Saturday, June 6, 2015

Josh Duggar

I can't bring much in the way of breaking news, but I will attempt to give a summary of the public statements and share a few worthy insights (not all mine--actually, none are originally mine, because it all comes from a Biblical worldview)

First off, for consideration: how Josh -- and every one of us -- should respond, inwardly, to being publicly attacked for any reason.

For the record: this man was chronically depressed because of extreme
mockery in the newspapers and even other pulpits. So he knows what it
feels like.

The political punditsphere was quick to respond, and the arguments are useful in provoking thought:

Matt Walsh wrote for the Blaze, making two main points:
* empathy: as a parent, is your first response to throw your child in jail? "I guess I'm just a horrible person then."
* hypocrisy: are the same people going after Josh Duggar also going after Lena Dunham, who publicly admitted to even more deviant behavior, and is thoroughly unrepentant about it? No? Well, why not? Is it perhaps because of the messages they promote on television?
"1) The Duggars are Christian. The Duggars are conservative. The Duggars don’t believe in gay marriage. Someone in the Duggar family did something terrible.
These are all facts. None of these facts conflict. None of these facts disprove any of the other facts. From the way liberals always react in these situations, you’d think that a Christian committing a sin somehow delegitimizes the faith itself, but that’s not quite accurate."
All reasonable statements, which appeal to logic.

In a similar vein to Lena Dunham, Rob Lowe tweeted about past indiscretions he'd committed, and this was after the Duggar story had broken. He was promoted as a beacon of hope in every media outlet I saw.
"In 1988, before Lowe got sober... he was filmed in a sex tape with two females and one of them was 16, according to CBS."
Is there a difference between 12 years and 25 years? Further, is there a difference between fondling (Duggar) and penetration (Lowe)? Or is the former simply more scandalous because it's new news, not old news?

I also saw an article on Stephen Crowder's website, by a contributor Krystal Heath, which made a similar statement initially, but emphasized more Christian-sounding language toward the end. Used the 'sin' word a bit more as well as forgiveness. This is good, but still not quite as incisive as what I read from Todd Friel.

If everyone who hears of the story reads just one article, this is the article everyone should read
"There are two groups of people who should not be shocked to discover that a member of the Duggar family is a sinner: Christians and non-Christians. Surprisingly, both camps seemed to be surprised by this revelation."
"There are two groups of people who should not be shocked to discover that a member of the Duggar family is a sinner: Christians and non-Christians. Surprisingly, both camps seemed to be surprised by this revelation." 

Without copying the entire article, here's the final paragraph:
"Josh tendered his resignation to the Family Research Council and they accepted it. While none of us know all of the details, if Josh were in my employ, I would not have accepted his resignation. 
I would have shouted from the rooftops, “If you think Josh is wicked, you should meet the rest of us! That is why we are Christians! We need forgiveness for being wretched, vile, wicked rebels. If you are a rebel too, Jesus died for you! Run to Jesus! Join the wretched club.” 
Let’s not squander this opportunity to share the great good news that Jesus died for perverts, liars, thieves, drunkards, abortionists, Wall Street fat cats, skid row bums, suburban housewives, blue collar workers and every sinner who will come to Him in repentance and faith. 
Josh Duggar’s story is more than a Gospel tragedy; it is a Gospel opportunity. Don’t waste it."
The Duggars' initial response to the accusations were reported here, and the full copy is on the "Duggar Family Official" Facebook page.

They did point out that they hope people can see that being a Christian doesn't mean being perfect,
"We have challenges and struggles everyday. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God’s kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us — even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey — the good times and the difficult times — cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything. "

Perhaps the best possible short response, to anyone who would accuse Josh or the family in person (and even any of us 'other' Christians, if we are confronted by an accuser), would be this go-to:
"Just think, if God can forgive me for what I've done, then He can forgive you too. No one is ever too far from grace for God to save."

For the fairest and most complete telling of the story, actually letting the Duggars speak instead of just their social media critics, I found this Fox News link to where Megyn Kelly interviewed them.

For the complete article with several short video segments of the interview of Jim-Bob and Michelle (the parents), go here.

For the interview with the girls Jessa and Jill, which was just done last night and posted, go here.

One note: the girls feel victimized by the people attacking their family, not their brother. They have asked people to stop. Everyone who claims to be interested in their welfare should listen to them. Failure to do so will betray the truth, that you are interested in destroying the family in any way you can.
The behavior of social media antagonists who have attacked the Duggars persistently is aptly explained by God's Word. Romans describes the tell-tale behavior of people in a society who have denied God.
Romans 1
"28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them."
Romans 2 follows up by saying "and such were some of you." God can extend grace even to people like Josh. And God can extend grace even to people who slander Josh's family. None of us are deserving of praise, for all of us have sinned: some publicly, some privately, some knowingly, and others unknowingly. I daresay most of the critics do not realize that their speculation about Jim-Bob's alleged inappropriate handling of the issue constitutes GOSSIP, something the Bible condemns as a sin that we who commit it deserve hell for.

What an encouraging thing it is that God saves sinners. That means we all qualify.
~ Rak Chazak

PS I had more thoughts initially, but this works best as a summary post. More may follow later.


  1. I advocate the death penalty for cases like this. Sinful.

    1. Would you advocate the death penalty for Dzokhar Tsarnaev? Charles Manson? James Holmes?

      Just curious.