The Ashley Madison scandal has sent shockwaves throughout the culture and unfortunately the church. We expect sinful misdeeds and behavior in the world around us. Although we are called to live holy and godly lives we must not forget that the church also is full of sinners who fail to meet the mark. We certainly do not want to minimize sin and its consequences; we certainly do want to call those who take the name of Christ to a higher standard. We must also remember that none of us can judge those who are in sin, all of us are in need of grace, and all of us must exhibit grace to others.
If you are reading through the New Testament with us, yesterday was a great reminder of how we are called to handle sin in the church:
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” Galatians 6:1
We have no idea if some in our body will be touched by this scandal. While we do not take sin lightly, we do know that anyone who has sinned and is willing to confess and repent will be forgiven and cleansed. (I John 1:9 & Psalm 103:12)
So, how should the church respond in this situation?
- We should be grieved over sin in our world and especially in our church. We should be reminded of how our sin put our Lord on the cross.
- We should not assume or pronounce guilt and we should be careful not to be judgmental or condemning of anyone.
- We should not be party to spreading the word around.
- We should be willing to go to anyone we know involved in sin and offer our assistance to bring them to the Savior for forgiveness and healing.
- We should faithfully pray for the one in sin and for family and others impacted by the consequences of that sin.
I’m thankful to be a part of a church body that seeks to honor the Lord and that tries to exhibit His grace to our world. For anyone reading these words who is caught up in any sin, we want to help, not judge. Please, please call on us so that you don’t have to try to struggle through alone.
On behalf of our pastoral staff,