HISTORY OF MONOGAMY
MONOGAMY IS AS OLD AS ADAM
MONOGAMY AND SHOULD-BE MONOGAMY
SOME HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
THE ROMAN EMPIRE AND THE ROMAN CHURCH
CATHOLIC PRIESTS WERE MONOGAMOUS AND POLYGAMOUS BUT MADE CELIBATE
CELIBACY AND ASCETICISM PROPAGATED AS HOLINESS
ROMANS WERE NOTORIOUSLY MONOGAMOUS
MONOGAMY PROPAGATED THROUGH CHRISTIANITY AND WESTERN SUPREMACY
MARTIN LUTHER CHALLENGED SHOULD-BE MONOGAMY
THE POWER BEHIND THE SHOULD-BE MONOGAMY
MONOGAMY AND THE MODERN WORLD
MONOGAMY, FEMINISM AND HOMOSEXUALITY
THE APPEAL OF MONOGAMY EXCLUSIVENESS OF ROMANISM
MONOGAMY AND ROMANTIC
MONOGAMY, ROMANISM AND ROMAN CATHOLICISM
MONOGAMY AND PROTESTANTISM
THE CONCLUSION MONOGAMY IS AS OLD AS ADAM
Monogamy is as old as Adam. But thats not the real issue. From the beginning, through the generations, even to this day, monogamy, polygamy and celibacy are known forms of marital status, and of course rising up strong is "homogamy", the old time abhorred practice of homosexuality which is once again fighting for recognition and acceptance. What is in question here is how and when monogamy began to be imposed as the only right form of marriage acceptable to God and man. MONOGAMY AND SHOULD-BE MONOGAMY
The practice of faithful monogamy stipulates that a man can marry only one wife at any one time in his life. Even though the various forms of marriages have been practiced through the generations, monogamy has emerged to become law in some countries today, such that the legal registration of more than one wife become a violation. This is termed "Should-be" or "must-be" monogamy.
The first instances of such widespread enforcement were in Western Europe and it eventually gained worldwide acceptance in the modern world, especially in the Western Hemisphere. How did it happen? More so, how did it become known as the only acceptable standard to the God of the Bible when so many of the Bibles founding patriarchs were openly polygamous? The answer of course would be one of greatest concern to Christians. And it will be an interesting but a very tragic one.SOME HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
We have to look at some other related history first. The Roman system was an empire built on conquest with incorporation. The secret of Rome's strength lie in her ability to incorporate vanquished nations into her own political body. Never before had so many people been brought under one government without making slaves of most of them. The Romans were basically barbaric and lawless in characteristics, but were experts in adaptability, absorbing nations, cultures and religions and cross breeding them into one another, by force if necessary. Through this, the rulers sought to keep the entire empire under control. Gradually the Roman Empire became permeated with the philosophy of the Greeks and the religions of the Jews and Christians. The natural part of human life was raised to a higher plane. Combined with the Greek influence, Roman law and political ideas have had a strong influence on the West. Thus the Greek notion of democracy, the religions of the Jews and Christian, the law and political influence of the Romans, all these mixed together made the civilization of the later Western world. Clearly, history tells us that the Roman civilization is the direct ancestor of the modern West. THE ROMAN EMPIRE AND THE ROMAN CHURCH
Christianity became known as the official western religion, and the native religions of the western world became known as heathen - uncivilized and unenlightened. However it was not so in the beginning. It may be a surprise for many to know that during the first 3 centuries, the Christians suffered tremendously under the Roman government which tried to destroy them. However, Christianity was spreading too vigorously to be kept under control. The strategy of elimination through persecution eventually changed to one of embracing it and controlling its destiny to fulfill the purpose of their rulers.
The church on the other hand made a compromise to accept Rome and became the destroyer of her mother (Israel) who bore her. In the process, truth suffered. Biblical commandments that the Apostles taught were subordinated to pagan convenience. The church entered into apostasy. This was fully realized in the 4th century when Emperor Constantine the Great declared himself a Christian, the first pope and the ruler of the church, which he called, the Roman Catholic Church that existed to these days. By his own authority he set up church councils, installed and deposed bishops, imprisoning and banishing them, imposed religious edicts under penalty of Roman Law. He set up the Council of Rome and Nicene, and bridged the Empire of Rome to the Church of Rome.
One after another, the unscrupulous and cruel wolves as prophesied in the scriptures, entered the Church to take control, ravish and strip the Church to total spiritual nakedness and bankruptcy, and then clothed her in mockery and strange garments. Greco-Roman ideologies, values and pagan practices and rituals were adopted as standards and holiness in the Church. The Christian Jews who had understanding of Gods truths refused to toe the line. As a result, they were denounced as traitors, betrayers and murderers of the Lord, and were replaced by the Gentile "spiritual Jews", where the old, including the Hebraic understanding of the scriptures were forcibly put away and replaced by the Greco-Roman way of interpreting the scriptures. The wolves now had a totally free hand, this time in the Name of God. Sounds like a fairy tale, but painfully true. This is the background and setting for the origin and history of the "must-be" monogamy theology.CATHOLIC PRIESTS WERE MONOGAMOUS AND POLYGAMOUS BUT MADE CELIBATE
Due to the widespread illiteracy of the scriptures, especially that of the Gentile believers who were totally ignorant of the Torah, whatever the Catholic priests said were considered as Gods Law and divine truths. One area of total distortion was that of marital relationship. Surprising to almost all of us, it was common for Catholic priests to have multiple wives and mistresses. In 726AD, it was acceptable for a man with a sick wife to take a second wife so long as he looked after the first one. With concerns for protecting Church property from inheritance however, offspring could not inherit church property and it was later declared that all sons of priests were illegitimate. In 1022, Pope Benedict VIII banned marriages for priests (monogamous or polygamous). Finally in 1139, Pope Innocent II voided all marriages of priests and all new priests had to divorce their wives. All these were done to possess and protect money and church property. Making polygamy a sin and marriage unacceptable for a priest was a slow and purposeful process. CELIBACY AND ASCETICISM PROPAGATED AS HOLINESS
Backing up this hidden agenda, was an anti-human Greek doctrine concocted from the pit of hell by the hatred of Satan, manifested as holiness against all human nature and passions. It is called asceticism; the paganistic teaching that to be spiritual is to be poor, thus sex and all human passions would have to be denied for the highest fulfillment found only in monastic lifestyle. This distorted view of human passions and sexuality put a terrible burden on the shoulders of all who wanted to be spiritual. Worse still, it became the root and the source of much more other lies and deception regarding holiness and marriage forms in the whole Christian world.
Celibacy was propagated as the new standard of high attainment in holiness. Sex was taken to be unclean and sinful. Marriages were painted, at best as being a necessary evil to guard against sexual sins such as fornication. Because of such a heathen belief, monks and nuns were considered holier and closer to God than anybody else, and priests would necessarily be celibates. Marriage was considered an activity of the flesh, if possible, to be avoided by those seeking spirituality. Thus monogamy would be tolerated as an acceptable norm among the "less spiritual" and polygamy would be condemned as an abomination. Clearly, Greek philosophy and Roman monogamy were in control of the entire Church. This prevailed in what is known as the Dark Ages of the Church.ROMANS WERE NOTORIOUSLY MONOGAMOUS
Christianity was strongly and aggressively propagated from the Roman Empire into the West and from the West into the rest of the world and thus came to be known as a western religion. It should be noted that the Romans were notoriously monogamous due to an inherent exclusivity (which we shall discuss later) in monogamy. These are some of the practices and enforcement, even on their own monarchs and nobles. Nero, the Caesar who divorced, banished and murdered his first wife in order to marry the second. He blamed his atrocious act of burning Rome on the Christians. What resulted were countless martyrs. Even Napoleon the great conqueror who crowned himself could not overthrow this law, and had to divorce his beloved wife, Josephine in order to marry another so as to yield a son. Such facts and examples are clearly evident in European history. Yet were the Romans truly monogamous? History tells us that in the Roman Empire and in medieval Christendom, though marriage was monogamous, mating was often polygynous. A lord of a manor would have one wife but his household was set up as an unofficial harem of servant girls.
This briefly sums up the origin of should-be monogamy theology and ideology.MONOGAMY PROPAGATED THROUGH CHRISTIANITY AND WESTERN SUPREMACY
Thus we see how Christianity was corrupted with the Greco-Roman philosophy and values to the point of being almost totally heathen, bowing down to saints and angels, paying for salvation with money and penance. Despite reformations and revivals in the 15th century that challenged and overthrew the ritualistic corruption, Greco-Roman values and interpretation of the Bible are still very much in the Christian lifestyle. This includes enforced monogamy, the Roman form of idolizing woman and the goddesses. Christianity today is still very much Romanized where monogamy is Law rather than being Hebraic in nature where polygamy was well accepted in the sight of God and man. By renouncing the Jews, the ways of the patriarchal fathers and their ways were also renounced, thus so was Biblical polygamy. This is a big mistake of the early Church. And because the reformed Church did not thoroughly cleanse herself from Romanism, Biblical patriarchy was only partially restored and polygamy is still considered an abomination. The Universal Church is still arrogant and piteously far from returning to her Hebraic Roots. She will, but only through much trials and tribulations before she is willing to let go of her sacred should-be monogamy calf. MARTIN LUTHER CHALLENGED SHOULD-BE MONOGAMY
For political purposes, young Prince Philip of Hesse was arranged to marry the daughter of Duke George. This unhappy union led him to several affairs at later time, for which he felt so condemned that he refrained from the Lords supper. He could have easily annulled his marriage through the Roman Catholic Church, which was a common procedure that would not have caused the slightest comment. But being an avowed Lutheran, he refused to consider this way out but instead considered to keep his first wife and marry another woman, a charming 17 years old Margaret von der Saale. After winning the girls approval, he approached her mother who said, "We must not break Gods laws!" Martin Luther and Melanchthon, a fellow reformer were consulted. After much consideration, with 7 other prominent men, a letter was jointly signed with the approval given, but he was told to keep it a secret. Philip lived with his 2 wives and had children through them. Soon the secret leaked out and the Reformation was placed in severe jeopardy.
Because the penalty for bigamy in the Holy Roman Empire was death, Prince Philip was forced to prostrate himself before Emperor Charles V and beg for his forgiveness. The scandal spread, and this added to Luthers depression. Melanchthon was so distraught that he could not eat or drink and later lost his memory. The irony of it all was that the emperor himself had illegitimate children all over Europe and the pope had legitimatized each one in order that they all might inherit titles and attain high office.
The Reformation is certainly not yet completed. There is much much more that needs to be done!THE POWER BEHIND THE SHOULD-BE MONOGAMY
Christianity was propagated from the Roman Empire into the West and from the West into the rest of the modern world. And wherever the gospel is preached, Roman monogamy was portrayed as Gods only divine standard. Luther could not change it. There were too much to undo. But because the major part of the world is still unchristianized, there are actually much more societies of the world that are polygamous than monogamous. The wolf spirit behind the corrupt Romans still continues, out living the Roman Empire, and is manifesting itself, not just in the religious system of Roman Catholicism in Rome, and in the religious systems of Protestant Christianity, but also in the supremacy of Western culture, economy and technology. Thus the ambition of this spirit to conquer the world did not die with the Roman Empire, but continues into the supremacy of the Western world as she becomes the whore, whose wine the kings and the nations of the world are drunk with. She is the Jezebel of Revelation, the spirit of Babylon that lived through the ages. It is now in the Greco-Roman Worldview that is fast taking over the world. It is so transparently clear that there is no true gospel except in the Jesus that came through the Hebraic race, not just in race, but also in culture and interpretation. MONOGAMY AND THE MODERN WORLD
"Should-be" monogamy never gained worldwide attention until the last few centuries. The should-be monogamy idea was not popular in previous generations, not until its strong uprising in the last 150 years or so. In fact, polygamy was still openly practiced in the last generation in non-western countries, and is today still practiced in modern societies, even though not so openly because of the outcry of the Western Feminism movement. How quickly the should-be monogamy concept has taken over, such that it makes polygamy appear sinful and wrong ever since the beginning. A worldwide ethnographic survey of 849 human societies show 708 whose customs are polygynous (more than 1 wife), 4 polyandrous (more than 1 husband) and 137 monogamous. Other than the religious and supremacy factors, there can be a few other reasons for this. MONOGAMY, FEMINISM AND HOMOSEXUALITY
The next reason is that during the last war torn period and after, polygamy was badly abused by irresponsible men who had made it appear evil. The restoration of womens dignity and respect, giving them their "rightful liberation" and equality had automatically promoted monogamy to be the only right form of marriage, and polygamy since then was declared abusive and unworthy of a good respectable marriage. Supported by the deceived Church as good teaching and declared as the only right way of marriage instituted by the Holy God, this "truth" becomes law, not just among Catholics and Protestants, but also in modern societies. Alas, feminism has in recent years changed partner, now courting what I call Homogamy, which is homosexuality and lesbianism, relentlessly fighting for its legalization. Monogamy is fast becoming out of date. The passing fad seems quick to come and fast to go, and the poor church is presently being dragged into Homogamy. She had compromised once, why not twice? Thus the Church did not just commit spiritual adultery, but also spiritual lesbianism with Jezebel. Thus we see another logical trend. The more feminism is in power in a land, the more monogamous it is and the more it is swept over by homosexuality and lesbianism. The more patriarchal and polygamous the land, the least likely it is to be taken over by homosexuality and lesbianism. THE APPEAL OF MONOGAMY EXCLUSIVENESS OF ROMANISM
Another reason for the quick popularity of monogamy lies in the exclusive nature of the should-be monogamy form that is extremely appealing. But what exactly is the exclusive nature of this modern monogamy form? Dr Nathaniel Branden, an advocate and authority on the subject of romantic love, has well defined it in his book, Taking Responsibility, "Romantic love means finding a soul mate someone whose values and sense of life mirror our own. We feel a drive to organize our life around this person and no one else. If someone says, I love you in a romantic context, this what they are understood to be saying." This seems a good modern notion of romantic monogamy that we would all readily accept. The author has the good intention of bringing responsibility back into the decaying society. I respect him for that. But his writing has also given us some other unintended insights. In real modern day practice, monogamy is but the exaltation of free love and the justification of self-love. Possessiveness is not only condoned, but glorified. Thats why it is so appealing. It readily satisfies the inner desire of a woman to possess her man exclusively, and the inner need of a man to please and idolize his woman completely above all other things, to be completely engrossed in her only. A candlelight dinner never fails to portray a very romantic moment. We say, "Oh! How romantic!". But how awfully unromantic it will be if another party is involved. For should-be monogamy to work, the elements of romantic exclusiveness must be involved. I am not saying that candlelight dinners and privacy are bad. But essentially, this reveal that the elements of the Roman spirit are nothing but exclusivity, possessiveness and idolatry. And such elements are perpetuated as dominant factors into all aspects of modern life of the should-be monogamy culture and this is where the failings begin. God and others are eventually out of place, the 2 persons involved finally imprison one another, thus marriages of such kind are open to destruction. Lets probe further.
We know by now that for sure, the origin of the should-be monogamy was not Biblical as assumed by many. Its definitely not from the biblical patriarchal fathers, as many of them were polygamous. It really was from Rome, where the whore of Babylon still rules to this day. This same book confirms this vital fact. It says, "Although in Western Europe, the idea of romantic love (in some sense) has had a long history, its acceptance as the proper basis of marriage has never been as widespread as it has been in America culture." He continues, " Why the United States? The answer, at least in part, is philosophical. What was distinctive about the American outlook and represented a radical break with its European past were its unprecedented commitment to political freedom, its individualism, its doctrine of individual rights, and, more specifically, its belief in a persons right to happiness here on earth. Both the individualism and the secularism of this country were essential for the idea of romantic love to take wide cultural root." Its now crystal clear where should-be monogamy originated and why it is so appealing to the human self. Historically, the Romans were known to be highly monogamous but kept mistresses and abused their maids and slaves, and were also known to be very sadistic in sports and love making. And we know in part, this characteristic has found its place in modern society.
This historical observation and social deduction are not wrong, for we can also see throughout the world that the more affluent, self-sufficient, self-centered, secular and individualistic the people are, the more romantically inclined and monogamous the society is. Should-be monogamy as righteousness is hollow, a placebo, a false consolation and a false truth for the self-seekers and the uninformed.MONOGAMY AND ROMANTIC
Even the word, Roman-tic tells us where should-be monogamy is from, the Roman culture and the Roman Empire which is Western Europe, where values contradict biblical standards. And we can be so blind as not to see it before our eyes when we read the word Roman-tic, and yet we expound and exalt it at every wedding and declared it as holiness at every pulpit! To be very romantic is to be very Roman. To be very Roman is to be very anti-patriarchy and very anti-God. As a minister myself, I woke up one day to this very rude shock. We are still under the power of the Roman Kingdom (which was the last kingdom of the statue as seen by Nebuchadnezzar), even thought it had collapsed. But the church is still under that power and is still not yet into the Kingdom of the Rock that was not made with hands! MONOGAMY, ROMANISM, ROMAN CATHOLISM
Looking at the name, practices and ordinances of the Roman Catholic Church, where polygamy is never to be tolerated, it would be blind not to see that the culture of Rome had become the culture of the Roman Catholic Church. It is also clear that the medieval society and the modern world are the children of the Roman Empire. The medieval society was a hodgepodge of customs, language, laws and attitudes taken from the late great Roman Empire, with some Germanic admixture and has now shaped our modern world. Both the medieval world and our own world are very much descended from Rome. By the 14th century, much of the Roman influence was no longer obvious, the culture of Rome had become the culture of the Roman Catholic Church. Some educated commoners who look beneath the surface could find the Roman roots of the many institutions of medieval culture. But the Romans are now ancient history and what they had left behind had been well tended to by the Christian clerics. And today we still live in the shadows of a culture the Romans began creating 2800 years ago. MONOGAMY AND PROTESTANTISM
What about the Protestant world? With America drinking it all in and taking the lead, "civilized" nations swallowed the Romans doctrine of love, digested it into her religious system, namely Christianity, and exported it with the Gospel as a total package for living. Alas, wherever the Gospel went, the whole package was received and swallowed without question as total Gospel truth. Thus the true Biblical Gospel which God has ordained to be rooted in the Middle Eastern patriarchal culture is deceptively suppressed and replaced with one that is adulterated by a heathen Roman culture. There will always be some tolerable societal differences in all parts of the world, but the ways of God were defined and taught in the Biblical patriarchal setting of our forefathers where polygamy was not just tolerated, but accepted. But the western Gospel is romantically and not patriarchally inclined, thus it is actually not just anti-polygamy but also in truth, anti-patriarchy. This is why the Old Testament seems to contain many passages of polygamy and patriarchy that cannot be expounded by western Protestant Christianity and this is where her blindness and powerlessness lie. THE CONCLUSION
History brings forth a conclusive evidence. The enforced should-be monogamy, no matter how much it is sanctioned legally or socially, or how righteous it is portrayed religiously, it was never originated from the Scriptures, and has never been set as the only standard for marriage by God. It originated from the pagan Romans that had and are still overtaking the world under the modern title, Greco Roman Worldview.
Like I mentioned earlier, the Reformation is certainly not yet completed. There is much much more to be done. In fact the worst is yet to be undone!
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Medieval Life And The 100 Years War: The Legacy of Rome
The Constantine Conspiracy - by Rabbi David M. Hargis
Celibacy Of The Clergy, The Catholic Encyclopedia
Roman Interpretation? - by Beryl Ng, Word Aflame Newsletter
The Life-Study of Revelation - Witness Lee's - pp. 140-143 ISBN 0-87083-161-5
Romanism Distorts God's Vision Of Morality And Marriage - by Steve John Butt, GFM
Queen Of The Reformation (Martin Luthers wife) - by Charles Ludwig
Whatever Happened To Western Civilization? - by Jay Rogers
Jewish Roots of Christianity Teaching by Rev Anna Lim, El-Shaddai Conventions
Taking Responsibility by Dr Nathaniel Branden
Copyright © Israel CS Lim, July 1998