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Lessons From the Josh Duggar Fallout

Redemption Restoration Judging

Source: “Finding Redemption in the Josh Duggar Story” by Michael Brown, CP op-ed contributor, posted CHRISTIAN POST, 5/25/15

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-05-27

Scripture: Ephesians 1:7

Author: Dr. Michael Brown / Illustration Exchange


History is full of examples of redeemed souls who have turned from lives of sin, and even debauchery, to go on to live positive, productive, and powerful lives. Think of the infamous slave trader, John Newton, who went on to write the beloved hymn Amazing Grace and to lobby for abolition. In a modern context, think of Chuck Colson who served time in a federal prison for his role in the Watergate scandal and the demise of an American presidency. He went on to form the now famous Prison Fellowship ministry which has seen thousands of inmates and their families come to faith in Christ.

Nevertheless, the media—like sharks smelling blood in the water—burst into a frenzy with the revelation that, years ago, reality TV star, Josh Duggar (of the 19 Kids and Counting TV clan), had "inappropriately touched" several of his siblings and one other child. Never mind that the charges and incidents occurred more than a decade ago. Never mind that Josh had (both at the time and presently) fully owned up to and shown great remorse for his actions. Never mind that Josh repented of his sin and came to a saving faith in Jesus Christ as a result of the trauma of these events. Never mind that he confessed his sin to his future wife and her parents before he ever proposed. Never mind that he has gone on to have a happy, healthy marriage with four kids of his own. Never mind that he had a successful and impactful career lobbying for the welfare of families and children.

Op-ed columnist Michael Brown says that he has no desire to add any more commentary concerning the events or the charges. But what Brown (himself a former teenage drug addict until he came to faith at the age of sixteen) does want to share are some thoughts on redemption and restoration:

1. Jesus really does change people. While critics of the Duggar family want to indict them … the fact is that while he did sin grievously, through repentance, faith and counseling, he became a new man. Jesus really does transform sinners. …
2. There's no excuse for sin, so own up to it. According to the accounts we've all heard, Josh confessed his sin to his parents as well as to the proper authorities … Now, half a lifetime later … he [still] did not minimize his sin nor did he excuse it. … When I see someone respond like this, I am filled with hope. …
3. Even godly families have kids who mess up badly. …The fact that the Duggars, who successfully raised 19 children in the Lord (who can imagine that?), had to deal with one of their kids committing serious sexual sin at 14 should actually encourage other parents rather than discourage them. [Even great parents raise kids who can and will make decisions to sin.] …
4. Josh can be an ambassador on behalf of the abused, even helping the abusers as well. While it can feel like your life is over when your past, largely private sins become public … the fact is that Josh's future can be bright in the Lord. He can call on others who are sinning to come clean and get help, using his own example redemptively. And he can encourage those who have been abused to realize that they are not guilty and should not feel shame …
5. We need to be careful how we judge. There are many fans of the Duggars who are upset with what they feel is a witch-hunt against a godly family…But would we have had this same attitude of mercy and forgiveness if this was the child of a gay couple? ... So, if you want to show mercy, be consistent. We can all fall into the trap of selective compassion.
6. There are consequences to our actions, but with God, our worst mistakes can become stepping stones to spiritual growth … to the point that the worst things that ever happened to us become the best things that ever happened to us.

[Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books and hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire.]


Pedophilia and incest are never to be minimized, justified, or excused away. That being said, Brown concludes:

For me, the first lesson from this story is this: Whoever you are, whatever you've done, there is hope in the Lord. As Mike Huckabee said, "inexcusable" . . . does't mean "unforgivable." …

To the core of His being, God is a redeemer, and I'm personally praying and believing that for Josh Duggar and his entire family, God will turn this painful situation around for greater good.

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace ..." (Ephesians 1:7).

Note: At the very least, this sad revelation can serve as a catalyst for conversation with children and young people. To that point, Michael Seewald, father-in-law of Josh's sister Jessa, has expressed, his sympathy for the victims, urging all victims of sexual abuse not to keep silent no matter who is doing the abusing: "No matter how much you love the abuser you must tell someone."

Exploding Pine Cones

Grace Trials Restoration

Source: USDA Forest Service

Contributed By: James Thomas | Date Posted: 2015-04-13

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9 ; 1 Peter 5:10

Author: Johnny Wilson


When I was young, my family used to go camping up at the Lodgepole Campground in Sequoia National Park. I always thought the campground was named after some kind of Native American tent pole. It was much later that I discovered it was named after a type of pine tree.

The interesting thing about the Lodgepole Pine is that it seems to be specifically created by God for opposition. Its pine cones are not as easy to break as those of other species, making it difficult for animals and birds to gather their seeds. Rather, the seeds are only released under extreme heat. My cousin Don and I used to love to sneak pine cones into the fire so they would pop and make people jump.

But I think the real significance of the design of the Lodgepole is that it serves to reseed the forest after a fire. The seeds are dormant until they are needed after a crisis. The opposition of the extreme heat brings about the release of the life-giving seeds so that reforesting can begin.*

*According to the USDA Forest Service, "The cones of the Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) are ... pyriscent: they are sealed with a resin that a fire melts away, releasing the seeds.


Isn't that the way it is with grace? So long as we are in control, so long as we have the resources to do what we want to do, so long as things are going our way, grace remains trapped in the cone of our own self-sufficiency. But when the real heat of life is applied--when we are helpless, when we have nothing, when life is falling apart--that's when we turn to God. That's when God's life-giving grace is released, and the reforesting of our lives can begin.

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast" (1 Peter 5:10).

Application by Illustration Exchange

Why Is It So Hard To See Black and Blue

Abuse Denial Restoration

Source: “Here's a New Salvation Army Ad Starring the Dress. (Yes, That Dress.),” published, retrieved 3/8/15

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-03-09

Scripture: Galatians 6:1 ; James 5:19

Author: Illustration Exchange


"The dress." It became a social media viral sensation. Was it white and gold or black and blue? Depending on your color perception predisposition, you might see it as the former yet your friend or neighbor might see it as the latter. No could agree. Those who saw it as white and gold were completely incredulous that anyone could see it as black and blue. And yet, after careful scientific scrutiny, it was determined that "the dress" was indeed—black and blue! (Click here for a more detailed explanation of “the dress” by Illustration Exchange.

Well, just when it seems that “the dress” was on its way to becoming yesterday’s news, it surfaced again in an all-too-serious context. RELEVANT Magazine reports:

The Dress exhausted its five minutes of viral fame this week, but it’s already become a national talking point, the source of Buzzfeed's most-trafficked post of all time and a terrible tattoo. Now it's become something with a little more gravity: the subject of an ad about domestic violence. Salvation Army whipped the ad together awfully quick, making this a nice case of using something trivial to raise awareness about something important.

The ad shows a beautiful young woman posing, wearing “the dress” in the white and gold color scheme. But that’s not the only color you see—her face, arms and legs are black and blue, and her lip is swollen and bloodied. It reads simply, “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?”

In small print below, it reads, “The only illusion is if you think it was her choice. One in 6 women are victims of abuse. Stop abuse against women.”

Click here to see the full ad.


Why, indeed, is it so hard to “see” abuse when it’s right there in front of us? Fear of reprisal, fear of being blamed (or conversely, fear of placing blame), or just plain fear of facing the facts can all drive us to denial—whether we are the abused, the abuser, or simply a concerned loved one who longs to look past the black and blue to the illusion of the nice, neat, pretty life to which we want to cling.

Denial is not an option when our dignity and safety, or that of someone we love, is at stake.

“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). “My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20).

“O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more” (Proverbs 10:17-18, ESV).

Man's Deepest Need

Forgiveness Restoration Apology

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-02-16

Scripture: Unknown

Author: Horace Bushnell

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The Power of Story

Confrontation Words (Power of) Restoration

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-04-19

Scripture: Galatians 6:1

Author: Joyce Huggett

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Reclaim Their Future

Backslide Restoration Friendship

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-03-19

Scripture: Matthew 18:12 ; Luke 15:4

Author: Illustration Exchange

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It's Never Too Late...Till It's Too Late!

Sin Consequences Restoration

Contributed By: Ken Addis | Date Posted: 2011-04-09

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:2

Author: Ken Addis

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Shedding Our Dragon Skin

Restoration Renewal Conscience

Contributed By: Seth Dillon | Date Posted: 2010-12-13

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:17

Author: S. Michael Wilcox

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The Devil's Work

Racism Guilt Redemption

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2020-06-06

Scripture: Galatians 3:28 ; Romans 2:11

Author: Mitchell Dillon

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Jesus Saves

Jesus, Savior Redemption Jesus' Sacrifice

Contributed By: Charles Krieg | Date Posted: 2020-02-01

Scripture: Acts 16:31 ; John 3:16

Author: Charles Krieg

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