Jesus commends His followers in the church of Thyatira not only for the depth of their concern for one another, readiness to trust the trustworthy, generous acts of service, and patience in the face of hardship—but also for their progress in all of these areas!
They weren’t resting on their laurels, but actively pursuing personal and spiritual growth.
The only thing Jesus had against some of these followers was that they were passively tolerating a person who advocated forms of dangerous indulgence, especially in the area of sexuality.
“I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality” (Revelation 2:21).
While there are many variations of damaging extravagance when it comes to sexuality, let’s focus on one …
When I first encountered the word “polyamorous” (presented as a positive thing), I had to think about its meaning: poly = many; amorous = romantic relationships. My first thought was “What are they thinking? How can they possibly believe that this could work well at any relational level?”
As you may know, there are several polygamous marriages in the Bible. What you may not know is that there is not one single, successful example of polygamy anywhere in those pages. These arrangements are consistently fraught with sadness, disappointment, and jealousy. Always, always, always, one of the partners is favored over the other.
While polygamy is generally outlawed in first-world countries, the desire and pursuit for multiple sexual and/or romantic partners still runs rampant in our culture—and in some cases, even encouraged.
If I understand the Letter to Thyatira correctly, Jesus has a problem with this.
C.S. Lewis believed that the line between romantic love and friendship love can often get blurred …
We can have erotic love and friendship for the same person yet in some ways nothing is less like a friendship than a love affair. Lovers are always talking to one another about their love; friends hardly ever about their friendship. Lovers remain face to face, absorbed in each other; friends, side by side, absorbed in some common interest. Above all, Eros is necessarily between two only. But two, far from being the necessary number for Friendship, is not even the best.
From The Four Loves
Lest we think that we could never enter into the temptation of polyamory, there’s always one of the warnings in the last commandment: “Do not covet your neighbor’s spouse.”
While we might never let our bodies cross that line, allowing our minds to live in a state of FOMO (fear of missing out) can be just as dangerous to our mental and spiritual health.
Especially when …
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