The Pen

Tullian Cites “The Gospel is Immoral,” Continues Slide into Antinomianism

Tullian Tchividjian, the disgraced former pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church who had multiple affairs and has since remarried, affirmingly quoted Robert Capon as saying, “At its root, the Gospel is immoral, not moral, because it lets scoundrels in free for nothing.”

As you see in the above screenshot, the tweet was ‘liked’ by grotesque antinomian impastor, Nadia Bolz-Weber. We were, of course, warning you of the antinomian trajectory of Tullian Tchividjian as early as 2014.

The quotation itself is as inflammatory as it is blasphemous. The Gospel reveals the righteousness (moral perfection) of God by his justification of the ungodly through the full satisfaction of his wrathful judgment upon the sins of man, as imputed to Christ. All the debt of penitent sinners has been fully satisfied. Scoundrels are not let in “for free,” but by the payment of the blood of Jesus. In fact, Romans 1:17 says, “For in [the gospel], the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.'”

The context of Capon’s statement does not absolve it of blasphemy. The quotation was taken from Capon’s book, The Astonished Heart, and the very next sentence unveils its antinomian purpose.

“…once the church started setting up ethical behavior as a standard for membership, it quickly became a religion just like other religions. And that descent…was accelerated in this period by the fact that the church felt it had to take a stand against the religions that surrounded it in the Greco-Roman world…you cannot stigmatize the falsity of other religions without being fatally tempted to see yourself as the true religion – and thus ending up as just one more religion.” 

Capon’s tweeted statement above was prefaced by the statement, “Jesus was not an ethical teacher” (emphasis his). Of course, Christian orthodoxy begs to strongly disagree. If Jesus was not an ethical teacher, no one was.

Capon, who apparently Tullian has been reading and citing, was an Episcopal priest and famous antinomian. He also said, “It is not the role of the Church to tell people not to sin and to devise lists. The world perfectly knows what sin is.  The world knows what morality is.  The world knows what’s right.  Morality is the world’s cup of tea. What the world doesn’t know is forgiveness and that’s what the world needs to be told.

This, of course, is classical antinomianism. It is cheap, worthless grace. It is hyper-grace. It is a confusion and contradiction of propitiation and justification.