Down the Decadent “Ashley Madison” Avenue
Classy name, eh! Thirty nine million adulterers, signed onto “the world’s leading married dating service for discreet encounters.” “Life is short: Have an affair,” intones the publicity, with an accompanying song: “ I’m looking for someone other than my wife.”
Noel Biderman, the entrepreneur behind the company, claimed he was not looking for someone other than his wife. Hypocritically, while he and his wife made millions on cheaters, he claimed he was a devoted husband and father. She said she would be devastated if he were unfaithful. Not surprisingly, when the site was recently hacked, among the millions outed was Biderman himself, with emails proving he had used the site for multiple affairs with other women. The dissimulation continued, since evil has a way of multiplying its effects.
Biderman stepped down from leadership, with the statement, “This allows us to continue to provide support to our members…We are steadfast in our commitment to our customer base.” You have to wonder what “commitment” means when the facts now show that of the 39 million “customer base,” only 12,000 of them, .03%, were real women. [Now a new claim of 87,600 women on the site is still only 2.2%]. It was all faked, meaning that virtually most of the millions of clients looking for “love” were men, with virtually no hope of actual “discreet encounters” with adulterous women.
Alas, this is no joke. Three people have taken their own lives because of the leaks, and those involved include many U.S. government employees with sensitive jobs in the White House, Congress and law enforcement agencies– even hundreds of church leaders. Such evidence would indicate that this event is not an incidental cultural blip but rather the tip of an iceberg graphically showing how far Western, once “Christian” culture has fallen into seemingly unprecedented levels of license and debauchery. It is my sense that there is an underbelly of deep commitment to sexual depravity and moral degradation that the Western world, thanks to technology, has rarely seen before.
Just below the surface, sexual perversion is running wild. At the same moment Rentboy, the largest Gay Male Escort and Massage Site (allowing male homosexuals to advertise themselves to those interested in purchasing their services), was outed and charged with engaging in illegal prostitution. Further, while Caitlyn Jenner’s exposure brought transgenderism to your living room, actual transgender pornography is growing rapidly. Says sociologist (and former visiting scholar at the University of Southern California) Chauntelle Tibbals: “Even though transsexual porn has existed forever, as the world and our culture is becoming more accepting, it looks at and interacts with this content in a way that is more savvy and forthcoming”—whatever that means!
Compared to this, straight porn seems almost innocuous, but of course, it is not, being one of today’s great destroyers of marriage and family. Seventy eight percent of boys (boys) are exposed to porn before they are even old enough to drive and 79% of our young men turn to porn on a monthly basis. On this, there is so much more to say–at a future appropriate moment. Our normalized college “hook-up” culture, is based on notions of unstructured sexual freedom. And there is no let up. An article from Integrative Spirituality, with the title “The Future Looks Good,” without any concerns about sexual degeneracy, states: “Future generations will see even less dogma from church figures over sexual issues…like premarital and extramarital sex in 2025, and they will associate less guilt about sex…in a period of relaxing morality.”
What are Christians to do? Relax?
Specifically, with regard to the Ashley Madison affair, Albert Mohler rightly warns us that millions of families, churches, corporations and institutions are involved in this “moral emergency” that “calls for Christian compassion and care” for deeply wounded wives and children.
More generally, Christians must work for righteous legislation, but, as long as the heart of the culture is committed to lawlessness, then “what the world needs now is love,”–not the Burt Bacharach kind, but the redeeming love of God. Being “born again” produces moral purity (1 Peter 1:22-23). The Apostle John says …everyone who hopes in God purifies himself as God is pure (1 John 3:3). Therefore, we must be holy as I [God] am holy (1 Peter 1:16). What the world needs now is genuine expressions of moral purity.
Our task is clear: I urge you, says the Apostle Peter, as sojourners and exiles [in the pagan world] to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. (1Peter 2:11-12). We must live this way in a corrupt culture but without any sense of superiority or judgmentalism, since God’s love is sheer redeeming grace.