"He was living a lie," she says of her brother. "Only Jesus can save him. False religion and man-made rules never will."
Jinger Duggar is speaking out about her estranged brother and the strain his prison sentence has put on both her faith and family.
Promoting her new memoir “Becoming Free Indeed: My Story of Disentangling Faith from Fear,” the 29-year-old “19 Kids and Counting” star told Page Six she had no plans to restart communications with her brother Josh Duggar, who she said needs a “new heart.”
“[As] far as my brother is concerned, I haven’t spoken to him, and I think, I would say, no one is outside of the grace of God in being able to change,” Jinger said firmly. “But until there is major change, I’d say that will probably still be my stance.”
She continued, “[I’m] just not reaching out for any communication at this point.”
Jinger Duggar Speaks Out on Brother Josh, Birth Control & Breaking Free from Family's Religion
Back in December 2021, Josh, 34, was found guilty for receiving and possessing child pornography; he was sentenced to over 12 years in prison in May 2022. His sentencing came six years after he was accused of molesting five underage girls including four of his sisters — Jinger, Jill Duggar, Jessa Duggar and Joy-Anna Duggar.
“You deal with stuff in the public eye, and that’s just another thing that’s been so tough to walk through,” Jinger confessed. “I will say I’m grateful for the justice system. My heart just really breaks for the victims and their families, and I’m just grateful for the justice that is being served now.”
Though the reality star has no intention of speaking to her brother behind bars, she opened herself up to support Josh’s wife Anna and their seven children.
“I am always here for his wife and kids,” said Jinger. “If they need anything at all, I would hope that they would know that they can come to us. My heart just breaks for them as well.”
Jinger Duggar Speaks Out Against Family's 'Cult-Like' Religious Beliefs
In her book, she explains how she viewed Josh and Bill Gothard as one in the same. Gothard was the founder of the Institute in Basic Life Principles, an organization that taught an ultra conservative Christian lifestyle that the Duggars raised their children under. He eventually resigned from the religious group back in 2014 after receiving 30 claims of sexual harassment from his former employees.
In her book, Duggar claims that both men will need to begin to change in their hearts. “It doesn’t start from the outside. It starts from your heart,” the mother of two said. “So needing a new heart is done … through the gospel of Jesus Christ changing your heart and giving you new desires.”
In an excerpt shared with Entertainment Tonight from her new book, Jinger wrote about Josh’s “hypocrisy” calling it “one of the hardest realities in my life.”
“He used his platform, and even his job at the Family Research Council, to promote some of the same ideas Gothard taught. But while he looked the part in so many ways, the true Josh appears to be much different,” she said.
Josh Duggar's Family Reacts to 12-Year Child Porn Sentence: 'God Has Carried Out His Vengeance'
The “19 Kids and Counting” star continued: “He was living a lie. Even though he claimed to follow Jesus, his actions gave no evidence of a true love for the Lord, a heart changed by the gospel. Watching all the pain Josh’s sin has caused not only shows me the danger of hypocrisy but also reveals that external religion, a life of performance, has nothing to do with following Jesus.”
Jinger admitted she hadn’t seen or spoken to Josh in “nearly two years,” but keeps him in her prayers and his “desperate need for repentance.”
“I want my brother to be genuine and honest about his sin and reject the hypocrisy that has been part of his life for so long. Only Jesus can save him. False religion and man-made rules never will.”
“Gothard’s rules can’t transform anyone. They couldn’t even transform him,” sheconcluded. “Only Jesus can do that. What Gothard and my brother Josh need is a new heart that only Jesus can give. That’s what I need. That’s what we all need. Without a new heart, all the outward religious behavior isn’t going to please God.”
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