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  #111  
Old 07-04-2011, 08:51 PM
jasminegld jasminegld is offline
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Default "Be ye not yoked"

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Originally Posted by serialmonogamist View Post
my impression was the that warnings against being with an unbeliever have to do with the conflicts between forgiving and unforgiving individuals.
Here is the passage. It's King James Version, because that's the one not under copyright:

2 Corinthians 6:

11 O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.

12 Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.

13 Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.

14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Notice the context. This was a letter from Paul to a particular church; it wasn't Jesus talking, but Paul to one small congregation with a specific set of problems that Paul was addressing in particular. Problems that we can only guess at.

Notice in verse 17 the reference to being separate and avoiding the "unclean." Straight out of the Hebrew purity codes.

Notice also the Us vs Them set-up. "We" are righteous. "They" are automatically unrighteous because their religious beliefs are different. That's a very defensive posture.

I supposed the forgiveness vs unforgiveness bit could fit into this passage, if that's the particular lesson a minister is trying to teach to their congregation. At the same time, it's certainly not the only lesson that could fit into this passage. "Be ye not unequally yoked" is one of those maxims that can translate into a thousand bits of specific wisdom.

I do know that when I first was taught this passage, they never mentioned the purity codes or brinks of extinction, both of which are hugely important elements of the context of the people of that time.

What does this have to do with polyamory?

It goes back to the "Pulling together" image. If two or more people can agree/compromise well enough to pull together in their relationship, then they have a reasonable chance of making it work. Whether it's religion or polyamory or politics or something else. If they can't agree/compromise about enough to pull together, then how can they ever have a moment's peace or happiness together? Whether it's religion or polyamory or politics or something else.

It's the pulling together that matters. Are we working together for common goals?

It's possible that I'd agree with St. Paul about being unequally yoked. I'd just define "unequally yoked" very differently than he seems to have defined it. And that might have as much to do with the the date and location as anything else. In Paul's world, being "yoked" to an unbeliever kept a Christian at constant risk of exposure, even betrayal, and martyrdom.

Read other versions of the text here:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...6&version=NASB
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  #112  
Old 07-04-2011, 09:10 PM
serialmonogamist serialmonogamist is offline
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Originally Posted by jasminegld View Post
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Notice the context. This was a letter from Paul to a particular church; it wasn't Jesus talking, but Paul to one small congregation with a specific set of problems that Paul was addressing in particular. Problems that we can only guess at.
The first thing that comes to mind for me is the part of the bible where Jesus is criticized for eating with sinners, and he says that his work is with sinners. Maybe you're right to point out Paul not being Jesus and he was missing the proactive part of Jesus' teachings.

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Notice also the Us vs Them set-up. "We" are righteous. "They" are automatically unrighteous because their religious beliefs are different. That's a very defensive posture.
I wouldn't immediately interpret positive claims of righteousness as having the purpose of condemning others as unrighteous. The central issue in Christianity is that all people are sinners on a journey to become better, though they can never totally transcend human imperfections. I think "righteous" just refers to having seen the light.

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It goes back to the "Pulling together" image. If two or more people can agree/compromise well enough to pull together in their relationship, then they have a reasonable chance of making it work. Whether it's religion or polyamory or politics or something else. If they can't agree/compromise about enough to pull together, then how can they ever have a moment's peace or happiness together? Whether it's religion or polyamory or politics or something else.

It's the pulling together that matters. Are we working together for common goals?
Do you know that passage about Jesus not coming to bring peace but a sword and to turn sister against mother (or something to that effect)? I interpret that as meaning that people don't need to agree to love and forgive each other. So it's like he's telling people to support, love, and help each other even in their differences and conflicts. I think it means that conflicts are ok and inevitable when people are pursuing their truths and that he doesn't want to bring peace where peace means that people should give up their truth or stop studying others' truths just because they're different than their own.

If Christianity relates to polyamory, I think it's because Jesus loved everyone - but he also preferred celibacy to sex for those who could stand it, and I think he preferred monogamy to polygamy, though now that I think about it I don't remember him criticizing the polygamy of the old testament, only divorce. Maybe he was just for marrying whomever you needed to but at the same time trying to remain as focussed as possible on spirit over flesh.
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  #113  
Old 07-04-2011, 10:13 PM
jasminegld jasminegld is offline
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Originally Posted by serialmonogamist View Post
I wouldn't immediately interpret positive claims of righteousness as having the purpose of condemning others as unrighteous.
What then does "unrighteousness" refer to in verse 14?

14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

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Originally Posted by serialmonogamist View Post
If Christianity relates to polyamory, I think it's because Jesus loved everyone...
Yes. IMO, Christianity relates to polyamory because a Christian can be polyamorous, and a poly person can be Christian. A lot of people think, erroneously, that they are mutually exclusive, and that erroneous belief causes grief for a lot of other people who are seeking answers for their personal lives.
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  #114  
Old 07-04-2011, 10:38 PM
serialmonogamist serialmonogamist is offline
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What then does "unrighteousness" refer to in verse 14?

14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
I see your point. I don't know what the writer would say if we asked him. I think you CAN safely interpret the words in their own terms, e.g. "unrighteousness" could simply refer to a state of mind in which righteousness is rejected, i.e. total relativism. You could say that two people who disagree on what is righteous are still in communion about establishing what IS righteous. You don't have to interpret it as meaning that one person's righteousness is always going to lead them to condemn another's righteousness as unrighteous just because it's different. All righteous people are interested in transcending darkness and seeing the light - so when they reject light in favor of ignorance, you could say they're choosing to be unrighteous. According to Jesus, the only ultimate sin was blasphemy of Holy Spirit, which I basically interpret to mean failing to believe that higher truth can be achieved.

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Yes. IMO, Christianity relates to polyamory because a Christian can be polyamorous, and a poly person can be Christian. A lot of people think, erroneously, that they are mutually exclusive, and that erroneous belief causes grief for a lot of other people who are seeking answers for their personal lives.
Yes, I agree that there's a difference between polyamory/polygamy, which is practiced in Islam and was practiced in ancient Judaism, and adultery and fornication, which are described as sins. Of course, what constitutes fornication depends on what you consider 'marriage.' If you believe that marriage can simply entail embracing full responsibility for your relationship with someone, then you don't need a church or marriage certificate to feel married 'in God's eyes.'

However, I'm sure a lot of polyamorous people would disagree with the Christian approach to sexuality as a diversion from higher spirituality. I think Jesus was pretty clear in expressing that sex should be limited to what is needed to 'quench the burn' (my words). I.e. he said that practicing celebacy, like he did, was the best but for people who can't do that, "it's better to marry than to burn (with lust)" Anyway, I think you can study the teachings and figure out ways to apply them to practically any situation if you like them. Probably some polyamourists would like to be Christian and others not.

The part about divorce says that it's better to marry another believer but if someone becomes a believer and their spouse doesn't, they shouldn't divorce the unbelieving spouse. On the other hand, it says that if the unbelieving spouse leaves, it's better to let them go because doing so is supposed to demonstrate forgiveness and potentially make a believer out of them by doing so.

I find it interesting to discuss these ideas but I would like to note that I want to keep it academic. I don't want to get caught in a trap of being asked to take sides in a trial of Christianity or polyamory. Everyone has to use their own authority to decide what they think or disagree with. I don't mind giving my opinion based on my own authority, but I don't want to be attacked for anything I think or say. I'm still trying to figure all this out for myself and I wouldn't claim to be an absolute authority - but I also won't accept anyone else as one either
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  #115  
Old 07-05-2011, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by serialmonogamist View Post
I think Jesus was pretty clear in expressing that sex should be limited to what is needed to 'quench the burn' (my words). I.e. he said that practicing celebacy, like he did, was the best but for people who can't do that, "it's better to marry than to burn (with lust)"
Hate to appear as I were scoring points, but that is actually Paul talking in his first epistle to Corinthians.
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  #116  
Old 07-05-2011, 10:17 AM
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Hate to appear as I were scoring points, but that is actually Paul talking in his first epistle to Corinthians.
And Paul was a burning man himself. He had a "thorn in his flesh." Many people, then as now, believe Jesus was married, to Mary Magdalene/Mary of Bethany.
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

There's no lying in polyamory!

I'm a 58 year old woman with 2 partners:
miss pixi, my live-in gf, 36 (together since Jan '09)
Ginger, bf, 61, married, lives nearby (together since Jan '12)
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  #117  
Old 07-06-2011, 02:10 AM
serialmonogamist serialmonogamist is offline
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And Paul was a burning man himself. He had a "thorn in his flesh." Many people, then as now, believe Jesus was married, to Mary Magdalene/Mary of Bethany.
Those kinds of ideas are interesting, but where do you go with them? All you really have to interpret is the scripture that was preserved. I wouldn't assume that it is perfect because it was preserved, but you just have to decide whether you want to interpret it in a constructive way or reject it as being conjectural. I think there is good to be found it in it. Generally, I don't like rejecting things unless I find them purely harmful. The idea of righteousness is not harmful, imo, because when you compare it to unrighteousness it just refers to someone who really believes in their mission. An unrighteous person is deceitful and manipulative because they don't really believe in themselves.

When you talk about Paul "burning," it sounds like a put down. You could also interpret it as compassionate. I.e. they're saying that if someone can practice celibacy without burning with desire, they should. But if someone feels burning desire, they should marry. Does that necessarily refer to monogamous marriage? Many people would say so, but on what basis? What it does mean, imo, is that people should love and take responsibility for people they have sex with. If someone has the view that sex is not that big of a deal to "marry" everyone you do it with, that could be legitimate but I don't think it resonates with the Christian view that sex is special and that people having sexual relations should marry.
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  #118  
Old 07-06-2011, 04:28 AM
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Those kinds of ideas are interesting, but where do you go with them? All you really have to interpret is the scripture that was preserved.
http://www.gnosis.org/library.html

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The Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of thirteen ancient codices containing over fifty texts, was discovered in upper Egypt in 1945. This immensely important discovery includes a large number of primary Gnostic scriptures -- texts once thought to have been entirely destroyed during the early Christian struggle to define "orthodoxy" -- scriptures such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Truth, [Gospels of Mary Magdalene and Judas]. The discovery and translation of the Nag Hammadi library has provided impetus to a major re-evaluation of early Christian history and the nature of Gnosticism.
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I wouldn't assume that it is perfect because it was preserved, but you just have to decide whether you want to interpret it in a constructive way or reject it as being conjectural.
Of course the Bible isn't perfect, it was written by men. It is certainly not historical, except in passing. But things can be true without being historically accurate. Gods are archetypes of human behaviors.

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When you talk about Paul "burning," it sounds like a put down.
Fine, you're projecting.

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You could also interpret it as compassionate. I.e. they're saying that if someone can practice celibacy without burning with desire, they should. But if someone feels burning desire, they should marry. Does that necessarily refer to monogamous marriage? Many people would say so, but on what basis?
Titus 1:6 and Timothy 3:2 from the canon. Bishops and elders should have one wife. Many believers in many religions come to think, if the gods want our leaders to act in a certain way, maybe all of us should, just to get in as good with god as we can.
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

There's no lying in polyamory!

I'm a 58 year old woman with 2 partners:
miss pixi, my live-in gf, 36 (together since Jan '09)
Ginger, bf, 61, married, lives nearby (together since Jan '12)

Last edited by Magdlyn; 07-06-2011 at 04:30 AM.
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  #119  
Old 07-06-2011, 08:27 AM
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And Paul was a burning man himself. He had a "thorn in his flesh."
I read two rather interesting studies on Paul, which both touched on the subject of the thorn. Over 2000 years, many different conditions have been proposed as the Thorn in the Flesh, sexual urges and physical ailments being in the forefront. However, both of these studies pointed out that while it is impossible to know what was the thorn, the one thing Paul in his letters expresses most spiritual anxiety over is the fact that before becoming an apostle, he was an avid persecutor of the Jesus movement.


BTW Mags, are you basing your interpretation on Jesus being married to Mary on Gospels of Philip and Thomas or some other source(s)?
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Last edited by BlackUnicorn; 07-06-2011 at 08:29 AM.
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  #120  
Old 07-06-2011, 11:02 AM
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Mags, are you basing your interpretation on Jesus being married to Mary on Gospels of Philip and Thomas or some other source(s)?
Several gnostic gospels, as well as evidence in the canon. The Eden story in Genesis, and the Song of Solomon are both based on the heiros gamos, or sacred marriage concept. In the New Testament, if you take into consideration the plethora of Marys, and a couple of unnamed women, and bring them all together into one unit as a recurring goddess figure, you'll see the heiros gamos tradition subtly presented. Mary Virgin brings Jesus into physical being. Mary Magdalene anoint Jesus and then finds him risen at his tomb. She is called the Apostle to the Apostles, the only apostle that truly understands his message.

Yahweh splits the first human into male and female in Eden. Male and female are reunited in another garden in the synoptic gospels.

Jesus was a Jewish rabbi. Rabbis were/are required to be married. The idea that it is more spiritual to be celibate came from Paul, who seemed to have trouble dealing with his sexual urges. Humans back then were suspicious of any woman having power. Therefore Christianity became anti-woman, anti- sex, and wholly patriarchal (thanks, St Augustine!), despite Jesus' different attitude towards women as found in the gospels.

A few of the many books I have read on early Christianities can elucidate this concept in detail, if you care to look them up.

The Woman with the Alabaster Jar by Margaret Starbird
The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
Lost Christianties by Bart Ehrman
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

This article sums up much of the information on Jesus and Mary M as consorts.

http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/659

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If the idea of Jesus as married seems strange or offensive, or the idea of the inclusion of our bodies and sexuality in our spirituality sounds outrageous, then there is certainly something within us in dire need of being acknowledged and healed. Quite frankly, the idea that our bodies and sexuality must be excluded from our spiritual life and practice, or are in some way opposed to enlightenment or God, is a strange and unnatural idea that makes very little sense (at least from a Sophian perspective). After all, our bodies and lives are part of God’s creation. So is the drive of creatures to the joy of procreation, and our own recreation in our human experience of love and sexuality. If this is true, then the whole of ourselves and our lives is inherently sacred and holy, assuming we open ourselves to embody something of the Divine within them. Isn’t this the true message of the myth of the Divine Incarnation central to the Gospel: that the human being is meant to embody something of Divine Being?
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

There's no lying in polyamory!

I'm a 58 year old woman with 2 partners:
miss pixi, my live-in gf, 36 (together since Jan '09)
Ginger, bf, 61, married, lives nearby (together since Jan '12)
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