During the last couple of months, a number of major issues have erupted into our social consciousness. Besides the civil unrest between African American and the police force (as noted in one case), there have been issues surrounding gays being allowed to marry and a puzzling website called Ashley Madison.
In a nutshell, Ashley Madison is (or was) a website where an individual could set up a rendezvous and have an affair on their spouse. Their major marketing tagline has been "Life is short. Have an affair." Of course, the Biblical principle of "be aware that your sins will find you out" sometimes rules the day, and in this case a hacker exposed all of the Ashley Madison accounts and come to find out there were literally hundreds of accounts related to those in full-time Christian service. Pastors, assistant Pastors, deacons, ushers and other church volunteers all reportedly had to resign their posts because of the outing on Ashley Madison. Whole articles have been written about "My husband/pastor/boyfriend/etc. was on Ashley Madison. Now What?" Of course, as the story continued to gain legs, new developments came out that many of the "women" who wanted to have an "affair" were allegedly just Ashley Madison employees, and so it is debatable whether anyone ever actually had an affair from the site. Still, the same principle is clear: Christian leaders were caught on Ashley Madison, including Josh Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting fame.
Meanwhile, another controversy has been brewing in Kentucky, where a court clerk named Kim Davis had been refusing to give out marriage licenses for homosexual couples. As GOP Frontrunner Donald Trump points out, homosexual marriage is now the law of the land. However, many evangelicals, including another presidential candidate, have applauded Kim Davis' conviction not to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. As an evangelical myself, I can understand their point of view. Mrs. Davis was given a parade and a very large press conference after her release from jail. However, there are some issues that have been brought to the forefront because of this: consider the following questions?
Is it really biblical for someone in Kim Davis' position to act in the manner that she has?
Somewhere lost in all of this hoopla is the fact that Mrs. Davis is a government official. In Romans 13:1 it tells us, "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." Can she be personally against gay marriage? Sure she can. But as a government official, she cannot simply stand in the way of the law of the land when its a fairly reasonable request such as this one. If we were in a Muslim country and they were advocating the murder of Jews and Christian, that would of course be another story. But we are not.
Is allowing homosexuals to marry really going to destroy the institute of marriage?
One argument that evangelicals use would be that allowing homosexual couples to marry would destroy the whole entire foundation of marriage. However, they conveniently leave out the fact that the divorce rate among evangelicals is every bit as high as the regular population. They also leave out the fact that literally millions have had an extramarital affair. Common sense would tell you that someone lacking the faithfulness to their marital vows would be more of a threat to the institution of marriage than homosexual unions. As an ordained minister, I myself am more alarmed at Ashley Madison than I am at whether gays can marry or not.
Conclusion: which is the real threat?
I won't lie, a part of me does admire Kim Davis for taking a stand for what she believes in. However, the fact that there are websites out there such as Ashley Madison that promote the act of "having an affair" should alarm Christian leaders much more than gay marriage. #News