Monday, November 16, 2015

What the Bible Says About Islam

"Let God be true, and every human being a liar," the apostle Paul wrote (Romans 3:4 NIV). This is the call of the Christian life—to believe God even when it doesn't make sense, when doing so is tremendously difficult, and when everyone else is heading in the other direction. But sometimes believing God is not just about doing the right thing (although it's always at least that). Sometimes it's about believing His Word and allowing it to shape your view of the world.

This weekend, ISIS attacked the city of Paris, killing 129 (at current count), injuring hundreds more, and terrorizing peace-loving people around the world. Paris is not alone. It seems there is a terror attack somewhere in the world every few days.

What is happening here? What is causing this evil? To listen to our leaders, jihad is caused by global warming, the lack of good jobs in the Middle East, the presence of U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia, hatred of our freedom here in the West, cartoons of Mohammed, the salaciousness of Hollywood, and/or our alliance with Israel. Aside from the global warming—that one's just silly—there may be a sliver of truth to the others, but it's like saying traffic is caused by your next-door neighbor going to work. He may be contributing to the problem, but you're missing the bigger picture. 

Jihad is a foundational principle of Islam. Men and women commit acts of terror because they believe their holy book, the Quran, instructs them to do so. While most Muslims are not terrorists, terrorism is still one of the many fruits of Islam. 

But that's still not our answer. Why would someone willingly choose to strap a bomb to their chest and detonate it in a crowded theater? What would make someone kill so indiscriminately? Why would someone choose a path that is clearly so dark and twisted? The Bible tells us that false gods are neither imaginary nor harmless; they are, in fact, demons. Paul, writing to Corinthians about eating food sacrificed to idols, makes this clear: "The sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons" (1 Corinthians 10:20).

I know—it's completely offensive to say that someone of another religion is worshipping a demon. But that's what the Bible says.

Consider the alternative: Is it any less offensive to say that millions of people worldwide are worshipping thin air? That's our only other option if we are to affirm Scripture's teaching that there is but one God (Psalm 86:10). And let's give folks some credit. Why would people continue to worship a false god if that god never showed up? There are other spiritual forces at work in our world—and when people call, those forces sometimes answer. Remember when the Lord turned the Nile into blood in Exodus? "The magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts" (Exodus 7:22 ESV).

There is nothing in my worldview that insists Mohammed didn't have an experience with someone claiming to be the angel Gabriel. And I have no reason to believe that Mohammed's own imagination came up with the violent commandments of the Quran on its own.

There are some who claim that Christians, Jews, and Muslims all worship the same God, but that cannot be. The Q'uran preaches an ethic that is wildly opposed to the teachings of the Old Testament, where Yahweh revealed Himself to His people Israel. And though Jesus makes the goodness of God even more explicit in the New Testament, the Quran rejects "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6) in favor of Sharia (which incidentally means "way"), a lie, and death for everyone who will not surrender to Allah. There is no way to reconcile Islam with the Judeo-Christian tradition, so let's stop trying.

When dealing with a demon-inspired enemy, we must remember three things: First, this is evil, evil, evil. There is no way to reason with, appease, or outlast such a force. We must not fool ourselves into thinking Islamic radicals will somehow get tired of jihad. They won't, because the real enemy underneath wants to destroy everything good, true, and beautiful. We need World War II-type heroes. We need to be men and women who understand this is an existential threat. And we need to be unrelenting in our resolve.

Second, we can never forget that this is a spiritual enemy. While those killed and enslaved by ISIS, Al Qaeda and dozens of other terrorist organizations are the victims, those who do the killing are also victims. They have been ensnared by a demon—and unless they take hold of Christ, they will suffer in eternity for their crimes. The way to fight a spiritual battle is to draw closer to God, to pray for revival, and to never grow weary in doing good. No bomb alone can destroy this evil.

Finally, we must understand the root problem is Islam itself and not simply the tactic of terrorism. Islamic beliefs, including Sharia law, enslave men and women in shackles to a demon. This is where we must be clear-headed and hold fast to what the Bible teaches. Our task is nothing less than to oppose Islam and those who adhere to its teachings, all the while loving those very same people and praying that Jesus would give them new life. If we really understand the danger of Islam and the demon who inspires it, we cannot continue to pretend that love means building mosques, holding inter-faith services, and making accommodations for the worship of Allah.

God our Creator—yours, mine, and theirs—wants men and women from every tribe, tongue, and nation to discover freedom in Him. Islam's greatest goal is to stop such relationships. In fact, Allah wants nothing less than to destroy the people Jesus died for.

But because Jesus died, this too is a battle that has already been won. Terrorism and endless wars are not the end of the story. Those who today worship a demon will bend low before Jesus, side by side with their Jewish brothers. God promises:

In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Egypt will come into Assyria, and Assyria into Egypt, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, "Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance" (Isaiah 19:23-25).

I hope I get to see that day.

Monday, November 9, 2015

White Mocha Rage and Its Proponents

It seems outrage is fairly cheap these days. You've probably seen the reports: "Some Christians Are Extremely Unhappy About Starbucks' New Holiday Cups."


I find it hard to believe that any serious-minded follower of Jesus is upset that Starbucks, a decidedly left-leaning corporation, has removed stylized snowflakes and cartoon snowmen from their disposable cups—as if those things constituted a strong gospel message and souls were coming to faith in Christ at the bottom of an eggnog latté. Starbucks is hardly attacking Christmas. The cups are still red and green, the traditional colors of the holiday, and there still available only during the commercial Christmas season. 

Something doesn't smell right about these news stories. It seems there's much ado about nothing, which in and of itself would not be so unusual. Who are the Christians who want to step up the arms race in the war on Christmas? As far as I can tell, this whole thing started with a selfie video made by Joshua Feuerstein, a former pastor turned self-proclaimed "social media personality." Some apparently sketchy things in his personal theology and his approach aside, watch the video for yourself and decide if his outrage is not just an attempt to draw attention to himself, to make his video go viral. 

There are two stories here. One is that there are people out there taken in by this sort of thing, who would see the Starbucks red and green cup, and believe their love for Jesus is being ridiculed. It's not, so that's just sad. 

But the second story is bigger: There is power in the media inflating a story beyond all necessary proportions. Do you know why we're talking about this faux controversy? Because in just 48 hours, the media has fanned the flames, and the perception now exists that this is an actual issue in the evangelical church. It's not. Just stop it. The church may overreact at times, but we're really not doing so on this one. At least not the vast majority of us. 

The next time you're in Starbucks, don't tell the barista your name is "Merry Christmas" so he writes it on your cup. Just wish him a merry Christmas and pray that the Lord would open a way to serve him in the name of Christ so he'd know you mean it.

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Chicken Who Crossed the Road

Did you know that Chick-fil-a has a secret recipe for a pork sandwich? It's true. Hidden in a vault at their corporate headquarters, the company has a contingency plan, should the world ever face a chicken shortage of cataclysmic proportions. Chick-fil-a's leadership recognizes that their real business is serving their customers good food in a warm, friendly environment. Chicken is what they're known for, but it's not essential to what they really hope to achieve in the marketplace. So if one day you find yourself ordering up a Deluxe Pork-fil-a sandwich with waffle fries you'll know why.

These days, it seems everything is negotiable at Chick-fil-a. Remember in 2012 when Dan Cathy, the president and COO of the company, said he was "guilty as charged" when it comes to supporting the traditional family? He said, 

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage." I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

He later said, on behalf of Chick-fil-a corporate,

We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit. ... We intend to stay the course. .... We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.

Almost overnight, Chick-fil-a became a scourge to the politically correct left and those who support so-called gay marriage. Corporate partnerships with the Jim Henson Co. and Harper Collins Publishers dried up. The mayors of Boston and San Francisco publicly announced Chick-fil-a was not welcome in their cities. And Chicago made moves to block a second store from gracing the Windy City. But despite all this pressure, God seemed to be blessing Dan Cathy for standing by his biblical convictions. Chick-fil-a sales increased 12%, or 4.5 billion—that's billion with a b—in 2012.

But what a difference a few years makes! Today, Chick-fil-a is an official corporate sponsor of Level Ground, an LGBT film festival whose mission is to "create safe space for dialogue about faith, gender, and sexuality through the arts." Seems a bit outside the "We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition. ... We intend to stay the course" mandate set by Dan Cathy. 

They say you are what you eat. I guess Dan Cathy eats a lot of his company's product. "I think the time of truths and principles are captured and codified in God's Word, and I'm just personally committed to that," Cathy said in a 2014 interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "The bottom line is we have a responsibility here to keep the whole of the organization in mind and it has to take precedence over the personal expression and opinion on social issues." Just two years after the controversy erupted and most of America stood by the company, making it even more profitable, Cathy changed his public statements. No longer is the Bible the final word. Now it's market share. 

If only there were a jackass to stop this chicken in his tracks.

No, I'm not making reference to Donald Trump, and my intention is not to be inflammatory. Dan Cathy is behaving like the biblical Balaam, and I pray that God brings him someone like the donkey in Balaam's story to get his attention and remind him of the truth.

Balaam, for all his faults, heard from God and knew exactly the right course of action to take when Balak, the king of Midian, came to him seeking a curse upon Israel. But Balaam would not go all in for the Lord. He continually entertained compromise. He took small steps toward disobedience, and eventually he found himself an enemy of God. You see, Balaam could not reconcile his calling from God with his desire to increase his personal bottom line. He sought compromise between the definitive word God had spoken and his love of money.

But in the middle of Balaam's ever-so-subtle rebellion, God opened the mouth of his donkey to confront Balaam in his sin. If a talking donkey couldn't get his attention and put him back on the right path, nothing would. In the end, Balaam chose his own destruction. He didn't directly disobey God—he never cursed Israel at the behest of Balak—but he did figure out a way to get some of Balak's money. He told the king how he could get Israel to bring down a curse upon themselves—by tempting them with sexual sin and idolatry (Numbers 31:16).

The Bible warns us about people who follow Balaam's lead: "They have followed the way of Balaam,  the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing ... For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved" (2 Peter 2:15, 17 ESV). The Holy Spirit, through the apostle Peter, is not mincing words. I believe Dan Cathy is a good man, but I believe he's making a grave mistake by compromising his beliefs to appease those who advocate a lifestyle that stands brazenly against the gospel. A few folks may feel better about themselves and about their favorite chicken sandwich, but Dan Cathy is headed down a dangerous path. My prayer is that you and me—and millions of believers across the country—might become the jackass he needs to hear from right now. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Why We Ought to Believe Every Word

Like children who have never missed a meal, who go to bed safe and warm each night, and who are surrounded by the loving reassurances of their parents, when things get tough, we can still have trouble believing that God really will provide for our needs. But here's the amazing thing—the Bible never says God will merely provide for our needs. It says, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9 MEV).

But let's take a step back. Before we approach those things that we can't even imagine, let's consider some of the things God's Word tells us plainly. When Jesus began His earthly ministry, He announced, in part, "He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord" (Luke 4:18-19 NASB). But do we really believe that? Sure, on some level, most of us would say yes. But then why do so many Christians feel captive, oppressed, or that the Lord is angry with them?

And what about what Jesus told His disciples, "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father" (John 14:12 ESV). Jesus healed the sick, cast out demons, raised the dead, turned water into wine, and walked on water, among other things. But how many of us believe that we will do greater things than these?

I ask this not in a spirit of accusation or condemnation but instead recognize that if I'm pointing a finger, there are three pointing back at me. And I wonder if those who have been chastised for not believing the Bible—for not really believing what it says about homosexual practice, adultery, abortion, etc.—would pay attention to the prophetic voice of the church if we truly believed every word. I wonder if they would feel loved if we believed every word—really believed every word—that God has spoken. We would be people of shalom—people who know their Dad has everything taken care of, living as our Creator intended, free to love and not to worry.

Have we missed something? In our efforts to be relevant, accessible, and consumer-friendly, have we lost sight of what Abraham knew—what Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, Peter, Paul, and every lover of God down through history has known? There can be no greater goal than to know God intimately, to experience more of Him with each passing day. In the early church, there was no shortage of persecution, no limit to the cost many believers paid for their faith, but men and women were drawn to Christ because they saw His Spirit alive and active in the church. These early Christians did the things Christ did—they healed the sick (Acts 3:1-10; 5:12-16), raised the dead (Acts 9:40; 20:7-12), and spoke words of prophecy (Acts 11:27-30; 19:6), among other miracles, signs, and wonders. And lest you think these experiences were limited to the apostles and their close friends, try to make sense of 1 Corinthians 12–14, which describes the gifts of average Gentile Christians.

The Bible is clear: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8 NIV). God has not changed. It is we who have moved, who have stepped out of sync with His Spirit.

But maybe this is our moment—our opportunity—to put aside everything else and seek His face. In setting aside our traditions, our denominations, our secondary doctrines, I don't mean we should toss those things in the trash. Rather, what if we just put them down for a divine moment in order to look to Him unhindered, that we might believe every word He has already spoken in the Bible and every word He wants to speak to our hearts? What if we became people who truly humbled ourselves and sought his face (2 Chronicles 7:14)?

What if the Christian life is not merely about sinning less but about loving God more? What if in our attempts to seek His kingdom—some through holiness, some through social justice, and others through evangelism—we've missed the forest for the trees? What if all those trees—good and right and proper as they are—will never bring the shalom we need?

What if seeking more of God is the way to seek His kingdom?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Same-Sex "Marriage" and the Path Between Condemnation and Celebration

A few days ago, Russell Williams, a Southern Baptist pastor, wrote a Facebook post about Kim Davis' jailing. And it has been shared 47,569 times to date. Before I respond, here is the post in its entirety:

Since I am a pastor of a southern Baptist church please allow me to weigh in on the case of Kim Davis, the lady in Kentucky who refuses to issue a marriage licenses to a same sex couple.   
First: This is not a case of the government forcing anyone to violate their religious belief. She is free to quit her job. If she quits her job to honor God surely God would take care of her.   
Second: This is not a case of someone trying to uphold the sanctity of marriage. If she wanted to uphold the sanctity of marriage she should not have been married four different times. If she is worried about her name being affixed to a marriage license that goes against a biblical definition of marriage, she should not have her name on the last three marriage licenses given to her.   
Third: This seems to be a case of someone looking to cash in on the religious right. Churches all across the south will throw money at her to come and tell congregations how the evil American government put her in jail because of her faith in Jesus. 
This is why we are losing.   
This is why people have such disdain for evangelicals.   
Not because we disagree but because we don’t take the bible seriously. If ever there was a case of “he who is without sin cast the first stone”, this is it. If ever there was a “take the log out of your eye” moment, this is it.   
We must stop looking to the government to make America a Christian utopia. Our kingdom is not of this world.   
We must abandon all thoughts of fixing others and let Jesus fix us.   
If we want sanctity of marriage then stop cheating, stop having affairs, stop looking at porn, stop getting divorces. That is the way for the church to stand up for the biblical definition of marriage, not by someone martyring their self-righteous self.


Since you are a pastor in the SBC, it is my hope that you are seeking to honor Jesus and uphold His Word in everything you do. You clearly have influence, not just over your flock, but with many more people in the wider world. That's why your recent Facebook post has me so troubled. I am worried that your line of thinking will lead many further away from the heart of God.

You mentioned that Kim Davis is not being forced to violate her religious beliefs. You say that if she has a problem issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, she should just quit her job. That is a viable option in my opinion. However, make no mistake. Her religious freedom—and yours and mine—is being violated. It started with bakers and florists, sermon subpoenas in Houston, and now a push for churches to lose their tax-exempt status. Kim Davis lost her freedom (albeit for a few days) because she listened to her conscience rather than the government. It's not because she supposedly broke the law; it's because of her Christian beliefs. Don't believe me? Then explain to me why San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom didn't go to jail. Why not Jerry Brown? Both refused to obey the law when same-sex "marriage" was illegal in California, but neither of them spent time behind bars for their acts of civil disobedience. 

You also wrote that this wasn't about someone trying to uphold the sanctity of marriage, and then you took what, in my opinion, is an unfair shot at Kim Davis. "If she wanted to uphold the sanctity of marriage she would not have been married four different times," you wrote. First off, you should know—or you should have done some research to discover—that Kim's marriage problems occurred before she came to know the Lord. As a born again Christian, she has a clean slate. We ought to be celebrating Jesus' victory in her life, rather than mocking her broken past.

In addition, divorce on its own is not sinful. As a student of the Bible, are you not aware that Jesus permitted divorce for sexual perversion? And that a believing spouse is not bound to her unbelieving husband? This is the classical evangelical view, and though some may disagree, citing more or fewer biblical grounds for divorce, it's not right to simply equate divorce with sin. While divorce is always a tragedy and always the result of someone's sin, it is not in and of itself necessarily sinful. 

You continued to slander Mrs. Davis, saying, "This seems to be the case of someone looking to cash in on the religious right. Churches all across the South will throw money at her to come and tell congregations how the evil American government put her in jail because of her faith in Jesus." Do you have evidence of this devious scheme? Unless you do, I think you owe Kim Davis an apology. 

Mostly, I want to respond to what you said about John 8. You wrote, "This is why we are losing. This is why people have such disdain for evangelicals. Not because we disagree but because we don't take the Bible seriously. If ever there was a case of 'He who is without sin, cast the first stone,' this is it." For a guy who doesn't like to see people throw stones, you have pretty good aim.

Jesus did not condone or celebrate this sin of the woman caught in adultery—the passage to which you alluded. In fact, He called it what it was—sin. But today we are being told that to call homosexual behavior or same-sex "marriage" sin is to be a hate-filled bigot. By codifying same-sex "marriage" in the law books, our government is mandating that we call what is evil "good." And if Jesus wouldn't do that, neither should we. 

I join with you in calling for the church to "stop cheating, stop having affairs, stop looking at porn, stop getting divorces." You're right—these are all ways that the church can take a stand for the sanctity of marriage. Maybe I'm not that cynical, but I believe that most real Christians—those who have been born again by an encounter with the risen Son of God—are actively fighting against sin. 

The real reason many people have disdain for Christians is because of the other thing Jesus said that day with the adulterous woman: "Sin no more" (John 8:11). Jesus called her actions "sin." He was calling her to repentance, to put her trust in Him. If Jesus had ignored, tolerated, or celebrated her sin, she might not have paid with her life that day, but she would pay with her eternal soul on Judgment Day. Her only hope was to put her faith in Jesus, so that her sins would be placed upon His shoulders at the cross. That's a message that the world all too often just doesn't want to hear because it means owning up to our sin. There's no such thing as salvation if there's no such thing as guilt.

The scenario you call for—one in which Jesus' disciples don't speak truth into culture, naming sin when they see it and calling sinners to repentance—is not evangelical. It's Amish. What you've inadvertently called for is the retreat of the church from culture and politics. Because if we cannot speak while there is sin in our camp, we will never be able to speak.

There is a middle way between condemnation and celebration. Today, the angry mob that Jesus had to deal with has been replaced by a cheering crowd of gay-rights activists and well-meaning but mistaken Christians who don't want to hurt others' feelings. That actually just makes things all the more difficult. Calling a sinner to repentance can look a lot like condemnation against that backdrop. But love does not want to see someone face an eternity apart from God. That's why Jesus died. And that's why we can never grow numb when our society celebrates something that breaks the Father's heart. Kim Davis understands that, and it is my prayer that you—and the church all across America—would too.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Real Reason Kim Davis Is in Jail

A few weeks ago on Meet the Press, Chuck Todd asked presidential candidate Ben Carson, "Simple question: Does the Bible have authority over the Constitution?" Carson seemed to stumble for a minute, sensing the trap, and managed to respond with "That's not a simple question. I think probably what you have to do is ask a very specific question about a specific passage of the Bible and a specific portion of the Constitution."
Since Carson couldn't give a straightforward answer, I assume there would be times when, for him, the Constitution would trump the Bible, and vice-versa. But I think he's wrong—about the question not being simple.

What if the Constitution was written in light of Scripture's revelation? What if our Founding Fathers, in their collective genius, designed a form of government that takes into account the nature of man as revealed in the Bible, the created order of the world as given to us by our Creator, and the basic moral framework found, among other places, in the Ten Commandments? If this is the case—as I believe it is—then there will be no conflict between Holy Scripture and the U.S. Constitution, at least not ultimately. That is, unless an oligarchy of nine unelected judges tinkers with it illegally. 

And that was the dilemma facing Kim Davis—and many other local, state, and national officials—beginning just a few weeks ago when the Supreme Court rendered its verdict in Obergefell v. Hodges. With gay "marriage" now the law of the land, Davis would have to choose whether or not she would issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples or follow her conscience and refuse to do so. In the end, she took a middle road. She stopped giving marriage licenses to everybody—gay or straight. She said she did so to avoid the charge of discrimination. 

Some will say that our Constitution is largely a secular document—with no explicit mention of God save "In the year of our Lord"—but I think our Founders were more savvy than that. By and large, if we take the Constitution as written and amended, there is virtually no conflict between faith in Christ and citizenship, nor between conscience and country. It's not a perfect document—that's why the men who wrote saw fit to allow for amendments—but certainly, followers of Jesus have been able to submit to and defend the Constitution in public office without fear of such a conflict ... until recently. 

Decades ago, the Supreme Court began ignoring the Constitution, though the document is clear: Only Congress has the right and responsibility to write laws. Yet the Supreme Court has seen fit on numerous occasions to bypass the legislative branch of our federal government and decree from on high a new way of life for us all. In recent years, the highest court in the land has found in the Constitution a separation of church and state that goes far beyond the First Amendment, abortion on demand, and now same-sex "marriage." 

And so, Kim Davis found herself required to uphold a law that wasn't a law when she first took office. And for bravely obeying her conscience and defending the actual Constitution—not a fictionalized retelling of it—she lost her freedom. 

Dr. Carson, the next time someone asks you which has higher authority: the Bible or the Constitution, make sure you ask your interviewer to clarify whether he or she means the actual Constitution or this patchwork thing the Supreme Court has seen fit to impose on us. Because if it's the real thing, there's no conflict. And if it's the "new and improved" version, I pray, for all our sakes, you'll cling to your Bible. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

What the Duggar Scandal Reveals—Part Two (Unfortunately)

Yesterday was the best day of Josh Duggar's life. I know what you're thinking, but stay with me for a minute.

When I read the news about Duggar's two Ashley Madison accounts and the nearly $1,000 he spent in his attempts to commit adultery, I was angry. Here's an outspoken Christian with a platform, and he's a complete hypocrite. Not only was he part of a hit reality TV series (that was brought down because of revelations that as a teenager he molested five young girls, including two younger sisters), but he was also working for the Family Research Council (again, until the aforementioned molestation incidents came to light).

In a previous post, I wrote, "If Josh can be changed, so can anyone. But based on the media's coverage, it seems many would have preferred for him to remain a molester." Well, he may no longer be a child molester, but today he admitted to being a porn addict and "unfaithful" to his wife. And yes, the Internet seems to be quite happy about this development. Josh Duggar was, and is, a fraud. And so, in the minds of many people, Christianity is bogus, and all the people who claim that Jesus brings new life are—like Josh—apparently lying.

Whenever anything like this happens, it's a sad day. Josh's actions have the power to harden many hearts, shut many ears, and close many eyes. That's a tragedy. So yesterday was a bad day, but as I mentioned at the onset of this post, it may just have been the best day of Josh Duggar's life.

Josh didn't become an adulterer yesterday. He's been one ever since he decided in his heart to cheat on his bride. The Ashley Madison reveal only shed light on what was already there. Josh's sin has been exposed—and now he has an opportunity to truly repent, seek help, and recommit his life to Jesus.

Scripture is clear: "Each of us will give an account of himself to God" (Romans 14:12), and "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:10). That's you, me, and everyone else—including Josh Duggar. God already knows every sin we commit and every dirty secret we try to hide. So there's no point in attempting to live a double-life. We will be found out, one way or another, so it's best to come clean before we're standing in front of our Maker.

Josh has been given an opportunity to stop hiding in the darkness, albeit one that he probably didn't want. He has bruised his wife and children, his family, and the body of Christ at large, but he is not without hope. Jesus died for adultery and pornography and child molestation—and loves Josh more than we can know. That's the beauty and power of the gospel: Jesus came to seek and save the lost—hypocrites and those who cheer when hypocrites are found out.