Guest Blog from Ron Boehme of Youth With A Mission
Up until six weeks ago, I had never heard of Ashley Madison. I thought she might be the great-great-great granddaughter of James Madison, the fourth president of the United States.
Not by a long shot.
Ashley Madison is an adultery website that helps men and women cheat on their spouses. Their sickening slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.”
Six weeks ago Ashley Madison ran into a huge problem that exposed the names and personal secrets of up to 29 million people. That’s bad for them.
But what should we ALL learn from the Ashley Madison expose?
It saddens me to think about a story like this, but the more I pondered it, the more I realized there was a huge lesson to be learned. I’ll get to that shortly, but first let’s tell the tale of Ashley Madison.
It’s a popular web-site started by Noel Biderman in 2001 whose purpose is to link married men and women together who want to cheat on their spouses. Prospective adulterers fill out a profile, say what they are looking for, and pay a fee to be linked to someone as sordid as them.
As CEO of Ashley Madison, Biderman lauded his cheating business in a 2014 interview with the Washington Post where he explained that the goal of the company was global outreach because infidelity is universal.
“You get married, and after a period of time, your sexual attraction to your partner seems to wane,” he said. “Both genders do it, even where it is prohibited by law.” Biderman, who is married, even said that cheating can be good for society — as long as the trysts stay under wraps.
How he came to that conclusion I’ll never understand.
Ashley Madison is a sin site. Building on the universal reality of human lust, Biderman decided to make a lot of money condoning and promoting adultery. He is a Web-based adultery pimp who got wealthy encouraging people to cheat on their marital promises.
All was going well is this lurid, satanically-inspired world until some hackers came along.
In July 2015, a group called “The Impact Team” stole the user data of Ashley Madison and threatened to release users’ names and personal identifying information if its parent company, Avid Life Media, did not immediately shut down both Ashley Madison and its sister site, “Established Men.”
When Ashley Madison’s leaders didn’t respond to the threat, the group leaked more than 25 gigabytes of company data, including user details on August 18 and 20.
In its message to Ashley Madison’s leaders and the world, “The Impact Team” blamed Avid Life Media, accusing the company of deceptive practices: “We have explained the fraud, deceit, and stupidity of ALM and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data … Too bad for ALM, you promised secrecy but didn’t deliver.”
That brought a world-wide gasp to millions of men and women cheaters. They had been exposed as liars and creeps.
What the hackers did was illegal. They should be tracked down and prosecuted for stealing personal property. But I’m not writing to debate that point. Their theft of information, and the exposure that it brought to millions of people around the world can be very instructive to all of us.
To put it in a nut-shell: Your sin will find you out.
Those are famous words in the Bible that Moses spoke to the nation of Israel in Numbers 32:23. In the story, Moses asked two of the Israelite tribes who had land east of the Jordan River to go across and fight for the other ten tribes whose inheritances were to the west. He said if they refused to go to battle with their brothers, their cowardice would become known.
Their sin would find them out.
Plenty of sermons have been preached on that verse over the past two thousand years. It’s the basic moral premise that you reap what you sow; You won’t get away with your sin; Cheaters don’t prosper–and other similar proverbs.
In this life, that’s not perfectly true–but it often is. In the case of Ashley Madison’s customers, 29 million men and womens’ chickens come home to roost. That included some people currently in the news, and even the founder of the website–Noel Biderman–who had publicly stated that he’d never cheated on this wife.
His personal data said otherwise–indicating at least two trysts with other liars in Toronto hotels. Biderman has since been dismissed as CEO of the company and who knows the state of his union with his wife, Amanda.
Lying and cheating don’t help a marriage.
How Mr. Biderman could passionately promote and receive a big salary for an adultery web-site, and swear that his marriage was pure, is beyond me. I guess once Satan traps you in his web of lies you end up getting lost in the propaganda.
Your sin will find you out.
But let’s be honest. Our sins are not always exposed in this lifetime. The Bible rightly tells us in 1 Timothy 5:24, “ Remember, the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later.”
What’s that referring to?
The eternal judgment of God.
Here’s where the Ashley Madison revelations are very important to every human being–not just those who cheat on their husbands or wives.
First, I want to point out a very important word clarification in the Bible. In both the Hebrew and Greek languages, the root terms used for judge, just, justice and righteousness are essentially the same. In past time periods, it was common to talk about God’s judgment on human character and activity.
In the 21st century, the word judgment has fallen out of vogue. Some think it conjures up images of an ogre-like Deity who hates human beings. The Millennial Generation prefers the word justice and are actively involved in many justice issues including human slavery and trafficking.
Millennials like the word justice. Other generations are more familiar with the word judgment.
But they mean the same thing. The righteous and just God hates all sin while loving (dying for) all people. Judgment and justice are the righteous part of his Character. There’s no difference between the God of Judgment and the God of Justice. They are one and the same.
Now to the real point.
Many things on earth, whether man-made or God-created are pictures of eternal realities. For example, the family structure is a small snap-shot of the eternal relationship that redeemed people will share with God and others in heaven. Human prisons are “types” of the eternal abode for the rebellious–hell. Even airplanes are primitive symbols of how angels and human beings will be able to soar one day.
So what do the Ashley Madison revelations picture in the future?
The day of eternal judgment/justice when every human being will be exposed before God.
There are at least 68 verses in the Bible that describe this awesome reality. Revelation 20:11-15 says that our actions or deeds will be revealed:
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.”
Matthew 12:36-37 says that our words will be revealed: “”But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
1 Corinthians 4:5 goes even further and says that even our thoughts will be exposed. “Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the thoughts of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.”
And finally, Romans 2:16 says that all secrets will be known, “on that day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.”
Gulp. This is no little computer hack. It’s the Righteous Judge exposing our words, thoughts, motives and deeds. Nothing will be hidden about any of us.
Makes the Ashley Madison leak seem like a harmless prank.
All of this should motivate us to live in the fear of God on earth, be humble about our many sins and failures, and cry out now for God’s mercy and grace–before we face the inevitable day of reckoning.
We’ll all be fully exposed. Get ready. Be saved through Jesus Christ.
That’s what we all should learn from Ashley Madison.