“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” – Matthew 10:16, NIV
Jesus is talking to the Twelve Disciples here referring back to the Garden of Eden. In Genesis, we learned that the serpent was the most cunning of all the creatures God created (Genesis 3:1). So, in effect, Jesus is calling us to have our eyes open while acting righteously or “innocent as doves.”
Part of having our eyes open is to realize what we are facing in this world. Adultery is BIG business. And the internet age has sped it along.
In a Yahoo News article from April 17, 2014 entitled “For the Thrill of the Affair: Why Married Women Cheat,” the authors expose readers to what I would suspect most pastors do not know: Dating sites exist to help spouses date other spouses (i.e. commit adultery). Ashley Madison is a major one of those and the focus of the article. (Another infamous one is called Victoria Milan).
Quoting from the article:
AshleyMadison.com’s motto is “life is short, have an affair.” Noel Biderman, the author of “Adultropology: The Cyber-Anthropology Behind Infidelity,” started the site more than 10 years ago. He said he makes more than $40 million a month from it.
I mention this to make the point that the magnitude of his business is predicated on large numbers of married individuals committing adultery. It would be naive–and far from being wise as a serpent–to think the individuals who use sites like Ashley Madison or Victoria Milan do not attend church. This is a problem.
It is doubly a problem for a church reticent to preach on adultery. The silence is being filled with the selfish, hedonistic and demonic (I’m convinced) voices of people like Noel Biderman calling people to commit adultery and destroy lives. If someone wants to commit adultery, they can simply roll down the article and pick a justification to help them feel less bad about doing something incredibly horrific to their spouse, children, community, and own soul.
Noel Biderman insisted that his business does people more good than harm because the threat of infidelity can be a martial wake-up call.
“I see it as a platform that helps people stay married. Millions of people have affairs because they want to stay married,” he said. “I help millions of people find contentment, passion and happiness through my service.”
When bad is called good, we have exchanged the truth for a lie. Yet how many have heard it taught–maybe even from the pulpit–that adultery was just a symptom of a bad marriage? How many have been told to look thankfully on the adultery as their “wake up call?”
It might look less attractive coming from Biderman, but I can assure you that these messages are not absent from the walls topped with church steeples. The idea that adultery and divorce results from making a marriage unhappy is a very, very strong and destructive perspective today.
The antidote to such lies is truth.
Adultery is wrong.
It is not a wake up call.
It is not something done in service to one’s spouse.
It is not acceptable behavior for anyone claiming to follow Christ.
It is caused 100% by someone choosing adultery over God’s call to faithfulness to their spouse.
Maybe if we–pastors–articulated this message with more cultural acuity and serpently wisdom, Biderman would find less people willing to be less than innocent as doves?
To those who visit Chump Lady. This article was dissected by her on April 20, 2014. The post is entitled, “When Unicorns Meet Ashley Madison…” As I write in my resource page, Chump Lady is a street smart writer on the topic of infidelity with a potty mouth, fyi.