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Sunday, August 23, 2015

What About the Duggars? – Was the Reality Show Ever Appropriate?

 

Matthew 26:41  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

As some of you will know, Josh Duggar was exposed this past week as an adulterer who had been cheating on his wife.  First it was publicized that he had two accounts on the “seeking an affair” web site Ashley Madison, after which he confessed an addiction to pornography and being unfaithful to his wife.  (The addiction part was later removed from the confession for reasons that were not explained by the Duggars.)  [Photo: Discovery?, 2015]

Needless to say, this was not something that I wanted to deal with this week, or any time; but since I have already dealt with Josh’s past perversion and since the Duggars are a poster family for Bill Gothard (ATI, IBLP) and therefore “Biblical Patriarchy”, it seemed like it was time to get my page on them up and going.  So today, I’m officially opening a section in The Home Maker’s Corner dealing specifically with the Duggars.

What About the Duggars?

I hope to get more completed there in the near future.

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The featured article today deals with the issue of the reality show.

Was the Reality Show Ever A Good Idea?

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have made themselves, and allowed themselves to be made, the poster family of the large family "movement", no birth control, "purity culture", modesty culture, the Gothard world (Advanced Training Institute, Institute of Basic Life Principles), "Biblical Patriarchy", and Christianity.  With 19 children of their own, plus extended family, they have been starring in their own reality show, "19 Kids and Counting", until earlier this year (2015).    They have become the most recognized mega family in North American and the world. 

Having watched a lot of the programs I will say that, although I get annoyed with them, I understand their mystique to some degree.  Compared with other things that are available on television and online, they appear to be very Christian, wholesome and clean, and compared to most of it they are.  I would venture to guess that some of them are actually born again and are more or less sincerely trying to please God.  But, there are some problems.  In fact, we should probably say many problems.

The reality show came to birth after they had done several one hour specials for T.V.  When they were offered a full time show Jim Bob and Michelle decided that this would be a good platform for them and so they accepted.

But, was a reality show an appropriate thing for a Christian family?

Continue Reading.

19 comments:


  1. You know my view on this - and I agree with all that you have written. As Christians we should NEVER place our children in the spotlight for MONEY and lots of it and that is what the Duggars have done. We are to move quietly through our lives touching those around us (reaching out and helping) and not make a huge splash on TV and sell our family in the process. They all have their own websites, Facebook pages and have their faces all over the newspapers and internet - is that the behaviour of Christians. The girls now how young girls following their fashions and hairdos - this is Hollywood celebrity behaviour. No good will come from it sadly - only sadness.

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    1. Thanks for you comments. Yes, my family has mentioned more than once the Hollywood celebrity aspect of the Duggars. I especially appreciate your comment about them selling their family. So true.

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    2. "The girls now how young girls following their fashions and hairdos - this is Hollywood celebrity behavior. No good will come from it sadly - only sadness". This is so true. I saw an old episode from one of the one hour specials and the difference in appearance,especially the girls, is astonishing.

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    3. I meant the first issues they were having.I am not sure what happened now that I have taken a few minutes to research. The ratings may have started to slide,from what I could tell,but nothing seemed to indicate a dramatic drop. Oddly the rating went UP after it came out that Josh had touched his sisters. But now that I think about it maybe that was the point all along. Get a family that professed conservative christian values(but has deep hidden issues),don't let them spread the gospel,put them on a pedestal for the moral high ground and then knock them off when they are at their highest or near highest point. Now non believers can point the finger and say see I told you those Christians were all hypocrites.

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    4. #1 - Yes, the Duggar girls' fashion and appearance has changed drastically since the beginning of their T.V. career, and they are leading others in this.

      2# - I couldn't say for sure that Hollywood knew about the problem and used it to it's advantage to disgrace them, though that is possible since Oprah was warned years ago. But, certainly the devil knew, and that scheme would be fitting to his way of doing things.

      However, it's important to remember that the Lord has allowed these things to be exposed. He could have kept it out of the media. But He also told us in His word, ...be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23 One of the sobering things about the word of God is that in His revelation to us He does not hide all the sins and failures of His people. He exposed many in their own day, and He recorded them in His word for our learning (Rom. 15:4), particularly those who were in prominent positions. Church history shows us that He has exposed some who were living double lives throughout this church era. It reminds me of 1 Corinthians 10:12, Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. And also 1 Peter 5:8, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

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  2. I would have to agree with all the points in your article.The whole situation just seems no win for the family no matter what happened. I also wonder how much their "fall from grace" had to do with low ratings and Hollywood not needing them anymore.Just a thought.





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    1. Thanks for commenting. Do you mean their first fall from grace or the present one? Were their ratings low before Josh was exposed for touching his sisters sexually as a teen? I'd be interested to know if that was so, but it would surprise me since I do know that TLC was making a lot of money on the Duggar "brand", as it is called in the trade.

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  3. I find the whole thing sad.... when one names the name of Christ one does come under scrutiny.His reputation is on the line, and Josh has played into the devils' hands... I realise that we all need a saviour and we all sin etc, but when one is publically proclaiming Christ and family values, there is a greater scrutiny and expectation. Sadly, Josh has been exposed as a hypocrite and brought shame onto the Lords' Name. Yes, God can and will forgive him, but with all the previous hype about his sinful choices, he has made it harder to win others for Christ in a world hardened to Christianity in general. I am sad... Jesus wept. John 11:35

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    1. Exactly! It's grievous!

      I'm reminded of David's situation: 2 Samuel 12:13-14 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

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  4. I appreciate your writings on this subject. You're not a hater and you're not a fan. I am definitely not a fan of their family. This whole mess was inevitable sooner or later.

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    1. Thank you. I don't really enjoy writing stuff like this, but it is necessary at times, and this is a big deal right now in Christendom as well as the world.

      I agree that it was inevitable. A friend and I observed a some time ago that in a family that large there were bound to be some who would not follow the Lord, simply because Jesus said that it's the few that find the narrow way (Matt. 7:14). No amount of perfect parenting will produce perfect kids, because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23), and all do not choose this day to serve the Lord (Josh. 24:15). It's terribly sad, though.

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  5. This is no different than the "Jon and Kate Plus 8" reality show about the parents of two who went on to have sextuplets. The fame got to them, broke up their marriage. I also read an article that their kids were horribly upset and confused when the camera crews stopped coming - they couldn't understand why because being taped all the time was all they knew! That's messed up!!
    The Duggers now have 18 children and several grandchildren and in-laws who are now all guilty by association with Josh. And the Internet is forever. How are their other children supposed to enroll in college, find jobs, fit in at church or in social groups with their tainted name? And the younger ones had no choice but to go along and they're stigmatized for life now.

    I'm sure they had honorable reasons for starting the show. But once you invite the world into your life, you invite their scrutiny, their manipulation and their judgment. Sometimes it's better just to be some Random Joe and keep your privacy.

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    1. It's a shameful mess, that's for sure. I saw some recent things about Amy Duggar (their cousin who has often been on the show). She just got married this weekend, and it appeared that she might actually be looking forward to getting rid of the Duggar name finally. That's a sad commentary and indicates that what you said is true - the name is going to be a problem to some of them now. :-(

      It's an important reminder to us all that we can find "honorable" reasons for starting down the wrong road, but all the good intentions in the world can't keep us from facing the consequences of our choices. It's a big caution to anyone making a significant choice for their family. We need to stick with God's word first and last.

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  6. I was thinking Mary the other day about the fact that this young family already has 4 very young children. It appears (and I may be wrong) that the Duggar children are trying to have lots of children just like mum and dad. I do wonder if Josh and his wife Anna had focused on their marriage and not having four children so close together things might have been different. Just me thinking as I really no nothing about them. It might not have made any differences at all - but we shouldn't just produce lots of children and sacrifice our relationship with our husband in the process. I might be completely wrong.

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    1. I agree that the focus of having lots of children, or "blessings" as they call them, can interfere with a healthy marriage. It also can and does become an unhealthy focal point of some couples (even an idol), especially the ladies. Anna has mentioned "having another baby" a number of times on the show. Her apparent impatience was disturbing to me. I am concerned that in some of these types of circles women gauge their worth as a wife and woman by how many babies they are able to bring into the world. I heard Josh and Anna say on one show/interview that 5 or 6 was a "good start". So, yes, the over-ambition and preoccupation with having babies could detract from focusing on a healthy marriage. I'm afraid that some of them actually equate "love" with "making babies", so few babies means little love. :-(

      Having said that, however, I'm inclined to think that Josh would have had a problem anyway. Considering where he started his sexual "career" with handling his sisters and the babysitter, and where he has ended up now, he appears to be a man with a serious problem that was never addressed. There are clips now available of him saying some troubling things along the way throughout the years of the show - things that in retrospect now can be interpreted to mean that his mind was off for a long time. Added to that is the teaching of Bill Gothard, which the Duggars follow devoutly, on sexual issues. Some of the things in his material are really disturbing and tend to excuse offenders and cast blame on the "naughty" females responsible for "making men sin". In Josh and Anna's case, I'm afraid that she may be blamed, and may blame herself, where blame is not even justified. It is very common in these situations for the wife to be included in the guilt just because "she should have tried harder", when in reality the husband is a pervert, plain and simple. Watching Anna from her early days on the show and seeing how she dresses and makes herself up in recent times, it looks to me like she was trying pretty hard to be "a doll" for her husband. The whole problem is sickening, and I hate to even have to deal with it, but tragically, it's far more common in Christendom than it should be!

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  7. Mary, I agree strongly with what you have written. You expressed yourself well, and backed up everything that you said with Scripture. I feel so sad for those younger children. The Duggars should never have put their family on public display as they did. However, I will go a step further and say that the Lord convicted me and my husband years ago to stop watching anything on T.V. There is no T.V. in our home. We haven't missed it at all. In fact, we spend much more time talking together, cooking together, praying and reading the Bible. So much of this world's stress has left us. We are free to live our lives without the interference and the mind control of television. We would challenge all Christians to get rid of T.V. and put God on the throne of their lives and their homes. God bless, Bev

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Bev. One thing I don't understand is why the Duggars would make their family stars of a T.V. reality show when they don't even watch T.V. in their home. It doesn't make sense. If something is really bad, why help people to do it? At least that's how it seems to me!

      My husband and I don't have a T.V. either, though we do watch things online or on DVD. We have more control over what we actually watch that way. I watch some things primarily for research purposes - as with the Duggar show. I can hardly stomach it any more, though. It seems like such a hollow mockery.

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