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For several months now, we’ve been hearing rumors about an ongoing feud Jim Bob Duggar and his son-in-law Ben Seewald.
The cause of the discord is said to be a number of differing views regarding religious doctrine that would no doubt seem minor to anyone not deeply involved with the particular sect of baptism that shapes every aspect of the Duggars’ worldview.
But for Jim Bob and Ben what’s at stake is no less than the immortal souls, as well as the fates of Ben and Jessa’s two children.
Some of the disagreements can be easily understood by outsiders:
Ben holds a number of “liberal” beliefs (meaning they fall to the left of Jim Bob’s far-right ethos), and the Duggar patriarch believes that by supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and refusing to condemn all gays to hell, Seewald is defying not only the teachings of the Baptist church, but the very will of God.
But apparently, what concerns Jim Bob even more is some of Ben’s more arcane beliefs, which apparently fly in the face of the central tenets of Jim Bob’s beloved Quiverfull movement.
Insiders say the biggest point of contention is Seewald’s Calvinist beliefs.
One of the more controversial teachings of Southern Baptist Calvinism is that of predestination, or the belief that one’s salvation and path through life are pre-determined.
It’s a belief that’s shared by Jinger Duggar’s husband, Jeremy Vuolo, and apparently the doctrinal differences have created a deep rift within the Duggar clan.
“Every one of the guys have married into the family have their own way of thinking,” a source close to the family told Radar.
“Their beliefs aren’t always going to reflect every little ideal Jim Bob and Michelle embrace. There are a few differences in religious thought processes.”
The insider adds that Ben has been able to maintain close ties with most of his in-laws despite some major ideological differences–but it hasn’t always been easy.
“Overall he’s close to the family,” the insider continued.
“Most everyone tries to agree to overlook things that aren’t in alignment with their thinking. If there’s something that comes out they tend to work it out quickly.”
That said, Ben isn’t the only son-in-law with whom Jim Bob is currently locking horns.
It seems certain revelations about Joy-Anna Duggar’s husband, Austin Forsyth, recently came to light and Jim Bob is not pleased with what he’s learned:
“There has been a lot of talk about the character of her new husband Austin,” a source told Radar in September. “He was more of a rebel child.”
The situation has reportedly led to a generational feud that shows no signs of being resolved any time soon.
“There’s a lot of outrage between increasingly divided factions,” says one insider.
Thus far, Jim Bob has been able to maintain the outward appearance of civility.
But those familiar with the situation say it’s a veritable powder keg that’s liable erupt any day now.
Watch Counting On online for more from reality TV’s most controversial family.