OrthodoxChristianity.net
July 30, 2014, 09:47:42 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: The Polygynous Convert?  (Read 4544 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« on: December 27, 2006, 06:33:10 PM »

I discovered on Christmas Day that even after following the advice of Nigella, the Kitchen Goddess, vodka does not ensure a successfully flambed Christmas pud. The conversation around the dinner-table seemed adequately fueled, however. Somehow, it managed to shift to the polygynous convert. (Not that there was one present at the festivities!)

Anyway, my curiosity is peeked. What does the Orthodox Church do with regard the polygynous convert? I would assume that a Masai warrior (for instance) with multiple wives would be permitted to keep them, but he wouldn't be a candidate for deacon or priest.

Does anyone have any ideas?
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2006, 06:40:36 PM »

Did you gently warm the vodka first before lighting it?

I would assume that a polygamous convert would have to choose to have only one spouse in order to convert. Which would be a real bummer, since the honourable thing to do would be to continue to support the other former wives. Now there's an alimony bill no one wants to get stuck with!

Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Pravoslavbob
Section Moderator
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,180


St. Sisoes the Great


« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2006, 06:44:26 PM »

I discovered on Christmas Day that even after following the advice of Nigella, the Kitchen Goddess, vodka does not ensure a successfully flambed Christmas pud.

Alas!  These are dark times, indeed, if even the magic of the first among the Lawsons, that great Goddess Nigella, cannot conjure up a flambed pudding!  Shocked

Quote
Anyway, my curiosity is peeked. What does the Orthodox Church do with regard the polygynous convert? I would assume that a Masai warrior (for instance) with multiple wives would be permitted to keep them, but he wouldn't be a candidate for deacon or priest.

That would be my take on it.  I wonder what Nigella would do?
Logged

Religion is a disease, and Orthodoxy is its cure.
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2006, 06:48:09 PM »

Did you gently warm the vodka first before lighting it?

Ah, no. Perhaps I missed that instruction. Now, I have to wait until next Christmas to try again!  Angry

Quote
I would assume that a polygamous convert would have to choose to have only one spouse in order to convert. Which would be a real bummer, since the honourable thing to do would be to continue to support the other former wives. Now there's an alimony bill no one wants to get stuck with!

I would imagine that supporting the other wives and any offspring would be the only honourable thing to do - alimony bill, notwithstanding!  Grin
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2006, 06:50:13 PM »

Alas!  These are dark times, indeed, if even the magic of the first among the Lawsons, that great Goddess Nigella, cannot conjure up a flambed pudding!  Shocked


Dark days, indeed!  :'(
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2006, 07:03:35 PM »

That would be my take on it.  I wonder what Nigella would do?

I don't think she would want the other wives in her kitchen.  Roll Eyes
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Online Online

Posts: 29,365


« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2006, 07:10:13 PM »

Quote
What does the Orthodox Church do with regard the polygynous convert?

I guess it'd be an easy call in the U.S., as they could bring up legal reasons for not allowing multiple wives. I'm not sure what bishops residing in more enlightened cultures (ie. cultures allowing polygamy) would do  Grin
Logged

There are many foolish priests out there.
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2006, 07:21:33 PM »

I guess it'd be an easy call in the U.S., as they could bring up legal reasons for not allowing multiple wives. I'm not sure what bishops residing in more enlightened cultures (ie. cultures allowing polygamy) would do  Grin

We were considering the convert remaining "in situ" - in a cuture that allowed polygyny. What would a Bishop allow there, do you think?

Of course, I suppose it would be more difficult to find a bloke with multiple wives in a civilised (cough, cough) society. Wink
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Online Online

Posts: 29,365


« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2006, 07:51:07 PM »

Hey, if you are implying that there aren't many polygamists in America, I'd certainly agree with that. A polyamorous relationship in which you agree to be faithful to certain others (aka polyfidelity) is a much less risky way to go about things. Grin  Anyway, uh, er, back to the subject...

I honestly think it would depend on the bishop in a case like that. Polygamy in the Old Testament didn't seem to be considered a great thing, but then any time a saintly king was condemned because of a wife, it was because his wife had led him astray, not because of the fact that he had dozens or hundreds of wives/concubines. Indeed, Jewish warriors were allowed to take concubines from people they conquered , so long as they could afford to support them. There is nothing explicit in the New Testament that outlaws polygamy, except for clergy (as you mentioned).

Augustine seemed to be against polygamy (On the Good of Marriage, 7), on the basis of other doctrines. For example, if according to Scripture you cannot marry another person after a divorce (except perhaps in the case of adultery), then how would it be permissable for someone to marry another person without a divorce? Even though Augustine usually comes down on the stricter side on sexual matters, I would guess that other Christians of his time would agree with him on this one.

Of course, some Orthodox pastors probably don't feel obliged to be obedient servants to past beliefs, especially on things like sexuality. I would hope that a pastor in such a situation would allow those with wives to keep them, as I think it would cause a lot more harm (including spiritual harm, if you believe in it) to seperate a family. This, to me, would be on par with the Catholic practice where the Church would take Jewish infants away from their family and raise them Catholic, because the infant had been secretly baptized by Catholic servant girls, and the Church thought it the moral thing to do to give them a Catholic upbringing, rather than letting them stay in a Jewish household. Sometimes moral doctrine needs to bend (and there are lots of precedents for this in Christian history, such as Moses allowing divorce; Matt. 19:3-12).
« Last Edit: December 27, 2006, 07:56:59 PM by Asteriktos » Logged

There are many foolish priests out there.
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2006, 08:17:58 PM »

Of course, some Orthodox pastors probably don't feel obliged to be obedient servants to past beliefs, especially on things like sexuality. I would hope that a pastor in such a situation would allow those with wives to keep them, as I think it would cause a lot more harm (including spiritual harm, if you believe in it) to seperate a family.

Think of the emotional and psychological scaring it would cause!

Quote
This, to me, would be on par with the Catholic practice where the Church would take Jewish infants away from their family and raise them Catholic, because the infant had been secretly baptized by Catholic servant girls, and the Church thought it the moral thing to do to give them a Catholic upbringing, rather than letting them stay in a Jewish household.

I'm sure the Catholic Church isn't the only one guilty of such practices. I understand that Protestant demonimations have been guilty of similar actions with other ethnicities - and between you and me, I'm sure the Orthodox Church has been guilty of similar, if not the same. (If you tell anyone I said that, I shall most vehemently deny it!)  Tongue

Whatever, it's really no wonder that Christianity isn't exactly the religious flavour of the month, is it? Mind you, I suppose that's because the faults of Christianity/Christendom are right under our noses. I often find it amusing (probably not the right word) that Black people convert to Islam as a slap in the face to "slave-trading Christianity", when slavery is still present in some Islamic countries. People are funny/peculiar, aren't we? Shocked

« Last Edit: December 27, 2006, 08:18:33 PM by Riddikulus » Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
aserb
asinner
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Self Ruled Antiochian Archdiocese
Posts: 1,188


« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2006, 09:11:18 PM »

Riddikulus:

Try your flambe again on Old Calendar Christmas 1/7/07.  can't hurt  Cheesy
Logged

Save us o' Son of God, who art risen from the dead, as we sing to thee Alleluia!
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2006, 09:22:05 PM »

Riddikulus:

Try your flambe again on Old Calendar Christmas 1/7/07.  can't hurt  Cheesy

LOL - What a great idea!!
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
lubeltri
Latin Catholic layman
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Boston
Posts: 3,795



« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2006, 09:31:22 PM »

Ah, no. Perhaps I missed that instruction. Now, I have to wait until next Christmas to try again!

In a fit of laziness and lack of confidence in my cooking abilities, I bought my Christmas pudding. At least you tried!
Logged
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2006, 09:46:23 PM »

In a fit of laziness and lack of confidence in my cooking abilities, I bought my Christmas pudding. At least you tried!

Well, I was trying to be a "Kitchen Goddess"!  Grin

I even had the camera ready to take a snap-shot of what should have been a towering inferno. One of the kids was so hopeful, they had a fire extinguisher handy. Don't you just love optimists?!

Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Online Online

Posts: 29,365


« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2006, 05:20:26 AM »

Insomnia again. So, I scanned over the canons (in wordpad), and didn't come up with much. Basil the Great (Canons 4 and 80) speaks of "polygamy," but apparently means by that a third legal marriage, and not multiple simultaneous marriages. Basil gives those who marry a third time a penance of 2-4 years exclusion from communion. The same general position is given at NeoCaesarea (Canon 3).
Logged

There are many foolish priests out there.
AMM
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 2,076


« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2006, 08:58:07 AM »

vodka does not ensure a successfully flambed Christmas pud.

Alrighty.
Logged
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2006, 01:10:44 PM »

Though it is difficult to take the early imperial laws in regard to and canonical and scriptural teachings and regulations concerning marriage with any seriousness because they are essentially no more than a dogmatization of a father's or husband's archaic property rights, at least the laws of the Imperium are reasonable on this account.

This issue is not directly addressed in the received canons of the Church, but this should not be surprising since the concept of polygamy was so foreign to the Church and the Empire that the mere thought of it was abhorrent. This is why basil likened multiple marriages to polygamy and the condemnation of which is found in no uncertain terms in his 80th canon:

'The Fathers passed over the question of polygamy in silence, as something bestial and utterly foreign to the human race. But to us it presents itself as a worse sin than fornication.'

Likewise, the Code of Justinian states, (Book V, Title v, Section 2)

'The Emperors Diocletian and Maximum to Sebastiana.

It is a matter of common notoriety that no one who is subject to the jurisdiction of the Roman Empire can have two wives at once; as, by the Edict of the Praetor, men of this description are branded with infamy, and a competent judge will not suffer a crime of this kind to go unpunished.'

Even the pagan Emperors understood the vileness of polygamy and condemned it outright. And the manner in which it was condemned is also noteworthy, it presented the condemnation as a matter of common sense and drew into question the competence of any judge who did not punish the crime; essentially making it criminal to not punish the crime.

On top of this there are the ecclesiological implications of having multiple husbands or wives...are there two Christs or two Churches? If the Church were to condone a polygamous marriage it would be essentially making a theological proclamation that there are multiple Churches.

In such a situation as the original post presents, it would seem that the Church has little choice save to either require the polygamist to leave all save his first wife (as all subsequent marriages can never be said to have even existed) or, if he refuses to do so, refuse him entry into the Church until he repents and changes his ways.

As to the question of whether or not the man would be obliged to support his other 'wives,' the answer is no in accordance with the principle set forth in the Code of Justinian (Book V, Title iii, Section 5):

'The Emperors Valerian and Gallienus to Theodora.

You cannot legally recover anything which the person who pretended to be unmarried promised you as his betrothed, and who at the time that he asked you to marry him had another wife at home, as you are not his betrothed, for the reason that he already had a wife.'
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,440


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2006, 01:16:44 PM »

The Catholic Church has very detailed directions for this actually: if none of the spouses also converts, he must stay married to the senior wife and provide for the others.

if one converts with him, he should stay with her.

If all convert, he should stay with the senior, again, providing for the rest.

I don't see how it could be any different in Orthodoxy--what priest or bishop would bless a man to commit adultery like this? One can only have one spouse.  the Russians don't bless marriages of converts, usually, the Eucharist being seen as that which seals the natural marriage.  If we follow this line of reasoning, since God made the first man monogamous, this is the pattern for all, and the "natural law" if you will.  Of course I prefer Greek practice, which is a of course a development, where marriages of converts are crowned in the Church after baptism.  That's how it was for me, and I thank God often for this grace.

Anastasios
« Last Edit: December 28, 2006, 01:19:08 PM by Anastasios » Logged

Met. Demetrius's Enthronement

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2006, 04:42:04 PM »

Even the pagan Emperors understood the vileness of polygamy and condemned it outright.

It would appear that Nero fell off the wagon, big-time! Shocked

Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2006, 04:51:57 PM »

The Catholic Church has very detailed directions for this actually: if none of the spouses also converts, he must stay married to the senior wife and provide for the others.

if one converts with him, he should stay with her.

If all convert, he should stay with the senior, again, providing for the rest.

I don't see how it could be any different in Orthodoxy--what priest or bishop would bless a man to commit adultery like this? One can only have one spouse. 

This was the feeling of our little symposium. No one was so wanton as to suggest that a man should continue to provide all with conjugal rights of the sexual nature, but certainly with the necessities of life, charity and financial support. Surely, it would be completely immoral if the lesser wives and their offspring should be cast into the streets?
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Online Online

Posts: 29,365


« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2006, 05:09:12 PM »

Quote
since God made the first man monogamous, this is the pattern for all, and the "natural law" if you will

Leaving aside the highly questionable speculation (if you believe Gen. to be literally true) that Adam was monogamous, are you seriously arguing that men are "naturally" monogamous?
Logged

There are many foolish priests out there.
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2006, 06:03:23 PM »

It would appear that Nero fell off the wagon, big-time! Shocked

There's a reason (actually several) he was assassinated.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2006, 06:13:50 PM »

Leaving aside the highly questionable speculation (if you believe Gen. to be literally true) that Adam was monogamous, are you seriously arguing that men are "naturally" monogamous?

It would appear in the Old Testament, they were anything but monogamous. In fact the Levitical Law stipulates polygyny. (Leviticus 25, from memory.) And there seems to be no restrictions on multiple wives in the Law, except that one shouldn't overdo it. What that means exactly is rather nebulous. It has been suggested that David was on track, but Solomon wasn't. Considering the huge numerical differences here, this certainly leaves a lot of leighway.

The practice of taking multiple wives was still the situation at the time of Christ. That St Paul needs to stipulate that an elder or deacon should be the husband of one wife clearly suggests that Jewish converts had been previously practicing polygyny; even if only in the sense of fulfilling the obligations of the Law by taking a deceased brother's childless wife and impregnating her on behalf of the dead brother.

This might not be the perfect situation according to our modern thinking, but it doesn't seem to be considered immoral or adultery by God who, through Moses instigates the Law in the first place. That being the case, I'm not sure how any pagan male converting with multiple wives under a previous legal/religious system could have been seen as a problem - apart from the fact that he could never been an elder or deacon. Should it be any different today?

The Romans, certainly the upper-crust, though they might have considered simultaneous mulitple wives a problem for various legal reasons, didn't seem to flinch from adultary and rapidly divorcing any wives that didn't suit. But that's another story.  Grin
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2006, 06:20:11 PM »

The Catholic Church has very detailed directions for this actually: if none of the spouses also converts, he must stay married to the senior wife and provide for the others.

if one converts with him, he should stay with her.

If all convert, he should stay with the senior, again, providing for the rest.

I don't see how it could be any different in Orthodoxy--what priest or bishop would bless a man to commit adultery like this? One can only have one spouse.

I certainly agree with the prohibition of polygamy, but I take issue with some of the details. Only the first marriage could be regarded as valid, thus if the 'senior wife' were to not convert and another did, the church would essentially be demanding he get a divorce then remarry to the woman who converted, which would be in direct contrast to the instruction of St. Paul:

'But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.'

Furthermore, as to the obligation to support the other 'wives,' if there was offspring then it is perfectly reasonable that the father be expected to care for them in accordance with imperial law. If, however, there was no offspring, a marriage can never be said to have existed between the man and all save his 'senior wife,' the other 'marriages' are by definition null and void, thus while such support may be a kind thing to do it can in no way be demanded...as laid down in the imperial law I stated above.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2006, 06:21:14 PM »

There's a reason (actually several) he was assassinated.

Actually, he committed an assisted suicide. And issues more pressing than his bedroom gymnastics were the reason he fell from favour.  Wink
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2006, 06:25:06 PM »

Leaving aside the highly questionable speculation (if you believe Gen. to be literally true) that Adam was monogamous, are you seriously arguing that men are "naturally" monogamous?

Define 'naturally,' do you mean originally? Of course not, we evolved as a polygamous species as witnessed by the physical (not meaning reproductive) differences between men and women (something not generally to the same degree found in monogamous species). However, we also evolved a reasonable intellect (or, at least, some of us did Grin)...and what reasonable man would want to put up with more than one wife Wink lol...but seriously there are several social advantages to monogamy which we are able to embrace because of our (naturally) evolved reasoning abilities.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
suzannes
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 97



« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2006, 10:59:27 PM »

AH HA!! I have actually heard about an African priest who converted.  He stayed married to his "senior wife," and does continue to support the others.  He comes to the US sometimes to raise funds for his church, which I think might be in Nigeria.  He's in Rocor.

Why are you using vodka???  Use brandy.
Logged
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,440


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2006, 11:09:10 PM »

It would appear in the Old Testament, they were anything but monogamous. In fact the Levitical Law stipulates polygyny. (Leviticus 25, from memory.) And there seems to be no restrictions on multiple wives in the Law, except that one shouldn't overdo it. What that means exactly is rather nebulous. It has been suggested that David was on track, but Solomon wasn't. Considering the huge numerical differences here, this certainly leaves a lot of leighway.

The practice of taking multiple wives was still the situation at the time of Christ. That St Paul needs to stipulate that an elder or deacon should be the husband of one wife clearly suggests that Jewish converts had been previously practicing polygyny; even if only in the sense of fulfilling the obligations of the Law by taking a deceased brother's childless wife and impregnating her on behalf of the dead brother.

This might not be the perfect situation according to our modern thinking, but it doesn't seem to be considered immoral or adultery by God who, through Moses instigates the Law in the first place. That being the case, I'm not sure how any pagan male converting with multiple wives under a previous legal/religious system could have been seen as a problem - apart from the fact that he could never been an elder or deacon. Should it be any different today?

The Romans, certainly the upper-crust, though they might have considered simultaneous mulitple wives a problem for various legal reasons, didn't seem to flinch from adultary and rapidly divorcing any wives that didn't suit. But that's another story.  Grin

Read more into the cases when people were monogomous or polygymous in the OT. Those who ventured into polygamy found perenial problems (Jacob for instance and Abraham when he strayed).  Those who maintained one wife were blessed. Read beyond the lines my friend. Jesus teaches us that some things were given to us out of dispensation (i.e. divorce) in the OT.  That doesn't mean it was BLESSED.

Anastasios
Logged

Met. Demetrius's Enthronement

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2006, 11:16:04 PM »

Why are you using vodka???  Use brandy.

I've used brandy in the past, but apparently vodka burns longer. Who knows!! LOL
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2006, 11:25:01 PM »

Read more into the cases when people were monogomous or polygymous in the OT. Those who ventured into polygamy found perenial problems (Jacob for instance and Abraham when he strayed).  Those who maintained one wife were blessed. Read beyond the lines my friend. Jesus teaches us that some things were given to us out of dispensation (i.e. divorce) in the OT.  That doesn't mean it was BLESSED.

Anastasios,

Doesn't really answer any of my points.
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,440


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2006, 12:50:29 AM »

Anastasios,

Doesn't really answer any of my points.

I think it does--I think it reframes your points entirely.  Jesus reframed the law, by saying things like divorce were only a condenscension.  Polygamy as well was such--and the evidence is analyzing the actual relations as they are recorded in scripture. Who was happy and who was not?
Logged

Met. Demetrius's Enthronement

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Online Online

Posts: 29,365


« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2006, 12:58:21 AM »

Quote
Polygamy as well was such--and the evidence is analyzing the actual relations as they are recorded in scripture. Who was happy and who was not?

Good idea, I'll do just that. Smiley
Logged

There are many foolish priests out there.
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2006, 01:01:21 AM »

I think it does--I think it reframes your points entirely.  Jesus reframed the law, by saying things like divorce were only a condenscension.  Polygamy as well was such--and the evidence is analyzing the actual relations as they are recorded in scripture. Who was happy and who was not?

My question has absolutely NOTHING to do with whether or not the polygynous convert was happy or not, but what the church does with regard to their multiplicity of wives.

And though Jesus reframes the Law, the Jewish convert would have been living under the law, not the reframed law; a law which required him to marry the childless wife of his dead brother should such a need arise. People don't convert in vacuums, they have a history to address and baggage - some of that baggage could be an extra wife or two.
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #33 on: December 30, 2006, 01:04:31 AM »

And though Jesus reframes the Law, the Jewish convert would have been living under the law, not the reframed law; a law which required him to marry the childless wife of his dead brother should such a need arise. People don't convert in vacuums, they have a history to address and baggage - some of that baggage could be an extra wife or two.

And in response to your question I presented the canonical and legal tradition of the Church. A polygamous marriage could no more be blessed by the Church than a homosexual marriage.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #34 on: December 30, 2006, 01:14:54 AM »

And in response to your question I presented the canonical and legal tradition of the Church. A polygamous marriage could no more be blessed by the Church than a homosexual marriage.

Yes, thank you. I read your explanation. However, the conversation is a moving feast.
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #35 on: December 30, 2006, 02:08:15 AM »

Yes, thank you. I read your explanation. However, the conversation is a moving feast.


That it is, and since your questions had already been answered Anastasios decided to move on to other, related but different, issues that had presented themselves.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #36 on: December 30, 2006, 02:21:04 AM »

That it is, and since your questions had already been answered Anastasios decided to move on to other, related but different, issues that had presented themselves.

And thus I was addressing Anastasios. I'm grateful that you stepped in to remind me - not that I had forgotten  Smiley - that you had addressed my points. However, it seemed that Anastasios was not doing so and was taking the dialogue into points that I had not raised; as if I had. Perhaps I misunderstood and if I am mistaken I do apologise.

Again, I thank you, and let me assure you that I much appreciate your scholarship. But I'm sure that Anastasios and I are able to converse on this topic without the need for a mediator.  If it should arise that we cannot, I will drop the topic immediately.

Eirini pasi.
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #37 on: December 30, 2006, 02:36:42 AM »

Again, I thank you, and let me assure you that I much appreciate your scholarship. But I'm sure that Anastasios and I are able to converse on this topic without the need for a mediator.  If it should arise that we cannot, I will drop the topic immediately.

If you would like a private conversation, may I recommend the personal message function? Smiley
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #38 on: December 30, 2006, 02:44:00 AM »

If you would like a private conversation, may I recommend the personal message function? Smiley

Thank you once again for a useful post. But it would be a shame to take the conversation private, just in case there was anything new that anyone felt they might like to contribute without feeling the need to act as mediator. Smiley

 
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,440


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2006, 12:54:57 PM »

Riddikulus,

I'm sorry, I am on vacation, checking in infrequently, and when I write posts on the forum I "think out loud" and wander to and fro.  For some, that is highly annoying, and I understand that. I seem to have missed your stated intention in my hurried response so I apologize for that.  For me, I often like to take things to another level or a different place and fork the argument off to all of its interesting subfacets.  I thought I had already made my point clear above, when I said the Church would never bless a polygymous marriage.  I'm sorry I didn't elaborate further on that point and instead moved over to the (far more interesting to me) subject of whether polygamy in the OT really was blessed by God.

Anastasios
Logged

Met. Demetrius's Enthronement

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2006, 05:19:29 PM »

Riddikulus,

I'm sorry, I am on vacation, checking in infrequently, and when I write posts on the forum I "think out loud" and wander to and fro.  For some, that is highly annoying, and I understand that. I seem to have missed your stated intention in my hurried response so I apologize for that.  For me, I often like to take things to another level or a different place and fork the argument off to all of its interesting subfacets.  I thought I had already made my point clear above, when I said the Church would never bless a polygymous marriage.  I'm sorry I didn't elaborate further on that point and instead moved over to the (far more interesting to me) subject of whether polygamy in the OT really was blessed by God.

Anastasios

Anastasios,

Let me assure you that you haven't annoyed me in the slightest. And if I have in anyway annoyed you, please accept my apologies. I, too, tend to think of my feet and the issue has possibly grown a little broader than I orginially envisaged.

However, polygamy certainly wasn't blessed or stipulated by God. Polygamy is having multiple partners of both sexes - which would involve bi-sexuality. Polygyny concerns a male taking multiple wives and the OT certainly allows for such a practice in the Levitical Law. As I said, it actually stipulates it.

Without going too much further on the topic, for fear that is likely to become emotional, my question would be; why would the early Church, with its roots in the OT, be so horrified by polygyny? For the Apostles, it would have been something they would have witnessed within their Jewish society; and most certainly amongst their Jewish Christian brethren.

GiC made the point that the Romans objected to such a practice. He's quite right, though I doubt that their view was out of concern for womankind, and the Greeks would be even less inclined to care about the comfort-level of their women.  Smiley And to say that a polygynous male should be refused entry into the Church would go against the practices of the very early Church.

Could the position of later Church fathers (though such opinions do seem thin on the ground) be largely because of some social overlay, it being an imperialistic "dogma" rather than a spiritual one? The whole concept of insisting - if, in fact, anyone did - that a man walk away from the responsibilities of lesser wives and his children by them sounds utterly cold and immoral. And to deny that they are his responsibilities because he was a pagan when undertaking them, seems an abhorrent side-stepping around the very real misery that the decision of abandonment could bring. At the very least, continued financial support seems in order - if not as wives, but as dependants. No doubt, in the kind of societies that still practice polgyny such cast-off women would be considered "spoilt goods"; their children bastards. They would, in affect, be considered worse than lepers. 

Please let me make it clear that I am, in no way, advocating the practice of polygyny. This is purely interesting from a historical and social point of view. As ours aren't the only societies in the world and the Church must encounter such cases in far-flung places, it seems a good exercise to mentally step outside our own social boundaries to consider issues that might offend our own inbred sensitivities. In this spirit, it is interesting to consider how modern-day bishops and priests do juggle such a hot potato.

If I have caused any offence by raising this topic, please accept my apologies. I tend to approach controversial topics in a very pragmatic fashion. I often forget that, in this respect - and probably many others, I'm an odd-ball! Grin



« Last Edit: December 30, 2006, 05:21:24 PM by Riddikulus » Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Online Online

Posts: 29,365


« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2006, 06:07:48 PM »

Fwiw, if I haven't completely lost credibility on this thread  Cool, I'd like to add something. There was the widespread (and from our POV somewhat strange) belief in the early Church that the earth had been populated, as the Scripture commanded, and thus there was no pressing need to have more children. This was one of the justifications for Christians choosing virginity, or even abstaining from sex within marriage, but it could also be a justification for discontinuing polygyny. I think it is a legit question to ask whether "the position of later Church fathers [are] largely because of some social overlay". Some seem to think that early Christian sexual beliefs have more to do with belief systems like stoicism than the Judeo-Christian tradition. At least some beliefs didn't seem to be very well accepted by most Christians, as a couple Fathers admit, such as Jerome:

Quote
You have compelled me, my dear Nepotian, in spite of the castigation which my treatise on Virginity has had to endure; the one which I wrote for the saintly Eustochium at Rome. You have compelled me after ten years have passed once more to open my mouth at Bethlehem and to expose myself to the stabs of every tongue. For I could only escape from criticism by writing nothing, a course made impossible by your request. - Jerome, Letter 52, 17; cf Augustine, On The Good of Marriage, 15

I am not implying, of course, that people disliking something shows that it isn't helpful, or that it wasn't practiced at all. However, there does seem to be evidence that then, as now, many Christians didn't follow Christian moral guidelines as given by various authorities. It was not simply a matter of "Oh, John Chrysostom said to get rid of jewelry and makeup? Well out it goes then!" Fwiw, here's another passage from Augustine, in which he says that people should not have more than one wife because the earth is already filled, and thus there is no need to have even one wife (if you can take that path), and if you do have to take a wife there is no "duty" to fill the earth (though of course Augustine would argue that you have to be open to having children).

Quote
Clearly with the good will of the wife to take another woman, that from her may be born sons common to both, by the sexual intercourse and seed of the one, but by the right and power of the other, was lawful among the ancient fathers: whether it be lawful now also, I would not hastily pronounce. For there is not now necessity of begetting children, as there then was, when, even when wives bare children, it was allowed, in order to a more numerous posterity, to marry other wives in addition, which now is certainly not lawful. For the difference that separates times causes the due season to have so great force unto the justice and doing or not doing any thing, that now a man does better, if he marry not even one wife, unless he be unable to contain. But then they married even several without any blame, even those who could much more easily contain, were it not that piety at that time had another demand upon them. For, as the wise and just man, who now desires to be dissolved and to be with Christ, and takes more pleasure in this, the best, now not from desire of living here, but from duty of being useful, takes food that he may remain in the flesh, which is necessary for the sake of others; so to have intercourse with females in right of marriage, was to holy men at that time a matter of duty not of lust. - On the Good of Marriage, 17
« Last Edit: December 30, 2006, 06:08:45 PM by Asteriktos » Logged

There are many foolish priests out there.
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #42 on: December 30, 2006, 06:32:36 PM »

Asteriktos,

You certainly haven't lost credibility with me and I appreciate your taking the time to add very interesting and helpful information.

I'm going to mull over issues as I dash about the place preparing for hordes of friends and relatives who will arriving tonight to celebrate the New Year.

Once again, thanks to all for their contributions - and best wishes for Happy New Year to you all! 
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
William
Warned
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Posts: 4,306


« Reply #43 on: August 16, 2013, 10:32:58 PM »

Didn't this happen with Alaskan natives?
Logged

Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. - Matt. 5:24
Shanghaiski
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 7,964


Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #44 on: August 16, 2013, 11:04:44 PM »

Didn't this happen with Alaskan natives?

Yes. The Church had them choose one to live with as a wife. The others were to be treated as sisters. It was still the man's responsibility to financially support them.
Logged

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
Tags: polyamory marriage 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.136 seconds with 72 queries.