Tullian’s Current Membership Status

After my recent Open Letter to the South Florida Presbytery, and a Call to Repentance by many of Tullian‘s former confidants, I began to receive emails and messages asking what Tullian’s current status was. Did I know where he held membership? Was he going to be excommunicated?

In order to begin to seek answers to these questions, I reached out to the Stated Clerk of the South Florida Presbytery and asked him to read my recent letter. He graciously responded to my email and provided me with the following information. I will, at a later point, be offering some thoughts. However, in order to avoid confusion I will simply be providing the information he provided to me regarding Tullian’s current status. The following is a summary of the information that the Stated Clerk provided to me (Posted with permission):

Tullian was deposed by South Florida Presbytery and therefore no longer an ordained Teaching Elder of the PCA. According to the policies outlined in the Book of Church Order, his membership was assigned to a church in South Florida Presbytery. The Session was was asked to transfer Tullian’s membership to Willow Creek, located in Winter Spring Florida, under the jurisdiction of the Central Florida Presbytery. However before the transfer was completed, Tullian left Willow Creek. The church where Tullian’s membership remained, in the South Florida Presbytery, attempted to contact him unsuccessfully and eventually followed Chapter 38, Paragraph 4 of the PCA Book of Church Order and removed Tullian from their membership rolls.

For reference, the Book of Church Order of the Presbyterian Church in America, states the following in Chapter 38, Paragraph 4:

When a member of a particular church has willfully neglected the church for a period of one year, or has made it known that he has no intention of fulfilling the church vows, then the Session, continuing to exercise pastoral discipline (BCO 27-1a and 27-4) in the spirit of Galatians 6:1, shall remind the member, if possible both in person and in writing, of the declarations and promises by which he entered into a solemn covenant with God and His Church (BCO 57-5, nos. 3-5), and warn him that, if he persists, his name shall be erased from the roll.

If after diligently pursuing such pastoral discipline, and after further inquiry and due delay, the Session is of the judgment that the member will not fulfill his membership obligations in this or any other branch of the Visible Church (cf. BCO 2-2), then the Session shall erase his name from the roll. This erasure is an act of pastoral discipline (BCO 27-1a) without process. The Session shall notify the person, if possible, whose name has been removed.

Notwithstanding the above, if a member thus warned makes a written request for process (i.e., BCO Chapters 31-33, 35-36), the Session shall grant such a request. Further, if the Session determines that any offense of such a member is of the nature that process is necessary, the Session may institute such process.

As stated above, I will forego any extensive comments to a later post. However, at this point I will simply note that currently Tullian is no longer a member in congregation, session, or presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America. Furthermore, he neglected attendance or communication with his church of membership for at least a year.

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.

4 thoughts on “Tullian’s Current Membership Status

  1. To clarify the above, per the BCO there are two possible conditions precipitating the action by the session. “OR” Please clarify whether you know that the session took action based on #1 as you state.

    1) When a member of a particular church has willfully neglected the church for a period of one year

    2) or has made it known that he has no intention of fulfilling the church vows,

    1. I’m not an expert in PCA policies, and the Stated Clerk did not make specific.

      It is certainly 1, as it was explicitly told to me that they attempted to contact him for a year with no success.

      I think 2 has some room for interpretation. It could mean that the person explicitly makes it know (they get a hold of him and he says “I’m done with the Church”) or implicitly makes it known by his behavior or other statements.

      I think that we can safely say that number 1 is the explicit reason the decision was made, but I think that we can also presume a bit of the implicit side of number 2 (although that has not been confirmed).

  2. This is why some of the biggest charlatans and scoundrels set up their churches as “non-denominational” sole proprietorship corporations. They then use the “Moses Model” for selecting elders. This means the Senior Pastor gets to handpick all of his elders who are usually relatives or highly trusted friends. Many of these elders are later put on the payroll and given outrageous salaries and perks in exchange for supporting the pastor’s decisions.

    Should an elder stand up to the senior pastor, then more elders will be arbitrarily added to the elder board so that a majority of elders can vote out the dissenting elder. This is how most of the largest mega churches in America work.

    The Association of Related Churches (ARC) is one of the most aggressive church planting orgs in the U.S. and this is how they recommend their churches be set up and operated. This method allows for maximum abuse and also enriches the top pastors in obscene ways, as these churches lack any form of transparency or flock ownership.

    These pastors answer to nobody and no one can hold them accountable. I predict this will be the polity of the next church Tullian affiliates with.

Comments are closed.