Josh Duggar’s Ashley Madison Scandal

Let’s get the controversy started by first saying when it comes to recently discovered adultery vis a vis adult hookup sites for Josh Duggar I personally don’t care.  I don’t want to know about his use of the internet to explore his fantasies.  I don’t want to know how many times he cheated on his wife.  I don’t care when and where and how he did what with whom.  I don’t care. 

What I do care about is how some Christians are responding.  Some are shocked.  Some are appalled by the hypocrisy.  Some are saddened by the sin and deception.  Some are empathetic to his wife and kids.  But many just seem to be weighing in on the story itself because it is juicy gossip.  Like an R rated movie, we are morbidly attracted to watching vice from a safe distance.  As the ugly details come to light, we want to watch as it reeks havoc among the cornucopia of kids.  It’s like throwing an iphone at an amish daycare.  Aha, now they’ve done it.  They’re all infected now. 

And some seem to relish the “I told you so” moment when another Christian hypocrite is exposed.  It’s a special pastime for those hurt by the church to gleefully savor the comeuppance moment.  Yes, they’re having a moment.  And we’re supposed to sit back and watch them squirm?  What a sick preoccupation with pain?  And is that all this is?  They get there due, and good riddance?

I think the whole thing is immature.  And yet, at some level, we are all immature.  We still think it’s about sin.  It’s not about sin.  Sin is an old story.  The same story retold for each successive generation.  Everyone on the planet gets to experience how miserable it is here.  And for some who ‘pretend’ it’s not miserable because they keep themselves from sin, we like it when they eventually do succumb to its gravity.  Well, how depressing folks.  Our world is doomed, held captive by sin.  Thanks for reminding me.  We’re all stuck in the muck and mire.  And for many that’s the end of the story. 

Josh Duggar Ashley Madison

What surprises me is that even for many Christians that’s the end of the story too.  They seem to stop there in misery.  But that’s not the whole story!  They’re forgetting the best part.  They’re commensurating they’re misery, by not letting anyone be left out.  When in reality, they’re the ones being left out—of the amazingly cool second half.  They’re so focused on being trapped inside the devil’s dungeon, they’re forgetting about the hero who has come to set us all free!  It’s like they stop the movie when the evil hordes have taken over.  Don’t they also want to watch as the hero regroups his army, conquers all, and sets everything right?  Because it’s an awesome story!  The greatest ever told, and we get to be part of it!

It’s a matter of perspective.  And I personally understand that those in pain have a real hard time seeing anything other than pain.  They take pad answers as insulting and insensitive to their pain.  I get that.  But the question is:  Do you love your pain so much you don’t want to be healed?  And would you deny healing to others?  When people are offended, many times they are actually denying themselves healing.  And yes, this means they don’t really want others to be healed either.  Yeah, I said it.  I know that’s gonna offend some folks, but it’s the truth.  It’s easy to feel like a victim.  It’s easy to justify our disappointment when we can blame it on someone else.  But are you stopping there?  Are you quitting your quest?  You got hurt.  So now you’re camping out in hurtville?  Hanging out building idols to your favorite hurts? 

I know what it means to be hurt.  But I ain’t stopping there.  I want to complete my quest.  The hero came to my hole and stretched out His hand.  He helped me up.  And I’m going with Him on His adventure.  I’m not going back to that stinkin’ hole.  And when I see someone else still stuck in their hole, I don’t laugh, or say they deserve it, or even just ignore them.  I tell them Jesus is here to help them out.  That is what real Christianity is about.  That’s what real followers of Jesus do.  They help people out of sin pits.  They call everyone to follow Christ in His epic battle. 

Yes, this world is a battle ground.  But the reality is those of us who follow Christ are actually on the victory march now.  It’s not completed yet, but we’ve already begun.  And yes, many times it doesn’t feel like we are headed towards paradise, walking through victory, praising God.  I get that.  Sometimes it sucks.  And it smells horrible.  And it’s tiring.  But that’s faith my friends.  If it were easy everyone would do it.  But it’s not easy.  Jesus said wide is the way to destruction, but narrow is the way to life, and only a few find it.  If we don’t look closely we could miss the way to life.  It’s easy to get distracted by the craziness of this world, and lose sight of Christ leading the way.  It’s easy to get hurt and stuck in the muck.  But our battle now is to keep our eyes on Jesus, and help others to do the same. 

Our job is not to get distracted by hypocrisy via Josh Duggar, or TV preachers or politicians, or anyone else.  We need to see what’s really going on here.  We need to look past the pain, not accept the doom of sin, and see the Savior strong and capable who is leading us out of this mess into His glorious kingdom.  This is our quest saints.  We are His people.  We are on His mission.  Let’s live like it.  Let’s talk like it.  Let’s ignore the pot-stirrers like it.  Let’s help some of our less mature, more easily distracted family members learn to change the conversation from shock to salvation.  Less about exposing hypocrisy and more about desiring holiness.  Less about falling and more about grace. 

Let’s change the conversation.  Let our response be prayers of mercy for anyone who’s fallen.  Let us all humble ourselves and pray for one another.  Let us boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is able to save us from this life of sin.  Let us all commit to following Jesus without mumbling, gossiping and complaining.  When another brother or sister falls, let us seek to gently restore.  And may our response of Grace be so clear that it covers over the din of naysayers.  This stuff really matters.  This is real Christianity.  Josh Duggar is just another guy who fell.  Our response matters.  We should care about our response.  The Savior has called us, and He is watching.  If that’s not enough reason to care, then nothing is. 

 

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