Friday, August 21, 2015

The Josh Duggar Affair: Continuing in Sin

{This post was written by Ken.}
The new revelations about Josh Duggar signing up for a most heinous website looking for affairs has all Christians grieving and some of us pondering our defending him and his parents over the molestation issues of a few months back. This may shock you, but this revelation does not shock me, although it is a grave disappointment to us, and to all Christians. Imagine what the Duggar parents and the family feels like right now having to go through another of Satan’s blows as he does all he can to try and destroy and devour them. What is the warning we have from God’s Word?

“Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” {I Peter 5:8}.

Satan found someone in Josh to devour. It probably started as a kid of 12-13 years old when sexual sin took its root and built its tentacles into Josh Duggar’s life. From what we know of his struggles with sexual temptation and giving into it, we knew that his road to healing would have been a hard one. Yet, by listening to his words, and watching the fruit of his life; his growing up to be what we thought was a godly husband, father and leader at the Family Research Counsel, we fell for his hypocrisy and assumed incorrectly that he had repented.

Now the truth comes out just as surely as God promises ~
“Be sure your sin will find you out” {Numbers 32:23}.

The lessons the Josh Duggar sordid affair can teach us are many, and they are lessons we all should have learned long ago in a mature Christian walk with God.

~ Lesson 1 ~
It is not our job to judge any believer who has fallen into sin and then claims repentance. We are the “family” of God, and a family loves and accepts its own even if we must sadly rebuke or expel a member from the church for gross sins. The apostle Paul says it clearly ~

"Brothers, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will no be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ"
{Galatians 6:1-2}.

~ Lesson 2 ~
I am not fond of the phrase, “but for the grace of God go I, because it is used far too often as a cop out from personal responsibility. But in this case it has some merit. We have the blood of the risen Lord coursing through our veins so that He has given us all we need for life and godliness. But let the believer always beware, and especially wary of childhood sins that may have a stronghold on you. There may be constant battle to remember who I am in Christ, and that I can say “NO” to sin, yet we are all far too aware that we can at any time also say “yes” to sin which gives it a foothold for evil to burn us and our family down.

"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall" 
{1 Corinthians 10:12}. 

~Lesson 3~
Satan will attack much more those who are in the spotlight of the Christian world so as to deliver a double blow. This hypocrisy and scandalous behavior not only hurts Christianity, but it also has the ability to create many more mockers and scoffers, only driving them away from Jesus; Josh has blasphemed the Word of the Living God. Not only are Christian leaders more prone to fall into temptation, they seem especially prone to sexual temptation. He failed to heed the exhortation to "Flee immorality." The reason why the Josh Duggar news does not shock me, however, is because I have watched a regular parade of Christian leaders over the past 20 years fall into sexual sin as they are far too susceptible to what I call the "Nebuchadnezzar Syndrome."

Nebuchadnezzar was perhaps the wealthiest king to ever live and one evening he was looking out over all that he had built of the hanging gardens of the city of Babylon proudly admiring his work, and POOF! In an instant, God struck him down and he spent the next five years of his life grazing like an animal as a crazy man. But the story does not end there. When he turned his eyes to heaven, and acknowledged the God most High, God restored his sanity and he went on to live a restored life. One of the great tributes to God in the Bible is spoken by a pagan king who found the Creator God and honored Him after his fall and restoration. {Read Daniel 4:34-37} 

~Lesson 4~
If the world understands that a fallen person can be rehabilitated and useful, certainly Christians should know this. If you say you are repentant and want to receive the forgiveness of our Lord Jesus, you are welcome with open arms into my life and church until you have proven otherwise. 

I have learned this lesson the hard way having received those who professed Christ and repented of gross sins, only to be taken advantage of and deceived. One woman asked Lori if she should trust her husband who has had affairs in the past, and my response would be, “Yes, trust him in what he is proving trustworthy. Is he a good provider? Is he a good father? Is he a husband you can count on to protect you when danger arises?” Trust him in all the areas he is trustworthy and pray that he will earn back trust in the areas where he has violated your trust. Trust is both given and earned, and both are a necessary part of any healthy relationship. Trust with accountability may be a necessary part of living with a man who has proven untrustworthy in the past; if he will let you be a help meet to him in this way.

We, as part of the body of Christ, know that Christians are made perfect by the blood of the Lamb, but until we are home with Jesus, He has left us the choice each and every day as to “whom will you serve.” The true story of the believer is that we choose God with our hearts, minds and souls, but that little selfish will that we continue to let hang around, and keep burning its starter light, can quickly turn into a flame and then a forest fire before we can stop it, if we allow it. And then we can do nothing but sit in the ashes of our shame.

~Lesson 5~
Beware of emotional attachment to celebrities, including your pastor and those who are public figures. Lori tells me that the chat room is quite devastated by what has been announced, and rightfully so, but perhaps some have built too much of an imaginary connection to the Duggar family. They are wonderful people, and such reality shows are built on sucking us into the emotional connections as if we are right there with their highs and lows. There are many others who were hoping for one of the Duggar children to fall away from the fold so that the other children might follow and the family come crashing down. These people spend hours analyzing the family and looking for every little flaw, hoping that this day of celebration would come. It has arrived, and all it should tell true believers is we have just one perfect example that we must follow, Christ Jesus our Lord. Let us pray that the Duggar family keeps their eyes on Jesus and not on an older brother. Imagine that God may have permitted the first leak of information on Josh precisely to lessen the blow of this much bigger scandal of sin when it finally hit at the hearts of this precious family.

I hate to even mention this, but Jesus makes clear that He allows the wheat and tares to live side by side in the church because even God is concerned about not uprooting the healthy new buds of wheat just because a seeming believer is amongst us. None of us truly knows the heart of another, although most of us can discern the heart for Jesus if you give us just a few minutes of conversation. The only proof we have for anyone’s salvation is the fruit of their life, and so far, Josh may need to find Jesus for real.

~Lesson 6~
Pornography and sexual sin will tear wife from husband, sister from brother and children from parents. Lori has spent many posts speaking on the evils of pornography as it often leads to even greater sins. How Josh Duggar could have grown up in this godly family and turned out so fallen in sin is astonishing, but no mystery at all. God’s Word says clearly,

 “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” {James 1:14-15}.

A man’s greatest battle is his sexual drive and desire, just as a woman’s greatest battle is her emotional make-up and need to control those closest to her to try and get her seeming “needs” met. Neither of these battles are ending any time soon, so marriages will be rocked, devastated and destroyed by both sets of sins, unless Jesus takes the wheel of the home and becomes Lord to both spouses. There is a great divide in Christianity between those who call Jesus their Savior and those who are willing to go the next step and call Him Lord, and do as He says. I fear that the “get out of jail free card” that too many christians are holding may not be recognized by Jesus because Jesus is in the business of changing lives today, not just in eternity. This is the power of the Gospel.

~Lesson 7~
Don’t blame the spouse or the parents when a husband or child falls into temptation and great sin. God’s Word is very clear that the sins of the Father are not to be held against a son, nor the sins of a child against a parent. Anna has done nothing to be a participant in Josh’s fiasco, nor have his parents. This is where I take great exception to Matt Walsh’s recent post where he appears to lay blame at the feet of the parents for putting the family into a ten year highly successful television program. I love you, Matt, and you are spot on with 99.7% of what you write, but you are dead wrong here.

How can someone second guess what God has greatly blessed and used for ten years of ministry? God built up the show and millions were blessed through it, including thousands of added babies who were probably born to parents who would have never dreamed of having their fourth, fifth and sixth, apart from watching the show. Christian marriages and families around the world were ministered to by the Duggar family on their show learning that kids can be well behaved and wives can be joyfully submissive and lead wonderful lives together. It is not time for second guessing what God has done, nor second guessing parents who still have 18 wonderful God-fearing children. Perhaps just one sheep has gone astray, but the Good Shepherd is on the job for the rescue.

There are certainly many more lessons that we can learn from this sad story in the annals of Christian history, but until we get to heaven we will not know who is truly saved and who is playing the hypocrite. If you were Satan, would you not place some strategic tares in the midst of a truly godly family?  Would you not do what many of the haters wanted in finding a chink in this godly family that consistently models God’s ideals; in a church, in a Christian organization, where the armor of God is not applied, and then wield the sword of sinful destruction? That’s his job as he is the Devil, the father of lies.

We must never lose hope. Our God will be riding in soon on a white horse and He will set everything straight. He will rescue His people and will bring judgment to those who choose not to be covered by the blood of the Lamb. Another one of ours has fallen and if he really belongs to the body of Christ, God will once again, after a time of true repentance and healing, stand him to his feet and redeem him. Is that not our hope? Who amongst us can cast the first stone? If the blood of Jesus cannot cover molestation, pornography and adultery, then we cannot trust it can cover our sins. Our sins may be different, and God’s grace may allow us to walk more closely with Him, nor stumble into grievous sin, but either all the sins of the whole world were laid on the cross of Jesus for all who wish to look at Him and be saved, or we cannot trust our salvation, as some falsely teach.

Our salvation was never about what you and I do, or don’t do, but about what God has done through Christ Jesus to rescue and save you, me and a Josh Duggar.

God’s Love + The Cross + Faith Alone = It is God who Saves Me.

Now may we all learn to walk as mature Christians who honor the name of the Lord and what He has done for us so that we may not be ashamed at His coming.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 
James 1:3