Case Study Issues
Case Study 2
Baptizing a Polygamist? Are You Kidding?
“Imagine! The mission is permitting the baptism of men with several wives! Never facing such a challenge, led us to wonder what we should do. Our agency must be getting broadminded. Now what are we going to do?”
It was our first term of ministry as missionaries. Joanne and I had been appointed to serve with an evangelical mission agency that emphasized the evangelization of Indians. Pre-field preparation completed, we left our home land to begin language studies. Midway through the studies, our Field Director suggested that we take a break from our studies. The occasion would allow us to travel to an Indian village, our first encounter to those we sensed God had called us. Naturally we were filled with excitement. We couldn’t possibly turn down the opportunity.
During the long rough journey, we were told that several missionaries would hold a business meeting to address a serious issue. The issue was not disclosed at that time. Upon our arrival to the village, greetings were exchanged with missionaries and the curious Indians alike. The field committee would begin its sessions the following day. As a new missionary, I was not included in their meetings. Tension was obvious when the missionaries returned. However, the subject at hand would not be discussed until the forthcoming annual field conference.
Missionaries from all parts of field gathered for spiritual encouragement and fellowship at the annual conference. The business sessions soon exposed the serious matter under discussion. The board of directors of the mission had issued a policy stating that converted polygamists could be baptized. It was acceptable that their numerous wives could remain with them. Several missionaries strongly disagreed, charging the leadership for approving adultery. Based on Romans 7:2-3, it states that if a man marries another woman while his wife lives, he has committed adultery. They therefore insisted that all but the first wife should be put away and afterwards as a professing Christian, he should be baptized. Other field personnel heartily disagreed. We cannot undo what has already been done. To quote an old proverb, “You can’t unscramble eggs.” You can’t dissolve the previous marriages. As believers, the polygamist Indians were forgiven and therefore were allowed to enter baptismal waters. It would not be fair to put away their multiple wives. What would happen to them? Would they become prostitutes? It was understood that these new converts could never serve as church leaders but baptism? That was another subject.
By the end of conference, bitter feelings were being expressed by all parties. We, as new missionaries were caught in the middle of the battle. In the following weeks, before the older missionaries returned to their village of ministry, they would visit in our home. Whereas some encouraged us to leave the mission. others assured us that the mission had solid biblical support and that we should remain. I began to reflect back over my studies on Cultural Anthropology in Bible College. Though the problem was referenced there, no solution was given. Correspondence was sent to former Theology professors asking their counsel. The responses indicated they were not well versed on this debatable issue enough to come to a biblically based conclusion. I went one step further by contacting our supporting churches. Bias opinions were expressed among them, again because they were so out of touch with polygamist situations.
Since Joanne and I were to begin a ministry among such indigenous peoples after language study, the mission’s decision would eventually affect us. So I felt it necessary to begin a research project, seeking for answers. After a year of study, the time arrived to present the results. Would I accept the position that the mission took and carry on or should I resign and seek another ministry. Among the missionaries that remained on the field, I began to share saying . . . .
You will write a 2-page analysis of Case Study 2 using Scripture and the course material (textbooks and/or lectures). You must:
- Discuss the issues/dilemmas in the case study.
- Discuss the rationale (values and practices) that informs the actions of each party involved in the conflict.
- Discuss possible solutions to the dilemma presented in the case study.
- Use Scripture and the course material to support your thoughts.
- Current Turabian Formatting is required.
- A title page and bibliography are required in addition to the 2 pages of content.
- Use of Scripture and the course material is required.
Type of writing: Case Study
The books to use is Cross Cultural Servanthood and introducing Cultural Anthropology 2nd edition. Its all the library
Go to myWSB.com and use this email to access the other book.
If the above email does not work use Capital P
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