Are there disciples in Africa who are married to more than one person, and if so, how is that biblical?
Yes, I once shared a taxi ride with a member of an African church. We began to talk about his family, and it became apparent quite quickly that he had a complex family situation, including nearly 20 children. I asked him, "Have you had two wives?" He replied in the affirmative: not that he was remarried, but that he presently had two wives! While I had heard of such a thing happening, especially in Muslim regions of the world, I must admit it felt odd to be sitting with a bigamist who was also trying to follow Christ.
The important point is that polygamy is legal or illegal according to the national law. The Bible teaches the following about polygamy:
* While common in the Old Testament, it never facilitated a happy home life (e.g. Genesis 29-30)!
* While rare in New Testament times, it was still around in the first century. Jesus speaks of monogamy, nothing else, as God's marriage plan (Matt 19).
* We must obey the laws of the land. In many nations polygamy is against the law, and thus wrong. And yet since in a few countries it is fully legal, it is not really a "sin" issue in such places. This includes the home nation of the man with whom I shared a taxi. Of course, this is not to say we should obey man-made laws if the command us to do something explicitly against the scriptures.
This article is copyrighted and is for private use and study only.