A Polyamorous Commitment – Dr. James Emery White Christian Blog

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I know, I know… the title of the blog is an oxymoron. How can you be polyamorous and be in a committed relationship? But that is ahead of us. First of all, what does it mean to be polyamorous? It’s not exactly an old or established term.

To be polyamorous means to be “open to romantic relationships with more than one person at a time”. Consider Sarah Brylinsky who is legally married to Brandon Brylinsky. Two years ago, they met Matte Namer. All three fell in love. “Now the three are considering having a child, and they want to formalize their relationship so that they can be recognized by their community as a family.”

A kind of consensual non-monogamy, polyamory is booming. A 2021 study found that one in nine single American adults had engaged in it. Currently in the United States, it is illegal to be married to more than one person at a time. Only the city of Somerville, MA legally recognizes polyamorous domestic relationships (started in 2020).

Yet what is increasingly common is a ‘commitment ceremony’, symbolically but not legally committing those involved. They are often very similar to a wedding, including things like vows. Processions may also be involved. For example, an already married couple can wait at the end of the aisle while the third person comes down to symbolically join them.

As one New York wedding planner noted, “You can do whatever you want.”

And that’s the problem.

And even the reason to have a “commitment” ceremony.

Jessica Fern, a Boulder-based psychotherapist who works with polyamorous people, touted the potential benefits of ceremonies like this. She says,

“When someone experiences legal marginalization for their relationship structure or style, commitment ceremonies can go a long way in deepening a relationship, publicly acknowledging its importance, and even easing some of the pain and injustice. that being a minority can create.”

In other words, these ceremonies aim culturally and publicly to validate the choice.

Let’s be clear. One can only consider the deepest irony that a polyamorous relationship would want to be governed by commitment, let alone vows, let alone marriage. The very idea of ​​a polyamorous relationship is a denial of commitment.

I know the world is moving far away from a biblical perspective. But that doesn’t mean that Bible truth isn’t… well, Bible truth.

Marriage is between a man and a woman.

James Emery White

Sources

Suzannah Weiss, “How Polyamorous People Mark Their Commitment to Multiple Partners”, The Washington PostMay 16, 2022, read online.

“Desire, Familiarity, and Commitment in Polyamory: Results from a National Sample of Single Adults in the United States,” National Library of Medicine, March 23, 2021, read online.

About the Author

James Emery White is the founder and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a former professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His latest book After “I believe” is now available on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore. To take advantage of a free Church & Culture blog subscription, visit churchandculture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive, read the latest church and culture news from around the world, and listen to the Church & Culture podcast. . Follow Dr. White on TwitterFacebook and Instagram at @JamesEmeryWhite.

James Emery White is the founder and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a former professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president.

His latest book, After “I believe”, is now available on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore. To take advantage of a free Church & Culture blog subscription, visit churchandculture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive, read the latest church and culture news from around the world, and listen to the Church & Culture podcast. .

Follow Dr. White on TwitterFacebook and Instagram at @JamesEmeryWhite.

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