Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
9 Truths about the Josh Duggar Scandal
This has been a surreal week for me. I realize how truly out of touch I am with some of the horrors in the world. First I see that a 7th Planned Parenthood video has come out. A video that explains that sometimes after an abortion occurs – the baby is still alive. The baby’s heart is still beating as they harvest organs from this tiny little person. I will admit, I tried to run and hide from this and from the other videos. I have purposefully tried not to watch them. It seems so horrible to fathom. I’ve always been pro-life but I had no idea that such atrocities were going on right here in our own backyard. Seeing this cruelty seems like too much. Too much.
Then there was the bomb that landed yesterday. Josh Duggar of the TLC Show, “19 Kids and Counting” and oldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, was found to have two accounts on the Ashley Madison website, a website for people who want to cheat on their spouse. He courted his wife, Anna, back in 2008 where they didn’t hug or kiss until their wedding day. This family has very conservative views of dating (among other things) and now their son has been caught participating in adultery on one of the most vile of all websites. Along with spending close to $1000 on services to find a woman to cheat on his wife with, he admitted yesterday that he is also addicted to pornography and did, indeed, cheat on his wife of 6 years.
I have to admit, I was so sickened by this news. I wondered how he could do this to his wife…his wife that has had 4 babies with him. The wife who just gave birth 1 month ago. This was not just an act that harms his own body and soul but of one that could have lasting impacts on his wife and his then unborn child.
Here are 9 truths that we need to remember when we hear about this scandal and other scandals that will come to light in the future.
1. What Josh Duggar did is NOT ok. Let’s be clear that God’s word speaks about this very plainly. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.” 1 Thess. 4:3-7
2. Not all Sins are the Same
I’ve read comments on some of the articles surrounding Josh Duggar that imply all sins are the same. They like to quote Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” They throw around the common mantra, “we’re all sinners”. While that verse is the truth, this only speaks to one part of the truth in this case. All sin separates us from God. That is truth. There is a problem with going around proclaiming this truth from the hilltops, however. This truth doesn’t give credence to the suffering of his wife. It seeks to destroy the victim. It overshadows her pain. All sins are against God but some sins are against others as well. When we do something that directly impacts our spouse, our children, our neighbor we harm them. Jesus said in Matthew 22:38-39, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” I hope we can all agree that his actions directly violate Jesus’ answer to the question of which is the GREATEST Commandment. While effectively, all sin is the same to God, from an Earthly perspective sin has consequences and can have a great impact on our human relationships.
3. It was NOT his wife’s fault
Duggar broke his promises to his wife. He broke their covenant that bound them in marriage. He did this through his actions that he chose when he chose to act on these sins. It was not her fault at all. I was very disheartened when I read an article last night that seemed to place some of the blame on his wife, Anna. A source told People Magazine, “Maybe not publicly, ever, but privately, there will be some suggestion of whether or not she should have been more aware of the pressures Josh was under, of the issues he was facing, and how she could have better counseled him or helped him.” She is the victim and she is not to blame. When you take a vow in front of God and in front of witnesses and then you decide to go out and find another person to sleep with and “experiment” with YOU are completely to blame.
4. He is NOT the Only One
To make this story even more sick and disturbing, it appears that many, many people’s names were on this hacked list from Ashley Madison. Apparently 37 million people (and as it turns most of these were men) use this website that’s tagline is “Life is Short, Have an Affair.” 37 million. Let that one sink in. Now, it also comes out that possibly 15,000 of these came from our very government. These are men in leadership. These are men that can’t keep their promises apparently to anyone. I can almost guarantee you, as well, that Duggar is not the only professing Christian who trolled that site.
5. We ALL Need to Confess Our Sins
The part about this Josh Duggar scandal that makes me most uncomfortable is that he was the former executive director of FRC Action a part of the Family Research Council. Josh said yesterday, “The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country, I was hiding my own personal failings.”source
He very vocally espoused morality, family values and came out against certain agendas including abortion. When someone claims to follow Jesus but fails to own up to their own failings – it will not just be their undoing – it might cause many others to question everything that person stood for. It sickens me to think of how many people believe that all Christians are phonies because of his actions. Some may turn from God because they believe that somehow God condones these actions. Yes, we are all sinners, and I will say it again like I said in So Long Supermom: We need to be transparent with each other. We should not pretend to be who we are not. We should not hide our sin but we should come right out with it. Our sin, our failings, our faults can either be a source of hope or a source of doubt for others. Sharing with others where we came from can show others God’s glory and mercy. Praying with others about what is happening in us or what we are fighting can be a source of encouragement to others, as well as to ourselves. Find a group of believers – find a church where you can share the truth of what you are struggling with. James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed…” We need to pray for each other.
6. God doesn’t tempt you – He Provides A Way Out
We are all at war against temptation. However, Paul writes, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” God will always provide a way out. The problem is, we need to WANT a way out. If we want to give in to our sin, we will. Again and again and again. As we see in the case of Josh Duggar – these same temptations have plagued him since he was a young teenager and they are coming back to haunt him now. Paul says in Romans 7, “The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.”Romans 7:14-15
7. Repentance ISN’T Just Being Sorry We Got Caught
We are all called to repent of our sins. I don’t mean just saying sorry because you got caught. Acts 3:19 says, “Repent, then, and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped away.” Repentance, I believe is an understanding of what our sin is and having our hearts and minds changed or turned from it. We can’t do this all on our own – this has to come from God. We can’t “try to be good” because who is good? We might get something right and get a host of other things wrong. Paul writes a great deal about sin and how he, himself, struggle with sin in Romans 7 and 8. He writes, “ Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” Romans 8:12-13 Let us pray for help – pray for knowledge of ALL of our sins not just the disgusting and revolting ones. In 1 John 3:9 it is written, “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.”
8. Just Because Someone Says They’re Saved Doesn’t Mean They Are
Not everyone who says they are a believer is. As Jesus said in Matthew, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15-20
9. Nobody is “Too Sinful” to be Saved
Many of us want to think that there are people who don’t “deserve” salvation because of someone’s horrid sin. I understand where they are coming from, but the Bible is clear here. Paul writes, “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Cor. 6:9-11 The key words here fall in verse 11: And such were some of you. We need to remember what it says in Hebrews 3: “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:12-13
We are living in troubling times but the truth is we have always been. It is just now that we are seeing more and more of the sin that has overtaken our world.