 2, and in a significant minority the ratio is 5 to 3. The older the church population the higher the ratio. This leaves a significant number of African Christian women, African American Christian women and Caucasian Christian women with the choices of following Jesus in chaste celibacy or Biblical polygyny, and the choices of living in sin by marrying unsaved men, by having extramarital sex, by getting into lesbianism, by stimulating themselves thinking of doing sex without marriage, enjoying pornography,or perhaps never marrying with sorrow and regret. That sorrow and regret are more than just romantic, since the statistics show that women who never marry and have children have a much higher rate of breast and cervical cancer, poverty, vocational stagnation, domestic violence and lack of personal fulfillment. In this far from perfect world, I believe chaste celibacy or Biblical polygyny should be prayerfully considered by any godly woman desiring marriage and aware of a clear lack of godly men willing to commit to marriage and family.Tyler, at oldservant8@aol.com; Elkanah21stCent@aol.com, oldservant8@yahoo.com http://polyamory.meetup.com/389/ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Poly_Polygamy_Polygny_And_Jesus

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OrthodoxBiblicalMarriagePolygamy http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PolyPolygamyPolygnyNJesus http://groups.google.com/group/BiblicalChristianPolygamyPolygyny http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OrthodoxBiblicalMarriagePolygamy2 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LynnAndLossRecovery http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PolyOption4ChristiansWithSTDs/ http://community.eons.com/groups/group/women-sharing-one-man-maritally http://groups.myspace.com/BiblicalChristianPoly http://www.hi5.com/friend/group/3901734­­Biblical_Christian_Polygamy_Po­­front­html http://en.netlog.com/clan/PolygamyPolygynyJesus
ttp://polygynouschristians.multiply.com/

http://biblicalpolygamy.multiply.com/ http://en.groups.zorpia.com/group/biblical_polygamy_polygyny

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