John 8 (NIV)
1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Dear Christian (and others),
I’m sure that by now you’re pretty caught up with the Ashley Madison information hack that has exposed millions of men and women who’ve subscribed to this website looking for affairs.
Among those subscribers, we’ve learned that “19 Kids & Counting” star Josh Duggar had a paid subscription along with vlogger Sam Rader from “Sam and Nia.” And bringing it close to home, we’ve learned that Jeff Ashton, the state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties, is also tied to the website.
It feels like a punch in the gut to know that these leaders who are looked up to in their respective communities and churches have been linked to this scandal, doesn’t it? But I think it also makes them human and allows to people looking from the outside in to see that Christians are just as broken as everyone else.
I feel terrible for these people and their families. When you’re a public figure like they are, you must always be prepared for the scrutiny of others. Imagine what it must feel like to go online and see every other link on social media reference you and your wrongdoings.
You might say, “Oh, but Veronica, Josh Duggar was not only linked to this scandal, but earlier this year we learned that he molested his sisters when they were younger. Are you saying that we should just forgive and forget?”
No. Child abuse (or any kind of abuse, really) is no joke and personally, I believe that his parents dealt with the situation in a poor manner when that happened. However, this Ashley Madison mess doesn’t warrant our around-the-clock media consumption, judging comments and finger wagging.
You might also say, “Jeff Ashton was probably using taxpayer time and funds while using this website. Doesn’t that piss you off?”
As a taxpayer, yeah. That does piss me off. He was probably using his work time to pursue personal ventures. There’s a time and place for everything under the sun (not that there’s a time and place for cheating, but you catch my drift).
But at the end of the day, I cannot judge a man for sinning differently than I do. We don’t know these people personally and we shouldn’t be putting them up in a pedestal looking to imitate their lives. What we do know is that what they’ve done is wrong and disrespectful to their families, but it is not up to us and our passive-aggressive Facebook comments to cast the first stone.
As a Christian, I would never claim to be living a perfect sinless life. I am tempted daily, broken, a hypocrite and seeking God’s grace, just like everyone else is. I think that if my dirty laundry would be aired out for the entire world to see, I would collapse under the pressure.
I think that this situation is just another opportunity presenting itself for us to look at the narrative within us. Let’s save the opinionated social media post and instead pray for those affected by this.