I really hesitated to write this article for The Encourager. There is a sense in which this subject is political more than spiritual and thus, fits better on the radio show than it does in a church bulletin. But, I couldn’t get over how much this story dovetails with our current preaching series. On Sunday mornings we are asking the question, “To whom shall we go?” in relation to using the Bible as our only rule for faith, worship, and practice in our lives. The idea is, in church matters, if we leave the authority of the Scriptures, then who decides what sound Christian teaching is? In this instance, the same kind of moral relativism that gave us homosexual marriage has opened Pandora’s box and now polygamy has re-emerged.
A Utah bill that would put polygamy on par with a traffic ticket passed the state House last week and is now in the Senate for approval. Utah was forced to make the practice a felony in 1890 as a prerequisite for statehood. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints promoted polygamy prior to the change in the law and an estimated 30,000 Mormons continue to live in marriages with multiple partners to this day1.
So, how does this fit into a lesson about biblical authority? When you remove the standard of right and wrong for one thing, it always results in unintended consequences. The return of polygamy is the unintended consequence of our nation’s disastrous decision to legalize homosexual marriage. Don’t believe me? Here is what Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his dissent to the 2015 case of Obergefell v. Hodges:
“The truth is that today’s decision rests on nothing more than the majority’s own conviction that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry because they want to, and that ‘it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right.’”
“Although the majority randomly inserts the adjective “two” in various places, it offers no reason at all why the two-person element of the core definition of marriage may be preserved while the man-woman element may not. Indeed, from the standpoint of history and tradition, a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some cultures around the world. If the majority is willing to take the big leap, it is hard to see how it can say no to the shorter one. It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage. If ‘[t]here is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices,’ why would there be any less dignity in the bond between three people who, in exercising their autonomy, seek to make the profound choice to marry? If a same-sex couple has the constitutional right to marry because their children would otherwise ‘suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser,’ why wouldn’t the same reasoning apply to a family of three or more persons raising children?”-SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts
Roberts correctly predicted opening the door to one perversion of God’s will for mankind, would allow others to burst through. The same principle applies when we accommodate sin in our ranks. As Christians and local churches we must cling to the word of God. We must teach and practice only, “what accords with sound doctrine.”-Titus 2:1. Jesus says, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”-Matthew 7:24. To the rock let us cling!
1 Romo, Vanessa. “Utah Bill Decriminalizing Polygamy Clears First Hurdle, Moves To State Senate.” npr.org. National Public Radio. 12 Feb. 2020, Accessed 13 Feb. 2020.