I know how controversial this topic is right now. It's certainly one that makes everyone squirm in their seats. It's provoking anger, generating feelings of sadness, and reminding some of their own abuse. I am not writing to add to this debate, not to separate friends, not to cause anger, or sadness. It is my sincere prayer that you would read this blog and try to suppress any immediate defenses that are ready to leap out of your chest.
I will start by saying the same thing that most people are saying. Josh Duggar's actions were wrong! There is nothing anyone can say that can try to even slightly justify his actions. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! His decisions not only affected the rest of his life, but the life of his wife, his children, his parents, and the victims. He, just as all of us, has a conscious. At some point his conscious told him what he was doing was wrong. He ignored that, and made the decisions to violate others.
I don't know the full details of what happened after that. I can't say what his parents did was right, what the sheriff said was the best, how everyone responded in the days after were acceptable. That's not what this post is about.
At some point Josh confessed to his parents his actions. He asked for forgiveness, was dealt some consequences, and started "Living for the Lord."
"That DOESN'T make sense!" I get that. I don't expect it to make sense. The gospel, which is the good news of Jesus, DOESN'T make sense. The bible says it is "Foolishness" to some people. Let me explain. God created people, people to worship Him, live for Him. People made and are making the decision to turn away from God and seek after their own desires. Those desires have led to murder, abuse, slander, adultery, drunkenness... We all have sought after things like money, popularity, beauty... If we were honest, and I hope we all can be. We know the deep dark secrets of our hearts. Admittedly, they're wicked! You don't need to sit and think long before you realize that your thoughts and your actions have not always been honoring. (To God, or anyone else)
See, we are guilty. We are guilty of the things I listed above. If you're not guilty of any of those then maybe your guilty of not loving God more than anything else. Because God is Holy, Perfect, without any wrong, we've been separated from Him. In order for us to have a sweet reunion with Him, there had to be a sacrifice. The crazy part is this... He (God/Jesus) LOVES us, that in spite of us, He was willing to come and live on this earth. He lived perfectly, to show us how we were/are supposed to live. Although He lived without sin, the people accused Him. Eventually, Jesus was brought before the people and they had a choice, set Him free or crucify Him. He was then killed on a cross and buried in a tomb.
That's why Jesus came. Not only did He model to us the way to live, He died a perfect death so that we can have fellowship with our God, and He rose from the grave. If Jesus had not risen on the third day, He would be like anyone else. But He rose! He conquered death! Because He is alive, we also get to live. If we have faith in Him, trust in His death and resurrection, ask for His forgiveness, turn from ourselves and to Him, we too can be saved from our wrongdoings.
So why do Christians continue to sin? Why is this world so broken? Why is the name of Jesus being rubbed in the dirt. Well, those are some deep and packed questions. I'll give a short answer... sin still exists. He has promised that He will return one day. Eventually things will be how He once desired them to be. Right now there is a war going on here. It is a war for our souls. Those who don't currently believe, the enemy (Satan and the demonic forces) want you right there, in disbelief. He wants those who do believe to lose hope, to sin, to kill us, to steal our hearts...
Jesus knew this war would exist. When He rose from the grave, He did not go away to leave us as orphans. He sent us a helper, the Holy Spirit. As believers in Christ, His Spirit lives in us. He convicts us, guides us, and comforts...
Can someone who commits murder be forgiven and be transformed? Absolutely! I believe that. He saved me! He changed me! He gave me new desires! I also have to forgive. Just as Jesus forgives, believers are challenged to forgive.
I am praying for the Duggar family, and yes even Josh. I am praying that he was truly sorry. I am praying that he has truly been changed. I am praying the victims can have peace and forgiveness. I don't expect that to make sense to everyone. What I am asking you to do is seek God, go to Him with your frustrations, ask Him to help you understand. The enemy would use this to keep people angry, hate Christians, question God. But God will use this to bring people to Himself. He will get the glory. He uses the brokenness of this world to help us see our need for Him.