Duggar Justice

A fourteen-year-old boy sexually molests his sisters and other teen girls. Then he tells his parents. The dad obstructs justice by waiting one year to reveal his son’s felony crimes to the police. But the police don’t arrest either one. A state trooper just gives the son a stern talk. Three years later, the police conduct a felony investigation. The dad obstructs justice by refusing to let them interview his son. They still can’t do anything. The statute of limitations has expired.

duggars 19-kids-and-countingSexual abuse of minors. Incest. Obstruction of justice. If this story headlined the news, then we would moan and groan about America’s moral state. If the dad were a federal judge or congressman, then we would impeach him or force him to resign. Yet this story took place in the “Christian” home of the 19 Kids and Counting Duggars and they don’t do anything wrong. So how do we respond to this shattering news? We erect a legal double standard by defending them and offering cheap grace.

Shame on the Duggars for committing felony crimes and hiding them from the public! Shame on Mike Huckabee, Matt Walsh, and other “Christians” for defending criminals! Shame on them for standing with abusers instead of victims!

The unbelieving world knows what the Duggars did. After they cried foul, TLC cancelled their show. Still, discussing LGBT v. traditional families clouds the issue and misses the point. This isn’t about politics. It’s about the law. In a perfect world, Josh would have been arrested, tried, and convicted for sexual abuse of minors, his father for obstruction of justice. But this isn’t a perfect world and both men got away with their crimes, a situation unjust both to Josh’s victims and to every person who has ever served a sentence for sexual abuse or obstruction of justice. As a result, the Duggar family has done “violence to the law” (Zephaniah 3:4).[1]

jesus-christ crossGod is a just Lawgiver and Judge.[2] He is no respecter of persons and his justice has no statute of limitations.[3] Rich and poor, high and low, black and white: God punishes everyone who breaks his law, even if they’re crowned monarchs and their crimes are decades old. His Son is no rebel either. Jesus Christ obeyed the perfect law of God and the imperfect laws of men, both Jewish and Roman, when he died on the cross.[4]

The church could show respect for the law and stand up for justice by protecting victims. Instead, she dishonors her Lawgiver and Judge by obstructing justice and protecting criminals. The church has a long history of thwarting the law and becoming a law unto herself because she thinks she isn’t subject to human governments. The best example is the Roman Catholic Church, which obstructs justice by playing musical chairs with pedophile priests instead of handing them over to the police. Breaking the law still used to be a serious offense, even among Sunday-only moralists. Now some Christians defend criminals in the church without blinking an eye.

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. There is no authority except from God and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.” (Romans 13:1-2)

No one is above the law, not individuals and certainly not the church. The Duggars must have thought they were, so they broke the law and resisted lawful authority. Yet all they’ve done is “bring judgment on themselves.” Why? Governments make laws (legislation) and enforce them (police, courts). They’re the instrument of God for punishing crime and protecting victims (Romans 13:3-5). Do governments sometimes write bad laws? Do they sometimes protect bad people and punish good ones? Yes, and God will punish them for it. Law and order is still the foundation of civilization. Therefore, obstructing justice is a crime. Thwarting the law is social and moral anarchy; it is lawlessness and sin. If we want to obey God, then we must be subject to human governments and laws. If we break a bad human law in order to obey God’s good law, then we must still show respect for human authority by submitting to punishment.[5]

The Duggars and their defenders aren’t worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Their idea of justice is perverted and they don’t respect the law. One day, God’s kingdom will be taken from them and given to people bearing good fruit (Matthew 21:43). One day, God will “dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish” (Ezekiel 17:24). I can’t wait for that day.


[1] New King James Version (NKJV), unless otherwise noted
[2] Genesis 18:25, Ecclesiastes 3:17, Isaiah 33:22, Romans 3:26, 2 Timothy 4:8, Hebrews 12:23, James 4:12, 5:9
[3] Deuteronomy 10:17, 2 Chronicles 19:7, Job 34:19; Romans 2:11-16, Ephesians 6:9, Colossians 3:25, 1 Peter 1:17
[4] Matthew 5:17-18, 26:50-54; John 18:30-32, 19:7-16
[5] Genesis 39:11-20, 1 Kings 22:13-27, Jeremiah 20:1-2, 37:14-16; Daniel 3:4-23, 6:7-17; Matthew 14:3-4, Acts 4:1-3, 19-20; 5:17-18, 28-32; 6:9-14, 12:3-4, 16:19-23, 19:27-33; 1 Peter 2:13-24, Revelation 1:9


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