Letter to my children sharing about Josh Duggar, which I read while they ate Saturday morning breakfast, before our family hike.
I wrote this because I had to tell my 5 children, ages 2 to 10 years old, what happened to their family. Below is an excerpt from that conversation.
First, of all I want to start by saying there are real victims, which have real pain and they need real justice. That justice needs to come from heaven and from earth, through the law, with their lives being restored to wholeness and healing. As a big brother to many in the Jesus church, I have spent 100’s of hours hearing horrific stories of abuse—many that keep me awake at night—and I want to see justice come to them yesterday! The victims in this case need justice.
Secondly, I do not agree with sexual abuse at any age for any reason, especially when underage children are involved. What happened with Josh is wrong. But, with Jesus, we don’t have to live in or be defined my our past sin, because if we repent God washes our sins away and makes us a new creation. Josh, repented and did not do this act anymore, and I am so thankful for his response (read the full article here). However, I think the BIG question is why is what Josh did wrong, which I agree it is wrong, but no one is asking the question, “why is it wrong?” (this we will discuss later; see below).
Thirdly, I am not writing to go back and try and find out if what the Duggar’s did after they found out about this was right or wrong. That is in the past and I was not there, so I do not want to comment on what ifs, would haves, should haves, and might have been. Nor, do I want to discuss if the show should go on. However, I do want to address who I am and how this has affected my family.
I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat, and I am not an official conservative, but I do hold to “Biblical values”. I love America and want to see God’s best for this country I call my home. I have sinned, I have done wrong, I have hurt others dear to me, and suffered much for my sin. But God did not leave me there. My conscience and the Holy Spirit convicted me of my sin, I repented before God, asked forgiveness for many, and still suffer the consequences of those sins, but I am forgiven and pure before God—by His GRACE. Now, I have a beautiful wife, and five children that have grown up watching the Duggar’s. Reluctantly, but because I love them, I had to sit down with my wife to tell my children what Josh had done. I knew they would be hurt, but I wanted them to learn from this. I started by reading this story.
John 8:2-12 New King James Version
2 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” 12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
I highlighted in these verses:
- Sin – This woman sinned because she broke the seventh of the Ten Commandments; “you shall not commit adultery” ( 20:14); so did the guy, but for some reason they forgot to bring him.
- Pain – this woman was hurting herself because she was choosing to do what is wrong, which created the wages and debt of sin, by her own actions separating her from God; sin will hurt those around her, whom love and care for her; sin will bring sin onto the land (if I have a cold and I walk into a crowd of people I “infect” them with my cold; sin is like a virus and it affects communities the same way bring pain and judgment).
- Jesus – these people were coming to Jesus to see what He would say. Jesus does not think like the world. He is in the world, but not of the world ( 12:2; John 15:19; 17:14-15). He is the one that created and gave the Ten Commandments to us; The Ten Commandments did not exist until He created them. Therefore, they were brining this woman before Jesus, asking Him to Judge her, based on a law that He created. He gave the 10 commandments to Israel in two ways. Frist, He gave it through Moses on Mt. Sinai. Secondly, He places it inside the conscience of people; He created people and the conscious into which He put the 10 commandments; their conscience then either accusing or excusing them (Rom. 2:15).
- Jesus wrote in the dirt – Jesus is patient, Merciful, Gracious and Patient. He is fully God and fully man; He knew every sin that these people had done—all their deep dark secrets—and He was not condemning them; He was not bringing their sin to light, and He was not exposing them; He was giving them time to repent—so He wrote in the dirt.
- “He who is without sin….” – Jesus knew what this woman had done was wrong, but He also knew that everyone in the crowd had sinned. In fact He could have named every sin, and the pain that sinned cause everyone else around them.
- “….cast the first stone” – There is actually justice that needs to take place. This woman was guilty before Heaven and earth; the people with the stones really had sin in their lives and they really were guilty.
- “Then those who heard it…” – this is speaking about natural hearing of the words of Jesus, However, we actually have to take time to “hear” what Jesus says. This means we have to stop and listen to Him; we have to stop and write down His web address, not the address or our flesh, our own opinions, or the mass opinions of hurt people on twitter. We must “hear” what God is saying through the bible and the Holy Spirit.
- “being convicted by their conscience,” – God created our conscience—a judge in our mind—and it convicts us to know right and wrong. These people left, because their conscience convicted them of their sin. Our conscience has power.
- “…went out one by one,” – everyone sins not just those other people.
- Jesus was left alone”– Jesus is the only Perfect Man without sin (2 Cor. 5:21), and we will all stand before Him ( 20:10-12);
- “the woman standing in the midst…” – all have sinned and will stand ALONE before the Just Judge (1 Pt. 1:17; Rev. 20:13); we will be judged according to His Word and Holy Spirit; our sin is debt against us ( 6:23); Jesus is Merciful, Gracious and wants to wash our sins away and give us Grace to never sin again.
- “Woman where are your accusers?” – Jesus could have condemned her, but He did not—He showed her Mercy. God can condemn us for our sin today, however ever He gives us a time to repent. Therefore, we must use that time to repent. However, unfortunately, many use that time (the time God gives us to repent before we our judged) as a time to keep sinning. Why? We think, if God does not judge me right after my sin then it is not wrong; just because God does not judge us right away does not mean that our action is right; we will be judged in time; the very fact that God does not judge us right away proves that He is Just and Merciful. However, we cannot use the “goodness” of God to keep on sinning; instead His goodness should lead us to repentance (Rom. 2:4).
- “Neither do I condemn you” – Jesus had every right to condemn her and the mob, because: He was perfect in that He had never sinned, He had written the law, and in His heart His Judgment are pure—He is the Just Judge of All the Earth (2 Cor. 5:21; Rev. 20:10-12). However, the difference between He and the people was—motive. He had written the law, not to condemn and kill this woman (nor other adulterers), instead to bring them life and life abundantly, both on earth and in Heaven, while the mob wanted to kill her because they were “right” (being “right” and judging someone is just as evil as the sin you are condemning) and many disliked Jesus, and saw this as an opportunity to hurt His reputation. Jesus, however, did not condemn her.
- “Go, and sin know more” – I explained to the kids that Jesus was Merciful and wanted to cleanse this woman, making her clean, and helping her to not sin again. He knew that she was a daughter of her Father in Heaven and He wanted—but would not force—her to be with Him forever. She had to choose: to follow Jesus, obey His teaching, and “Go and sin no more”. The Father enjoys us, and wants to be with us forever. He made us—before earth existed –physically. The bible says that “In the beginning, He created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form and void.” This means the earth was a “blueprint” in the heart of the Father. He first built the blueprints for the Heavens and the earth, and then He spoke the Heavens into existence (earth was still formless and void). Before the earth existed physically, He knew us—we were the Dream of His heart. And Jesus saw that our sin would keep us from the Father’s eternal love, therefore, He choose to be our Savior, to die for us, to take our sin away, to pay a debt of our sin with His life, so that we could live free—enjoying God, because He enjoys us. Jesus became the Lamb slain before the foundations of the earth ( 13:8-9); before I formed you in the womb I knew you (Jer. 1:5); We are made in the very image and likeness of Christ, HE loves us and wants to be with us forever (Gen. 1:26).
- LIGHT – Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” A plant needs light to survive. People need light to survive. If we leave a plant in darkness it dies, and the same with people. There are only two choices LIGHT vs. darkness. God is LIGHT. Only He can define what “light” is. We either choose to follow the LIGHT or darkness. Jesus is the only way to salvation. If you don’t have Him as Savior and Lord in your life you cannot go and sin no more.
WHAT I SAID TO MY CHILDREN
***I wrote out what I was going to say on a sheet of paper so that I would not miss anything and, I wanted to speak clearly, in the main points, with easy to understand language because I have 5 children between the ages of 2 and 10 years old. I am not declaring that legally and historically this is exactly how the Duggar story, 12 years ago, unfolded, however to the best of my ability this is what I believed happened, and this is how I told my children.
Letter to my children, which I read while they ate Saturday morning breakfast.
When Josh Duggar was a young boy, he did things that were inappropriate; they hurt some of his sisters and other girls around the Duggars. What Josh did was a sin against God. He touched these girls in a way that God only wants moms and dad’s to touch. Josh eventually told his parents. But what he did has consequences. Jim Bob told the police. Josh got in trouble, and the girls that got hurt were able to get counseling.
Josh did not go to jail, but he did have to receive other punishment. When we do bad things there are consequences. But, God does not leave us in shame for the rest of our lives. If we repent, then Jesus can make us new. Josh, repented, learned from his mistakes, and never did this again! When he repented to God, he was justified (just as if he never sinned), but there are still consequences.
There consequences for our wrong actions. Josh hurt others, himself and many others. Now he will have to live out those consequences in his life everyday. However, God does not leave him in shame. After Josh repented, God blessed him with a wife and children.
Mom and Dad also made mistakes when we were younger. I (Dad) hurt my sister with my words. I repented before God, and He washed my sins away. However, I had to go to my sister and tell her I was sorry. She forgave me, but it took a very long time before our relationship was restored. Healing takes time.
Adam and Eve, in the Bible, lived in the Garden of Eden, everything was perfect until one day they sinned, and then they hide in shame. However, God is Merciful and Gracious; Jesus came to them in the garden and covered them with animal skins. But there were still consequences for their sin, they got kicked out of the garden, and had to live with a very hard life.
Let me summarize:
- When we sin it is wrong.
- If we repent (God is Merciful and Gracious) and we can be justified (just as if we never sinned).
- There are still consequences, in this life, for our sin that we have to walk out.
Then I told them that they could ask any questions they wanted, and then we would pray for the Duggars and those that had been hurt through the situations, but what happened next was unexpected and powerful! Instead of asking questions one of my daughters, whose middle name is “Mercy”, said, can we sing a song? I asked her, what song? She did not know the name of the artist nor the title of the song, but she sang some of the lyrics…this is an excerpt found this powerful song about God’s Mercy washing us clean.
(read lyrics and listen to song here)
After singing this song, we talked about how God can forgive us, and how He can heal those with hurt. Each of the children took time to pray, and we finished our meal together, and ready to face the day (later on that day we went for a family hike).
WHY IS WHAT JOSH DID WRONG?
Everyone agrees that what Josh did is wrong, but why is it wrong? And it seems that Christians are defending Josh, while non-Christians are setting him up to die. Why? First, lets talk about why what he did is wrong.
The bible says that you should not engage in sexual immorality (1 Cor. 6:18; 1 Thes. 4:13; Rev. 2:14), But what is sexual immorality. For all intense purpose this is any type of sexual activity outside of the context of Godly Marriage between one man and one wife. Why do I believe the bible defines marriage as between one man and one woman, because God, the Designer, the Creator, actually invented Marriage. He also created man, then saw that it was not good for him to be alone, so He made a helper suitable, or comparable, for him, and after creating Eve, God brought her to Adam and preformed the first marriage. A man and woman being created, brought together, and married is God’s idea (Gen. 2: 24). Therefore, He defines immorality as sex (hetero and homosexual) outside of a Godly Marriage, which would be Marriage between a man and a woman, preformed and ordained by the Jesus church. Therefore, as members of the church we should not engage in sexual immorality (hetro and homosexual).
First, the bible also says that you should not uncover the nakedness of your sister (Lev. 18:9; 11). As Christians we now that this is wrong. But what about the non-Christian why do they know it is wrong? If you followed the Twitter feed #JoshDuggar most of the Tweets were about how wrong this was. But how do they know it is wrong if they have never read their bible? The answer is that the law and their conscious tell them it is wrong.
Secondly, the law tells us we cannot commit “sexual assault”, which “is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.” This is the definition from the Department of Justice. Therefore, when we hear of something like this scenario the law is set in place to protect the innocent as it should, and people who break the law should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Thirdly, our conscience talks to us all day long regardless if we read the bible or not. If we touch a hot stove, we feel pain, because our brain, working with our nerves tells us that the stove is painful. In the same way, if we saw a room full of innocent elementary school children getting shot, regardless of if we follow the 10 commandments, “though shall not murder”(Ex. 20:13), we want justice for those innocent children that had their life taken away from them. The news would be full of crying mothers and fathers that have lost their children; mothers and falls all over the earth would feel a pain in the pit of their stomachs, and secretly hope that the killer is brought to justice, regardless of weather they follow the bible or not, because their conscious would be shouting to them…this is wrong; where is justice.
The international world agrees that there is a conscience, and the United Nations seeks to protect that. In their Preamble to the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, they state, “Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind…”. But how is the Josh Duggar acts different?
In the case of Josh Duggar the conscience of the nation was disrupted, and is shouting to us—these girls’ innocence was stolen and they deserve justice—and rightly they do! But why does our conscience tell us this is wrong? Why does our inside churn at the news of something violent, and grotesque that violates the innocent? The answer is simple, because God created our conscience and preprogramed us to choose righteousness.
But what if Josh was 14years old and he touched the girl down the street in the park after school? What if she touched him? What if he touched another boy, in the same way? Would the conscience of America be alarmed? No, we would just say he was exploring, or boys will be boys, or he was just finding out his true identity. So why is what Josh did any different?
For two reasons “mutual consent”, which means that Josh did not have agreement with the other people he was touching. Also, three of the victims where his sisters, which alarms our conscience, letting us know this is wrong. But why is mutual consenting heterosexual and homosexual activity ok to our conscience, while what Josh did disrupts our conscience? Because the conscious of America is only burdened by what it feels is right and wrong, and not on the Godly values were made to have.
God made our conscience and we decide weather to follow it, by cultivating our conscience in Godliness and Righteousness; or we decide to ignore it, by placing our own opinions, or cultural norms, on what is right and wrong. I can grow my conscious in God, by reading the Word of God and cultivating a life in the Holy Spirit. However, if we cultivate our conscious in the latest feelings and opinions of cultural norm, then our conscience is seared (1 Tim. 4:2), our hearts become hardened towards God, and we become like God and chose, in our own ignorance, we decide what is right and wrong (Gen. 3:5), and we grow in ungodliness and unrighteousness.
Therefore, when our conscience, which God created and programed, convicts us of the truth (there is a right and wrong); we demand justice; we want judgment rendered; we need a Just Judge) this is the very standard with which God, is judging us, and will judge us.
Every nation, tribe, tongue and people has a moral conscience and laws that govern them. Out of these groups there is a conscious driven need for justice, a judge, and judgment. For countless ages we have brought our cases of injustice before others to hear the verdict of the judge. Why? Because we agree that there is a right and wrong, there is injustice, there is a need for justice from a good Judge. Therefore, this is how God made the universe, and by the way that we have judged others in the same way we will be judged (Rom. 2:1-5).
The Bible says God is the Just Judge; at the end of our lives we will stand, in His court and be judged, and only those with Jesus will enter into eternity. On earth a person is convicted when the evidence against them is “beyond reasonable doubt”. When we stand before God the evidence against us will be “beyond a shadow of doubt”, for all have sinned. Our conscience is telling us a story, what Josh did was wrong, because the Creator of Heaven and Earth has shown us through: the Word of God, the law, and our conscience. What I have done is wrong, and what you have done is wrong, the only perfect Man, Jesus—can wash away our sins.
WHAT CAN THE CHURCH LEARN FROM THIS?
There are many areas that we can learn from this. However I want to focus in on the luke-warmness within the church. The church is supposed to be salt and light, which means we are supposed to affect society around us in a positive way, with the love of Jesus touching others, and the power of the Holy Spirit empowering us to love God and people. But the church does not look that different from the world.
In the church, we have compromised with a luke-warmness. In areas of pornography, adultery, and divorce we have gotten to the place where the church looks no different from the world. In the matters of hetero and homosexual sin we have either become to loose in our definition, or created a double standard; we agree with heterosexual immorality, but not homosexual sin. When we do this we open the doors of sexual immorality to the next generation. What can be done?
It is simple. Return to the Lord your God, and love Him with your heart soul, mind and strength. I believe if we spend more time in the Word of God, and listening to the Holy Spirit then we do catching the latest excitement the nation would be better off.
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
America we need God to awaken our conscience. We have strayed so far from God we call evil good and good evil (Isa. 5:20). What happened to us? Today is the day we must turn to the Father in Heaven who loves you and:
- Acknowledge that Jesus is God’s Son, He is God, He is Righteous. (John 3:16; Romans 10:9) Ask the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sin (John 16:9)
- We must repent of our sin; confess our sin to God and tell Him, I am wrong, please forgive me.
- Pray this prayer If you understand that you are a sinner and in need of salvation through Jesus Christ, here is a sinner’s prayer you can pray to God: “God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. Cleanse me from my sin, take the debt of my sin, make me a new creation—make me holy like You are holy.”
- Tell a friend you prayed to ask Jesus into your heart.
- Be filled with the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:10-11)
- Read your bible
- Watch this video about the CROSS of JESUS CHRIST.
- Pray daily with others.