by Joe Sands cross posted from his blog Incongruous Circumspection
The Bible says, in Romans 3:23, “For the wages of sin is death…”
This verse is very well known to both fundamentalist Christians, to which the Duggar clan belong, as well as evangelical Christianity. Sin is a big deal. It requires all humans to die. According to the book of Genesis, the fact that Adam and Eve ate the fruit of ‘The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil’, meant that sin was passed down to every human being. Sin was the one genetic thing that everyone got equally.
But the ‘death,’ spoken of in the book of Romans, wasn’t speaking of when we die here on this earth. It was speaking of the eternal death, experienced by those who didn’t willingly receive the ‘Gift of God’. This gift is mentioned in the next half of the Roman 3:23 verse, “…but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord”.
This gets to the basic doctrinal foundation of the Duggar approach to life. Jesus died on the cross for their sins. They were born with original sin, though the Duggars would never call it that, being that they would be accused of believing in Catholic doctrine, but the essence of the belief is exactly the same. Not only did they inherit the sin of Adam, but they also were guaranteed to actively sin as a mortal human being.
But, not to worry, Christianity has that all fixed up. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish (die), but have eternal life!”
See? Forgiven. All sins do not matter to the eternal soul of the forgiven. To the Christian, this is a beautiful idea. God is so loving, that he killed his son, shedding the holy blood from his body, to wash us clean of our vile selves.
But let’s examine that idea a little more closely.
Psalm 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has [God] removed our transgressions (sin) from us.”
This means, once we’re “saved”, having “believed on the Lord Jesus Christ”, trusting that everything the Bible says about him is true, we are no longer a stench to the nostrils of God, but everything we have done, are doing, and will do, that is defined as sin, is now covered by the blood of Jesus. We are sinful no more.
This doctrine is what allows the Duggars to easily say, “God has forgiven us.” But, even worse, it also allows the Duggars to turn to the victims of Josh’s sexual abuse and say, “God has forgiven Josh!” The victim is then obligated to forgive, as God has forgiven the perpetrator of the sexual abuse. Doing otherwise would be the same as claiming that you were better than God.
As you can see, the consequences for sin, in the Duggar’s world, are not of this world. They are eternal. If you die in your sins, having not believed in Jesus, you go to hell, dying an eternal death. If you are forgiven of your sins, having believed in Jesus, you live an eternal life, going to heaven to be with God and his son Jesus.
Contrast this with our system of laws that focuses on the consequences of sin (that which the law considers as criminal) being earthly. If you break a law, you pay the consequences in this life.