A few years ago there were headlines about a rest area on I-26 westbound out side of Charleston, South Carolina. Locals had reported increasing traffic there after hours. Evidently travelers fifteen minutes out of Charleston were weary for something more than a bathroom break or soft drink. The place had become a market place for sex. When the authorities raided there one evening they discovered patrons from just about every social network in the lowcountry. Imagine the surprise when the names of prominent citizens, some pastors included, appeared in the Post and Courier reports that followed, arrested for solicitation and other sleazy crimes.
That's about what has been sensationaiized in the coverage of the Ashley Madison joke in recent weeks. That such a site exists is no big discovery. Some of the names on their clientele list may be a little surprising, however. Still, in the age of social media and cyber connections the sexual intentions of the human species has always been suspected. Once again, however, the media and all the people reporting on it have missed the most significant element of things like owning an Ashley Madison profile. The media announcements should declare---
1. Human depravity knows no bounds.
2. Our natural instincts aren't very smart.
Comments about this kind of public sinfulness could move in many directions, and has, for that matter. Everybody is writing about Ashley Madison and the blogs by many spiritual leaders has focused our cohort onto a more biblical context. To know that so many politicians, media types, and Hollywood personalities have accounts in the dark underworld of Ashley Madison isn't really so shocking. Well, maybe not to those of us with some theological grounding and biblical worldview. But, in that secular world, sex sells. And, it tells too. You see, in this connected world nothing is hidden. The people with pass codes at Ashley Madison must know that. Or, not. They're just foolish then.
Go back to the Tower of Babel. It's an early account in Genesis 11. The people had constructed a tower reaching into the heavens to build a name for themselves. Moses wrote the account and recorded God's response to their success. God said,
Behold, they are one people., and they have all one language, and this is only
the beginning of what they will do. and that they propose to do will be
impossible for them.
Genesis 11:6, ESV
In a brilliant revelation of human capacity God acknowledged the total depravity of mankind. Scripture is a continuous picture of that sinful nature and the tendencies of the human species for behaviors that advertise their distance from God. So, the revelations of Ashley Madison aren't such appalling developments. It's where the secular worldview leads, an absence of moral standards and ethical decency.
Under the radar sexual encounters and a venue that encourages them is just another headline of that world.
They are linked to Planned Parenthood atrocities, racial tensions, gender identity, marriage abominations, authority confusion, escalating crime statistics, educational trends, Christo-phobia, and any number of cultural trends. They are all the children of a godless, value deprived world system with no moral compass and little societal value.
Ashley Madison moves us another layer into the world where big names go underground to broker their sexual appetites. It's another reminder that sex sells. And, it tells a lot about who we are.
Here's the deal. You and I are the voices of a Christian worldview. The Ashley Madison affair (and how I blanched at using that word) isn't all that surprising to me. It's just another indication of the depraved heart of man and our creativity in devising ways to satisfy our basic lusts.
Just the same, it raises the bar on our need to speak courageously, definitively, and clearly about the times and the worldview that should define us. To sit back, say nothing, wink and nod our recognition of what it is, is just acceptance. And, we cannot go there.
"...but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so
we speak, not to please men, but ot please God , who tests our hearts. "
1 Thessalonians 2:4, ESV
Ashley Madison is just another layer. It proves that sex sells, and tells.