I have been terribly grieved by some “Christian” responses to Josh Duggar, as if there are some sins God cannot forgive or some people that He cannot transform. Such an attitude betrays a fundamental lack of understanding of the gospel of grace and is actually a slap in the face of the Savior.
When I shared some redemptive thoughts about Josh’s situation earlier in the week, I did not for a moment minimize the gravity of his acts. Specifically, I wrote that “he did sin grievously”; I put his actions in the category of “wicked things” that some of us did as teenagers; I stated that, “There’s no excuse for sin, so own up to it”; I referred to Josh committing “serious sexual sin”; and I said “there are consequences to our actions” but that God can redeem, also stressing the importance of the Church helping the victims of abuse.
And although I have never been the victim of sexual abuse, I have listened to the stories of abuse victims for years, often devastated by what they shared.
I remember reaching out to a blind, facially disfigured teenage girl at a church service one night. She told me that her problems began when she was sexually abused as girl, after which the pain was so great she got into drugs, finally making a death pact with her boyfriend and another friend. The other friend would shoot each of them in the head and, hopefully, not get caught.
Tragically, her boyfriend died as a result of his wounds, the other boy did go to jail for his actions, but instead of dying, she was blinded.
I thought to myself, “What kind of divine judgment awaits the man who abused her if he does not repent and find mercy before that day?”
A number of our ministry school grads work tirelessly in several nations to combat human trafficking, and I support their work however I can. They tell me in detail about the trauma experienced by these kids and teens sold into sex slavery, with full recovery being extremely difficult and rare (if they even manage to survive and are rescued).
In no way would I dream of minimizing the sin of a sex offender, even a younger one, like Josh was, but I absolutely believing in maximizing the grace of God, who delights in saving the worst of sinners.
That’s what Paul wrote in 1 Timothy, using himself as an example. He explained that “formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life” (1 Timothy 1:13-16).
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.
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SOURCE: The Christian Post