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Nigerian Archbishop: Polygamy Makes a Mockery of Christians

Polygamy isn't limited to America, where a second child was born to an underage member of the FLDS in custody. Archbishop Peter Akinola, the leader of Nigeria's Anglican Church, is telling Christian polygamists to cut out the big love.

Nigeria is religiously divided: the north is predominately Muslim, while the south is mostly Christian and animist. As a sort of recruiting tool, Muslims converting to Christianity were allowed to maintain their polygamist lifestyle.

Not any more. In a letter to his congregation, which includes 17.5 million Nigerians, the Archbishop wrote:

The observation [of polygamy] will destroy our witness if not firmly addressed. We cannot claim to be a Bible-believing church and yet be selective in our obedience.

Women that give up the polygamous lifestyle — which the Archbishop says is necessary — often remain single, even though they are free to remarry in the church. Their children remain with their ex-husbands.

Should women converts be forced to separate from their husbands and leave their families? Since Christians inevitably are selective in what they follow in a sometimes contradicting Bible, should an exception be made for Muslims who want to convert, but don't want to break up their families? Or, should these converts accept monogamy as a crucial tenant to the faith to which they hope to convert?

Source

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jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
I have no philosophical issue with polygamy. It's not for me, but I don't see any fundamental wrongs there.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I would like to repeat a post from an earlier polygamy discussion. "I don't understand why any man would want to take on more than one wife. It's bad enough to disappoint on woman, let alone three or four."
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 9 years
I just disagree with the polygamy actions all together.
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 9 years
Q--Should women converts be forced to separate from their husbands and leave their families? A--I think St Paul pretty much tells converts of his day to remain in their marriages. I don't think there were additional spouses, though. This is something that I would refer to the highest Church authority . . . in my case, the Roman Catholic Church . . . to decide. Q--Since Christians inevitably are selective in what they follow in a sometimes contradicting Bible, should an exception be made for Muslims who want to convert, but don't want to break up their families? A--Don't know what Christians you're describing, but as a Roman Catholic, there is no 'cafeteria' of beliefs I can choose or disregard. I either believe it all, or I am free to move on. Just because people like Sen. Kennedy, Speaker Pelosi, and Sen. Kerry remain in The Church and accept the Eucharist publicly, doesn't mean that what they are doing is acceptable by The Church. They did not receive from Pope Benedict XVI when he was here and he would have probably denied them, had they done so and had he known who they were at the time. People are free to damn their own souls no matter what they say they believe. Q--Or, should these converts accept monogamy as a crucial tenant to the faith to which they hope to convert? A--Again, it would be up to the leaders and authority of the church to which the Muslims convert to make that decision. I would imagine that the polygamy would stop with the converts and their children not perpetuate polygamy. Roman Catholic Church doctrine is not something that is decided by popular vote. It's based on Scripture, other early Church writings, and Tradition. What other religions and faith communities do may be based on whim or vote, I don't know.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I'd like to know which author you're referring to as having never existed... :)
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
I did not disagree with you that there are many interpretations, I asked to explain your interpretation. Seems like you make comments that you don't want challenged, which is fine, but don't get pissy if you do get challenged. And I don't see how I spoke for you at all. Maybe you should reread what was written. IF you don't see it as being charitable, but being only poor should get into heaven, then I am wrong, so explain your interpretation to me. How is that a lot to ask on a DISCUSSION board? Also, how did the author never exist? That statement makes no sense whatsoever.
syako syako 9 years
who Mark? Matthew? or Luke?
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Well, Cine sort of took it upon herself to speak for me so it was a misguided effort on her part to begin with. There really is no debate. I see a statement one way, and she sees it another way and since the author of the text never existed, it's sort of hard to get confirmation.
syako syako 9 years
Well when you disagree, normally you offer a counterpoint. But whatev... (which is what cine did...)
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Sometimes I think you guys just like to argue for its own sake. All I said was that the bible can be widely interpreted and you turned it into a debate. Okay, so the bible can't be widely interpreted. You win. It must only be interpreted your way.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
WooHoo!! :medal:
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
"You need to look at the whole story. ie: Who was Jesus talking to when he made that comment? Picking single lines to base interpretation is like taking a 30 second sound bite out of a 2 hour conversation. It can be made to show the exact opposite of what was actually being said." Well said UnDave! I hate when people do this. You get a medal :medal:
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I agree with you Cine, about the interpretation of that verse. That's the trouble with picking out verses and interpreting one or two. You need to look at the whole story. ie: Who was Jesus talking to when he made that comment? Picking single lines to base interpretation is like taking a 30 second sound bite out of a 2 hour conversation. It can be made to show the exact opposite of what was actually being said.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Rac - can you sponsor me. :lol:
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Okay. SO I suppose since I don't live in poverty, I am going to hell. According to your profile, you make $250 K plus. I guess get ready for some heat. If I am getting this wrong, please feel free to explain your interpretation, I mean you did say you were Catholic, so you must have given it some thought.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I disagree, Cine. But isn't that the great thing about the bible? There's so much room for interpretation! :moo:
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
It's their church so I guess they get to decide what is and is not ok for parishioners - new converts and long time members alike. As for me, I have a hard time picturing Jesus sending people away or separating mothers and children simply because their previous religion allowed them to have more than one wife. Of course, while he may have accepted hookers with love, he did expect them to discontinue the hooking. So, I can see that the bishop is not saying we will not accept you but rather we cannot have you continue on with behavior we consider to be unsavory. But, the consequences to the families and the likelihood that people will avoid the church seem to outweigh the positives here, in my personal opinion. Zeze - I think countries that have had violent strife, civil wars, and tribal conflicts as well as poverty for long periods of time are going to tend to have more women than men in general and fewer men with the resources to properly support a family.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
"And a lot of Christians seem to forget that part about entering heaven for a rich man is as hard as a camel passing through the eye of a needle." I would say a majority of Christians don't forget this. And this verse is not to say that you need to be poor to enter Heaven, it means to be charitable.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Well since polygamy revolves around the male I would imagine women would not have to leave their husbands because as long as they’re true to their husbands they are having a monogamous relationship. Men on the other hand would have to pick one.
Imani33 Imani33 9 years
It's hard to say what they should do, because the newly converted Christians could sight the Old Testament for them keep up their polygamists lifestyle (i.e. King Solomon).....Personally I don't believe in polygamy but I do believe in keeping families together....
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Rac, I still love you. I love that you are using emoticons.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I agree bella, I think Syako and I, once again, crossed signals. In the land of the emoticons, there is no such confusion. :pet:
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Syako, that makes sense and I completely agree. Raciccarone, I get where you're coming from; but most religious denominations and/or sects have a central belief from the faith. If a religious house is going against their base religion then it is not a true follower of the religion. For an example, some Muslims do not believe or acknowledge the Nation of Islam as a denomination/sect of the Muslim faith. Now the followers of this religion believe that they are but some Muslim faiths do not acknowledge and some actually denounce the followers and their teachings.
syako syako 9 years
sounds like a plan! :cookie:
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Oh. Well then let's just sit back and enjoy some emoticons. :oops:
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