There is an old saying that all things done in the dark will eventually come out in the light. Well, the flood lights have come on for some pastors. ‘Life is short. Have an affair.’ was the tagline for Ashley Madison, a Canada-based online adultery service for married people. Unfortunately, time ran out for a few pastors who were unfortunate enough to be on the list posted by hackers.
In a post on faith newspaper ‘The Exchange”s website, Ed Stetzer, executive director of faith research, revealed that more than 300 ministers have been found to be active visitors and users of the infamous site. He said the number includes leaders from several denominations in the U.S. and Canada.
The reveal of names on the hacked list has mandated public resignations and public disciplinary actions.
For example, on Monday, a renowned writer, pastor and leading theologian issued his resignation. R.C. Sproul Jr., son of Robert Charles Sproul, a noted Reformed theologian and founder of the international Christian organization, Ligonier Ministries, revealed Monday that he visited the controversial spouse-cheating Ashley Madison website. Sproul said that as evidence of his contrition he voluntarily revealed his activity on Ashley Madison to Ligonier Ministries and was suspended for a year.
He issued the following statement to his congregation:
In August 2014, in a moment of weakness, pain, and from an unhealthy curiosity, I visited Ashley Madison. My goal was not to gather research for critical commentary, but to fan the flames of my imagination. I recently informed the board of Ligonier Ministries, which has handled the matter internally, having suspended me until July 1, 2016. I also informed my presbytery which is also handling the matter internally. And with this note now the world is informed.
Unfortunately, he is the first of many official statements to come in the next few weeks. We will keep you posted as they are released.