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The Fault in Our Leaders: What We Learned from the Recent Scandal


By now, most of you have heard the news. Josh Duggar, star of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, recently admitted to molesting young women in his teenage years. What makes this particular case even more unbelievable is that Duggar was, until recently, the leader of a large Christian organization. That means thousands of people, both young and old, looked up to him and turned to him for spiritual guidance. The news of his past came as a shock to people because many of them trusted and put their faith in him. It also left us all with one important question. How could a man of God do something so unGodly?

Duggar is not the first spiritual leader to behave in an unGodly manner. What these stories teach us as Christians is that we shouldn’t put so much faith in our spiritual leaders. At the end of the day, they’re human beings. And as human beings, they will fall, falter and fail just as much as we do. All we can do is pray for them. Pray that they learn to live the words that they preach to others. Pray that they find healing for what torments them. And pray that they find their way back to the path of righteousness. There’s no need to speak badly of them or criticize their sin, because we are all wrong in some way.

As human beings, we are all sinners. We’re all dealing with faults. From Josh Duggar to Mark Driscoll, we’ve seen that no human is immune to sin. No matter what pedestal you find yourself on, you will fall at some point in time. Remember, Abraham lied. Sarah laughed at God’s promises. David had an affair. John was self-righteous. Paul and Moses were murderers. Jonah ran from God. Miriam was a gossiper. Gideon and Thomas doubted God. Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal. John the Baptist was a loudmouth. Noah was a drunk.

We are all human.

The beautiful thing about GRACE is that it’s there for all; even for those who slip and fall, like some of our leaders. Just because they are in a position of  “power”, that doesn’t make them any less sinful. All of us have stories. All of us have hit some type of valley in our lives. Our leaders aren’t immune. We have to stop treating them like idols and more like faulty human beings. Becaue the only perfection that ever existed, died for us on a cross so that we wouldn’t be bound by our sins.

Image: InTouch Weekly


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  1. mynameisrobin

    Posted by mynameisrobin on May 29, 2015 at 20:19

    The whole thing is just sad.
    Although what he did occured over 12 years ago, being molested will stay with those girls for a life-time. And I know he has changed since then, but this is just a perfect example of how even the people who seem to live “perfect” lives all have dark pasts. His past actions have brought his whole family to shame, not to mention that it makes Christians look like hypocrites.
    I hope and pray that in the end, everything will be resolved.

  2. Aryandil

    Posted by Aryandil on May 28, 2015 at 19:08


    This is a blog post written by Rebecca Gregoire, the sister of YouTuber Katie Gregoire, whom I’m sure you’ve at least heard of by now. It was very enlightening and I hope it opens your eyes as well.

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by Burkey on May 28, 2015 at 07:36

    Personally, I would rather marry someone who (like Josh), has an awful-horrible past, but who is now walking in freedom than some homeschool guy who “looks good,” but who has never encountered temptation — thus never having the opportunity to stand up against it. Just the fact that Josh told Anna and her family about it TWO YEARS before he even started a courtship with her is highly commendable and shows what kind of character he’s got.

  4. CandyBar

    Posted by CandyBar on May 27, 2015 at 05:06

    He did a horrible thing, but if we’re talking about grace we need to remember he did it a long time ago. Since then he has changed. This is not like finding pastors who have worked for years and have secretly had an affair for half there ministry. If anything this article should be about how God turned his life around.

  5. mkay77

    Posted by mkay77 on May 26, 2015 at 14:17

    Hm… I’ve never been up with the Duggars (I’ve been SO busy with exams I haven’t been up to date with anything!), but from this article and a quick Google search, here’s my two cents (please correct anything!):

    I think it would be a different story if he simply had done sexual acts with consent on both parties (the girl’s/his). However, molestation is not consent. Molestation is aggression. That’s what makes it a little harder to “forgive”, for lack of a better word. It doesn’t matter if the girls were his age; molestation is NOT consent. Even if they verbally said “OK”, it’s not consensual if they were pressured to say “OK”, if that makes sense.

    At any rate, I realize he was young. He was, I believe, 14? I’m 16, so I’m not much older, so I don’t have that much “life experience”, if you will. I did stupid things when I was 14. I slept in class. I texted a little too late or cursed a little too much. I sometimes slacked off in school. Sometimes I got caught up in drama at school. Have I done things that I regret and wish I didn’t do back then? Of course! No human is perfect! However, that’s not enough to let people not have consequences for their actions.

    Kinda reminds me of what Archbishop Rodi told me not too long ago (was surreal!), “God forgives. People /might/ forgive. But nature does not forgive.” Does God forgive Duggar for his wrongdoings? Assuming Duggar is truly sorry for his actions, yes. Do the victims forgive Duggar? They might, they might not. Do those who looked up to Duggar forgive him? Possibly. Does nature forgive Duggar? Unfortunately no. It happened; he molested girls. There are some things that can be brushed off, but molestation is not one of those things.

  6. slynn249

    Posted by slynn249 on May 26, 2015 at 11:43

    This only teaches us to put our faith in and look up to God alone, not man. Man is imperfect and will always let us down.
    This is also all in the past. Any person is capable of doing what Josh did. It’s sin and we all have it, no matter what form it takes. Hate the sin, not the sinner.

  7. Karsten Ashley

    Posted by Karsten Ashley on May 23, 2015 at 12:31


    • Karsten Ashley

      Posted by Karsten Ashley on May 23, 2015 at 12:34

      If we take out the politics and the scandal and our own opinions of the family this is the root of the problem. Be careful who you make your “leader”. The only real leader should be Jesus Christ. I personally learn from reading God’s word and going to bible studies and not by watching the Duggar family.

  8. Aryandil

    Posted by Aryandil on May 22, 2015 at 20:19

    Yes, this guy did something very ungodly (THAT is the correct spelling) in his TEENAGE years. It’s in the PAST. I don’t understand the point of this article.

  9. TheLongLostWeasley

    Posted by TheLongLostWeasley on May 22, 2015 at 16:20

    I have never liked Josh to begin with, and not just because he looks like a 12-year-old. (No offence, but the forehead and shaved cheeks do not help him look his age!!!) I am absolutely not okay when a Christian openly bashes homosexuals. It’s okay not to approve of something, but the way he does it is not fair. (Look up “RALLY FOR TRUE MARRIAGE JOSH DUGGAR” — it’s sad when he says that “all men are equal” in one breath, and “marriage is between one man and one woman.) He has sad very horrible things about the men and women who just want to be in love with their partners.

    Yet, it’s okay for him to molest his sisters and only get a slap on the wrist? God said to forgive everyone, but I am having quite a hard time forgiving him as a fellow victim of inappropriate fondling. I feel horrible for his sisters, and can only hope that Mama Duggar would have had it in her to see it that her son, Josh, got the proper counseling he needed along with his victimized sisters.

    • pinkkitty523

      Posted by pinkkitty523 on May 23, 2015 at 11:47

      She did get him into counseling, if you look this up you’ll see articles and they say he had counseling.

      • TheLongLostWeasley

        Posted by TheLongLostWeasley on May 24, 2015 at 19:53

        Yes, but it doesn’t say ANYWHERE his counseling wasn’t conducted by a professional. This family seems too religious to seek any kind of real help. (Even though there are probably several conservative counselors in Arkansas.) I went to my grandma after I got touched by my grandfather (not her husband, my other grandfather) inappropriately. She is a retired elementary school counselor for decades alongside being someone I know, love and trust. Meanwhile, I have read that Josh’s “punishment” was to work on a home building project away from his hometown. I really don’t consider this to be getting the PROPER help he needs, not just a few recitations of a couple Bible passages and a quick prayer of forgiveness.

  10. tylsmi16

    Posted by tylsmi16 on May 22, 2015 at 15:46

    This post upsets me. Not because I disagree. I don’t. I think this is a great post. What upsets me is that the way it is worded makes it seem as though this is a recent event and he has recently fallen into such a sin. If this was the case I would have lost all respect for him. However, yes I’ve lost a little respect but overall, I think I’ve gained a little. He has been so open and honest in admitting his faults. He does not downplay his faults. He sought counseling and forgiveness. He was a minor. Who knows, without this event in his past he may not be the man of God we know of him to be today.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by HisPrincessWarior on May 25, 2015 at 21:09

      I agree with you/your comment! It bugs me a little, the wording of the title. It wasn’t a “recent” scandal, but the recent bringing up of one. :/

    • sierra96

      Posted by sierra96 on May 23, 2015 at 10:31

      I agree with your post Tyler. This happened years ago. What if something we did years ago was brought back up by a friend. Even though we had confessed, and asked for forgiveness for what we did. Is this what Christ would have done? what did jesus tell the woman who committed adultery ” go and sin no more” He didn’t run around town bashing this woman. HE didn’t even bring the subject up ever again. He forgave and forgot. My thing is put yourself in Joshes shoes would you want what your saying about him now to be said about you. Because i can promises you this we all have sinned and fallen short. Im am very disappointed in what Christians are saying about josh instead of standing up beside josh and supporting him and saying we all have sin we are acting like hypocrites.

  11. Project Inspired

    Posted by ttmoore on May 22, 2015 at 15:32

    He was a 14 year old boy, with girls his age! He was not a man. And at that time had he gave his life to the LORD? Do we not know what forgiveness is. Why should they not look up to him, he has overcame that, and he is not that person anymore, people he was a BOY. And now he is living for the Lord, and has a family, he could help a lot of the boys out their, because so many are doing more then Josh did. This really makes me sad with the church not standing up for him. God forgives, why can’t you.

    • QueenFemminist97

      Posted by QueenFemminist97 on May 25, 2015 at 07:51

      The girls were not his age. They were all under the age of ten, four of them were his sisters, and the one that was not is currently still a minor meaning she must have been five when this happened. I’ve noticed a lot of support for him comments not only on this site but on others. I think its disgusting that people are saying that he doesn’t deserve the hatred coming his way. Had he touched your daughters in the way he did, his age wouldn’t have mattered.

      The Duggars have been role models for the christian community since their TV show first aired. I for one am glad that they are being taken off. I don’t want my younger family members seeing that just because YOU say GOD forgave you that what you did is ever okay.

      I am not stating I’m perfect. I never have and I never will. I have made mistakes especially when I was 14. Mistakes that I thought were the worse I could do. They are nothing though compared to what he has done. He committed crimes, the worst crimes a man can ever commit. At 14 we all knew touching our siblings and younger children in such a manner was wrong.

      This man preached hate everyday for a living. Claiming that Homosexuals and Trans were molesters and a danger to children. He was throwing FALSE stones at people who don’t even make up the majority of what he claims they are. Obviously he should not be defended. He is one of the worst to come out of the Christian community for sure.

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by bridlesandbits on May 25, 2015 at 15:11

        “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women…When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her’…At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir’, she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.'”
        John 8:3-11 NIV
        Before we start pointing fingers at the sin of others, we should look at ourselves and search our own hearts. All sin distances us from God, and without His grace it will never be excused, so instead of comparing our sins to others’ we need to look at our own. Secondly, saying that he deserves the hatred coming his way conflicts with biblical doctrine.
        “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31 NIV
        Also, yes God’s forgiveness doesn’t make a wrong right, and sin is something we should be striving to distance ourselves from, but GOD’S forgiveness is the ONLY thing that matters. When we die, and are standing before God for our own judgment, HIS opinion is the only one that matters. Knowing this I’m going to live my life to serve God, and grow closer to Him, and not waste my time trying to fix everybody else and hating them because of the wrong they do, because we ALL sin, and showing love in a world of hate may expose Jesus and reflect on the sacrifice He made for the very sin that you’re upset about.

    • Mcole962015

      Posted by Mcole962015 on May 24, 2015 at 09:36

      Some of his victims were his sisters is you read the stories.

    • sierra96

      Posted by sierra96 on May 23, 2015 at 10:32

      Great post! i totally agree..

  12. GraceGirl1379

    Posted by GraceGirl1379 on May 22, 2015 at 14:38

    I am honestly not surprised. Not to be critical or pessimistic, but the Duggar family being so extremely conservative and restricting themselves always seemed a little too stifling and good to be true.

  13. CinnamonCow16

    Posted by CinnamonCow16 on May 22, 2015 at 13:24

    We all have dark pasts. Then we come to God, the light, and find forgiveness and mercy. Yes we shouldn’t put so much faith into our leaders, but just because Josh shared his past doesn’t mean that he’s a hypocrite. The past is the past. He’s been forgiven for it.

    • CinnamonCow16

      Posted by CinnamonCow16 on May 22, 2015 at 13:31

      Also, it’s not unbelievable that he lead a Christian origination. Maybe he’s teaching people to never do what he did? Usually after people have overcome a huge trial, they want to tell the world about their experience and help them through their struggles. Josh has just entered from the darkness into the light that’s all. He wants to show God’s love to people.

  14. Mandi_lee2014

    Posted by Mandi_lee2014 on May 22, 2015 at 13:21

    Of course we can’t idolize people, but honestly the bigger problem is the fact that people think forgiveness and grace mean we should just let it go and he get away with it. I’m sorry, but he sexually abused kids and regardless of his age that was by no means ok. And I think that Him no longer being in his work position and the show potentially getting cancelled is good. Even his parents covered it up until the law could no longer get to him.

  15. Project Inspired

    Posted by gifford213fun on May 22, 2015 at 13:06

    Do you have anything about the 5 girls who were victims of his acts, and had to live with him, live with a sexual predator? Yes, Humans stumble a lot, but it seems like we are focusing more on the Josh Duggar, when we should be focusing on the girls who had to be victim to his horrible crimes. They need our prayer more than anything, and I think you should acknowledge that first.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by justamom on May 23, 2015 at 16:39

      Sure we can acknowledge there were victims, but let’s not focus on them. If they wanted to be known, they would be. In fact, maybe there are so many more important things we should focus on?? Obviously, this new attention is bringing to surface something probably all of them wanted to put behind them. If Josh truly asked for forgiveness, repented, and made restitution to the best of his ability ( of which he said he did), who are we to keep breathing life into something that was put to rest. Let us give them the space to do their own healing, they don’t need us to tell them how to do it. Sure, it’s new to the world, but these people have had 12 years to work this stuff and move on with life. It’s not new to them and they must be mortified that it’s been dragged out and opened up for the whole world to see!