Perspectives… Responding to Josh Duggar

May 24, 2015

Duggar NewsThe Duggar family has been in the news a lot lately…and not because they had another baby. Those who say there’s no such thing as bad press couldn’t be more wrong. Josh Duggar’s past has come to the front page. I won’t go into details here as you can just simply Google “Duggar family” and find out quickly.

Although it is newsworthy stuff that came out, what has shocked me about this is all the negativity I read and see towards the Duggars. I know Josh made a HUGE mistake. As a father of 4 girls, it disgusts me greatly.

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The Duggar Disaster

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.

That is what makes the Josh Duggar story a disaster.

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However, with all the piling on of the Duggar family here…words and phrases like “hypocrites” and “they aren’t good Christians” seem to come out as many people have questioned who they really are. We can respond to this many ways. We can go to one extreme and totally write it off as old news. We can go to the far extreme and lambast him like the press invalidating everything he has said about God and the work of Jesus in his life. Or, we can see this as a reminder of what Christ did for every one of us, realizing we are all sinners in need of a savior and be glad that Josh has dealt with his past, seeking the forgiveness of both God and those directly impacted by his sin.

As I read the news, I can’t help but ask where the grace is. Where is the forgiveness? I mean, where in the Bible does Jesus say, “if you follow me, your life will be perfect and you won’t sin anymore”? I could be wrong, but I never hear Jesus say that. Rather Jesus is constantly reminding his followers to leave their life of sin and strive towards Him and God. That doesn’t mean Christians lives will be perfect.

That is also why I love Churches who reach out to messed up people. This isn’t just a topic to debate on this blog. It’s an acknowledgement that we are all messed up people and churches should be safe places for people to come regardless of their past, their beliefs, their lifestyle, whatever. I love how New Life strives to reach out to and help “messed up” people.

And, I am one of them. I am a Pastor who is divorced. In the “Christian world” that gets a lot of gossip spoken about you…a lot of “oh, so your church is ok with you being divorced” type of questions. It is hard, but because of the love and grace I have received from my friends, family and this Church, I am able to pursue God more.

So, my encouragement is, when someone messes up or something negative happens in someone’s life, let’s not heap on negativity and insult. Let’s try to love them, understand them, give Grace to them and help them pursue God more.

Who knows how God will use that in someone’s life.

-Tom

P.S. Just to be clear, our sin often has consequences. Consequences we must face. Forgiveness and grace means we welcome people as they pursue God. It doesn’t mean we foolishly put people in situations for which they haven’t demonstrated trustworthiness. e.g. while we’d love to have Bernie Madoff come to New Life and pursue God with us, we aren’t going to put him in charge of our finances.

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