Captive virgins, polygamy and sex slaves: What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- A friend linked this on his Facebook page, sharing:
One quote that stood out for me:
"Granted, sometimes even decent people do get sucked into a sort of text worship that I call bibliolatry, and Bible worship can make a person’s moral priorities as archaic and cruel as those of the Iron Age tribesmen who wrote the texts. (I once listened, horrified, while a sweet, elderly pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses rationalized the Old Testament slaughter of children with the same words Nazis used to justify the slaughter of Jewish babies.)"
I once listened, horrified, while a sweet, elderly pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses rationalized the Old Testament slaughter of children with the same words Nazis used to justify the slaughter of Jewish babies
I have been part of similar conversations with christians on this forum on a number of occasions. The latest was just a few days ago.
Matthew 19:4-6, "And he answered and said, Have ye not read, that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh? So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
Matthew 19:7-9, They say unto him, Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses for your hardness of heart suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it hath not been so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery." (ASV)
Not everything in the "Law of Moses" was directly from God.
Exterminate thy neighbors:
Men only at other times. Women and children are plunder: Deuteronomy 20:10-18.
Everyone except virgin girls when the mood strikes: Numbers 31:17-18.
Take captive brides after killing their mother and father: Deuteronomy 21:10-14.
If a single woman was raped, her rapist was punished by being forced to marry her, never divorce her and paying a fine to her father: Deuteronomy 22:28-29.
Women got their hands cut off for defending their husbands if they yanked his attacker's testicles: Deuteronomy 25:11-12.
If an engaged or married woman was raped she was to be executed if she failed to scream: Deuteronomy 22:23-24.
A woman had to prove her virginity or be stoned to death: Deuteronomy. 22:13-21.
A man could sell his daughter into permanent slavery: Exodus 21:7-11.
Hold Me-Thrill Me, "Not everything in the "Law of Moses" was directly from God."
So why did God allow barbaric laws to be part of his "inspired" book?
So why did God allow barbaric laws to be part of his "inspired" book?
They were not "barbaric" at the time. Do you actually think that laws allowing women's rights, rights of slaves, of homosexuals, of freedom of religion, of all the freedoms we have today, would have been accepted by the Jewish men of Moses' day? Would the men of the time bent their backs to such laws? No! They were not ready.
Great Defense Strategy:
Q- Why did you participate in barbarities such as slaughter, rape, theft, arson, and pillage against a rival tribe?
A- Because it wasn't barbaric at the time? Actually, your honor, in my defense, the term "Barbaric" is derived from the Latin root word for "bearded ones", and, since Latin wasn't invented yet, I cannot be tried for "barbarism", since such a term did not exist in my day.
Q. Who prepared your defense? Freddie Franz?
Women weren't even considered qualified to testify in a court case.
Yes, things have come a long way for women in some countries and in some areas. But the mental thinking of many men and actions show they still consider women inferior.
In the US, women have had the vote only since 1920, 95 years. Of course when the US was formed, only white male property owners could vote.
Polygamy was not forbidden by the WTS until 1947.
*** w95 9/1 pp. 25-26 “Love Never Fails” ***
Jehovah’s Standard of Marriage Made Clear
It was in 1947 that the first three Gilead graduates arrived in Nigeria. One of these brothers, Tony Attwood, is still here, serving at the Nigeria Bethel. From that time on, we saw great changes in Jehovah’s organization in Nigeria. One of the big changes was our view of polygamy.
I married Olabisi Fashugba in February 1941 and knew enough not to take any additional wives. But until 1947 when the missionaries came, polygamy was common in the congregations. Polygamous brothers were told that they had married more than one wife in ignorance. So if they had two or three or four or five wives, they could keep them, but they should not take any more. That was the policy we had.
Many people had been anxious to join us, especially the Cherubim and Seraphim Society in Ilesha. They said that Jehovah’s Witnesses were the only people who taught the truth. They agreed with our teachings and wanted to convert their churches into Kingdom Halls. We were working hard to bring this about. We even had centers to train their elders.
Then came new direction concerning polygamy. One of the missionaries delivered a lecture at a circuit assembly in 1947. He spoke about good conduct and habits. Next he quoted 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10, which says that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God. He then added: “And the polygamists will not inherit God’s Kingdom!” People in the audience shouted: “Oh, polygamists will not inherit God’s Kingdom!” Division resulted. It was like a war. Many of the newly associated ones stopped associating, saying: “Thank God, we have not gone very far.”
The majority of the brothers, however, started to mend their ways by setting their wives free. They gave them money and said, ‘If you are young, go and look for another husband. I made a mistake by marrying you. Now I must be a husband of one wife.’
Soon another problem came up. Some, after deciding to keep one wife and release the others, changed their minds and decided they wanted to take back one of the other wives and release the one they previously kept! So trouble started again.
Further direction came from headquarters in Brooklyn, based on Malachi 2:14, which refers to “the wife of your youth.” The direction was that husbands should keep the first wife that they had married. That was how the question was finally resolved.
*** jv chap. 13 p. 176 Recognized by Our Conduct ***
Would Polygamy Be Accepted?
Even though customs affecting marriage and family life differ from one land to another, Jehovah’s Witnesses recognize that the standards set out in the Bible apply everywhere. As their work got under way in Africa in this 20th century, the Witnesses taught there, as they do everywhere, that Christian marriage allows for just one marriage mate. (Matt. 19:4, 5; 1 Cor. 7:2; 1 Tim. 3:2) Yet, there were hundreds who accepted the Bible’s exposure of idolatry and gladly embraced what Jehovah’s Witnesses taught concerning the Kingdom of God but who got baptized without abandoning polygamy. To correct this situation, The Watchtower of January 15, 1947, emphasized that Christianity makes no allowance for polygamy, regardless of local custom. A letter sent to the congregations notified any who professed to be Jehovah’s Witnesses but who were polygamists that six months was being allowed for them to bring their marital affairs into harmony with the Bible standard. This was reinforced by a discourse given by Brother Knorr during a visit to Africa that same year.
*** yb73 pp. 166-167 Ghana ***
UPHOLDING THE CHRISTIAN STANDARD OF MARRIAGE
An important point discussed at this convention was the Christian standard of monogamous marriage. Prior to 1947 a number of the brothers (not the majority by any means) were living in polygamy. The standard of Christian morality as laid down at Galatians 5:19-21 and elsewhere in the Bible was respected and they endeavored to adhere to it. However, polygamy was not clearly associated with adultery. This was largely due to the fact that in African society polygamy is just as honorable as monogamy.
Finally, the January 15, 1947, issue of The Watchtower appeared with an excellent article on marriage. The magazine plainly stated that “plurality of wives” is not for Christians.
Friday, April 4, 1947, at the assembly in Accra, Brother W. R. Brown gave a ninety-minute talk on marriage, based on the material in the January 15 Watchtower. Immediately that became the talking point of the assembly. For the first time polygamists were refused baptism and those already baptized in that condition were told to clean up in order to be acceptable in Jehovah’s organization.
Accepting the Christian standard of marriage meant great changes and adjustments in the lives of the polygamous ones. Nevertheless, the willingness was there, along with the desire to please God. In harmony with Jehovah’s mercy the Society dealt very patiently and kindly with them. Under normal circumstances they were given six months to straighten out their affairs. The majority of them showed appreciation for this, as is evident in the following comment of the then branch overseer:
“It was very encouraging when everything was straightened out, to find that the number of persons who refused to adjust their lives according to the Christian way could be counted on one hand. So now as Jehovah prospered the brothers in making new disciples, these were coming into Jehovah’s organization with a clear understanding of all the Scriptural requirements.”
*** yb86 pp. 210-211 Nigeria ***
POLYGAMY POSES PROBLEMS
Ever since 1934 when some individuals objected to the requiring of monogamy among Jehovah’s Witnesses, polygamy had continued to pose problems for the brothers. Many who had become associated with Jehovah’s organization still kept several wives. These included some prominent ones who misapplied the scripture at 1 Corinthians 7:20: “In whatever state each one was called, let him remain in it.”
However, The Watchtower of January 15, 1947, some months before Brother Knorr’s visit to Nigeria, explained that the Scriptural standard of one wife to one husband must be maintained worldwide. A letter was then sent to the congregations, giving polygamists six months to clean up their marital affairs or lose their privileges. The majority of the brothers were very happy to see this firm stand for conformity to Bible principles.
But hundreds of Witnesses now faced a decision: Would they give up an age-old and socially accepted institution for Christian standards, which some of them had known for only a few years or months? Could they make a stand against the ridicule of friends and the outright opposition of their families? Some openly expressed doubts that Jehovah’s Witnesses could succeed where the churches had failed. Many people of the world predicted that if Jehovah’s Witnesses tried to abolish polygamy from their ranks, it would mean abolishing the ranks.
Recalling what happened when Brother Knorr discussed the Society’s directives on polygamy at Ibadan and Lagos that year, Brother Moreton wrote: “Johnson Adejuyigbe, from Akure, had three wives and ten children. Right there in the booth, immediately after the booth was cleared, he got his wives in front of him and told them what was to be done, and he settled his affairs then and there.”
Narrating his own reactions to Brother Attwood’s talk at a district convention in Warri earlier that year, Richard Idodia said: “I did not wait for the six months to elapse before I dismissed the surplus [wives], retaining only one.”
Some, though, did not see clearly that this instruction had come from God’s Word. Asuquo Akpabio, for example, relates that the brother with whom he stayed at Ifiayong woke him at midnight and demanded that he change the announcement regarding polygamy. Because he refused to do so, his host threw him out in the pouring rain that night. Nevertheless, polygamy was soon eliminated from the congregations, with very little loss in numbers.
Q. Who prepared your defense? Freddie Franz?
Village Idiot: So why did God allow barbaric laws to be part of his "inspired" book?
Hold Me-Thrill Me: They were not "barbaric" at the time.
That's known as moral relativism. Does your god change his mind as to what is good or evil from millennium to millennium?