Home Pastors Articles for Pastors “I’m on the Ashley Madison List. Now What?”

“I’m on the Ashley Madison List. Now What?”

4. Confess to someone else.

This is not the time to try to show how strong you can be for God. This is the time to allow God’s strength to be perfected in weakness. You should confess to a spiritually strong friend who can help bear this load with you. If you are part of a discipleship group or accountability group, come clean with them.

5. If you are a pastor, confess to your church.

That’s right—full, public confession matters. What the church decides is out of your hands. Don’t try to control the outcome or manipulate the process. Remember #2 above: Cast everything on Him.

If you’ve committed adultery, you are now disqualified for ministry. If you signed up for Ashley Madison (or any similar site), but never had a physical affair, you should still confess. Registering and paying a membership fee for the opportunity to commit adultery is steps beyond a lustful glance on the sidewalk.

If your church considers the membership alone egregious enough to disqualify your ministry, or at least calls for an extended break for counseling (which I’d strongly recommend), trust God, and love your church.

Abject humility will go a lot farther at this point than trying to establish your authority over the situation. This is a time to be broken, not to stand firm.

Trust Jesus

You’ve caused pain, you’ll suffer pain, but God remains the Great Physician.

He can heal your soul and the souls of those around you. You may feel desperate, but do not despair. Weep instead. Grieve for what you have done, but look to God and come clean.

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead can lift you. And, He will.

You’ve probably said it a million times—that Jesus is enough. Now He has to be.

And He is.

Chris Martin and Marty Duren contributed to this post.  

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Ed Stetzer, Ph.D., is a professor and dean at Wheaton College where he also serves as Executive Director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center. He has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents, has earned two master’s degrees and two doctorates, and has written hundreds of articles and a dozen books. He is Regional Director for Lausanne North America, is the editor-in-chief of Outreach Magazine, and is frequently cited in, interviewed by, and writes for news outlets such as USAToday and CNN. He is the Founding Editor of The Gospel Project, a curriculum used by more than 1.7 million individuals each week for bible story. His national radio show, Ed Stetzer Live, airs Saturdays on Moody Radio and affiliates. He serves as interim teaching pastor of Calvary Church in New York City and serves as teaching pastor at Highpoint Church.