Tullian Tchividjian, the grandson of Billy Graham who has been forced into resignation in two ministry positions for repeated extra-marital affairs, finds himself back in the pulpit today and tomorrow at “Leave A Mark Church” in Columbus, Ohio.
Tchividjian once pastored D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church but was defrocked by the Presbyterian Church of America after he was found to have engaged in at least one extra-marital affair. Tchividjian filed for divorce from his wife, and partially blamed her for his wicked behavior and the rough aftermath of its fallout. The presbytery found that Tchividjian was “unfit for Christian ministry,” but laid out a path for his eventual restoration. He has not met the requirements of restoration. He moved on to fill a staff position at Willow Creek PCA in South Florida, only to again confess to another extra-marital affair. At least one of Tchividjian’s sexual partners has claimed it was a case of clergy sexual abuse. Tchividjian then married a strange woman and began to rebrand himself as a minister “to the broken,” preaching a sermon about his own “redemption.”
Aside from his sexual escapades while in the pulpit, Tchividjian has adopted a theology to suit his sin. Growing increasingly antinomian, many had begun to warn the world of his changing doctrinal views even before news of his affairs became public. His views of God’s law, in particular, have been in constant flux, as he’s denied the abiding validity of God’s Moral Law and promoted a gospel with little call to holiness or the mortification of sin. Most recently, Pulpit & Pen has covered Tchividjian claiming the Gospel is “immoral.”
The Christian Post reported on Tchividjian, recently writing a post demanding that Christians show grace to fallen pastors, claiming that it was “sinful” to remember someone’s scandals.
By a quick survey of the facts, Tchividjian is a serial adulterer, serial marrier, and practical antinomian who is still under the discipline of his presbytery. That will not stop him from taking the pulpit of a Columbus church today and tomorrow.
“Leave A Mark Church” will host Tchividjian so he can talk about redemption, apparently in spite of a lack of repentance. The church is pastored by Steve Combs. The website of the church reads:
After a season of self-destruction leading up to, and following, his resignation from Coral Ridge, Tullian is now married to Stacie, and together they have five children and one grandchild. Tullian longs to see broken people encounter God’s boundless love. We are very excited to have Tullian as our special guest at Leave A Mark to share his story of hope and healing with our community.
While any claim of repentance or supposed restoration is – if valid – a cause for celebration, it is disheartening to see someone who has not repented of sins but only capitalized on them, take the pulpit in an ostensibly Christian church. While forgiveness is always available for the contrite and penitent in the Cross, this does not mean that those who have failed to meet the pastoral qualifications of Paul’s Epistles to Timothy and Titus can be restored to the spotlight of Christian ministry.
Inviting Tchividjian to preach at Leave A Mark Church is not only disrespectful to the Presbyterian Church of America which has made a (rightful) decision of discipline toward him, it’s disrespectful to all those who have been taken advantage of by clergy. A clergy person, having
an affair a sexual relationship with a staff or church member (as is the case with Tchividjian) is similar to a principal or teacher having an affair a sexual relationship with a student. The pastorate is a position of trust, and if violated, should hold long term and grave consequences.
Leave A Mark Church is not only defaming their church, and Jesus, it is being terribly insensitive to those who have been victims of predatory pastors.
In the meantime, Tchividjian, if repentant, should do the godly thing and take up a job at a carwash. There’s nothing dishonorable about seeking discipleship in a local congregation and working with your hands, living a quiet and peaceable life.
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