There is a way out

The first time I heard the name Ashley Madison I remember thinking to myself, “Oooh, I want some chocolate donuts.”

I was quickly told that I was thinking of another Madison named Dolly. Her cousin Ashley, well, she’s more of a black sheep in that family.

Although the media has been awash with reports of the 32 million names hacked and then released from the “Hey let’s destroy our family” website where married folks gather to have an affair, I’ve been mostly disinterested.

Until today.

A pastor friend called me today and asked for some advice. It had come to light that the names of some of those in his church are… on the list.

Well, we had a good and redemptive conversation, but after hanging up I began to think about things closer to home.

I have no doubt; there will be people I know on the list. In fact, it would be foolish of me to believe otherwise.

  • We have decimated the value and meaning of marriage in our culture.
  • We’ve made pornography more accessible than a Big Mac.
  • We have robbed the gift of sex of its sacredness and made it as flippant as a weekend excursion.
  • The marriage and divorce stats from inside the church, don’t show a people any different from those outside the church.

So, once again, the whole mess doesn’t surprise me.

I am just thankful there aren’t other sites spilling the beans on us.

If ever got hacked, and all those pictures of me binge Twinkie eating ever got out… I’d be in serious trouble.

Let’s hope never gets busted or… well, they might be ok. Those folks probably never got around to signing up.

I know, you’re probably thinking I am minimizing the wrongs being committed through this whole Ashley Madison mess. You’re wrong, I am trying to do just the opposite.

I want us to begin to consider all sin, the ones we consider “little stuff” up through the majors, to be vile, offensive, destructive and worthy of immediate and corrective action.

1 John 1:8-10 says,

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

Sin is a disease we all share, and it’s serious business.

We have a collective sense of moral outrage at what has happened, with the exception of about 32 million people I would guess, but it’s too little, too late.

We got to this place because we have collectively starting accepting the “little stuff.” What was inappropriate on TV 20 years ago is on Cartoon Network today. The clothes we buy for our kids today wouldn’t have passed inspection at any school in the country 15 years ago. Ten years ago the language reserved for bathroom stalls is now prefixed with a hashtag or suffixed with .com.

We are all to blame. We are all guilty. We are all in need.

I am a guilty sinner, and even though my name is not on some list for the world to gawk at, I confess that my heart, mind and life are corrupt and need of repair.

So, if you are on the list, or if your name is on a list only you know about, let me offer you the hope to which I cling.

There is a God. He loves you and is willing to forgive. If He weren’t, you’d be a burnt spot on the pavement already.

His plan is Jesus Christ. Not strict adherence to a moral code, but devotion to a person. Jesus paid a price so we wouldn’t have to, He provided a way we could never have found, and He offers us a way out of our mess… whether it’s adultery or Twinkies.

May we be reminded that sin is sin, and we don’t have the luxury of labeling some as worse than others. When we do that, we start the slippery slide to a place like we are today.

No matter how dark things may seem right now, there is Good News. There is a way out.
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