An Ashley Madison Conundrum

Is that Forbidden Fruit Really Worth it?

I was reading a story on ZDNet about an Ashley Madison ex-customer who, via hacked information, was being blackmailed to pay up to cover up extramarital activities.  (Remember the Story when Ashley Madison Extra-marital affair WebSite was hacked in 2015?)

In Ashley

 

The story is lengthy, which I won’t recount here, but it sets up its anonymously named ‘Tom’ as a victim of a wife who didn’t want to be intimate, and having an affair partner who wanted more than just sex.  He was safe until it was hacked.  Now the hackers are reaching out to him via email threatening to send a revealing letter to his home address.

The story lifts up how awesome and less tense his marriage was once he had an outlet for sex. “It was really helpful” so says this piece.

Culture

I’ve noted in recent days (accelerating since 2010 I would say) the decline in any moral or civil values in our culture. It’s not about “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”That has been substituted with “Do unto others as I selfishly desire, and when caught or called out, excuse myself and blame ‘them’ for being judgemental. I’m okay!”

So we dive headlong into what is obviously destructive behavior, thinking one of a number of erroneous things like

  • Everyone Else is doing it
  • I have a valid *reason* for doing this: ___________ (plug in your excuse)

Between those two, ESPECIALLY they last one, we cover all of our selfish desires no matter how damaging. And then we get caught. Suddenly that last excuse becomes a weapon by which we use to either sheild ourselves or to hurl at someone else in attack. And we start Damage Control. The house of cards starts to fall down all around us and
we realize those excuses are flimsy. Some will actually wisely succumb to the inevitable. Other will fight what they deem a righteous war (defending their lapse) but only wind up winning a Pyrrhic Victory. They Win a battle, but wind up losing the war. It’s kinda like the difference between being right, and dead-right.

Consequences

As a man, I can empathize (from the flesh) with this Tom fellow. I think most of us could. But as a Christian and adult understanding the consequences of my actions, I can only shake my head and think he “Shoulda known better”. The Ashley Madison Logo of a lady’s face  holding up a “Shoosh” finger in front of ruby red lips should’ve easily translated into the Jolly Roger Skull and Crossbones Flag. Abandon hope all ye who enter. I think the Easter Mystic idea of Karma fits here.
Some people get away with bad behavior and it looks glamorous. But what about those who get caught? Yeah, we don’t read too much about those narratives. We are deceived today about consequences. The fact this guy Tom was even getting pressured from the person he was fooliing around with wanting more was unforseen danger. Today we ignore what happens if the whole thing just comes crashing down.
The guy Tom only has a wife – who would be crushed. I am not excusing her lack of enthusiasm for being with her husband. (I could argue she allowed the soil to harden that created this condition, so Tom is not alone being at fault – he just took the consequential action by which his small family is threatened). What if there were kids? Relationships get torn and innocents get caught in the middle. Messy Messy Messy.
If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If it screams forbidden fruit, are you ready to pay the cost? Are you even paying attention to the cost?

Some godly wisdom

Here are some things from God’s word to consider, especially when it comes to acting on “Forbidden Fruit”. And if you are a reader who maybe is suffering consequences as a result of bad decisions, please read to the end. There is a passage specifially for you – one of hope and restoration.

  • “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
    ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:7-8, 10‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    http://bible.com/59/gal.6.7-8,10.esv
  • “”You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:27-28‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    http://bible.com/59/mat.5.27-28.esv
  • “Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.” “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.”
    ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭22:11-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    http://bible.com/59/rev.22.11-14.esv

Hope and Restoration

I am not going to candy coat it. Sin is destructive. All the way back to the first rebellion in the garden of Eden. Jesus Christ died to pay the price for that sin. All he asks is you repent of your sin and ask forgiveness of him, and then follow him diligently. And here is his promise:

“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:6-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/1jn.1.6-7.esv

We can be cleansed of that sin. Maybe not the consequences, but he will separate it from as far as is East is from the West. Only then is there hope of restoration (over time.)

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