While participating in a Q&A via her Instagram Stories on Monday, September 18, one fan asked Jessa, 30, if she and Jinger, 29, are “still super close” or if they have “drifted apart with [their] new families.”
“We’re still super close!” Jessa assured the fan. “We don’t get to see each other in person as often as we’d like, but when we get together it’s just like old times.”
The Counting On alum set the record straight amid speculation that Jessa is estranged from the rest of her family. In recent years, fans have noticed Jessa has been absent from her family’s gatherings. Meanwhile, her husband, Ben Seewald, seemingly threw shade at his in-laws when he gave a sermon at Immanuel Baptist Church in Springdale, Arkansas, in November 2022.
According to the blog Without A Crystal Ball, Ben, 28, spoke about the dangers of becoming involved in a false religion while seemingly speaking about the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), which Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar raised their kids to follow.
Ben discussed people who act righteous and condemn others while also justifying their own bad behavior instead of taking accountability during the lecture. Later on in the sermon, he spoke about people who seek praise from the public for their faith but don’t live by the same morals behind closed doors.
While Jessa confirmed that she and Ben don’t follow the IBLP teachings during the recent Instagram Stories Q&A, they are not the only Duggar family members to speak out against the religion.
Joy-Anna Forsyth (née Duggar) and her husband, Austin Forsyth, claimed they were “never” a part of the organization in a September 15 YouTube video. Additionally, Jinger and Jill Dillard (née Duggar) have both been outspoken about their religious journeys and their decisions to step away from IBLP.
“Fear was a huge part of my childhood,” Jinger told People while promoting her memoir Becoming Free Indeed, which came out in January. “I thought I had to wear only skirts and dresses to please God. Music with drums, places I went or the wrong friendships could all bring harm.”
Jinger continued, “[Bill Gothard’s] teachings, in a nutshell, are based on fear and superstition and leave you in a place where you feel like, ‘I don’t know what God expects of me.’ The fear kept me crippled with anxiety. I was terrified of the outside world.”
“I think that even if you remove the person in leadership, a lot of those same values and principles are still being taught, so it doesn’t fix the problem,” she told People. “I think that’s what some people think like, ‘Oh, we’ve removed Bill Gothard from the situation. It makes everything better.’ No, it changes and maybe adds a nice storefront to the picture, but it doesn’t change the overall principles that are still being taught and held to.”
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