Polyamory is the practice of having simultaneous intimate relationships with more than one person at a time, with the knowledge and consent of all partners.
The BBC article (find it here) that contains this definition shows us a picture of four people in five relationships amongst themselves. Yes, the first thought is probably something in regards to the extreme drama that should surely come of such things. As a Christian, we should have a wildly different, more visceral reaction. Thabiti Anyabwile does that topic much more justice than I could though (see it here, seriously take the time to read this!). But suffice it to say that we should be appalled by the level of sinfulness exampled in this “relationship”. It is a blend of relative truth, modern “love”, fear of total commitment, and the age old desires of the flesh.
Polyamory is a “Have it your way” emotional-sexual lifestyle that capitalizes on the “relative truth” mindset of postmodernity.
In her own admission Charlie says, “I had been scared of commitment because I had never met anyone I felt I could fall completely and exclusively in love with. The idea of this not being a monogamous relationship allowed me to fall as deeply in love with Tom as I wanted to without fear that I would break his heart by falling in love with somebody else as well.”
The article is wonderfully sculpted to give the reader a sense of freedom in such a relationship. As sinners, freedom is our number one goal. We want to be free to do as we please, and without consequences. Charlie didn’t want to hurt Tom, she says. But that’s the cover up. She wanted a relationship that would allow her “to fall as deeply in love with Tom as [she] wanted to without fear”. The crux of the matter seems to be insecurity in the God-instituted beautiful commitment of marriage between one man and one woman. She’s not alone. Divorce for reasons of infidelity make anyone looking at marriage skeptical.
Polyamory is a gospel issue dressed a little different.
Ultimately, the union of one man and one woman is a gospel picture designed from the beginning to glorify and point to God. The picture of marriage is a clear type of the complete union that God has within His trinitarian being. And any worldly deviations from this marriage union commanded by God is an affront against the gospel, against God Himself. Christ’s love and sacrifice for the church is pictured in marriage. He calls the the church His bride. In fact, intimate language is used by God to demonstrate a deeper, unbreakable love that Christ accomplishes in the life of His church. This is why we as Christians are to take such matters as serious. We are not to hate, but tell the truth in love.
Polyamory does great injustice to Biblical love.
Sarah states, “It’s not like there’s only so much love I have to give and I have to give all of it to one person. I can love as many people as I can fit in my heart and it turns out that’s quite a few.” The Bible states very clearly the opposite. In 1Cor 13:4, the love chapter, God says that love does not envy. Envy comes from a lack of contentment. Love as displayed in the Bible is an amazing commitment that anyone would be absurd not to desire. So why do we? We are sinners who think romance is love. We have taught ourselves that love always feels new, has no routines, and is primarily about sex. Though sex is the physically intimate display of love in marriage, it is not the end all. If sex is the end all, then we are no longer capable of love after we lose the physical ability to have sex. It is dedication, determination, and growth together within the marital union. Love is patient and kind, humble, self-sacrificing, not irritable, and rejoices in truth not wrong. The church cannot have love and devotion to more than one Lord (Matthew 6:24). Neither can one man have love and devotion to more than one woman.
Polyamory tries to work around the Biblical display of jealousy.
Exodus 20:5 “You shall not bow down to them[other gods] or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me…” WOW! God is also compared to a consuming fire in His jealousy for the worship, love, and devotion that He deserves. He directly equates the love of other gods as hate. There is no such thing as being able to equally love God and something or someone else. Marriage is the same way. When my wife and I were married, we vowed our lives and love to one another in a marriage covenant before God. We dedicated our love and devotion to one another, as all marriages should do in obedience to God. We gave each other the Biblical right to desire and be jealous us each others love and affections and time. We did not give each other the right to squander or misuse that jealous based on feelings or manipulation or selfishness. We gave each other the right to desire each other physically and intimately. 1 Cor 7 shows us that we do not have the rights to our own bodies, but give them up to each other in marriage. Therefore, we cannot sexually withhold ourselves from our spouse except for a short time of prayer and fasting. I gave her the right to be jealous for my affections and devotion. And she gave me the right to be jealous for her affections and devotions. Love is sacrifice for one another within the confines of Biblical marriage. Charlie reports her feelings when a new partner is added into the mix as follows,”But compare my small amount of discomfort with the huge amount of love that I could see in both of them, and honestly, I’d feel like a really mean person if I said my discomfort was more important than their happiness.” She takes the sacrificial nature of love outside the confines of marriage to allow the selfishness of her husband. That is antithetical to Biblical love. 1 Cor 13:6 says love does not rejoice at wrongdoings. This newfound “love” that her husband has found is called adultery, which is a sin. And she joins him in sin by not calling it sin and exposing his selfishness.
Polyamory casts aside our need for Christ.
With such a blatant disregard for sin as sin, we lose all understanding of guilt and need of salvation. This is the end of homosexuality, transgenderism, polyamory, polygamy, adultery, and every other sexual issue. It denies sin at its core. It denies the gospel at its core. It denies our need of a Savior. But we ARE in need of a Savior. Not just “those” people, but all people. I do not hate sinners, for I am one. But God, having saved me from my sin, has given me a disdain for sin. We need to see our need of His forgiveness. We need to share His Word and the change it brings in the lives of the saints. Because the gospel is being marginalized everyday by these issues. And too many professing believers are not doing what they profess. Share the true love of Jesus. It’s the only love that matters, for marriage and for life.