Jeremy Vuolo, the former soccer star who is courting Josh Duggar’s sister Jinger, is now a pastor at Grace Community Church in Laredo, Texas. He says he sought a relationship with Jinger because she’s meek, modest, and intelligent. For the family, who lost their previous reality show after the world learned of Josh’s crimes and indiscretions, Jinger’s courtship means another season of their new show.
What does it mean, though, for Vuolo’s ministry, and for the pastor who introduced him to the Duggar family?
Vuolo shared his courtship story on his website. He met Jinger through one of the married Duggar daughters, Jessa. He says he went on to visit the Duggar family regularly, and in December, asked for a courtship.
It’s not really clear whether Jeremy ever interacted with Josh Duggar, but at the time when the courtship began, Josh would have been in his rehab program. Jessa and Ben were clearly friendly with Vuolo even before Josh’s police report became public — this video with Ben and Jeremy discussing a question of religion together was posted to Jessa’s YouTube channel in 2015, and Josh’s police report wouldn’t be released until that May.
Still, he doesn’t state in what month he met Jinger, only that he visited Ben and Jessa Seewald and interacted with the Duggar family “for the rest of that year,” which only means it was sometime during 2015.
However, Josh was working in Washington D.C., and it’s not clear whether there would have been any interaction between him and Vuolo, even during visits to the Duggar household.
In the beginning of his ministry, according to Starcasm, Vuolo was living in the home of Pastor Tim Conway of Grace Community Church in San Antonio. Conway acted as a mentor, teaching Vuolo the art of preaching.
If Pastor Tim Conway has an opinion about Josh Duggar, or about Jinger, or about the courtship between Jinger and Jeremy, he hasn’t said so publicly. However, two days after the announcement that Jeremy would be courting the sixth Duggar child, one of only five daughters that had been born at the time of Josh’s crimes, he uploaded a new video to his YouTube ministry page.
His focus? Sexual immorality. He opens with a question ostensibly sent to him by a young man who is having sexual thoughts and engaging in behaviors that he considers immoral and sinful. Conway declines to name the writer of the question.
Instead, he addresses the question, referring to sexual immorality as something one “falls into in patterns” and as a brief pleasure that isn’t worth eternity in Hell.
Just past the 13-minute mark, he starts talking about accountability partners — something the Duggar family has advocated for preventing their kids from accessing things online that aren’t acceptable. He quickly dismisses them, saying they don’t work, since someone willing to commit sins of lust won’t mind also committing the sin of lying.
Then he addresses passwords and blocking programs used to prevent access to websites with sexual content. He says these don’t work either — that all they do is make accessing gratification take slightly longer since the user just has to get around the controls.
If it doesn’t yet sound like he’s addressing Josh Duggar’s parents and their methods, consider this: according to Radar Online, a teenaged Josh is reported to have gotten around the accountability protections by accessing porn on a work computer, instead of at home.
Other things the pastor goes on to say will sound familiar too.
“He who does it destroys himself.”
Well, the word “destroy” may be open to interpretation — the pastor likely means in the eternal sense. However, Josh and his actions lost the Duggar family a reality show, opened them to more criticism than ever, caused Josh to lose his job, and resulted in him spending time in a rehab program.
Pastor Conway goes on.
“People who seek that thrill over and over, they become desensitized.”
This could address that Josh went from molestation to sneaking internet dating profiles behind his wife’s back.
“It’s destructive to marriage.”
Anna Duggar responded to this in a statement in an early episode of Jill and Jessa: Counting On. She indicated that she wouldn’t be leaving her husband. However, it is also clear, especially given Josh and Anna’s statement that they are continuing marriage counseling, that his actions did affect their relationship.
Whether or not the sermon was intended to address the brother-in-law-to-be of Pastor Conway’s tutee, it certainly seems to be relevant to Josh Duggar, and the timing is striking.
[Image via YouTube]