I have remained pretty silent on the subject of Josh Duggar other than a couple of Facebook statuses that I quickly deleted after it became apparent it would an online argument (something I actually loathe). It’s not that I don’t have opinions. I do. I’ve just been hesitant to share them. The subject matter of molestation is a sensitive topic, naturally, and rather than digging myself into a social media hole, I chose to remain silent.
I did blog about Bruce Jenner, though, and in this link to the article you’ll see how I defended unjust, cruel ridicule of him for his decisions. I didn’t like seeing people bearing the title of Christian speaking so vehemently about him. But it was easy to blog about that. Despite living in the Bible Belt, most of my friends and blog followers can agree that judging a person’s sin just isn’t right. So it was pretty easy to put that post out there.
Where it wasn’t easy was to compose one about the Duggars. After all, if I spoke anything other than disgust and anger towards them then I was obviously a supporter of molestation, or simply a Bible-thumping hypocrite. So honestly my fear of man drove me to my silence on the subject. That same fear may prevent those who agree with me from saying so, and that’s okay. I get it.
I remember when news broke about two weeks ago I became so upset. I was so frustrated with many of the comments and opinions I saw, to the point of getting off social media for a time. Then this morning I watched the recent interview with Jim Bob and Michelle on Fox, and once again my feelings returned.
Why am I taking this so personally, Lord? They’re strangers to me.
And it was at that moment I realized that it was a much deeper point that upset me so. It wasn’t about Josh Duggar, and the things he had done when he was a minor. It didn’t matter to me that he had placed his hand over the clothed breast of his sister rather than the penetrating act of rape like some were saying it was. It didn’t matter that he had come forward to confess to his parents, then later confessed to the Lord, and then, still later confessed to the world. It didn’t matter that he owned his sin as his own and that he was humbly asking for forgiveness not only from his family, his victims, God his Father, or even the media. Heck, it didn’t even matter that sealed records were illegally released (something people chose to ignore). I mean, all that mattered some, but it wasn’t what made me feel pain for them.
I was taking it personally because they were children of God just like me. They were a Christian family who loved Jesus, and when they fell it seems that a pack of wolves were eagerly awaiting to devour them whole. Indeed, the thing that had upset me from the beginning was the droves of people almost foaming at the mouth to see them fail. There were two huge falsehoods being branded to the whole affair, and that was what bothered me the most.
For one, there was an incorrect assumption out there that they were perfect. Because they held strong values, different from most of the world, because they homeschooled, dressed modestly, and bore the name of Christian it was assumed that they were without fault. Naturally, when it came to light that they were imperfect a persistent comment was jeered in their direction.
“I knew they were too perfect! I knew something had to be wrong with them!”
And it was at this point that a large majority jumped up in down in celebration. I’m not sure why, but for some reason when someone who appears to have it all together falls flat on their face we get really excited. It’s like it somehow makes us feel better about our own life. Well, it’s okay that I have issues, cause I mean, hey, look at that guy!
Why else do people gossip in a spirit of joy when the “perfect couple” gets a divorce, or the preacher’s son turns out to be a drug addict? Misery loves company. And nothing has shown a light on that sad fact for me more than the jubilant “I told you so’s” exclaimed by the masses when the Josh Duggar story broke.
It was a horrible thing to happen to any family, but it gained the attention and judgement it did from the public because they were a Christian family. It wasn’t because they were a reality TV family; it was because they were a Christian, reality TV family. Christians are supposed to be perfect, and therefore if we are discovered to be in sin everyone must send in the lynch mob immediately. But for siblings who touch their sister inappropriately and without consent and are not a proclaimed Christian, like Lena Dunham, well, it’s not really a big deal. I mean, she was just a kid, right?
Which brings me to point number two. We realize that people assume Christians must be perfect, so what’s something else about them? Number two: Christians can’t judge others. Sigh.
I have a lot of opinions on this. First off, I hate the sin of judgement. I mean, I really, really dislike it when Christians judge people for their lifestyle. It gives Christianity a bad name, and it goes against what Jesus desires for us. But… this does not mean as Christians you are not responsible to speak out about what the Bible states is a sin. That’s actually hating sin, and heck, Jesus hates sin. And although a lot of the Christian population gets mixed up on what is righteous judgement versus what’s falsely basing a person’s worth on their sin rather than who they are in the Lord’s eyes, that’s just too big of a topic for today.
I won’t even try to lay it out for you when it’s okay to judge versus when it’s wrong. Since everyone seems so intent out there on quoting the scripture of “judge not” we’ll just go with that for now. Okay?
So let’s say we’re not supposed to judge. That’s the second falsehood about Christianity, but let’s just go with it cause it’s one of those favorite things people pull from the Bible. Even people who hate Christianity and think it’s a joke like to reference that scripture. “Hey, it’s your book, and it says you can’t judge. So you can’t!”
Well, shoot. How in the world do you get around this whole “I can’t judge people thing?!” No problem folks. It seems the solution is right before our very eyes. You can judge people; they just have to be Christians.
As a Christian you cannot judge someone for a lifestyle that goes against your core values. If you do then you are a fear-mongering, hateful, homophobic, hypocrite. This is pretty simple, guys, so try not to get lost. As a Christian, even simple disagreement with another’s lifestyle is wrong, wrong, wrong. Don’t do it. It will kill your witness.
Conversely, if you are a Christian I want you to be prepared. You will be made fun of, called names, watched like a hawk for any stumbling not in line with your value system, and you will be judged. In fact, it’s accepted. As a Christian you should know better according to public opinion, and any sin you commit will be placed under a magnifying glass and more stringent set of judgement than that of the secular world. That’s just how it is.
Here, I’ll try to spell it out for you. Judging Bruce Jenner for saying God made a mistake when he formed him as a man is bad. Don’t do it. You’ll be a judgmental hypocrite. But, you are allowed to judge the entire Duggar family based on the past sin of a fourteen year old member of the family. In fact, while you’re at it you should judge all homeschooling families with strong moral values under this same umbrella. We’re all alike, you know?
Look, I’m not saying I’m pro-molestation. I’m not saying I believe what Josh Duggar did to his sisters was right. Heck, he knew it was wrong which is why he went to his parents in tears. It was wrong! That’s not my point, and if you think putting Josh on trial is my purpose then you haven’t been paying attention.
For me, I decided not to judge either one. I have some opinions about the sins they committed, but as far as name-calling, I stayed out of that ugly affair.
Look, Josh is a sinner. The Duggars are sinners. Bruce Jenner is a sinner. I’m a sinner. And so are you. I serve a God who forgives my sin when I earnestly repent, and if we’re going to split hairs about it then maybe the unrepented sins are the ones we should be getting so fired up about.
But that’s not how this world works. I guess that’s what I got so upset about. Accepted sin is, well, accepted. Sin forgiven by God is placed on trial by man. You may judge someone if it’s the popular thing to do, but if it’s not, watch out! You’ll be no better than the molesters.
If we’re going to say “judge not” then let’s mean it for all, not just those we don’t want to be judged. Let’s all try to see things a little clearer through the eyes of Jesus. No matter who you’re talking about, to Him they are someone special. Someone He loves.
Again, I’m not making a post about my opinions on a transgender lifestyle any more than I’m making one in support of incest and molestation. Sin is sin, is sin. I just think we should start treating it that way. My sins aren’t any bigger just because I serve a big God. They’re just forgiven.