Question from email: I have a question for you that maybe you can answer. You said the Duggars aren't thought of too highly in ATI circles because of their fame. Why is that? Wouldn't they be seen as going out to spread their faith as Matthew commands?
I don't think I said they weren't "thought of too highly". I think I've suggested that there are some families within ATI circles who see the Duggars in a less positive light than they once did. ATI-ers do believe that Matthew commands Christians to go forth and spread the gospel among non-believers. Where the current ATI crowd finds fault with the Duggars (so I've been told) is the involvement of the children. Most QF families, especially the ones that isolate their children, read Matthew as commanding mature, adult Christians (who are secure in their faith) to go out and spread God's words and commands. Knowing Matthew, they will go out of their way to point out passages in Deuteronomy and Ephesians which - they claim- is God's command for parents to isolate their children from worldly things because anything worldly is against God. To coin a common phrase- "if I had a dollar..." for every time I was told "be not even a little bit an enemy with God" based on James 4:4 as a reason not to have friends outside of our movement, "...I'd be a rich woman". The Duggars have "made friends" with the worldly. They've invited them into their homes and circle. Worse, in the minds of the ATI/QF, they've allowed their children to spend time with all these people who aren't just like themselves in commitment to keeping the "word". It's like this...when you see the Duggars on the Today Show and think "there they are again", the ATI/QF crowd thinks of how foolish it is for the Duggars to put their children in the same room with all those non-ATI/QF people. The average QF/ATI family would never take their children to New York, let alone Time Square. It's too much outside influence for the children.
Make no mistake. I'm happy that the Duggars, for whatever reason, are stepping outside the ATI/QF norm and getting out in the world. I think it's the best possible thing for those kids, but it's considered very dangerous by those still "in" the movement. I suspect that the Duggars' recent hesitance to say they're QF stems from some of this "worldly" influence. In true QF circles, having their children hang with camera men and cousin Amy would be considered treacherous and for all the other faults I can find with Jim Bob and Michelle, they truly do seem to accept these people and trust their kids enough to allow contact.