Admitting affair, Tullian Tchividjian resigns as pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian

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Wayne Wilson's picture

I gather from these reports he took solace after his wife's affair with a female friend. That's just plain foolish. Take warning, brothers.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

It would be tempting to blame this on his theology of sanctification and Christian living in general--if it weren't for the fact that so many who preach discipline and struggle have strayed into the same sins. There is probably not a lesson to learn here on that particular point.

I hope for a season of healing and "rebooting" in his life.

Bert Perry's picture

....it strikes me that perhaps he should have stepped down when he learned of his wife's affair a few months back.  Isn't the wife of the pastor supposed to exhibit the same basic character as the pastor?  I notice that she specifically noted that she is not united with her husband in her view of this tragedy....there is a lot of stuff here that indicates that family life hasn't been good in that house for a long time.

It also strikes me that perhaps it is very unhealthy for a man to become the "wandering celebrity" as have so many pastors of large churches--seems to give opportunity for the man to become the "celebrity errant" in more ways than in his travel schedule.  Perhaps we've got to take seriously the idea that it is Christ's name that must be exalted, not our own.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Ron Bean's picture

I have seen this sad scene occur many times in the last 40 years. The sin is not confined to particular denominations, doctrinal positions, or pastoral situations. It has happened in big churches and small, to fundamentalists and non-fundamentalists, and to Calvinists and less than Calvinists.

There are some common attributes:

Confession and repentance when confronted and not before (I know of only one exception in which a pastor was inappropriate with another woman on Thursday, met with his deacons on Friday, resigned, moved out of the parsonage on Saturday and stood before the church for discipline on Sunday.)

Excuses accompanying confession (BTW, the "other woman" is not to be blamed!)

In practice, ministry was more important than family

Pride and enjoying attention

Watch yourselves!

 

 

 

 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Julie Anne's picture

Wayne Wilson wrote:

I gather from these reports he took solace after his wife's affair with a female friend. 

Wayne, has this been reported publicly?  Do you have a link?

Larry's picture

Moderator

Julie Anne, I think TT's solace was with the female friend, not the affair of his wife. 

Julie Anne's picture

Ah, I now see what you mean.  The prepositional phrases would have been more accurately positioned like this:

 

I gather from these reports he took solace with a female friend after his wife's affair.

 

What a difference that makes!  

Wayne Wilson's picture

Julie Anne wrote:

What a difference that makes!  

 

Yes, that is much more clear!!  

Jonathan Charles's picture

I don't understand why it was necessary to bring up what his wife had done in his confession.

Ron Bean's picture

Jonathan Charles wrote:

I don't understand why it was necessary to bring up what his wife had done in his confession.

Because it gives him an excuse. It implies that she contributed to his sin. "The woman you gave me....."

 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Lee's picture

Ron Bean wrote:

...

There are some common attributes:

Confession and repentance when confronted and not before (I know of only one exception in which a pastor was inappropriate with another woman on Thursday, met with his deacons on Friday, resigned, moved out of the parsonage on Saturday and stood before the church for discipline on Sunday.)

...

I've heard this line of reasoning, questioning motive for many years. Frankly, I don't find it carries much water scripturally.  The confrontation of sin in the erring brother is a very valid, biblical methodology to lead to repentance and restoration.  There is nothing that I have found in Scripture that indicates preemptory repentance is a better repentance than is repentance upon confrontation/knowledge.  "If we confess our sin he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  Biblical confession is the key; the catalyst for bringing about that confession is apparently irrelevant.

Lee

Julie Anne's picture

Jonathan Charles wrote:

I don't understand why it was necessary to bring up what his wife had done in his confession.

It wasn't.  Someone truly repentant would take full responsibility for their sins without mentioning anyone who "contributed."  This is why it's so important to look closely at public confessions.  If this information came from someone else, that would be another story. Another key detail is that he did not come forward until his elders asked him directly.  How long would it have taken for him to acknowledge his sins?  One more  point that I have not seen is what is his current relationship status with the women with whom he had an adulterous affair?  

 

Don Johnson's picture

Julie Anne wrote:

Another key detail is that he did not come forward until [Nathan confronted] him directly.  How long would it have taken for him to acknowledge his sins?   

He did write Psalm 51, though. Maybe he didn't really mean it?

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Julie Anne's picture

Don Johnson wrote:

He did write Psalm 51, though. Maybe he didn't really mean it?

 

It's too soon; time will tell. 

Ron Bean's picture

Wouldn't it be better if our own consciences were so sensitive to sin that confrontation from a third person wasn't necessary to bring us to confession and repentance?

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Don Johnson's picture

But that isn't reality, is it?

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

DavidO's picture

Don makes a good and important point.  If the only genuine repentance is that of those who confess entirely on their own, we would not have commands like the ones we see in Matt 18, Gal 6, and Heb 3.  We all need confrontation sometimes. 

 

Jay's picture

Don Johnson wrote:

But that isn't reality, is it?

Even the man after God's own heart had to be confronted by Nathan:

Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”

Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. And I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.  Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’  Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.  For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’” David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.” Then Nathan went to his house". (II Samuel 12:5-15)

For whatever it's worth, this is front page news on Bing.com today - in the news feed bar at the bottom of the page.  Here's the direct link.

"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

I would agree that it was tacky for him to put her under the bus in that particular announcement, but if the church values her spiritual life, she was bound to have "tire treads" on her forehead at some point.  

And, I must say, probably on her husband's forehead, even if he hadn't fallen into adultery.  Her response to her husband's comments indicates that things are really, really, broken, and that her husband is heavily involved in whatever led to her sin.  I would not be surprised if her reasoning was similar to that of Anna Stanley (the former Mrs. Rev. Charles Stanley); "he had his priorities, and I was not one of them."

It doesn't excuse either person's sin, but I think we're foolish if we don't get a handle on the steps that many marriages take towards the rocks.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

apward's picture

Are we doing enough to encourage and allow (by giving) evangelists and missionaries to travel with their wives and families instead of leaving them at home?

What else are we doing to help pastors and those in traveling ministries to keep strong family relationships and avoid sins in this area? What might we be doing that is hindering or discouraging them?

Ron Bean's picture

Don Johnson wrote:

But that isn't reality, is it?

Here's another attempt to explain myself:

Genuine repentance can be produced by either confrontation or conviction of the conscience by the Holy Spirit without an outside agent.

To put in bluntly, if you or I were unfaithful to our wives, what does it say about us if it takes a Nathan to point out our sin and bring us to repentance?

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Bert Perry's picture

Ron Bean wrote:

 

Don Johnson wrote:

 

But that isn't reality, is it?

 

 

Here's another attempt to explain myself:

Genuine repentance can be produced by either confrontation or conviction of the conscience by the Holy Spirit without an outside agent.

To put in bluntly, if you or I were unfaithful to our wives, what does it say about us if it takes a Nathan to point out our sin and bring us to repentance?

It would say that our hearts are hardened so that it takes the rebuke of man to get us to respond to the prompting of God, no?

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Don Johnson's picture

Ron Bean wrote:

To put in bluntly, if you or I were unfaithful to our wives, what does it say about us if it takes a Nathan to point out our sin and bring us to repentance?

I would say it would make us normal. I think you can over-analyze this. Let him that is without sin cast the first stone.

I will also say that I make no judgement with respect to Tullian and his repentance or not. Time alone will reveal the sincerity of his repentance. I feel pretty terrible for him and his family. It is a sad situation and the nattering of outside observers regarding him and his wife are less than helpful. We would do better to observe in sad silence and keep our mouths shut.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Ron Bean's picture

I guess it's just me. If I committed some outrageous sin like adultery, getting drunk, embezzlement; I would be so overcome with guilt that I couldn't sleep until I made things right. But I guess I'm from that tender-hearted bunch that would drive back to Chick-fil-A if they gave me too much change back. 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Don Johnson's picture

I wouldn't presume on the darkness of your own heart, until, God forbid, you should find yourself in this situation. You really can't tell what you would do. David wrote Psalm 23 before his incident with Bathsheba and subsequent cover-up occurred. I am sure he would have protested against his own future behaviour if someone would have prophesied otherwise.

Regeneration doesn't change the human tendency to hide. The fact is that most of us will not confess without confrontation (especially about the 'big' sins). Even then, denial, obfuscation, cover-up is usually the initial response (or at least the instinctive response).

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Mark_Smith's picture

The articles I read make it seem like he is stepping down after coming forth himself. He was not outed like David by Nathan.

Ron Bean's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

The articles I read make it seem like he is stepping down after coming forth himself. He was not outed like David by Nathan.

That's my understanding as well. I was sensing that some people were assuming he'd been outed because that seems to be what it usually takes. 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Don Johnson's picture

Last week I was approached by our church leaders and they asked me about my own affair. I admitted to it and it was decided that the best course of action would be for me to resign. 

Don't think he came forward with the admission until confronted.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

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