In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. – Judges 21:25, ESV
Recently, Chump Lady sent me a link to a story regarding yet another adultery facilitating online dating business. This service happens to be in the UK, and it is a booming business among professing Christians! Here’s the article: Dating website for adulterers: Most of our members are Christians — ‘it is incredibly ironic’.
Some numbers from the article indicate this business services almost one million adulterous spouses! And it is not the only adultery facilitating dating websites out there (e.g. Ashley Madison, etc). The numbers of people actively seeking out adultery are even more grave than that.
What is especially disturbing to me as a pastor in this article is how many people professing to be Christian who are utilizing this service. The business claims 64% of their clients are professing Christians. Let me do the math for you. That is 631, 680 adulterers/adulteresses utilizing this service who claim Christ’s name! Over half a million. This adultery dating website alone in the UK.
If you are a pastor, I hope you are in shock or are starting to see the need for sound teaching regarding adultery from the pulpit. Morality lines are being blurred so much that Christians in droves are utilizing a business explicitly designed to break one of the Ten Commandments. Something is seriously wrong.
But I ask you:
Have you ever heard a pastor talk about these sleazy websites from the pulpit or in marital counseling? For that matter, have you ever heard a sermon decry the evils of adultery and the real worldly “justifications” that lead into the pit of that sin and bondage? Have you ever heard much more than a quotation of the Ten Commandment prohibition concerning adultery read from the pulpit?
Clearly, we are loosing this battle. The world today is making the debauch church of Corinth in Paul’s day look like a bride pure as the driven snow. We are failing as pastors and Christian leaders in equipping and exhorting our church members to holy living here.
And I suggest part of the problem is a lack of focus and naivete:
We have spent so much energy focusing on the evil of divorce citing scary statistics (which include Biblically obtained divorces for some, by the way!) while completely or nearly completely ignoring this scourge of sin under our very noses. The threat of adultery is minimized just as it is minimized in pastoral counseling sessions being treated as merely a symptom and not a sin. Pastors are pushing “Love Dare”s to the sheep being devoured by the very spouses–i.e. wolves–staring them in the eyes. Why are we surprised when marriages end after adultery when we are sending such clear signals that the adultery/infidelity is no big deal?! The big deal is the divorce not the adultery is what is too often taught (see here).
Adultery is a problem.
It is a sin.
And it is happening in the Church.
As a community and as Christian leaders, we need to wake up, get educated, and start working to communicate the seriousness of this scourge named adultery. We need holy champions like the judges of the Old Testament, which drew God’s people back to Him. Unless we act, I suggest we will continue living as if everyone gets to decide for themselves what is right. And that is a pastoral failure.