Great Stuff — Reflections on the Fall of a Pastor

Posted over on JoshuaTheilen.blogspot.com:

 

TchividjianTullian Tchividjian, the well known pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, has resigned his position.  According to his own statement both he and his wife committed adultery.  This disqualifies him from the pastoral office.  He has willingly acknowledged his affair and peacefully stepped aside.

It is a sad day when a pastor must resign his call for any reason, but especially for living an immoral life.  Tchividjian’s case gives a great deal of pause for Lutherans in particular since he was highly influenced by Luther’s writings and those of contemporary Lutheran scholars such as Robert Kolb.  Tullian, in recent years, has sought to clarify the proper distinction of Law and Gospel in his own preaching as well as to spread that teaching to a wider audience.

As Lutherans we have a high view of God’s Word in general and of the Gospel in particular.  When a Lutheran pastor falls into temptation does he really need to resign?  Can he not simply be forgiven and reinstated?

Yes, it is proper for pastors in this situation to resign.  The reason for this, though, may not be what you think.

Tullian broke the 6th commandment.  He committed adultery.  He failed to live up to the expectation that an overseer (pastor) would be “above reproach, the husband of one wife”. (I Timothy 3:2)

His sin, on the one hand, is no different than any other.  It is just as damning as murder, theft, and idolatry.  It is just as forgivable as well.  The blood of Jesus atones for all sins.  Tullian has expressed his regret over this sin and, as far as I am concerned, stands forgiven for the sake of Christ Jesus.

One the other hand, his sin is worse than others because it places a stumbling block before the people of God’s church.  Not only is he a megachurch pastor, but he is a well known author and conference speaker.  His sin has a ripple effect that spreads through the people of God and causes damaging shock waves.  People’s faith will be shaken.  They will be hurt by what he has done.

(Please do not take my words here to be harsh criticism of this fallen pastor.  My heart breaks for his family and his congregation.  I am awakened by this scandal knowing that this could easily be me.  I am not a perfect man, not by a long shot.  It is only by God’s grace that I have not scandalized His Church yet.  So I am not, in any way, suggesting my own moral or spiritual superiority.)

So what is a pastor to do when he has scandalized not only his congregation, but a large piece of the body of Christ?

He should resign.

And then what?

He should keep silent.  He should simply fade into the background, joyfully participating in the body of Christ and serving as an average layman.  No comeback, no book deals, no speaking tours, no theological blogs.

But wait.  Isn’t that a bit extreme?  Surely he could take some time off and then be reinstated, or called to a different congregation.  At the very least he could go around speaking and writing for the church, using his God-given gifts as a communicator.

There is, of course, a certain appeal for fallen pastors in the idea of becoming a popular layman, speaking and writing without the checks and balances of a congregation to hold you back.  He has all manner of credentials that would look impressive on a book jacket: former pastor and seminary chancellor, grandson of Billy Graham, etc.

Someday in the near future Tullian my find himself teaching Speech 101 at a southern Florida community college.  He will be under the radar, attending church, hopefully with his family still in tact.  And no one will be asking him theological questions. No one will be coming to hear him preach this Sunday.  He will sit in the pew, receive the Word of God, and then head back into the world just like everyone else.

He may begin to feel obscure, lost, unused.  And he will be tempted to jump back in, to start a new church, to write a new theological treatise, to reopen his blog and make a contribution to the spiritual lives of God’s people.  A noble goal indeed.

Yet Tullian should resist that urge, that temptation.  For he has scandalized the church, and his coming back to the lime light only runs the risk of placing more and bigger stumbling blocks along an already treacherous path.

We do not ask fallen pastors to remain quiet because their sin was too great to forgive.  We ask for their silence out of true thankfulness for God’s grace in Christ and deep love for His Church.

The real test for Tullian’s faith in the days ahead, in the days of teaching community college or building homes or plunging toilets, will be this: Is God’s grace sufficient for you, even in obscurity?  Can you accept that God does not need your talents and gifts, that He is simply happy to keep you in His fold?  I pray so.

Obscurity will be your cross to bear.

It is to the doctrine of vocation that the fallen pastor must turn to for comfort.  The plumber, carpenter, or teacher is no less precious in the sight of God than is the pastor, author, and speaker.  To feel that we must run back to the office from which we have been removed is to deny this truth.

Tullian Tchividjian, you will likely never read this.  But I pray that you never seek to re-enter the pastoral ministry.  I pray that God gives you peace beyond that office, that you may be assured of His great love for you for the sake of Jesus.  Go home.  Call to your wife.  Forgive her.  Confess to her.  Rebuild your family.  Joyfully receive God’s gifts.  Teach those college freshmen how to give a dynamite speech.  Be at peace.


Comments

Great Stuff — Reflections on the Fall of a Pastor — 39 Comments

  1. Tullian Tchividjian came under the influence of the “Radical Gospel” proffered by none other than the late ELCA false teacher, Gerhard Forde. This is evident in Tchividjian’s numerous books, sermons, and talks.

    This is why Tchividjian became such a darling to some LCMS university and seminary professors, who have and continue actively to promote Forde, as well as to a goodly number of their students, who’ve come under their sway.

    I’m by no means suggesting that Forde’s false doctrine caused Tchividjian’s downfall, but I am thoroughly convinced that there is a strong correlation between it and the late unpleasantness.

    When one reduces sanctification to justification, finds the inspiration and authority of Scripture in the experience of the reader or hearer instead of the text, rejects the vicarious satisfaction and substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ, and denies the eternal law, natural law, and the law’s third use, one’s convictions about the law, given that the Law-Gospel “experience” is the chief thing in one’s faith and life, is likewise subjective.

    Law becomes merely my negative feeling. Law bad, Gospel good. In other words, Law-Gospel reductionism.

    This is, my friends, a time not only for Tchividjian to repent and ask for forgiveness, but also for all false teachers, who’ve promoted Gerhard Forde in the past, to likewise repent and ask for forgiveness.

    Return to Luther, Melanchthon, Chemnitz, Gerhard, Walther and Pieper. Turn away from the false teachings of neo-Lutheranism and the Erlangen theology.

  2. This is a thoughtful article. Thanks BJS for posting it. Regarding the concept of stepping away from the pulpit and speaking circuit, let us not forget that Mr. Tchividjian is scheduled to speak at Bill Woolsey’s Wiki15 conference this year. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

  3. Tullian Tchividjian was the Concordia Seminary March 19, 2015, Reformation500 speaker, advertised as “bring[ing] his own legacy of American Christianity and ministry. He is the grandson of famed evangelist Billy Graham.”

    The Concordia Seminary faculty’s website, Concordia Theology, also promoted Tchividjian as the 2015 Reformation500 speaker, “Tchividjian will put spotlight on Luther’s legacy in American Christianity.”

    An April, 2015, BJS blog, “Inviting Tullian Tchividjian Gave the Wrong Impression,” critiqued this legacy.

    Now, as the Washington Post article reports, there is another legacy.

  4. Tchividjian’s statement revealed his “inappropriate relationship” began after he found out that his wife, Kim, was committing adultery with another man. The Washington Post article notes that Kim has released her response, which includes: “The statement reflected my husband’s opinions but not my own.”

    There seem to be some loose dots here, which I suspect will start to get connected in the coming days and weeks.

  5. Let’s hope that the subsequent comments measure up to the kindness and wisdom of Pastor Theilen.

    “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” – Luke 15

  6. i am troubled by some of the points in this article. I agree that Tullian Tchividjian should not shepherd a church again, or earn his living in the church. I don’t agree that he should not write or publicly speak again. Not this month, perhaps not this year, maybe not for a few years. However, I can’t help but think that he may eventually have some amazing grace filled words to give us. Words of restoration. A broken and a contrite heart calling on and receiving the mercies of the Savior.

  7. Tchividjian stated: “As many of you know, I returned from a trip a few months back and discovered that my wife was having an affair. Heartbroken and devastated, I informed our church leadership and requested a sabbatical to focus exclusively on my marriage and family.”

    Such a trip would appear to correspond to approximately the time of Concordia Seminary’s March 19th Reformation500 conference at which Tchividjian spoke.

    If the referenced trip had occurred earlier, then his taking a sabbatical would have precluded his appearance at the Reformation500 conference. Of course, there may have been another trip in the week or so immediately after the Reformation500 conference, to which he was referring.

  8. Carl @#9

    Or he could have been on sabbatical when he spoke at Concordia Seminary’s March 19th Reformation 500 conference.

  9. Mr. Tchividian was asked to speak at CSL without their knowledge of this, so it is more than unfair to critique them on that. Other critiques, although warranted are off subject to this post (perhaps the earlier linked post in Mr. Vehse’s comment may be more fitting).

    This “Great Stuff” is a wonderful and faithful treatment of a really sad situation. Those wishing to comment ought to remember that a) there are those hurting badly over this [family, congregation, followers] and b) the original post is great because it uses this situation as the occasion of the post but doesn’t focus on it in its discussion of the aftermath of such sad situations.

  10. @Robert C. Baker #1

    Frankly, you are an illiterate when speaking about Forde and his work.

    None of what you are accusing him of is remotely true or accurate.

    It is a very simplistic caricature designed to promote your own desire to make yourself righteous by works of the law. Its evident from your comments you have never actually read any of Forde’s works (or if you did, you simply misunderstand them). Or perhaps you simply wish to misrepresent them to further your agenda.

    I would suggest that instead of playing amateur “Theology CSI” and pin this unfortunate man’s sin on the supposed error of “too much” and “too free” Grace you acknowledge the truth of the matter: man sins because he is a sinner (100%).

    There is absolutely zero “correlation” or evidence of any kind that that this had anything to do with the matter. So what is the “cause” of sin (or worse sin) in works righteousness or law preachers of the “conservative” persuasion? Roman Catholics preach Infused Grace to keep the law yet have priest pedophile scandals. Likewise, Reform (Calvinist) and “conservative” Lutherans preachers of the Law who preach a “regenerated free will” that supposedly empowers them to be obedient to the law have also similarly fallen. The only difference between this man and the law/works preachers his notoriety due to family connections.

    I think you find that the unconditional Grace of God through Christ scandalous for some reason. And that is a shame since it is evident that the world does not lack for Law and law/works preaching as that is constantly bombard upon you both in the Church and the secular world.

    If anything, we need the word of the Gospel (unconditional forgiveness of sins on account of Christ) proclaimed more boldly then ever. And for whatever this man’s sins and faults are, he was coming around to doing just that.

    As far getting back to Luther, I would suggest you read his commentary on Psalm 2. In it he points out that the common refrain of those who oppose the free Grace of God and salvation by faith in Christ alone is that “all hell is breaking out in the world”. This sounds a lot like you!

    So I would suggest perhaps you refrain from unfounded rebuking and baseless accusations. In the words of a famous saying: Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

  11. “Mr. Tchividian was asked to speak at CSL without their knowledge of this, so it is more than unfair to critique them on that.”

    Yes. And so far no critique has done so.

  12. @J.M. Keynes #10

    Forde was a false teacher who denied substitutionary atonement and the inerrancy of Scripture. Forde is poison, and his influence should be purged from the LCMS.

  13. @Mary Kruta #6

    Is Tullian Tchividjian repentant? Do tweets properly convey a person’s contrition? While I can find only general comments about God’s grace, and such nuggets suggesting that we’re all sinners and such, I don’t find any dark night of the soul.

    You decide:

    I’m so so sorry. I love you all…fade to black.
    49 retweets 463 favorites
    Tullian Tchividjian ‏@PastorTullian Jun 22

    So grateful that God is a bottom feeder.
    142 retweets 626 favorites
    Tullian Tchividjian ‏@PastorTullian Jun 22

    No vertical condemnation does not mean no horizontal consequences. Surrender early.
    388 retweets 885 favorites
    Tullian Tchividjian ‏@PastorTullian Jun 21

    Welcome to the valley of the shadow of death…thank God grace reigns here.
    384 retweets 1,103 favorites
    Tullian Tchividjian ‏@PastorTullian Jun 18

    “Anywhere I would’ve followed you…” https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-dmdMfs_V3w
    View media
    5 retweets 40 favorites
    Tullian Tchividjian ‏@PastorTullian Jun 18

    You and I are persistent promise breakers. God alone is a perpetual promise keeper.
    194 retweets 396 favorites
    Tullian Tchividjian ‏@PastorTullian Jun 18

    “Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection.” David Zahl (@mockingbirdnyc)
    62 retweets 107 favorites
    Tullian Tchividjian ‏@PastorTullian Jun 17

    “You’re a dream to me…” https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=j1eBEzAK5tk
    View media
    4 retweets 12 favorites
    Tullian Tchividjian ‏@PastorTullian Jun 17

    One thing is certain: I am hyper about grace!
    110 retweets 273 favorites
    Tullian Tchividjian ‏@PastorTullian Jun 17

    The bad news that we are all guilty is met with the best news that God loves and forgives guilty people.
    171 retweets 292 favorites

  14. When my better half first read his statement, citing his wife’s alleged sin as the cause of his own disobedience, my bride observed that Tchividjian “played the Adam card”. Have to admit that never occurred to me.

    Something for us guys to consider.

  15. Very sorry to hear this. Theological disagreements or no, it’s always a horrible thing to hear of adultery. Let’s never kick a man when he’s down, whether we agree with his theology or not. May God restore TT and his family.

    Glad to see he stepped down. That’s the right thing to do. Not every pastor caught in inappropriate behavior (adultery or otherwise) has forthright done this (Jimmy Swaggart).

    I am concerned about the apparent “difference in opinion” between TT and Kim. Hopefully this is something minor, and is not leading toward something more serious.

  16. @J.M. Keynes #10

    “I think you find that the unconditional Grace of God through Christ scandalous for some reason.”

    I’m not sure I read that in Robert Baker’s post.

    In fact, it seems he upholds the vicarious satisfaction and substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ, which is the scandal of the unconditional grace of God.

  17. Actually the reason why this sin (adultery) is different than … say (personal use of) pornography … is because it is an OPEN sin, where the whole community (Christian aND non-Christian is affected). A Public Sin.

    Please, let’s not forget the great qualification of a Pastor passage in 1 Tim. ch. 3

    “7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”

  18. I (our family) personally experienced a similar situation in the church body that my wife and kids belong to. One of the pastors had committed adultery, and the church body was informed by a short statement by the spokesman of the church committee. Then he went on a 6 month paid medical leave.

    We were all hurt, and it did not help that so many had this lutheran pastor on a pedestal. Our family was dEEPLY hurt, and some people were also doubting his timing of coming out (after preaching at Christmas, “covertly”) or even his sincerity. His loving, strong-believer wife forgave him. Our family went thru a “mourning-like” faith-testing time, and we forgave the person (also a family friend). The Word of God teaches us, the one who is forgiven much, forgives much, no ? And think about the Lord’s Prayer and petition for forgiveness. God’s Grace and His Holy Spirit is what brings us to repentance and also points us to the cross.

    But forgiving the person, does not mean that we forgive the Office of the Ministry (for which the person still stands for). The way I see it (and also 2000 years of Church practice), 1 Tim 3 clearly shows that adultery and any grave sins, disqualify a person from the ministry or teaching in the Church.

  19. @Robert C. Baker #1

    Tullian Tchividjian came under the influence of the “Radical Gospel” proffered by none other than the late ELCA false teacher, Gerhard Forde.

    Please provide references to where Gerhard Forde wrote or spoke as a false teacher who stated that God’s Holy Law is “bad.”

    Thanks!

    Marie Meyer

  20. Tullian, disqualified himself and it surely is sad because he violated the trust those whom had given him the privilege to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  21. I have a question for people way smarter than me. If this is all true, why did Nathan not ask for Kind David’s resignation when he sinned so publicly? He not only wrote books, he went on to pen a good chunk of scripture.

    And why when Peter sinned, publicly denying Christ, Did Christ reinstate him to ministry? He too went on to pen scripture, and also continued to sin. Paul had to call him out when he “stood condemned” of false doctrine. He didn’t demand his resignation at that point either. We are left to assume that Peter saw his error, repented, and continued his ministry.

  22. This is a excerpt from Rev. Bremer’s paper for the ACELC confrence.

    “I bring this up because there may be some who believe that their pastor may not be one who deserves our Lord’s forgiveness. Every pastor should know that when he sins, even in this holy office, our Lord’s forgiveness is his. It is unthinkable that men, sinful men who make mistakes, should not be offered the same grace that God wants all men to have.

    Here I cite this one example, although there are others. King David from whom the holy seed of the Lord would pass, was confronted with both the sin of murder and adultery by Nathan the prophet. Would a congregation ever call such a man to be there shepherd? Of course not, He wouldn’t even get on the pre-call list!

    Everyone knows this story, but I’m not sure many understand the full meaning of what is going on. King David had sinned against God and God was not happy. He sent Nathan, His prophet, to strike David with hammer of His law. Nathan did so knowing that his life may be in danger for accusing the king. After a subtle attempt to get David to figure out the problem, (with a story about a neighbor and his sheep) he finally lays it on the line. “You are the man” said Nathan. David was hit right between the eyes with the law. David had sinned. David had committed adultery. David had murdered Uriah. What will God do? Will He throw him out of office? Will He offer him a one month severance package and tell him that the Israel Health Plan would only be continued till the next month? Would David have to leave the palace immediately in shame? No! Nathan, at God’s direction, confronts David with his sin. David responds: “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan turns to David and says: “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.”

    This cannot be overstated…THE LORD forgave David completely.

    It is understood that David received consequences for his actions and yes, they were severe. His son died, but David was absolved and was not removed from God’s Holy Office.

    What current congregation would want David as its pastor? None, that’s how many. Yet God saw fit to retain His servant in the office to which He had called him.

    Could it possibly be that God in His infinite wisdom, a wisdom far beyond man’s, has a better idea when it comes to dealing with those who sin against him? To be blunt, the God way would be for the pastor to be confronted with his sin, given the opportunity to repent and receive absolution, rather than just be removed from office? I know this is not how the modern Christian thinks, but this is God’s way of dealing with the sinner even if that sinner is a pastor. The same Law and Gospel applied to David should be applied to all. Let me also add, that this is the same way that the pastor is to deal with a sinful congregation. Law and Gospel should always be applied to the pastor and the congregation.”

    http://mychurchwebsite.s3.amazonaws.com/c2001/5_2015_deposing_a_pastor_biblical_and_unbiblical_reasonsbremer.pdf

  23. @Andy #21

    King David was a King, not a pastor. That is very much a different office. His sin had all kinds of consequences, chief of which was the loss of his son. He was also not allowed to build the temple he wanted because of his sins. It is not apples to apples as Kings and Pastors are different offices (actually taking up roles in two different kingdoms altogether).

    Peter and Paul both received an immediate call directly from Jesus [this is a huge difference between them and pastors today]. Paul clearly says that his sins such as blasphemy and persecution of Christians were done out of ignorance and unbelief [he was not yet a Christian] (1 Timothy 1:12-15). Paul also still leaves it open for a man with an immediate call to disqualify himself if he is not disciplined (1 Cor 9). Pastors receive mediate calls, which are to be judged accordingly (for example why Paul gives Timothy and Titus his instructions about who should be pastors). This is also why he provides so many warnings to Timothy and Titus about their conduct and beliefs.

  24. @Andy #22

    To be blunt, the God way would be for the pastor to be confronted with his sin, given the opportunity to repent and receive absolution, rather than just be removed from office?

    Since the man under discussion has had conferences with his Elders, one might suppose that all the things you suggest were done.
    As far as the Office is concerned, there is forgiveness and there are temporal consequences.
    Timothy was told how to choose Pastors, and Paul was not just beating his gums. In that time and this, Pastors are expected to be an example to their flocks. Especially in the “cult of personality” churches, the man in charge must retain the confidence of the pewsitters. Not to do so jeopardizes the life of the congregation. [That’s aside from the affront to God.]

    That’s why it’s not a good idea to have a church revolve around a Pastor, instead of God’s Word and Sacraments. [Lutherans have done it, too.]

  25. Does an Immediate call(without means) give a Mister a grater ability to sin just because we know by miraculous signs or the words of Christ that he is in fact called? Does the fact that a modern pastor’s call is by the means of Christ’s church (mediate Call) mean we can assume that his call has been revoked by God if he sins? How can we trust our pastors as the mouth piece of Christ when exercising the Office of the Keys if he has a lesser call than the men who were ordered by Christ to forgive sins? If Timothy or Titus were to commit the same sins as Peter would they have been removed?

  26. Originally posted on my blog (http://pastoralkorn.blogspot.com/2014/02/pastors-and-grave-sin.html):

    The danger of choosing sinful men to serve in the Office of the Holy Ministry is that these are sinful men, and these men do not stop being sinners just because they have been chosen to serve. I’ve been involved in a discussion of what happens when (for the purposes of this post, as I don’t have one particular case in mind) a hypothetical pastor is found to have committed a grave moral failing, a sin of such proportions that he is found to be no longer worthy to serve in the Office of the Holy Ministry. Now, this hypothetical man has confessed his error and has rightly resigned his position and has accepted removal from the clergy roster. Some would say that, mindful of I Timothy 3, he is no longer “above reproach” or “of good reputation with those outside the Church,” and so he must be removed from the clergy roster AND he must remain silent from that point on. He must not be allowed to teach Sunday School or Bible classes; he must not be allowed to serve in any lay congregational office; he must not be chosen to write for the Synod’s publishing arm or Synodical publications; he must not speak (or possibly even participate) at conferences sponsored by any body of the Church–all so that he does not exacerbate the pain of those who were affected by and continue to be suffering because of the man’s grave moral failing.

    I admit that I am very sensitive, maybe overly sensitive, to such things. After having been placed on Restricted Status by a District President (who from the very start admitted that my sin was an error in judgment and not a grave moral failing), and according to the by-laws of Synod being completely unable to perform the duties of the Office of the Holy Ministry for nearly eight months while on Restricted Status for what was not a grave moral failing, I’m not altogether convinced by the idea that reputation as we view it today is a permanent bar to any sort of public participation in the life of the Church. I know how easy it is to tarnish or even destroy a man’s reputation, rightly or wrongly. For a man who rightly is removed from the clergy roster, that is rightly a temporal consequence of sin. That being said, what other temporal consequences are there? Do they need to be laid out plainly, or do we make them up as we go along? Does such sin merit a life sentence without possibility of parole in the prison of the Church–allowed to live as forgiven, yet for all intents and purposes completely segregated from the daily life of the Church?

    I am not insensitive to the pain of those affected by scandals caused by pastors who have been caught in a gross public sin. Such pain lingers, I know, and it affects how victims of such sin view the Church and even the Lord. However, I am also not insensitive to the thought that the man who has sinned is forgiven in the eyes of God and the Church, has accepted the temporal consequences of his actions by resigning his position, and has learned important lessons of forgiveness–especially forgiveness for sins that tend to burden the consciences of all sinners, clergy and laity–which he has the opportunity to share with the Church. Should he be a pastor again? I don’t think so. Should a child molester, for example, be allowed to teach Sunday School? Certainly not. Should an embezzler be allowed to serve as congregation treasurer? Don’t be silly. Should the man be gagged and kept in the closet, to be part of the Church but unable to be part of the life of the Church? No. Within reason, and certainly with sensitivity to the pain of those who have been hurt by the sin committed by this man, I believe the Church has the opportunity to utilize such men to continue to teach the Church–no longer as pastors, but as sinners with theological training who have a unique understanding of the power of forgiveness through the grace of God in their own lives.

  27. From an August 22, 2015, article, “Tullian Tchividjian Files for Divorce“:

    “There was little public information available about the divorce filing. Under Florida law, one party must establish that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” in order for the union to be dissolved. Tullian and his wife, Kim, married in 1994 and have three children.”

    “On August 11, the South Florida Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) deposed Tchividjian, ruling him unfit for Christian ministry.”

    “Tchividjian must display an “eminently exemplary, humble and edifying life and testimony” for an extended period of time before he can return to ministry, according PCA’s Book of Church Order.”

    “Tchividjian has remained active on social media since resigning. He told CT earlier this summer that leaving the public eye would undermine the message of grace he preached.”

  28. @Carl Vehse #30

    “Tchividjian has remained active on social media since resigning. He told CT earlier this summer that leaving the public eye would undermine the message of grace he preached.”

    A little time out for reflection wouldn’t hurt!
    He’s undermined his “message of grace” already, himself.

  29. I would ask Tullian, “what does he mean that leaving the public eye would undermine the messsge of grace he preached”?? Does he think he is a better preacher by his adulterous act?
    Tullian, you are confused and I would had hoped he would think about the shame he brought on the Body of Christ. It is so sad.

  30. On August 7 at 4:39pm, Tullian Tchividjian wrote on Facebook:

    “What typically happens when a Christian leader falls is that they disappear and only reappear when they’re strong and shiny again. No one ever sees them in their broken and weakened condition. When we do this, we send the message that Christianity is only for good and strong and clean people. But believe it or not, Christianity is not about good people getting better. It is, rather, good news for bad people coping with their failure to be good. The message of the Christian faith is that because Jesus was strong for us we are free to be weak. The gospel of grace, in other words, frees us to let people see us at our worst so that they can see God at his most gracious best. After all, this whole thing is not about us and our reputation and status and strength and competence. It’s about Jesus, what he’s done, and who he continues to be for broken down ragamuffins like me.”

  31. I was a member of the PCA for many years and the PCA statement concerning his discpline, he ignored. Does he not believe in discpline for himself?

  32. On August 19, 2015, at 12:27pm Tullian Tchividjian wrote on Facebook:

    “Whoever does not know God hidden in suffering does not know God at all.”

    —Martin Luther

    A search with Google and Bing comes up empty for a specific reference from where that quote of Martin Luther comes. In some places it’s only given as a paraphrase. Does anyone know where Luther said or wrote this (in German or Latin of course)?

  33. @Pastor Joshua Scheer #23

    Thanks for the distinction that you clearly stated of the two Kingdoms. We so often miss. The kingdom of Israel is not and never should be equated with Christ Kingdom, he is King of all Nations and Kingdoms

  34. Tullian Tchividjian has been fired from Willow Creek Church, Winter Springs, FL.

    According to a March 17, 2016, Christian Post article, “Willow Creek Fires Tullian Tchvidjian After He Confesses to Another Affair,” Tchividjian had a previously unconfessed inappropriate relationship with a woman, prior to an affair with another women, which he admitted last year.

    In June 2015, Tullian Tchividjian resigned as pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church after admitting to an affair that he began a couple of months earlier after discovering his wife was having an affair (which would be about the time Tchividjian was invited to bring “his own legacy of American Christianity and ministry” as the speaker at Concordia Seminary’s 4th Reformation500 annual speaker series).

    Prior to his 2015 resignation Tchividjian had requested “a sabbatical to focus exclusively on my marriage and family.” Subsequently, Tchividjian filed for divorce from Kim, his wife of 21 years, and was deposed as a pastor by the South Florida Presbytery. In September, 2015, Tchividjian resurfaced as “Director of Ministry Development” at Willow Creek Church, Winter Springs, FL.

  35. @Carl Vehse #36

    It appears to be a paraphrase of Luther’s Proof of Thesis 21 in the Heidleberg Disputation, May 1518.

    A theology of glory calls evil good and good evil. A theology of the cross calls the thing what it actually is.

    This is clear: He who does not know Christ does not know God hidden in suffering. Therefore he prefers ,works to suffering, glory to the cross, strength to weakness, wisdom to folly, and, in general, good to evil. These are the people whom the apostle calls »enemies of the cross of Christ« (Phil. 3:18), for they hate the cross and suffering and love works and the glory of works. Thus they call the good of the cross evil and the evil of a deed good. God can be found only in suffering and the cross, as has already been said Therefore the friends of the cross say that the cross is good and works are evil, for through the cross works are dethroned and the »old Adam«, who is especially edified by works, is crucified. It is impossible for a person not to be puffed up by his »good works« unless he has first been deflated and destroyed by suffering and evil until he knows that he is worthless and that his works are not his but God’s.

    http://bookofconcord.org/heidelberg.php

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