WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO ARE CONVERTED THAT ARE ALREADY POLYGAMOUS? ARE THEY TO PUT AWAY THEIR OTHER WIVES?
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Initially some missionaries to Africa did encourage polygamist converts to put away all wives aside from their first wife. This was soon recognised to cause tremendous social upheavals and lead to many women not being protected and provided for.
The general policy of churches in Africa concerning polygamy is that polygamists can be admitted to church membership, can be baptised and may take part in the Lord’s Supper. However, polygamist church members are not eligible for church leadership. Deacons, elders and pastors must be the husband of only one wife. Neither are any polygamists church members allowed to take on any further wives after their conversion. In this way the door is open for their conversion, but they cannot be lifted up as role models or examples in terms of their marriage relationships for the next generation, who of course will be taught monogamy and faithfulness within marriage.