Tullian Tchividjian Returns to Teaching

I have written in the past about the unfortunate saga of Tullian Tchividjian. A more detailed timeline is available in my recent post regarding his alleged remarriage. I have also been asked multiple times why I care so much, which I have also discussed in detail.

Recently, a sermon by Tullian was forwarded to me. He preached on October 30th at Spring Hills Community Church in Santa Rosa California. This not the first time he has spoken there, but to my knowledge this is the first time he has delivered a sermon from the pulpit on the Lord’s Day.

In the past, I have been critical of Tullian teaching, and the response was that events like Christ Hold Fast, or even his previous engagements at Spring Hills were not teaching in the sense of things restricted to the office of Elder, something we were told unequivocally that he would not be doing.

However, this is drastically different. Tullian is opening and expositing the scriptures, from the pulpit, on the Lord’s Day, during the gathering of the saints. I don’t know what Spring Hills’ practice is regarding the Lord’s Supper, but I have no reason to think that had it been a Sunday in which they normally administer the sacrament, that it would have been business as usual.

Tullian has clearly begun to think of himself as someone who can teach in an Elder capacity. I commented recently that his post on Expastors was likely intended to be a sneak peak of his rumored forthcoming book. Similarly, I would be utterly unsurprised if we saw a formal call to pastoral ministry come from Spring Hills. Furthermore, Tullian’s public person Facebook page has an updated profile picture (probably from his preaching engagement), and the cover image is a quote from his sermon at Spring Hills. It appears that Tullian (or his publicity firm) has begun to rebuild and rebrand him.

The worst part of all, the sermon was fantastic (apart from what I think was just a slip of the tongue when he actually said that God loves us because we are bad). Tullian’s ability to exposit the Scripture or present a compelling message was never in question. What is, is his right to do so in the Lord’s house, and to lead God’s people.

If anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. (Titus 1:6-7, ESV)

Tullian is not above reproach, he is living in unrepentant adultery due to his unbiblical divorce and remarriage, and since he has not as of yet submitted himself to membership under a local session of Elders he is guilty of the charge of insubordination.

Tullian, I know you’ve blocked me on twitter, and I can understand why you are angry with me. But I’m begging you brother, you were ready to dialog with me and consider what I had to say once, before you entrench yourself further in sin and set yourself up as an elder at a new church consider what you’re doing. You are subjecting yourself to greater judgement, both by God and by God’s people… and that is the last thing you need.

For a thorough timeline of events regarding Tullian Tchividjian’s history, please see Resource Bibliography on System Issues Related to the Tullian Tchividjian SituationBy linking to this site I am not endorsing the site as a whole, nor testifying to the veracity of the information present. However, the timeline presented does appear to be accurate to the best of my knowledge and research.

14 thoughts on “Tullian Tchividjian Returns to Teaching

  1. Even if it is true that he has “fled to another region,” it seems to me that any church is going to be aware of who he is, the scandal, etc.

    Even if he has not yet moved his membership to another session, the elders of the church in which he preached know full well of this. You cannot possibly have all the information here, and as I recall, to go after him, you are to submit to the church courts.

    In other words, if John Smith is under discipline in presbytery p and moves to p1, then a presbyter from p2 should go through the elders of p and/or p1 before going after a sheep himself. Have you considered that this brother blocking you from Twitter is a providential way for God to correct you, because you need to pursue this as a private matter between the presbyters?

    1. What other information is necessary? Beyond that, Tullian has time and time again made this a public matter by publicly commenting on it, writing about it, giving interviews on it, and usurping a role of dldership which he was publicly deposed of. Had Tullian been satisfied to quietly live his life (even if it was a life steeped in sin) out of the public eye, I would have also been satisfied to not comment on it. The fact that he insists on making himself a public person, and publicly talking about his sin (even as he repeats and justifies it), makes it a public matter.

      Thank you for your thoughts though.

    2. One other thought… according to Christ in Matthew 18… a person who persistently refuses the correction of the Church is to be treated as an unbeliever. I am not making a statement regarding Tullian’s salvation… but at this point if I am to be obedient to Christ’s command, to count him as a “sheep” is beyond what I can do.

      1. It is for the church to determine is a person is to be regarded as and treated as an unbeliever. This is never the judgment of an individual or group of individuals. It must be the church acting as the church by the action of its officers. Has a church court done this? If not that it is not within your responsibilities or rights to determine how you will regard him.

      2. The problem with this is that Tullian has removed himself from the visible administration of the Church.

  2. Thank you for publishing this. You have prompted me to kick myself in the rear and get another article published which will shed more light on his spiritual state and truthfulness. Stay tuned. He has no business preaching. Good grief.

    1. Thank you Julie Anne and also Tony Arsenal. Based on his unbiblical divorce and remarriage to a woman who has been married and divorced twice, he should not be allowed to preach or teach in any church pulpit whether they are part of a denomination that can take administrative action or a non-denominational church. He needs to go quietly away but his personality won’t allow that. He constantly needs affirmation and adulation from people and so he on Twitter, Facebook, and now preaching in a church. I shudder to think how God will bring him to his knees. And I continue to pray for his family as well as for him.

  3. Being “above reproach” is not sinlessness – otherwise no man could serve – but the church and the public in general, must perceive that the minister exemplifies the gospel he preaches. Restoration to the ministry – if and when possible – should ideally take place in the same venue where the disqualification took place. Proof texts for this assertion? Hardly any. Patterns? Perhaps that of Jesus restoring Peter before the disciples or Paul vindicating John Mark in 2 Timothy (though Mark was already serving), also Paul vindicating Barnabas’ faithfulness in Galatians (though Barnabas had been serving), or that of Paul himself being vindicated by Peter and the apostles before the church in Jerusalem (though Jesus had already appointed him an apostle). Maybe Paul vindicating Filemon’s faithfulness before Onesimus and the church at Colossae (though we do not have any textual evidence that Filemon was in ministry). Again, these are not proof texts, maybe lose examples. If Coral Ridge and the South Florida Presbytery reinstates Tullian to the ministry, or at least if they get involved in the process of Tullian’s examination, public declaration of his qualification for ministry and restoration, maybe his return would create less controversy. It is dangerous to pursue a self-restoration and it is safer if one makes sure that the Lord, speaking through His local church and presbytery, is sanctioning such reinstallation. I have no idea how the process with Tullian has taken place. I will not pass judgment from my ignorance of his particular case.

  4. I think you are gossiping. You hiding behind some banner related to protecting the church or one of its precepts. In fact, you are talking about something that is not your business or part of your life. I have never bought the idea of someone saying they ache for the church in situations like this. However, I do buy people getting caught up in self righteousness as an excuse to attack someone. If he is not coming to your church you really are doing a disservice to yourself and the Kingdom of God. If church wants to bring him in they can. Even if it is a church within your denomination this is not the avenue or medium to use to express your concerns…..all you are really doing is just gossiping. I am not certain how you are different from TMZ. I would encourage you to look at something else and leave Tchividjian to God. This does not help or edify the Kingdom of God in anyway

    1. Dan,

      I’m sorry that you feel that way. I appreciate your interaction with my writing, but I couldn’t disagree more vehemently.

      Tullian is setting himself up again as a teacher, which is neither good for the Church, nor good for him. People who ignore that without saying or doing something… like you… are actually advocating for hurting Tullian. I wish you could see that. “Leave Tchividjian to God” is about the scariest four words for Tullian that I can think of right now. Tullian doesn’t need apathy or for people to ignore what he is doing, he needs the Gospel.

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