Friday, July 03, 2015

Tullian Trouble, Unanswered Questions

By now, most every Reformed person, who is at all connected, is aware of the resignation June 21st of Tullian Tchividjian from Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. What we know is mostly sanitized, with accompanying pleadings by Tullian and his wife Kim, to respect their "privacy."

Sorry folks, it doesn't work like that.

What everyone should know first, is how an elder in the church is to be disciplined. From the King James, 1st Timothy 5:
"Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear."
Other translations insert words modifying the sin, into an ongoing problem, creating the issue of Tullian's immediate repentance, and whether or not that affords him privacy. He has been disciplined though, severely, with the loss of his position. From Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church:
"Several days ago, Pastor Tullian 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."
This means he has been disciplined publicly, but we really don't know why.
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."
Since discipline is in place, it should have been public, because Tullian is an elder, or there should be no discipline, since he has confessed to his error and repented of it.

Sorta.

Paul Tripp, a PCA pastor came down to talk to Tullian and initially pronounced him "not disqualified." At some point shortly thereafter it was discovered that Tullian was fooling around on his own. Tullian, who was initially on sabbatical, now moved to being disqualified.

I contend we do not know Tullian's sin, until we know who with whom he sinned. Frankly, we don't know if he sinned with a guy, though I doubt it. In these days and times, you need to ask. Everything about the aftermath of Tullian's sin has been well managed. We don't know who his lover is, and despite many searches, for the nearly two weeks after the confession, there isn't even any evidence on the internet of someone asking. Do you seriously believe even the press, who revels in the fall of a pastor, hasn't even asked?

Why is it important? Even if it is a heterosexual sin (and it's hard to accept the sigh of relief that accompanies knowing that), we still don't know the sins Tullian has committed. Was she married? If she was, the sin is bigger. If she wasn't married, what sort of obligation has Tullian created for himself?


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4 comments:

Robert Kirkpatrick said...

Im sure half the Presbies will eventually decide whatever he did was okay. They will split and he will have a new church home in which to preach.

Until then, just chalk this up to God's secret decree.

Hugh McBryde said...

I don't foresee a split in the PCA over this. Tullian will have to be "rehabilitated" to return to any office. I foresee a future in counseling or teaching or none or going Baptist. I'm more concerned that if he diddled a a single woman, that he will now abandon her, believing his action to be adultery.

Robert Kirkpatrick said...

Perhaps you should write him and his church an open letter explaining the Biblical prescription for this specific trespass. Who am I kidding...churches care more about public opinion than the Bible anyway.

Hugh McBryde said...

I have, in effect, done that.