Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, then you have heard about the latest Duggar news. No, no one is engaged and Michelle isn't pregnant again. This news is actually kind of sad.
Before I continue, I'd just like to state that I in NO way condone sexual abuse, or molestation. I also have never experienced these, so I make no attempt to understand how those who have gone through this in the past feel about the situation. Also, this post could be a trigger for those who have gone through sexual abuse, so please be aware of that before you continue reading.
12 years ago, before the Duggars even made an appearance on national TV, and their family size was considered normal (for Utah at least) Joshua Duggar, the oldest Duggar child was brought into police custody for molesting 5 girls. The words that they use most frequently are "fondling" and "touching". This of course refers to the incident(s) in which he inappropriately touched various girls' genitals, and breasts. They aren't sure which ones, but there is talk that the 5 girls were his sisters. Now, at the time, he was 14. His parents, upon finding this out tried to help him, brought him to a family friend who also worked as a sheriff at their town's police department (he is currently serving 56 years for child pornography which sort of makes you question the tactics he used..). They also sent him away for a few months to work for a family friend, most likely thinking that this would help him. The family has come forward with numerous statements about how the incident helped shape their family into the strong Christians that they are today. Josh also came out with a statement and formal apology to those he has hurt in the past. He has since resigned from his position with FRC, an organization based in Washington D.C. that holds strong conservative roots, fighting for christian rights rooted in family values) where he was doing very well and making headway with local government officials.
I don't wish to talk about that issue anymore. You can go online and find various blog, Instagram and Facebook posts that will go into the nitty gritty of what happened, and find plenty of outlets where people will sit and bash the Duggars for their parenting skills or lack thereof.
I want to talk about something else. Something that they all have an understanding of, and have grasped and constantly share with the world. Something that I am shocked to find, most "Christians" don't seem to think applies to Joshua Duggar: The Power of the Atonement.
I shared my thoughts very briefly in a Facebook post, and was saddened by those who seemingly have a grasp on the Gospel, yet turned a blind eye to the power of repentance in this specific case. Have we not been told numerous times in the scriptures to "Repent and Come unto Christ."? This is exactly what he did. A boy of 14 years old, who got a little bit too curious about girls and consciously made a mistake, and has since repented and has been forgiven by the Lord. I'm not sure of the steps that he had to take to get right with God, but I know that he did. You can see it in his countenance, and in the testimony of his family that he is clearly a changed man. We have ALL sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, and it is Him and ONLY Him who shall be the judge of our actions.
We as a church (a family in Christ), should be coming to the defense of our fellow brothers and sisters who have made mistakes and since repented. How many of us can truthfully say that we haven't made mistakes in the past that we wish to put behind us and forget? I know that I personally don't go around broadcasting all of my past shortcomings for the world to see. The Duggars never claimed to be a perfect family. Their Christ-like example has helped so many people, of all different beliefs. With the way it all came out and has played out in the tabloids, there is clearly an agenda here. Someone is purposely trying to attack this family, for whatever reason. There are many anti-religious people that hate the Duggars for what they stand for, and are now calling them hypocrites. Hypocrites? Because one member of the family made a mistake as a child, they aren't allowed to have values anymore? People like to throw stones at glass houses, but they need to realize that there is no sin that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can't cover. No one is un-worthy of the Atonement. Like Jesus told the woman at the well "Go, and sin no more", I believe by his actions and the life he currently leads, Joshua Duggar has taken those repentant steps with the Lord.
By us attacking them, we are doing nothing but causing them (Josh, the entire Duggar family, and the victims) distress by opening up old wounds. If you have seen the recent interview featuring Jim Bob, Michelle and then Jill and Jessa, you know what I am talking about; those sweet girls clearly did not want this information leaked.
This family will be forever reminded by those they meet of a horrible time they wish to forget. They made no effort to sweep their mistakes under the rug, immediately came out with statements about the issue after it arose. They are doing the right thing, simply living their life not in fear. They were under the impression that the government was doing its job of protecting the records of minors, in which they failed miserably. If given the opportunity, I hope that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar will take legal action against those who did this, because it was wrong. TLC has since pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting off the air, and is making decisions on whether or not they will keep filming the show.
I hope we will all do the right thing and remember that this family is human, not celestial. That they make mistakes just like the rest of us, and that they have taken the steps as a family to turn to Christ, because in the end, it is all about Him.