Time and time again I’ve tried to tell myself not to be surprised at sin, yet every time it happens I remain surprised. With that said I was surprised and saddened at the news of Pastor Tullian resigning yesterday. Why? Pastor Tullian has provided my heart much encouragement over the past years, and I’ve gleaned much from him as I grow in my pastoral ministry. For me, this is a reminder to embrace anew Tullian’s core message, that God’s grace toward exhausted sinners really is inexhaustible.
I’ve been praying for Tullian and his family, that God would bring reconciliation, restoration, and growth through this hard and difficult time. Puritan John Bunyan once remarked that the only way land can be fertile enough to grow trees is for it to endure a few cold winters. The same is true with us. Life in a fallen world on Jesus’ narrow road is hard and brought with trial. You should be praying for them too. Much of what you’ll see on the news and blogs will cut sharp at Tullian, his family, and his message wrongly accusing or contributing this saddening news as the natural outcome of such antinomian preaching and liberal living. Hogwash. Tullian enjoyed the gospel and held a high view of God’s Law. Anyone would put in the right situation is capable of anything. Taylor Rollo reminds us, “No person or pastor is immune to such temptations, and the devil would love to strike a shepherd to scatter God’s sheep.”
I guess what happens with the Liberate ministry/conferences, their pastor’s network (which I’m in), and their church network (which my church is in) remains to be seen. I hope it continues. The message still remains the same, and still rings true. For those who haven’t read the stories yet, here’s two links to the news and one more important link from a church member at Coral Ridge. Click the links to read the whole articles.
From Christianity Today:
Popular pastor and author Tullian Tchividjian has resigned as senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. A grandson of Billy Graham, Tchividjian cited “ongoing marital issues” as the reason for his departure from the PCA congregation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He said that his wife had an affair, and in response, he sought comfort in a friend and their relationship turned “inappropriate.” Tchividjian’s name was removed from the church’s website on Sunday as rumors of his resignation began flying on social media. On its website, Coral Ridge acknowledged that Tchividjian “admitted to moral failure, acknowledging his actions disqualify him from continuing to serve as senior pastor or preach from the pulpit, and resigned—effective immediately.
“We are saddened by this news, but are working with and assisting Pastor Tullian and his family to help them through this difficult time, and asking people to join us in praying that God will bring restoration through this process and healing to all involved,” stated church leaders, “The Leadership of Coral Ridge remain committed to promoting the transforming power of the Gospel,” the statement continued. “While we do not yet know whom God will direct to lead our congregation in the near future, we trust the Lord’s guidance during this transition period, knowing He is our hope.”
From the Washington Post:
Billy Graham’s grandson Tullian Tchividjian has resigned from his pulpit at Coral Ridge Presbyterian, a high-profile church in South Florida, after admitting he had an affair. He released the following statement to The Washington Post: “I resigned from my position at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church today due to ongoing marital issues. 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. As her affair continued, we separated. Sadly and embarrassingly, I subsequently sought comfort in a friend and developed an inappropriate relationship myself. 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. Both my wife and I are heartbroken over our actions and we ask you to pray for us and our family that God would give us the grace we need to weather this heart wrenching storm. We are amazingly grateful for the team of men and women who are committed to walking this difficult path with us. Please pray for the healing of deep wounds and we kindly ask that you respect our privacy.” Tchividjian, 42, has been married to his wife, Kim, since 1994 and they have three children. Kim Tchividjian sent the following message to The Post Monday morning: “The statement reflected my husband’s opinions but not my own. Please respect the privacy of my family at this time, thank you. I do thank everyone for the outpouring of love for my family as well during this difficult time and we appreciate all the prayers and support we are receiving.”
From a Member of Coral Ridge:
Today I write with a heavy heart. I’m annoyed. I’m angry. And this article will be more of a rant as I vent through anger. My family and I are members at Coral Ridge Presbyterian church where the senior pastor is Tullian Tchividjian. We have many elders. A few weeks ago, the elders told the church that Pastor Tullian was going to take a sabbatical for some time in order to tend to family issues. They assured the church that this wasn’t a matter of disqualification, and they’d keep us updated. Today was that update. Apparently, Paul Tripp flew down to counsel Tullian and his wife, and Paul walked away from it finding no reason to disqualify Pastor Tullian from the preaching ministry. However, a few days later, Tullian resigned, disclosing that he had in fact had an extramarital relationship. Needless to say, we are in a fog. It was a punch to our guts.