Preventing the Next Josh Duggar Situation

Josh Duggar

Accusations of molestation emerged against Josh Duggar, of the 19 Kids and Counting Duggar family, and he has admitted to “acting inexcusably.”

Predictably, he and his reality TV show family are being attacked for covering up these instances and the supposed hypocrisy of having this skeleton in the closet while campaigning for traditional family values.

I have no desire to personally attack Josh the Duggars (though I can’t help but wish they had decided not to pursue a life in front of cameras knowing this had occurred), but I do think this instance can remind Christians of important lessons.

Nothing can changed what happened in the past, but we can work to prevent similar things in the future.

1. Sin is not simply “out there.”

The Duggars, like most families, want to protect their children from many of the dangers that exist in the world. They also want to help shield them from as many temptations as possible.

Those are good and laudable goals. But too often Christian parents (and I include myself in this), believe as if the only danger to our kids is out there.

Yes, the world is dangerous and often hostile to our faith, but the human heart, even the one inside your cute little child, is entangled with sin.

Isolation is not the solution to the problem of sin. That’s a problem only the cross of Christ can overcome and it’s power stretches far beyond your doorstep.

If you trust in your own ability to avoid sin, through whatever means, be sure that you are on the verge of falling.

We must not give our children the false assurance that if they don’t become influenced by the world, they will be free from sin and temptation.

When we do that, we have set up isolationism as an idol and diminished the power of the cross.

Do all that you can to protect your kids, but place your trust in the power of the gospel, not the power of your protection.

2. Christians have merely baptized the world’s celebrity obsession.

No, most churchgoers don’t keep up with the Kardashians, but we count kids with the Duggars. We sadly shake our heads at the girls damaging their lips trying to look like Kylie Jenner, while we scoop up all the Duck Dynasty camouflage we can find.

Nothing is inherently wrong with enjoying 19 Kids and Counting or Duck Dynasty, but much of Christian culture treat the Duggars and Robertsons the same way pop culture treats the Kardashians. That’s dangerous.

I definitely think we should Buying real viagra without prescription, but we should not be attempting to emulate them. In large part, because we don’t really know them.

Christ has placed you in a church body and given you pastors, leaders, men and women there who can mentor you, disciple you, walk with you and help you become who God has created you to be. We need to be discipled by those who are regularly in our lives, not those who regularly see on TV.

Even if a celebrity is following Christ, that does not mean they should be given a platform in the church equal to the one they have in culture. We need men and women of character, not necessarily men and women of renown, but that comes with time.

And it often comes with a price of authenticity and transparency, being open about our brokenness and inability to put things back together. But we don’t want broken heroes, especially not on TV.

We want shiny, sinless Christian heroes that make us feel good about ourselves compared to those people “the world” watches.

That’s not necessarily a problem with the Christian celebrities, that’s an us-problem. And until we fully grasp that “all fall short of the glory of God,” we will find ourselves in these types of situations.


Josh Duggar, his family and his victims need our prayers. But potential future victims need our prayers and actions.

We must not encourage the attitude that sin can be kept away from our home with a solid fence or a good homeschooling program. We must acknowledge how deep it goes into our own hearts and the hearts of our children.

Understanding this, we must fight against and live counter-culturally to the celebrity obsessed culture. It’s not enough to embrace a Christian version of the world’s idols. We must reject a system that elevates fame as being a goal to achieve and a status to protect.

Whatever else happens moving forward, Christians have to learn from these mistakes or they will continue.

11 Comments

  1. Vicki krebs

    Thank you for addressing the ludicrous practice among Christians of being obsessed with celebrities. It is especially concerning when they are known for practices or lifestyles that stand out because they are so different from the norm. Money for the networks, the companies that profit from their products and the family business drive this practice. I think statistics bear out the reality that most of us are NOT counting kids with the Duggars. Both homeschooling and a larger than average number of kids (6) have been a blessing to my family, but neither reveal anything about my “spirituality” except that both drive me to an awareness of my need for a savior every day. Only Christ can meet the requirements of a Christian hero and he was broken for us freeing us of the need to pretend that we live sinless lives, as though people should emulate us instead of Christ. While we’re at it we need to address the celebrity pastors and teachers who we watch on video rather than equipping the saints for the work of service, thus creating churches full of spiritual dwarfs, dependent on being spoon fed by super Christians!

  2. brittany

    You wish they didn’t pursue public life knowing this had occurred? Since when can only flawless Christians be in the public eye? I’m guessing you’ve made a few mistakes in your past, as have I. The important thing is they did the right thing in that situation and Josh repented. Praise the Lord that he’s more forgiving and gracious than you are.

    • I’m honestly not sure how to respond to your comment, Brittany, since you seem to miss the point of my post and my heart on this issue. I will simply say that I too praise the Lord He is much more forgiving and gracious than I am. On that we most certainly agree.

    • Jenna

      I couldn’t help but think the same thing. I am not at all saying that life as Christians should only be presented to the public if someone is perfect. But they also shouldn’t have been naïve to the fact that this was going to come up, eventually, and how it was going to affect their very large image and in turn, the children who were affected by this. We understand, as Christians, that God forgives and we all do things we need forgiveness for. But the whole world doesn’t understand that. When you know something of this magnitude has happened, and you put yourself out there for the world to see, you become an example and Satan will use everything he can to stop you in your tracks. I wish they had addressed it at some point so it wouldn’t come out like this. Now, his children will look at articles all over the internet with articles titled “Child Molester,” describing their father. His sisters now have to bear the shame of all of this and the questioning that comes with it. Not only that, but he started working for a company that touted family values, and not that he doesn’t have them, but he verbally spoke down of homosexuals and said they were sexually immoral, knowing the whole time that this happened in his past. He obviously had the forgiveness and acceptance of God and his family during this awful thing that happened and then proceeded to speak out against a whole group of people for being sexually immoral. I was really shocked when this came out, I love their show. But now, I can’t help but wonder what goes on in that house that we don’t know about. Not that ALL things don’t go on in ALL houses, but the whole thing just seems oogy to be now, and it didn’t before.

  3. JOhn Hartness

    My bigger beef with this situation is not that he made mistakes in his past, everyone has. If he would have owned his past when he first became famous, this would be a non-issue. My gripe with Duggar and most people of all faith is their hypocrisy. Duggar condemns a lot of folks as sinners without owning up to the beam in his own eye, so to speak. Today’s society, Christian and secular alike, is too quick to cast that first stone without realizing that their actions, past or present, may be just as reprehensible as the things they are railing against.

    If Duggar wants to speak out in public as a faith-based celebrity, he needs to start every conversation with “I’m not perfect. I’ve made mistakes. But this is wrong and this is why.” And frankly, most people who are speaking out in public need to do the same thing. Myself included. I applaud you, cuz, for continuing to try and live a sincere Christian life in a world that makes it very difficult. See you soon!

  4. Stacy Fortenberry

    We must reject a system that elevates fame as a goal to achieve…-this is a good and valuable lesson to teach our children. Fame is not the sin but self-centeredness that seems to live w fame is sin. Dealing w our heart issues is absolutely the first and foremost issue. When we are aware of our heart’s deceitful nature and daily draw near to God for heart transformation, we are prepared to step into the world.

    This is very thought provoking. Thank you. As a parent who chose public school for our children, ( and I admire greatly those who homeschool!) it is affirming. Isolating is not the answer though protection of our children must be a priority! Loving and teaching our children to live like Jesus is the way.

  5. Chris

    First and foremost I am not a Christian. I will however try to be fair in presenting the issue that many of us non-believers have with folks like the Duggar’s, Duck Dynasty and Politician and Preachers who have embraced the “Celebrity” you rail about. We hate it as well, we hate the hypocrisy, the preaching without substance and the corruption of message. There are many good , and many bad things to take from the bible, but when people like them get on their soap box and have a media juggernaut behind them then they should be held accountable for there actions just like any member of society. There is warranted forgiveness and I would hope that someone could find the strength to change, however too often they have been give a free pass to escape from their scandal. The list of prominent evangelicals wrapped in scandal is unfortunately a long one. Perception is as powerful feeling and to many of us the circle the wagons and protect the herd at all costs mentality has done more to harm people of faith than help them. Though no longer a practicing Catholic I applaud the actions of the pope to own up to the scandal of the church and to clean house. I applaud his message of working towards redemption and of humbleness and frugality. Perhaps Evangelicals can learn something from this and put pressure on those who are spreading the word to do so in a way that truly honors their faith, god and common man. Until that happens I fear that the rest of us will become even harsher judges of Religion and it’s messages. May you live a life worthy of love and rememberance.

  6. Roxanw

    God is merciful. When things like this happen, God still in control, he is destroying a foundation and building a new one a strong one. We all have a pass and we all need to pray for one another specially in time of need, for God’s name to be glorified. We aren’t Christians because our good performance in life or our good heart, the contrary, but our Savior has come to rescued us with His blood, and he is transforming us. Let’s pray for one another.

  7. Margaret

    I feel like you hit the nail on the head in the ways you describe what celebrity does to a Christian. It is the enemy of holiness. It is something Christ never desired–He is seen numerous times in Scripture, after having performed yet another astounding miracle, instructing the witnesses to tell no one. He enjoins his followers to worship, fast, and give alms in secret, where only God can see them. How is one to accomplish those things when there is a camera recording everything one does? You are absolutely right that we should pray for Christian celebrities, because they have an enormous cross to bear, when it comes to their relationship with Christ. We must remember that Christ knows everyone’s heart, and that where the media is concerned, things are NEVER what they seem. Even now, with these scandals exposed, both the molestation incidents and now the Ashley Madison story, we can be certain we are not getting the full story. Frankly, I don’t need to know. Christ has the situation under control.

About Author

Aaron Earls

Christian. Husband. Daddy. Writer. Online editor for Facts & Trends Magazine. Fan of quick wits, magical wardrobes, brave hobbits, time traveling police boxes & Blue Devils.