Sunday, August 31, 2008

Should Adultery Be Forgiven?

Bill Clinton with Monica Lewinsky, Eliot Spitzer with Ashley Dupree and Gary Condit with Chandra Levy are all known popular American adulterers. Yet, does that make them more sinful than those who have not committed adultery? Should their wives divorce them? Not at all! Since adultery is sin, and every sin for which we repent and forsake could be forgiven 490 times a day, then their adulteries could also be forgiven.

The people of ancient times to solve the problem of adultery created the Bill of Divorcement (Jer. 3:8). Ab initio divorce was not a recommendation to solve adultery, but Moses introduced it (Mk 10:4). Jesus explains that it is due to the hardiness of the people’s hearts. God initially wanted a man and a woman to marry and live together till the end of the world (Gen 2:24). Despite this, adultery was not placed in a higher pedestal to other sins. So why can’t people forgive adultery? The reason why Jesus said anyone could divorce was if there was fornication because adultery temporarily severs the covenant (marriage) and kills the covenantee.

Most women have won the feminist battles but lost that of keeping a home with the highest rate of divorce in America. They excuse themselves that people in other countries stay married not for love but due to cultural reasons. If that was true then they should not be happy too. But statistics prove that women in general in other countries are happier than American women. The western woman sold her daughters to feminism and gave the society spoiled wives. They want to be single, but they cannot, and they find themselves in the category of the angriest group of women. Single women are the angriest group of women. Don’t mind this empty rhetoric: “I am single and happy”. That is just “Soapbox Talk”.

Yet the question usually is: should two unhappy people remain together until one person dies? One has to lose sleep in trying to select divorce over desperate reactions like those of Francine Hughes and Mary Wrinkler. James adjures the faithful to cast their burdens unto Jesus who cares for all (I Pet 5:7).
Some women said they do not need a man because they could have kids by insemination. But now that Sperm Donors may be tasked to pay child support, Sperm Banks will dry out and their biological clocks keep ticking fast and furious. Around 736 BC, the Bible said 7 women will ask one man “marry us let us only bear your name” (Is. 4:1). Now in the 21st century, we face a similar entreaty. Recently some women in Nigeria requested that they should be permitted and encouraged to practice polygyny.
The responsibilities of a husband are different and distinct from those of a wife in the Bible (Eph 5: 22-33). Women that have stayed true to themselves have enjoyed happy homes as is the case where some women in America are married for 65 years and very happy unlike those hopping from one husband to another and blaming the world for their calamity.

In October 2007, The National Inquirer revealed John Edwards had a child with Rielle Hunter and were waiting for his cancer stricken wife: Elizabeth to die. The feminists say Elizabeth Edwards should divorce because of adultery. What happened to forgiveness? Adultery is one of the commandments that God asked every human to keep (Ex 20:14). Initially, it carried a death sentence (Lev 20:10), but when Jesus forgave the woman caught in flagrant adultery (Jn 8:4-7), he set the pace of forgiveness and puts adultery at the same level with other forgivable sins.

When anyone commits adultery, they destroy their own soul (Prov 6:32). The havoc the sledge hammer does to the bottle cork is the same adultery and sin in general do to the soul. In 1976, Washington Post reveled that Wayne Hays though married at the time had hired a mistress: Elizabeth Rays to serve as his secretary. After those allegations there was no secret that adultery had destroyed his first marriage of 38 years.

People have argued that the Bible says people should divorce only because of fornication (Mt 5: 32; 19:9). The word fornication there stands for illicit sex. Thus the word fornication embodies adultery, fornication, bestiality, rape and others. Casey Aldridge was sleeping with Kelly Dawson when his fiancée: Jamie Lynn was pregnant. These two were living in fornication and not adultery because they were not married when they were having sex.

While adultery hurts both partners it is not still unforgivable. Jesus even goes further to say that lust is a sin. Every human has sinfully lusted. Because lust is polysemous: one is sin and the other is not. The dichotomy is within their manifestations. To lust after is synonymous to making love in your heart while lust is the desire to have something. This is sin where the mind is used as the altar because lust must first conceive to give sin (James 1:15). That means; lust per se is not sin but part of temptation. One has to differentiate between temptation and sin. There is no man or woman that has never lusted and if any has ever lusted why are we unforgiving when the other partner is caught in sin? The Bible says: For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not (Eccl 7:20).

It is amazing that while most people insist on applying divorce as a solution to adultery, they ignore the same prescription that is against digamy. Consequently, if you insist on not forgiving a partner and divorce him/her then you should stay single for remarriage is sin. However, just because there is hardiness of hearts like it was when Moses instituted divorce so too do we see the same trend where digamy is passively and acquiescently endorsed. True, adultery shows foolishness, destroys the soul, and defiles a nation.

The Bible requires that those who say people should not commit adultery should not be adulterers themselves (Rom 2:22). Those trying to crucify those who commit adultery, form the church of unscrupulous liars. In 2006, Ted Haggard resigned from all his positions after revelations he patronized a male prostitute: and used methamphetamine though married with kids. Nonetheless, if you do not commit adultery but steal or gossip, you have sinned like the adulterer. So if we are beating drums for sinners to report to the White House, you will also receive an invitation for the dance.

Until then, though adultery is evil it is still forgivable.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.

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