On Josh Duggar

What are we to make of this wickedness? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Josh Duggar is connected with a celebrity Christian family. Unfortunately, that puts him in a spotlight to be what a Christian is meant to be and sadly, he is definitely not. We could grant some understanding with having a problem with pornography. I am not justifying that, but many men struggle with porn today and if they are repentant and seeking to change, we should be working with them and showing them grace. Sadly, Josh Duggar was doing more. He was also accused of molesting his sisters and now, child porn has been found on his computer.

Now when I first heard about child pornography, I thought it was likely teenage girls or something of that sort. No. We mean actual children. Children who are toddlers and some younger. Children who are nowhere near puberty. What do you say about a man who is sexually aroused by that?

Not only that, he had Covenant Eyes on his computer and yet found a way to bypass it. He was also involved on using the dark web to get his fix. This is a man who knew what he wanted and was willing to do anything underhanded to get it. Please think about that. This man sought out means to get his fix of children.

His wife I understand is still standing by him. I understand that divorce is often viewed as a great evil in the church, but there are some evils that are worse. This man is unsafe to be around, especially with children in the house that are the age of the children that he was viewing on the internet. She definitely needs to be open to this possibility. Fortunately, she is at least scared to be alone with him.

Rachael Denhollander issued a powerful Twitter series of posts on the topic. You can read them here. Let’s also spend some time then talking about what a girl is worth, which is the title of her book, and the way wives are sometimes portrayed in Christian marriage.

Women are sometimes blamed for the fall of men. Even if we go to the very first case, Adam and Eve, Eve did indeed give Adam the fruit, but it was Adam who willfully partook of it. Eve didn’t hold him down and shove it down his throat.

Suppose I am somewhere where a woman does everything she can to seduce me. Suppose it’s really a place that would normally be considered safe and I have been following good protocol to stay safe. This woman could do everything she can to seduce me, even stripping naked in front of me. She is responsible for that behavior definitely, but who is responsible for how I respond?

Me and only me.

Some women get the idea that if they dress a certain way, they are responsible for the fall of men around them. Now to be fair, a woman should be aware of how she dressed in the world. There are women who do dress in a way to advertise themselves in a way that is not appropriate, especially for a Christian woman. Many women don’t. A woman might pick an outfit out at the store just because it feels good on her and she’s not aware of how it looks in the eyes of a man.

However, a man cannot control what the women in his life do. He can only control what he does. Men need to learn that self-control regardless. Yes. Your wife might not be in the best state of mind and you might have to go without sex for a time. While a woman should not without cause deprive her husband as there is a mutual duty in marriage, if there is something going on with a physical condition or something of that sort, a man needs to be understanding.

For a woman who is not married, you never need to give yourself to a man before you marry him. If he won’t love you unless you give yourself to him, then he doesn’t really love you. He loves something you can do for him. What is a girl worth? A lifetime commitment.

Also ladies, if your husband is using porn, take action. If he is willing to work on it, be gracious and offer to work with him, but let it be understood you will not share him with pornography. Get him into a program like Celebrate Recovery and make sure he has friends who will hold him accountable. Be a partner in the journey.

Also, it’s worth pointing out that women can be involved in pornography as well. The same would apply in reverse. More and more women are struggling with pornography today.

For all of us, it’s always advisable to do our best to avoid being in sexually compromising situations. Being someone with a public image, I try to be especially careful. Unless the woman is related to me somehow, I won’t be alone with another women be it a restaurant table or in a car or on an elevator. Is that because of the woman? No. It’s because of me. I know beautiful women are extremely tempting for me and my thinking is if you think you are above a sin, you are far more likely to fall to it.

This is also appropriate on social media as well. I have women who are friends, but I try to be careful what I will talk about. Those of us who are Christians should be striving to live lives that are above suspicion. It would be a blessing to me if my intellectual opponents could look at me and say, “I don’t believe what he believes at all, but I do think he does try to live out what he believes and has that character.”

Also to those skeptics, none of this disproves Christianity at all. Josh Duggar’s sin does not show that God does not exist or that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead. It shows that Christians, or claimed Christians, can be evil and hypocrites. None of us needed to be told that. We all know it. You want to condemn this as wicked behavior? You get no complaint from me.

For the rest of us, this is the danger of our Christian culture. We saw this with Ravi Zacharias. All of us who are in the public eye should be able to say to any challenge of our moral character to go ahead and investigate it. There’s a saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin that goes “Our critics are our friends. They show us our faults.”

I also recently had a friend in ministry message me asking if I had two months to teach on a specific topic for apologetics purpose, what would I choose. Without hesitation, I said sex and marriage. I was told he wanted two months worth and I said that would be two years worth. Most Christians do not have a biblical worldview of either and our young people especially get the message of the world for at least six days and the one day we have to teach them normally, we don’t.

Meanwhile, pray for this family. They definitely need it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

On The Duggars

What are my thoughts on the Duggar happenings? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Okay. Let’s state some things up front.

I understand the Duggars have a TV show. I’ve never watched it. I don’t really care to. It doesn’t interest me at all.

I also of course know about the information about Josh Duggar molesting his sisters when he was younger. I happen to know that most people didn’t mind broadcasting that everywhere though I’m sure his sisters certainly didn’t appreciate it.

I also know that Josh Duggar had a position with the Family Research Council. I am saying nothing about them other than their being seen as a conservative organization. I also know that he had an account on Ashley Madison and was unfaithful to his wife Anna. I think everything I’ve said so far is accepted and there are no major debates on those issues.

So let’s get down to what it means.

First off, Josh Duggar has been charged with being a hypocrite. That charge is absolutely true, but there’s something interesting about it. The only way you can be a hypocrite is if you really do have some moral standards that you are expected to live by. In this case, Christians are therefore expected to honor the union of one man and one woman in marriage. We are supposed to be champions of the sanctity of marriage whether we’re married or not. We are supposed to walk as Jesus walked. If you are someone who does not have any moral standards at all, you cannot be called a hypocrite.

Second, the things that Josh Duggar has done are in fact evil. Let’s not deny that for a second. Let’s not pretend that what he’s done is no big deal. No. It is a huge deal. Molesting sisters at a younger age is a big deal. Being a hypocrite is a big deal. Engaging in sexual sin and being unfaithful to your wife who you promised to be in a sacred covenant with is a big deal. There are reasons why people do such things of course, but there can be no justification for them. When Christians speak of justification, we never mean to say that sin is justified. Sin never is. We mean that sinners are put in right relationship with God. They are forgiven, but they can only be forgiven if they have done something that needs to be forgiven and they have repented for.

So let’s get down to some major issues.

There are many critics of the marriage movement today that talk about how Christians are all for the sanctity of marriage supposedly and yet they have a high rate of divorce and adultery and any other sins in their own marriages.

Let’s not take that lightly.

Yes. I know about Shaunti Feldhahn’s research on Christian marriages that shows that marriages that attend church together, study the Bible together, pray together, and just take Christianity seriously together are far less prone to divorce. I know about this and I agree with it. That does not change the reality that Christians divorce. Whenever divorce happens, we should see it as a tragedy.

“But Nick! Sometimes women and children are being abused in marriages by husbands who are just awful and the wives end up divorcing so they and their children can be safe. Are you saying that’s a tragedy?”

Yep. Absolutely.

Why?

It’s a tragedy that two people who enter into the most sacred union between a man and a woman and make a covenant before God and men to love and honor each other until death do them part and give themselves to each other in an exclusive union reach the point where they can’t even live together and especially because of fear of serious harm to one of them. That is a tragedy. In fact, even in cases where I would have recommended the woman clear out of there and get a divorce to keep her and her children safe, I would still say that it was a tragedy because marriage should never have to come to that.

Yet at the same time, there is something highly admirable about what Josh’s wife is doing. She is working to forgive and to move on. You know what? This will take time. This is hard no doubt, but marriage should be a place where forgiveness is a virtue held in high esteem. Anna could easily leave Josh right now and frankly, she’d be biblically justified in doing so, but while divorce is an option in her case, it is not a necessity and she has indeed chosen to honor marriage. It’s easy to honor marriage when both parties are doing everything that they ought to do right. It’s not as easy when one or both is not doing so.

In marriage, you are to forgive and you are to live in grace and that is honoring the sanctity of marriage. Marriage is a union where you honor the other person. Too often in marriage, we look at what the other person is doing for us. Instead, we must always ask what we are doing for the other person. You see, if people say we were damaging the sanctity of marriage first through divorce and adultery, they’re right. We were doing that. If we weren’t, we were allowing it. Now of course, I’m not saying we shouldn’t have grace for people who sin and repent, we absolutely must have grace.

In fact, that could be part of the scandal of what’s happening.

You see, the world is starting to learn that we Christians really believe in this thing called forgiveness. When the shooting happened in South Carolina, we saw that Christians were rushing out not to condemn but to forgive. With Josh Duggar, when he repented and confessed, that was enough. Sure, he might have consequences like losing his job and such and sure, he will lose trust, but that does not mean we want to punish him. We do not delight in bringing about suffering to him. Christians actually believe in reconciliation.

We believe in it because this is what Jesus did for us.

Anything we do to one another, we know that it cannot compare to what we have done to God. Whatever we might do to one another, we have done far worse to God, and God has forgiven us in Christ of all that we do. If God forgives us, we are obligated to forgive one another. For the Christian, forgiveness is not optional. It is mandatory. Walking as Jesus walked is not an option. It is a requirement. Christians are to be people whose lives are marked by forgiveness and we can only truly do that when we realize just how much we’ve been forgiven.

Forgiveness does not mean we condone the wrong that was done. We don’t. It means we value the relationship involved more and we don’t want to focus on the wrong that was done. That doesn’t mean that we’re foolhardy. It doesn’t mean a woman immediately reconciles with an abusive husband, but it should mean they are open to taking those steps if possible. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting. It does mean that there should be change on the part of the person who has been forgiven. It means that they should go and sin no more and when we realize that someone forgives us of a great wrong, we should seek to want to properly honor that person. We should all seek then to immensely honor Christ for what He’s forgiven us.

Marriage should be one of the main places where that happens. Marriage should be a place where we seek to please each other more than we seek to please ourselves and any time any of us look to our own pleasure and don’t seek the pleasure of our spouse, we are really ceasing to do marriage. Reality is we will all do this from time to time. This is also why it’s important to know how best to love and honor your spouse. Try and find little things even you can do that will help them along the way.

The reason the world does not honor the sanctity of marriage is that we went a long way to treating marriage like something common instead of the amazing and incredible union that it is. Part of having a good apologetic for marriage is going to be our doing marriage well. The best we can realize is to know what the way is and to walk in it. We are to do what we are told. We have too many people breaking apart because they do not feel like they are in love any more or any other such reason like that. It does not matter if you don’t feel like you are in love. Your marriage is not built on you being in love but on you being in covenant. That covenant should produce love, but the covenant is the foundation of the love.

If we want to present an excellent apologetic for marriage, one of the best ways to do that would be to be living great marriages out and part of that is going to be the scandal of forgiveness that takes place and living forgiveness out. We must make marriage a place of love. It can too often look like we didn’t care about marriage until the homosexuals came for it. It looks more often like we’re more interested in chicken sandwiches and Duck Dynasty than we are in marriage.

That must change.

We must never condone what Josh did, but gosh, maybe more of us could be like his wife.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

%d bloggers like this: