Tullian Tchividjian Emerges From Scandal With New Wife, Preaches Sermon

"Tchividjian resigned from his position as pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, last summer due to an extramarital affair." CPost

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Aaron Blumer's picture

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From the sermon...

"The Good News of the Gospel is not Jesus as our example. The Good News of the Gospel is that Jesus is our substitute. What has Jesus done? Because Jesus being my example is not good news to me and it shouldn't be good news to you. He was perfect"

Comes to mind . . .

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. (1 Pe 2:21)  

The whole point of the gospel is transformation in His likeness, for the praise of His glorious grace.

But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph 4:20–24)  

[He] chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (Eph 1:4–6)  

Jonathan Charles's picture

Justification is good news, right? Then so is Jesus' life of perfect obedience which provides for believing sinners the righteousness they need.

Joel Shaffer's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

From the sermon...

"The Good News of the Gospel is not Jesus as our example. The Good News of the Gospel is that Jesus is our substitute. What has Jesus done? Because Jesus being my example is not good news to me and it shouldn't be good news to you. He was perfect"

Comes to mind . . .

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. (1 Pe 2:21)  

The whole point of the gospel is transformation in His likeness, for the praise of His glorious grace.

But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph 4:20–24)  

[He] chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (Eph 1:4–6)  

Or I John 2:6

Bert Perry's picture

I don't know exactly what happened there--really only two people do I guess--but it does strike me that since his mid life crisis got out of hand, he is pretty much permanently disqualified from the pastorate.  It's sad to see people enabling his rebellion here.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jay's picture

This is the script to follow for high profile pastors that have flamed out

  • Take some time off (anywhere from 3 months to a year or two),
  • Pop up as a 'guest speaker' somewhere, usually to announce how sorry you are and give credit to God for what He is doing in your life
  • Take maybe three/six more months off the grid
  • Reappear as a guest speaker somewhere
  • Have people announce that he's ready to go back into ministry again. 

He'll be pastoring again by the end of 2017 because of his 'special giftedness'...just watch.  Driscoll did it as well, and I'm sure there are others I'm not thinking of.

I don't think Tullian has any business anywhere near a pulpit (after all, the first qualification for an elder/pastor in I Tim. 3:2 is that they be 'above reproach'), but if he wants to give out the gospel, more power to him.  I just wish it was somewhere far away from the public view, where he can getting his life in order again without a sideshow and where a ton of people aren't going to be attracted to his name or his past. 

I also don't think getting married again this soon was a great idea either.  But I don't think that it was a sin ​for him to do so, and Paul does say that it's better to marry than not.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Ed Vasicek's picture

What is the Gospel?  I think there is a big difference between what the Bible teaches (a big set of truths) and the Gospel (a narrow set of truths).

From the sermon...

"The Good News of the Gospel is not Jesus as our example. The Good News of the Gospel is that Jesus is our substitute. What has Jesus done? Because Jesus being my example is not good news to me and it shouldn't be good news to you. He was perfect"

I believe Tullian is correct at this point.

Comes to mind . . .

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. (1 Pe 2:21)  

This calling is a consequence of believing the Gospel, but is not the Gospel.  No one is saved by trying to follow Christ's example.  Do you see my point?

 

 

 

"The Midrash Detective"

Jonathan Charles's picture

He's right to insist that the gospel is not following Christ's example, but he seemed to insinuate that His sinless life has nothing at all to do with the gospel. It did not only qualify Him to go to the cross, it is the righteousness imputed to us, and His life is the goal of our salvation.

Bert Perry's picture

...as if Tullian is trying to preach justification and ignore the need for sanctification, really.   If indeed that is correct, ironic that a Reformed guy--a group that tends to mock "fundagelical easy-believism"--would be falling into this trap.  What a nasty example of what celebrity culture will do for, or to, God's people.  

Something worth noting, in my view, is that guys who fall into this trap give signs.  Ted Haggard's accuser noted that he couldn't get over the homoerotic "cues" in New Life Church--statues of naked men around the church, and others on the platform were all healthy young men.  No women, no older men....about as subtle as the first few chapters of The Picture of Dorian Gray,  really.  The accountants, project managers, and construction managers for Heritage USA knew about the shenanigans of Jim Bakker long before The Charlotte Observer did.  And in this case, Tullian Tchividjian showed classic signs of midlife crisis before he fell into adultery; bodybuilding, deep tanning, tattoos, and the wardrobe to show it all off.   Take a look at pictures from 2010 or before and compare them with those in the article.  It is not subtle.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jay's picture

The more I learn about the Tchividjians, the less I like what I hear and the less I want to know.  What a mess.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Bert Perry's picture

Jonathan, while I'm no fan of what TT is doing, I'm not sure he's going to end up a pastor--at least not officially.  I think he's going to style himself as an itinerant teacher who fills the pulpit but does not take the title of pastor or elder.  

OK, pastor in all but name, no point in arguing against that, but I don't believe he is going to end up filling a head pastor's office in the near future.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jonathan Charles's picture

Rachel claims Tchividjian: Encouraged her husband to divorce her without her knowledge; suggested to her that if Coral Ridge failed as a church and he was able to buy the building he would turn it into a nightclub; borrowed thousands of dollars from her and her husband to hire a private investigator to look into his now ex-wife, and said he does not believe premarital sex is unbiblical.

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/tullian-tchividjians-affair-with-marri...

Bert Perry's picture

....is for the elders who didn't catch on to this sin, or who flat out aided and abetted it, to get together and work with someone to figure out what happened--why they didn't take action, why they didn't clue in to the signs, maybe even produce an article or book saying, more or less, "this is how to recognize your pastor's midlife crisis, and how to intervene before he destroys at least two families and a church". 

That said, we could get TOO aware of the specific details of TT's sin here; I've read the articles Jonathan links, and some of the best things I've noticed there are how the behaviors described just scream midlife crisis.  That belongs--especially to the elders and pastors who failed to take action--but beyond this, we really ought to be careful.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jay's picture

What I'd love to see....is for the elders who didn't catch on to this sin, or who flat out aided and abetted it, to get together and work with someone to figure out what happened--why they didn't take action, why they didn't clue in to the signs, maybe even produce an article or book saying, more or less, "this is how to recognize your pastor's midlife crisis, and how to intervene before he destroys at least two families and a church". 

People can get a LOT of mileage out of the following things:

  1. A refusal to recognize warning flags in your church
  2. A refusal to act on warning flags in your church
  3. A refusal to admit that your pastor has serious issues and may actually be at the root of the issues in your church
  4. A refusal to appoint Elders/Deacons who will actually evaluate things instead of just supporting the status quo or pastor in question
  5. I'm sure there's more...

Who is going to seriously stand up to a pastor and admit he has issues to his face, or bring them up in the first place?  That takes a very special - and very rare - breed of individual.  That's assuming that you can find someone else to support what you are saying or even be willing to look hard at what's going on from a neutral point of view.  Oh, and by the way, if you are wrong, you can be disciplined out of the church for slander / gossip / rebellion 'against the Lord's anointed' or 'God's Man'.

The stakes of accusing an elder - even when handled correctly - are incredibly high, and that's why most people will just bail out entirely rather than investigate enough to find the rotting smell comes from.  Otherwise, people probably just walk out the back door, and then watch in horror as they are proven right when the entire structure blows up.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Bert Perry's picture

It certainly is hard to make a case against a pastor, and I've been there a few times (thankfully not involving adultery--it was theological issues), but in this case, the IT staff had TT's phone records, including salacious text messages.  If we can't make open and shut cases like this, we need to just give it up, I think.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.