Jesus – Bisexual Polygamist?

January 27, 2012

Coming back with a BOOM!

So I was talking to a friend yesterday, and it came out that they’re a polygamist. They’re “in the closet” about it, but their identity isn’t important. It’s likely no one that you know. Still, the discussion led to me apologizing for the drubbing that people of my faith have given people in that lifestyle. Personally, as I told this person, I don’t care who you live with, sleep with, or marry so long as you’re all healthy and happy. It’s not my place to tell you how to run your life, particularly if you’re not a Christian. Even if you are, I’m not sure that I could come up with anything other than a cultural argument against it, and, personally, I couldn’t come up with one of those that would hold water.

This must have been on my mind quite a bit though, subconsciously. While driving into work this sentence popped into my head. “Jesus was a bisexual polygamist.” I fired it off to a friend and he said that he wanted to read that for sure. I let it run around my brain for a bit to figure out what I meant by it. After having a few cups of coffee I think this is where I’m headed:

We’re told that we are the bride of Christ. All of us (in the Church). Obviously there are men and women in the Church and there are more than one of us. So, there you go, Christ is married to millions of men and women throughout space and time. A little anticlimactic? A bit. But bear with me.

I’ve been married for sixteen years now, but I’m an only child (biologically). The analogy that we’re all married to Christ is a bit more meaningful to me than the one where we’re all his brothers and sisters. The notion that I’m to treat my fellow believers as I would my own spouse hits nearer the mark. I’ve learned a lot about communication and how to treat my wife thanks to quite a lot of therapy over the last year or so.

Things I would never want to do to my wife:
Make her feel unworthy.
Tell her that her feelings are wrong.
Abuse her physically (this one’s never been a problem for me) or verbally.
Try and “fix” her.

Things I need to do:
Encourage her.
Love her.
Learn the art of compromise.

This is how a relationship with Christ and with our fellow brides needs to look (this and more). Lately it looks a lot more like an episode of Bridezillas. Whether you believe that God chose us before the creation of the world or whether we chose him, we’re in this relationship for the long haul. There’s no divorcing each other, and since this isn’t “Wife Swap” (that this is a real show pains me), there’s no telling other families how to live their lives.

I had to get this off my chest. Thanks again for your patience.

13 Responses to “Jesus – Bisexual Polygamist?”

  1. Well said, Sir.

  2. Hmmm I’m not sure how I feel about this. Are you saying loving people means that we should never tell the people we love the right way to do things? Or are you saying it’s only right to do so in certain circumstances? 
    Also, I really appreciate how you put this, because it’s true of Christians in general: ” Things I need to do: Encourage her. Love her. Learn the art of compromise. LISTEN TO HER.” Especially with how you’ve applied it to fellow human beings. It’s basically the second of the two most important commandments. But you’re not married to your fellow Christians as individuals, are you? The church is married to Jesus. I’m not sure the bridegroom metaphor was meant to be taken so literally. 

  3. I’m saying that just as in marriage, if you chose to tell someone the “right way to do things” you need to a) make sure you’re right b) tell them in a loving manner c) accept them even if they don’t agree with you.

    We’re certainly not literally married to them, just as we aren’t literally married to Christ. But I think it’s a decent analogy. 

  4. Ah alright. Thanks for clarifying! 🙂 

  5. Sorry, fixated on just the first paragraph here – isn’t polygamy against the law?

  6. Well this person is only legally married to one other person, so perhaps polyamorous is the more correct term.

  7. And it may or may not be illegal where they are.

  8. Hmmm.

    I’m thinking your title is tangential to your main point of how we ought to treat each other, but that point is tangential to my comment.

    The Bible describes the church, not individual members, as the bride of Christ.  I think that’s a distinction worth making in that it negates the weird image of bisexual poligamy that you’ve conjured up.  In other words, I think that’s pretty far out of context and the conclusions that might lead to is way out of context.

    Poligamy is never condemned in the NT that I’m aware of except for elders.  I think there are plenty of OT examples of multiple wives causing trouble for the man to provide a pretty good argument against it.  That and the fact that, at least in the US, it is illegal and the direction to submit to the government pretty much put that idea to rest for believers here.  I know there are believers overseas that have multiple spouses.

    In terms of telling each other what to do, I hear what you’re saying about not having the right to tell them what to do, but I think you take it a bit too far.  As believers, we are to examine the scriptures and seek to follow his will.  As we learn and develop our own convictions, I think we have an obligation to discuss them with others, in a reasonable, loving matter.  In some things (sex outside of marriage, stealing, murder, for example) the scriptures are pretty darn clear and there really isn’t any debate.  in those cases, we can challenge pretty dogmatically.  In other cases, I think we open a dialog, share our convictions and challenge them to think, gently, about our convictions.  You may still disagree, but to take a hands ‘whatever works for you’ attitude isn’t the most loving thing, in my mind.

  9. The title is tangential, but it sure is an attention getter. 😉

    I think my conclusions on how we should treat each other are spot on. I choose not to condemn the actions of non-Christians where there is no clear harm being done. Polygamy happens to be one of those things. I respect my gov’t but I think some of our laws are monumentally stupid and I don’t think that submitting to our government is a directive to do whatever they say. Else we’d still be a colony.

    The post really wasn’t about polygamy per se though as you guessed. If you’re talking about “there’s no telling other families how to live their lives.”, I think there’s a difference between discussing matters where we differ on morality with none believers and actually just saying “this is how you need to live” without realizing that no matter how much we say “this is how you need to live” without Jesus no matter how moral you are you aren’t moral enough. So all the shouting people do at none-believers about how they need to change their lives is not only counter-productive it’s also pointless.

    I don’t think things like stealing and murder are on the table since there seems to, for most people, be a common ground there. So if it seems like I was saying “do whatever works for you”, I wasn’t.

  10. Oh yeah, it is an attention getter. 😛

    I think what got me focused on telling folks what to do was this:

    “Personally, as I told this person, I don’t care who you live with, sleep with, or marry so long as you’re all healthy and happy. It’s not my place to tell you how to run your life, particularly if you’re not a Christian. Even if you are, I’m not sure that I could come up with anything other than a cultural argument against it, and, personally, I couldn’t come up with one of those that would hold water.”

    I read too much into the ‘Even if you are’ bit, it seems.  I’m with you 100% that we have no business telling non-Christians how to run their lives.  I’d say that we ought not to be dictating to Christians either, but there is an assumption there that we’re both following Jesus and when I see something in my brother that doesn’t appear to match that, I think there’s an obligation to have a dialog about it.  A respectful, humble dialog where all parties are open to changing their perspective.

    In regards to non-believers, I think we shouldn’t be shy about our convictions, but as you’ve said, we really have no standing at all to judge their behavior.  I don’t think I’d go as far as “I don’t care … so long as you’re all healthy and happy.” because I would say that living outside the context of God’s law isn’t going to be healthy or happy, ultimately.  

    Still, I’d say we should share our convictions, in an appropriate context, with appropriate respect and humility.  After all, that’s one way that people are moved to faith, seeing us act on our beliefs.

  11. It seems to me that 1) if Jesus would have come for a single human being; and if 2) there is no clear condemnation of healthy same-sex relationships or plural marriage in Scripture, than the Christian mystics (Julian, Bernard of Clairvaux, and so on) experience Christ as their spouse are using Scripture responsibly in calling themselves the Bride of Christ. It seems to me that the image of a single marriage encompassing multiple people seems to me a faithful image. I made the same comment the other day to friends: “Jesus is the most polyamorous man I’ve ever known.”

    Give that was a tangent, I absolutely agree with you that honouring fellow Christians as the Bride of Christ, or as friends, or as a strange sort of brothers and sisters (Mark 3:31-35) who are co-heirs with Christ through adoption.
    Thanks for your post!

  12. To the life of me I can’t swallow the idea that we’re “all” brides of Jesus. The whole analogy makes me angry because he was Mary’s guy… Magdalene of course. And to the life of me I will not believe that he visited “bad women” just to have his feet oiled by a whore’s hair… (Even though that sounds suitably kinky to me, I don’t think that was what was ACTUALLY going on.) I do dare to say I have some inside knowledge to this – but let’s just say that you’re closer to the truth than those who claim he was a virgin with issues about sex and homosexuality and who knows what!

  13. Where does your “inside knowledge” come from?

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