As I was walking out the door this morning, the Today Show (no I don’t watch regularly) had a piece pertaining to cheating spouses and why it is or isn’t acceptable. The reason this was even brought up on the show was because of the new NY Governor (replacing the former governor who has been criminally indicted for being involved with a prostitution ring) admitting extra-marital affairs earlier in his marriage. In addition, his wife cheated on him as well. According to the “expert” they had on this morning, we need to be honest with our human nature when it comes to cheating. Is it really all that wrong? We need to understand that in the West we are in the minority of cultures around the world who do not accept adultery as morally correct. Therefore, maybe we should reconsider was the implication I gathered.
The only way to understand this response though is to understand the worldview it stems from: evolutionary secularism, we just exist, not because of anything creating us as it were, but we just are a bunch of chemical responses. So really what is right and wrong other than what the culture deems it to be? I noticed that he didn’t really give a fair representation of the different ways to understand cheating (secular vs. religious), he simply stated it as if it were an absolute law out there that just is what it is: the morality or immorality of multiple partners is based upon the culture. Where does he derive this from? If we are just the by-product of a bunch of random incidents making us who we are with no design behind any of them, no real purpose, then our understanding of monogamy vs. polygamy will be based purely on the culture in which we are raised because in his worldview there are no absolute moral truths governing the universe outside of ourselves, just like gravity governing that what goes up must come down.
So for us as a culture in the West, we come from a predominantly (though fast-fading) Christian worldview in which adultery is wrong and committed marriages are praised. Yet for this expert, that needs to be questioned on the basis of his premise, that morality only stems from the culture. Why is cheating wrong? Well, who says it really is other than the culture itself, he says? Hmm, maybe God Himself who exists outside of all cultures and dictates moral reality based on Himself and His character? This won’t do though for him though, on the basis of Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” The expert would position his argument that we need to question the morality of adultery as an accepting view of reality that is relativistic and holds to no one view. Yet his view is an absolute position and a view, according to him, we should all take. But there is no way he can account for his worldview to begin with, other than the fact that that is his personal preference (John Hendryx). But this still doesn’t account for the legitimacy of his worldview. We say our worldview is based upon a good and holy God who we’ve offended, who now offers redemption and restoration through His Son offered for us. And from where does he base his secular worldview?
So why do we cheat? The expert would say it’s built into our DNA and only the cultures’ morality dictates whether it is right or wrong. If the culture accepts this wholeheartedly, we will be even more devastated from the inside out than we already are. And in many ways, the culture has accepted it. Think about the moral train wreck the “free love” of the 60’s has cost us. Consider yourselves how many of your parents are now divorced. Most people in this country are single, divorced, cheating, with multiple partners, etc. People say it’s freedom, but really, it has made our culture utterly miserable and left a trail of moral collateral damage in its wake.
The Scriptures say we cheat (or sin period) because deceitfulness, vile, selfishness, and lawlessness are all built into our natures as fallen, depraved humans who are turned away from the glory of God. We need our natures restored in the glory and image of our Creator. This is our only hope. And this is exactly what Christ came to do. He came and lived the perfect life, (particularly in this instance, not once did He commit adultery) in order that He could take our punishment for our many adulteries (mainly against God) upon His shoulders on the cross and give us His perfect moral record through faith alone in Him and His work. This is the only way to truly change from the inside out. And it is the only way to get back on track with His absolute morality and to cease suppressing it in unrighteousness. Only when we have been finally, eternally accepted before the only One in the universe who ultimately matters will we desire to live according to His rules (that is really the best thing for us anyway).
If you want freedom but think freedom is really only obtained by being free from all constraints, including God Himself, then God can let you have that for eternity, apart from His goodness which is expressed in everything you experience that is good and beautiful. All that will be taken away and God will finally say to you who reject the Gospel, “Alright, have it your way, be free from Me.” Turn to the Lord and seek salvation through the cross-work of Christ. This is the true freedom: to be bound to the glory of our Creator in seeing what lengths He has gone in Christ to save those who come to Him through His power and strength.