Does love truly cover a multitude of sins? (1 Peter 4:8, Prov. 10:12) Or, when a brother or sister stumbles, is God’s grace not enough to cleanse them? Is our love not great enough to forgive and forget? There’s a current even that has flooded media airwaves, social media, and so forth. It is everywhere from all different angles and perspectives, and that is the story of Josh Duggar and the sins he committed in his teens. While what he did was wrong and perverse, we as Christians need to decide if we truly believe in God’s forgiveness and life-changing mercy and grace when someone is truly repentant.
I’ve never watched the show, so I am not speaking as a loyal fan, but as a person striving to be a mature christian. There are many accusations and confessions of horrible atrocities that Josh Duggar committed as a young teen against people who trusted him explicitly as an older brother and role-model, which is sad and dark. Now, there are a lot of liberals and Christians alike rejoicing and condemning him as the most perverse of all people. They’re mocking conservative Christianity that opposes homosexuality as “one of their own” is a incestuous child molester, a pedophile. The point I want to focus on is not WHAT he did, but our RESPONSE as true Christians. If this young man truly changed his ways and turned his life over to God, doesn’t he deserve our forgiveness too and not our judgement and accusatory words and headlines? We as Christians don’t condone evil and sin, whether it be drinking, incest, or homosexuality and all sins in between, but when someone has turned aside from their evil ways and humbled themselves before God crying out for His mercy, who will throw the first stone?? Are you to judge what took place in a person’s heart? Are you to determine what is true repentance or how far the blood of Jesus goes in cleansing someone’s heart?
Don’t we preach on and claim to believe, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” from 1 John 1:9? And when WE mess up, slip up, or sin aren’t we thankful for this? Or Titus 2:14, which says “who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” and Hebrews 9:14, “how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” and there is Hebrews 10:22, “let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Shall I continue? My point is, do we believe in the power of the blood of Jesus or not? We preach to sinners that no matter what they’ve done, where they’ve been God’s love and mercy is greater, yet when one of our own is called out for past sins, we throw that person under the bus and label him as a pervert, molester, and monster. Yes, he DID those things. Yes, they were disgusting and deplorable acts of sin and violations of trust with people who looked up to him. Yes, he should not be allowed to serve in any job connected with children and children’s ministry. Yes, I know, how could I defend such a monster?? I am not defending his actions. I can never imagine such acts being “ok” or taken lightly. But, he, his family, his church elders, law enforcement and others connected to the situation admitted openly to the crimes committed and have stated it was a dark time in the family and for Josh, but help was sought, punishments were administered, and a change in the course his life was heading towards. Statements have been issued claiming he sought God’s forgiveness and mercy and the forgiveness of his family and victims. That he turned his life over completely to God. If we believe God’s mercy is accessible to the worst of sinners, why do we believe it stops short of cleansing this young man? If we preach that no matter what sins a sinner has committed that God’s love is greater, how come we feel it’s not greater than Josh Duggar’s sins? And how can we preach that message to the world with conviction when we fail to extend the same grace and love of our heavenly to a brother who stumbled over a decade ago? if the blood of Jesus not covering Josh Duggar’s sins? And if not, how can you tell the heroine addict or the prostitute that the blood of Jesus will cover their sins when you retract its power from this young man’s past?
Church, do you believe in the cleansing power of Jesus’ blood or not? The Bible says that the world will know us by our love. When a brother sins and stumbles and falls, what better way to show the world our love then by reaching down and lifting up our brother? What better way to show the power of God’s mercy and grace? We have some serious heart-checking to do today, myself included!
I will leave you with this:
“BRETHREN, IF any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also. Bear (endure, carry) one another’s burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah) and complete what is lacking [in your obedience to it].”
– Galatians 6:1-2 AMP
~ Jessica T. Cappel