In light of the recent revelation about the historical sin and guilt of Josh Duggar, it should surprise no one that the world and the media are waiting like wolves over a wounded animal to jump in and devour this family in a mindless frenzy of decadent indulgence. With great satisfaction, and proverbial blood dripping from their lips, secular society gets ecstatic every time a public figure who stands for Christ displays the fact that being a sinner is actually a disgusting thing.
First – Sin is disgusting. Period. All of it. We just have a stomach and an appetite for some of it, and a repugnance for the rest of it. It is all putrid, and off-putting to God; nonetheless, sinners sin. Saved sinners sin. Saints in the sanctifying process, sin, have sinned, and will sin. I said that to say this. When did it become a “surprise” to find out that well-known Christians actually have sinned? They have not made mistakes. They have not merely had flaws in their character. They have not made a miss-step. They have committed disgusting crimes against the King and the Kingdom. They have committed horrendous acts of abomination against God, and directly or indirectly against man. No thinking Christian, should ever over-look the fact that the sin that the Bible speaks of is not on par with being late for Sunday School, or not returning a library book on time. The sin that the Bible speaks of, in the eyes of God, in all scenarios is as disgusting, enraging, and repugnant to Him, as child molestation is to man. Before we ever begin to know how to respond to the issues surrounding Josh Duggar, and the Duggar family, we need to have a crystal clear grip on what it means to actually be a sinner, as all men are.
Second – As I understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy, there has been no cold calculating secret secured behind an army of propagandist aggressively warring to make sure no one ever knows that Josh sinned. From what I understand, while Josh never wore a sign saying, “I did this . . .” many years ago, it was not something that was unknown, or unknowable to the circle of society available to the family. There is something circulating about how in 2006, someone reported this to the officials behind the Oprah show. Now that being said, I don’t know anyone, in any scenario of life that is required to announce to the world all of the terrible things that they did when they were young teenagers, criminal, deviant, or otherwise. I have never seen a liberal apply this “history test” to their own politicians, Hollywood heroes, and social supermen. What a parade of jesters that would be. There is a difference in “lying to the public” and “not parading” dirty laundry down main street. No one has a moral or social responsibility to publish a list of their historical evils for the world to ogle over, embellish, relish, and condemn. The psalmist prayed in Psalm 25:7 – “Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.” Sharing our testimony (regardless of how dark it once was) is one thing . . . casting pearls before swine is another.
Third – There is no redemption in the eyes of the world. To my understanding, Jim Bob, and Jill did exactly what they were supposed to do. The police were called, reports were filed, confession was made, and the law was involved. There is only one right way to respond, and from all accounts they did what they were supposed to do. Where there is admission, confession, and repentance, there is to be forgiveness, peace, and restoration. The shock to the system comes with the fact that Satan’s society receives an admission, confession, and repentance, as an opportunity to inflict pain, and heap reproach upon the guilty party. That’s why the Bible calls him the “accuser of the brethren. There is no remedy, or redemption in the eyes of a world that always wants to find someone who they think is a worse sinner than they are. They run a fool’s errand when they see an opportunity to express moral indignation and then feel like they are standing on higher ground. Their ground is not higher by kicking someone who they perceive to be lower, they just don’t know that.
What more could they have done in response to Josh’s sin? No more than admit, confess, and repent. -That’s it. There is no other recourse. If there has been genuine admission, and genuine repentance, then the only thing that can be done has been done.
Simply put the question that seems to be hanging in the air is “what do we do when we find out that a professing Christian committed an egregious sin as a young teenager, and didn’t announce it to the world?”
We look for accountable repentance. Child molestation is inexcusable, and heart breaking, and a clear picture of the nature of sin in all of its glory. What Josh did as a fourteen year old brought hurt and harm into the lives of other people. Honesty and repentance is the only way out. The actions of the family, the victims, and Josh from that day till now paints a picture of the direction Josh is moving. Either He has moved, and is moving away from that sin, or he has not. If there has been no genuine change, then the grief should continue. If there has been a genuine change, then strike another one up for the Grace, glory and power of God. From a disconnected person with a bleachers eye view, it appears that he has responded as he should have. Only the family and those closest to him can know that at this time.
We see them for what they are, not what they were. If you are what you were when you were a child then you need to grow up! We must see them as a bonafide outlaw, whose debt was paid at the cross, and whose heart, mind, and soul has changed.
We let them live in the change Jesus makes. Jesus changes people. Period. It does no good to know good for no good. It’s as much an hypocrisy to proclaim Jesus changes people, and then not let them live with that change, as it is to pretend to be a Christian in the first place. When a Christian holds on to the sins of his brother before his brother was a brother, the grace that is supposed to be in his heart has fallen flat. We need to get a grip on Grace. Grace is for people who deserve not to have it; any man who deserves it, can’t have it. I’m thankful for that.
We cannot as children of God, act like the children of the world. We must give support, where support is due, we must give grace where grace is due. As Dr. Huckabee stated, “Sin is not unforgivable.” In fact I would add, it’s the only thing that CAN be forgiven. It’s what forgiveness is for. For the whole world to understand that would be a welcome change worth making.