I’ve been looking for an opportunity to get back to the blog and get back into regular posting.  We’ve been working behind the scene here at Pillar of Truth to try to get things in order so that we can do what we’d like to do well into the future.  So, I took a break and concentrated on other things.  I thought I’d come back with a Pillar of Links kind of post that would allow me to catch up.  But when the news dropped last week about Joshua Duggar, I knew I needed to get back to the blog and say something that simply needs to be said.

My wife and I like the Duggars.  My wife watches their show any chance she gets.  Although Reality TV isn’t really my thing, I thought it was refreshing to see Christian homeschooling creationists unashamed of being Christian homeschooling creationists.  It was also refreshing to see two parents unafraid of God’s great gift of children.  I never really understood the tepid lack of enthusiasm the Duggars typically received from some reformed American Christians.

Well… that’s not true…  The first time I taught a class on Biblical Manhood/Womanhood (and thus motherhood and fatherhood) I said the words “If you believe God is sovereign, you must also believe that God, not you, is sovereign over the size of your family”.  I thought it would be met with amens.  Instead it was met with passionate arguments and disagreement from many in the room.  On that day, I started to understand why the Duggars weren’t as popular among what should have been their core audience.  Many Christian conservatives long for wholesome Christian people to have a piece of the cultural spotlight.  Yet, when the Duggars came around and grabbed a significant piece of that spotlight, they made many (not all) of us uncomfortable.  Why? I believe it is because the Duggars reject the notion that God is not also sovereign in the amount of children a couple should have.  For the same reasons many christians affirm the Calvinists and preach like Arminians, so too many Christians preach God’s sovereignty and live as if He isn’t.  (And before you berate me in the comments… 1) remember the old adage about throwing a rock into a pack of dogs, 2) Yes, I recognize that not everyone can have as many kids as they’d like… believe me.)

But, enough of that; I’ve thrown enough sparks on that burgeoning brush fire.

My reaction to the Josh Duggar revelations was noticeably different from those I was hearing from others.  While many fellow fans were devastated, and many others were disgusted, I was filled with hope and excited about the opportunity we all had to demonstrate the Gospel.

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that the reason I’ve been taking a break from social media is because I want to try to spend more time with my young teenage son.  He’s not a Christian and, like all non-Christians, sin grips his heart and rules his life.  He tries real hard to be good, but he’s not good.  He needs Christ.  He’s my oldest son, and I’m a young man so I don’t really know how to do this fathering thing.  I’m still trying to figure it all out.  I can lean on my pastors, friends, and family for help; but at the end of the day my son only has one father.  Me.  (A pity for the poor kid!)  Hence, I took a break and turned my attention to him.

I see a lot of my son in 14 year old Josh Duggar.  Now, to be clear, my son isn’t touching girls and has never been accused of anything like that.  Nevertheless, I assure you that his sin is just as dark and it’s been a part of his life for quite some time.  Those early teen years are the times when the old habits that existed in old childish actions are met with new possibilities and a new spectrum of effects.  That same heart that ate the cookie I told him not to eat is telling him to ride his bike when he is not supposed to ride it, with those he is not to ride it with, to do other things I have told him not to do.  That same little boy who thought it best to lie to me about eating the cookie while he wiped the crumbs from his mouth is now a very young man that thinks it best to lie to me about being out past curfew as we both look at the same clock.  He’s a sinner!  He needs Christ!  Pray for him (and for me).

Yet, I’m hopeful.  I’m hopeful because three weeks ago, before the revelations, when I thought of Josh Duggar I thought of a young man who loved Christ, fought for the right things, and did his best to please our Lord in what He had given him to do.  Now, even though in the back of my mind I knew he undoubtedly had sin in his past, we all now know the dark and terrible depths to which that sin had gripped him.  It disgusts us to even think about it.  Josh Duggar doesn’t have “merely” a few unkind words in his past, he has a Uriah and Bathsheba in his past.  Like my son, that once young teenager was no longer sneaking cookies and lying about the crumbs on his mouth, but was gripped by the same master to sin in new ways; affecting far more than the number of cookies in a jar.  But yet, Josh Duggar is not defined by sin.  It may have once gripped him, but it does not define him because Josh Duggar has since become a new creation in Christ.

Sin doesn’t have to define my son, either.  Nor does it have to define your son or daughter.  It doesn’t have to define you.  Nor me.  One of the greatest truths about the love of God is that no one is too far gone.  No one is beyond redemption and renewal.  There is no sin that can be committed for which Christ did not shed His precious blood.

I’m also thankful that while Christ is the Redeemer for boys like Josh Duggar, He’s also the Healer for the girls feeling the effects of Josh’s awful sin.  What a great God we serve that can heal the deepest hurts!  Pray for the victims.  Pray they’d rely on Christ and become more like Him through it all.

In addition to being hopeful, I was also excited for what I thought would be an opportunity to preach the Gospel.  The God hating culture and its media will do the job of demonstrating Josh’s need for a Savior.  They’ll be sure to tell us, ad nauseum, of what an awful person he must be and the disgusting thing he did.  They’re not wrong, although they probably aren’t interested in telling the complete story and DEFINITELY aren’t interested in revealing their own likeness to Josh Duggar as they shove sexual perversion down our throats at every turn.  But, no matter, let the wicked act wickedly… it serves God’s purpose and works together for the good of those who love Him.  Specifically, the church has an opportunity to circle the wagons around Josh, to tell the world that we’re no better, to remind the world that they’re no better.  The church has an opportunity to demonstrate that God saves terrible sinners, an opportunity to show exactly why Jesus had to die.

But, I predict, the church won’t do that.  Many are too afraid of looking bad to a sinful world.  Many are embarrassed by Josh Duggar, maybe even angry with him.  I get the feeling most Christians want this to go away quietly.  They want to explain it away, they want to join the world in condemning him.  We all ought to know better.  If Josh Duggar’s great sin and greater redemption fill you with fear of angering the world instead of filling you with praise to God for the great work He has begun in Josh, then simply put, you don’t have your priorities straight.  There are some who agree with what I just typed but don’t think we ought to say anything.  Phrases like “don’t rock the boat” and “bigger fish to fry” come out of their mouths.  Sure, there are other things to worry about, but we can’t keep missing opportunities to apply the Gospel to real, messy, imperfect world we live in filled with real, imperfect, and messy people like Josh Duggar.  Why?  Because the casual people taking our tracts or tripping into our churches on Sunday mornings are no better than 14 year old Josh Duggar and are doing things no less dirty and no less offensive to God than what Josh did.  Those people need to know the truth:  Josh Duggar and his horrendous past isn’t an example of a failed Christian; rather it’s an example of the sinfulness of sin.  Yet, because of Christ, Josh is now an example of God’s perfect love for imperfect people and the surpassing richness of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

The truth is, we’re all Josh Duggar.  And like Josh, we have nothing to offer but filthy rags.  “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” {Rom 5:8-11 NASB}

May His name be forever praised!

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One Comment

  1. I totally agree with you and am saddened that true Christians need to be constantly reminded of these things. However, my problem with the Duggers is that throughout ALL the interviews (and I watched them all) they missed every opportunity to preach a CLEAR gospel. I was stunned.

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