Blog: Max Dawson
September 3, 2015
I hope you read my post last Thursday about the Ashley Madison website. The expressed purpose of that site has been to facilitate married people in having an affair. The Ashley Madison trademark slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.”

The Ashley Madison story is getting to be old news by now, but I wanted to do a final follow up on that story. I trust that you know that
the names and emails of those who signed up on the site have been published online by hackers.

I hope your name was not found on that list. If perchance it was, don’t try to defend or pretend, saying that you were innocent. If your name and email was on that list, you have been busted. The only thing to do now is to confess your wrong. Make yourself right before God and seek reconciliation with your family. Don’t claim you were doing research or something silly like that. Repent and confess. That’s the only thing to do now.

Evidently that’s what a number of preachers had to do last Sunday. According to a number of websites, as many as 400 preachers’ names were on the Ashley Madison list. Denison Forum (a website that deals with religious and cultural issues) reports that a large number of clergy resigned publicly from their ministries last Sunday. However, claims are being made by some preachers that someone else put their names on the Ashley Madison list. One preacher insists that he can prove that his name was put on the list by someone else.

The number 400 seems awfully high, and may be an exaggeration. But even if it is only 4, that is 4 too many. Preachers teach others that they must comply with God’s standards. It is a sad thing if they, themselves, do not live by the standard they teach others. (See Matthew 23:1ff).

Some may say, “But preachers are only human. They are just like everybody else.” While that is true, it overlooks the gospel truth that our God demands holy living–by preachers and all who profess to follow Jesus. Listen to Hebrews 12:14.

“Pursue… holiness, without which no one will see the Lord”
It was Oswald Chambers who said, “We must continually remind ourselves of the purpose of life. We are not destined to happiness, nor to health, but to holiness.”

It is the cry of much of the religious world that, above all else, “God wants you to be happy.” The health and wealth preachers argue that “Jesus died so you could be rich and healthy” and never be poor or sick again. Both of those philosophies are contrary to the gospel. They are foreign to the words of Jesus, of Peter or Paul.

Instead, Jesus died so you could be cleansed of your sins. He died to make holy living possible.

God demands that we live in holiness. While we may never reach sinless perfection in this life, surely we can avoid living in the gutter. That applies to everyone–even to preachers.


Holy living is possible. But it requires discipline. It requires a commitment to God and to ourselves that we will not tolerate within our lives that which displeases the Lord Jesus.

Some Christians have found help in holy living by making a day-by-day vow to God not to touch alcohol, pornography or drugs. Someone suggested that each day should begin with Bible reading and this prayer:

“Lord, I vow to you that this day I will live for your glory. I vow to you that I will not engage in that which dishonors the Lord Jesus. Bless me and help me remember my vow. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

I pray that God’s good hand will be upon you this day and every day. And may you bask in the sunshine of His love, pursuing holiness in your life.