As we all know, the Duggar family has promoted Christ-centered, conservative values ever since they became known to America through their hit television show "19 Kids and Counting". Over the last two years, Josh has served as an Executive Director for FRC Action, an arm of the Family Research Council. The Family Research Council is a policy organization which takes a stand for Conservative, Christian values. In fact, according to their website, the mission statement for Family Research Council is “to advance faith, family and freedom in public policy and the culture from a Christian worldview.” Could it be that standing up for a Christian Worldview, especially on matters such as homosexuality, marriage and family, is why the persecution of this young man has been so severe?
This thought reminds me of something that Jesus said during the Olivet Discourse:
“Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of MY name.” (Matthew 24:9, NASB)
We tend to think of persecution as something that happens in countries where there is no religious freedom. A country where people are thrown in jail, just for being a Christian. However, over the last few decades it has become quite unpopular to take a Christian Worldview stance on many of the moral issues of the day. In fact, the Liberty institute in partnership with the Family Research Council recently released a study entitled: UNDENIABLE: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America, which clearly shows that there is an increase in religious persecution occurring in America today.
As Christians who study the word of God, none of this should surprise us. In fact, we should be expecting that persecution will increase in the days ahead, as we approach the tribulation and soon return of Christ. In the meantime, what should we be doing? Should we just keep quiet and look to not take a stand so that we can protect ourselves from persecution? I believe that the answer is a resounding NO!
Just like Noah did in his day, Christians today should be taking a stand for what we know is right according to scripture. We should be standing for Christian values not just with our words, but in how we live. The Gospel of Mark records this same prophecy, however it also includes a reminder of the purpose that persecution serves:
“But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for MY sake, as a testimony to them.” (Mark 13:9, NASB)
Did you catch that? Persecution serves the purpose of allowing the persecuted to serve as a testimony to the persecutors. Clearly GOD is merciful!
As we rapidly accelerate towards the tribulation and the return of Christ, know that persecution – even in America – will steadily escalate. The hope that we have is that in the intensification of persecution, there will also be an enhanced opportunity to reach those with the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Could it be that Josh Duggar will have the opportunity to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who were previously unreached? Only time will tell.
As this story continues to unfold, I believe that we will see that this is really not about the past actions of a then young teenage boy as much as it is persecuting this now young man for taking a stand for biblically based principles and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We encourage Christians everywhere to continue to stand up for biblical principles and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Remember, as persecution increases, take advantage of the opportunity to share your testimony with all that you can, even your persecutors. You never who GOD will allow you to reach through the words of your testimony!