Thou shalt not commit adultery.
-Exodus 20:14, KJV
But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!
– Revelation 3:16, NLT
Some people simply do not engage in ugliness that adultery brings. They claim neutrality or attempt to avoid acknowledging the inconvenient truth that a perpetrator and a victim always exists when adultery has occurred.
This sort of behavior happens with family, friends, and church leaders all the time!
And it happens even when the facts are clear that adultery took place. They say,
“Well, we really don’t know what goes on in a marriage. Only the couple really knows.”
“I don’t want to be judgmental either way.”
“There’s always two sides to a story.”
What they fail to grasp is the reality that such statements are judgments and denote decisions.
Taking the “two sides to the story” or “we don’t know really what happens in a marriage” stances is taking the stance that something can justify adultery.
It is a subtle blameshift–i.e. onto the faithful spouse–as if we knew more then we would absolve the cheater for committing adultery. That sort of “neutrality” is far from neutral.
It is wicked.
And God certainly disagrees (e.g. Deut. 22:22, Jer. 3:8, Ez. 18:20, Mt 5:32, and Heb. 13:4).
As to the “I don’t want to be judgmental” cop out, I wonder if they would say the same thing about a convicted–or self-confessed–rapist (even in the presence of his victim).
Would they suggest we ought to suspend our judgment on such behavior? Do these same people tell a rape victim that they cannot judge the rapist because she must–in some way–have had it coming to her? Would they wring their hands worrying about stating the obvious that a perpetrator and victim exist in these matters?
I hope not. Rape is wrong. It is a crime.
A perpetrator chose to violate a victim.
Adultery may not be a crime–in the USA. However, it is soul rape.
The adulterous spouse is the perpetrator of this sin, and the faithful spouse is his/her victim (among others including God). Those are the facts. And yes, they are ugly, because what was done was ugly and evil.
To be clear:
Choosing “neutrality” is not an option God gives His people.
He roundly condemns adultery as evil and wrong (e.g. Exodus 20:14, Deuteronomy 22:22, Jeremiah 3:8, Mark 7:20-23, and Hebrews 13:4). A people truly following God’s lead on these matters would be incapable of neutrality when faced with the actuality of this sin.
As such, I wonder–just a thought–if choosing neutrality on adultery is a sin? It certainly falls short of God’s standard on such matters. God is not neutral on adultery. He calls it evil (e.g. Mark 7:20-23). That is something the church and pastors ought to consider for their own spiritual health especially if tempted to choose “neutrality.