Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | September 1, 2015

400 Pastors Resign

Life is short. Have an affair. That’s what Ashley Madison believes. Since its inception in 2001, this Canada-based online dating service has helped untold numbers of people to do just that — have an affair, whether physical or emotional.

Ashley Madison
Who would have thought that a service like Ashley Madison would attract 37-plus million subscribers from more than 50 countries. That’s a lot of people who are dissatisfied with their marriages or, at the very least, merely curious about an adulterous affair.

In July, a group of hackers who identified themselves as The Impact Team did what hackers do best — they breached the Ashley Madison site and stole the names of every Ashley Madison subscriber. And then they threatened to release the data unless the site was shut down. The site owners refused.

So, the morally outraged Impact Team made good on their threat. They released 9.7 gigabytes of confidential user info. And then a short time later, they released another 20 gigabytes of user names. The impact of this disclosure was felt from suburban bedrooms to corporate boardrooms. And, some suicides have been linked to the exposure.

Sadder still, last Sunday, an estimated 400 pastors and staff members resigned their positions in the wake of the Ashley Madison scandal. These resignations left a wake of grieving families and congregations and unwittingly gave the body of Christ a black eye. Although many have claimed they never actually had an affair, the damage is done.

Jesus warned that the devil is a murderer (John 8:44) who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). The Apostle Peter warned that our “adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). What better way to harm the cause of Christ than by destroying and devouring its leaders.

The evil one knows that he can do great harm to God’s purposes by discrediting God’s people. Leaders, however, are not the only ones who are vulnerable to the attacks of the devil. Who knows how many names of church-goers on the Ashley Madison list will go unrecognized. So, we should not go pointing fingers. No one is exempt from the schemes of the devil. And, as a wise pastor once said, there is no sin we cannot commit. We are all vulnerable.

Our enemy indeed longs for our moral destruction. He is more interested in destroying the health of our relationship with God than hindering the work we do for God. The devil knows how to drive small wedges that can incrementally distance us from God. Our responsibility is to not be ignorant of his schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11) and to make the right choices.

We live in a climate made toxic by an unrelenting torrent of unhealthy media. And we live in a day of unprecedented access to filth. Accessibility must be governed and monitored by accountability. As a Marine friend cautioned: alone is dangerous. We must do life in community and we must pray for one another lest we be devoured by the enemy.

The Ashley Madison scandal reminds us that we are all prone to wander. And lest we think more highly of ourselves than we ought, let’s remind ourselves that “there but for the grace of God go I.” In the words of the old gospel hymn, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, / Prone to leave the God I love; / Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, / Seal it for Thy courts above.”


  1. I needed these words today.

    Sent from my iPhone


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