Recently, the Christian Post remarked on Tullian’s new marriage and return to preaching. The article, titled Tullian Tchividjian Emerges From Scandal With New Wife, Preaches Sermon on God’s Redemption, deserves a whole post to discuss it, and that will certainly happen, look for that in the week to come.
However, another set of blog posts by Nate Sparks deserves a repost here. Full disclosure, I do not know much about Nate Sparks, and a quick perusal of his post would indicate that he and I would find ourselves at odds in reference to many different subjects.
However, I have had enough exposure to people close to the situation to detect an air of truth about it. I cannot, and am not, testify to the complete veracity, but I submit it here for your consideration.
The first article, titled Do Unto Others…, follows the story of Lisa (not her real name) as she was targeted, groomed, and ultimately taken advantage of, by Tullian.
He insisted she call him if she needed anything at any time. Tullian often confided in her about how depressed he was feeling and seemed open and honest about his failings and insecurities. He was not perfect, but she believed him to be largely the victim of circumstances beyond his control.
The second article, titled Master of Manipulation, follows a similar line of approach and traces the story of Kara. Of particular importance is this:
One of the more interesting things I learned from Kara was that Tullian targeted men, as well as women, for abuse. Tullian had groomed several men to essentially function as his “yes men,” to never question him and to meet his emotional needs whenever he needed someone to reinforce his own opinions. In much the same way as the women, these men were often persons with deep wells of pain related to abuse at the hands of loved ones, friends, and the church.
Some readers may remember, that after an article explaining Why I Care about Tullian Teaching, I temporarily removed all Tullian content from my site. The reason being, Tullian had reached out to me directly via Twitter to discuss my article. I did not share the content of any of those messages at the time, but I feel it is appropriate given Nate’s discussion to do so at this point. Our conversation was not extensive, and was mostly oriented toward trying to coordinate a time to chat on the phone. Once the second wave of news broke, which lead to his termination from Willow Creek and the dissolution of Liberate, the following exchange took place.
It should be said, that at the beginning of the interactions Tullian requested that “our conversation (or the specifics of it) to be between you and me and off the record.” I have up until this point respected the agreement we had, but given this new information I feel that it is appropriate to release the above image. The interactions we had, which I will note were largely superficial and related to trying to coordinate schedules, took place of the course of a week. It seemed strange to me at the time that Tullian was saying I was “proving to be a dear friend.” It made me a little uneasy, but as you can see above, our interactions had already created something of a loyalty to him. When my pastor and family advised me to leave Tullian’s care to the people directly in his life, and to not muddy the situation with my thoughts, I must admit that I was disappointed. Even though I ultimately heeded his advice, I didn’t want to.
I cannot say that Tullian was engaging in the kind of behavior that Nate explains toward me, but looking back I would not be surprised if that was the case.
For a thorough timeline of events regarding Tullian Tchividjian’s history, please see Resource Bibliography on System Issues Related to the Tullian Tchividjian Situation. By 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.