Friday, May 09, 2008

Akinola links Polygamists to his anti-lgbt stance

I read the following recently:

Archbishop Peter J. Akinola has broken his long silence regarding the increasing practice of polygamy in Nigeria. Last week Akinola called for an Anglican ban on polygamy in Nigeria.

"'Those of us who are in the forefront of the prophetic call for a return to Biblical truth, cannot close our eyes to the increasingly blatant disregard for the teaching of the Bible on family life,'Archbishop Peter Akinola stressed.

"He warned that any attempt to trivialise the Bible's teaching on monogamy as the ultimate standard for the Christian family 'will make a mockery of whatever else we stand for.

"'Sadly, sometimes, even our leadership has looked the other way on this matter'."

See the article at

This was immediately followed by this question:

Can anyone point me to a place in scripture that bans polygamy?

Many of the posts attempted to answer this question and I see that none of them have touched on the evangelical basis for marriage which is in Genesis 2:24: " For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."

This is the basis of any claim that monogamy is God's will since the beginning of time.

IMO, in turning his attention to polygamy, Akinola is doing a few things. For one, he may have misinterpreted his critics who say things like "What, he makes this huge fuss over gays and yet allows polygamy?"

For another, he may be tacitly admitting that he lost the battle over gays and now turns his attention to another issue. Clearly readers of this list do not need to be informed of the potential violence women and their children may experience.

What I have always understood and would be grateful to have my information corrected if I am in error, is that it has been the policy of African bishops to allow a convert to Christianity to retain all his wives in order to protect them from lives of prostitution, slavery etc that would otherwise be their certain lot if they were cast off or returned to their parents. Not to mention what would happen to the children.

IMO, one of the most problematic issues with evangelicalism is the second class citizenship of women and children. I am a graduate of an evangelical seminary north of Boston, MA and I cannot tell you the number of cases where the student husband beat his wife or the kids would be locked in closets. I was in group therapy with a woman who drove 200 miles round trip to be in our group because her abusive husband was a prominent leader among evangelicals. She begged me not to ever say anything because the "evangelical community is so small in New England."

I am no longer evangelical and I also realize that evangelicals have not cornered the market on battered wives and abused kids. Islam's history of the treatment of women has been pretty horrific. According to a survey I read recently the other fastest growing religion in the world ,The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, holds the record in the USA for the highest incidence of wife beating.

One of my professors at seminary, David Scholer, taught stuff which robbed him of any chance at tenure at my seminary. He taught was that the witness of the New Testament and Paul in particular and indeed the Creation account, is of equality among the genders, that a true Christian marriage is an egalitarian one. Among Christians there are no divisions like ethnicity, gender, status, all are one in Christ Jesus.

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