Often this narrative [sin and redemption] is particularly prevalent among evangelicals who have been accused of sexual misconduct. After evangelical television personality Josh Duggar confessed to molesting his sisters as a teenage boy, he and his family used the salvation playbook. Michael Seewald, whose son is married to one of Duggar’s sisters, spoke out against the media condemnation of Duggar, who was never charged with a crime: “The ultimate answer … is what Josh found and millions like him. He found forgiveness and cleansing from Jesus Christ. There are many of you that are reading these words right now having had thoughts and deeds no better than what Josh had and did.”
Disgraced megachurch founder Ted Haggard resigned his post in 2006, after admitting to drug abuse and a sex scandal with a male sex worker. He returned to public church life with similar rhetoric: “I am a sinner and [my wife] is a saint. … I feel we have moved past the scandal. We have forgiveness. It is a second chance.”
In other words, there’s a tendency among evangelicals to see sexual (or other) sins that have happened long ago (or even not that long ago), either prior to conversion itself or prior to a “re-conversion” or renewal of faith, as, well, natural. Of course people commit sinful acts, because sin is part of the human condition, and of course people are victims of sin without God’s grace to help free them of it.
There are a few problems with how this manifests in practice. It can absolve “saved” individuals of too much responsibility for past misdeeds, since they’re considered the deeds of a past, different self. It encourages a culture of silence among evangelicals about their struggles, since salvation is “supposed” to mean that temptation goes away, and any “backsliding” is the result of insufficient faith. Finally, this theological approach also means that “sins” tend to be conflated, especially sexual sins: consensual premarital sex and sexual abuse are often seen on the same spectrum, both the result of a temptation too great to bear.
Without God, the implication goes, people have almost no agency. In Moore’s case, the fact that his alleged sins happened so long ago — and that the intervening years have seen him become more and more committed to the idea of a theocratic Christian state— only intensify some evangelicals’ sense that Moore’s actions then (even if true) don’t necessarily have a bearing on who he is now. It’s also worth noting that in the aftermath of Trump’s campaign, evangelicals have done an extraordinary about-face when it comes to their view on the importance of politicians’ personal morality.
Many, many Christian scholars and thinkers have been intensely critical of this “get out of jail free” approach to sin and grace, as I noted earlier this month. Among the most prominent in the past century was Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor and anti-Nazi dissident who was executed in a concentration camp for his activism. Bonhoeffer distinguished between “cheap grace” — easy forgiveness that allowed individual perpetrators and oppressive societies to get away, unchallenged, with their actions — and “costly grace,” or forgiveness that also asks hard questions, and demands social change.
It’s worth noting, however, that several prominent evangelicals — including the president of Southern Baptist Convention’s policy arm, Russell Moore (no relation) — have spoken out criticizing Moore’s evangelical supporters. “Christians, if you cannot say definitively, no matter what, that adults creeping on teenage girls is wrong, do not tell me how you stand against moral relativism,” Russell Moore tweeted.
Despite this, “cheap grace” has become seemingly common in some evangelical communities, especially when there are practical political or pragmatic reasons (i.e., a Republican in power) to overlook a sin and preserve the social status quo.
Is Reformers Unanimous where Josh Duggar is seeking treatment for his porn addiction?
I originally wrote this article in October 2013. Since it is rumored that Josh Duggar is seeking addiction treatment at Reformers Unanimous (RU) Residential Recovery Center in Rockford, Illinois, I thought readers might be interested in what I have written here. Since I originally wrote this article, RU has changed their website and some of the links no longer work.
Stories of Victory: RU tired of hearing the “war stories” of people who have no real freedom in their life? If so, try RU! Every week, our students share how God has changed their lives through real-life, relevant stories. This weekly 40 minutes of encouraging testimonies will get your weekend started off just right.
Great Teaching: RU tired of talking about problems and doing nothing about them? If so, try RU! Every RU class ends with a 30-minute teaching lesson that will explain valuable principles from the Bible that are integral to your recovery process.
Complete Curriculum: RU tired of being told what’s right and not being given the tools to determine what is right? If so, try RU! We have one of the best comprehensive curriculums in America. It is one of the best-selling, too! Thousands of people have used our curriculum to learn the truth about addictions and Christian apathy. For more information see the back cover for our personal recovery curriculum.
Motivational Awards: RU tired of trying to find the stamina to do the right thing in the face of mounting adversity? If so, try RU! We will not only encourage you and help you to do the right thing, but we will also motivate you to do so. Though an award system is just a small way of doing this, it is evidence of a program that believes in acknowledging accomplishment and rewarding participation.
Free Personal Counseling: RU tired of having to get advice from people who know little about your struggles, or RU tired of having to pay hourly fees to hear yourself talk? If so, try RU! We offer free group and individual spiritual counseling on a wide variety of topics from addiction, to marriage, to finances, to family, and many other areas. You will have a leader, a helper, a director, an even the pastor. The pastor of this hosting church could make himself available to support your many needs in life.
Well-trained Local Leadership Staff: RU tired of attending programs where the leaders and volunteer workers have the same problems as you? if so, try RU! Our leaders have been set free from the power of sin and can speak openly about it. They do not seek anonymity. They proclaim earnestly that Jesus is the reason for their freedom, and they have been well-trained to use our program and its tools to get that salvation message to you and to those whom you love.
Exciting Children’s Program: RU tired of trying to find someone to help you with your child’s issues while you are still trying to deal with your many issues in life? If so, try RU! We will not only care for your children while you attend our class, but we will entertain, teach, and develop your children to help them avoid the same pitfalls that ensnared many of us. They will enjoy games, prizes, snacks, play time, awards, great teaching, and many other things. Our “Kidz Clubs” are the weekly highlight of most every child that attends.
Residential Treatment Centers: RU tired of trying to find residential treatment that is effective and affordable? If so, try RU! We operate a beautiful 100-bed facility for men and a gorgeous 40-bed facility for women at our headquarters in Rockford, Illinois. We are also aware of many RU type transitional homes that may be available for your use. To learn more, visit ruhomes.org.
Local Church Support: Steven Curington believed, as does the pastor whose church hosts our meetings, that the local church is God’s support group. It is designed by God to meet the spiritual needs of all people. When the spiritual needs of people are met, then other needs fall in line and become easier to manage. We as a program, strongly encourage you to visit the church that hosts this meeting for addicted people. Something must be different about this church if they are so willing to have this program for you. Why aren’t others?
…a six-month intensive discipleship program for men and women with troubled lives. We provide a reconstructive learning atmosphere where the non-functioning person can be trained in a supportive environment of discipleship consisting of: study, mentoring, Bible education, and work place training.
RU’s website states that the Schools of Discipleship program has a 80% success rate after one year and 79% of those who are “victorious over addictions” are gainfully employed after one year.
RU has a medical staff that (link no longer active):
advise Pastor Kingsbury, and the North Love Baptist Church on decisions that arise in the ministry related to health care for the addicted, mental health, communicable diseases, and medical liability.
The medical staff doctors are Dr. Morris Harper, Dr. George Crabb, Dr. Timothy Gaul, and Dr. Maureen Gaul. Crabb is located in Florida, the other three doctors are located in Pennsylvania. (as far as I could ascertain from a cursory web search)
Until a few years ago, I had never heard of Reformers Unanimous (RU). My former drug-addict son asked me if I knew anything about RU. He had attended a RU meeting with his cousin at the Newark Baptist Temple in Heath, Ohio. I told him I had never heard of RU. He then told some “interesting” stories from the RU meeting he attended.
After hearing this, I decided to take a closer look at RU. The rest of this post will focus on a booklet published by RU titled DSM One: Diagnostic & Spiritual Manual. This booklet provides a birds eye view of RU’s addiction philosophy. DSM One is written by RU medical staff advisory doctor George Crabb.
On the copyright page, Reformers Unanimous attempts to stop people like me from reviewing their literature by stating:
Any written or published critique, whether positive or negative, may not quote any portion of this book without written permission of the publisher to avoid any discrepancies in context.
After contacting my crack legal team, I am confident that RU’s attempt to scuttle a review of their materials has no legal basis and is contrary to the doctrine of fair use. (See Electronic Frontier Foundation FAQ) This review is done on a non-commercial basis and is meant to be a critique of the teachings found in DSM One.
According to the back cover of DSM One, the purpose of the book is:
Churches today, along with Reformers Unanimous (RU) chapters around the world, are ﬁlled with hurting people struggling with serious personal problems. Many church and RU leaders find they are unprepared to deal with these people that have very serious non-physical problems because the psychiatric world has proclaimed themselves to be the master of this domain. As a result, psychiatric terminology has invaded the church and their RU programs. Most Biblical counseling training provides little to no education regarding these terms and little to no training on what the Bible says about these non-physical problems. Dr. Crabb’s desire in writing this booklet is to help the Christian leader understand the practical implication of these terms and what the Bible says about these non-physical problems of life. Dr. Crabb takes the mystery out of these terms and clearly presents the Biblical viewpoint.
The purpose of Reformers Unanimous and the DSM One is to help IFB church members (virtually all the RU chapters are sponsored by IFB churches) who are hurting and struggling with serious personal problems. Crabb and RU is concerned that the psychiatric world and its terminology has invaded IFB churches and the RU program. The DSM One book is RU’s attempt to give pastors the tools necessary to help church members who have “serious non-physical problems.” Crabb wrote the DSM One to help pastors and church leaders “understand the practical implication of these terms and what the Bible says about these non-physical problems of life.”
According to the back cover, the DSM One book, “takes the mystery out of these terms and clearly presents the Biblical viewpoint.” While it is “slightly” encouraging to see IFB churches admit they have the same problems that the “world” has, it is their methods and desired outcomes that I have a problem with.
The DSM One has sixteen chapters and three appendices. The book covers:
The Bible has the answer for every problem you are facing
The reason you are _______________________ (fill in with one of the disorders/problems mentioned above) is because you are unwilling to submit to God and the authority of His Word, the Bible
True, lasting victory over ______________________ can only come through submitting oneself to the teachings of the Bible (as interpreted by RU, George Crabb, and the local church pastor)
Dr. George Crabb, the author of DSM One, has little to no training in the field of psychiatry. He is an osteopathic internist and states he is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Crabb is an IFB pastor’s son. His father was the pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Warren Michigan. When I originally wrote this post I was able to find active web links for Antioch Baptist Church and Antioch Baptist Academy. Those links no longer work. (I did find that there was a sex scandal that resulted in the pastor, Christopher Settlemoir, being arrested, convicted, and sentenced to 7-15 years in prison for child sexual assault. The victim sued the church and you can read the sad, sordid story here.)
The lack of psychiatric training is not surprising for those of us raised in the IFB church movement. The psychiatric and psychology community are routinely demonized by IFB pastors and are considered tools of Satan used to keep people from submitting to the authority of God and the Bible. Crabb is pretty much like the actor in the Holiday Inn commercial. He is not a psychiatrist, but he is a Bible-believing Christian with a medical degree. Since Crabb believes virtually all mental health problems are a problem of not submitting to the authority of God and the Bible, there is no need for any serious training in the mental health field.
The Duggars have a history with Reformers Unanimous, speaking at its national conference in Rockford in October 2014. But, Brad Woodbury of the organization’s development team would not confirm that Duggar entered treatment in the Forest City.
Woodbury went on to say that the residential program, which costs $7,500, is voluntary and work-based. Members are responsible for tasks like cooking and construction. Reformers Unanimous in Rockford has men’s and women’s residential treatment programs, with room for 40 men and 20 women. The length of stay in its long-term addiction treatment center is approximately eight to 10 months.
“The residential program is for people who need to be in a place where they can grow in their relationship with Christ,” Woodbury said. “We do not focus on the addiction. It’s about your walk with Christ.”
One would think decent, thoughtful people would agree that a fifteen-year-old teen boy touching the genitals of five little girls is criminal. One would think decent, thoughtful people would agree that we should do all we can to protect children from those who will use them for sexual gratification. One would think that decent, thoughtful people would agree that covering up and not prosecuting sexual abuse is not in the best interest of the victims or society.
One would think…and you’d be wrong. I have been astounded by Evangelical excuses, justifications, explanations, and dismissals of Josh Duggar’s criminal sexual assault of five girls. Consider for a moment the universal condemnation of Congressman Dennis Hastert over his decades- old sexual abuse of a student of his. According to Hastert’s indictment, he paid a male student $1.7 million “in order to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against” him. Hastert used money to cover up his criminal behavior just as Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar used their influence to cover up their son’s crimes. Why is one universally condemned and the other explained away as a teenager playing doctor, a “youthful mistake,” or “that’s what boys do”?
Let me illustrates this with three Facebook comments made by Fundamentalist Christian, Quiverfull defender, Duggar and Bill Gothard loving Rick Boyer:
Let me cut through all Boyer’s super spiritual, holier-than-thou, braggadocious, religious bullshit. He is using the “we are all sinners” argument to defend, excuse, justify, and explain a 15-year-old boy putting his hands on little girls vaginas and a grown man who manipulated and sexually molested girls and young women.
It seems that any time a darling of Evangelicalism finds himself in a compromising or criminal position, the first excuse trotted out by his defenders is “we are all sinners.” While I don’t believe in the Christian concept of sin, for the sake of this post, I am going to accept as valid the notion of sin. I will then, in the rest of this post, gut the “we are all sinners” argument.
First, we may all be sinners but most of us don’t sexually molest children or groom and assault girls and young women. Such behaviors are deviant and vile and deserve punishment. We the people, through our elected officials, have enacted laws that protect children and vulnerable adults from predators like Josh Duggar and Bill Gothard. Thanks to the statute of limitations and a big help from law enforcement, neither of them will be prosecuted. The fact that they are not being prosecuted doesn’t mean that they are not guilty. Both admitted their behavior, though their admissions leave a lot to be desired. One would think that this would be enough for people like Rick Boyer, but it isn’t.
Imagine if Richard Dawkins, who was abused as a child, was accused of molesting five little girls. Why the Evangelical outrage would be swift and earsplitting. Evangelicals would demand his prosecution and would write voluminous blog articles about Dawkins’s crimes against children being proof that there is no morality without God. And here’s the thing: atheists such as myself would demand Dawkins be prosecuted. Because the issue is CHILD ABUSE and not obtuse, never-ending arguments about sin, God, and morality. We have laws, and we expect people to obey them. Both Duggar and Gothard broke the law. They got by with their crimes because people covered up their behavior. It wasn’t until a victim made her story public or an investigative reporter sussed out the facts, that the public learned about their crimes. And, as a person who thinks the rule of law is important, and that protecting children is a key part of a just society, I expect people like Josh Duggar and Bill Gothard to be prosecuted for their criminal behavior.
Second, Rick Boyer blames all the outrage on pagans and gullible Christians. This is blame-shifting extraordinaire, a game played by those who want to deflect criticism or judgment. Anyone who has raised children has seen this game played. Johnny gets caught throwing food at Sally and when his Mom confronts him he says, but Rudy, Johnny’s little brother, was throwing food too. Mom rightly replies, but I am talking to you, Johnny, about what you did, not what Rudy did. The wise parent does not let her children blame- shift. Those who do end up having children like Rick Boyer.
I thought Evangelicals were the personal-responsibility wing of Christianity. Since their politics are overwhelmingly right-wing, they have demanded Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton accept responsibility for what was done on their watch. BENGHAZI BENGHAZI BENGHAZI, is the nightly cry of Faux News, and uncounted Evangelicals want President Obama impeached and Hillary Clinton criminally prosecuted. Yet, when it comes to Josh Duggar and Bill Gothard, many Evangelicals are strangely quiet about “personal responsibility.” Why is this? Why has this been the case my entire life? Big name Evangelical gets in trouble and his defenders flock to internet and protect their boy. No matter the crime, they are quick to justify and forgive. I wonder if they would be so understanding or forgiving if it were their daughter or granddaughter who was sexually molested by Josh Duggar or Bill Gothard? Something tells me that they would be calling for the perpetrator’s head to be cut off as swiftly as Geoffrey cut off Ned Stark’s head in Game of Thrones.
Third, it seems that no matter what an Evangelical superstar does, the God of forgiveness and the blood of Jesus provide a get-out-of-jail-free card. While Evangelicals will feign concern for the victims, their real concern is for the perpetrator. He’s a star and is so important to God and his work here on earth that anything and everything he does must be forgiven. No matter the crime, the sin slate must be wiped clean. After all, King David, a man who committed adultery, was a polygamist, and had a man murdered so he could have his wife, is called in the Bible, a man after God’s own heart. If King David can have his slate wiped clean and be best buds with God again, surely the same can happen for Josh Duggar and Bill Gothard.
Sadly, Evangelical beliefs about sin, atonement, and forgiveness turn Evangelicals into lobotomized lemmings unable to see things as they are. What we have with Josh Duggar and Bill Gothard are clear cases of sexual abuse and abuse of power. Every non-lobotomized person knows this. The facts aren’t in dispute, yet many Evangelicals blithely preach up the love, grace, and forgiveness of God as an excuse for heinous behavior that is rightly condemned by Christian and atheist alike. It’s only Evangelicals who are defending these men. Why is this?
Most Evangelicals believe that the forgiveness of ANY sin is but a prayer away. The Bible says in 1 John 1:9:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Let me use an extreme example to explain Evangelical thinking about sin and forgiveness. There are eight people in the Roberts family. The Roberts’ are a Christian family, noted for their love and devotion to Jesus. Well, except for Becky. Becky is sixteen and she has a boyfriend who is not a Christian. Her parents demand that she break up with Clint and never see him again. They remind her that the Bible says that believers are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers and God says premarital sex is a sin. Becky continues to see Clint, often sneaking out of the house late at night, meeting Clint at their “special” place. Over time, Becky becomes so angry at her parents and their constant Bible- quoting and judgmental attacks on Clint that she decides to kill her family, all seven of them. Her boyfriend, enthralled with Becky and the sex they shared, says he would be willing to help her kill her mother, father, and six siblings. And one night, that is exactly what they did.
According to people like Bill Boyer and other grace and forgiveness Evangelicals, forgiveness for Becky is only a prayer away. She was a love struck teenager, kinda like Josh Duggar, and even though she did horrible things, one simple, heartfelt prayer will wipe away the blood of her dead family. Isn’t God awesome?
Oh Bruce, such a fantastical story, one that would never happen in real life. Really? Then you have never heard of 16-year-old Evangelical teenager Erin Caffey who is serving two life sentences plus twenty-five years for the slaughter of her mother and two brothers and the attempted murder of her father in 2008. You can read about the case here. Let me ask readers, would you or could forgive your daughter for slaughtering your entire family? Yet, according to Evangelical belief, forgiveness is not only just a whispered prayer away, it is demanded by God regardless of the circumstance.
Erin Caffey’s father Terry, being the good Christian that he is, forgave his daughter and the boyfriend and two friends that murdered his two children and wife. Here’s what Caffey had to say:
“I planned my own suicide. I decided that when I got well enough to travel, I was going back to my property, and I was going to end it. So when that day came, I went back there and stood on the ashes and began to cry to God. I said, ‘God, I don’t understand why you took my family. Why did you do this? I just don’t understand.’
“No sooner than I said that, I looked down and saw this scrap piece of paper from a book. It was burned around the edges. I picked it up, and it read, ‘I couldn’t understand why you would take my family and leave me behind to struggle along without them. I may never totally understand that part of it, but I do know that you are sovereign. You are in control.’ When I read those words, I was like, ‘Wow.’ It brought me to my knees.”
“People ask me, ‘How could you forgive your daughter and how could you forgive those who murdered your family?’ I am not trying to justify anything. This is my daughter.”
Sadly, because of Evangelical indoctrination, Terry Caffey has lost the ability to feel anger and hate. As a father, I understand the love a father has for his children, but every child can cross a line where no love and forgiveness remains for him or her. Evangelicals have had drilled into their heads the idea that they must love unconditionally and forgive any and all who transgress against them. Besides, some day, in the sweet by and by, Terry will be reunited with his murdered children and wife. And Erin will be there too, maybe with her fellow murderers who found Jesus while in prison. One big happy murdered family reunion. Until their reunion in God’s Big House, Terry Caffey travels America telling his story. Caffey has a ministry called A Cross America Ministries: Enabling Today’s Youth to be Tomorrow’s Christian Leaders. He has written a book, been the subject of a People Magazine feature, been on the Dr. Phil Show, and has a new wife and kids.
I wonder, if there were no heaven, would Terry Coffey be so forgiving? Would Evangelicals be so willing to forgive and forget the crimes of Josh Duggar and Bill Gothard, and uncounted other Evangelical superstar abusers and perverts, if there were no divine payoff in heaven? Evangelicals are taught that forgiveness is mandatory. As God has forgiven them, so are they to forgive others. Now, in real life, the forgive- everyone requirement is often ignored. As those of us who were in the Evangelical church for many years know, some of the most mean, nasty, vile, unforgiving people can be found at First Baptist Church on Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. And some of them are standing at the pulpit.
Fourth, man this post is getting way too long, but let me take some time to point out the hypocrisy of Evangelicals like Rick Boyer. If two consenting adult men have sex, Evangelicals are outraged. If two consenting adult lesbians get married, Evangelicals are outraged. From gay sex to non-married hetero-sex to teenage blow jobs, Evangelicals are outraged. Quoting a plethora of Bible verses that many of them ignore in secret, and calling on God to judge America, but just don’t judge them, they demand Biblical justice be meted out to these unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines. What happened to grace and forgiveness? Well Bruce, Josh Duggar and Bill Gothard confessed their sins, God forgives them, and they promised to never, ever, one time, I mean never, never ONE time, touch a little girl or young woman again. Those queers, adulterers, and fornicators refuse to stop their sin, so there is NO forgiveness for them!
Way too many Evangelicals naïvely believe that people like Josh Duggar, Bill Gothard, Jack Schaap, Geronimo “Pastor G” Aguilar, David Hyles, Jimmy Swaggart, John Paulk, Jack Hyles, Paul Crouch, Douglas Goodman, Ted Haggard, Earl Paulk, Paul Barnes, Lonny Latham, Michael Reid, Todd Bentley, Tony Alamo, Eddie Long, Gilbert Deya, Coy Privette, Joe Barron, George Rekers, David Loveless, Isaac Hunter, Sam Hinn, Paula White and uncounted other Evangelical superstars, have stopped doing what got them in trouble. Why should they stop screwing church members, abusing children, and acting in ways most respectable people would consider decadent? Just pray, be contrite, promise never to do it again, wink, wink, and all is well.
What these modern-day Elmer Gantrys have learned is that Evangelicals are gullible, always ready to love, forgive, and forget. Perhaps some of them have learned their lesson and stayed on the straight and narrow, but my gut and six decades of exposure to Evangelicalism tells me that what has really has happened is that they have learned to be more careful. I am of the opinion that all the God, praying, and forgiving in the world won’t fix a child molester. Pedophilia, hebephilia, and ephebophilia aren’t curable. Those who desire and molest children will continue to do so until they are stopped. Anyone who thinks Josh Duggar’s or Bill Gothard’s behaviors are one- time events, never to be repeated, is either ignorant or fell on his head when he was a kid. This is why I support the incarceration of child molesters. Children will never be safe as long as we treat child molesters as sinners that can be fixed by God, prayer, and forgiveness.
Is Josh Duggar a pedophile? I don’t know. I do know he molested five girls and this is enough for me to say that he should never be allowed near children. Mark my word, in a few years Josh Duggar will write a book and start a ministry that will extol the wondrous grace of God; how that God forgave and delivered Duggar from his sins. And many Evangelicals will embrace him as the father did the prodigal son. All will be forgiven and no one will consider whether Josh Duggar might be a pedophile who should never, ever be allowed to be near children again.
A few readers are surprised I haven’t written anything of substance about Josh Duggar sexually molesting five girls when he was a teenager. One reason for not writing anything is because there are plenty of news stories and blog articles about the matter, so all I would be doing is repeating what others have said. Suzanne, my dear friend at No Longer Quivering, has posted numerous articles on Josh Duggar. I urge you to check them out:
Josh Duggar committed felony sexual assault when he molested five little girls
The Duggar family covered up Josh Duggar’s crimes
Their church and elders covered up Josh Duggar’s crimes
Advanced Training Institute covered up Josh Duggar’s crimes
The police covered up Josh Duggar’s crimes
TLC ignored rumors of Josh Duggar’s crimes
The Duggar family, all of them, have long been publicity whores, allowing the public unprecedented access to their life. They should have made sure there were no skeletons in their closet. They didn’t, and now they are paying the price. They will be remembered in the same light as June, Honey Boo Boo’s Mom. While I derive a small bit of perverse pleasure from seeing HouseDuggar brought to the ground, I remind myself of Josh Duggar’s victims and the Duggar children. They are the innocent ones and they will ultimately be affected the most. Their lives, from this day forward, will never be the same. Their parents didn’t ask their permission when they started pimping them out to TLC. They are collateral damage left in the wake of their older brother’s criminal acts and their parents willingness to use/misuse them for material gain.
One good thing to come from Josh Duggar’s crimes is that a bright light is now shining on the Quiverfull and home schooling movement. What was once done in secret is now known by all. This is a good thing. Duggar’s crimes also shines the light on Bill Gothard and Advanced Training Institute. Again, this is a good thing. The only way to kill the fundamentalism of the Duggar family, Bill Gothard, and the Quiverfull movement, is to continue to expose their deceit, hypocrisy and, in some cases, crimes.
Let the defenders and supporters of the Duggar family whine, complain, fume, and object. Their words fall on deaf ears. They are more interested in maintaining things as they are than they are defending those who are harmed by fundamentalist Christian beliefs and practices. Those of us who daily make known the foibles of fundamentalist Christians know that our greater objective is to help those harmed by the pernicious teachings of people like the Duggars, their church, and the religious circles they are a part of.
“Wasn’t it addressed awhile back? And the only reason he’s quitting his job now is because it became public. […] You have the right to address it privately. […] He was a kid!”
Really? He was a kid? You have the right to address it privately? Why is Kornheiser making light of Duggar molesting five little girls? Does he really know anything about the Duggar family, Josh Duggar, and their fundamentalist religion? I doubt it. This is a clear case of Kornheiser opening his mouth without having any understanding of the matter.
If, at age 14 (almost 15), Josh had raped one of his sisters, would Kornheiser respond the same way? Hey, he was a kid, he didn’t understand the seriousness of what he was doing. Is this what Kornheiser would say? I doubt it. But, maybe he would. Maybe he thinks 14-year-old boys should get a pass for what is done in their youth. Perhaps his comments are a reflection of his age, hailing from a generation that routinely turned a blind eye to sexual abuse and rape. Well Tony, it’s 2015 not 1950.
And here’s what I do know. If Josh Duggar had molested Tony Kornheiser’s daughters, I guarantee you he wouldn’t be so understanding.
I don’t plan on writing specifically about the Josh Duggar affair. I assume anyone who reads this blog knows all they need to know about Josh Duggar’s molestations of young girls, including his sisters. What I do plan to post are a few quotes from the past week or so that I think readers might find interesting.
– The Duggars, it seems, have always been running in circles known to attract freaks and weirdos. Sadly, many Christians who grow sick of churches pushing birth control, Christian school, and nurseries find themselves attracted to the home church, repentance, patriarchal crowd. From what I have read, it seems the Duggars left a soulwinning, independent Baptist church to join a “home church,” and later got tied in with ATI and Vision Forum, the heads of which have both resigned amidst sex scandals involving much younger women. Guarding our kids against abuse in this day and age is vital.
– I have zero doubt whatsoever that for Joshua Duggar to do what he did (to his own sisters no less), he himself at some time before that, or even at that point in time, was the subject of abuse.
– Not all who are abused become abusers themselves, and it is never an excuse. I do believe that without the perpetrators being punished properly (which would be swift execution), it is virtually impossible for victims to overcome abuse, unless they have the Holy Spirit of God to help them through it.
– The Duggars promote a false gospel that calls for “repentance from sins,” rather than, what the Bible teaches, a turning from false religion or whatever else we are trusting to get us into heaven other than Jesus. While I have know many good Christians who truly were saved become mixed up in this doctrine of “there will be / has to be some change,” many of which later reversed course and realized that their definition of repentance was works salvation, the Duggars push this point more than most, and associate with obviously false prophets such as Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, promote the damnable “Hell’s best kept secret,” etc. Because of this, I have only ever given them a 50/50 chance of truly being saved. Unless I talked to them in person, it is impossible for me to give my opinion on it accurately just because as with everything else, they are so wishy-washy it’s hard to put a finger on it. I give their children even less of a chance of being saved, since it seems all they have ever known is this false gospel crowd.
– Being popular and loved by the world is another sign of a false prophet. Then again, while the Duggars enjoyed immense popularity, it was hardly for their Bible preaching/teaching, but rather for their unusual family size and lifestyle. Remember, the show does not promote virtually any doctrine, at all. Besides, they had vehement and vocal haters, too. So their rock star status may or may not be an indicator of being a false prophet.
– It is ridiculous of all these Christian blogs to go on and on about how we are all sinners, we all need grace and forgiveness, etc. Yes, that is all true – but we are not all pedophiles. That is an unnatural desire, only experienced by a reprobate. Even the world, which is happy to excuse most sins and licentious living, is still horrified by child abuse. No, forgiving a pedophile is not a great picture of what the gospel is all about. They have crossed a line where not even God is willing to forgive – why should we?
– Yet with all that being said, and I know I will draw immense hate for this from the trolls on this site, I am not convinced beyond any doubt that Josh Duggar himself had reached that point of being a reprobate pedophile when he did what he did.
One report stated the incident took place the month he turned 14 years old. I consider anyone that is pre-puberty to be a child. Our oldest, who will be 14 in September, is just now in the very beginning stages of puberty from all I can ascertain (thank you, growth hormone-free meat and dairy). Even for a child of course such behavior is vile, perverted, and sinful, and they should and often do know better. But they are not always acting on their own lusts and desires, but in foolishness they are acting out what they themselves have been exposed to. The unpardonable sin of sexual deviance is the fact that they burn with lust after the same gender, after animals, after (in this case) children. Is that what Josh Duggar felt at age 14, or was he, who I am sure was a victim of abuse himself since his family runs in circles replete with reprobates, just acting out the abuse carried out on him earlier, or even at that time? I have no way of knowing the answer to this question for sure. Neither do I need to know, since it is between him and God. He doesn’t go to my church or ever have access to my kids, so I need not waste my time trying to make this important distinction.
My heart breaks for the victims, who will only be able to get over this by the power of God. I am sickened for the children in the family who likely have never been informed of this before, and whose entire lives have just been turned upside down. Imagine that’s your Dad that was just declared to the world to be a pedophile. The new spouses – were they told of issues their young wives are likely to carry with them for life? How to live with such a burden of shame, that has reached international proportions? What great harm has been done to the Bible and God’s way, by allowing a family to be lifted up to such popularity, when this was sure to come out sooner or later, and waved high and low as a banner for why the Bible is wrong and progressives are right. Who are the people that make a living of trying to dig up past evil on a 14-year old?
It was reckless and irresponsible of the Duggars to allow themselves to rise to stardom, knowing about such “skeletons” in the closet. Even if we set aside “Be sure your sin will find you out,” it was insane to think they could become celebrities, and this not come to light with as many people as were involved in it. Did they consider the repercussions on their son’s life, who would even under the best of circumstances have been reeling to recover from this (if that is even possible)? Did they think the world, who was looking for any way to attack them, was going to look the other way on this? Great shame has been brought upon the cause of Christ through their desire to be rich, popular, or both.
So, a sad story all around, on every level. One that brings shame, to some degree, on anyone who names the name of Christ. e have for years held and publicly stated that the Duggars are liberal and worldly, even as they are known for being ‘fundamentalists.’ Maybe their beliefs are, but what they are publicly willing to take a stand for is weak and anemic.
One comment. I love how Anderson chides the Duggar family for being publicity whores, ignoring the fact that she and her husband have been publicity seekers for years. Steven Anderson goes out of his way to get his name in the press. How is this any different from what the Duggar family is doing? Besides, all of us who are bloggers want, desire, or need the fame and publicity our writing brings. None of us write and hope no one reads it, so Zsuzsanna Anderson is being disingenuous on this point.