Today (12-31-14) the International Nazarene Beit Din has passed a measure prohibiting polygamous marriages. This halacha has been passed partly in response to the new polygamy doctrine now being taught by Rabbi Rob Miller (which we strongly denounce). It must be understood that this is not a new halacha, but rather an elaboration of our anti-polygamy halacha of 2008 which stated:
Although polygamy is not forbidden by the Torah, it does violate the principle of Yesod HaBriah (the principle/foundation of creation) because he who made man in the beginning, 'made them male and female' (Gen. 1:27) 'Wherefore shall a man shall leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh' (Gen. 2:24) And now then, they are no more two but one flesh only.
Divorce also violates the principle of Yesod HaBriah because the divorced man has more than one wife in his lifetime. What therefore Elohim has joined together man cannot separate.
(Polygamy and Divorce Halachah of the International Nazarene Beit Din)
And our 2012 Official Declaration in Defense of Marriage which reads:
Yeshua the Messiah said:
4 ...Have you not read, that He who made man at the beginning, made them male and female.
5 And said: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh?
6 And now they are no more two, but one flesh only. What therefore Elohim has joined together, man cannot separate.
(Matt. 19:4-6 HRV)
We as Nazarenes maintain that marriage is a religious rather than a secular act. We maintain that word 'marriage' means only a union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.
Therefore, we as Nazarenes claim the right not to participate in any public act, record, or judicial proceeding respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of any nation, state, territory, possession, or tribe, or any alleged right or claim arising from such relationship.'
The new halacha makes our position on the issue even more direct:
Our Torah says concerning the judges, "you shall do, according to the tenor of the sentence, which they shall declare unto you" and "you shall observe to do according to all that they shall teach you. According to the Torah which they shall teach you, and according to the judgment which they shall tell you, you shall do. You shall not turn aside from the sentence which they shall declare unto you, to the right hand nor to the left. And the man that does presumptuously, in not hearkening unto the cohen, that stands to minister there before YHWH your Elohim, or unto the judge, even that man shall die, and you shall exterminate the evil from Yisra’el." (Deut. 17:10-12)
And our Messiah also said concerning the judges:
"Truly I tell you, all that you will bind (prohibit) on earth is prohibited in heaven
also, and all that you will loose (permit) on earth is permitted in heaven also."
The Torah does not require anyone to practice polygamy, therefore polygamy may be regulated by the judges.
And what if one shall say, "What of the case of the levirate marriage"?
The Torah does not require polygamy in the case of the levirate marriage, in this case the ceremony of halizah may be performed instead.
Although polygamy is not forbidden by the Torah, it does violate the principle of Yesod HaBriah (the principle/foundation of creation) because he who made man in the beginning, 'made them male and female' (Gen. 1:27) 'Wherefore shall a man shall
leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh' (Gen. 2:24) And now then, they are no more two but one flesh only.
Moreover the Torah says concerning Kings "he shall not multiply wives to himself" (Deut. 17:17). Just as the King may not multiply wives to himself, so also a Elder "shall not multiply wives to himself" (Since the king in Deut. 17:14-20 holds the authority given to the judges in Deut. 17:8-13). And thus Paul says that an elder "shall be the husband of one wife." (1Tim. 3:2).
Moreover we are told that the men of the general membership of the Body of Messiah should follow the example set by the leadership:
"Be imitators of me, my brothers, and consider those who walk thus, according to the example that you see in us."
“Those things, which you have learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me: these do,"
"And you became imitators of us and of our Adon, in that you received the word in great affliction, and in the joy of the Ruach HaKodesh."
(1 Thessalonians 1:6)
"For you know how it is right to be imitators of us, for we did not walk wickedly among you."
(2 Thessalonians 3:7)”
Therefore it is good that the men of the general membership of the Body of Messiah should follow the halacha of our Messiah in upholding the Yesod haBriah to be the husband of only one wife as well.
By the authority invested in the International Nazarene Beit Din, by the Torah and the Messiah, we do hereby bind (prohibit) all forms of plural marriage (polygamy) in the Nazarene community.