Statement on Tullian Tchvidjian by Paul David Tripp, Elyse Fitzpatrick and Others

"Mondays are a good day to make statements, not Friday."  Ernie Els link

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Paul Tripp

I am interested in your thoughts on this statement. They are calling Tullian Tchvidjian to repentance.

Dear Friends:

We join with others in expressing our shared grief regarding these latest allegations, as well as our thankfulness for the courageous women who came forward to tell their stories. We join our prayers together that they will receive the care and support that they need to heal and move forward in their lives.

In the wake of the initial revelation in June of 2015 that Tullian Tchividjian had engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship, a group of pastors and friends reached out to him in accordance with scripture’s clear admonition in Galatians 6:1–2:

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

In the months that followed, we were encouraged that Tullian seemed committed to walking a path of healing and renewal through repentance under the authority of his church of membership. However, later disclosures, and these most recent allegations, cast grave doubts over the sincerity of this commitment.

Inasmuch as Tullian Tchividjian has habitually and impenitently used his public platform, his family’s good name, and the name of Christ for his own selfish ends, we believe that he has disqualified himself from any form of public vocational ministry.

For the sake of his eternal soul, we implore Tullian Tchividjian to repent of his wickedness and demonstrate his repentance by submitting himself to the leadership of his church of membership, pursuing forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation with those whom he has sinned against.

We send our plea to Tullian in a spirit of gentleness and with broken hearts.

May Christ have mercy.

Pastor R.J. Grunewald
Pastor Kevin Labby
Pastor Matt Popovits
Pastor Donovan Riley
Pastor Chris Rosebrough
Paul David Tripp
Mrs. Elyse Fitzpatrick
Mrs. Kimm Crandall

Comments

Statement on Tullian Tchvidjian by Paul David Tripp, Elyse Fitzpatrick and Others — 109 Comments

  1. I am curious as to why Scottie Smith recused himself from the statement (per Warren Throckmorton’s blog). I am also interested in the names not on the list, at least yet; i.e., Steve Brown.

  2. “Inasmuch as Tullian Tchividjian has habitually and impenitently used his public platform, his family’s good name, and the name of Christ for his own selfish ends, we believe that he has disqualified himself from any form of public vocational ministry.”

    And everyone shouted AMEN!!

    It looks like Tullian is losing his support network. They are right, perhaps a little late, to call him into account. Habitual and impenitent sinners (particularly preachers!) should have no church platform from which to speak or ministry friends who shelter him in his rebellion. He has indeed disqualified himself from the gospel ministry, no matter how his New Calvinist belief spins “grace.”

  3. This is how the GC could have responded to CJ Mahaney, any number of times. To me, this seems like a genuine, gentle, but firm appeal.

  4. I hope those apparently injured by this person can find healing, then family peace for kids involved. Him well I hope as well with any left over hope I have.

  5. Over at Spiritual Sounding Board there’s a back-and-forth as to whether this statement is legit or just more CYA spin. As in TT has become too much of a liability to the Gospel Glitterati.

    At the very least, this statement is very much Late Adopter, like pointing at the bandwagon speeding up and going “ME, TOO!”

    It’s getting so the only way to be safe is to NEVER trust anyone in a church position. All liars.

  6. I agree on the lateness of the appeal being somewhat suspect as far as motive.

    I too think Steve Brown needs to speak again even though he published statements saying that he would not.

    I think the real measure of the sincerity of this group will lie in their future involvement in the restoration of the VICTIMS!!

    Tullian has had ample opportunities to establish a restoration plan and obviously is not interested.

    The real call for restoration is in the continuing support–financial, online, teaching in their churches—of the victims here.

  7. Molly245 wrote:

    The real call for restoration is in the continuing support–financial, online, teaching in their churches—of the victims here.

    Remember the Heresy of Clericalism:
    Only CLERGY matter.
    NOT laity.
    (My church tried out most every nuance of that heresy in the Middle Ages…)

  8. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Over at Spiritual Sounding Board there’s a back-and-forth as to whether this statement is legit or just more CYA spin.

    Yes. I am torn between being encouraged when people finally see this stuff and being uncertain if it isn’t as you put it cya spin. I don’t want to knock someone who finally sees the truth but I also want to see a little self reflection about why they didn’t see it before. What I really want, is for these folks to be more discerning next time and with others like Tullian. And cj. And Driscoll. Etc. I want them to stop excusing stuff.

    And I am suspicious of Tripp although I honestly can’t tell you why so maybe that’s unfair.

  9. I feel I need to once again bring up the subject of TT’s possible use of steroids.

    When you add drugs to the mix in my experience all bets are off on the outcome. Too often drug users do things that they would never dream of doing “In Their Right Minds”. When you mess with hormones in anyone, things get bad quickly.

    That’s one of the hardest things when working with people who are having chemotherapy. It almost always includes huge doses of prednisone….the agony they go through having their emotions shredded from prednisone is one of the worst things about chemo these days.

    Anabolic steroids have similar effects on many people.

  10. Lea wrote:

    I am suspicious of Tripp although I honestly can’t tell you why

    I join that sentiment. Tripp at one time was on the Board of Advisors and Accountability of Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church. Which doesn’t speak too highly about his spiritual discernment to team with that crew. Although, he did resign that position when Driscoll became a potato too hot to handle. Tullian is now that potato. New Calvinism will have a lot of twice-baked spuds before the movement runs its course.

  11. Molly245 wrote:

    chemotherapy

    I appreciate whatever you do that brings you into contact with chemo patients. In my experience, chemotherapy does not give patients a new ability to scheme. Quite the opposite. (And I realize your main point is about the effects of steroids.)

  12. Lea wrote:

    Yes. I am torn between being encouraged when people finally see this stuff and being uncertain if it isn’t as you put it cya spin. I don’t want to knock someone who finally sees the truth but I also want to see a little self reflection about why they didn’t see it before. What I really want, is for these folks to be more discerning next time and with others like Tullian. And cj. And Driscoll. Etc. I want them to stop excusing stuff.

    FWIW, I tend to be a both/and person, so I likewise have mixed emotions.

    So, yes, I’m glad for the statement and I also hope this sparks some deep personal revolutions for those involved. And we’re seeing that happen — from public apologies, to pulling Tullian Tchividjian’s books off the shelves and sermon links off of websites, to acknowledgments that survivors and advocates were right about things, to comments on social media threads, etc.

    I know that systems can’t be changed (or dismantled if need be) until individuals start changing. And I also know that it took me the first three full years of exploring spiritual abusive survivor blogs before I *finally* got it that the deeper issue was not legalism, but authoritarianism. And for me, that one key unlocked the door to *everything* I’ve done for the past five years since then.

    So, I want to extend both gratitude and challenge, grace for getting into processing and agitation for moving toward completion, kindness without anything-goes and forthrightness without contempt.

    Otherwise, I just don’t know how we’ll shift the “diffusion of innovation” from constant intervention when situations get as bad as this, to prevention so fewer of them happen and they’re intercepted before they get to the addicted-to-celebraty consumption stages.

    From a few things I know from behind the scenes communications, I have a hunch that the Spirit is going to surprise us all and some who seem like “late adopters” like HUG talked about may in fact turn out to be some of our most important allies for taking on the organizations and systems they’re in, to make a constructive difference in the long term for putting an end to spiritual abuse …

    … and that’s what I’m in this for: the long haul. It was almost 40 years ago that I endured a three-way church split as a young Christian in college, and it took three years to totally fragment the group, and more years for me to start to recover. At that time, there were no books on spiritual abuse recovery, no networks, no blogs, no nothing. I nearly lost my faith — had to decide: Is Christianity a crock? Or is Jesus who He says, but something went horribly wrong because of what/how we were taught? I chose the latter. And answering that question is why I’m here today: I didn’t want others to have to go through what I did, so I committed to making a difference in this arena.

    I want to afford others the opportunity to be that deeply disturbed by a question that it alters the course of their life as a disciple. And I also don’t want them to take forever to figure it out, because a too-leisurely attitude means more people victimized.

    It’s so hard to live in the both/and in-between … but doesn’t that sort of mirror the dynamic tension that is inherent in being saints on sojourn in a secular work and a sick Church?

  13. Molly245 wrote:

    Too often drug users do things that they would never dream of doing “In Their Right Minds”.

    Well, there’s no doubt that Tullian is not in his right spiritual mind. While drugs could explain some of his behavior, there are three things that come against the church and those that lead it: the world, the flesh and the devil. I suspect the world and the flesh crippled Tullian.

  14. Late but better than never, IMO.

    This is more than Tripp did regarding Mark Driscoll as I remember. I don’t recall him signing his name to a letter with this strong of language denouncing MD’s abuses (even though, he was quoted from a conversation with MHC elders denouncing the abusive culture). So, I say that to put some context on it. This is significant.

  15. TT was in trouble as a teen to the extent that his parents forced him out of the house. He has been doing this current mess, according to the current information, for quite a while. His history of problems is not limited to women. There is a difference in thinking about something which is present for a long time and/or recurrent as compared to something which is only recent and short term. TT has a long history of at least recurrent problems, some with his parents, some with the church mess when he became the pastor after Kennedy, and some with women (plural). There is no need to postulate what acute problem could possibly be the explanation such that thinking possibly there is some easy solution much less some excuse. Rather, there is some chronic long term apparently multi-faceted problem with/without various superimposed issues.

    Bless him. This belongs in the hands of professionals.

  16. Friend wrote:

    Molly245 wrote:
    chemotherapy
    I appreciate whatever you do that brings you into contact with chemo patients. In my experience, chemotherapy does not give patients a new ability to scheme. Quite the opposite. (And I realize your main point is about the effects of steroids.)

    I wasn’t referring to the ability to ‘scheme’ being conferred by either prednisone or steroids…..just mainly to the mind-altering (even if unwanted) effects of both meds…

  17. As a average guy its probably a good thing that I’m not the one writing statements like these. It would be shorter and flat out call it as I see it without the flowery words. I dont have the patience or temperament to be nice when it comes to stuff like this.

  18. Molly245 wrote:

    I feel I need to once again bring up the subject of TT’s possible use of steroids.
    When you add drugs to the mix in my experience all bets are off on the outcome. Too often drug users do things that they would never dream of doing “In Their Right Minds”. When you mess with hormones in anyone, things get bad quickly.

    I actually had experience with prednisone this week, after I had an allergic reaction. That stuff is nuts. Two days and my blood pressure skyrocketed, and I was so angry and grouchy. I couldn’t do more than that. Can’t imagine what long-term use does to you.

  19. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    I want to afford others the opportunity to be that deeply disturbed by a question that it alters the course of their life as a disciple.

    Thanks for your response. My main question is is this a real response, a deep disturbance. I hope so. I guess we’ll see.

  20. Molly245 wrote:

    I feel I need to once again bring up the subject of TT’s possible use of steroids.
    When you add drugs to the mix in my experience all bets are off on the outcome. Too often drug users do things that they would never dream of doing “In Their Right Minds”. When you mess with hormones in anyone, things get bad quickly.
    That’s one of the hardest things when working with people who are having chemotherapy. It almost always includes huge doses of prednisone….the agony they go through having their emotions shredded from prednisone is one of the worst things about chemo these days.
    Anabolic steroids have similar effects on many people.

    Anabolic steroids can change behavior for the worst. However, Tullian was looking for these drugs well after his fall, so chances are they weren’t tied to the prior behavior.

    I want to also point out that Tullian pursued the use of this ILLEGAL drug purely for vanity reasons. I have great sympathy for those struggling with addictive drugs. However, Tulliam chose to purchase and abuse an illegal drug solely for the purpose of beefing up and become sexier. We see other celebrity pastors such as Steven Furtick also obsessed with their appearance, trying to be more sexually appealing to their flock.

    These pastors who do everything they can to make themselves sexy for the pulpit – the buff bodies in really tight clothes that belong on persons 1-2 generations younger, the use of teen level slang and adoption of teen style trends, the popstar high priced hairdos, hyper whitened cosmetic dentistry, sprayed on tan and wearing/carrying of high priced accessories – should not be pastors. Those men are looking for groupies, not parishioners. Popstars want groupies for a specific reasons and it’s not to lead them to Christ. Congregants should not reward this behavior. It results in what we are seeing here with Tullian and in drawing narcissistic sexual predators to the pulpit. Congregants need to just say no to sexing up pulpits. It’s gross and it blasphemes a sacred place.

  21. Real repentance = evidenced by the fruit of repentance:

    Matt. 3:7 But when John saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his place of baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit worthy of repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham…

    Luke 3:8
    Therefore produce fruit worthy of repentance.

    Acts 26:20
    First to those in Damascus and Jerusalem, then to everyone in the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I declared that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds worthy of their repentance.

    Luke 19:8
    And Zacchaeus stood, and said to the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

  22. Edward wrote:

    I’d like to see Paul Tripp publicly retract his statement approving of TT’s divorce.

    That might be very appropriate. See section #4 in this post in Rachel’s story …

    https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2016/11/29/survivor-of-tullian-tchividjians-alleged-clergy-sexual-abuse-goes-public-with-her-story-part-2/

    That section talks about Paul Tripp’s statement, and why, specifically, it seemed to be a set-up for Tullian Tchividjian to file for divorce. Mr Tripp’s statement talks about his conclusion that the marriage was “irreparably broken.” It turns out that another blog post at The Aquila Report (linked to in section #4) points out that,

    “Under Florida law, one party must establish that the marriage is ‘irretrievably broken’ in order for the union to be dissolved.” (Emphasis added; quote from Tullian Tchividjian Files for Divorce, by Timothy C. Morgan, in The Aquila Report, August 14, 2015). Both Tullian and Kim lived in Florida at that point.

    There are other peculiar aspects to his statement … issues of breaking confidentiality, dual relationship with a client/friend, etc.

    So, Mr Tripp seems to hold a significant level of culpability, even if he was utterly duped into it. Sometime back, he did take down the original post from his blog, so the one there is from an internet archive screenshot. But a more full disclosure explanation and appropriate efforts to make things right would seem in order, in my opinion.

  23. Lea wrote:

    Thanks for your response. My main question is is this a real response, a deep disturbance. I hope so. I guess we’ll see.

    There will be many survivors and advocates available to help them along the way if they do, and keep challenging them to change their trajectory if they don’t.

  24. One thing that bugs me in reading these people who pop to defend Tullian or try to shut the victims up (still!) is that they seem to want people to be silent about Tullian using the excuse of his children, when that certain didn’t stop him from trashing his wife name to the press. Not to go all second grade, but he started it.

  25. Guest wrote:

    I want to also point out that Tullian pursued the use of this ILLEGAL drug purely for vanity reasons. I have great sympathy for those struggling with addictive drugs.

    However, Tulliam chose to purchase and abuse an illegal drug solely for the purpose of beefing up and become sexier.

    We see other celebrity pastors such as Steven Furtick also obsessed with their appearance, trying to be more sexually appealing to their flock.
    These pastors who do everything they can to make themselves sexy for the pulpit – the buff bodies in really tight clothes

    And yet. And yet. Most churches who harp on Modesty aim all Modesty message to girls and women.

  26. Divorce Minister wrote:

    This is more than Tripp did regarding Mark Driscoll as I remember. I don’t recall him signing his name to a letter with this strong of language denouncing MD’s abuses (even though, he was quoted from a conversation with MHC elders denouncing the abusive culture). So, I say that to put some context on it.

    I’d give Tripp more credit. He was only on the Mars Hill BOAA for 8 months before resigning and he didn’t go quietly. That he was so widely quoted in his condemnation of the abusive culture at Mars Hill may have significantly factored into the erosion of internal support for Driscoll.

  27. @ Lea:

    That bugs me too.

    That, and kind of related scenaior: the pedophile defenders and pervy pastor defenders are so concerned about showing grace and forgiveness to those pervy guys who hurt people but don’t seem to care at all about show grace to the victims of the pervs.

    It is so annoying. Their theology is upside down.

    Yes, the Bible talks about how God is wiling and able to forgive a person who is repentant…

    But that very same Bible also goes on quite a bit about God caring about justice and compassion for victims, der!

    I’m more apt to care about the guy who was wronged than slobber tender loving sympathy all over the one who did the wronging.

    And point 2b here: Yes, the Bible says all people are sinners, which the Pervy Pastor Defenders love to toss around, but it no-where states that all sins are equal in seriousness or evil or in ramifications.

    (Me, for example, stealing five bucks from a granny lady’s purse is not as bad or serious as if I were to stick a hatchet in her head and off her.

    Both or either action can land me in Hell, but one is more evil, harmful, and damaging than the other. Even the Bible recognizes degrees of sin.)

  28. It comes off as “smarten up, Tullian, you’re making us all look bad.”

    Tullian’s shenanigans cause a spotlight to be shined on all of them.

    Of course they want him to repent & be forgiven.

    As they will expect the same when their own shenanigans are exposed.

    So I say. “Meh”

  29. I am glad this statement is coming out, but I would like to see one that is more self-reflectant on how those men got fooled in the first place. I hope this happens eventually for at least one man on the list. There is a lot that goes wrong in celebrity Christianity. I am with Brad. It may take months or years for these men to be able to get to that point. But that is the point. There needs to be wisdom used to prevent disasters, instead of leaders running around with little fire-extinguishers they do not pick up until the buildings are already burning down. These leaders need to take themselves off of pedestals. The crazy idolatry of celebrity pastors need to stop, along with the excusing of Mammon up on our altars instead of Jesus.

  30. Mr. Jesperson wrote:

    These leaders need to take themselves off of pedestals.

    It will never happen … too much pride and arrogance in New Calvinism. The only way these leaders lose their pedestals is to trip and fall. Pride cometh before a fall.

  31. Bill M wrote:

    Divorce Minister wrote:
    This is more than Tripp did regarding Mark Driscoll as I remember. I don’t recall him signing his name to a letter with this strong of language denouncing MD’s abuses (even though, he was quoted from a conversation with MHC elders denouncing the abusive culture). So, I say that to put some context on it.
    I’d give Tripp more credit. He was only on the Mars Hill BOAA for 8 months before resigning and he didn’t go quietly. That he was so widely quoted in his condemnation of the abusive culture at Mars Hill may have significantly factored into the erosion of internal support for Driscoll.

    It’s different responses to destructive (ex)pastors. One statement was official (TT) and the other was not (MHC)–to my knowledge. Maybe it doesn’t matter? But it is a difference.

  32. Edward wrote:

    I’d like to see Paul Tripp publicly retract his statement approving of TT’s divorce.

    Yes. And wasn’t Paul Tripp involved at Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill in Seattle. Tripp later called it the most coercive, abusive church he’d ever been in.

  33. Guest wrote:

    pastors who do everything they can to make themselves sexy for the pulpit – the buff bodies in really tight clothes that belong on persons 1-2 generations younger, the use of teen level slang and adoption of teen style trends, the popstar high priced hairdos, hyper whitened cosmetic dentistry, sprayed on tan and wearing/carrying of high priced accessories

    The only thing weirder than pastors who look like this, is a church full of folks who idolize them. Strange days, indeed, in the American church.

  34. JYJames wrote:

    Real repentance = evidenced by the fruit of repentance

    Scripture says that godly sorrow works repentance. The only sorrow I see when these things happen is sorry for getting caught. Too many of these characters launch unrepentant comebacks and the church allows it.

  35. Velour wrote:

    And wasn’t Paul Tripp involved at Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill in Seattle. Tripp later called it the most coercive, abusive church he’d ever been in.

    Good Lord, Tripp should have known that before he signed on with Driscoll on the Mars Hill advisory board. The rest of us did!

  36. Off-topic, happy announcement. An answer to prayer.

    As many of you know, my ex, abusive, NeoCalvinist, authoritarian, 9Marxist, John MacArthur-ite church #GraceBibleFellowshipOfSiliconValley ordered me to get rid of a cross that I had on my living room wall from Italy, a birthday gift, that costs hundreds of dollars, because a hateful older woman was “offended” that I had it (she’s an ex-Catholic) and so was my ex-senior pastor (also an ex-Catholic). I got big lectures from them about “false idols” and this cross. Under a great deal of pressure from them, I got rid of it.

    I wish I’d walked out of the hateful #GraceBibleFellowshipOfSiliconValley then.

    I was angry about the lost cross/birthday gift/art work for a long time. So for three days I’ve been praying to Jesus about it. I told Him that I was really angry about it.

    Just now someoone texted me that they had a Greek Orthodox cross, from Greece, that is artwork and did I know of anyone who could give it a home? I said, yes, I would love it.

    Thank you, Jesus! Restoring what the Locusts (including the NeoCalvinist Locusts) have eaten.

  37. @ Velour:

    That’s one of the five most wonderful things I’ve heard in a while, @Velour — isn’t it amazing when the Lord does something like that? Out of the blue, and straight into our heart! Rejoicing with you …

  38. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    @ Velour:
    That’s one of the five most wonderful things I’ve heard in a while, @Velour — isn’t it amazing when the Lord does something like that? Out of the blue, and straight into our heart! Rejoicing with you …

    Indeed, Brad.

    It’s awesome. The Greek Orthodox cross is not only “out of the blue”, but that’s its predominant color!

  39. Max wrote:

    Good Lord, Tripp should have known that before he signed on with Driscoll on the Mars Hill advisory board. The rest of us did!

    Men like Paul Tripp and the other men and women who signed the above letter don’t seem to want to listen to folks like us, Max. They just don’t.

  40. Velour wrote:

    Thank you, Jesus! Restoring what the Locusts (including the NeoCalvinist Locusts) have eaten.

    Thanks for sharing! God bless!

  41. JYJames wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Thank you, Jesus! Restoring what the Locusts (including the NeoCalvinist Locusts) have eaten.
    Thanks for sharing! God bless!

    Thank you!

    Jesus delivered!

  42. Max wrote:

    Good Lord, Tripp should have known that before he signed on with Driscoll on the Mars Hill advisory board. The rest of us did!

    Folks like Tripp don’t come around these parts, so when it comes to fellow pastors it is hear no evil, see no evil. This is in marked contrast to the new testament writers who appear to have received a lot of scuttlebut on various wrongdoings, they had the good sense not to dismiss it as “gossip”.

  43. Velour wrote:

    Off-topic, happy announcement. An answer to prayer.
    As many of you know, my ex, abusive, NeoCalvinist, authoritarian, 9Marxist, John MacArthur-ite church #GraceBibleFellowshipOfSiliconValley ordered me to get rid of a cross that I had on my living room wall from Italy, a birthday gift, that costs hundreds of dollars, because a hateful older woman was “offended” that I had it (she’s an ex-Catholic) and so was my ex-senior pastor (also an ex-Catholic). I got big lectures from them about “false idols” and this cross. Under a great deal of pressure from them, I got rid of it.
    I wish I’d walked out of the hateful #GraceBibleFellowshipOfSiliconValley then.
    I was angry about the lost cross/birthday gift/art work for a long time. So for three days I’ve been praying to Jesus about it. I told Him that I was really angry about it.
    Just now someoone texted me that they had a Greek Orthodox cross, from Greece, that is artwork and did I know of anyone who could give it a home? I said, yes, I would love it.
    Thank you, Jesus! Restoring what the Locusts (including the NeoCalvinist Locusts) have eaten.

    Velour, I’d love to see a photo of that cross and I think other Wartburgers might also.

  44. Darlene wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Off-topic, happy announcement. An answer to prayer.
    As many of you know, my ex, abusive, NeoCalvinist, authoritarian, 9Marxist, John MacArthur-ite church #GraceBibleFellowshipOfSiliconValley ordered me to get rid of a cross that I had on my living room wall from Italy, a birthday gift, that costs hundreds of dollars, because a hateful older woman was “offended” that I had it (she’s an ex-Catholic) and so was my ex-senior pastor (also an ex-Catholic). I got big lectures from them about “false idols” and this cross. Under a great deal of pressure from them, I got rid of it.
    I wish I’d walked out of the hateful #GraceBibleFellowshipOfSiliconValley then.
    I was angry about the lost cross/birthday gift/art work for a long time. So for three days I’ve been praying to Jesus about it. I told Him that I was really angry about it.
    Just now someoone texted me that they had a Greek Orthodox cross, from Greece, that is artwork and did I know of anyone who could give it a home? I said, yes, I would love it.
    Thank you, Jesus! Restoring what the Locusts (including the NeoCalvinist Locusts) have eaten.
    Velour, I’d love to see a photo of that cross and I think other Wartburgers might also.

    I’ll post a picture of it, Darlene, when I receive it and put it on my living room wall!

  45. The thing with people who are good at displaying remorse is that their “repentance” looks exactly the same as their unrepentance.

    Not knowing Paul Tripp, I do note his scathing comments on the Mars Hill culture; I can envisage a number of scenarios in which he took the role in good faith, tried honestly to address it, and gave up after a number of months. So I’m quite willing to give him the benefit of the doubt there.

    Nonetheless, there is a piece missing from the joint statement as quoted above. That missing piece addresses the reasons why the serial deceptions weren’t spotted in the first place and what lessons were learned by group of pastors and friends. I don’t blame them for making a mistake, but it would be good to see how they plan to avoid repeating it.

  46. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    The thing with people who are good at displaying remorse is that their “repentance” looks exactly the same as their unrepentance.

    Put another way, let me quote the First Rule of the Chemistry Laboratory:

    Hot glass looks exactly the same as cold glass

    … as many a burnt-fingered lab chemist will testify.

  47. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    The thing with people who are good at displaying remorse is that their “repentance” looks exactly the same as their unrepentance.

    I love the saying from child [sex crimes’ victims] advocate, attorney, and author Andrew Vachss: “Behavior is truth.”

  48. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    Otherwise, I just don’t know how we’ll shift the “diffusion of innovation” from constant intervention when situations get as bad as this, to prevention so fewer of them happen and they’re intercepted before they get to the addicted-to-celebraty consumption stages.

    I got one.

    It is a descendant of the much-discussed “Billy Graham Rule” or BGR which, for those new to the topic, refers to the personal rule that Billy Graham followed that he would take the utmost care never to be alone with a woman other than his wife. The reasons for this were twofold:
     The possibility that such an encounter might be photographed, displayed out of context and used to manufacture a damaging scandal;
     The acknowledgement that Graham himself was as human as the next person and didn’t want to give himself even the slightest possibility of being tempted to cheat on his wife.

    Whether these reasons are valid is the subject of intense debate, but not of this comment. The BGR was born around the time of Watergate… But I think the time is ripe for the adoption of BGR 2.0:

    A man (or woman) who has successfully persuaded other believers that (s)he is called into public ministry among the saints must take the utmost care never to become famous, nor to earn more than some sensible variation on the theme of “an average income”.

    This would, at least, address the pervasive belief among the Church Industrial Complex that, once a man has secured a job therein, he is entitled to a job therein for life. It would also reinforce the fact that the Christian life is fundamentally, as Paul put it on one of the many occasions he was put on trial:

    I stand on trial for my hope in the resurrection of the dead.

  49. P.S.

    Actually, there’s nothing remotely new or original about “BGR 2.0”. The following is one version of a quote attributed to Jerome around the 4th century:

    A clergyman who engages in business, and who rises from poverty to wealth, and from obscurity to a high position, avoid as you would the plague.

  50. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    P.S.
    Actually, there’s nothing remotely new or original about “BGR 2.0”. The following is one version of a quote attributed to Jerome around the 4th century:
    A clergyman who engages in business, and who rises from poverty to wealth, and from obscurity to a high position, avoid as you would the plague.

    Spot on.

    My ex-pastor at my ex-church Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley (NeoCalvinist/9Marxist/John MacArthur-ite/Patriarchy-promoting] told us that he was “called to the ministry”. I realize that he used that as a form of authoritarian control over church members, as though he had be approved by God. It was used at that church the way “biblical” was used. To stop thinking, challenges.

    God didn’t call a man to ministry who lies, screams, bullies, threatens, ridicules, excommunicates and shuns Christians. He called himself to ministry…and it shows.
    It’s merely a business opportunity for him, a franchise.

  51. Velour wrote:

    It’s merely a business opportunity for him, a franchise.

    Quite so. Not to labour the point – meaning, prepare to be bored because I’m about to labour the point – but you can bet your bottom that “God” would not have called him to a ministry involving obscurity, poor-to-average wages or serving at the behest of others.

  52. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    It’s merely a business opportunity for him, a franchise.
    Quite so. Not to labour the point – meaning, prepare to be bored because I’m about to labour the point – but you can bet your bottom that “God” would not have called him to a ministry involving obscurity, poor-to-average wages or serving at the behest of others.

    Spot on again, Nick.

  53. Guest wrote:

    Those men are looking for groupies, not parishioners. Popstars want groupies for a specific reasons and it’s not to lead them to Christ. Congregants should not reward this behavior… Congregants need to just say no to sexing up pulpits.

    Well said, Guest. Very well said.

  54. Bill M wrote:

    Folks like Tripp don’t come around these parts, so when it comes to fellow pastors it is hear no evil, see no evil. This is in marked contrast to the new testament writers who appear to have received a lot of scuttlebut on various wrongdoings, they had the good sense not to dismiss it as “gossip”.

    It should have been hard for Tripp and other New Calvinist “leaders” to dismiss Driscoll’s potty-mouth preaching as gossip or Tullian’s tight jeans and tanned body as cultural relevance! The New Calvinist movement has been fraught from the beginning, attracting too many celebrity wannabes and destined to result in something undesirable. The whole Christian community takes a hit when the brethren behave this way. It’s hard enough getting lost folks to turn to the gospel message in this age of Christianity Lite, without having to explain the failings of church leaders. Is it too much to ask these guys to keep their pants on?!

  55. Max wrote:

    Is it too much to ask these guys to keep their pants on?!

    In Tullian’s case, I would also be checking every one of his personal devices with access to the internet. Theoretically it’s possible he became a womanizer from his teens onward just from face to face contact with girls and women, but I wouldn’t count on it.

  56. Velour wrote:

    I’ll post a picture of it, Darlene, when I receive it and put it on my living room wall!

    Congrats, Velour. Looks like you have an early Christmas present.

  57. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    there is a piece missing from the joint statement as quoted above. That missing piece addresses the reasons why the serial deceptions weren’t spotted in the first place and what lessons were learned by group of pastors and friends. I don’t blame them for making a mistake, but it would be good to see how they plan to avoid repeating it.

    The problem with deception is that you are deceived because you are deceived. The only protection a Christian has to steer clear of deception is discernment. But you don’t develop a discerning spirit if you turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to such antics if it’s for the good of the movement. These New Calvinist leaders have linked themselves together to stay on track with the new reformation at all costs. They only bail out in supporting one of their own if their own wisdom is questioned – then they start distancing themselves from the offending brother and his scandal. The folks who signed the letter were once supporters of Tullian; they are now washing their hands of him.

  58. “…we believe that he has disqualified himself from any form of public vocational ministry.”

    I’m glad they worded this sentence the way they did. A lot of Tullian’s defenders were saying there is no reason he can’t publicly share the gospel with people. Which is normally a good thing, even from those who preach out of envy or rivalry, as the apostle Paul said. When a professing Christian has sinned to the point of grave scandal and possible public excommunication, they just need to shut up. Speaking of which, I’m keeping an eye out to see if TT does in fact get *publicly* excommunicated from the PCA.

  59. I would love to see Christian leaders stand up to men like Jim Cymbala for his abuse and corruption.

    Spiritual abuse of women for the sake of book sales

    Roberta Langella’s Story
    https://theauthorofmyfaith.org/2016/10/16/the-story-behind-the-story-of-roberta-langella-and-jim-cymbala-part-1/

    Dawn Robinson’s Story
    https://survivor911blog.wordpress.com/?ref=spelling

    Corruption – Cymbala protecting a corrupt pastor who happens to be a thief and his best friend.

    Pastor Dan Iampaglia caught on tape stealing Missions Offering Nine Times
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYZ_ddqs5Gc

    The Take Over of Rock Church
    https://rockchurchtakeover.wordpress.com/

    Cymbala’s pastor friend threatened to SLAM A 5ft tall woman in Church – Caught on video and Cymbala still supports him and is paying his legal fees. Also seems there is corruption in the case as it is going favorably towards the corrupt pastor Dan Iampaglia

    Cymbala’s man Iampaglia tells woman – I WILL SLAM YOU

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEAEWSiPmF4&t=2s

    Cymbala’s man Iampaglia calls woman “FOUL DEMON OF HELL and physically grabs her to throw her out of church”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88RCHdjJ1Rk

  60. I am encouraged to see Chris Rosebrough sign the statement. It’s linked to his twitter feed, which also has a link to his latest sermon from Sunday, on the subject of true and false repentence. I’ll be giving it a listen later today.

  61. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    A clergyman who engages in business, and who rises from poverty to wealth, and from obscurity to a high position, avoid as you would the plague.

    Jerome appears to have had some sense.

    The early church had the same problems with power and wealth. The scriptures speak a great deal about this subject, but those who crave such things don’t seem to hear. Wisdom – another repeated topic – is lacking.

  62. Bridget wrote:

    Men like Paul Tripp and the other men and women who signed the above letter don’t seem to want to listen to folks like us, Max. They just don’t.

    It has been noted repeatedly that the New Calvinist movement has some of the most arrogant folks on the planet. There is a magnetic force in the new reformation that attracts them by the gobs! Pride demands affirmation; big egos must be fed positive things. Arrogance finds a home within New Calvinist ranks where it is flattered and puffed up. Such leaders dismiss rebuke and correction … that’s why so many of them fall. “Folks like us” are really their friends, not their enemies, but they don’t see it that way. In their eyes, we are little more than cyberspace pew peons who have nothing to offer of any importance.

  63. NJ wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I’ll post a picture of it, Darlene, when I receive it and put it on my living room wall!
    Congrats, Velour. Looks like you have an early Christmas present.

    Thank you!

  64. Velour wrote:

    Just now someoone texted me that they had a Greek Orthodox cross, from Greece, that is artwork and did I know of anyone who could give it a home? I said, yes, I would love it.

    I would love to see it too Velour. Maybe our blog queens would post the pic?
    It really is a shame that some folks (both religious and secular) hate and despise human freedom so much that they can’t even enjoy art for art’s sake.

  65. Muff Potter wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Just now someoone texted me that they had a Greek Orthodox cross, from Greece, that is artwork and did I know of anyone who could give it a home? I said, yes, I would love it.
    I would love to see it too Velour. Maybe our blog queens would post the pic?
    It really is a shame that some folks (both religious and secular) hate and despise human freedom so much that they can’t even enjoy art for art’s sake.

    Thanks Muff!

    I will send our blog queens a picture of the Greek Orthodox cross once I get it.

  66. When TT and the TGC split a few years ago it was over the issue of some inferred accusations that TT was slipping into Antimonianism —for those who don’t speak theologicallese…basically that is the belief that when you are saved by grace you are basically no longer obligated to morality because grace alone is all you need.

    Now, at the time I was like, no way, TT is just really great at teaching grace!!! But now it seems as the warnings were pretty spot on. If TT has really drifted into full blown Antimoniasm it would make sense that he feels he can do whatever he pleases because it doesn’t matter. So, he can act like he does for his own benefit/pleasure WHILE still claiming his super Christian credentials and pastoral qualifications.

  67. @ Lea:

    “And I am suspicious of Tripp although I honestly can’t tell you why so maybe that’s unfair.”
    +++++++++

    can’t shake that feeling either. Perhaps a combination of that mustache, & his association with schmuck #1 MD / MH as well as TT schmuck #2. And lack of any real explanation or apology for focussing on giving aid to the schmucks while ignoring the many mangled human beings they ran over.

    frankly, i’m sick of the evanglical people of influence championing their schmuck peers with every benefit of the doubt & beyond. Symbiotic heroism.

    The people the gospel schmucks used & abused, chewed up and spit out are simply invisible to this little elite club. no gospel glamor to found there, i guess.

    GAH — they’re all schmucks. all of ’em.

  68. Adam Borsay wrote:

    But now it seems as the warnings were pretty spot on. If TT has really drifted into full blown Antimoniasm it would make sense that he feels he can do whatever he pleases because it doesn’t matter. So, he can act like he does for his own benefit/pleasure WHILE still claiming his super Christian credentials and pastoral qualifications.

    After I better understood that a core issue in spiritual abuse is *authoritarianism* more than it is just legalism, I could identify that authoritarian people can use any system of philosophy or theology to justify their control over others. And thus we can suggest that, while TGC members may have been able to see the errors of the antinomian ways of someone like Tullian Tchividjian and his underlying theological twist on grace, they aren’t so attuned to seeing or doing anything about those within their own ranks who may be just as authoritarian but on the side of legalism, and yet seem to get a pass because they are Reformed/Calvinist/Neo-Calvinist.

    In case readers are interested in more about that, I did a three-part series looking at how authoritarianism can show up in systems of social control based on compliance (legalism), chaos (antinomianism), and charisma (celebrity consumer culture) — and I tie that in with parallel systems in *The Hunger Games* trilogy – District 13 (compliance), District 12 (chaos of poverty), and The Capitol (charisma and consumption).

    https://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/the-hunger-games-trilogy-5a/

  69. Max wrote:

    The folks who signed the letter were once supporters of Tullian; they are now washing their hands of him.

    He is now doubleplusunperson.

    “OBSOLETE! OBSOLETE!”
    The Twilight Zone, “The Obsolete Man”

  70. Velour wrote:

    Restoring what the Locusts (including the NeoCalvinist Locusts) have eaten.

    How about the End Time Prophecy/Rapture Ready Locusts?

  71. Guest wrote:

    Congregants need to just say no to sexing up pulpits. It’s gross and it blasphemes a sacred place.

    Humans have always had a poor track record when combining the Sacred and the Erotic.

  72. elastigirl wrote:

    frankly, i’m sick of the evanglical people of influence championing their schmuck peers with every benefit of the doubt & beyond. Symbiotic heroism.

    I don’t like the idea that they can send some pastor or religious celebrity to a church to pronounce it ok or not ok. I will make up my own mind thanks.

  73. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Restoring what the Locusts (including the NeoCalvinist Locusts) have eaten.
    How about the End Time Prophecy/Rapture Ready Locusts?

    Indeed, they are at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley.

    My ex-pastor constantly talked from the pulpit about how Jesus would give him a horse with his name on it, to do battle on behalf of Jesus at the End Times. I’d sit in my pew and think, “Pal, Jesus wouldn’t trust you with the manure in the horse’s stable.” Ex-pastor lied about everything, has fake (diploma mill) “advanced degrees” like a Ph.D. (cough, Phony Degree), bullied countless members, threatened them, screamed at them, lied about them to others, excommunicated and shunned them.

    And ex-pastor thinks he’s in Jesus’ good graces. Hmmmm…sounds delusional. (A word he used to describe me to the congregation. He trashes all of the people he excommunicates, including the godly doctor (in his 70’s) before me.

  74. Velour wrote:

    My ex-pastor at my ex-church Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley (NeoCalvinist/9Marxist/John MacArthur-ite/Patriarchy-promoting] told us that he was “called to the ministry”.

    Did anyone get the caller ID? If a pastor claims he was called to have authority over other believers in the church then he is contradicting our Lord and taking His name in vain.

  75. Lea wrote:

    I don’t like the idea that they can send some pastor or religious celebrity to a church to pronounce it ok or not ok. I will make up my own mind thanks.

    I look at it as a helpful service – positive endorsements by certain people serve as a great warning.

  76. Jenn Grover wrote:

    This is how the GC could have responded to CJ Mahaney, any number of times.

    It is conspicuous to me that this call to repentance was neither initiated by nor endorsed by those lovers of money that orbit SBTS and T4$. The Mahaney debacle is about two things; money, and the fact that many in his orbit actually believe that covering up pederasty and “handling” it internally is actually the right thing to do. And lest the reader think this an allegation too far, I have personally heard exactly that sentiment from more than one SBC professor.

  77. @ Molly245:
    A gentle correction here, but Tullian certainly does not get a pass because he may have been taking anabolics. The myth of “roid rage” has been thoroughly and soundly debunked by science many times over. I understand that this is a popular misunderstanding of anabolics, but it is not the case. And yes, I have my ISSA certificate including several courses on steroids, and have been in the iron game for twenty years. Oh, and be sure to check out my website and YouTube channel 😉

  78. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Tullian certainly does not get a pass because he may have been taking anabolics

    While he was preaching, he shouldn’t have got a pass for over-bleached teeth, spiked hair, a fake tan, and ripped skinny jeans. Good Lord, is the church out of its spiritual mind?!

  79. Bill M wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    My ex-pastor at my ex-church Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley (NeoCalvinist/9Marxist/John MacArthur-ite/Patriarchy-promoting] told us that he was “called to the ministry”.
    Did anyone get the caller ID? If a pastor claims he was called to have authority over other believers in the church then he is contradicting our Lord and taking His name in vain.

    It’s even in the church Bylaws that the elders are given authority by God over believers’ lives. Oh puhhhhlllllssssseeee. Horse manure.

  80. I exchanged two emails with Chris Rosebrough when the scandal first broke with not much results and while it’s nice to see him call for Tchvidjian’s repentance now and for Tchividjian to not be allowed to minster publically.

    I would be less cynical if he hadn’t been at Christholdfast 2016 with him when so many where giving Tchividjian a “free pass”. Better late than never I guess but what damage has been has already been done.

  81. Part #5 just posted at Spiritual Sounding Board. This wraps up the series about Rachel sharing her story, with final thoughts on the case from Julie Anne.

    We are in the process of developing a number of other posts related to follow-up topics from what has happened since the reports of Rachel’s experience went public. Meanwhile, here is the link to Part #5 in the series:

    https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2016/12/07/survivor-of-tullian-tchividjians-alleged-clergy-sexual-abuse-goes-public-with-her-story-part-5/

    Julie Anne introduces the post: “This has been one of the most challenging cases I’ve worked on or investigated. For over nine months, I have known the personal stories of the key women involved. I have also read many stories of spiritual abuse from current and former staff members, and current and former congregants – from both Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church where Tullian Tchividjian was Senior Pastor from April 2009 through June 2015, and Willow Creek (Presbyterian) Church where he was on staff from August 2015 through March 2016. Below are a few answers that might address some typical questions people have had while reading Rachel’s story.”

    How and when did Rachel connect with you?

    What was Rachel’s purpose for connecting with you?

    Why did it take so long to tell her story publicly, and how did you care for her along the way?

    Why was it important to mention Kim in the articles, when the story is about Rachel?

    Why are some of Rachel’s comments missing, but you and other people have screenshots?

    What exactly is “spiritual abuse”?

    Why do victims come to survivor blogs instead of news agencies to tell their stories?

    What ways have you seen national organizations and media keep Tullian Tchividjian “in control” of the narrative?

    What are some things that surprised you about how Rachel has responded to the process of going public with her account of what happened?

  82. @ Max:
    I am not defending him but I keep hearing about his “fake tan.” Is it such? The man is Armenian. Many Armenians are naturally dark.

  83. @ Dew:

    Plus, the guy lived in Florida.

    I am not a fan of criticizing tattoos and hair cuts (although skinny jeans are fair game imo).

    Sometimes, though, there is a cumulative affect that screams ‘all I care about is outward appearance/show not what is inside’. I think this was definitely true of Tullian. The steroids bit is the only part that was really over the top.

  84. Exactly. So much talk of restoring the perpetrator and little thought given to the victims, many of whom will suffer for the rest of their lives, spiritually and emotionally. This man should never be in the pulpit again, but should quietly and humbly live out of the fame spotlight laying his life down for the Lord.
    @ Aaron:

  85. Dew wrote:

    his “fake tan.” Is it such? The man is Armenian.

    OK, I was a little over the top on criticizing his brown appearance. I now realize the racial sensitivity of my remark. I’m sorry – I really thought his skin tone was the result of tanning. But … I ain’t giving an inch on the skinny jeans!

  86. Lea wrote:

    a cumulative affect that screams ‘all I care about is outward appearance/show not what is inside

    Poser.

  87. GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) posted an important statement this morning, from their Board of Directors, regarding Tullian Tchividjian. The link below on Spiritual Sounding Board gives links to the PDF of the statement, along with GRACE’s Facebook and Twitter links for it.

    https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2016/12/08/grace-releases-statement-regarding-tullian-tchividjian/

    As Warren Throckmorton notes in his posting of the statement/link, Boz Tchividjian, older brother of Tullian, is the founder of GRACE, and there is another Tchividjian on the Board of Directors. So this statement is meaningful on multiple levels.

  88. Molly245 wrote:

    I feel I need to once again bring up the subject of TT’s possible use of steroids.

    When you add drugs to the mix in my experience all bets are off on the outcome. Too often drug users do things that they would never dream of doing “In Their Right Minds”. When you mess with hormones in anyone, things get bad quickly.

    .

    Too true, this. Steroids are powerful stuff. The idea thet TT may be playing around with them scared me no end.

  89. Guest wrote:

    I want to also point out that Tullian pursued the use of this ILLEGAL drug purely for vanity reasons. I have great sympathy for those struggling with addictive drugs. However, Tulliam chose to purchase and abuse an illegal drug solely for the purpose of beefing up and become sexier.

    Go to YouTube and search on “Man Whose Arm Exploded”.
    Spectacular Roid OD.

  90. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Put another way, let me quote the First Rule of the Chemistry Laboratory:
    Hot glass looks exactly the same as cold glass
    … as many a burnt-fingered lab chemist will testify.

    Which is why I check first by holding my hand a centimeter or two from the surface to gauge the heat.

  91. Max wrote:

    It will never happen … too much pride and arrogance in New Calvinism.

    Remember:
    They’re THE PREDESTINED ELECT, GOD’S SPESHUL PETS who CAN DO NO WRONG.

  92. Max wrote:

    I suspect the world and the flesh crippled Tullian.

    “The Money was too good — I Got Stupid!”
    — Jayne Cobb, when Captain Mal was ready to blow him out the airlock

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