Ashley Madison — the scandal that just won’t go away. Though the Ashley Madison hack/scandal is already a few months old, the repercussions continue to be felt throughout the corporate and religious world. The most recent update is that Gawker has released the photos that Josh Duggar used in his profile. The hackers have even published a site to allow anyone to search the database; evidently 30+ million users is rather tedious to dig through.
The latest Christian leader to be affected is R.C. Sproul, Jr, who has been suspended for the next year for accessing (though not joining) the site. I can’t help but observe that the media-hounds continue to be rather gleeful about digging up dirt on corporate, conservative, and Christian leaders (the three big “C”s) on their hit-list. Notice that the same media doesn’t seem very interested in exposing nonprofits, liberals, or atheist leaders, but that’s another story. Their objective, diligent search for the truth is rather biased just given who they’re choosing to focus on: their political adversaries (i.e., enemies).
Have you ever noticed how the truth always manages to come out? It doesn’t matter how carefully something is hidden, the truth is always, always, ALWAYS eventually uncovered? Somehow the truth always manages to wiggle, squirm, or erupt to the surface sooner or later. There’s always that one witness that comes forward years after the fact, those secret papers are found, or those lost tapes are recovered that reveal the truth about what really happened. There’s even those infamous death-bed confessions at the last possible moment.
Why, it’s almost as if there’s a spiritual-law at work with regards to exposing the truth, along with the law of “sowing and reaping” (whatever you sow, you will reap more of later). Perhaps it’s because there is such a law as Jesus mentions in Luke 12:2-3:
“But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. “Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops.”
The Bible says that whatever is hidden will be revealed. Now, the truth may take awhile and might come out in an entirely unexpected way, but the God of the universe reigns and exposes secrets, lies, and cover-ups for what they usually are: sin. He hears everything, sees everything, and knows everything — even the tiniest thoughts of your heart. Recall David’s sin with Bathsheba and the subsequent cover-up in which her husband was murdered; he would’ve gotten away with it if God hadn’t told Nathan the Prophet who marched into the throne-room and stuck his finger in the king’s face!
Like most Christian parents, I regularly pray for my children — for their character, their health and well-being, and their relationship with God. Something I also pray for is that their sins will be uncovered and brought to light, so we can work through them. Now, I could snoop, harass, or interrogate them, but kids are clever and are just as good as hiding things as we are. It’s much better just to simply pray and leave it up to God to bring them to light in His own way and in His own timing.
Mistakes and sins that are buried, ignored, or glossed over are rarely learned from, but they never really go away, do they? Sometimes it may take years for them to be brought to the surface, but be assured that sooner or later sin must be dealt with, either in this life or the next! When we fall into sin and royally screw up, we have a choice: we can bring our sins to light ourselves, confess them to God — and those we’ve wronged — and finally put them to rest, or we can let the Master do it for us in His own time and in His own way. However, the problem with delaying those inevitable consequences often becomes much, much worse!
You cannot hide your sin and you cannot hide from its consequences and repercussions, which often have a way of compounding themselves over time. Make no mistake — God is not mocked (Galatians 6:7). Compounded consequences are much, much worse than compounded interest and often accumulate at faster rates! Because of David’s sin, the “sword” never left his house (2 Samuel 12:10), and his children, grandchildren, and subsequent generations felt the consequences of his tryst and the attempted cover-up.
Not only can we be assured that our sins will someday be revealed in all their filth and shamefulness, but we won’t know how, when, or with who that will happen if we don’t deal with them speedily (and preferably on our own terms!). Whatever you did may be scandalous, but it doesn’t have to turn into a scandal unless you try to bury it. Some people think they can somehow bury the truth deep, deep down and escape the consequences — which they may succeed in for awhile — but it won’t lie buried forever. The truth never really dies; it just patiently waits there in the dirt. Meanwhile, it’s also always there inside you, festering and gnawing at the back of your mind like the raven from Edgar Allen Poe’s poem.
What would the impact of the Ashley Madison scandal had been on R.C. Sproul, Jr. have been if he had confessed his sin a year ago when he had visited the site — before the scandal broke? Would he still have been suspended? Perhaps, but maybe not for a year because the incident would not have been made public. Whatever is hidden will be revealed, and the truth always comes out one way or another.
Ashley Madison’s tagline is “Life is short…Have an affair.” How about we each have our own personal tagline that’s infinitely better (and with infinitely fewer repercussions!):
“Life is short…Walk with God.”
Confess your sins early — even those humiliating, shameful ones. Take your lumps before they become mountains that will crush you. Keep short accounts between you and God, and you and those you love. Settle those accounts before the interest has compounded into an unfathomable sum. Though our sins have been forgiven, we often cannot escape their consequences in this life.
Walk with God. Be strong and courageous. Live with integrity. Do your best to live without regrets. Take the narrow, difficult road. Pursue God and the stuff that lasts such as peace, joy, and love. Sow to the Spirit instead of the flesh and always guard your heart.
You’ll never be sorry.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” — Galatians 5:22-23