Ashley Madison, Supernatural Sex and America's Sexual Split Personality

The Ashley Madison hack shows that America is not a completely pagan culture, and there are rules to follow in relationships, no matter your beliefs.
The Ashley Madison hack shows that America is not a completely pagan culture, and there are rules to follow in relationships, no matter your beliefs. (Reuters)

The scandal surrounding the hack of the Ashley Madison website, which is dedicated to connecting those who desire extramarital affairs, has captured the attention of the nation. Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary recently wrote about the matter in The Christian Post, where he serves as an executive editor, stating that Americans are torn in their feelings about sex—and, ultimately, only the Bible leads to reconciliation, forgiveness and restoration.

"When people wonder why Christians seem to harp on the dangers of sexual immorality, the answer is because it is so destructive with concentric circles of devastation and heartbreak," Land said. "Sex is a lot like enriched uranium. It is wonderful, marvelous and productive when contained inside the nuclear reactor it is designed to power, but outside that proper environment, it is poisonous and deadly."

Added Land in his column: "Why has the hacking of personal information from this website been so toxic and devastating? The Ashley Madison hack reveals just how schizophrenic American society is about sex. The sexual revolution has engulfed traditional morality in a tidal wave of moral relativism and hedonism. A majority of Americans now think that sexual chastity until marriage is outdated, if not harmful to 'natural impulses.' In fact, a majority of Americans have embraced a form of polymorphous perversity that is uncomfortable with any categories like normal and abnormal, much less moral or immoral."

Conversely, he added, more than 90 percent of Americans still believe it is wrong and morally unacceptable to cheat on, or be unfaithful to, one's spouse, or alternatively, one's partner in a committed relationship.

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"So, it seems that Americans are casual about casual sex, but not about betraying trust in a committed relationship." Land continued. "That sounds like a split personality to me. In a truly pagan culture, being outed on Ashley Madison would be irrelevant."

Why, then, has there been such alarm from those who were exposed? First, Land says, they were attracted to the website, in part, because of the same false promise of anonymity that Internet porn sites advertise. Second, the shame of having spouses know they have been betrayed must be devastating, and the pain of scandalizing children who have looked up to you and whose confidence in you has been shattered must seem unbearable.

"How should Christians respond?" Land asks. "As Christians we need to understand that the sexual revolution has changed how many of our fellow citizens view sex. They have a profoundly different understanding than Christians should have. A majority of Americans now see sex as a consumer choice, an act of the will, an expression of self, a casual activity based on personal preference, designed merely for recreation and pleasure. Such people see sex as 'natural' and merely as a biological fact of life, a casual activity signifying nothing more than pleasure and sexual gratification.

"On the other hand," he continued, "Christianity understands sex as 'supernatural,' a gift from God and thus a sacred and transcendent activity. God revealed in Genesis that it wasn't good for man to be alone, so He created a helpmate or 'completer,' and the two became one flesh and 'cleaved' together in such a way that they could never be completely separated again (Gen. 2:18-25)."

But although Christians should understand that sex is holy and sacred, it is clear from recent headlines that the faithful can be enticed by, and some give in to, temptations such as Ashley Madison.

"So far, several prominent Christians have been exposed, revealing them to be hypocrites who preach one thing in public and practice the opposite in private, making a mockery of both their marriage vows and their faith," Land said. "Many stand as vivid examples of the destructive nature of sexuality practiced in rebellion against God's plan and design and how ever present the sin nature is, waiting to pounce in a weak moment."

God wrote the rulebook on His creation and human beings, he continued, adding, "In the end we do not break God's laws, they break us." The landscape of American society is littered with the casualties of the so-called liberation of the sexual revolution, which promised "free love," and which proved to be neither "free" nor "love."

"To those Christians and others who have been exposed by the Ashley Madison scandal, we should first understand that 'there, but for the grace of God, go we.' If King David could fall into sexual sin, so could any one of us. One of the things that emerges vividly from David's confession of his sin to God in Psalm 51 is his humility. He clearly understands in his repentance that only with God's help can he defeat the temptations of the fallen nature.

"As Christians we should all pray for all those outed by the Ashley Madison hack," Land continued. "After all, the Bible lays out the prescription and roadmap for reconciliation, forgiveness and restoration. The Bible tells us that if we confess our sins He is faithful to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9), and that when we accept Christ as our Savior he blots out our transgressions and wipes the slate clean (Col. 2:14). The glorious truth of the gospel is that there is such a place as 'the land of beginning again' and again, and again, and again. It is found at the foot of the cross and is guaranteed by the empty tomb of our resurrected Savior."

Land has talked about the Ashley Madison scandal during several installments of his nationally syndicated daily radiocommentary, "Bringing Every Thought Captive." The radio feature airs on more than 300 stations, including the American Family Radio Network, Bott Radio Network and heavenradio.org.

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