August 24, 2015
In spite of a world that flaunts disdain for a Christian view of sexuality, there has been widespread lament over the Ashley Madison hack.
I had never even heard of the website before last week, when news of the hack broke. And since then, only one thing has been running through my mind: what Jesus told his followers when he said, "There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out in the open. [...] Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him" (Lk 8:17-18)
For me, the hack is not a time to point fingers at hypocrites or shake our heads in disgust. It's a time to mourn the fallenness that we all still struggle to overcome in this age. However well-intentioned the hackers' motives may have been--and that's questionable--the result is not a victory for marriage, but for the power who hates what marriage actually symbolizes (Eph 5:25-33).
Is there no outcry for crime against our Maker? Is there no anguish over His honor and name and authority? Are we no longer sorrowful when another sins (especially our brothers and sisters) against our holy God? Has amazing grace become common grace? Are we not also convicted of our own brokenness when we read about the fall of another, as it is written "If anyone thinks he stands, take head lest he fall."? How far away are any of us from doing the same? Have we already forgotten that our sins are against God first and against each other second? Should we not judge ourselves, praise our eternal Savior for His sacrifice for us, and then (and only then) will we be able to "speak the message of hope" to the broken? And then shouldn't we use His model of forgiveness and His direction for forgiveness to then do the same?
Hi JKana and Sean, thanks for your questions and comments.
I appreciate your feedback, JKana and recognize where you're coming from - there is much to mourn in the very existence of Ashley Madison. I similarly question the motives of those who released the data. At the same time, adultery is in the forefront of our cultural mind in a way it usually isn't - and it seems that a lot of the response has been one of disgust and fear. In that disgust I think we find the opportunity to affirm a vision of monogamous, covenantal love. In the fear we find a chance to offer hope - both to users and spouses.
Sean, I appreciate your questions. It seems, though, that these are some of the very questions I've tried to answer - absolutely we should mourn. Absolutely we should be focused on showing grace to all those hurting in the wake of the hack. Our churches need to be places of grace for all of us - and we should see ourselves as those needing grace just as much as anyone else!
If there is something I missed in your question, please feel free to clarify.
In Reply to KoryPlockmeyer (comment #27422)
Thanks for clarifying, Kory. I hope my comment above didn't communicate as a challenge to your affirmations above. I was hoping rather to amplify what you were saying. :-) I think you're absolutely right; this is an unprecedented time for the church to affirm the value and abundant fulfillment that marriage offers. My only caveat is that the church needs to do it in a way that simultaneously condemns the hackers' actions. Outwardly, the hack may look like an attack on adultery, championed by people who love marriage. But the callous way in which the attack was carried out has only expedited the dissolution of dozens of marriages that were already headed for trouble. I think one of the most powerful ways for the church to affirm the value of marriage is by standing with the victims and offering help where the world only shouts condemnation. In so doing, we can reveal the very thing that marriage symbolizes in the first place: the unbreakable love of Jesus Christ for his sin-stained Bride.
Not trying to beat a dead horse, as it were. Just want to make sure I'm crystal clear. We're in the same boat here. :-)
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