R. C. Sproul Jr. has been suspended by Ligonier Ministries due to his admission that he visited the adultery matchmaking website Ashley Madison. Ashley Madison is a Canada-based online dating service and social networking service marketed to people who are married or in a committed relationship. Its slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair."The website was launched in 2001. The name of the site was created from two popular female names, "Ashley" and "Madison".
Sproul Jr. is one of Ligonier Ministries' teaching fellows, and is rector and chair of philosophy and theology at the ministry's Reformation Bible College. He previously edited the ministry's magazine, Tabletalk. Ligonier Ministries is a Reformed international Christian organization headquartered in the greater Orlando, Florida area. Founded by R. C. Sproul in the Ligonier Valley, Pennsylvania outside of Pittsburgh over forty years ago, Ligonier's stated purpose is "to awaken as many people as possible to the holiness of God by proclaiming, teaching, and defending God's holiness in all its fullness."
In a blog post, Sproul Jr. said he accessed the site "in a moment of weakness, pain, and from an unhealthy curiosity. ... My goal was not to gather research for critical commentary, but to fan the flames of my imagination.
"First, I felt the grace of fear. Second, I felt the grace of shame. I was there long enough to leave an old email address. And within minutes I left, never to return," he wrote. "I did not sign up for their service or interact with any clients. I have always remained faithful to my wife even after her passing." (His wife died of cancer in 2011.)
"The grace of God's judgment bore its fruit, and by His grace I repented of my sin. By His grace, I have also received His forgiveness, the outworking of His love. Prophetic providence had done its good office. Jesus died for this sin, but there are still earthly consequences.
"With the revelation of the hack has come the revelation of my sin. I recently informed the board of Ligonier Ministries, which has handled the matter internally, having suspended me until July 1, 2016," he wrote. "I also informed my presbytery which is also handling the matter internally. And now the world is informed. My sin, sadly, has impacted those who are innocent-my colleagues, friends, and family. I have and will continue to seek their forgiveness. I covet your prayers."