Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.
Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said,
“The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt. Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest.
The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?” “No one, Master.” “Neither do I, condemn you” go, and sin no more. (John 8:1-11)
Jesus loved and forgave this woman. He loved her so much that He about to die on the cross for her sins and for ours. But He still called her actions sin. He didn’t say “Go and follow your desires or whatever you want. Sin is a choice and has consequences, whereas mistakes are human errors. Sin has to be repented of, confessed, and completely forsaken.
That’s why Jesus told the woman “Go and sin no more. Jesus does not compromise His standards of morality. He forgives our sin because all of us, both single and married, young and old, are prone to the desires, appetites, passions, and temptations of the flesh. The good news is that Jesus died on the cross for all our sins. If Josh Duggar has repented, confessed and completely forsaken his sins, then he’s forgiven just like every one of us.
Here is an excerpt from Dr Michael Brown’s opinion:
……Sadly professing Christians have written to me, assuring me that God could never forgive Josh for what he did or that, “once a molester, always a molester.” And they also assure me that they understand grace and believe in the power of the gospel.
Responses like theirs make me wonder if they have ever experienced God’s mercy themselves. The fact is, the very best of us are worthless wretches outside of His grace, and on the holiest day of our lives, in ourselves, we are utterly depraved in light of God’s perfect brightness.
If you have ever come under deep conviction of sin, either as a sinner or a saint (meaning, as a non-believer or as a believer), you know what I’m talking about. Suddenly, your flesh is revealed, as happened to the prophet Isaiah when he encountered the Lord in Isaiah 6, crying out:
Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts! (Isaiah 6:5)
Suddenly, you become aware of the depth of your guilt and depravity, of the impurity of your motives, of the corruption of your actions, of your selfishness or greed or envy or lust or hatred or pride or rebellion or bitterness – or all of the above.
You feel as if the worst hell is too good for you, and you are completely overwhelmed when you realize that not only is God willing to forgive you, but that Jesus died for you and paid for every one of those sins, pronouncing you righteous through faith and bringing you into His family as a fellow child of the Father.
In the words of John Newton, the former slave trader, guilty of committing atrocities against fellow human beings: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.”
I know extraordinary men of God today who used to be in involved in terrorist activities or who were once sexually depraved or consumed by hate, and they are some of the saintliest people on the planet. And all of us, no matter how we lived our lives, were sinners in need of salvation and mercy.
Those who have been shown mercy should lead the way in showing mercy. Those who have been forgiven should lead the way in forgiving others; those who have been transformed should be the first to believe for the transformation of others.
We should exercise wisdom when it comes to putting certain people in certain positions (for example, no matter how transformed a convicted, former child molester might be, I would never put that person in the church’s children’s ministry, for many obvious reasons).
But we should absolutely believe in the power of God to forgive the worst of sinners and trust the power of the blood of Jesus to make us truly clean.
I really do fear for those who do not recognize the depth of their own sin in light of God’s holiness and who do not understand the principle that “judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (Jacob [James] 2:13).
May we be ambassadors of the transforming mercy of God, and may we glory in the life-transforming power of the gospel.
That’s what the cross is all about.
So are why all these self-righteous people condemning the man? It’s because of the victims. It wasn’t their fault and they felt violated and a seed of unrighteousness was planted in their souls without their consent.
I read a true story sometime ago of someone who had a wounded spirit, whom I will call Sarah, saying, “I can’t bear to hear anything about sexual immorality, I feel so dirty already, and this makes me feel worse.” This lady reportedly related her horror story of repeated sexual intercourse with her father from the time she was nine and of a date rape she suffered in her teens. She became promiscuous after that and felt sexual purity was forever out of her reach. She felt an overwhelming sense of hopelessness.
Author Stormie Omartian, who related this story, said,
What Sarah did not know was that sexual purity, like virginity, is something only you can give away…. It is not something that can be taken from you. Why? Because sexual purity is a matter of the heart. Someone may forcibly penetrate your body, but they can’t penetrate your heart, soul, and spirit.
Joyce Meyer, a well-known Christian author and evangelist, was sexually abused by her father from the time she was a young child until she became of age. I heard her sharing her testimony on GOD TV that her father had abused her almost 200 times. Yet in spite of all this trauma she went through, God has still used her to offer a remedy to those who are hurting and those who find themselves in similar situations today.
So the Lord will still use these ladies that were abused when young if at all they remember that forgiveness doesn’t make the other person right; it makes you free to get healing and freedom beyond what you thought possible.
In another lengthy blog post, Grace Greater Than Our Sin, Michael Seewald, father-in-law to Jessa Duggar Seewald (Josh’s sister), exposed a big part of Josh Duggar’s situation the “ministry of truth” mainstream media has forgotten. I felt compelled to post part of the article here because he offers a far better view on this controversial matter:
There is blood in the water and the sharks are in a feeding frenzy. Finally, the Duggar family’s opponents have found what they have been eagerly waiting for: shocking revelations of scandal by Jim Bob and Michelle’s firstborn son….Josh fondled several underage girls twelve years ago when he was a young teenager……
While Josh Duggar had owned up to his sins years ago with the people that it concerned, he has now publicly acknowledged them with grief and regret, and resigned his position as Executive Director of Family Research Council Action.
……It pains me to see that they are now having to relive the nightmare that had been laid to rest well over a decade ago with Josh’s repentance and reformation, but I feel compelled to bring some context and reason to the bloodletting that many are engaging in and to come to the aid of our dear friends and family.
…….I believe that Josh’s parents acted in a way that godly parents should. They did not turn a blind eye, but earnestly sought help from the church, counselors, and eventually the police. Maybe they didn’t do it in a way that pleases everyone, but they acted decisively to confront the sin, to call a penitent son back from his errors, and to seek to aid the hurting victims. In the end Josh sought forgiveness from those he wronged, repented of his sins, and came to trust Christ as his Savior……
……The victims of Josh’s actions should not be lost in all of this. Sadly, this type of thing is all too common. Victims of sexual abuse of any kind often suffer greatly for many years as a result of these sins. We should not downplay the seriousness of these offenses particularly, nor gloss over the pain and confusion they often bring, sometimes for a lifetime.
Some people act as if it was the Duggar’s responsibility to have made this sad episode in their family public knowledge. They are to be praised for not hiding this from the appropriate parties and eventually the police, but they owed it to no one else to publicize the sins of a minor child and the court agrees with that assessment, the judge now ordering that the police report be destroyed.
But the cat is already out of the bag. How many of you would broadcast the sins of your children to the whole world? Would you be willing to publicize your own darkest moments?……..
There are many who seem shocked that a child from a Christian family would do such things. While it is always alarming when we find out about our children’s sins, we should not be surprised. Christians (and many other reasonable people) believe that we are all born with a sinful nature.
David, king of Israel spoke of his inborn sin like this when he was repenting of his adultery and murder by proxy: “Behold, I was sharpen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Psalm 51:5.
The prophet Isaiah concurs. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6. While not all of our sins find a way to manifest themselves externally we all know the corruption that is present in each of our hearts.
It is a mercy of God that he restrains the evil of mankind otherwise we would have destroyed ourselves long ago. Many times it is simply lack of opportunity or fear of consequences that keep us from falling into grievous sin even though our fallen hearts would love to indulge the flesh.
We should not be shocked that this occurred in the Duggar’s home, we should rather be thankful to God if we have been spared such, and pray that he would keep us and our children from falling.
There are others that see this episode as a result of sheltering and repressing human desires. They think that had he access to sex education by Planned Parenthood, been allowed to watch edgy Hollywood films, been encouraged to experimentation with a girlfriend, or gotten free condoms from the local school nurse, then none of this would have happened. Right.
The stupidity of some people is mind boggling. Fan the flames of youthful lust and you end up with what we have: unprecedented numbers of unwed mothers, millions of abortions, rampant STDs, and the unraveling of the fabric of our whole society. Josh didn’t sin because he was repressed, he sinned because like all of us he is a sinner.
Are Jim Bob and Michelle to be scolded for raising their children with high moral standards and this moral failing evidence that they are legalistic hypocrites? No. Although individual Christian family’s interpretation of God’s moral standards may vary somewhat in practical ways they are right in holding high moral standards.
It is always our duty to live a godly life, and even when we fail, God’s moral standards found in the Bible don’t change. It is by our inability to live up to them that we understand our need of a Savior. Are the Duggars perfect in their interpretation of God’s moral standards? No. But neither is anyone else.
They may be stricter than some which comes with certain difficulties but there are also many difficulties on the other end of the spectrum in being lenient. Is it helpful to tweak our parenting practices if the results are less than desirable.
Yes, we should constantly be learning and growing as parents and change when we see a better way, yet no parenting method is without flaw. The heart of the matter is do you have a good relationship with your children? From my perspective, this is where Jim Bob and Michelle excel.
So, what is the ultimate answer? The answer is what Josh found and millions like him. He found forgiveness and cleansing from Jesus Christ. There are many of you that are reading these words right now having had thoughts and deeds no better than what Josh had and did. You are a sinner. You are a sinner by birth and choice.
It is because of that corruption that is common to all that you have violated God’s holy commandments. If you continue in your present course Jesus Christ himself will judge you unworthy of eternal life. But he has graciously provided the only way of salvation and that is by trusting in him and his atoning death on the cross as the payment that God requires to absolve you of the guilt of your sins.
Listen to the words of the apostle Paul about the forgiveness found in Christ. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” Ephesians 1:7. Christ spilled his blood to redeem us from the bondage of sin and death. This was accomplished by his taking our sins upon himself and being punished in our place.
Here is a warning for everyone reading this, by condemning a repentant sinner you have placed yourself in the place of God. Jesus said, “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matthew 7:2. We are never to condone sin, and the sins of Josh’s youth are reprehensible.
Civil penalties are sometimes required and we should never begrudge the victims of crimes or the civil authorities from seeking justice, but we are not to condemn repentant sinners in our hearts or with our tongues or pens. Though consequences are sometimes necessary and desired to uphold civil society and to bring temporary justice, Jesus forgives repentant sinners, real sinners: murderers, thieves, child molesters, homosexuals, self righteous church goers, the proud, liars, scoffers, atheists, hypocrites, and any other sinner or combination of them all.
All that is required is to come to Jesus confessing that you are a sinner and with faith that his death will avail for you. He will receive you and begin the process of salvaging your life for his glory. Believe these beautiful words of the Lord Jesus. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:37-40. Look upon Jesus with eyes of faith and you too will be redeemed. Remember, Jesus said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:32……
Finally, a word to the millions of muted victims of sexual abuse all over the world. It is not your fault. No matter what the abuser may have said, you are not the one to blame. Do not keep silent if you are being abused, tell someone you trust, a parent, a teacher, a friend, anyone is better than silence. You are likely not the only one who has been abused.
Tell someone so that they will be stopped. If the person you tell doesn’t contact the right people to help, tell someone else. Stay away from the abuser if at all possible, or avoid being alone with them. If the abuser is in your family, you may feel conflicted. You may love this person and can’t understand why they are hurting you.
No matter how much you love the abuser you must tell someone. Remember, it is never okay for someone to treat you that way even if they are a parent, a sibling, or a friend. There are many people who will help you if you just break the silence…..
For those who bear the emotional scars of abuse I empathize with you. Healing is possible and many people have found it. Turn to Jesus Christ and find your identity in him. Lean upon him as he cleanses away the guilt and pain…….
Credit Image: Courtesy of Micheal Seewald