Posts Tagged ‘adultery’

I have recently been tuning my ears into a local talk radio station here in Seattle. All they are talking about recently is this whole Tiger Woods fiasco.

I have a couple of things to say about it…from a mans perspective…from a pastor’s heart…from an outside observer with inside knowledge because I am a man.

Warning! If for some stupid idiotic reason you have a high undo imposed idolicised view of me and my purity of mind, this will ruin you and you should not read what I am about to write. Close this now. Run!

No man is prepared to have hundreds of women throw themselves at his feet offering their bodies up to him for whatever he wishes. No man is prepared to turn the free offerings of sexual pleasures away, when it is available 24/7 and with no apparent or worth while price tag. When a man is married or enters into a committed relationship, he quickly discovers that he will have to work at love and affection and sex and he discovers that the sexual world isn’t all about him getting pleasure and his own fulfillment, his view of relationships changes and over time the desire of self fulfillment and personal attention grows and becomes somewhat tragically enticing.  All cards are stacked against him.  Every question is asked. Can I get away with this? Is it really that bad? Why not, everyone has been unfaithful at least once, right? Will anyone really find out? Questions that plague man by the enemy.

Consider this, every Biblical patriarch had more than one woman in his bed. Even David, the man after God’s own heart.   Adultery has been a common place in all of history in all of the world and is consistently available at all times. And… adultery is not a black and white list in a book some place.  Where does it start?   At sex? Does it begin with a look? Or a thought? Or a dream, or spending to much time with a woman or is it really even about women, or the opposite sex or the same sex or is it about what ever else we decide to pursue when we should be pursuing our spouse?

Take a man who is being constantly tempted. Even if he discards the 99 out of a hundred offers of infidelity and takes the one, he will be forever remembered for the one he took and not the 99 he turned away from.  No one will ever tell of the strength of this man who told 99 to get lost, who stood up and with power and determination to stay true to his wife turned his eyes to only focus on one.  He will always be remembered for being unfaithful because of that one.

Wait!

Consider this.  Almost every movie that has been released since the dawn of the screen has glorified infidelity. Theater before that. Every magazine, advertisement, billboard, clothing add,  television and news show gives the grand experience of fulfilling self. It bombards us on every front and in every direction our eyes turn. We cannot get away from it!  Over the years the men and women we look up to have fallen from grace.  Many great pastors have given themselves over to selfish gain and fulfillment and left a trail of despair and tragedy in his wake. And you and I both know that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg, because the few who have been publicly arraigned are only the very few who have been caught with millions who stand in the gap and the fear of wondering if they too will be caught.

As men of God we are in a constant battle for purity. In a constant battle to preserve our bodies, minds and emotions for God and our mate. We all deeply desire to walk uprightly and never stumble. But the truth is we ALL stumble and fall.  And for some reason when the public finds out about our secret we are taken to a corner on Pike Street, stripped naked and crucified by the very men and women who wooed us into sin and who are themselves in bed with one who is not their spouse.  We are paraded in front of the masses who are throwing insults and bricks at us as they hold the hand of the prostitute they are about to dine with.

Yes Tiger Woods is wrong! It is wrong to be unfaithful to your wife or husband. Wrong! It ruins relationships, ruins families, ruins faith, ruins trust, ruins life, ruins….But can I just ask this question? Why is the world so torn up about Tiger? He isn’t a Christian as far as I know. Why not cheat on your wife when she is being a nag and all around ungrateful for the life you are giving her? When a Christlike ideology isn’t part of your essence, why would this little escapade really matter to the world? If evolution is how we got here in the first place, there really isn’t any such thing as adultery, its really about the survival of the fittest and let’s face it Tiger is the fittest. Why not let him create a new era of the evolutionary world by becoming the daddy of many Tigers and ultimately controlling the golf world as we know it.

Personally, I feel sorry for the guy. Yeah, I can hear the comments on that already. But seriously I do feel sorry for him for many different reasons. One being that as far as the media and world tells us – we are expected to fulfill ourselves and take advantage of what is offered to us. We are told there is nothing wrong with it. Two – Why single Tiger out? Just because he held some aura of admirable quality doesn’t mean he is the poster child of right and wrong, or what people deem right and wrong at the moment. Tomorrow there will be a lineman of the Seahawks who sleeps with three different women a week. Nothing will be said about him and if something is said it will be glorified and praised. Three – the guy is a human who desires fulfillment. Our world has for centuries told us that’s alright and that we should be about taking care of ourselves. He was just following societal norms. Four – Tiger really is desiring God. As long as he is running from a personal relationship with Christ he will not be able to keep from pursuing other means of fulfillment. Why should we get down on him for these pursuits? Five – The news media has made this the fiasco it is. It is trash and that is what news is. Trash. The noble man does not make the news. Six – I am not unlike Tiger. Yes you read that right. Tiger Woods and I have many things in common. My desires, thoughts, eyes and actions are not always on pure things. (I caution you about crucifying me, just because I am stating openly what you also have in common with Tiger and me). I only have one thing going for me – – I am forgiven and can live in freedom and my desirous focus is always drawn back to Christ by Christ and not on myself or even my wife, but Christ. That is what ultimately keeps me from cheating on my wife.

The fact is we have all been implanted with a moral code of right and wrong from Adam to now and even those who don’t follow Christ know that adultery is wrong. Something cries out to all of us Christians or not, we are to be faithful to the one. The world want to be able to hold someone up who is a great role model, someone we can point to and say, “See, someone can be noble.” But let’s face it “The Noble,” really doesn’t make very good news.

Man was not designed to be God. We can’t handle the pressure of being idolized. It doesn’t work. It tears us apart, destroys us. This has brought a new meaning to the passage in James that says. “The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.” Why yes, when we are poor or “humble” in our circumstances, being faithful to but one woman is much easier. When we discover what we really deserve as men, as humans, it humbles us and pulls us more in the directions or not fulfilling self and turning our focus on others, namely our wife.

So…Tiger, I am praying for you.  Men and women who read this, I am praying for you. We live in a world that will constantly draw our eyes off the Father.  Don’t be too quick to judge Tiger when the truth is we are all susceptible and guilty of idolatry,  we are all guilty of cheating on God.  But if you are a Christ follower you have been set free and the guilt no longer remains. We must however daily take up our cross and follow Him.

I would love to hear your comments. Thanks for reading.

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My thoughts on John 8:1-11  Caught in the Act

It’s late, very late, or maybe it’s early, very early.  She thought she had finally found a man who would love her.

Her past was bruised and ugly.  Her father left home early in her childhood leaving a huge space that she never could fully fill. Even though she tried, often and with many different things. Nothing ever really satisfied. Her mom had to work the fields just to keep food on the table and often she would stay at her uncle’s home while her mother worked late into the night. Her uncle cared for her, a little too much. It was early in her life that he told her how much he “adored” her. His hands wondered and soon he was taking advantage of a young girl who thought she was being loved, but soon realized she was being abused.  As a young girl she started working just to pass the time, something to do, or maybe it was to be away from something she didn’t want to do.

There were other men who started to show interest in her as she matured into a young woman. But so often they only stayed as long as they could get something from her. They too only wanted to use her, she kept giving herself away hoping for something in return. Somehow she became known and began to live on the edge.

One day on a visit to a draw water for her daily supply she ran into a man who offered some money. Others had offered money before but not this much. This would take care of her for a month, maybe more. It would be worth it, just one time more, maybe this would be the last time.

It was late when they met at the stable, the moon was peeking through the clouds that night giving her just enough light to make her way down the trail. The wood hinge on the gate squeaked slightly as she opened it. Inside he was waiting. He was actually very kind, maybe this one would actually care for her, maybe it would be alright. Just maybe. She let herself go.

Suddenly the gate flew open and in crashed several men yelling at her in angry voices. They grabbed her arms and threw her off the nameless man across the stable and onto the dirt floor. Other men tore her garment and pushed her into the animal refuse in the corner, as they began to shout insults at her. Yelling that she was going to be stoned at sunrise.

Crying in fear she scrambled to her feet and ran for the open gate only to be smacked down to the earth again. They grabbed her wrists and proceeded to drag her out of the stable and down the deserted street. The next few hours she spend in a room alone, locked up like an animal, waiting to be slaughtered. She felt like like some kind of animal.

Many things went through her head in those long hours. She knew what she was doing was wrong and that according to the law she was to be punished by public stoning. She had seen that one time before when she was a little girl. It was to horrific to watch, the images started to plague her mind as she sat quietly weeping in the dark corner of the cold room. Alone. the weight of the darkness was heavy.

The agonizing hours turned into a sunny morning. She use to love going to the market with her mom when the sun shown bright, she would hold her mom’s hand singing a Psalm. This morning instead of her holding her mom’s hand the men returned grasping her wrists and forcing her to walk down the busy street.  She knew that most women would be taken to their father’s house and stoned at the door, but where would she go? To the edge of town? To the city dump? She was sure they would take her there and would leave her body in the dump to eaten by wild animals.

But this wasn’t the path to the edge of town. The men were taking her into the heart of the city towards the temple. This didn’t make sense. As they entered the courtyard of the temple she saw a large crowd of people gathered around something. The men made a lot of noise as they entered, causing the crowd to turn and watch the procession enter. She was taken and thrown down on the dirt in front of a man. A common man, she assumed he was a powerful rabbi with this kind of crowd gathered around.

She was confused. First the law said that if a man and woman were caught in the act of adultery that they would both be stoned, but the man from last night wasn’t there. She was alone in the middle a big crowd who were gathered around to find out what this was all about. She mustered up her strength and stood in front of the teacher with her tangled hair falling around her head as she hung it in shame, her clothes torn, her skin dirty and smeared with excrement from the stable. She waited, scared, shaking.

Just hours ago she was giving herself away again, thinking that just maybe this man could have been the one, and now she was preparing herself to die.

The men shouted accusations at her, they were ugly, and sounded evil and then they asked what this rabbi was going to do about it. They wanted him to pronounce judgement on her. She knew what the judgement would be, the law required it-death by stoning. He had to make this proclamation. If he didn’t he would be going against the Law and who would follow a rabbi who went against the Law?

She waited.

The rabbi slowly knelt down and reached his hand out to the dusty courtyard and methodically drug his finger through the sand, like he was writing something. What was it? She couldn’t quite make it out. 

Several of the men who had caught her started to pick up stones, they were getting ready. “How could they be so excited about ending a life?” She thought to herself. “Am I really that evil?”  They continued to shout accusations at her, some were true, some were made up. The man just kept drawing in the sand.

Then he stood up with authority, he was going to talk, he was going to make his judgement. He opened his mouth. She winced.

He said, “You’re right. Let her be stoned.” Terror rushed through her body like lightening, she began shivering with fear and tears streamed down her cheek. But then he said something crazy, “You who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he knelt back down and concentrated on drawing in the dirt. He didn’t even look up again.

She kept her head down waiting for the first stone. They were sure to start throwing, they are the religious leaders, surely they are sin free. She heard a rock drop to the ground. She flinched, but nothing hit her. Then another rock dropped to the ground followed by footsteps. And then it happened again. And again. And again. Soon it was quiet. Very quiet. She looked up and saw that none of the men who dragged her in where there any more.

She didn’t know what to do. She was alive. Why? What just happened?

His Words cut through silence,  “Young Lady, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” He spoke so softly, with so much kindness, gentleness. It was like there was life in his voice.

“No one, sir.” Was all she could get to come out of her parched lips.

And then he said it. He said the words that she would remember the rest of her life. “Then neither do I condemn you,” He said, “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

She just stood there, shocked, perplexed. She couldn’t figure out what happened. The crowd was still gathered and somehow inside of that short sentence she felt he was teaching the crowd, or maybe the crowds, or maybe he was even teaching or speaking to people who couldn’t hear his voice. She felt something bigger happened here, something bigger than just forgiveness being given to a worthless dirty girl. His words felt like a healing salve, like a cleansing water was washing over her and even though she stood there physically dirty and disgraced, she felt clean, even pure. His words made her desire deeply to change to run from her life of continually looking for love in men. She felt as if she had just been released from a prison.

She wanted to jump up and down and shout and sing. But she didn’t, she just stood there. The Rabbi looked at her and smiled. It wasn’t a grin or a courteous smile, it was a genuine smile with teeth and dimples and a sparkle in his eyes.  Then he turned and continued to teach the crowd.

The girl followed this Rabbi for many weeks, holding onto every word that he spoke, capturing every miracle and healing he did. She followed him all the way to a place called Golgotha, the place where this kind, gentle Rabbi died a gruesomely harsh death on a cross. It was evident to her that in his death he was doing something much bigger than just dieing. There was something about that death that had eternity written on it. Something in that day on that hill that was going to heal many, many more people like she was healed. She would soon find out that it was in his death and resurrection that true life begins.