Michael Seewald, father-in-law of "19 Kids and Counting" star Jessa Duggar, has shared his thoughts regarding the molestation accusations surrounding Josh Duggar and offered a reminder that the blood of Jesus Christ has the power to cover even the worst sinners.
"There is blood in the water and the sharks are in a feeding frenzy," Seewald began a lengthy essay titled "Grace Greater Than Our Sin" posted on his family's blog Sunday. "Finally the Duggar family's opponents have found what they have been eagerly waiting for: shocking revelations of scandal by Jim Bob and Michelle's firstborn son, Josh."
Seewald, who is the father of 20-year-old Ben Seewald, writes that he'd "rather not" discuss the "nightmare that had been laid to rest over a decade ago with Josh's repentance and reformation." However, he said that he felt "compelled to bring some context and reason to the bloodletting."
While Duggar parents Jim Bob and Michelle have been criticized for not publicly disclosing the situation sooner, Seewald argues that they acted as "godly parents should."
"How many of you would broadcast the sins of your children to the whole world? Would you be willing to publicize your own darkest moments?" Seewald asks.
"Yes, we should constantly be learning and growing as parents and change when we see a better way, yet no parenting method is without flaw. The heart of the matter is do you have a good relationship with your children? From my perspective, this is where Jim Bob and Michelle excel."
Seewald goes on to address those who continue to criticize Josh, warning that those who condemn a repentant sinner have put themselves "in the place of God."
He quotes Matthew 7:2, which says, "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." Matthew 7:2.
Seewald explains, "We are never to condone sin, and the sins of Josh's youth are reprehensible. Civil penalties are sometimes required and we should never begrudge the victims of crimes or the civil authorities from seeking justice, but we are not to condemn repentant sinners in our hearts or with our tongues or pens. Though consequences are sometimes necessary and desired to uphold civil society and to bring temporary justice, Jesus forgives repentant sinners, real sinners: murderers, thieves, child molesters, homosexuals, self righteous church goers, the proud, liars, scoffers, atheists, hypocrites, and any other sinner or combination of them all."
In continuing his blog post, Seewald emphasized that the "victims of Josh's actions should not be lost in all of this."
"We should not downplay the seriousness of these offenses particularly, not gloss over the pain and confusion they often bring, sometimes for a lifetime," he writes.
"No matter what the abuser may have said, you are not the one to blame. Do not keep silent if you are being abused, tell someone you trust, a parent, a teacher, a friend, anyone is better than silence," he adds.
Seewald then offers a word of encouragement for those who "bear the emotional scars of abuse," explaining that healing "is possible and many people have found it."
"Turn to Jesus Christ and find your identity in him. Lean upon him as he cleanses away the guilt and pain. He promises to give you rest. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Mat 11:28-30.
Seewald continues that his family "stands with the Duggar family in solidarity," and that he is "rooting" for Josh as he and his family continue to deal with the scandal.
Last week, InTouch reported that Josh, 27, allegedly molested five underage girls between 2002 and 2003. At the time, Jim Bob and Michelle reportedly met with their church elders and sent their son to a program that featured counseling and "physical hard work." A felony investigation and police report was filed in 2006, but no charges were filed.