I think it is best to start this blog with a quote from Matthew 5:27, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery'; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." If there is any benefit to living in the moral wasteland that is modern America it's that we can get a better idea of what Jesus meant when he spoke on moral issues. Of course I am talking about the recent event that has happened in our nation the scope of which cannot yet be understood. For those who don' know, recently the website Ashley Madison a website created for the purpose of enabling people to have affairs was hacked and all of the information of their clients were made public for the world to see. This was not a hundred or even a thousand people, but millions of people who have now had their intention to commit adultery exposed to the world, and the reaction has been interesting. This interesting reaction comes from the secular culture which seems to have responded to this event with moral outrage. One might think that their outrage was directed towards those who hacked the website, and to be sure those individuals exist, however I am more interested in those who express moral outrage at the people who sought to commit adultery. The reason why this is interesting is because I had thought that marriage had lost all value in our culture today what with many young people not getting married, the redefining of marriage and the divorce rate in our country. What I missed is what many of these people were upset about, which was not that they destroyed their marriage, but that they were not honest about it. If these people on this website had just divorced their spouse and then went off to date someone else, well then I guess there would be no judgement, but because these people did their deed in secret then they are deserving of culture's condemnation. This plays into one of my favorite hypocrisies which is the hypocrisy of, "I might (insert sin here) but at least I'm honest about it" This is a hypocrisy because it places one sin over another in an attempt for the sinner to justify themselves rather than own up to their own sin. While it is true that the consequences for sin differ from sin to sin, all sin equally separates one from God, and all sin is an affront to God's holiness and goodness. So being honest about your rebellion from God does not make you any less of a rebel than the person who is rebelling against God and lies about it. The hypocrite does not see this because they are focused on the sins of others so that they will not see their own sin. So let's put this cultural condemnation in perspective shall we? "It doesn't matter if I place no value in sex because I jump from bed to bed, if I were to settle down and commit, then I would be faithful." "I might look at a ton of porn while I date my girlfriend, but she knows I do even though we don't talk about it, but I would never cheat on her in real life." "I might sleep with other people but so does my spouse, we have an open marriage, we are progressive, which is why we are morally superior to these people who cling to the old fashion marriage and then fail at that because they had an affair." Of course one's sin need not be sexual in order for one to be a hypocrite. Many of the people who are quick to condemn the people involved in Ashley Madison have a plethora of other sins by which they might be judge. Lying, stealing, rebellion from God, idolatry, are all still sins, and worthy of condemnation from God, and yet we will want to focus on adultery because we are the ones who didn't commit that particular sin. I wonder how many people who have now had their sin laid bare were once standing above another person proclaiming their moral superiority in some kind of fashion. This is where Christians can come in. Instead of seeing these people the way that the culture sees them which is denigrates and morally inferior people, we could instead see them the way Jesus sees them, and in fact the way that Jesus sees us, which is as sinners. Yes every person involved in Ashley Madison is a sinner, and what they did is wrong, and destructive towards marriage, just like the refining of marriage, or having sexual relations before marriage. Yes adultery is a sin, and the people who committed this sin are sinners, but we must consider Jesus' words before we begin to speak so that we may approach this situation from a biblical worldview.The quote I gave at the beginning of this post is from what is called the "sermon on the mount" and in it Jesus lists several sins and explains them in such a way that every single person becomes guilty in some way, which was Jesus' point. Jesus wanted to let us all know that we are all guilty before God the Father and in need of a savior and of forgiveness. Believers, we have an opportunity here to preach the true gospel, to speak to this issue from a biblical worldview. It is an opportunity for us to preach the gospel to these sinners and let them know what Christ did so that their sins would be forgiven. To explain to them that if they would turn from their sin and trust in Him, they can know that they stand justified, and righteous before God even though they have committed adultery because Jesus has died for their sins, just as He has died for yours and mine. This is also where we come to hard part for Christians, and that is forgiving as we have been forgiven. There were many names that came out from this, and many of those names will be Christians or people connected to Christians in some way. It could be someone's spouse or someone's parent who has had their intentions exposed, and so for the Christians who will be hurt from this, and who have loved ones involved in this situation I encourage you to pray for their repentance, to express how their sin has hurt you, and how it has grieved you, but I also call for you to remember how God has forgiven you and so I encourage you to forgive them as you have been forgiven. As for the rest of the believers out there, we should respond to this in two ways. The first way is with grief. We should mourn that so many people are caught up in sexual sin that a website devoted to having affairs could be so successful. We should mourn that our culture has such a low view of marriage and of sex that the sin which is being judged here is not violation of the marriage covenant, but dishonesty, and we should mourn for the broken families that will arrive because of the sins of these people. Our second response should be to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, the one who will wipe away every tear, and the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. We should preach Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sins. We should with humility and grace preach repentance and trust in Jesus. We should keep in mind that one day we will stand before God and every deed we have done will be expressed. We should remember that we are also grievous sinners who have been shown the awesome grace of God, and we should seek to help the families that are going to be broken because of this sin. In short Christians should be Christian. What did you think of this event with Ashley Madison? What do you think of this blog, was it helpful, did it make you think? Comment below and let me know!
Here you can read various thoughts and discussions that come from the mind of our Pastor