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.
The subject line from an email sent by a popular Christian website stated: “Christian world rocked.” Really?
Based on his own admission, Josh sinned, repented and got saved. Why in the world would Christians be appalled to discover an unregenerate 14-year-old boy acted wickedly?
According to Josh himself, “I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life.” Sounds like a pretty typical conversion story to me.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God (I Cor.6:9-11).
Have we forgotten that the Apostle Paul was a murderer before God saved him?
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 (I Tim.1:15-16).
Josh is no worse than the Apostle Paul. Josh should not be shunned by Christians; he should be comforted by Christians who are just as wicked and just as forgiven as he is. Josh is nothing more, and nothing less, than a story of God’s amazing grace.
Here is the headline from the magazine that decided to go rooting though Josh’s closet: “Bombshell Duggar Police Report.”
This might be the bigger tragedy of the Josh Duggar story: unbelievers consider it a bombshell when it is discovered that a Christian has a shameful past. This ought not to be.
If we Christians were doing our job proclaiming that the Gospel is for sinners, of whom we are the foremost, the world would yawn when it discovered that Josh was a hound dog.
If Christians were as loud about the Gospel as we are about being the moral majority, I suspect there would be five results:
1. Unbelievers would not see Josh Duggar as a hypocrite; they would see him as a typical born-again believer who is forgiven by an amazingly gracious God.
2. Unbelievers would not see Christians as a mere special interest group that seeks to impose values on other people.
3. The Gospel would be shining brightly.
4. Somebody might get saved.
5. Josh Duggar and his family would be going about their business today as a typical Christian family saved by grace alone.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that any of those things are happening. I don’t blame the world; I blame us.
Is it possible we have become so obsessed with imposing our values on unbelievers that the world sees us as self-righteous Pharisees and not as blood-washed sinners?
Have we been so consumed by the culture wars that we have failed to engage in the spiritual battle for souls?
A Gospel Opportunity
Josh tendered his resignation to the Family Research Council and they accepted it. While none of us know all of the details, if Josh were in my employ, I would not have accepted his resignation.
I would have shouted from the rooftops, “If you think Josh is wicked, you should meet the rest of us! That is why we are Christians! We need forgiveness for being wretched, vile, wicked rebels. If you are a rebel too, Jesus died for you! Run to Jesus! Join the wretched club.”
Let’s not squander this opportunity to share the great good news that Jesus died for perverts, liars, thieves, drunkards, abortionists, Wall Street fat cats, skid row bums, suburban housewives, blue collar workers and every sinner who will come to Him in repentance and faith.
Josh Duggar’s story is more than a Gospel tragedy; it is a Gospel opportunity. Don’t waste it.