“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5, ESV
If someone had mentioned the name “Josh Duggar” to me about a year ago, I would have had no idea who that was. I’m not current in reading manifestos from the Family Research Counsel and I have never seen “TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting”. In May of this year, that all changed when Josh Duggar’s past molestation charges surfaced in an issue of InTouch Weekly Magazine. The celebrity family had tried to bury Duggar’s assaults on four of his sisters and reportedly, a child from another family. Vox has about all one ever wanted to know about the Duggars right here.
Being that he was president of the “Family Research Council” and had participated in lobbying for “pro-family” values which included being against same-sex marriage , this understandably caused quite the uproar across the internet and cable news spectrums. Duggar was removed and/or resigned from his post at the Family Research Council. Incredibly, Duggar was actually still defended by some conservatives (keep in mind that the family had not disclosed information about the molestations and had attempted to keep this secret for years) such as Matt Walsh. Walsh did state via Twitter yesterday: “I wrote a piece a while ago giving Josh Duggar the benefit of the doubt that he’d changed his ways and turned to God. I now regret that post.” GOP Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee also defended Josh Duggar when the molestation charges initially surfaced.
Along came Gawker on August 19th (Wednesday). Computer hackers have been threatening for a little while to reveal the identities of a stunning 32 + million people who have frequented the website Ashley Madison. This website is marketed to people who are married or in a committed relationship with the advertising phrase: “Life is short. Have an affair.” Yesterday, the hackers unloaded the data and a searchable website for people who have signed up for services.
“Statement from Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar: Please see the statement below from our son Josh regarding recent media stories about him. When we learned of this late last night our hearts were broken. As we continue to place our trust in God we ask for your prayers for Josh, Anna, our grandchildren and our entire family.
Statement from Josh Duggar:
I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife.
I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.
I have brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions.
The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country I was hiding my own personal failures.
As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences. I deeply regret all the hurt I have caused so many by being such a bad example.
I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time.
This statement has a few differences from an earlier version that was posted, here.
I have several thoughts related to facts that have arisen involving the Duggar family and Josh’s former position as a high profile political lobbyist:
- I have seen various people on social media complain that Josh Duggar is being picked on by people in our society who have an axe to grind about his specific worldview or political beliefs. In other words, why is Duggar’s name in the media reports and not any other celebrity or well-known person? First of all, no one is clear if there are any other celebrities that have been involved with Ashley Madison yet. Secondly, Duggar was the leader of a very high profile political lobbying group that supposedly fights for “traditional family values”. His stance over several years on moral and family issues has brought the attention, understandably, to him when his erring behavior was brought forward.
- The defense of Josh Duggar, when the molestation charges were first brought to light, by some conservatives (including Huckabee, Walsh- who has since recanted, and others) has brought legitimate questions about how churches, in general, deal with sex crimes against children. G.R.A.C.E has posted on Facebook: “Many professing Christians seem to be expressing more outrage about Josh Duggar committing adultery than the sexual crimes he committed against children. Tragically, this type of response is not unique within many faith communities. We still have a long way to go…” To be sure, adultery is a very serious sin. Harming children is also a grievous and terrible sin. However, in our society, one of these is technically legal while sexual abuse against children is illegal. A leader or responsible citizen who learns of a sex crime against children has the legal and moral obligation to report this to authorities immediately.
- I do not post any of this in celebration or with a sense of glee. As I have stated, I do not share a lot of the political platform that Family Research Council believes and I have not followed the Duggar show. This whole situation is incredibly sad. Behind the television show, the spokespeople, the image consultants and whatever else are human beings. There are real people who have been devastatingly hurt by the actions of Josh Duggar. Adultery is an ultimate betrayal. Perhaps even more significant then betraying a country or organization. Adultery is betraying someone that we how vowed to love and be faithful too.
- For years, Josh Duggar has pontificated that members of the LGBT community were going to destroy traditional marriage between a man and woman in our society. You know what really destroys traditional marriage between a man and a woman? The shit that Josh Duggar has done. That is one of the leading culprits for broken homes and the tragic destruction of matrimony via divorce. Megachurch Pastor Rick Warren (a proponent of Proposition 8 in California) has even stated that divorce is a bigger threat to families than gay marriage.
- I am no better than Josh Duggar and I am also no better than the people that he politically opposed. Jesus, during the sermon on the mount, destroyed any credence for people to have a self-righteous, holier-than-thou-art attitude regarding themselves and their supposed morality. In Matthew 5:27-28, Jesus teaches on adultery: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (ESV) Pharisees and other self-righteous religious leaders were spiritually patting themselves on the back for outwardly obeying a bunch of Old Testament laws. Jesus came along and clarified the purpose of the Law and what the law meant. All external behavior goes back to the innermost thoughts and feelings of a person. The root cause of murder is hatred. The root cause of adultery is lust. If anything, Jesus showed us that we are all the same. Those of us who haven’t physically acted out in deviant ways, well, we may have thought about it. All of us are sinners in need of His grace.
The other ominous warning that this sordid tale has for us is that there will be a reckoning. One way or another, the truth will come out. Our deeds and innermost thoughts and revelations will be made plain. If not in this life, than certainly in the next one before God. To believe in a God who is a perfect Judge is to accept accountability over our lives, thoughts and actions. To believe in Jesus, confessing Him as Lord and believing in our hearts that He was raised from the grave (Romans 10:9-10) is to accept gospel, His grace, and His love in order to live according to those traits.
A Seattle Church pastor Tim Gaydos posted on his Facebook wall regarding the Josh Duggar revelation: “If you’re main message is morality or “family values” rather than the grace of the gospel found in Jesus, you will and are destined to fall, because you simply cannot live up to the standard that you are trying to set (no one can). Which than distorts the main message of Scripture, which is that Jesus lived the life we are called to live, but simply can’t. His life for ours. He met the standard. We don’t. Let our main message be, Christ and him crucified.” He followed up with a comment on the same thread: “This is in light of the Josh Duggar recent revelations coming out. I have not watched that show one time, nor do I know that much about them, but my perception, and it’s only my perception, is that the message of morality is stronger then message of gospel. Big difference!“