Remember when the Josh Duggar scandal first broke in May? I blogged about my thoughts on the situation at the time.
Back then, many naive Christians afraid to lose their favorite TV show started falling all over themselves not condemning Josh Duggar's actions (molesting four of his own sisters), but rather condemning those who thought his actions were inexcusable under any circumstances, those who were angered by the family basically portraying a lie, those who were calling out the family's hypocrisy.
After just a brief period of silence following the initial shock, many Christians with a public platform also came out in defense of Josh Duggar. Some that come to mind are Mike Huckabee, Matt Walsh, Kent Hovind, Michael Seewald, and many others. Fans by the thousands were calling for TLC to bring the show back, starting online petitions, and leaving tens of thousands of supportive comments and messages on social media.
(Note: Matt Walsh and Michael Seewald have since changed their tune.)
I understand that if people committed sins, even serious ones, in the past and have since sought forgiveness and changed their ways, we should give them a fresh start, and not even mention those past failures.
However, I don't believe that this applies to serious, harmful crimes like pedophilia that deserve the death penalty. Such people are beyond repair, or what the Bible calls reprobates - Romans 1 says they have "eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin." Tell me that doesn't describe Josh Duggar to a T! And when those same perpetrators then lift themselves up to national stardom, revolving entire seasons of their TV show around telling us how they supposedly stayed pure until marriage, it just becomes ridiculously hypocritical, and an object of public scrutiny and derision. If the Duggars seek the attention of millions of viewers, they cannot then hide behind "that's a private matter" when it's inconvenient. Remember, the only reason why 99.9% of us have ever even heard of them in the first place is because they chose to make their lives very public. Anyone with the least bit of prudence or discernment should have known that such a skeleton in the closet would inevitably be discovered. Evidently, the love of fame, money, and stardom won out.
Personally, back in May I found it very alarming how many claimed that Josh's actions were a fairly normal occurrence, something all people are tempted by, and not a worse sin than regular everyday sins. I also blogged about that.
LOL about the "anonymous members!" Nothing electronic is ever truly anonymous. Be sure your sin will find you out!
Then, the latest scandal broke. In and of itself, the fact that a man was looking at porn or committing adultery is not really shocking these days, nor does it make someone a reprobate. Even David was an adulterer. The shocking aspect was the fact that Josh Duggar had been living a double life of the worst kind. His latest admissions threw even the good-thinking Christians for a loop, as the overwhelming reason why we were supposed to have forgiven Josh Duggar was the fact that the had allegedly repented, and was a new man. Which, clearly, he was not. And those who had blindly defended his actions not because they were excusable, but because they liked the family, had egg on their faces. Imagine if it came to light that Obama had a similar past as Josh Duggar - would Christians everywhere rally around him in support, proclaiming forgiveness, and insisting that it did not at all reflect on the current state of his character?
Right in the middle of all this coming to light, I received the current issue of the "No Greater Joy" magazine in the mail, with the feature article being "Two-Front War on Christianity", written by Micheal Pearl. Or, as my husband calls him, the "homeless looking guy." Most people know him for his controversial book, "To Train Up a Child."
You can still find the article here, though after the latest details about Josh Duggar coming out, I cannot for the life of me understand why they would not pull the article and post an admission of having judged falsely, along with an apology.
It became apparent right away as I read the article that it had been written and the magazine mailed out at the worst possible time - late enough to publish right as the second scandal broke, but early enough to get it out the door before the new issues came to light.
The article talks about how Christianity is facing war on two fronts: on one had from the world, the persecution coming from unbelievers. Secondly, from so-called "Christian Cannibalism." This is the part of the article I want to focus on.
There were many ridiculous points made in the article, but I will focus on the worst ones. They are representative of the nonsense that Christians everywhere have been repeating during this scandal.
- "The second - and more destructive - wave in the war on Christianity is coming from within our own ranks. The actual physical persecution of Christians will not amount to much," "That is the disease that is
killing the church," "The real threat to the church and modern Christian
family is [...] coming from the pew in front of you"
Basically, forget everything you have read in Revelation about the Antichrist making war with Christians. The real danger according to Micheal Pearl are other Christians. #facepalm
- "many Christians have been induced to side with the accusers of the brethren," "blogs and Facebook are filled with Christian cannibalism," "Christians pile on like hungry wolves," Christians [...] loudly condemning the allegedly errant one"
This is not even factually true. The vast majority of Christians showed nothing but support and forgiveness for Josh Duggar. Even if it were true, that would not make it wrong, because we as Christians are supposed to judge righteously, show discernment, and warn others of evil perpetrators - not hush up about dangerous predators.
- "Duggars were under attack,"
Nobody attacked the Duggars. Their child did an evil deed, and brought this on the rest of the family. Would we say that a criminal on trial is "under attack?" Of course not.
- "I was highly impressed and proud to be a fellow believer with such an amazing family," "they handled the situation with their son in the best of all possible ways," "a godly response to a problem"
Sure! They did, in fact, do so well that we now know (some of) the rest of the story. ***sarcasm*** Let's judge the tree of the Duggar's parenting by its fruit: it's rotten. Their son DID NOT repent and forsake. Whatever they did to address the problem failed miserably.
I'd like to make one thing clear: either the parents want to say their 15-year old acted as a foolish child, and should not be held accountable for the sins of his youth. In that case, the responsibility lies with the parents, and they have to accept the fact that they failed.Or they could say that at age 15, he should have known better, and that he was making his own decisions contrary to his upbringing and his parents' moral code, in which case they can no longer use his age as an excuse for his actions.
- "a problem that affects over 50% of the homes in America, including Christian homes" [referring to incest and molestation]
In what universe, Micheal Pearl? Surely, SOME Christian (in name only) homes face this problem. But most definitely not 50% of them. Cases such as this almost exclusively occur in broken homes, where derelict step-relatives and boyfriends commit evil acts against children. The Duggars are the exception that proves the rule, and even in their case, I am certain that Josh himself was first the victim of sexual assault himself.
Why is it so important to point out the fallacies in Pearl's article? Because Christians need to be warned, not told to simply assume the best about dangerous predators who self-identify as "being cured." They need to be taught how to recognize signs of impending doom, not close their eyes, plug their ears, stick their heads in the sand and pretend all is fine in spite of glaring warning signs. Maybe that explains why Micheal Pearl thinks that incest is to be expected in 50% of all households.
In order to protect our loved ones, it is vitally important to understand that cases such as that of Josh Duggar are NOT random and unpredictable, not something that can befall anyone, not something that there are no warning signs of. If you have not yet done so, please read my previous blog post of why there is not a pedophile lurking inside all of us.
Please also watch this sermon, and learn the doctrine of someone becoming a reprobate.
Disclaimer: While I do find myself facepalming about a lot of the things coming from Michael Pearl and No Greater Joy Ministries, I do very much appreciate and recommend his wife's book, "Created To Be His Help Meet."