“Life is short. Have an affair.” That’s the motto of Ashley Madison, the online business where one could register to have an affair. Some have nicknamed it Adultery, Inc. The website was recently hacked and 37 million registered users have been “outed.” Its motto can now read, “We’ve been hacked. You’ve been caught.”
Like roaches when the light is turned on, many are running for cover. Celebrity Josh Duggar was reported as having two accounts. Supposedly there were 15,000 government employees that were registered. More disturbing than these figures, it was estimated that 400 church leaders submitted their resignations this past Sunday because of their interaction on this website.
The lurid curiosity and quest for details to expose those who have sought the services provided by Ashley Madison may overlook a greater revelation. There may be nothing that lays bare the raw depravity of mankind so clearly as discovering what men and women would do if they think it could be cloaked in utter secrecy.
I am sure there are more revelations to come; it will take some time to sift through 37 million registered users. The heartbreak of betrayal will fracture marriages and divide homes. And as is usually the case, children will be the ones harmed the most by the emotional fallout of unfaithfulness.
There is another revelation coming that will be greater in scope and detail than the hackers of Ashley Madison ever imagined. Paul tells us a day is coming when “God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus,” Romans 2:16, and “there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do,” Hebrews 4:13. What has been committed in the darkness will come to light on the day of judgment.
There may be some who happened upon the Ashley Madison website by chance. Some told me the name sounded like a fashion line of women’s clothing and would have possibly gone to the site to do some online shopping. Website names can be misleading.
But those who deliberately visited the site fall in one of two categories, the resolute sinner looking for another avenue to fulfill his lusts, and the weakened saint who succumbed to temptation. And since these are matters of the heart and not merely actions only it is difficult for man to distinguish the two.
For the sinner we pray that this crisis would bring a realization of their need to trust Christ as their Savior. For the saint who has stumbled, Paul’s admonition is clear, “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted,” Galatians 6:1. It is not a time to judge the penitent, but to restore.