For the last few years, there’s been a website that helped married people have secret affairs with other married people. Earlier this summer the website was hacked, and last week the hackers released the personal information of everyone who had signed up. This is pretty big news since it’s turning out that some of the people with accounts were public figures or people in important positions in the government. Many people are commenting on the situation, and it gives us the chance to see the contradictory ideas that result from trying to live without God in the picture:
1. Adultery: Do it!
Of course, there’s first the perspective revealed by the existence of the website and its 30 million+ users in the first place. The tagline of the website is: “Life is short. Have an affair.”
2. Adultery: Bad, but not a big deal.
In this article, a journalist tries to criticize people who are over-interested in news like this. He makes some good points. But then he says he doesn’t think this is big news because he doesn’t think adultery is really all that terrible. He calls it a “moral misdemeanor” and says it can sometimes be the best option available in a difficult marriage.
3. Adultery: Rejection and condemnation!
In this post, the author rightly points out that the wives of adulterers are in a terrible situation that requires a response from us. But then she suggests that the solution is for those wives to be self-sufficient and give big doses of rejection and condemnation to the adulterer.
If we’re merely looking for moral principles that make people feel good, then there are good arguments for each one of these perspectives. None of them will be able to persuade the others: there will just be a constant shouting match. Imagine the confusion of a culture where people ignore the reality of God and try to figure out their own rules about adultery.
Oh yeah, you don’t have to imagine it – just look at the discussion going on about this news item. Contrast this with the response to adultery that is actually presented by God in the Bible:
4. Adultery: Repent and be saved.
God says the problem is worse than we imagined: the punishment for adultery isn’t just death but damnation. And more bad news: if you’ve ever had a lustful thought, you’re guilty! But His response is also more loving than we could have ever hoped: He loves you so much that He died for you while you were still His enemy. Jesus came not for good people, but for sinners.
When you recognize God’s love for you, it gives you the security to admit how sinful you are and the motivation to repent. That process is the heart of living like God is real.