(from a biblical perspective)

Where in the Bible does it say that polygamy is not allowed?

The Bible's stance on polygamy is best demonstrated in its proclamation of God's ideal for marriage. From the very beginning of Creation, His ideal was one man, one woman. Anything beyond this, while at times tolerated by God, was never instituted by God. The hardships and heartache that resulted from polygamy are also clearly presented (see the life of Jacob in Genesis 29 and following). God's dim view of the polygamist lifestyle can also be seen in his prohibition that the king should amass a harem (see Deuteronomy 17:17). And the New Testament clearly shows that polygamy is not a lifestyle becoming a leader in the church (see 1 Timothy 3). Elsewhere in Jesus' teachings (e.g., Matthew 19), the one-husband, one-wife marriage is presented as God's expectation and goal for marriage.

The issue with fundamentalism, however, is that the claim is made that God commands polygamy, a claim which is completely untenable, biblically speaking. God's attitude toward polygamy in the Bible is at best patient forebearance (just as he patiently deals with all of us, and does not treat us as our sins deserve). In no way can the argument be made from the Bible that God condones, encourages, or commands polygamy.

For a more in-depth study on polygamy in the Bible, we invite you to check out this web page.

How do Mormon Fundamentalists view the Bible?

It's difficult to paint all groups (or even individuals) with the same brush, but generally speaking, the Fundamentalists take the same stance on the Bible that the early LDS Church took--that the Bible is unreliable, that not all of it has been translated correctly, and that the revelation found in Mormon scriptures and from Mormon prophets supercedes whatever may be written in the Bible.

There are those fundamentalist groups that for all intents and purposes forbid the use or even possession of a Bible; others may not take such a hard stance, but will still view the Bible as suspect at best.

Fundamentalists may use portions of the Bible that would appear to support (or at least not contradict) their doctrine. For example, they will point to the fact that the Old Testament patriarchs and men of God often had more than one wife as substantiating God's approval of the practice.

Can Mormon Fundamentalists be considered "Christian"?

Only if you drastically redefine the term "Christian" from what the word has meant for some 2,000 years. Like the mainline LDS Church, the doctrines and teachings of Mormon Fundamentalism are drastically different from the teachings of biblical, historical Christianity--including such basic things as the nature of God, the nature of man, the nature of Jesus Christ, the means of salvation, all of which are core issues of Christianity. For more information on the differences between Mormon doctrine and Biblical doctrine, click here.

One difference between mainline LDS and the Mormon Fundamentalists is that the fundamentalists usually do not shy away from those doctrines that distinguish them from biblical Christianity. Some of the doctrines--such as the teaching that God was once a man, and that men can become Gods--are taught in both mainline Mormon and fundamentalist groups; however, mainline Mormons are much more sensitive to how these doctrines sound to biblical ears, and so are often reluctant to publicly own up to them. The Fundamentalists, on the other hand, make no excuse for these doctrines.

Does Shield and Refuge require that the people they help embrace biblical Christianity?

Absolutely not. It is of course our hope and desire that they will, and we will do all we can to present the truth of the biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ to them. But our love, concern, and desire to help these people is not at all dependent upon a person's choice to accept or not accept the message of the Bible. Our motivation is to extend the love of Jesus to them, recognizing fully that not all will embrace Him.


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A Shield and Refuge is a ministry of
Main Street Church of Brigham City

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