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Free to love

We recently got into reading a blog called Sparkling Adventures. The family seems really cool and similar to us in many respects. They're alternative seeking Christians. They parent free range. They hate wearing shoes.

Of course, they live in a traveling bus and let their children call them by their first names, so it's not exactly like we're twinsies.

Still, I was feeling inspired by the biblical hippiness. Find community wherever you go! Screw money! Rock on! Then the other day Lauren who writes the blog dropped a bit of a bomb. Because of the freedom afforded them through their walk with God, her husband is gonna start sleeping with other people. Well, it's kind of unclear... Maybe just one person. Or maybe she's just okayed him to start looking for a person to sleep with. There are really an unfair amount of details left out of her blog post.

Now. These are not the first Christians to conclude that their liberation from sin plus their love in Christ for every man equal open hunting season for hippy booty. (Has anyone used the phrase "patchouli booty" before? They should.) We talked about this in bible study last night in fact... Why should we stand agape at an open marriage and not, say premarital sex or driving on the sabbath or wearing garments made of mixed fibers. I mean, Jesus invalidated lots of laws. Isn't where we draw the line only based on our moral relativism?

By the way, if your bible study doesn't discuss free love when you read Revelation then I feel bad for you. I'd be happy to sign on as a consultant...

But back to the topic at hand. I have often found myself defending polygamy. Polygamy solves a lot of problems... the need for extra help and companionship in chores and childbearing, the need for someone else to have sex with your husband when you're recovering from giving birth.... for 13 months. Of corse societal polygamy causes problems too, notably the need to purge a large number of boys from the fold every generation, but I then there are drawbacks to everything.

I confess, however, that sometimes I fantasize TOO MUCH about polygamy. I would just love it if someone else could jump in and solve all the challenges that being married presents. I can even concoct very loving looking orgy fantasies. But they're not really biblical. "An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife..." (Titus 1:6) I have a tough time arguing that Jesus's death invalidated laws written in the New Testament.

Dan's conclusion last night in BStudy is that whether or not free love works for the Sparkling family, blogging about it risks putting a stumbling block in front of those who are struggling with promiscuity and its negative effects. I think that's a nice counterpoint to a theology of complete freedom.

And hey, there's another lesson to be learned from this: If you want to increase loyalty in your readership base, announce something sexy on your blog. I just can't wait to hear what happens next.


I can't figure out how free love works in any kind of Jesus-following context (at least for the person going elsewhere for sex), because learning about love involves making boring daily sacrifices for your spouse and others. To me, it's not about law at all, it's about how Jesus taught us about love. I know I think about it in my cultural context and so on, but it feels like you cannot make marriage vows and not suffer consequences (internal, not necessarily imposed by anyone) when you break them.

I know the polygamy stuff is partially tongue-in-cheek, but polygamy in modern times really, really sucks. Maybe no more than being a mistress, but still.

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