Josh Duggar
Josh Duggar’s mugshot on April 29, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Washington County Detention Center)

Josh Duggar Released with Strict Conditions; Child Porn Images Called “Worst of the Worst”

By Roxanne Stone

A federal judge has granted former reality TV star, Joshua Duggar, release from detention as he awaits trial for child pornography charges.

In a virtual hearing on Wednesday, Magistrate Judge Christy Comstock at the U.S. District Court in Fayetteville, Arkansas, said her decision to allow Duggar’s release was “a close call,” and comes with many conditions.

Also during the hearing, Agent Gerald Faulkner, a federal Homeland Security agent, testified that images found on a secret hard drive on Duggar’s computer were among “top five of the worst of the worst that I’ve ever had to examine.” Faulkner said the images depicted sexual abuse of children as young as 18 months old.

Duggar, the eldest child in a conservative Christian mega-family made famous by TLC’s 2008- 2015 reality show “19 Kids and Counting,” was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals on April 29 at the car dealership he owns in Springdale, Arkansas.

According to court documents, he was accused of downloading pornography that included the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12. He was indicted the following day and has pled not guilty.

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Comstock ordered Duggar, 33, confined to the home of family friends who have agreed to be his custodian during his release and prohibited Duggar from any internet-accessible devices. He is restricted to the home with a few exceptions, including church, medical and legal appointments, and court dates. He is only allowed to see his children in the presence of his wife and cannot have contact with any other minors, including nieces and nephews.

In the four-hour Zoom hearing, Comstock noted some of the children depicted in the sexual abuse material in Duggar’s possession were close to the ages of Duggar’s own children.

Agent Faulkner testified to finding dozens of pornographic images depicting nude images and the sexual abuse of children, including toddlers, on a hidden hard drive of a of Duggar’s work computer. Faulkner also said more than 200 images had been found on the computer that had been deleted.

In their investigation, agents found that Duggar had installed “Covenant Eyes,” a monitoring program intended to keep users from viewing pornography. The Christian-oriented program would monitor Duggar’s internet usage and send reports to his wife. However, Duggar had bypassed Covenant Eyes by hiding the material on a hard drive that was not being monitored by the program, according to Faulkner.

If convicted, Duggar, who is married and has six children, could face up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000 on each count. His trial is scheduled for July 6.

Days before Duggar’s arrest, he and his wife had announced on social media they are expecting their seventh child, a girl.

The current charges are the latest in a number of sexual scandals for Duggar. In May 2015, it came to light that his father, Jim Bob Duggar, reported to police years earlier that a juvenile Duggar had molested underage girls. The molestations had allegedly occurred before the TLC show began, when Duggar was 15, and records regarding the allegations had been sealed since 2006 before being obtained by InTouch magazine.

It was later revealed that four of the victims were Duggar’s younger sisters. 

In a June 2015 interview with Megyn Kelly on Fox News, Duggar’s parents said they were “shocked” and “devastated.”

“As parents we felt, we’re failures,” said Duggar’s mother, Michelle Duggar. “We tried to raise our kids to do what’s right — to know what’s right. And yet one of our children made really bad choices.”

They maintained, though, their son was not a pedophile because he was too young at the time of the abuses. Duggar was never charged with a crime.

After the revelations, Duggar resigned from his position at the conservative Family Research Council in Washington, a group that opposed legalized abortion and gay marriage.

Just a few months later, in August 2015, Gawker revealed Duggar had an active account with Ashley Madison, an online service aimed at married men seeking to cheat on their spouses.

Duggar, who married his wife, Anna, in 2008 and had four children at the time, apologized in a statement on the Duggar family website and confessed to infidelity, as well as a pornography addiction.

“I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him,” the statement read.

Duggar sought treatment at a Christian counseling center in Rockford, Illinois. He and his wife stayed together and went on to have two more children. 

In 2008, TLC launched “19 Kids and Counting,” introducing audiences to the large Duggar family and the conservative Baptist beliefs that fueled their fecundity and influenced their parenting style. In the first season of the show, Josh and Anna, who had met in 2006 at a Christian camp, were married. Anna and Michelle Duggar were famously pregnant at the same time. 

After nine seasons, the show was canceled in the wake of Josh’s molestation scandal.

In a statement on their site on April 30, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar responded to the most recent charges against their son.

“We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time. The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious. It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Roxanne StoneRoxanne Stone is the managing editor for Religion News Service. She formerly served as editor in chief for Barna Group, editorial director for RELEVANT Media Group, as well as at Christianity Today and Group Publishing. Roxanne lives in New York City.

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103 thoughts on “Josh Duggar Released with Strict Conditions; Child Porn Images Called “Worst of the Worst””

  1. “In a virtual hearing on Wednesday, Magistrate Judge Christy Comstock at the U.S. District Court in Fayetteville, Arkansas, said her decision to allow Duggar’s release was “a close call,” and comes with many conditions.”

    Terrible decision! Why was it a “close call?”

    1. If it had been anyone other than “celebrity” he would have stayed locked up until trial.

      As for justice, some of the vigilant kind may be meted out to Josh should he go to prison.

      A chomo is considered the worst and bottom of all the inmates (even worse than snitches). He better be segregated or he will get shanked.

      Here is what Josh looks forward to:

      https://meaww.com/convicted-pedophile-sex-offender-drowned-in-prison-murder-david-oseas-ramirez-jacksonville-florida

      https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/northeast-tarrant/article221340840.html

    2. Lawyer here. Because (1) There is a strong presumption in favor of bail unless someone is a flight risk or simply too dangerous to be released; (2) Being on bail means it is easier for him to help his lawyers prepare his case for trial, so there could be a due process issue with not letting him out on bail; (3) He is presumed innocent; and (4) the Court apparently felt there were enough monitoring procedures in place.

      Not saying I would have made the same decision. But it’s not a completely ridiculous decision either.

    3. Why was it a “close call?” White defendant. Powerful (at least for Arkansas) family. TV money.

      And let us not forget the moral superiority of the mother who recorded in 2014 this robocall against trans rights in Fayetteville. “Hello, this is Michelle Duggar. I’m calling to inform you of some shocking news that would affect the safety of Northwest Arkansas women and children.”

      She should have been warning the good people of Arkansas about her own son!

      The hypocrisy…

      https://www.huffpost.com/entry/michelle-duggar-anti-discrimination-proposal_n_5689840

      1. He is not “powerful” and is only a local business owner. The business is probably not doing well either. Do not throw in your Critical Race Theory. Your off the mark.

        1. “From former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee to former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, nearly every 2016 presidential candidate courting the social conservative vote has been happy to pose for a photo with the high-profile member of the Duggar family from TLC’s reality-TV series “19 Kids and Counting.””

          Check out the photos of Josh with virtually every leading Republican. Pretty powerful, and pretty prestigious. You’re the one off the mark, Vance.

          1. If this is the measure.. Joe Biden’s son should be locked up! Justice is not equal.

        1. Because data shows that black and brown defendants are treated harsher than white defendants, even for same crimes. My father is a former federal D.A. turned criminal defense lawyer, and I can come with numbers directly from the DOJ if you need them.
          You hate that race is included? WE ALL SHOULD. Race shouldn’t be a factor in our justice system, but it is….and needs to be addressed. And it is addressed by talking about it, not ignoring it. (When have problems ever been solved by not bringing them up?) So instead of questioning the person who raised an issue that can be backed by data, be an ally in making sure it no longer matters.

          1. It is not about race as it is about power. Powerful men of both races have been able to take a hall pass with the legal system.

          2. KC,

            Power is a part of it (and so is socioeconomic status), but race is too. (It can be argued that all are intertwined, but that’s a whole other conversation). You may not like it, but data proves that black and brown defendents get harsher sentences, are refused bail more often, or are given HIGHER bails than white defendents for the same crime. You may try to deflect it or deny it to support your “race isn’t a factor, people are just racebaiting, racism doesn’t exist” narrative, but that doesn’t change the FACTS.
            Some examples:
            – Black men are 3.7 times more likely to serve jail time for marijuana possession than white men, even when rate and amount of possession are the same
            – Federal prosecutors are TWICE as likely to charge a black defendant with a crime that carries a minimum sentence than a white defendent found committing a similar crime. The rate is similar for state prosecutors (2.3 times more likely)
            The data does show that gender is LESS of a factor in sentencing, so that’s decent to hear.
            BTW, these numbers (and MORE) are in publicly available DOJ reports, and were compiled in a report delivered to the UN.

            It’s really unfortunate that you are more focused on deflecting or denying race being a VERY unfortunate and unnecessary factor in our criminal justice system than being an ally to fight for EQUAL treatment regardless of race.
            I’ll say something to and pray it doesn’t trigger you: we need to confront, address, and ultimately end racism in our criminal justice system.

    4. Early deference directly enabled Josh’s later crimes. The judge mentioned that one of the reasons he is allowed out on bail is because he was never charged for the confessed crime of abusing his sisters; an evasion enabled by Josh’s parents and church.

  2. And yet Anna went with him to the police station and is going to ‘stand by him’. Probably assumes he is innocent thanks to those accountability reports. I still don’t understand why being told he molested his sisters before she consented to court him wasn’t a deal breaker to her and just “mistakes” in her mind.

    1. Anna is directly following the principals of Bill Gothard’s IBLP, which both her parents and the Duggars follow. His reprehensible and totally unbiblical doctrines of female submission enable abusers.

      Gothard says that victims of child sexual abuse should seek forgiveness from their abusers for any wrong the victim has done. Vile.

    2. Jess, maybe because she has very very bad self esteem. We often accept the love we think we deserve. Perhaps Anna doesn’t understand her true worth in Christ.

  3. This is a sad article. I just do not know how this will restore the church. It just is another exposition of the depravity of mankind. Showing that the gospel is watered down and this site is doing more harm than good.

    The glorious truth of the gospel has been eclipsed by the immortality. How does this purify the church? The response needs to be the gospel and lamenting sin.

    Unfortunately, victimhood is a sinful response to the gospel and biblical truth. As one who has lived in victimhood and realized the dangerous realm in putting stumbling blocks to the gospel. I understand that this response looks to be devoid of sympathy, empathy and emotion. Which would be foolish to come to that conclusion.

    A lot of addiction comes from victimhood and a lot of adoration comes from the gospel. Victimhood elevates self-centered response whereas the gospel elevates Christ-centered reliance. Having been through child abuse in my own family. Which is subjective, but the gospel of Jesus Christ can objectively permeate every area of life.

    I understand the way society and the church panders to victimhood. My prayer is that there will be more stories that focus on how through sin the church or a believer has been restored. The Person and Work of Jesus Christ has worked into the life of those who have suffered from tremendous abuse. Stories like Joseph and his brothers. What was meant for evil God uses for good. Through the lens of the gospel. We see the effect of how it works within the family.

    1. KC, The sin must be exposed and the offender dealt with publicly. This is the first step in purifying the church. It cannot be skipped. It also serves as a warning to the church to tremble at sin and its consequences. Yes, there is something in what you say but this is not the time to focus on the excesses of victimhood, but to focus on healing, serving and protecting the victim himself or herself.

      1. I agree in part. However the results tend to lead to victimhood. How does this purify the church? Sin is sin. From a legal perspective consequences vary on the level of the crime. This crime has serious consequences. The churches aim is to reach the people sinned against with the gospel. Maybe this man can have a thief on the cross moment. This turns into an opinion poll and many of the articles on the Roys’ webpage are springboards to promote victimhood and not purifying the church.

        1. “However the results tend to lead to victimhood. ”

          KC, you have spent this entire thread speaking out against your concept of “victimhood”, which does not even appear in Scripture.

          Perhaps unintentionally, you are obscuring and distracting from the very real problem of horrific offenses against children, to which Jesus speaks directly and sternly.

          You are straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel, KC.

          1. I disagree with you on that Lea. There are 9 verses I found in 20 minutes of research that promotes the exact opposite of victimhood. I would be glad to share them. But you have accused me of taking the whole feed up. But it is in the Bible.

        2. Serving Kids in Japan

          KC,

          I’m honestly finding it very difficult to agree with you. In part, it’s because you haven’t defined your terms. What exactly do you mean by ‘victimhood’? What do you think Julie is doing wrong here?

          Also, I take issue with your statement that “sin is sin”. It sounds a lot like sin levelling, which is a doctrine I can’t agree with.

    2. KC, Not sure I completely followed what you were saying, but I’ll just throw in this little anecdote. Several decades ago a group from my church was driving enroute to minister at an orphanage in Mexico. While they were in the middle of their drive, the pastor found out that one of the guys had a felony related to child sex abuse. This was something that had happened before he was a Christian, and the people involved with the decision making at the lower levels felt he shouldn’t be punished for his past. The lead pastor called them enroot, and had the guy kicked off the team. A lot of folks were mad at the pastor. I think he absolutely made the right call. There are some things you just don’t gamble with. Unfortunately there is a lot of naivity around this, as people in the church want to believe the best. It’s all a part of learning to be “wise as serpants” as I see it.

      1. I agree. I wouldn’t have had him go in the first place. However, having a child who was touched inappropriately was devastating to my family. The fact that there was trust and it was broken. I had safeguards after that occasion. That being said, I do believe in forgiveness and that one can have a victorious life over sin. I also learned through a lot of pain that making a victim of what happened is sin. The gospel is the reason why things have healed. Forgetting what is behind and pressing forward to the high calling of Christ Jesus. Paul needed that truth. He murdered Christians, as did David. Psalm 51 is applicable for all sin. While the sin of child abuse disgusts me. There has to be a place where that sin can be forgiven and the church graciously forgives and needs discernment. Smart discipleship would have never encouraged a man with that past to go on a trip like that. I think a biblical view of sin would be important. When we get to Heaven. We will all feel humbled that God graciously redeemed us. I’m glad God isn’t fair or we would all be dammed. So forgiveness and caution should be used in every situation. I had to learn and feel those truths the stubborn way.

        1. I believe in all those things too, KC. Your interpretation of those scriptures is right. But I would point out some other things as well.

          Would it be wrong of me to point out that David’s son died because of his sin? It also seems likely that Paul spent around three years in Arabia after his conversion. I’m not sure for what–but perhaps a time of preparation and sanctification after years of persecuting the church.

          I suppose I’m saying that multiple theological/spiritual things can happen at the same time. God can demonstrate his Hessed to Josh Duggar in profound ways through the saving work of Christ. Josh’s sin can also need a harsh sentence, which seems to be just here. Perhaps that is the best way for God to love Josh now? To allow the full horror of his sin to bring him to repentance? To stop the web of lies and lives torn apart by evil?

          Rachel Denhollander has good thoughts to share: https://twitter.com/R_Denhollander/status/1390390172009762820

          As for us, I don’t know that we really have any role to play in this other than perhaps to pray and learn. I would say that it sounds like God did a great work in your life. I commend you that you have found healing and love despite harm and suffering.

          1. This. Thank you CM. Modern christianity has in many cases adopted a false view of forgiveness, in which the repentance of the perpetrator is not required.

        2. I’m not a trained counselor or anything, but I do know that forgiveness is foundational to moving forward in any positive way. To forgive abuse done to you seems almost super-human to me, and is in itself an act of God’s grace. I imagine it is often a lengthy, back and forth process. But I’m out of my lane here, so I’ll say no more:) Appreciate what you’ve shared here.

          1. Well said L Martin. Forgiveness when a person has been violated is a lengthy process. God alone understands what an abused person has been through. I do believe we are to look to Him as our strength during the process.

    3. L-MARTIN – I believe I’m in the same place as you here in that I don’t know how forgiveness works in this circumstance. The way it’s presented in this message (…Don’t be a victim and give God glory…) is well- intentioned but is (I believe) counterproductive and ineffective.

      I believe (again just my belief here) Christians lean towards an immediate reference to scripture at the expense of “seeing” and connecting with those who have experienced harm and trauma in a loving and empathetic way. And when this sort of observation is presented in this forum, it’s yields a predictable response explaining that it’s not SUPPOSED to work out that way, followed by one or more scriptural references supporting the assertion. The reality (at least my reality and that of others I know) is Christians, more often than not, give a didactic response over an emotional connection. It’s how things play out in the real world.

      From what I’ve learned about the topic, those who have experienced trauma do indeed to go through a proper grieving process, and that doesn’t have to be a perpetual selfish pit. It can’t be circumvented or substituted. In the case of Josh’s sisters (the ones abused by him), I imagine they needed to work through many issues. First, they have to process the physical violation(s). There are many follow-on issues, such has how their parents failed to protect them form their brother. They have to deal with the injustice Josh not being held accountable. The story is very much the same for others hurt in the church. It’s foolish to think that one can process trauma by instructing them to forgive an unrepentant perpetrator and then direct them to instead focus on God’s glory. That recipe may seem to be appropriate, and perhaps even scriptural, to some but it’s also a pattern that has historically pushed people away from the church.

      As to why it’s productive for Julie to report stories like this, because it’s a necessary means to produce change. Many churches, particular larger ones, have a very well-deserved reputation of being a place that is unsafe. They have proven to be willing to exploit peoples vulnerabilities and to be indifferent to the harm they cause. Again, these perceptions, held by many, are not unfounded. The larger church body has to repair this reputation if there is to be an expectation of more people being attracted to the church and more trusting of it. Bringing these issues to light is the only way to confront the wrongs that need to change. History has shown that church leaders often hide and deflect. Allowing that to happen doesn’t produce change.

    4. KC, I want to be respectful of your personal experience with victimization while also pointing out that your view of “victimhood” as a self-centered response to trauma can be, and has been, used to minimize the responsibility of perpetrators of abuse. It shifts the focus from the perpetrator’s sin–for which the Bible clearly demands accountability and repentance–to an undefined notion of how the victim “should” respond.

      The views you are espousing here are similar to those of Bill Gothard, whose IBLP teachings are followed by the Duggars, and whose heretical teachings of authority and female submission are entwined with the darkness and sin within the Duggar family. They have and continue to cause great harm to victims of sexual and other forms of abuse.

      1. Lea,

        I’m not minimizing the responsibility of the perpetrator. The crime has a higher punishment than one who steals. My context is within the body of Christ. From a legal perspective this man if found guilty will have to pay heavily and he should.

        My thoughts are biblical and theological. The churches responsibility is not in that area. Sin is sin. We all deserve the wrath of God. However, Bill Gothard? I do not think so. I’m not talking about your heretical charge. I am saying that the gospel needs to trump victimhood.

        I pray from a societal standpoint that if he is guilty that he pays. I pray from a perspective from the body of Christ… The followers of Jesus Christ give this situation the only true freedom from the bondage that this world’s system perpetuates. The Person and Work of Jesus Christ. I understand counseling and care is needed. But I am afraid that we create a bunch of victims and not redemptive lives.

        1. “I understand counseling and care is needed. But I am afraid that we create a bunch of victims and not redemptive lives.”

          No, KC. We do not create the victimesl The PERPETRATOR creates the victims, by his sin and abuse which damages the lives of real people, for whom the best English word we have is “victim” to show that they are the unwilling recipients of someone else’s sin.

          Counseling and care cannot change the fact that they have been victimized. But it can help them process what happened and recover, and they are not self-centered for needing it.

          1. Lea, you are missing the point. I am not in as much disagreement as you think. I agree. People have been victimized. But the gospel can eclipse the victim mentality. Thus allows the Person and Work of Jesus Christ to remove the title of a victim to Victorious.

            Therapy has replaced theology when it comes to dealing with those who have been deeply hurt. Having been through lots of trauma and much of the counseling in the church has adapted secular therapies to work through hard times of sexual, physical and verbal trauma.

            Theology, Christology, Pneumatology, Bibliology, and intense discipleship is needed from the Body of Jesus Christ. The Glory of God as displayed through the most severe suffering of His Son on the Cross. While sin affects us all. The gospel doesn’t save us from satan, sin, hell or victimhood. The gospel saves us from God. God the Father crushed His son.

            “Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief;” Isaiah 53:10.

            Jesus drank every last drop of the cup of God’s wrath. Your sin, my sin, Duggar’s sin and the sin of the entire world deserves the wrath of God. So the gospel is Jesus in my place. His life and His death saves us.

            Galatians 2:20, “ I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”.

            When we think about how Christology, we think about the things that happen to us have happened to Christ.He lives in me. Christology is the antidote to therapy… My point is not minimizing the sin as accused, but to maximize the gospel. We can not undo what is done, but we can mobilize the body of Christ to give theological triage. The gospel is the spiritual antibiotic to the infection of victimhood. Takes one’s eyes off the pain and onto the Person of Jesus. As for the legal punishment. I pray that he reaps what he sows. In fact a lot of people reap more than they sow. Either way, my hope is to see A doxological purpose in this story.

          2. “The gospel is the spiritual antibiotic to the infection of victimhood. ”

            KC, there is no scriptural basis for your idea of the “infection of victimhood”. The victims are not infected. They are not ugly, or unclean. They were sinned against by the perpetrator.

            The Bible presents the gospel as the antidote to sin.

            The sin we are discussing in this thread is child sexual abuse.

  4. If Josh Dugger is convicted, he may have a very short life in prison.

    Chomos and pedophiles are considered the worst and at the bottom of the prison hierarchy. Even lower than snitches. Someone may end up putting a shank in his kidney or to avoid getting killed, he may be passed around like a bag of chips by the sisters (remember the sisters from Shawshank Redemption).

  5. A key part of this story–and very relevant to the previous post on the attitude toward sexual abuse in evangelical circles—is the deference that has been given to Josh Duggar. It’s important to remember that Josh worked for the Family Research Council and hobnobbed with top Republicans AFTER after molesting four of his very young sisters and a family friend. Did they know? I don’t know, but Josh’s church did, and Oprah found out, and Josh had been fired from one Republican’s campaign for viewing porn at the office.

    At the very least, these organizations and people that claim to be so wise and discerning that they can tell Christians what and who to vote for are—at best—a total failure at discerning the most vile of conduct in their own close contacts and—at worst—were willing to excuse and cover up the sexual abuse of children because of celebrity and political ambition.

    Mike Huckabee’s response to Josh’s confession of molesting FIVE CHILDREN was to say “Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things.” What is his accountability? Does the church nod and approve?

    And don’t bring up Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, et all to evade the issue at hand. They are not part of the evangelical community, and their abusive behaviors have not been justified by the evangelical community. The question here is why Josh Duggar’s were, and how that can be prevented from happening again.

    1. The truth is that it can not be prevented. Mark it down. Sin like this will happen again in the world and in the church. What can be done is the church prepares to show how Christ can and will restore a broken life and the poor in spirit. Take Isaiah 45:7, Galatians 2:20, Hebrews 12:2-6, James 1:2-8, Romans 8:28-30, Philippians 1:6 and Ephesians 2:8-10. Add them together. Everything that happens is a part of God’s plan. These texts are hard to cogitate, but God can impute the same joy that Jesus had as He endured the cross. Realize even the horrific sin of sexual abuse is one that God uses to fulfill His glorious purpose. He is Holy and uses suffering to identify with His Son’s suffering and to draw us to need Him!

      1. KC, the sexual abuse of children is NOT part of God’s plan. He is not the author of sin. Child sexual abuse is part of Satan’s plan. Can and does God redeem that? Yes! But it is NOT His plan. He is not evil.

        1. SBS,
          I strongly disagree based on Isaiah 45:7, “ I form light and create darkness;
          I make well-being and create calamity;
          I am the LORD, who does all these things.” That does not mean God sins. It does mean it was apart of God’s plan.

          1. Shawnele Surplus

            Hi KC,

            As noted down below, where you also posted this verse, this verse, read in context, does not say that God ordains sins like child sexual abuse. Numerous Scriptures (also noted in the response referenced) say otherwise.

      2. Let’s be more practical, KC.

        We can and should do everything possible to prevent child sexual abuse.
        We can and should do everything possible to see that those who enact, enable or perpetuate child sexual abuse are found out and punished.

        I assume your theological arguments accomodate that resolve.

        1. I am being practical. I promise this. Sexual sin will not go away till Jesu comes back. We can not prevent it. We need to be aware. The case is that most sexual abuse issues comes to the church after the fact and unfortunately not before or during. The fact that God ordains not that He sins give a long term perspective of what was meant for evil… God meant it for good. How is that not practical?

          1. “that most sexual abuse issues comes to the church after the fact and unfortunately not before or during”

            That is not entirely true in this case, KC. The church and evangelical community had knowledge of Josh Duggar’s prior crimes against children, and their lack of response enabled his additional crimes against children.

            What should the church have done about Josh? Nothing?

            What is impractical about your statements is that they are just that, statements. And as James clearly states, they are not enough. You offer no “doing” of the word.

      3. “Realize even the horrific sin of sexual abuse is one that God uses to fulfill His glorious purpose. He is Holy and uses suffering to identify with His Son’s suffering and to draw us to need Him!”

        The problem with your argument, KC, is that it does not follow what Jesus himself said.

        Jesus said “It is better for him if a millstone is hung around his neck and he is thrown into the sea, than that he may cause one of these little ones to sin.”

        He didn’t instruct the little ones to realize or identify anything about their suffering.

        Righteous anger at the abuse of children is more in keeping with Christ’s own example than false resignations to a sinful world and what God has “foreordained”.

        1. It does follow. I agree with the texts you listed. But you can not ignore the other texts. The Bible is not Burger King. Which it’s model is have it your way. There are just some hard truths to digest.

          1. I can, however, prioritize a red-letter text that is explicitly about our response to offenses against children over the many other verses that are neither so specific nor the direct words of Jesus on the matter, KC.

      4. Jesus said it beautifully. ” TO SET THE OPPRESSED FREE ”

        Luke 4:18-19 Luke 4:22
        18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
        because he has anointed me
        to proclaim good news to the poor.
        He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
        and recovery of sight for the blind,
        to set the oppressed free,
        19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

        Luke 4:22
        22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.

        http://www.bible.knowing-jesus.com

  6. Kimlin Philip

    How could he have been well nurtured and disciplined by his parents when so many children had to be monitored and cared for at the same time ? Somebody or bodies had to fall through the cracks Jesus said that we must not ‘ tempt the Lord our God ‘ when satan told him to jump from the pinnacle during his fast.. God have mercy on him and his family.

  7. A couple of notes on this story… Josh Duggar (along with his wife, Anna) turned himself in to agents of his own accord, instead of being arrested at home or in a public place. The car dealership that is mentioned in this story has closed, and is no longer operating.

    1. A lot of times with a good defense attorney things are arranged beforehand. There has been consultation on best way to proceed. It doesn’t prove innocence nor guilt.

    2. Another note on this story is that the images of sexual abuse Josh was viewing involved children the same age as his own. I couldn’t care less than he turned himself in of his own accord. He and Anna have known about the potential charges since 2019…why didn’t he turn himself in then?

      1. And why didn’t she stop breeding. There’s something stepfordish and handmaiden tales about the whole group. There all about Jim bob (red flag if you have two first names) and his wife’s way of slowly talking and looking around as if the to make billy bob Jim bob bob bob is approving her ways. Nothing surprises me when an Uber devout Christian is involved. Just wound up way to tight and to the right. I will never accept this behavior and it’s generally these southern Christians acting way to pious on all things. Just creepy.

        1. Agreed that the red flags and signs of danger were all there, Gary, and on national television, too. I mean, he confessed to molesting his sisters!

          But unfortunately the same conservative Christian audience that views the Duggar’s shows are more interested in spending their time looking in basements and decoding pizza orders for shadowy indications of pedophilia amongst the “liberal elites” than addressing the very real child sexual abuse perpetrated by Josh Duggar, conservative white male evangelical, pal of Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee.

          Where are the QAnon “savethechildren” banner wavers now? Nowhere to be found.

  8. Trying to think of this Josh Duggar story from a Biblical and Theological perspective With this story in light of God’s sovereign gracious plan. Isaiah 45:7 states, “ I form light and create darkness;Imake well-being and create calamity; I am the LORD, who does all these things.” (ESV). In God’s providence, this act has happened. How does this affect us from a theological perspective and what do we need to do as the church of Jesus Christ? God did not sin. But in His Foreknowledge, He foreordained this to pass.

    1. KC, if God in any way “foreordained this to pass,” He is the author of sin. And we know that He is not:

      “You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with You” (Ps. 5:4)
      “There is no unrighteousness in Him” (Ps. 92:15)
      “What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!” (Rom. 9:14)

      The context of Isaiah 45 is God is talking about how He rewards Israel for their obedience – and how He punishes them for their disobedience – He is NOT talking about “ordaining” men to rape infants.

      Jesus told us where sin comes from: All that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the sinful pride of life are not from the Father, but from the world. (1 Jn 2:16)

      And James is clear who is responsible for Josh Duggar’s sin – Josh himself: “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:13-15)

      If it is insulting to claim that God tempts man to sin, how much more so to claim that He goes beyond that and actually ordains it.

      How does this – a man professing very publicly to be a man of God getting sexual pleasure from watching the brutal rape of children – affect us theologically? It reminds us that God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7). It reminds us to expel the wicked person from among us (1 Corinthians 5:13) in hopes of his true remorse and repentance.

      Let’s not blame God for man’s sin.

      1. SBS,
        I’m not blaming God. BTW.. What do you do with the genocide God did in the Old Testament. Because God ordained sin to happen because for His ultimate good purpose. Those verse are good but like Joseph said you meant this for evil, but God meant this for good. Your equivocation is not what the text says. God is sovereign and His ways are greater than ours. We do not know God’s ultimate purpose in this situation. So I strongly disagree, but do not negate the texts you list

        1. Shawnele Surplus

          KC, say what you will – but you have said, numerous times, that God “foreordained” this. That does, in fact, place the blame for every sin squarely in the lap of a god who gets glory from the rape of innocent infants. THAT is precisely what you are arguing.

          That is not the God of the Bible. That is not the God who so loved the world that He sent His only Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

          As to your question about God “doing” genocide…and that being God ordaining sin… Since when is obeying God sin? When God’s people do God’s will, we might not always find it palatable, but it isn’t sin. Just as importantly, Israel’s enemies were not slaughtered without warning. They had opportunity to leave or to join them (like Rahab). Notice that the Israelites marched around Jericho for 7 days. That wasn’t just so we could have a fun Sunday School song. Mark what God told Ezekiel: He takes no delight in the death of the wicked. He does not seek to achieve glory through death (or infant rape).

          It’s fine to say that those verses “are good” – or that you are not negating those texts listed, but you are. God does not seek to bring glory to Himself by ordaining the brutal rape of tiny children. That is not the God who has revealed Himself to us in His Word.

      2. I disagree with your understanding limited of Isaiah 45:7. Based on so many other texts. That is one of many clear texts that teach that truth. God had genocide happen. There are many things I do not understand but it is true. There is a solid reason of genocide of children and infants. If you remember Jonah wanted that for Nineveh. He said those who don’t know the East from the west will not be punished meaning that God has a special place in His heart for children in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jonah knew that some of these people would be in heaven. But there is so much more.

        1. “There is a solid reason of genocide of children and infants.”

          Seriously, KC? Just stop with your theological wrangling of good and evil. Enough.

    2. Jacksonville

      How does this affect us from a theological perspective and what do we need to do as the church of Jesus Christ?

      Look to Jesus.

      “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
      ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

      1. Pious pronouncements are not enough, Jacksonville. James makes that very clear.

        “What good is it, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith, but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you tells him, “Go in peace; stay warm and well fed,” but does not provide for his physical needs, what good is that? So too, faith by itself, if it does not result in action, is dead.” James 2:14-17

        Think of it this way: Suppose a brother or sister is in danger of being a victim of child sexual abuse. If one of you tells him “Look to Jesus”, but does not provide for his physical and emotional and spiritual protection, what good is that?

        What do we need to do as the church of Jesus Christ?

        1. Lea that is not the point. If you are aware of someone in danger. You better report it to the police. I have done that when a former student of mine had bruises. I was required by law. The problem is most times we come across a people who had been abused and we need an answer. So those texts are apropos.

          1. It still applies quite well, KC.

            “Think of it this way: Suppose a brother or sister has been a victim of child sexual abuse. If one of you tells him “Look to Jesus”, but does not provide for his physical and emotional and spiritual needs, what good is that?”

            James clearly shows that our theology must be worked out practically. Otherwise it is dead.

          2. KC With respect..your comments reek of insensitivity.
            ”The problem is most times we come across a people who had been abused and we need an answer. So those texts are apropos.”
            Seriously..”we”. Christians need an answer..so we give them this verse? Ask any Christian who has been through terrible trauma, abuse, violence or lost a loved one at the hands of another how this verse would have helped them when they were in the midst of the situation .Love as Jesus commanded us to. Perhaps it’s the way you worded your comments. You share lots of bible verses..and seem to have little understanding of the short term needs of a traumatized person.
            (by the way i love the bible..so not saying we should not share verses with one who has been through abuse and trauma..only that we should be sensitive to where they’re at)

            Lea makes really good points.

            ”KC, I want to be respectful of your personal experience with victimization while also pointing out that your view of “victimhood” as a self-centered response to trauma can be, and has been, used to minimize the responsibility of perpetrators of abuse. It shifts the focus from the perpetrator’s sin–for which the Bible clearly demands accountability and repentance–to an undefined notion of how the victim “should” respond.”

            ”Think of it this way: Suppose a brother or sister is in danger of being a victim of child sexual abuse. If one of you tells him “Look to Jesus”, but does not provide for his physical and emotional and spiritual protection, what good is that?

          1. Really? That’s your only response to child sexual abuse?

            Because you’ve had plenty to say on other threads about what Christians should *do* in politics, Jacksonville. You didn’t say we should just pray.

          2. M,
            It is impossible to understand the emotion of a post. So use your judgement in what I said not attributing motives. I have suffered through a lot and when I look to the Word of God. It isn’t me using some retouched photo to give a heartless picture of the situation.

            It saddens me when people want to dismiss the sovereignty of God. It is all I biblically have to explain why what happens on this world. Also the passages Lea brought up and other passages are important too. I summarized her passages by calling it in other posts as discipleship. Meeting the needs of people physically, emotionally and spiritually are dearly important.

            But my point isn’t one of what exactly we do. It is not a cookie cutter response. It is important as per the aim of the site is reporting the truth and restoring the church. How do we do that? Via the Bible, and it is foolish to think we can prevent this kind of sin. I have driven down my block and have said to myself. I have zero idea what happens inside these homes. I can not prevent what I do not know. However when sexual sin happens and they devaste families. I know that Jesus has the answers. The vehicle he provides His answers is the Church. We can not restore what is not broken.

            The greatest decline is weak doctrine, technological addiction (number 1 addiction in the church, technology is no longer a tool but it is a vice), poorly trained elders and deacons, felt needs and poor discipleship. Paul warns us that “fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29). That’s what has happened with the Duggar situation.

            Sexual decline is a trait of a nation that is falling apart and it is also destroying the church. The only answer I can think of is the sovereign Grace of Jesus Christ and the gospel. Matthew warns us that there are few who are actually believers. Too many are going down the broad and easy path. That is why so much hurt is happening in the church. When therapy replaces theology the church is in trouble. Moralistic therapeutic response to sexual sin will not sustain. The Person of Jesus Christ proclaimed as Paul states in 2 Timothy 3:16-4:2. Because the word is sharper than anything that can harm the downcast and the abused. Pick them up and draw them to an eternal hope which will restore the church on the foundation of the Gospel.

      2. That is the text I listed above. That is why we count it all joy. Because the joy of Jesus Christ has been imputed and n our lives.

  9. This is an epidemic. Even with pastors. Most pastors in fact (apx 60%) including youth pastors (apx 65%) admit they’ve struggled with porn. Church going men viewing porn is even higher (apx 70%). This according to a study of nearly 3,000. These stats are only from those who admitted to it, and no disclosure as to what type of porn they were or had been viewing. Leaving a society filled with broken marriages, families, countless victims, psychologically & physically traumatized women, children, and men. God Have Mercy!!!

    “Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases to be, For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men. They speak falsehood to one another; With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.” Psalm 12:1-2

  10. There are these statements about Bill Gothard and women submitting. I do not believe woman have to submit to men in general. However the Bible teaches that wives need to submit to their husbands.

    1. Serving Kids in Japan

      And what does that mean in this case, where Anna’s husband is a suspected predator, and a judge has given her the task of protecting the children from him? In practical terms, how is she supposed to submit to him?

      1. Scripture also commands us to submit to government. I guess I’ll be that guy who brings up Hitler as an example. It would be inconsistent with the rest of scripture to think Paul intended this as an absolute in every circumstance. You have to ignore a whole lot of scripture to make this a go-to verse in this situation.

  11. So many opinions and arguments and I agree with many. Anna’s upbringing and “religious” teachings have shown me one thing first and foremost….her and her children and unborn child need all our prayers. God have mercy towards all of those who have been sinned against and harmed.

    1. Yes, Judith,

      Let us also add to our prayers those unnamed, anonymous children in the videos Josh was viewing, who were subjected to torture to satisfy his and others perversions.

      May they be rescued from their abusers. May God’s mercy rain down on them. May they find love and peace and all the help they need. May their physical needs for shelter and home and sustenance be provided in bountiful abundance. May they never again be made unsafe.

      May the church of Jesus Christ stand up for them whenever and wherever possible, and stand against those who in any way would enable their abuse.

    2. Jacksonville

      Lea

      The question was “What do we need to do as the Church of Jesus Christ” to which my answer was – Pray.

      You then offended yourself for no reason by claiming “really, that’s your only response to child sexual abuse?”

      No it is my humble response to the question “What do we need to do as the Church of Jesus Christ”

      On another point you quoted James – “What good is faith without action”

      Now you may not be aware but to “Pray” is a massive powerful action by God’s children which we use as a weapon against evil spiritual forces behind wicked acts. .

      1. It does not diminish the power of prayer to understand that the instruction of the book of the book James requires tangible, physical actions to meet tangible, physical needs. Read it again:

        “If one of you tells him, “Go in peace; stay warm and well fed,” but DOES NOT PROVIDE FOR HIS PHYSICAL NEEDS, what good is that? So too, faith by itself, if it does not result in action, is dead.

        1. Lea, you have valid points but you have syllogistically or apologetically a false dilemma. I know that there are a variety of things to do as a believer. Prayer is a link on the chain of the Christian life.

          1. You’ll notice I didn’t say it wasn’t, KC. Your comments here are often off-point.

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      2. And another thing, Jacksonville.

        Don’t you dare tell this daughter of a preacher “Now you may not be aware” of the power of prayer.

        I can say like Paul that I sat at the feet of Gamaliel.

        I can see you, Jacksonville. Your attempts at passive aggressive insults are noticed, and rejected.

      3. Serving Kids in Japan

        Jacksonville,

        We acknowledge that prayer is powerful. But survivors of sexual abuse might want and need something else, and something more tangible to them.

        This is probably all the more true of people who’ve suffered from spiritual abuse, as well as sexual abuse. I especially think of the case of Christa Brown. As a teen, she was raped repeatedly, over the course of months, by a respected married man in her church. And every time he assaulted Christa, he would pray with her, and tell her, “God loves you.” According to her, to this day she can’t hear that phrase with anything but horror in her heart. So I imagine she wouldn’t find it very comforting to hear someone offering to pray for her, either.

        1. Jacksonville

          Lea as a preachers daughter you sure know how to gaslight.,I am loathe to have to defend myself, but anyway since Paul did to the Corinthians here goes.

          If you read my comments correctly on the other article you would see that I wholeheartedly agreed with the author that sexual abuse within evangelical circles is horrific. Overall great article with my full empathy.

          I disagreed with the author about the mention of Trump, This lessened the Christian impact of the article in my opinion and turned the comments into another political catfight, which distracted from the power of the theme of the article which was the serious subject of sexual abuse.

          You kept sidelining me as a Trump supporter (why I don’t know) probably because I dared to mention Bill Clinton and Joe Biden’s also had sexual accusers not just Trump.

          I clearly stated that I would rather vote for a bald eagle that the last 10 presidents (I erred here, I meant the last 10 elections). I care not for any of them.

          Returning to the question posed “what can the Church do”

          The answer is prayer.

          Let’s change the question to help you.

          What would I do to rescue a child from a sexual abuser if I was in a position to influence or intervene?

          My answer is to rescue the child, place the child in safe care within a loving environment and let trained counselors assist the child at whatever cost to be able to recover and deal with the abuse.

          I would also confront the abuser, with force if necessary and ensure that he is arrested and would follow through to ensure the prosecutors put this man very far away from children again.

          Lastly you quoted the book of James , so I never realized that you were a brother or sister who is poorly clothed or lacking food to eat, so if this is your situation and you alert me to your plight I will gladly clothe and feed you.

          So really Lea, you have me all wrong, but I am not offended.

    3. Jennifer Eason

      We cannot “end sin” but we can censure it and refuse to mollycoddle those who so flagrantly sin against children. The abused children should be the first concern of the body of Christ. Will they be found and rescued?

      And now, let’s all speculate how many sermons, Bible studies, devotionals, hymns, Lord’s suppers, Christian movies, etc, Josh Duggar has been party to in his lifetime. And he hasn’t got the message *yet*. Is the message faulty? Or is it that he is deaf and blind to it?

  12. A person who was present at the trial has stated that there was testimony that there were law enforcement who called that they were outside his door to arrest him, but would rather not do it in front of his children if he was willing to have his wife drive him to the police station, which they did. So much for thinking he was noble for turning himself in.

    1. Thanks for this detail, Ruth. I didn’t know that. Another detail is that when Josh’s business was raided in 2019, he said to the agents “Has someone been looking at child porn?”

      Josh and Anna and the entire Duggar family have known about the raid–and likely the materials that were found– since 2019, yet they continued to allow Josh to reside with children the same age as as those he was viewing being sexually tortured. And continued to post images of their “loving” family on social media as if nothing was wrong,

      There isn’t a shred of nobility to be found here, in any of them, nor in the Evangipublicans who excused Josh’s vile sin.

  13. KC.. the purpose of this thread is to expose the damning sin of child sexual abuse within the professing Christian community. Julies’ purpose is to put sin under the light to hopefully end it. Your desire to pontificate about the seemingly contradictory ideas of free will and Gods’ soverignty are perhaps best served on a different blog.

  14. No I’m good Abagail. I read her mission statement. Reporting the truth and restoring the church. I am merely giving a theological perspective for the restoration of the church. This is exactly where life and theology need to intersect. It is foolish to think we can end this sin. It is Biblical to bring victims to the Savior and bring restoration.

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