Thursday, December 9, 2021

Taking the Lord's Name In Vain -- Josh Duggar

A very high profile court case was decided today in our area. The infamous Josh Duggar was found guilty of charges of accessing child pornography. This same man was outed a few years ago for using a site that gave him the opportunity to cheat on his wife and has also admitted to molesting five young girls when he was a teenager---four of them being his younger sisters. 

It's all very disturbing, yes, but this guy's misdeeds are affecting different people in different ways. Despite the fact that it's destroyed the reputation of his family, wrecked his marriage, and will likely have a lifelong detrimental effect on all who cared about him, it's also giving homeschooled boys a bad name and that's one thing that has me a bit fired up. Before you roll your eyes and think I'm petty, hear me out because there's a more important point to be made here.

I just read an article that stated his upbringing as "homeschooled and never went to college" likely meant he didn't have the intelligence or skills to cover up his online child pornography crimes. As a mom of three grown sons who is 18 years into this gig, with 10 years left to go, I'm offended. (Again, keep reading, important point coming up.) As far as I know, my sons walk with integrity and honesty and desire to protect young children rather than exploit them. They're also pretty intelligent and skilled in many things and the chill-out homeschooling life has only given them the opportunity to learn things like backdoor computer hacks---not kept them from them. If the defense thinks homeschooling is an excuse for stupidity, they've not met many homeschoolers. 

Ok, so I'm not really offended. This is the way the world thinks---they don't know any better. But...

All this brings up a deeper issue: reputation. We've always taught our kids that their behavior not only dictates how people feel about them as individuals, it reflects on Jamie and I as parents, our family as a whole, and ultimately it influences how unbelievers feel about the God we serve. 

In Exodus 20, God tells us not to take His name in vain. It's the third of the 10 Commandments. Many people believe this refers to cussing and using God's name in a vulgar way, but it's actually way bigger than that. When viewed in the light of the rest of Scripture, it's the taking of the name that we must focus on. 

You see, we believers are headed for a marriage relationship with our Messiah. We are preparing for an eternal covenant in which we are forever called by His name. If I choose to take His name now, I am aligning myself with Him, with His ways, with His cause. I am saying I represent Him. In Exodus 20:7, God warns us that He will not hold guiltless the one who takes His name in vain. It's a big deal. It's more than cussing---it's a complete misrepresentation of who He is and what He stands for. 

Josh Duggar's garbage lifestyle not only runs the name of Duggar into the ground, nor does it merely make others think homeschooled boys grow up to be closet perverts---Duggar, who has publicly claimed the Holy God of Heaven and Earth as his God, has profaned His name and taken it in vain. Not by accident. Not in a rash act of later-regretted passion. But deliberately and repeatedly for years. This is a big deal. Let's pray his earthly consequences are harsh enough to finally lead him to the repentance that will keep him from the eternal ones.

And Father, help me to always represent Your name with integrity; because the root of all sin is selfishness and for that, I'm as guilty as anyone.

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