I am not defending the actions of Josh Duggar or Bristol Palin.
Josh Duggar, of 19 Kids and Counting fame, has admitted to being “the world’s biggest hypocrite;” this confession was made after the stunning allegations that the oldest Duggar child had subscribed to an online adultery site, and his own admission to a pornography addiction and infidelity to his wife.
This story came just weeks after Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol announced she is pregnant with her second child, making her the unmarried mother of two, with two different fathers for her children.
Both Josh and Bristol are the famous children of famous parents; both espouse the Christian faith of their parents; both have entered the professional arena to advocate for their belief system; and sadly, both have spent years not living up to those same beliefs they promote.
Josh Duggar recently resigned his position with the Family Research Council, where he advocated for traditional marriage. Obviously, traditional marriage is one man and one woman, and does not include the one-night stands from his Ashley Madison account.
Bristol Palin recently served as an abstinence-education spokesman. Obviously, abstinence doesn’t produce two children.
This has predictably led to cries of (and admissions of) hypocrisy. They don’t “practice what they preach.” While I am not in any way excusing what these two have done, their sad stories only highlight the fact that no one is perfect.
Bristol Palin is absolutely right. Abstinence is the best policy. It is foolproof. No abstinent person has ever conceived a child (with the exception of the virgin Mary), contracted an STD, or had to give a future spouse the list of all they people they slept with. There is no shame in abstinence, no regret, and obviously, no babies. The fact that Bristol Palin didn’t live up to her message does not mean her message is wrong.
Josh Duggar is absolutely right. The Bible teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman. Not two men, not one man and two women, not one man and an underage girl. Josh is not claiming to have made the rules, nor saying anything hateful to those who disagree with him. Josh believes that God is the creator of everything, including people, and as such He gets to make the rules. He laid those rules out in the Bible, and Josh has tried, unsuccessfully, to live by them. His failures do not make God or the Bible inaccurate by default.
Therein lies the beauty for those of us who believe in the Bible. Our trust is in God, not mankind. People will eventually let us down. Josh and Bristol have proven to be human—flawed people who do things they regret, and who hurt other people in the process.
You know who else makes mistakes? Every person who ever lived (Jesus excluded). I don’t say that to excuse the two featured in this post, but to remind us all that we all mess up. I mess up. And when I do, please don’t blame my Savior or somehow think my message is suddenly flawed.
We also need to be careful not to idolize humans. Whether it is the Duggars, Tim Tebow, or Billy Graham, they are just people. We need to lift our eyes up to Jesus, the only one who never fails.
To Christians, please pray for them as they go through the healing process in their public shortcomings.
To the “haters,” please understand that you can call all Christians hypocrites because none of us can live a life free of mistakes; our message is about forgiveness because we can’t live a life free of mistakes. Neither can you. You might judge yourself to be better than Duggar or Palin, but we are all flawed people in need of salvation.