Recently I've had a number of people tell me about situations in which they find themselves or a friend of theirs in, in which a "Christian" is having an affair at the office. An email I got recently is typical of this:
"My fellow sister is having an affair with her colleage at work. I was told they see each other everyday and soon they get along with each other very well. And then......it began(affair). She had confided in me and a few others that she wants to stop this but everytime she falls back and it grew deeper. Do you have a solution? She has great leadership and is leading a dedicated cell, how to bring her back to Jesus? Her colleage is married and has a kid who is about 1 and half years old."
I find this to be an increasing phemonenon in the Christian community. But why should it be? The following is the reponse I gave to this individual:
It's nice of you to seek advice on her behalf, for this is an increasing problem both in the secular and Christian community. Let me first express my opinion on the global situation and then I will give some advice on the particular situation you mentioned.
Presently, "freedom" is the god of this age: The "freedom" to do whatever we feel like doing. On the other hand, "submission" is likened to slavery. What disturbs me is that this is not just the case in the secular community, but also in the Christian community! Feminism, which is one of the "freedom philosophies", for example, is a dominant philosophy accepted, practice, and preached by many churches, which ignore the gender-specific commands in the scriptures such as 1Tim2 :11-14
"A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner."
But instead they have women put in positions of authority over men, being ministers or leaders of men, which is contrary to the role that God has assigned for them.
In Christian families, husbands are not generally treated as if they have a legitimate position of authority over their wife. Contrary to Eph 5:22-24
"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."
Combine the rebellious feminist attitude being promoted in the Christian community with the philosophy of sexual freedom with its disregard for the legitimacy of the marriage bond, and then increase the contact between men and women in the workforce, and is it any surprise what you end up with?
These days, most adulteries start with affairs in the workplace.
What about the particular situation you mentioned? You may not like what I'm going to say, but it is consistent with Paul's teachings in 1Cor and John's teachings in 1John. In 1Corinthians Paul deals with a situation in which sexual immorality was being committed by a "Christian". The situation is a little different than what you describe in that is was publically known and the believers were proud of their tolerance of such sin. But in 1Cor 5, Paul recommends that such a person be put out of the fellowship (until they repent as he did in 2Cor), and Paul further explains:
"Now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?" 1Cor 5:11,12
What do you think the Apostle Paul would say if he were to talk with that woman you mentioned? How do you think she would have been treated if she was living in the first century Corinthian church?
However, as it seems she has not yet accept this affair as part of her lifestyle, I would not recommend the disfellowship as a first step. Rather I would question her salvation status. I believe "Once saved, always saved" as 1John 2:19 says
"They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, (Once saved) they would have remained with us; (Always saved) but their going showed that none of them belonged to us."
But if one has been born of God, then there are certain things that change within them. God gives them certain things, and God takes away certain things. Such as in 1John 2:19, God takes away the ability to turn away from Christ. But there is something else that God takes away that John mentions in 1John 3:9
"No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God."
The word "cannot" in the greek word dunamai, where we get the word "dynamite" in English, and it refers not to "permission", but to "ability". Those who have been born of God have lost the ability to "sin" in the sense mentioned here. What is also lost in the translation is the significance of the present tense in the greek, being used for "sin". In greek, they have a tense known as "aorist", which they use much of the time, but when they want to emphasize the idea of continuity, they will use the present. In this case, "sin" refers to sin in a lifestyle or professional sense. Those born of God have lost the ability to sin in a lifestlye or professional sense.
Paul writes again in 1Cor "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." 1Cor 6:9,10
What I am simply saying is if this woman accepts this affair as part of her lifestyle, then you can say that she has not been born of God. But what about the fact that she is "trying" to repent but seems not able to? As Christians, we all have this experience at times, but if God's seed dwells in us (1John 3:9), we will have victory over sin inevitably. If we are continually slaves to sin, then we may not have God's seed in us.
Peter writes of other self-proclaiming leaders of the church as having these characteristics:
"They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity-- for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud." " 2Peter 2:19-22
It may be also that this affair is only a sympton of other deep- rooted sin and that she only senses that she is enslaved to it because she is not dealing with the root. No doubt she is in a position of leadership over men in the church, as I infer from your message, indicating her rejection of her proper role as the Bible defines it. Furthermore, if she is married, I have little doubt that she has rejected the idea of submitting to her husband whom she despises by carrying out this affair. And I have little doubt that if you point this out to her, she will make all kinds of excuses blaming him. Or if she is single, she is despising the other man's wife and their marriage that God had established, as she plays the role of a whore. But no doubt she'll find someone else to blame. She'll blame the man or she'll blame his wife or perhaps even end up blaming God. Yet there is no excuse for her behavior. Many in the world have devoted much time and effort in TV programs and movies to excuse and justify those who are involved in such things as she is. There is no such excuse in the Bible.
Edition: Jul 29,2015