The news of Josh Duggar’s past has gone viral. Josh was the subject of a police investigation for allegedly sexually molesting five girls, some of whom are his sisters. Josh in his own words states…
“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends, I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”
Sadly, many seem to be missing the Gospel in this story. Josh confessed his sins to his parents and the authorities. He submitted himself to the God-ordained authority figures around him for counsel, rebuke, and restoration. From what we know Josh did not seek to deceptively hide his sin but rather ran towards repentance. Apart from the grace of God we could have succumbed to the same temptations in our teenage years into which Josh fell. Josh Duggar commented, saying
“I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions.” Josh continues, “I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”
Parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, released a statement saying
“Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles every day. 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.”
Josh has certainly shown a life in keeping with repentance and so it would behoove us to view Josh as our brother in Christ. Christ shed His blood for every wicked sin that as children or youth – or adults – have committed in our past and will commit in the future. Paul said…
“It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:15-17)
We all can echo Charles Spurgeon, who said, “It’s a good thing God chose me before I was born, because He surely would not have afterwards.” God loved Josh Duggar so much that He sent His holy and perfect Son to be murdered on a cross by sinful men just like Josh Duggar. God saves us from our sins, but not always from the earthly consequences. Christians have to live with the consequences of iniquities done before God saved them. Many of us are living with the consequences we’ve committed while walking with Christ! This should not lead us to wallow in guilt and shame, but rather our past iniquities should lead us to the cross to feast on the Gospel.
Colossians 2:14-15 says…
“…having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us, and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.”
Can you imagine our beloved apostle Paul living in our social media age? I can picture TMZ “exposing” his past sinful life as a zealous persecutor of the church and condemning him as a bigot and intolerant hypocrite? My exhortation to Josh Duggar is this; brother, submerge yourself in Gospel truth. As the articles emerge and the blog post are written to attack you and the faith you profess run to the cross! Run to the cross and cling to Romans 8:1. If you are in Christ, our Savior looks at you with not an iota of wrath in His heart as He declares, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
As a justified child of God, our Lord promises to subjugate every trail and tribulation to work out for your good. As His child, God looks upon you always with exuberant favor and love. Let us pray for Josh, his wife and the rest of the Duggar family during this time. I’m thankful that the Duggar family has demonstrated how sin should be handled with repentance, restitution and restoration.
Editor’s Note: JD handled this topic very sensitively during the first few minutes of the podcast. Listen here.