On Josh Duggar, Sexual Sin, and the Sanctity of Marriage

Anyone with an internet connection has probably heard the news that Joshua Duggar was found guilty of viewing pornography and engaging in extramarital sexual affairs. From Duggar haters to Christians who once defended Josh in spite of his actions as a teenager, the internet is abuzz with this latest gossip and many people are happily riding their high and mighty horses.  I will admit to being one of those who once stood behind Josh and attempted to defend his actions as being a teenager who screwed up but since learned his mistake and mended his ways. I promise that I will try to stay off any high horses while I write this blog post. In fact, I am stopping intermittently as I type to pray and ask for guidance in my words so that it’s not my words coming out, but words reflecting God’s heart.

Josh Duggar is a sinner. His sins, it would seem, are rooted in sexual deviancy. He looked at pornography online. I also once viewed pornography before Jesus got a firm grasp on my heart. Josh is guilty of committing adultery. I was once the “other woman” and my sole reason for engaging in those acts was to get back at the woman he was dating because she was the “other woman” while he was in a committed relationship with me. Josh sought out extramarital affairs. I, too, engaged in sexual promiscuity outside of marriage. Like Josh, I am deeply sorry for those sins in which I partook. I absolutely will not stand here and throw stones at this man for committing sins of which I am also guilty; neither will I defend his actions. He was wrong. I was wrong. There you have it.

Here’s the thing that gets me, though. The primary difference between Josh Duggar and myself is the fact that I was never a public figure and willfully drawing attention to myself and parading around pretending to be a paradigm of righteousness while living a secret double life. As Christians we are not free of sin. We still mess up and have to fall back on God’s grace daily to help us. But when we struggle – and I promise you, we all struggle – we ought not to hide it, but rather we should look it straight in the face, repent and get help. Josh is so desperately in need of that help right now, but so many people are too busy judging him to stop and offer to help. When our brother in Christ struggles, let’s try to get past the initial shock and work on building him up and freeing him from the bondage of his sin.

The last thing that I want to address is how this all affects the sanctity of marriage. Joshua Duggar hypocritically went around speaking out against homosexuals and lobbying for Washington to put an end to homosexual marriage because of the negative impact it would have on the sanctity of marriage, meanwhile he was privately violating the sanctity of his own marriage. The Christian community as a whole needs to stop sweeping the subject of sexual sin under the rug. It’s time to address the giant pink elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. We Christians tend to be quite fond of being vocal about how wrong homosexuality is, meanwhile we’re turning our heads to those among us who are having sex with people to whom they aren’t married, living with significant others before marriage, and divorcing and remarrying left and right. Y’all, this is absolutely an epidemic of sexual immorality we’re dealing with. We tiptoe around these people scared to death to call them on their sin because it’s not “PC” (even in the Christian world) to talk about those sins. But, hey, let’s all go throw stones at the homosexuals. Hello, brothers and sisters, it’s time to wake up! The sanctity of marriage is not in jeopardy because of the LGBT community; it’s in jeopardy because of lukewarm, apathetic Christians who no longer value fighting for biblical morality.

If you are professing to be a Christian while viewing pornography, having sex with someone to whom you are not married, partaking in sexual fantasies that are not being righteously fulfilled (a.k.a. within the boundaries of marriage), or even not “technically” engaging in sexual acts but are trying to bring sexual attention to yourself and causing others to stumble because of it, you need to repent immediately and seek out help. If we’re going to defend the sanctity of marriage we need to first stop pointing our finger at others for their sins and turn that finger right around and look at our own sins. When we get right with God, then we need to pray about finding a way to lift up our fellow brothers and sisters and help them overcome their obstacles in a spirit of love, grace and forgiveness.

duggar

The Days of Lot

 

What are “the days of Lot” Jesus referred to in the book of Luke? I have seen a number of references to this verse lately, so I decided to do an in-depth Bible study on it.

Let’s start at the beginning. Here’s the passage in context:

Then He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ Do not go after them or follow them. For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day. But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” (Luke 17:28-30)

The first thing to notice here is that Jesus is talking about the end times. He is describing what the world will look like before his second return. He’s giving them several warnings: false teachers will come, there will be suffering, and things will be as they were with Noah and Lot. So, how were things with Noah and Lot? Genesis paints a pretty clear picture about how things were in the “Days of Noah”:

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)

The Biblical account of the “Days of Lot” is even clearer. In Genesis 18:20, the Lord himself states that “the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great,” and that “their sin is very grave.” I don’t know about you, but this definitely piques my interest. What were they doing that was so very grave? Genesis 19 answers that question.

Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” (Genesis 19:1-2)

If you read on, you see that they go with Lot to his home. Here’s what happens next:

Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.” (Genesis 19:4-5)

To be clear, “knowing them carnally” means to have sex. Yes, the men of Sodom saw angels of the Lord appearing in the form of men and wanted to have sex with them. I don’t know about you, but that is just about the most repugnant thing I have ever read. These men were so perverse, so depraved, that they planned to rape God’s messengers. They were knee-deep in some seriously disturbing sin. It wasn’t just the men, however. The women of Sodom and Gomorrah were also partaking in these goings-on. The Book of Jude verse 7 tells us, “They were giving themselves over to sexual immorality and going after strange flesh.” (In case you’re wondering, “strange flesh” is any flesh which is unnatural; i.e. homosexuality).

The other major sin being committed by Sodom and Gomorrah was haughtiness, or pride.

Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me. (Ezekiel 16:49-50a)

The picture painted is pretty clear. They believed they knew best, and they did as they saw fit. As Christians, we find their behavior shocking and repulsive, but to them it was normal and completely acceptable.  This was a nation blinded by their perversion. Their sin, which was an abomination to the Lord, was not sin to them, and they were too deeply immersed in their lifestyle led by their carnal desires to see anything wrong with themselves. (Does this sound familiar?)

So, when Jesus says that the end times are like the days of Lot, I believe He was telling us that it will be a time when men and women, as a whole, live only for themselves, and will do what they see is right in their own eyes. As Revelation 18:7 tells us, the world will say, “I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.” People will be prideful, thinking they are better than God and have no need for Him. The world will be rife with sexual sin, and these perversions will be seen as normal and perfectly natural, and will be embraced by those who do not follow the Lord. In a nutshell, the world is going to look an awful lot like Sodom and Gomorrah. Based on what Jesus Himself tells us, I believe Christians today should be watchful. We are certainly rapidly approaching the end times. It may be sooner than any of us think.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-3)

But take heart, fellow Christians, for as Jesus tells us, “He who endures to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13)