Scandal and Ashley Madison

Hard to miss all the attention around Ashley Madison. A website catering to those searching to have an extra-marriatal affair, it hosted 10′s of millions of subscribers.  Recently, following a massive computer security breach, the personal data of those subscribers was made public.

To give an idea of the breadth of the websites reach, every zip code in the US with the exception of 3 were represented in the clientel.

I imagine a conversation must start with this.  Adultery is bad.  A sin.  And why?  Because we were created a certain way.  And that certain way appears to function best married to one.  A concrete love.  Committed. Blessed and broken. Where we can learn and grow.  Working over the decades to learn how to love unconditionally. That seems, plainly, to be God’s plan.

When we go outside of the plan, hurt follows. Notice even our language.  We don’t often use the term “adultery.”  We say instead someone “cheated.” They were “unfaithful.”  I think those words are spot on … adultery is a “cheat”, a shortcut, a way of pulling faith in relationahip from a relationship.

And people do have affairs.  It happens.  People make mistakes.  Good people. Christ clearly shows a way forward.  A woman, caught literally in bed with her lover, is brought by a mob to Christ.  The mob seeking to stone her to death as Jewish law prescribed.  Christ gently rebukes the crowd “Let those without sin throw the first stone.”  Words that saved her from a horrendous death.  And then lovingly raises himeself up from the ground and offers…

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

So the message is simple.  No condemning. No throwing stones. And please, no adultery.

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6 Responses to “Scandal and Ashley Madison”

  1. It is not hard to reconcile that we live in a spiritual culture of faith (words) alone. We use terms like, ‘love’, ‘marriage’, ‘fidelity’ ‘trust’, ‘forgiveness’; without understanding that one cannot give what they do not possess. The Apostle essentially said that unless “these things be IN YOU and abound, one “WILL NOT”‘ be fruitful in every pursuit (good work); weather it be marriage, business or in life.

    The greatest devastation one can do to a willing soul is to confirm them in the illusion that an event can bring salvation, rather than a relationship. One is no more married on the day they cite their vows to each other than one is “saved” on the day they cite their vows to the Lord.

    Ashley Madison is only the effect. It is the ’cause’ that is being ignored. Is it not evident in light of these many current revelations? Christ essentially said, that unless one is born again, we will not see the resolution through to victory. In essence, WE are only doing what sinners do; there is no surprise here. Our words must contain the Life of the Lord. The good news is that the Lord’s Words contain Mercy and Grace. :-)

  2. Chuck.Blair says:

    Jospeh – I am smiling because some of what your wrote is close to the wording I am using in a sermon I wrote yesterday.

    The point is that Christianity is a narrative not a quick fix cure. Your words on “an event” vs. ” a relationship” echo that point very closely.

  3. Thanks so much Chuck,
    If I may?  The thought here for me is holding my relationship at any given point in time with the trepidation that; “this could be me!”  With this in mind, the tendency then is mercy toward others, and hopefully myself.

    An ‘event’ oriented doctrine views the Scriptures with little more ‘use’ than a “scratch and sniff” approach.  Passages such as “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” are used once, and then discarded for the next candidate.  But when this passage is imbued with Life from the Lord, Romans 3:23 is no longer a dead letter, but a relational existence. 

    So then, at ANY given point in time I recognize my great need for a Savior; daily, minute by minute, moment by moment.  None of us personally can lay claim on Aaron’s Rod of Righteousness (right order).

    However . . . “Since man has an internal and an external and each must be reformed for the man to be reformed, and since no one can be reformed unless he examines himself, sees and admits his evils, and then quits them . . .” (DP 152) Swedenborg

  4. Chuck.Blair says:

    Good stuff my friend!

  5. Tom Kopera says:

    Hi Chuck,
    Adultery is one of the many ways as human beings that we can turn away from God’s plan for us. I agree that it is important to remember that Christianity is a way of life, not a single choice made in an instant. We are called to do the right thing out of love of God rather than the threat of any kind of punishment. It can be difficult to do the right thing in a culture that often condones doing the wrong thing. That’s why it’s easier to live in a right relationship with God with the support of a Christian community like NewChurch Live rather than attempting to go it alone.

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