Ministers of Jesus Christ
Assemblies of The Apostolic Faith
Atlanta, Georgia - USA
Apostle Dennis G. Smith, Pastor and Spiritual Overseer
The Apostolic Standard and Manifesto on Polygamy
The Apostolic Standard and Manifesto on Polygamy
By Apostle Dennis G. Smith
"The Ministers of Jesus Christ; Church of the Lord Jesus Christ Assemblies of the Apostolic Faith
upholds monogamy (one man married to one wife) as God's original plan, and as the ideal
relationship of love between husband and wife.”
POLYGAMY is when a man possesses many companions (wives) at the same time (simultaneously); either living in the same house or having separate houses for them.
The Christian Polygamy movement is a modern day error which is not according to God’s original Plan!!!!!
God’s Original Plan
18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 19And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
No Divorce or multiple simultaneous marriages is in God’s original Plan.
5And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 10And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. 11And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. 12And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery. Mark 10:5-12
"In the case of simultaneous polygamy, there is a universal standard – it is understood to be sin and not according to God’s original plan from the beginning as with Adam and Eve, therefore polygamists are not admitted to positions of leadership, nor after acceptance of the Gospel can a convert take multiple wives at the same time by marriage to multiple women a practice called polygyny.
Those in polygamous marriages before conversion
Cases of suffering for those who were thus married before being saved were permitted to remain, but no such person could be made a deacon or bishop, for such "must be the husband of one wife." Nor could any other brother take to himself more than one wife, so the apostle writes, "Let every man have his own wife and every woman her own husband." I Cor. 7.
We have sufficient evidence that there were Jews and Gentiles who had more than one wife, or practiced polygamy in the early days of the gospel.
There were no doubt some of those filled with the Holy Spirit and were made partakers of the body of Christ. Because they were saved they were not exhorted to put away their wives, but a ban was evidently put on any further practice of such a thing in the Church. ---G.T.H. ( Bishop Haywood)
General Doctrinal Statement
is no DIVORCE or REMARRIAGE between two
baptized and Holy Ghost filled obedient Christian believers while the first
companion still lives…This includes all forms of sinful polygamy, “Whosoever
putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and
whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth
he saith unto them, “Whosoever
shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she
Mark 10:11-12; Rom.
7-1-3; Matthew 5:28; Matthew 5:31-32; Matthew 19:1-12.
Cases of justice and judgment for abandonment, betrayal, and unfaithfulness are handled according to Matthew 23:23; Matthew16:19; Matthew 18:15-18; John 20:23; 1Corinthians 7:10-16.
The Historical and Biblical Stance of the Church against Polygamy
Bishop G. T. Haywood of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World ( Historical Parent Organization) wrote:
Bishops and Deacons
The Scriptures which say let the bishop or deacon be "the husband of one wife" (I Tim. 3:2) has caused considerable comment among Bible teachers. Adam Clark, the well known commentator, says on this passage: "He must be the husband of one wife. He should be a married man; but should be no polygamist, and have only one wife: i.e. “The apostle's meaning appears to be this, that he should not be a man who has two wives at a time."
Thus we have given what we firmly believe the word of God teaches. When we come into the Church our records are started anew. The apostle was evidently referring to the, practice of polygamy which was common among the Jews. (Gen. 31: 17; (I Chron. 4:5; 7:4; 8:8; 14:3; I Kings 11:3), but was being eliminated from the Church. Under the law it was lawful for a man to have more than one wife, but never was a woman allowed more than one husband at a time.
According to Bishop Haywood, polygyny the male form of polygamy was allowed but polyandry the female form was not allowed under the Law.
The apostle settled the practice of polygamy in the church by saying "Let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband."(I Cor. 7:2)
This indicates that polygamy was prohibited for both the male and the female in the Church.
POLYGAMY IN THE EARLY CHURCH
That polygamy was practiced by many of the Jews and Gentiles in the early days of the Gospel, and even for years after is confirmed by a recent letter from the editor of the Jewish World, of Cleveland, Ohio, as follows: "While there is no evidence of a polyandrous state in primitive Jewish society, polygamy(polygyny) seems to have been a well established institution, dating from the most ancient times and extending to comparatively modern days. The Law indeed regulated its usage; and the Prophets and scribes looked on it with disfavor. Still all had to recognize its existence, and not until late was it completely abolished. At no time, however, was it practiced so much among the Israelites as among other nations; and the tendency in Jewish social life was always toward monogamy.
"In the year 1000 A.C. (about 400 A.D.) a ban on polygamy was put by the convention of Rabbis called by the great Rabbi Gershom Hazikum.
"Rabbi Gershom Hazikum was born at Metz, in the year 960 A.C. (about 360 A.D.), and died in the year 1040 A.C. (440 A.D.) He was a great advocator against polygamy." "Trusting this information is satisfactory, I am, "Very truly yours," "THE JEWISH WORLD" "By S. Rocker."
In the above letter we have sufficient evidence that there were Jews and Gentiles who had more than one wife, or practiced polygamy in the early days of the gospel.
There were no doubt some of those filled with the Holy Spirit and were made partakers of the body of Christ. Because they were saved they were not exhorted to put away their wives, but a ban was evidently put on any further practice of such a thing in the Church.
For this cause the apostle evidently wrote to let the bishops and deacons "be the husband of one wife," and not because they had been divorced and remarried before they were saved.
Though polygamy was practiced in the Jewish Church at that time, in the New Testament church the practice was being eliminated. No polygamous marriages were to be performed in the Church of Jesus Christ. Those who were thus married before being saved were permitted to remain, but no such person could be made a deacon or bishop, for such "must be the husband of one wife." Nor could any other brother take to himself more than one wife, so the apostle writes, "Let every man have his own wife and every woman her own husband." I Cor. 7. ---G.T.H.
Apostle S. M. Shelton of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith wrote:
BIGAMY and POLYGAMY
Bigamy is a legal term which defines the act of a spouse of either sex marrying another without legally divorcing the first.
POLYGAMY is when a man possesses many companions at the same time; either living the same house or having separate houses for them. Are you aware that even today, in this modern industrial society there are men who have more than one wife? While married to one, they visit another for a certain period of time, then go on to their next "wife". Each of the wives is well aware of this. This type of marriage is not as wide spread as it used to be, but in some countries and rural areas, it still exists.
This was until Jesus came and put a complete end to it. Now, many people try to keep some of the ordinances and laws which were allowed in the Old Testament. They refer to the Old Testament and say, "This individual had more than one wife." However, in the New Testament, Jesus made a full end to this when He said in Matthew 19:8: "... Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so." If it was biblical to have a second marriage while the first companion lived, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ would be filled to an overflowing capacity. There are people who believe most of the Truth and would like to be in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, but the marriage problem holds them back.
Apostle Dennis G. Smith Commentary continued…
While it is true that the marriage and divorce issue was an issue of great debate, it is also equally clear and truth that most, if not all of the Oneness Christian Churches stood against the continuation of polygamy from the old Judaic, Mosaic Law based on the teachings of Jesus Christ (who is God Almighty) the Apostle and finisher of our faith. While most Churches clearly rejected any second marriages or additional wives while the first companion was still alive, they silently accepted cases of judgment against unsaved companions and companions who abandoned the faith and their marriages considering them spiritually dead and accepted the teaching of 1st Corinthians 7 chapter by Apostle Paul. This is what we believe Apostle Shelton alluded to during one of his Sermons in Atlanta, Georgia which is not written. This is generally called Civil Government and the word “may” was inserted in some of their doctrinal statements to confirm this silent acceptance.
To: All the Saints
From: Apostle Dennis G. Smith
Subject: Resignation of Bishop Curtis D. Smith and Ministers Eric T. Smith
Bishop Curtis Smith and Minister Eric Smith have resigned due to their disagreement with the Church’s Apostolic Doctrine on Polygamous Marriage.
The following Ministers and Saints were present during and witnessed this resignation:
1. Apostle Dennis G. Smith
2. Elder Samuel B. Smith
3. Minister Joshua D. Smith
4. Brother Dankert Arnesen
5. Brother Phillip C. Smith
6. Lady Pricilla Velisa Smith
7. 1st Lady Sarah Geraldine Smith
8. Sister Michelle Jeanefre Smith
Both Bishop Curtis and Minister Eric stated that they believed that a man can be married to multiple wives simultaneously while the first companion still lives, a form of polygamy called polygyny. They signed written statement to affirm what they believed.
Bishop Curtis’s written Statement is as follows:
I believe that there is no divorce or remarriage between two baptized and Holy Ghost filled obedient Christians. However, a study of scripture marriage forms may prove that not all forms of what is called polygamy may not have been condemned.
I do believe in the Churches doctrines but this subject draws concerns. Furthermore, I have received visions and dreams to comfort me in the search for the truth.
I believe that there is scriptural proof that men were allowed to take multiple wives. Because the Church does not teach this, I respectfully resign according to the order of the Church.
Signed: Bishop Curtis Smith
Minister Eric’s written Statement is as follows:
There seems to be cases were polygamy (a man with multiple wives) is allowed scripturally which needs further research.
I don’t believe in marriage and divorce. I believe there may be more to what we believe in the case involving marriage and divorce.
I understand that Apostle Dennis has stated this is not the Church doctrine and has asked for my resignation.
Signed: Min. Eric Smith
Apostle Dennis G. Smith Commentary continued…
After nearly three years of patient and repeated teachings during the Brother’s Meetings, periodic discussion during and after the Ministerial Studies, Apostle Dennis accepted their resignation after it was clear of their stance for what is commonly called Christian Polygamy which is a modern day error and false teaching.
This movement which is being propagated by the so-called Truth Bearer organization whose founder is named as Mark Henkel is supposed to be a multiple denominational movement for the promotion of this great error and false teaching.
We do not know whether or not Bishop Curtis or Minister Eric were deceived by this movement which is a great deception of Satan himself for they have never made mention of being a part of this movement or being convinced by this movement. We therefore continue to love them and admonish them and address them as a Brother in the hope that they see the light concerning this great error.
Signed: Apostle Dennis G. Smith