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Golden Calf of Monogamy

The author, H.D.M. Spence, criticizes King David for something that the Bible NEVER criticized him for, polygamy. The Bible says in 1 Kings 15:5 that

"David did [that which was] right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any [thing] that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite."

The author disagrees with the Bible when he writes,

"David’s public and private career was necessarily the better for the presence in his home of such a woman, {Abigail} though the elevating influence of her character was impaired by his adoption of polygamy. Many are the counteracting influences under which the best of men develope, and Scripture, by thus calling attention to David’s domestic affairs, gives us a clue to some of the circumstances amidst which his virtues and failings appeared."

Again he writes:

"Yet it is open to us to note how, at a time when polygamy was “winked at,” and no sin was necessarily to lie on this account at the door of David, yet by this very thing he was undermining the peace and unity of his own family."

This is double speak. On the one hand Spence says that "no sin was necessarily to lie on this account at the door of David" and on the other he says that David was "undermining the peace and unity of his own family" and that David "impaired" Abigail's "elevating influence." To this I ask, Does Spence think that Abigail was so base as to let her husband David's marriage to additional wives keep her from maintaining a right relationship with her husband and with the Lord? By accusing David he acuses Abigail. Neither can defend themselves here but I would say that the Psalms are quite a defense in themselves against attacks by those who prostrate themselves at the Golden Calf of Monogamy. It is clear in the Psalms that David understood more about a right relationship with the Lord than any of us. Can I get an Amen to that?

Sin is what the Bible calls sin and the Bible never calls polygamy a sin. The nation of Israel came from four wives of the same man. I suppose that Jacob sinned by carrying out the Lord's plan to bless him? To believe such a thing borders on anti-Semitism. By focusing on polygamy and claiming that it was the cause of so many a biblical character's downfall, our eyes are turned away from our own sinful nature as a reason for failure. We are become like the man who stood in front of the temple and prayed "God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican." Christians should pray like the publican whom Jesus praised, "God be merciful to me a sinner."

If you like cultural pap disguised as theology then you will like what Spence has written. If you prefer the truth then find a good Bible and you'll learn that neither Christian monogamy nor Christian polygamy are taught but simply Christian marriage which includes the right of a man to have more than one such marriage at the same time.

Please note that my comments should never be construed to question any author's salvation nor should any reader here question my salvation if they in like fashion disagree with me on the topic of marriage.

If you have questions or comments concerning this article please click here to send a message to Pastor Don.

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