Biblical Christian Poly Living


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I really want to believe this, but there is a passage in the Bible that makes me question it.

John 4

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

Was Jesus against cohabitation?


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5 Husbands and a lover

What I find interesting is in spite of the fact that this woman was by anyone's standards polyamorous Jesus did not take this opportunity to lower the boom on someone who by today's neo Paulistic, pseudo-Christian standards would be condemned.

Instead He told her that He was the Living Water that would quench her spiritual thirst.

I don't see this as an encouragement to have 5 failed marriages but I also don't see any expression of disgust or condemnation.

Something Jesus was quick to do anytime a religious hypocrite objected to His mercy.


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Are there absolutes?

What an interesting thread, I'm glad I stumbled on it. As a believer myself, I find any open dialogue about one's faith, or lack thereof, to be useful, if it's sincere and not just a platform to vent.

For me, way before you can get to any thoughtful conclusions about the intersection of christianity and poly, you have to be clear about where you're starting. There are a lot of things that are represented as christianity, but in fact are not.

To understand what anyone says on this topic you really have to understand the foundations of their beliefs because there are so many places that understanding can diverge. Let me pose just a couple of them.

For me, the place to start, the foundation of all beliefs is whether you accept that there are absolutes or not. Is there truth that's always truth, no matter the context, time, place history, culture, etc? Or is everything relative?

IMHO, if you hold to the former - there are absolutes, then you're on the path from which christianity rises. If you hold the latter, then no matter where you go from there, you will never get to christianity.

From there, there are a whole series of questions to determine where you're heading. For example:
  • Is there a god? One and only god?
  • What is god?
  • Is the bible an accurate representation of the mind of god?
  • If there is a god, is he powerful enough to ensure we get a clear picture of him in scripture?
  • If there is one true god who is lord and creator of all, and the bible reflects his heart and mind accurately, what does he expect of me?
  • Is jesus god?
  • Is there sin? What is sin?

And at this point you still have a long long way to go to even get close to how christianity and poly fit together.

Everyone has an opinion and so far is free to express it. But to say either that God is OK with poly, or that a poly lifestyle is sin, is almost impossible to interpret unless you've taken me down that whole path.

As a few folks have rightly pointed out, anyone can pluck a half dozen verses from scripture and craft an argument for or against almost anything. If that's true, then I'd say either you have to discard the whole thing or look at scripture with an end-to-end perspective. Of course, this completely depends on your perspective of what scripture is. :>)

Let's keep the conversation going.



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Jesus is God

I absolutely believe that Jesus is God.

"If you are my friends you will do what I command"

"This is my command, that you love one another".

The 2 greatest commands. Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind, and the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself.

Seems to me that how 2 people love each other is governed by this simple rule.

I wouldn't ask or accept being asked to do anything that makes my relationship with Jesus difficult.

Not that there aren't absolutes but the application of the absolute command to love each other is subjective to the 2 people in the relationship.

The Bible is men's words about their relationship with God.

Jesus is the Word of God to everyone who will listen.

Problem is the words of men, mine included often times interfere with a person's ability to listen to Jesus clearly.


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Thanks for your thoughts on this. I certainly agree and believe that jesus is who he said he is - specifically god himself. That gives what he said some clout, don't you think? ;>)

Where we might differ is on the implications of the things he said. First and foremost are those greatest commands. When he said to love one another, feelings and relationships were the furthest thing from his mind. He was pretty clear that the love he commands is a behavior, not how you feel for someone - in the way we generally interpret the word.

And in reference to the doing what he commands, he's referring to it all. Including things like denying yourself, taking up your cross, leaving your sin behind, fearing god, fleeing immorality, serving god, obeying scripture, and all the rest you can find. Actually all of these things together are the definition of the love he commanded.

On the avoiding things that make your relationship with jesus difficult, you might have a problem with 'i've not come to bring peace but a sword', ' to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.'

That could make your relationship with him difficult to maintain. It certainly continues to challenge me.

We'll also have to agree to disagree on the bible being only men's words. In that case, I think you have to throw the whole thing out, including what jesus said. If you can't trust god to make sure he gets his word to you, via his servants, you're kind of stuck then, having to decide yourself what's true and what's not.



New member
For me, I always go back to these two passages:

1 Corinth. 6:12
"All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything."

Matthew 7:18-20
"A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."

Polyamory has given nothing but good fruit in our marriage. It has brought us closer, enhanced our bond and trust, and helped to shelter us from one of the leading causes of divorce (infidelity). If it began to bear bad fruit for us, we would re-think it. But as yet, we have no reason to go back.


New member

I agree that being open about our interest and interaction with other people is the best defense against being unfaithful and betraying our spouse's trust.

Jesus criticized overeaters, condemned the love of money and advised us not to become caught up in the worries and cares of this world.

He emphasized our need to love, even our enemies.

Learning to love is our priority. Having a best friend who helps me learn what is seldom taught or practiced is like living with an angel.

I'm very fortunate. Sounds like you are, too.


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This is something I've struggled to reconcile in my life.

I'm glad to know that other people have come to some of the same conclusions. But I'm also glad to see some other perspectives that make me think.

Thanks for this thread.


New member

Matthew 24:12
New International Version (NIV)
12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,

Interesting that the evangelical movement is appalled by homosexuality but supports the most wicked, illegal use of military force in history by a government they deem to be sacred. Wolves in sheep's clothing.

I find it much harder to love my enemy who claims to be my brother than it is for me to love someone who practices a form of sexuality that doesn't appeal to me.

I've not done a very good job of loving. I continue to learn and hope to get better. I look forward to the day when we will love each other without being inhibited or controlled.

I'm happy to know there are other believers who visit this forum. I hope we all continue learn to love each other as He loves us.


New member
You know, while I've had some big struggles with homosexuality and Christianity, I've never once thought polygamy was a sin.

Lots of people in the Bible had multiple wives, and there wasn't anything specifically stating it~

I think what Jesus was saying in that passage was "Yeah, you aren't married, but you've been with 5 men, and you aren't married to the one you are now. I know who you are, and what you've been up to, but I want to give you life."
I personally don't believe he was condemning nor condoning polygamy.

He's focusing on the big picture, life! =D


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I just found this site, and I really needed the hug effect of someone else who has understand the Word God gave us with out the twisting that so often happens.

Thank you for this thread, I am near to tears with joy and releif of finding someone who can understand. :)


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Biblical Polygyny is what we believe too

I am the wife in a MF couple who believes in one man and many women (in our case limiting it to two only women). We believe Polyamory was and is a practice that God blessed but not required of mankind. It is a calling to those who can understand and open their hearts to others. We are thinking about starting a Biblical Poyamory Bible study in our home soon after getting set up first. please add me to any email or groups discussing this issue.



New member
I was just wondering if you would limit "biblical polyamory" to being one man and multiple women, or if it is acceptable for it to be one woman and two men, for instance. I know that we only see the example of one man and multiple women in the Bible, but is that the only form that would be acceptable?


New member
Polyamory vs polygamy vs biblical polygamy

There is a difference between the terms that can help us understand.

Polyamory is multiple loves. It doesn't really have a set guideline of configuration. It can have can be a person with many individual loves, a couple who date together or separately, or any M or F or T(trans) configurations.

Polygamy is a relationship with multiple(3 or more) people that wish to be married to each other.

Biblical polygamy is a man and multiple women. It states that a man should have their own wife and husband have their own husband. But in the old testament the meaning for the two "their" is different. for the man to the woman is means master over, like his property. he can have as many wives or property as he liked. for a woman it reflects ownership, as in she has one owner. Jesus is the master and as churches we are his children. many children/churches are included but only the one master is allowed.

Hopefully that clears up what I understand the differences to mean.


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Except as I understand it, there is only one church, and Jesus will be married to the church, so not sure this example will hold water.

You are basically saying that it's not acceptable for a woman to want to be married to more than one man, and that it's because women were basically property. Geez. But women are not property anymore, so why would it not be acceptable for a woman to want to marry more than one man?


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The second command is linked and equal to the first most important command

"biblical polyamory" as defined by Jesus is to love our neighbor as ourselves. Or to not be co-dependent and always inter-dependent.

My wife and I meet with a clinical social worker on a regular basis to help us maintain our equilibrium. It's been dynamic and interesting journey. Understanding each other and helping each other learn how to love and be loved.

A non co-dependent relationship requires honesty and empathy without being judgmental.

Jesus commanded us to have healthy relationships.

How on earth could I as a man who loves so many women restrict my wife to loving only me and think for one minute that I am loving my wife as much as I love myself?

Using Jewish customs to arrive at a model of interaction between any couple defies logic.

When they tortured and killed Him Jesus asked His Father to forgive them because they didn't know what they were doing.

Anyone who continues to adhere to Jewish or any other political, cultural or religious tradition that brings us into conflict with Christ's command to love our neighbor as ourselves is mistaken and doesn't know what they are doing to countless numbers of people who long to touch and be touched.

We children must behave ourselves and love each other as much as we love ourselves.

Tall order for all of us.

But with a little practice, a lot of honesty, good counseling we're having fun learning and practicing the skills we will have in eternity where we will obey Him and love each other perfectly.



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Sola Scripturia

Since legislation like DOMA is no longer the law of the land in the US, conservative evangelicals are now turning their opposition against all forms of poly relationships. They do so at their own risk of course, since eventually their own belief in the infalability of scripture as the basis of life and belief, will be turned against them.
> :rolleyes:


Official Greeter
I'll speak not necessarily of what I believe, but of what the Bible says as I was raised to understand it and according to my own thoughts as I read the passages in question.

Re (from men):
"16. He told her, 'Go, call your husband and come back.'
17. 'I have no husband,' she replied.
Jesus said to her, 'You are right when you say you have no husband. 18. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.'

Was Jesus against cohabitation?"

Possibly, but one couldn't gather as much just based on those verses. I don't think Jesus was the type of guy who'd be sarcastic or purposely give someone a bad time, much less play some kind of mind game with them. I think his only intention here was to demonstrate to this woman that he was no ordinary man, that she could believe that he could see into her very soul. That's my take on it anyway.

When reading in that context, one could imagine that Jesus probably spoke to her in tones of compassion and understanding, not of judgment or condemnation. Jesus, being in a better position than any man to pass judgment, paradoxically had the least judgmental personality of perhaps any man you could ever meet. As loveboston pointed out: Jesus, while hanging on the cross in unspeakable agony, prayed for those most guilty for putting him there and said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Elsewhere in the Gospels we read of a woman, who'd been caught in the act of adultery, being dragged before Jesus. Hoping to ensare Jesus with a damned-if-I-do/damned-if-I-don't question, the men holding her pointed out that the venerable Mosaic Law, issued by God, demanded that such a woman be stoned to death. "But what do you think we should do?" they asked Jesus. Jesus, after thinking his own private thoughts and writing in the dirt with a stick, stood up and said, "Let he who is without sin among you cast the first stone."

Well of course no one there -- except Jesus -- was without sin, and they all knew it. Slowly, one by one, the crowd dispersed, leaving only Jesus and the woman. Jesus said, "Where are your accusers? Doesn't any man remain to accuse you?" and she said, "No man, Lord," rather suggesting that she recognized Jesus' divine nature. Then Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go your way, and sin no more."

So, we see that Jesus didn't condemn the adulteress, but, he didn't condone the adultery either. He did advise her to refrain from doing it again. Which tells me that he didn't necessarily reject the Mosaic Law, nor that he didn't have traditional scruples about certain sexual practices; but that he chose to forgive rather than to condemn people. Which indeed is what the "good news" of the Gospels is all about: that God is willing to understand, sympathize, and forgive. No need to stone someone to death if God has forgiven them.

By the way, that's two examples where Jesus spoke kindly and respectfully to two different women. Pretty good considering he lived in a place and time where women were just property. He even assumed the very Western attitude of extending a tender heart towards his mother when he was hanging on the cross. She and one of his twelve disciples were staring up at him, and instead of mentioning his own plight, his first thought was to see that his mom would be okay. "Behold thy mother," he said to the disciple, and to his mother, "Behold thy son!"

That's all for now ... Got to turn in ...


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Another Good Link

When I outed myself to my brother, he regurgitated the teachings of man and condemned me. He's now had a change of heart and mind, and now defends my choices, and has sent me this link that got him studying God's word and not simply accepting what the church teaches.