Tullian Tchivdjian: It’s All About Him and His Victims Are Not Part of the Narrative

“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I believe that any pastor who has sex with a member of his congregation or ministry is disqualified, permanently, from the pastorate. He/she may be restored to the church but not to the pulpit. I also believe that such actions on the part of a pastor/leader constitute clergy abuse and is an abuse of power.

Recently, Tullian Tchividjian sent out a series of tweets, one of which attracted the attention of the Christian Post which published Tullian Tchividjian: I Am Less Nervous Telling a Non-Christian Than a Christian About My Adultery.

Before I get to those tweets, the Christian Post referred to a blog post in August that Tchividjian wrote with Chad Bird.

“That doesn’t justify destructive behavior, diminish the sting of consequences, or minimize the harming effects of destructive choices. But if we’re only okay with preaching grace in theory, but not when someone — even an esteemed leader — is actually in need of it, then perhaps we should all take a sabbatical. As someone once said, ‘People love it when preachers say they are broken just like the rest of us, until that preacher does something that the rest of us broken people do.'”

The authors added that even though celebrity pastors are the ones who make the news when they are involved in a scandal, many other smaller preachers also fall into sin.

These were my thoughts on the matter. Tullian Tchvidjian and a Lutheran Response

Here are screen shots of the current five tweets which give us an insight into his thinking. In these tweets, I contend that Tullian comes across as an inconsiderate egoist who refuses to take full responsibility for what he did. He exudes a lack of repentance and understanding. Read the tweets and see if you can surmise what is lacking from his selfish pity party. (Whoops-did I give a hint?)

Tweet #1: Poor TT-he is bitter and angry

He claims he was bitter and angry.

Let’s go back to the past and remind ourselves that Tchividjian had numerous affairs with women while he was still a pastor. This means he violated his office in order to engage in multiple liaisons. He also tried to blame his first wife Kim as the one who had an affair, causing him to have an affair. It was *that woman’s fault.* In fact, he had been having affairs prior to his wife’s affair.

Tchividjian’s liaisons are an example of clergy sex abuse. Yet he wants us to believe that he should be angry and bitter. Did he mention the pain of his many victims? Did he say he went to each and every one of his victims, their spouses and their families to beg for forgiveness? Not only did he not mention his victims, he doesn’t mention that he decided to marry one of his liaisons, Stacie. Stacie, the woman who called Mrs. Kim Tchividjian to let her know that Tullian was sleeping with her. I wonder….did Stacie know she was merely one among many?

Tchividjian was defrocked by the PCA for his despicable behavior. That means the PCA does not believe that Tullian belongs anywhere near a pulpit. If he had been a counselor and had had those affairs, he would have been stripped of his license and never be allowed to counsel again. Isn’t it interesting that Tchividjian has lower standards than secular counselors? Tchividjian, demonstrating that he doesn’t have a pastoral bone in his body, is bitter and angry. He expressed absolutely no concern for the women and their families.I t’s all about his *feelings.* Poor baby…

Tweet #2: His dark past continues to haunt him and he has found a way out.

Does TT demonstrate an understanding of the pain that has been caused to his victims and their families? Does he ask for forgiveness from his victims as a way towards healing? Nope. He takes the cheap way out. He declares God has unconditionally forgiven him.

This is rather clever because God does unconditionally forgive those who come to Him in repentance. However, that does not mean there are no consequences for those actions. Here are two:

  1. He needs to go to all the families involved and ask for forgiveness and see if there is anything he can do to make reparations. Maybe he could pay for counseling. for example?
  2. He must never be in a pulpit again. He has forfeited his right to preach.

But he did not go to the families and begged for forgiveness. He also believes that he should be preaching, even though his former denomination told him “no.” So, he finds someone…anyone…in any denomination who will allow him to preach. Sadly, his new BFF is merely spraying cologne on a skunk.

I don’t believe his past is haunting him. I think it is the Holy Spirit convicting him. Until he does the right thing, he will be haunted.

Tweet #3: Non-Christians don’t seem to get all upset about his multiple affairs, divorce, and remarriage.

I have a bunch of nonChristian and Christian friends who claim all sorts of things are just hunky dory until it is worded specifically. What does that mean in the case of TT? He should ask his non-Christian friends what they would think of a counselor who had multiple affairs with his client. He should then explain that he thinks that counselor should be allowed to get his counseling license back since “God has forgiven all.” Never forget, the #metoo movement was fueled by nonChristians who knew that it wrong for producers to seduce their actresses.

I wonder how TT’s friends feel about Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, Les Moonves, Matt Later? I wonder if TT’s friends give them a pass? I bet not. TT and Stacie are living a lie. They have hurt many people. Stacie has a past as well.

Sadly, TT is now hitting the circuit, preaching cheap grace- a grace devoid of repentance, reparations and seeking forgiveness from those harmed. It is a cheap grace.

Here are some quotes from The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This is the best book ever written on the issue of cheap grace-something that TT should think about. These quotes come from Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Cheap Grace vs. Costly Grace

-Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace. Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks’ wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is represented as the Church’s inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing….

-Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Grace alone does everything they say, and so everything can remain as it was before. ‘All for sin could not atone.’ Well, then, let the Christian live like the rest of the world, let him model himself on the world’s standards in every sphere of life, and not presumptuously aspire to live a different life under grace from his old life under sin….

-Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance,4 baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

-Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: “ye were bought at a price,” and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us.

-Costly grace is the sanctuary of God; it has to be protected from the world, and not thrown to the dogs.

-It was the grace of Christ himself, now prevailing upon the disciple (Peter)  to leave all and follow him, now working in him that confession which to the world must sound like the ultimate blasphemy, now inviting Peter to the supreme fellowship of martyrdom for the Lord he had denied, and thereby forgiving him all his sins. In the life of Peter grace and discipleship are inseparable. He had received the grace which costs, (pg. 45-49).

The following quote sums up the entire book:

“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

Sadly, what I see from TT is a demand from him for all of us to forgive him, whether or not he demonstrates true repentance. We are to allow him to be a preacher again because it’s his right. For him, restoration means more than merely being restored to Christian fellowship. He is Billy Graham’s grandson and that means he is entitled to be a preacher. It means he gets to marry the *babe* and start making a paycheck as a celebrity pastor. He is entitled to write books and speak at conferences. After all, he is Billy Graham’s grandson and don’t you forget it. He won’t let you.

It must be hard for TT to accept that some Christians actually understand the juxtaposition of the Law and the Gospel. He has a hard time believing that some thoughtful, Christian people will not buy his baloney. Some of us out here actually read the Bible instead of a few, select proof verses.

Tweet #4: TT has no idea that this verse is speaking about him!

TT doesn’t seem to understand that Jesus called out the religious leaders. They were the ones causing pain for the rank and file by making up thousands of rules that were impossible to to keep. For example, one could not spit on the ground on s Sabbath because a plant might grow and one must not work on the Sabbath.

One should be careful not to spill any liquid or even to spit on plants on Shabbos. [12]

TT is an example of the religious leaders who cut themselves slack while supporting harder laws for the little guy. So, for example, as a counselor, TT would have lost his license to practice. He did lose his ministerial credentials from the PCA but he doesn’t have to worry about that. He just moves on to the next denomination with some loosey goosey pastors who think it is cool that he is Billy Graham’s grandson. They don’t pay attention to the Law and what it is meant to do.  He gets himself declared him *restored* and it’s back to the circuit. “TT…Jesus is speaking about you and to you. You position yourself as a religious leader.”

Tweet #5: Tullian states that there are some who should be confessing their own sin and ignoring his.

Oh Tullian… You are the one who wanted a public platform. You are the one who pushed books and conferences.You are the one who said “Look at me.” You are the one who held yourself up as a super dee dooper senior pastor while you were playing games on the side.

You are a leader and you need to act like one. Those called into those roles have a greater standard to carry. You don’t get to act like you are just *one of the guys.* Read the Bible. It tells you that. You get critiqued because you wanted the limelight. You used your Billy Graham connection to get the perks you were seeking.You now are upset because the public notoriety that your sought so desperately now holds you to account.

Frankly, I wish Tullian would shut up and go work in an impoverished part of the world for a few years. Then I might listen a little harder to his excuses.


Comments

Tullian Tchivdjian: It’s All About Him and His Victims Are Not Part of the Narrative — 168 Comments

  1. Tchivdjian, C. J. Mahaney, and Mark Driscoll are not man enough to go out in the real world and get real jobs. They want a stage every weekend making easy diva money. Stacy is a homewrecker and an adulterer.

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  2. “Sadly, his new BFF is merely spraying cologne on a skunk.”

    Good one dee, sounds like sumpin’ Muff would come up with.

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  3. Guest: Tchivdjian, C. J. Mahaney, and Mark Driscoll are not man enough to go out in the real world and get real jobs. They want a stage every weekend making easy diva money. Stacy is a homewrecker and an adulterer.

    These guys are primadonnas and out here in the work world, primadonna behavior just gets in the way of getting the job done. I would prefer not to have these guys in my organization.

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  4. Guest:
    Tchivdjian, C. J. Mahaney, and Mark Driscoll are not man enough to go out in the real world and get real jobs. They want a stage every weekend making easy diva money. Stacy is a homewrecker and an adulterer.

    TT is a home wrecker and an adulterer.

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  5. Another thing to note is how this exemplifies Christian media NOT taking adultery (and clergy sexual abuse) seriously! They are giving him a platform by publishing this article. Making matters worse, they are not highlighting his abuse of power and the lives he destroyed/harmed through his wide-wake of adulterous sin and lies.

    It does not surprise me. I have noticed pastors usually know another pastor who has cheated (and/or abused their power). So, they take the perspective of not being too hard on their “friend.” This troubles me. You can still be a friend and call out the evil for what it is. This article is simply trying to rug-sweep TT’s sins and helping him teach false doctrine (i.e. cheap grace). People don’t see how awful it is because they refuse to see the victims of TT’s sins.

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  6. This thought comes to mind:

    “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.”

    Dee, I think you are writing very charitably when you interpret him to be “haunted by the conviction of the Holy Spirit.” Does he feel bad about what he did? Or simply the bad things that happened after he was discovered?

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  7. “His universe has room only for himself.”
    — In-universe description of the main villain in a Mercedes Lackey fantasy novel

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  8. Does TT think we are forgetting he taught radical and cheap grace before his false life was exposed? He makes it sound like he only needed grace when it all came crashing down but he was making bank off the grace mantra before. Money making gig either way. Despicable.

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  9. Divorce Minister,

    “I have noticed pastors usually know another pastor who has cheated (and/or abused their power). So, they take the perspective of not being too hard on their “friend.””
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    what’s their hang up, anyway?

    is it some kind of loyalty pledge to the brotherhood-of-the-pastors?

    is it obsessing over the “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” verse?

    are they afraid of being called out for something by their fellow pastors?

    but one thing’s for sure: while they go easy on each other with abuses of power, infidelity, lying, corruption, etc., they will actively shun, blackball, and protest with head held high in righteousness against any pastor to the gay community or pastor who is a woman.

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  10. TT apparently is gonna TT, while 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 remain relevant on the pastoral/leadership level and so much of the rest of Scripture is relevant to the need for repentance that actually acknowledges the wrong and the wronged. Perhaps some restoring fourfold is going on offline, but what seems to be potentially at issue is conflating Christians not,acting like nothing ever happened with an inadequate conferring of forgiveness. We seem to consistently hear so few words in public when a ‘personal falling’ forces someone from leadership/power, but we seem to hear no end of comments about how everyone else is supposed to act and behave.

    I did want to share thoughts on some of the quotes from Bonhoeffer: “Grace is represented as the Church’s inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost!”

    The (C)hurch dispenses grace? And grace IS without cost (bread without price, not a result of works, etc.). As far as the ‘everything can be had for nothing’ perspective, from where does the grace and the faith come — us? As Peter is cited, it’s good to remember where Jesus said Peter’s confession of Him as the Christ came from, and the distinction made there. No matter what is affirmed about God’s calling for obedience and repentance from His people and for them to,walk in good works, grace remains grace. Though consequences for actions can remain (such as a pastor no longer being remotely above reproach and needing to find another position outside of leadership), grace is not a quid pro quo. (We won’t go further into ‘baptism without church discipline’…)

    I fear the other points made about the issues of the absence of repentance and confession may not be aided by this description much more than the field of strawmen that the usual suspects appear to persist in hoisting.

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  11. Divorce Minister:

    It does not surprise me. I have noticed pastors usually know another pastor who has cheated (and/or abused their power). So, they take the perspective of not being too hard on their “friend.” This troubles me. You can still be a friend and call out the evil for what it is.

    Like Francis Chan’s recent admonition about pastors he knows, so others had best hush up because he knows them:

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2018/04/02/francis-chan-warns-church-members-not-to-criticize-anointedspiritual-leaders-like-himself-on-social-media/

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  12. “Tweet #3: Non-Christians don’t seem to get all upset about his multiple affairs, divorce, and remarriage.”

    Gallup Poll Reveals Americans’ Feelings On Infidelity, Divorce
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/29/gallup-poll-reveals-ameri_n_3354778.html

    Dec 2017:
    A recent Gallup poll, discussed at length in The Atlantic on Wednesday, sheds light on how Americans perceive divorce and infidelity.

    Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey asked 1,535 American adults about the moral acceptability of 20 behaviors, and having an affair was found to be the very worst, with 91 percent of respondents deeming it morally wrong. …

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  13. Re

    You are a leader and you need to act like one. Those called into those roles have a greater standard to carry. You don’t get to act like you are just *one of the guys.* Read the Bible. It tells you that. You get critiqued because you wanted the limelight. You used your Billy Graham connection to get the perks you were seeking.You now are upset because the public notoriety that your sought so desperately now holds you to account.

    He’s also making money, making a career, off Jesus.

    That sets him further apart from the everyday believers.

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  14. Samuel Conner: Dee, I think you are writing very charitably when you interpret him to be “haunted by the conviction of the Holy Spirit.” Does he feel bad about what he did? Or simply the bad things that happened after he was discovered?

    As I was reading the OP, that struck me too. It’s possible that Tullian is not an actual believer.

    He may not give a fig about his cheating and what all, but he wants to put on this show for other Christians and pretend he’s so very sorry for his behavior.

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  15. Guest:
    Tchivdjian, C. J. Mahaney, and Mark Driscoll are not man enough to go out in the real world and get real jobs. They want a stage every weekend making easy diva money.

    Well said. Abuse from leaders is abominable. But in my view, the pastorate and clergy should not exist in the first place. They are fraudulent positions with no Scriptural basis. This has created the very platform where guys like this operate. They profit from the church members just like the prosperity preachers they condemn.

    But as we are in this situation, keeping them in the pulpit gives the wrong message to both the abuser and the victims the wrong message. It denies justice and shows no compassion for those wronged.

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  16. Daisy:
    Re

    He’s also making money, making a career, off Jesus.

    That sets him further apart from the everyday believers.

    This is why I don’t support the unbiblical idea of a full time paid pastor or priest. The Apostle Paul made his own living and told the elders in Ephesus to work so they could support the poor (Acts 20:35). But TGC and others want membership systems to fund themselves.

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  17. The Jesus of the Gospel accounts didn’t just call out the people who pointed to the sins of rank-and-file sinners.

    He also called out those who loved prominent seats in public places.

    He also called out the money changers and others who got rich off the rank-and-file sinners and their ordinary need / thirst for religious/spiritual life.

    The man who really wants to enjoy the privileges of being a rank and file sinner should live and work among the rank and file.

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  18. In the 4X that “grace” is utilized in John’s gospel, twice it is coupled with “truth” (see John 1:14-18). It has been said that truth without grace leads to legalism and grace without truth inevitably results in libertinism. Jesus is the perfect balance. It is unfortunate that TT and many hyper-grace folk fail to see this balance. I agree, Dee, that TT should never return to the pulpit. However, God’s grace will continually be offered to TT (John 1:16) as it is to all of us. Let’s pray he grasps the “truth” part of the equation moving forward.

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  19. JDV:
    TT apparently is gonna TT

    Now I’m gonna have Twice’s song TT stuck in my head all day.

    I have an acquaintance just like TT. He whines about how everyone is mean all the time, when people don’t want to be around him because most of his problems of are his own making. It can never be his fault, especially when it means giving up the center of attention.

    I can’t help but wonder if his family has tried to intercede. He doesn’t seem like the kind of person who would listen, though.

    Asking for a few prayers for our big mission project this week. We work with Family Promise, and we’re a bit shorthanded because everyone is sick right now.

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  20. I wonder if his friend is also telling TT that he needs to avoid all the wrongs he did before – that he’s not to groom other women into emotionally & then physically inappropriate relationships, not to look for popularity amongst the flock, not to seek publicity…all the things that got him into trouble in the first place. Otherwise it’s just a matter of time before we see, once again, that TT talks about spiritual experiences that he’s not actually having.

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  21. ZechZav: This is why I don’t support the unbiblical idea of a full time paid pastor or priest. The Apostle Paul made his own living and told the elders in Ephesus to work so they could support the poor (Acts 20:35). But TGC and others want membership systems to fund themselves.

    Some Wartburgers will be familiar with Agile software development, and others won’t – it’s a big subject, so it’s easy to misrepresent it by over-simplifying it. But one of the things that characterises Agile development is the dropping of several roles, generally including the title “manager”, that have traditionally been considered necessary for getting anything done.

    In their place are several quite radically new roles. One of them is “Scrum Master”. The scrum master doesn’t get to tell people how to do their jobs, nor what to do – in fact the scrum master literally has no executive authority within the organisation. (S)he isn’t there to make people work, but to help people to get the jobs done, the assumption being that they are already motivated and WANT to do a good job. That help may mean addressing difficult relationships or misunderstandings, finding resources, or fending off complaints or attacks from managers or customers. It never means bossing, ordering or setting targets. In fact, the scrum master is…

    … and this is the vocabulary used in textbooks on the subject…

    … a servant-leader.

    Specifically, they SERVE first and foremost; in so doing, in effect, they are leading, but only because they go ahead of the software developers in order to clear obstacles out of their way. In no sense do they grasp for status, position or even any kind of leadership.

    It’s ironic, to my mind, how The_World seems to understand a kind of structure in which the rulers and mighty ones do NOT exercise authority over others.

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  22. Nick Bulbeck:
    The Jesus of the Gospel accounts didn’t just call out the people who pointed to the sins of rank-and-file sinners.

    He also called out those who loved prominent seats in public places.

    He also called out the money changers and others who got rich off the rank-and-file sinners and their ordinary need / thirst for religious/spiritual life.

    The Venn diagram of those three categories has a lot of overlap.

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  23. John:
    Maybe Franklin, Anne, or Will should step up and say something so we all know the BGEA/SP ministries aren’t supporting this nonsense?

    Don’t hold your breath waiting.

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  24. Tweet # 1 “the purpose behind suffering”, what TT’s friend said to him makes no sense. If suffering has a purpose, I’m pretty sure that’s not it.

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  25. BillToo:
    Tweet # 1 “the purpose behind suffering”, what TT’s friend said to him makes no sense.If suffering has a purpose, I’m pretty sure that’s not it.

    I don’t even think TT is really suffering. It doesn’t seem to me that he is even receiving that many consequences for his actions. He wants fame, money, and power, and is mad that isn’t handed to him anymore like it was before. He lived in a fairy tale world before and took it for granted.

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  26. “I believe that any pastor who has sex with a member of his congregation or ministry is disqualified, permanently, from the pastorate. He/she may be restored to the church but not to the pulpit. I also believe that such actions on the part of a pastor/leader constitute clergy abuse and is an abuse of power.” (Dee)

    And everybody shouted AMEN! (or should have)

    I would add … I believe that any church which restores such a man to the pulpit stands disobedient before God and will not be blessed.

    There are no NT examples of a pastor who failed morally being restored to the pulpit. Restore him to fellowship if he demonstrates a godly sorrow that has caused him to genuinely repent? Certainly. Restore him to leadership? Absolutely not … he disqualified himself from that office when he turned away from the Spirit to pursue the flesh.

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  27. “Tullian Tchividjian: I Am Less Nervous Telling a Non-Christian Than a Christian About My Adultery” (Tullian Tchividjian)

    Tullian, non-Christians love it when men of the cloth commit gross sin. It makes them feel better about themselves and gives them yet another excuse to say about Christianity “See, there is nothing to it!”

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  28. “TT is now hitting the circuit, preaching cheap grace- a grace devoid of repentance, reparations and seeking forgiveness from those harmed. It is a cheap grace” (Dee)

    Guess what?! The disciples of such a message end up themselves being “devoid of repentance, reparations and seeking forgiveness from those harmed.” Wow, how cool is that?! No demands on my life to be holy and pure … no requirement to be Christlike in my walk … a cheap grace pass to do whatever I want! And the carnival barker shouts “Hurry, Hurry, Hurry!”

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  29. “You used your Billy Graham connection to get the perks you were seeking.” (Dee)

    Tullian would have never been a blip on the radar in the Christian industrial complex without that connection. He’s done, but he hasn’t quit yet.

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  30. Daisy: making money, making a career, off Jesus

    “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world [wealth, fame, success], but forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26 AMP)

    “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)

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  31. Max:
    “You used your Billy Graham connection to get the perks you were seeking.” (Dee)

    Tullian would have never been a blip on the radar in the Christian industrial complex without that connection.He’s done, but he hasn’t quit yet.

    In Game of Thrones-speak, he’s Highborn of House Graham.

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  32. Max: Guess what?! The disciples of such a message end up themselves being “devoid of repentance, reparations and seeking forgiveness from those harmed.” Wow, how cool is that?! No demands on my life to be holy and pure … no requirement to be Christlike in my walk … a cheap grace pass to do whatever I want! And the carnival barker shouts “Hurry, Hurry, Hurry!”

    “WELCOME BACK MY FRIENDS
    TO THE SHOW THAT NEVER ENDS!
    WE’RE SO GLAD YOU COULD ATTEND!
    COME INSIDE! COME INSIDE!”
    — Emerson, Lake & Palmer, “Karn Evil Nine”

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  33. This article is an excellent read:
    https://www.marydemuth.com/repentant-predators/

    I love these quotes from the article:
    “When they began harming others, they relegated their ” right” to privacy”
    “If I witnessed a murder would I refrain from reporting because I also sin? How ridiculous! My own sin struggle is a separate issue from being an agent of justice.”

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  34. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    That’s because a narcistis’ world consists of only two classes of people… 1) them alone and 2) people that bow down to them.

    I said it before, he made very good $$$ as a lead pastor. He wants back in… working a regular job is too low for his kingliness.

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  35. Pingback: Linkathon! – Phoenix Preacher

  36. I count about 9 references to his self (using I or you in context of one person speaking about him). That’s approximately 2 self references per tweet. Using the average tweet per day of 4.4 that’s about 9 self references per day or just over 1 per hour for an 8 hour day.
    Ugh.

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  37. Max,

    “Tullian, non-Christians love it when men of the cloth commit gross sin. It makes them feel better about themselves and gives them yet another excuse to say about Christianity “See, there is nothing to it!””
    ++++++++++++++++

    this may be true of a relative few, but i don’t believe this is a correct or faith statement.

    i think much better of my peers who practice a different faith or no faith. they are kind, fair, and decent human beings. i don’t think they give much thought to christians or christianity at all, beyond valid human being just like themselves.

    My teen-age kids feel like a spotlight is shining on them at all times, that everyone’s looking at them all the time in order catch the moments when they aren’t cool and don’t look cool and don’t have a million friends and aren’t having a great time being cool and awesome.

    i tell them, you’re simply not that important. people really aren’t paying that much attention to you at all.

    (if you paint your body with “look at me!” in florescent green paint that’s a different story)

    i truly don’t think people of other or no faiths give a flying fick about christians or christianity. they are simply too busy with life in general. people wearing the christian label are not that important.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  38. DD: I count about 9 references to his self (using I or you in context of one person speaking about him). That’s approximately 2 self references per tweet. Using the average tweet per day of 4.4 that’s about 9 self references per day or just over 1 per hour for an 8 hour day.

    Sounds like typical Twittering to me.
    Why do you think they call them “Twits”?
    “I MADE A POOPIE!” (with uploaded pic)

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  39. Max: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world [wealth, fame, success], but forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26 AMP)

    Problem is, Max, the word “soul” today carries a lot of baggage.
    Try substituting “Who He Is” or “His Innermost Being” and see how it rolls.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  40. JDV: I did want to share thoughts on some of the quotes from Bonhoeffer

    I agree that there is a problem with Bonhoeffer’s description of “cheap grace” vs. “costly grace”. Grace is defined by the apostle Paul as something freely given through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Rom.3:24) To “require” a list of things (repentance, baptism, church discipline, communion, confession, discipleship) means it is no longer free but rather something we earn. It is understanding the kindness and grace of God that leads us to repentance. (Rom.2:4)

    Having said that, I do emphatically object to TT’s assumption that “grace” means he can go on with his ministry as though nothing had happened. He has most certainly disqualified himself from ministry of any kind. He displays all the characteristics of a narcissist… it’s all about him and his ego and the people he has hurt don’t even register on his radar. It’s as though they don’t exist. As for the tweet about “suffering”… maybe someone should point out to him that there is no credit given for suffering when it is a consequence of doing evil. (1 Peter 2:20)

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  41. John: Anyone think MacArthur will step down? Unrelated, I know. But I’m wondering what you all think.

    If he wants to keep Master’s U accreditation, he’s going to have to give up either the church or the presidency of Master’s. So we could see a pastor emeritus or president emeritus in the future, and I would put my money on “pastor emeritus” because WASC has no say in how that pulpit gets filled.

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  42. Mary27… I do emphatically object to TT’s assumption that “grace” means he can go on with his ministry as though nothing had happened.

    Although of course, as indeed you hinted, he’s actually not going on as though nothing happened – he’s going on as though a lot of bad things happened to him.

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  43. okrapod:
    For those who are not aware of some of the aspects of Free Grace Theology here is a short but thorough enough presentation of the concept.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_grace_theology

    I cannot speak for all who are in the Free Grace Movement. I’m familiar enough with it to know that the message of eternal life is presented as an irrevocable free gift to the believer in Jesus and that one may be a believer possessing said gift but not necessarily a disciple. Hence, they would see the synoptics as addressing believers and the cost of discipleship and the Gospel of John as being written to unbelievers with the message of eternal life (John 20:30-31). No one that I know in that movement is in any way antinomian, Calvinistic, Lordship e.g. MacArthur. Much of the Free Grace movement was started as a reaction to John MacArthur (see, for example, Zane Hodges book “Absolutely Free”). In summary, they would say that the gift of eternal life is a free gift and that discipleship costs. If one is willing to pay the cost, a life of discipleship results in reward.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  44. elastigirl: i tell them, you’re simply not that important. people really aren’t paying that much attention to you at all.

    (if you paint your body with “look at me!” in florescent green paint that’s a different story)

    I guess that depends where you are. I went to Times Square in NYC a few years back. I don’t think anyone there would bat an eyelash…might get into a fight with “Spongebob Squarepants”…

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  45. LeRoy: No one that I know in that movement is in any way antinomian, Calvinistic, Lordship e.g. MacArthur. Much of the Free Grace movement was started as a reaction to John MacArthur (see, for example, Zane Hodges book “Absolutely Free”). In summary, they would say that the gift of eternal life is a free gift and that discipleship costs.

    That’s a very accurate comment. I agree with this position myself. I first read MacArthur’s books on Lordship salvation and it gave me an impression that free grace teachers encourage antinomianism. However I read the responses by Charles Ryrie, Zane Hodges and Tom Stegall and everything was much clearer. I do believe that MacArthur misrepresented his this position in order to discredit it. This tactic is typical of his methods. He has attacked Arminians and he has attacked charismatics on several occasions. And as we know MacArthur is hardly a shining example of integrity or honesty. MacArthur’s diatribe against this view was full of legalism and he did not understand grace. I believe Jesus Christ died for my sins once and for all time, and it is this reality that makes me want to live for him.

    Tom Stegall’s book “Must Faith Endure” takes issue with statements by both Piper and MacArthur and it is worth reading. It is the best defence of the free grace position I have read.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  46. Mary27: I agree that there is a problem with Bonhoeffer’s description of “cheap grace” vs. “costly grace”. Grace is defined by the apostle Paul as something freely given through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Rom.3:24) To “require” a list of things (repentance, baptism, church discipline, communion, confession, discipleship) means it is no longer free but rather something we earn. It is understanding the kindness and grace of God that leads us to repentance. (Rom.2:4)

    Having said that, I do emphatically object to TT’s assumption that “grace” means he can go on with his ministry as though nothing had happened. He has most certainly disqualified himself from ministry of any kind. He displays all the characteristics of a narcissist… it’s all about him and his ego and the people he has hurt don’t even register on his radar. It’s as though they don’t exist. As for the tweet about “suffering”… maybe someone should point out to him that there is no credit given for suffering when it is a consequence of doing evil. (1 Peter 2:20)

    Amen brother to all that.

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  47. I still can’t get my little pea-brain around TT’s line of reasoning whatsoever. Actions have consequences. He is “suffering” only because he has made others suffer and he is merely reaping the fruit of his actions. The Bible is chock-full of the principle of reaping what you sow. That’s NOT a deep, complicated theological concept. It’s really quite simple and any ‘pastor’ ought to be able to figure that one out.

    He is disqualified because he has violated the sacred trust of his ‘position’ with the very people he was supposed to be serving. He is beyond despicable…and trying to get restored by twisting God’s grace to live however you want and still get a check from a church is even more despicable! Any church foolish enough to hire him deserves him!

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  48. Nick Bulbeck: Although of course, as indeed you hinted, he’s actually not going on as though nothing happened – he’s going on as though a lot of bad things happened to him.

    Yeah well, it’s those bad people who keep reminding him that he actually caused a lot of hurt and pain and that type of thing matters to anyone who has a conscience.

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  49. LeRoy,

    Thanks for the link LeRoy. I would advise discernment with some items from Grace Evangelical Society. I liked some of their articles but their views are not typical of all free grace teachers. A better exposition of the free grace position can be found in the aforementioned volume by Tom Stegall and also the volume “So Great Salvation” by Charles Ryrie.

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  50. Root 66: He is disqualified because he has violated the sacred trust of his ‘position’ with the very people he was supposed to be serving. He is beyond despicable…and trying to get restored by twisting God’s grace to live however you want and still get a check from a church is even more despicable! Any church foolish enough to hire him deserves him!

    Paid pastors are “hirelings” according to the Bible and the institutional church offers these guys a platform. I don’t know whether Tullian is a true believer or not, only the Lord knows that. I would support a boycott of churches that have supported him (and similar preachers) because this may be the only way to get the message through to them.

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  51. Nick Bulbeck: It’s ironic, to my mind, how The_World seems to understand a kind of structure in which the rulers and mighty ones do NOT exercise authority over others.

    Great points Nick, very helpful.

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  52. “TT is an example of the religious leaders who cut themselves slack while supporting harder laws for the little guy. So, for example, as a counselor, TT would have lost his license to practice. He did lose his ministerial credentials from the PCA but he doesn’t have to worry about that. He just moves on to the next denomination with some loosey goosey pastors who think it is cool that he is Billy Graham’s grandson.”

    It saddens me that the world is much more righteous than the religious community in these areas.

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  53. Cheap grace? No. I wouldn’t rank TT’s version of “grace” that high. “Fake grace”…. or maybe something like that?

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  54. Mary27: TT’s assumption that “grace” means he can go on with his ministry as though nothing had happened

    New Calvinists, as a tribe, have a misunderstanding of “grace” … they have reduced the essence of Christianity to unrevisable doctrines ‘about’ grace, with little understanding what a direct experience ‘of’ Grace is – an encounter with the living Christ. Some of them, like TT, take it to a lower level by “perverting the grace of God into a license for immorality” (Jude 1:4).

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  55. Max: Some of them, like TT, take it to a lower level by “perverting the grace of God into a license for immorality” (Jude 1:4)

    True grace, according to the Bible, teaches us to DENY ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live righteously, soberly and godly in this present world (Titus 3)

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  56. LeRoy: I cannot speak for all who are in the Free Grace Movement. I’m familiar enough with it to know that the message of eternal life is presented as an irrevocable free gift to the believer in Jesus and that one may be a believer possessing said gift but not necessarily a disciple. Hence, they would see the synoptics as addressing believers and the cost of discipleship and the Gospel of John as being written to unbelievers with the message of eternal life (John 20:30-31). No one that I know in that movement is in any way antinomian, Calvinistic, Lordship e.g. MacArthur. Much of the Free Grace movement was started as a reaction to John MacArthur (see, for example, Zane Hodges book “Absolutely Free”). In summary, they would say that the gift of eternal life is a free gift and that discipleship costs. If one is willing to pay the cost, a life of discipleship results in reward.

    I was exposed to Hodges and Dillow via Chuck Missler some years ago. (His wife Nancy wrote Kingdom Power and the Glory, which follows Dillow and Hodges in teaching Millennial exclusion.)

    I would agree that they aren’t antinomian per se, because they do teach consequences to bad believers who don’t follow Jesus–namely, being excluded from Kingdom rule during the Millennial reign of Christ and having Jesus frown and say mean things on Judgment Day.

    My conclusion, after having been duped into it (and shame on myself for letting it happen), is that it has two major problems.

    The first is that a misbehaving “believer” doesn’t really care if Jesus will give them a 1000-year timeout, so long as they are being rewarded now. I once looked my abuser father in the eye and asked him if he cared if Jesus would smile and say well done or not. He said he didn’t, so long as he got in. And yes, he said the magic prayer. This teaching ultimately does nothing to shape up people who are into some very heinous sins and are being rewarded in the here and now.

    The second issue I have is that people who sincerely ache for Christ, who want to follow Him, even though they mess up sometimes and sin, are turned into “banelings”. By “banelings”, I am refer to Season 2 of Legend of the Seeker, in which the Keeper of the Underworld makes a deal with those who die, granting them a day of life in the land of the living for every person they kill for him (and they could only kill one a day for it to count–they couldn’t stock up on kills in the same day and the clock always reset with each kill).

    What the Misslers’ book did to me (combined with Living Waters / Ray Comfort’s pressure to hand out Gospel tracts so that I could know I was saved) was make me a baneling. Not being particularly great at hearing from God, I could never know how my “report card” really was with Him. Was he frowning at me, or smiling? The Misslers stressed that whatever works you did had to be done by the Holy Spirit in order to be rewarded. How could I objectively know that? What if passing out that Gospel tract or whatever didn’t count, because it wasn’t done by the Holy Spirit? Did my clock reset? And I’d better not waste time and do really well every day, or else face receiving a frown and being thrown away into “Outer Darkness” for 1000 years. Sure, they’d say if you messed up and confessed it, you’d be forgiven, but you ultimately still have to perform, and the criteria for being “good enough” to not be chucked into outer darkness was very, very vague.

    The psychological impact their book had on me was devastating–just as bad as Living Waters, Todd Friel, and Paul Washer were to me. I’m an abuse victim who already has serious issues relating to a Heavenly Father when my earthly father was so bad. And my earthly father was so hard to please. I was already never good enough to him. So basically I ended up having that perception of God reinforced–that he’s like my earthly biological father.

    I spent many days in tears anguish while under this teaching. While it was good that I learned to take vices more seriously, I couldn’t be good enough, and I was too afraid of God to really quench my thirst with Him. How can I have a living relationship with someone I’m terrified of? In which case, how can I ever get rid of sins, no matter how big or small, without being able to go to Him knowing He’s not frowning, that He’s working in me?

    Meanwhile, my abuser never shed a tear over what he did to me or to my mother. He had no fear of having to answer to God for his actions. No anguish whatsoever. His ACNA parish even had in his eulogy that even though he was angry all the time, that he was in heaven and had “run his race” because he maintained an intellectual belief in Jesus. (Likely, one of my codependent aunts wrote that up, but the parish priest had to have approved it.)

    So, bottom line, with free grace, I, the abuse victim, have to spend my life in constant anxiety wondering of God will throw me away for 1000 years and call me useless. Meanwhile, my abuser will continued to be coddled, and really nothing bad will happen relative to the pain he inflicted, even if he spends 1000 yearns in the purgatory penalty box, because that’s nothing compared to what he did to me and my mother, and the terror he inflicted on us. (At least with the Roman Catholic purgatory, you can get out sooner than 1000 years, and it might even not be time-based, and people can *pray* you out.)

    I want to clarify, that I’m not wishing my father be tortured forever and ever. I just don’t think it’s fair that I be stuck in the same purgatory penalty box as him. And, no, I really don’t like the concept of my father getting off relatively scot-free even though there was never repentance concerning what he’d done to us. As you can see, I have mixed feelings. By not repenting, he did one final act of abuse toward me and my mother. He withheld vindication and validation from us. Do I really have to spend eternity with this guy? Why would he be repentant in the next life? Why couldn’t God do something in this life to make him repent?

    On that note, it’s funny how free will suddenly makes a swift exit with these free gracers as soon as those who willfully choose not to follow Jesus in practice are suddenly forced to do so in eternity. How is that even rational? Why would God suddenly infringe on their freewill so they can behave in heaven?

    Sorry for the wall of text. Just thought I’d share my experience. I’m done being a baneling for the Keeper. I can’t do it anymore. I want to follow Jesus, not the Keeper.

    If you are interested in a critique of the Misslers’ book, I have posts on my blog: https://anglicansanonymous.wordpress.com/kpg-series/

    I’m still not done posting everything, but it’s a good start.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  57. LeRoy: I cannot speak for all who are in the Free Grace Movement. I’m familiar enough with it to know that the message of eternal life is presented as an irrevocable free gift to the believer in Jesus and that one may be a believer possessing said gift but not necessarily a disciple. Hence, they would see the synoptics as addressing believers and the cost of discipleship and the Gospel of John as being written to unbelievers with the message of eternal life (John 20:30-31). No one that I know in that movement is in any way antinomian, Calvinistic, Lordship e.g. MacArthur. Much of the Free Grace movement was started as a reaction to John MacArthur (see, for example, Zane Hodges book “Absolutely Free”). In summary, they would say that the gift of eternal life is a free gift and that discipleship costs. If one is willing to pay the cost, a life of discipleship results in reward.

    I was exposed to Hodges and Dillow via Chuck Missler some years ago. (His wife Nancy wrote Kingdom Power and the Glory, which follows Dillow and Hodges in teaching Millennial exclusion.)

    I would agree that they aren’t antinomian per se, because they do teach consequences to bad believers who don’t follow Jesus–namely, being excluded from Kingdom rule during the Millennial reign of Christ and having Jesus frown and say mean things on Judgment Day.

    My conclusion, after having been duped into it (and shame on myself for letting it happen), is that it has two major problems.

    The first is that a misbehaving “believer” doesn’t really care if Jesus will give them a 1000-year timeout, so long as they are being rewarded now. I once looked my abuser father in the eye and asked him if he cared if Jesus would smile and say well done or not. He said he didn’t, so long as he got in. And yes, he said the magic prayer. This teaching ultimately does nothing to shape up people who are into some very heinous sins and are being rewarded in the here and now.

    The second issue I have is that people who sincerely ache for Christ, who want to follow Him, even though they mess up sometimes and sin, are turned into “banelings”. By “banelings”, I am refer to Season 2 of Legend of the Seeker, in which the Keeper of the Underworld makes a deal with those who die, granting them a day of life in the land of the living for every person they kill for him (and they could only kill one a day for it to count–they couldn’t stock up on kills in the same day and the clock always reset with each kill).

    What the Misslers’ book did to me (combined with Living Waters / Ray Comfort’s pressure to hand out Gospel tracts so that I could know I was saved) was make me a baneling. Not being particularly great at hearing from God, I could never know how my “report card” really was with Him. Was he frowning at me, or smiling? The Misslers stressed that whatever works you did had to be done by the Holy Spirit in order to be rewarded. How could I objectively know that? What if passing out that Gospel tract or whatever didn’t count, because it wasn’t done by the Holy Spirit? Did my clock reset? And I’d better not waste time and do really well every day, or else face receiving a frown and being thrown away into “Outer Darkness” for 1000 years. Sure, they’d say if you messed up and confessed it, you’d be forgiven, but you ultimately still have to perform, and the criteria for being “good enough” to not be chucked into outer darkness was very, very vague.

    The psychological impact their book had on me was devastating–just as bad as Living Waters, Todd Friel, and Paul Washer were to me. I’m an abuse victim who already has serious issues relating to a Heavenly Father when my earthly father was so bad. And my earthly father was so hard to please. I was already never good enough to him. So basically I ended up having that perception of God reinforced–that he’s like my earthly biological father.

    I spent many days in tears anguish while under this teaching. While it was good that I learned to take vices more seriously, I couldn’t be good enough, and I was too afraid of God to really quench my thirst with Him. How can I have a living relationship with someone I’m terrified of? In which case, how can I ever get rid of sins, no matter how big or small, without being able to go to Him knowing He’s not frowning, that He’s working in me?

    Meanwhile, my abuser never shed a tear over what he did to me or to my mother. He had no fear of having to answer to God for his actions. No anguish whatsoever. His ACNA parish even had in his eulogy that even though he was angry all the time, that he was in heaven and had “run his race” because he maintained an intellectual belief in Jesus. (Likely, one of my codependent aunts wrote that up, but the parish priest had to have approved it.)

    So, bottom line, with free grace, I, the abuse victim, have to spend my life in constant anxiety wondering of God will throw me away for 1000 years and call me useless. Meanwhile, my abuser will continued to be coddled, and really nothing bad will happen relative to the pain he inflicted, even if he spends 1000 yearns in the purgatory penalty box, because that’s nothing compared to what he did to me and my mother, and the terror he inflicted on us. (At least with the Roman Catholic purgatory, you can get out sooner than 1000 years, and it might even not be time-based, and people can *pray* you out.)

    I want to clarify, that I’m not wishing my father be tortured forever and ever. I just don’t think it’s fair that I be stuck in the same purgatory penalty box as him. And, no, I really don’t like the concept of my father getting off relatively scot-free even though there was never repentance concerning what he’d done to us. As you can see, I have mixed feelings. By not repenting, he did one final act of abuse toward me and my mother. He withheld vindication and validation from us. Do I really have to spend eternity with this guy? Why would he be repentant in the next life? Why couldn’t God do something in this life to make him repent?

    On that note, it’s funny how free will suddenly makes a swift exit with these free gracers as soon as those who willfully choose not to follow Jesus in practice are suddenly forced to do so in eternity. How is that even rational? Why would God suddenly infringe on their freewill so they can behave in heaven?

    Sorry for the wall of text. Just thought I’d share my experience. I’m done being a baneling for the Keeper. I can’t do it anymore. I want to follow Jesus, not the Keeper.

    If you are interested in a critique of the Misslers’ book, I have posts on my blog: http://anglicansanonymous.wordpress.com/kpg-series/

    I’m still not done posting everything, but it’s a good start.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  58. ZechZav: True grace, according to the Bible, teaches us to DENY ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live righteously, soberly and godly in this present world (Titus 3)

    … to be as He is in this world (1 John 4:17)

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  59. “As someone once said, ‘People love it when preachers say they are broken just like the rest of us, until that preacher does something that the rest of us broken people do.’”

    These guys are always dragging “the rest of us” into the broken, deeply flawed, sure I’m sinful, aren’t you? world they inhabit.

    Yes there a lot of “smaller preachers” that fall into sin. This shouldn’t get either TT or the smaller preachers off the hook. Preachers, pastors, priests, ministry leaders in general are not “the rest of us.”

    Admittedly I don’t get out much, but other than ministry leaders, I really don’t know that many Christians that have committed adultery, certainly not serial adultery, or been guilty of embezzlement, diverting charitable funds to benefit themselves, illegal business practices, abusive behavior or anything else of the type that gets these guys into trouble.

    I’m not saying I don’t know any Christians like this, I just know many, many more ministry leaders in my area, be it megachurch or smaller church, that end up getting caught with their pants down and their hand in the offering bucket. And don’t even get me started on their spiritual abuse.

    As ZechZav said earlier: “This is why I don’t support the unbiblical idea of a full time paid pastor or priest.”

    And this is why I don’t support the traditional notion of pastor or priest period. Pastoring is meant to be a function, not a title. The function of mature Christians caring for younger Christians.

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  60. DD: I count about 9 references to his self

    If he can’t make it back into the saddle as a “pastor”, he might try politics. He would fit in well except both fields are increasingly similar.

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  61. GMFS

    So, Storm Ali approaching. It’s well short of being a hurricane, of course, but we could still see some disruption from storm-force winds today. It’s eerily quiet so far, although we had an amazing sunrise (there’s an old saying which may or may not have made it west across the Pond: Red sky at night, shepherds’ delight; red sky at morning, shepherds’ warning).

    IHTIH

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  62. Nick Bulbeck: It’s eerily quiet so far,

    Eerily quiet is what I was describing about what we had before our storm got this far. Silent and no wind. We have an expression ‘there is weather coming in’. Never mind that there is always weather of some sort either coming or here or going; it is just an expression. There is a feel to it.

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  63. Nick Bulbeck: (there’s an old saying which may or may not have made it west across the Pond: Red sky at night, shepherds’ delight; red sky at morning, shepherds’ warning)

    In these parts, it’s “Red sky at night, sailors’ delight; red sky at morning, sailors take warning.”

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  64. The thing is TT’s story is not merely one of ‘adultery and divorce’, which is disqualifying enough. His true story is one of predatory sexual abuse, seeking out and grooming multiple young women at the same time in hopes of sexual favors. He is not confronting his past – he is whitewashing it.

    Is their grace for serial predators? No doubt, should they own up to their true sin and repent of it. Calling sexual predation ‘adultery’ does not suggest that TT has experienced repentance and grace. Even should he ever do so, he has no business ever opening his mouth in a public setting again. Maybe put those polished muscles to work to help others?

    I add a hearty ‘amen’ to all who state that there is no biblical precedent for the traditional priest or pastor. It was introduced at the very start of The Church as a tool for control and acquiring the wealth of others. Take away the false authority and you will eliminate the vast majority of abuse.

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  65. TS00: Take away the false authority and you will eliminate the vast majority of abuse.

    The authority of Christ is waning in the American church. An illegitimate authority has replaced it. In that environment, anything is possible … we should not be surprised by the misbehaving of “pastors.”

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  66. Divorce Minister: Another thing to note is how this exemplifies Christian media NOT taking adultery (and clergy sexual abuse) seriously!

    They’ll give grown men a pass but come down like a ton of bricks on a fifteen year old who was raped. I’m done with all of that.

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  67. Headless Unicorn Guy: It’s said that the surest sign of a sociopath is the ability to instantly turn the tables when exposed, play the Poor Poor Victim Pity Me Pity Me Pity Me, and get everyone to believe it.

    Yep. That’s every word out of Tullian’s mouth…how he was done wrong by some mysterious others. Nope.

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  68. Again, adultery between two consenting adults is an unfortunate moral lapse which can happen even to a God-loving person; but it is an entirely different ballgame than a charismatic, attractive pastor using his ‘charms’ to prey upon trusting young women. TT did not lapse into an inappropriate relationship – he deliberately, calculatingly sought sexual favors outside of his marriage from multiple women. People need to confront him with the reality of his crimes whenever he cries ‘anyone can make a mistake’.

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  69. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): Guest:Stacy is a homewrecker and an adulterer.

    TT is a home wrecker and an adulterer.

    Yep. TT wrecked his own home. If it wasn’t Stacy it would have been somebody else. Let’s stop pretending otherwise. People who cheat will tell you it just ‘happened’ but they are lying. That’s what cheaters do.

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  70. Lea,

    I think Nancy2 was talking about the young families he wrecked. He borrowed money from these families and initiated affairs with the mothers.

    Did he think he deserved those children’s money more than they did?

    Did he think his wanting time with those mothers was more important than the children wanting time with their mothers?

    Did he conclude his sleaziness trumped children’s families and happy childhoods?

    I think at least one of those men divorced his wife and lost his faith.

    People have been saying Tullian is a family wrecker, but I haven’t read anyone call Stacy that.

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  71. Guest: I think Nancy2 was talking about the young families he wrecked. He borrowed money from these families and initiated affairs with the mothers.
    Did he think he deserved those children’s money more than they did?

    Of course he did.
    He’s HIGHBORN of House Graham, with Grandpa Billy’s Special In With God.

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  72. TS00: TT did not lapse into an inappropriate relationship – he deliberately, calculatingly sought sexual favors outside of his marriage from multiple women.

    i.e. a Sexual Predator, a Playa constantly on the Prowl, grooming his prey twenty chess moves in advance.

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  73. Flat Top: Admittedly I don’t get out much, but other than ministry leaders, I really don’t know that many Christians that have committed adultery, certainly not serial adultery, or been guilty of embezzlement, diverting charitable funds to benefit themselves, illegal business practices, abusive behavior or anything else of the type that gets these guys into trouble.

    Scum tends to rise to the top.

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  74. Guest: I think Nancy2 was talking about the young families he wrecked.

    Like his own? Certainly he hurt other families as well, however I hate the impulse to blame the “other woman” rather than the man who cheated.

    Nancy can speak for herself, of course.

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  75. Lea,

    There is enough ‘blame’ to go around. The women who fell for his seduction are not exactly examples of mature and committed women either. For the life of me I cannot see how some simplistic formula can be applied to adults who are under no external necessity to do whatever it takes to survive. Survival choices are one thing. Selling it for cash money to feed the children-sure, why not. But he was just so charming, attentive, perceptive, caring? Come on now.

    I am not convinced of some theory that women are helpless creatures who will not only rip off their panties but also trash their families for some slick talking jerk simply because they are female. ‘Helpless because female’ does not play well in a culture which is going to opposite extremes to prove otherwise.

    He carries the total responsibility for what he did, but the others also made some poor choices.

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  76. “Tullian states that there are some who should be confessing their own sin and ignoring his.” (Dee)

    He was probably thinking of those folks earlier this week, when he tweeted:

    “The biggest obstacle in our relationship with God is not the badness we know we have but rather the goodness we think we have.”

    Just an example of the “gospel” according to Tullian, which is not the Gospel at all.

    “Frankly, I wish Tullian would shut up …” (Dee)

    Not going to happen. He’s having too much fun trying to shame his critics into shutting up. For example, from his 12 September tweet:

    “The people that Jesus called out publicly were not the rank and file sinners, but the religious people who, thinking they were better, seemed to find great joy in calling out publicly the sins of the rank and file sinners.”

    Tullian, you are not a “rank and file sinner” for goodness sake! You were a “pastor” when you had multiple affairs! You were a trusted church leader when you committed gross sin with the rank and file!

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  77. “But if we’re only okay with preaching grace in theory, but not when someone — even an esteemed leader — is actually in need of it, then perhaps we should all take a sabbatical.”
    I am not sure we understand the true meaning of grace in the context of the rest of scripture. Yes, we are to extend kindness and favor to others. But that does mean you don’t have to suffer consequences? NO. Is God kind? Yes. Good. What did he do to the Israelites many times over, when they continued to bow to other Gods? HE WOULD TURN THEM OVER TO THEIR ENEMIES TO BE OPPRESSED, SOMETIMES FOR DECADES. In other situations he would take people out…Saul…Absalom… In light of this, is God still kind? Yes. The warm fuzzy grace that these Spiritual Abusers demand is SICK and further injures the victims. I haven’t read the story on this pastor, but my heart goes out to his wife and any children involved.
    🙁 Save yourselves and let God administer the consequences and grace. You take care of YOU.

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  78. IMO we think incorrectly about adultery. We look where to put the blame and how much blame to allocate to whom, and is anybody totally at fault and the other person not at all, that sort of thing.

    When Jesus was faced with the women taken in adultery he did not do that. He stuck strictly by the law of thou shalt not do that, but he straight out forgave the woman. And he told her to cut that out. Notice that he did not excuse her, but rather he forgave her. I have heard comments from folks about how the woman was bound to have been innocent considering the status of women in that culture. Jesus did not say that; he forgave her. But then that was Jesus and we are not. Well, I am not and I have suspicions that other people also are not.

    I am increasingly concerned with the direction that the me too movement is going, including in the church, right along with how the dichotomy of ‘love the clergy’ vs ‘despise the clergy’ movement is going. This sort of thing is something which I think is being handled better by some secular folks.

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  79. Root 66,

    Root 66, I agree. Suffering…yeah right. He’s just lying in the bed he made. Christian suffering is about living humbly, doing the right thing, and experiencing suffering and persecution FOR DOING THE RIGHT THING.

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  80. Maria:
    Root 66,

    Root 66, I agree.Suffering…yeah right.He’s just lying in the bed he made. Christian suffering is about living humbly, doing the right thing, and experiencing suffering and persecution FOR DOING THE RIGHT THING.

    Absolutely.

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  81. ___

    Whinnie-the -TT: “What do I want a pastorship for, you said?”

    hmmm…

    Whinnie-the -TT looked around and saw nobody was really listening, so he put his hand in his mouth, and said in a deep whisper: “Honey(ies)!”

    Dee: “But you don’t get honey(ies) from pastorships!”

    “I do” said TT.

    Dee: “You can’t fool a congregation that way!”
    Whinnie-the-TT: You’ll see…

    ;~)

    – –

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  82. okrapod: When Jesus was faced with the woman taken in adultery … he did not excuse her, but rather he forgave her.

    We need to remember that adultery is not the unpardonable sin. “When we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, that He may forgive us our sins and might cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Jesus forgives the repentant, but doesn’t erase the consequences of sin. TT forfeited the office of pastor when he had multiple affairs. As a consequence, he was deposed of his pastoral certification by PCA – his ordination credentials were removed so that he could no longer perform the duties of a minister of the Gospel within PCA. IMO, PCA’s decision should extend to other churches – for a church to restore a “defrocked” pastor would be an act of disobedience.

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  83. okrapod: Jesus did not say that; he forgave her. But then that was Jesus and we are not.

    Yes. We are not jesus.

    To your point about assigning guilt, I think in many cases guilt is self evident. The only problem comes when someone tries to deflect guilt from themselves, or from someone else, by finding a different person to blame. Otherwise what is the need in ‘assigning’ blame to a man who deliberately cheated on his wife? Blame is already assigned.

    Now if you’re talking more in a ‘what business is it of ours’ sense, I would absolutely agree with you on a personal level. If I don’t know TT, or his wife, or any of the interested parties, I don’t have much stake in that situation. However, TT is taking a public position, and there is no reason to refrain from criticizing that. (this is also why I don’t want to get into Stacy, because she’s not trying to give me some sort of lesson on morality)

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  84. Clockwork Angel: was exposed to Hodges and Dillow via Chuck Missler some years ago. (His wife Nancy wrote Kingdom Power and the Glory, which follows Dillow and Hodges in teaching Millennial exclusion.)

    I would agree that they aren’t antinomian per se, because they do teach consequences to bad believers who don’t follow Jesus–namely, being excluded from Kingdom rule during the Millennial reign of Christ and having Jesus frown and say mean things on Judgment Day.

    The Millennial exclusion view is fault and is not a standard part of free grace teaching. Denis Rokser and Tom Stegall, themselves free grace teachers, demolish this in their book “Should Christians Fear the Outer Darkness” and I would recommend it. The free grace position made sense of so many passages, it gave me ground for assurance and it motivated me to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ more.

    The fears and worries about your “report card” with Jesus sound very similar to my experience under the Lordship salvation nonsense, as taught by MacArthur. It produces despair, frustration and legalism. The danger is that one is motivated by fear and not love. A healthy father-son relationship is not based on fear but on love and discipline.

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  85. Lea,

    “To your point about assigning guilt, I think in many cases guilt is self evident. The only problem comes when someone tries to deflect guilt from themselves, or from someone else, by finding a different person to blame. Otherwise what is the need in ‘assigning’ blame to a man who deliberately cheated on his wife? Blame is already assigned.”

    Yes, Lea, guilt is self evident. It doesn’t matter if Christians are being unreasonable toward him or not. Some perhaps are, some are not. Either way, his own sins show how guilty he is. Titus 3:11.

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  86. You people have misunderstood me. I wrote something which was more straightforward but it has not appeared on the screen and perhaps will not. So I came back and dialed it back. Apparently I have not made my point in the process.

    Forget TT and these women for a bit. I mean things in general.

    There is a trend to totally blame some preacher, any preacher, not only for his own sins but also to totally exonerate the women he was involved with. In other words, to assign everybody’s behavior to him, as if the women are helpless. If he was a preacher. To me this says really awful stuff about how people devalue women-as mere helpless sheep waiting to be shorn by some jerk preacher who comes replete with abs, orthodontia and ‘needs’. How could she help it, after all, since she is what? an eternal child? Please do not say that about me or mine when we fall into sin or do foolish stuff.

    That is what I am saying.

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  87. Okay. Twice I have tried to explain myself and twice it has not appeared for reading. I am not totally surprised, but know this that my edited piece above has been misunderstood by you all, and I am not able to be any more clear. Sorry. I am not going to try any more on this subject.

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  88. okrapod:
    IMO we think incorrectly about adultery.We look where to put the blame and how much blame to allocate to whom, and is anybody totally at fault and the other person not at all, that sort of thing.

    Also as an aside , the whole passage is suspect, I ( personally don’t think it was written by John, it appears to be more in line with mark.
    It is one of the big three of textual variants we know of.
    It is discussed as the pericope adulterae ( I do think the event actually happened, but not sure if Holy Spirit God breathed it to John…
    When Jesus was faced with the women taken in adultery he did not do that.He stuck strictly by the law of thou shalt not do that, but he straight out forgave the woman.And he told her to cut that out.Notice that he did not excuse her, but rather he forgave her.I have heard comments from folks about how the woman was bound to have been innocent considering the status of women in that culture.Jesus did not say that; he forgave her.But then that was Jesus and we are not.Well, I am not and I have suspicions that other people also are not.

    I am increasingly concerned with the direction that the me too movement is going, including in the church, right along with how the dichotomy of ‘love the clergy’ vs ‘despise the clergy’ movement is going.This sort of thing is something which I think is being handled better by some secular folks.

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  89. Max,

    “Tullian, you are not a “rank and file sinner” for goodness sake! You were a “pastor” when you had multiple affairs! You were a trusted church leader when you committed gross sin with the rank and file!”

    That’s it right there, Max.

    Also commenting on my previous post about God putting the smack-down on abhorrent behavior….God would sell the idol-worshipping Israelites over to their enemy king THAT THEY WOULD ONE DAY TURN BACK TO HIM AND CRY OUT TO GOD. That’s kindness right there–that God would discipline his people that they would humbly repent and have another chance. WHY do these spiritual abusers cop an attitude about the lack of warm fuzzies? WHY aren’t they groveling and repenting for YEARS? Living a double life involved THOUSANDS of lies to THOUSANDS of people. Members convert to atheism over this stuff. These abusers should be on their stomachs in humility before the HUNDREDS of individuals they’ve hurt, being transparent and humbly hoping for forgiveness one day–understanding their acts are so egregious, if forgiveness never comes, they didn’t deserve it in the first place. WHY do they think they are entitled to warm fuzzies? It takes congregations YEARS to recover from betrayal trauma. Abhorrent entitlement to the core! When I’ve committed grave sins, I couldn’t even show my face. I just don’t understand how these abusers can’t realize the depths of what they’ve done. It’s soul-r@p!ing to their congregations, not to mention to their families. Humbly hoping for forgiveness is one thing–feeling entitled to it…..GROW UP!

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  90. Benn: Also as an aside , the whole passage is suspect, I ( personally don’t think it was written by John, it appears to be more in line with mark.

    I have been reading ‘Jesus Before the Gospels’ (Ehrman) and in fact all the gospels are suspect. He gets into the unreliability of oral tradition referencing experiments that have been done, and for me this has been a real help. I grew so totally disenchanted with the ‘explanations’ of how this does not correspond with that, but how hey have I got a ridiculous explanation for that such that at one point in my younger years I concluded that the best thing we could do with bibles is burn them.

    Now, true story. I actually did burn my bible in the MedDent Apartments at U of L. Problem was that the smoke traveled up to the above story, the folks up there called the fire department, a bevy of fire fighting vehicles were almost instantly in the parking lot and there came a knock on my door. There he stood with axe and protective garb to see what the problem was. I told him I had burned a steak on the stove. He did not check to see if that was the truth. That ended it. And of course it might have ended me with the university had the truth come out. I was tempted to say ‘thankyouJesus’ but since I had just declared myself a non-believer I was bereft of that opportunity.

    However, the story did at some point get added to the narrative in the gospel, and the early church did let it stay, so I am thinking that they thought that what the story said was something consistent with Jesus and needed to stay part of the writings.

    And no, the gospels were not personally written by first person observers, hence ‘according to’. And so they say the woman taken in adultery is not in the earliest available manuscripts. But somebody added it, and somebody let it stay, and somebody thought it was consistent with how they understood Jesus. Or maybe it was in the earliest of the earliest manuscripts which we do not have. Either way, there it is from way back when.

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  91. okrapod: I have been reading ‘Jesus Before the Gospels’(Ehrman) and in fact all the gospels are suspect.He gets into the unreliability of oral tradition referencing experiments that have been done, and for me this has been a real help.I grew so totally disenchanted with the ‘explanations’ of how this does not correspond with that, but how hey have I got a ridiculous explanation for that such that at one point in my younger years I concluded that the best thing we could do with bibles is burn them.

    Now, true story.I actually did burn my bible in the MedDent Apartments at U of L.Problem was that the smoke traveled up to the above story, the folks up there called the fire department, a bevy of fire fighting vehicles were almost instantly in the parking lot and there came a knock on my door.There he stood with axe and protective garb to see what the problem was.I told him I had burned a steak on the stove.He did not check to see if that was the truth.That ended it. And of course it might have ended me with the university had the truth come out.I was tempted to say ‘thankyouJesus’ but since I had just declared myself a non-believer I was bereft of that opportunity.

    However, the story did at some point get added to the narrative in the gospel, and the early church did let it stay, so I am thinking that they thought that what the story said was something consistent with Jesus and needed to stay part of the writings.

    And no, the gospels were not personally written by first person observers, hence ‘according to’. And so they say the woman taken in adultery is not in the earliest available manuscripts.But somebody added it, and somebody let it stay, and somebody thought it was consistent with how they understood Jesus.Or maybe it was in the earliest of the earliest manuscripts which we do not have.Either way, there it is from way back when.

    Bart Ehrman calls the pericope adulterae, the greatest story that is NOT in the Bible, Ehrman is a Scholar, but I don’t take much he says for any real worth or value. I do enjoy watching him debate the Bible with other biblical scholars though.

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  92. okrapod,

    Yes, I think the actual event did happen, more than likely. But Ehrman says the Apostle Paul is legit, he agrees that Paul DID write seven of the letters attributed to him, 1 Corinthians being one of those seven, ( now he may not believe that they are divinely inspired though, his problem). And we have the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15, so the gospel is confirmed by Ehrman through 1 Corinthians, even if he discarded all of the gospels…..

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  93. The fears and worries about your “report card” with Jesus sound very similar to my experience under the Lordship salvation nonsense, as taught by MacArthur.It produces despair, frustration and legalism.The danger is that one is motivated by fear and not love.A healthy father-son relationship is not based on fear but on love and discipline.

    Good truth here. Every group has fringe teachings, it appears, and the Free Grace movement have theirs as well. I would challenge Clock Work Angel (love the name) to explore a broader group of FG theologians. I think that he would find that very few hold to millennial exclusion. I will read Tom Stegall, I promise.

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  94. Why do people give this man a platform? Where is the fear of the Lord with publishers, denominations, etc.?
    He has consistently demonstrated a lack of respect for Biblically described repentance.
    Is it really THAT hard to mark and avoid?

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  95. I don’t know if it really comes down to a theological distinction, whether it is free grace or whatever. I think here you simply have a serial predator, a phony, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, who has figured out an argument by which he means to continue to enjoy indulging his desires amongst the easy pickings of the Christian community. Can a person continue to live in sleaze if they have really come to know the Lord? This question was dealt with in the Bible and the answer is no. I guess nobody wants to come out and make a judgement as to whether or not someone else’s faith is genuine but I think we can at least say that the evidence of such is lacking. Show me your faith by your works, are they the fruits of the spirit or the deeds of the flesh? I just think that if someone truly knows the Lord, regardless of what theological tradition they land in, their lives are going to bear testimony to that and if they are looking for loopholes through which to continue living a lifestyle of sin (which they can do in any religious tradition, people are ingenious, after all), then you have your answer.

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  96. Lea: Like his own? Certainly he hurt other families as well, however I hate the impulse to blame the “other woman” rather than the man who cheated.

    Nancy can speak for herself, of course.

    Ditto what you said!

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  97. Marie: Why do people give this man a platform? Where is the fear of the Lord with publishers, denominations, etc.? … Is it really THAT hard to mark and avoid?

    Instead of supporting and promoting him, they need to follow Paul’s example and shout across Christendom “Beware of Alexander the Coppersmith – he has done us much harm!”

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  98. LeRoy: A healthy father-son relationship is not based on fear but on love and discipline.

    An authoritarian church leader who controls by manipulation and intimidation does not have a healthy relationship with Father God.

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  99. SiteSeer: TT reminds me of a toddler who has learned that if he cries long enough, he’ll finally get his way.

    The sad thing is, he will find a sympathetic bunch of church folks who will buy his lies, wipe away his tears, and set him up in a comfortable church position. American churchgoers are some of the most gullible people on the planet.

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  100. SiteSeer: I think here you simply have a serial predator, a phony, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, who has figured out an argument by which he means to continue to enjoy indulging his desires amongst the easy pickings of the Christian community.

    Indeed. I see two problems here. One is the reality of predators, and the other problem is the fact that the church is in fact ‘easy pickings’. Both deficiencies need addressed.

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  101. okrapod: I see two problems here. One is the reality of predators, and the other problem is the fact that the church is in fact ‘easy pickings’.

    Discernment – or just plain ole common sense – is at an all time low in the American church. When you prop up a “pastor” who fake and bakes, wears skinny jeans, unbuttons his shirt down to his navel, and wears gold choker chains, you just ain’t got much smarts.

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  102. Max: American churchgoers are some of the most gullible people on the planet.

    It may be something more than gullibility. There are just loads of folks who are ‘sympathetic’ with some really wrong ideas and behaviors either because they themselves are or were involved in said behaviors, or else because they know somebody who is, or else who are involved in something altogether else which is also bad and they don’t want any general crackdown on what behaviors the church will overlook. They don’t want to get caught in the net.

    So how do I know? Years of observation. Listening to what people say in private conversation when they think they have a sympathetic audience. And! Just watch a person or group or church try to identify and disavow this or that and immediately there is the hue and cry of ‘legalism’ which apparently is supposed to be the ultimate sin against humanity and the ultimate argument in favor of bad behavior, coming in just barely second to ‘the bible says’.

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  103. okrapod: There are just loads of folks who are ‘sympathetic’ with some really wrong ideas and behaviors either because they themselves are or were involved in said behaviors, or else because they know somebody who is, or else who are involved in something altogether else which is also bad and they don’t want any general crackdown on what behaviors the church will overlook.

    After 60+ years in the institutional church, I totally agree with that. I’ve know hundreds, perhaps thousands, of ‘sympathetic’ churchgoers … they just won’t let Jesus set them free or believe that He can!

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  104. Maria: “But if we’re only okay with preaching grace in theory, but not when someone — even an esteemed leader — is actually in need of it, then perhaps we should all take a sabbatical.”
    I am not sure we understand the true meaning of grace in the context of the rest of scripture.

    Absolutely. Biblical grace is never unconditional, despite what Reformed Theology would like to believe. Read all of scripture, and you will find the demands for sincere repentance, turning from wickedness and walking with the Spirit. There is no such thing as a ‘get out of hell free’ card. Personally, I reject the concept of once saved, always saved, but I realize that is sacred to some. I would say to them that I share their belief that God will never cast away those who sincerely seek to follow him, based on some perceived lack of perfection. God judges – accurately – the hearts of men, and is indeed merciful and extends grace when we stumble. But you can read for yourselves that it is not intended to allow saints to live like sinners. God is no offering us some sort of fire insurance that we can pay premiums for and keep in our safe deposit boxes. Rather, he seeks to have a genuine, ongoing relationship with us. That means, as with a lover, we spend time together, communicate, confess sin, make things right when distance or tension arise, and so on.

    Those who seek to turn ‘grace’ into freedom to sin are merely distorting and manipulating scripture, and will find no pleasure from God.

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  105. TS00: Those who seek to turn ‘grace’ into freedom to sin are merely distorting and manipulating scripture

    The distorted grace message of New Calvinism, if allowed to run its course, will lead to antinomianism. Tullian is already there.

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  106. Max: When you prop up a “pastor” who fake and bakes, wears skinny jeans, unbuttons his shirt down to his navel, and wears gold choker chains, you just ain’t got much smarts.

    All you need is a coke spoon dangling from those gold choker chains against dyed chest hair, and you have a Seventies PUA from Central Casting.

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  107. Max: The sad thing is, he will find a sympathetic bunch of church folks who will buy his lies, wipe away his tears, and set him up in a comfortable church position.American churchgoers are some of the most gullible people on the planet.

    “Four-One-Nine just a Game —
    You be the Mugu,
    I be the Masta!”
    — “I Go Chop You Dolla”, Nigerian pop song about a con man (Mugu = Fool, in the sense of an Easy Mark)

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  108. SiteSeer:
    TT reminds me of a toddler who has learned that if he cries long enough, he’ll finally get his way.

    He who can throw the Loudest and Most Destructive Temper Tantrum WINS.

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  109. okrapod,

    All of your comments have been approved but maybe not as swiftly as your desire. If we are not going to allow a comment, we usually say so. Please understand that we are seriously busy, overwhelmingly so. That means we may not have time to look at comments for approval.

    I am going to disagree with you on some points but I have no problem in allowing such comments. You should know that to be true.

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  110. okrapod: There is a trend to totally blame some preacher, any preacher, not only for his own sins but also to totally exonerate the women he was involved with. In other words, to assign everybody’s behavior to him, as if the women are helpless. If he was a preacher. To me this says really awful stuff about how people devalue women-as mere helpless sheep waiting to be shorn by some jerk preacher who comes replete with abs, orthodontia and ‘needs’.

    Would you say the same thing about secular counselors who lose their licenses for doing the same thing? Are you out there advocating that counselors should keep the licenses when they have sex with their clients because the clients should have know better? I bet not.

    Predators are usually smart. They know when people are vulnerable and use that to get what they want. Women can be vulnerable, just like men can be vulnerable. Things are usually not easy peasy like “just don’t do it.” People go to pastors when they are in pain. Physical affection can be seen as someone finally being cared about. When someone is in pain, that affection is so attractive. All people, men and women, experience periods of vulnerability. When they are in such a state and go to their pastor, they should be able to trust him/her. That is why clergy abuse is so heinous. I am glad that you are always strong and would always avoid such a traop. Other are not like you. If I am being bluntly truthful with you, I will say that I am not as strong as you are at every point in my life. I get how that feels.

    As for the woman caught in adultery…it is curious that Jesus said *Go and sin no more.* Why would he say that when he knew the woman, and everyone else, would continue to sin? I believe it was for a purpose. It is vital to realize that the 3 years in which Jesus ministered were years in which he was keeping to the Law. Jesus did not break the Law at all. Instead, he explained the Law. He helped the Pharisees to understand that man who was hungry could pick up wheat from the fields so he might be fed. He also explained that healing on the Sabbath was allowed within the Law. The one thing Jesus did not do is to deny the Law itself.

    For all of those folks living in that era, the command to *Go and sin no more* was a sentence of death. Jesus’ purpose was understood on the other side of the Cross and Resurrection. None of us could *Go and sin no more.* We were trapped and Jesus wanted us first to understand that we were trapped. Then he wanted us to know that he, and he alone was the solution.

    As for the woman caught in adultery not being in the earliest of the manuscripts …It was when I found that out that I went on a search to make sure I truly understood how we got our Canon. It was a time of great discomfort for me. However, I came to the conclusion that smarter people than me have faced that same situations and remained comfortable with the faith. Ehrman, who is about 20 miles down the street from me, did not. He used that as his get out of jail free card. Ehrman presents himself as gobsmacked after learning the Bible we have is in error. he says it is in error because it includes the woman caught in adultery.

    Frankly, he has not been honest with himself on the matter. If that particular segment was removed from the Bible, it would make no difference to the overall narrative of the story. Scholars have known about that for years. Look in your old NIV. It has a line above and below that segment. The problem Ehrman has is that there are few, if any, other such verses.

    Now where Ehrman would have a claim would be if he found out that Jesus’ resurrection did not occur. But he cannot. If he was intellectually honest he would tell us that he was one his way out when he supposedly *discovered* that the woman caught in adultery was not in the earliest manuscripts. Unlike Ehrman, I was not. I questioned what was going on but God gave me the answers that I sought.

    I have attended talks by Ehrman. He is clever and also *thinks* he is quite the know it all. He isn’t. Each of his books, etc have ben refuted by scholars who are Christians. Therefore, they give a different take so that it is possible to go on believing when presented with the supposed *errors.*

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  111. Guest:
    Tchivdjian, C. J. Mahaney, and Mark Driscoll are not man enough to go out in the real world and get real jobs. They want a stage every weekend making easy diva money. Stacy is a homewrecker and an adulterer.

    Besides not wanting to work “in the real world” the other thing that this is about the attention they receive. With Tullian apparently being a full narcissist who craves attention, he wouldn’t want to work a job where he wasn’t getting all the attention he gets by being a “Christian” speaker. I remember reading where someone wrote that the narcicisstic craving for attention is what drives a lot of these fallen leaders to try and get back in the ministry and pulpit so quickly.

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  112. dee: I have attended talks by Ehrman. He is clever and also *thinks* he is quite the know it all. He isn’t. Each of his books, etc have been refuted by scholars who are Christians.

    Ehrman was formerly a Calvinist … who became an atheist … who became an agnostic. I don’t bother to listen to such folks – they offer nothing to me on my Christian journey. Believers can be so open-minded about such teachers that their spiritual brains fall out.

    As a side-note, I’ve seen this progression before within Calvinist ranks … from “believer” to atheist/agnostic. The continual twisting of Scripture to support any pet theology will fry your brain after a while. It’s so much easier to pray for the Holy Spirit to teach you all Truth, rather than trusting in the interpretations of mere men. Many otherwise brilliant men/women have fallen into this snare.

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  113. LeRoy,

    My question is whether the less extreme Free Gracers would say my abuser father is definitely in heaven regardless of whether he repented or not of abusing me and my mother. If the answer is yes, then I’d say I want nothing to do with them, either. It’s just more antinomianism. Like I said, my sociopath father didn’t care if he got rewarded or not, so long as he got in.

    I believe there should be a balance between the two extremes. On the one hand, we need to know that God greatly desires our salvation and is totally FOR us, not against us. Even if we fall into the most heinous of sins, I think He tries to reach us there. He is not standing over us holding a lightning bolt over our heads and gleefully waiting for us to screw up so He can throw it. But we also shouldn’t give people who have persistent, hard-hearted resistance to the Holy Spirit a free pass to heaven. God isn’t in the business of fire insurance. He wants relationship, and there are people who are so evil and hard-hearted, counting on their fire insurance, that it would be a gross violation of free will if they suddenly got all better in heaven.

    I also view the notion that the heart doing a wild 180 degree change upon leaving this earth is a bit of gnosticism that has leaked into our view of our bodies. It’s all our body’s fault that we sin. So as soon as we leave our old sinful body behind, we’re suddenly all cozy and okay. In reality, it’s a heart issue. While leaving behind the temptations of the flesh is a great help, if our hearts aren’t even pointing in remotely in the right direction upon death, I don’t think that person is magically going to stop resisting God.

    Again, it’s all about balance. Sadly, balance is grossly lacking in this world.

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  114. Benn: Just curious, how much credence do you put into the writings of Bart Ehrman?…

    If there is anything that can be said about me it is that I never have been and am not a follower of persons. I googled birth dates, and when I burned my old KJV with Scofield notes Ehrman would have been either 7 or else 8 years old. I remember the year but not the month. Give me a break here. You can disagree but…really???

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_reliability_of_the_Gospels

    Take a look at the 218 references to this article and get back with me when you can attribute all this scholarship to one currently existing person, Ehrman or otherwise.

    The attitude of conservative evangelical protestantism as to the canon of scripture is not the majority opinion. That is why they have to keep saying it, passing resolutions about it, and defending the idea. The majority opinion is tradition in various forms including but not limited to scripture, and canonicity technically by decree as it were.

    I am not a conservative evangelical protestant and never was regardless of the fact that something quite similar was the tradition into which I was born and in which I was raised.

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  115. Max: Believers can be so open-minded about such teachers that their spiritual brains fall out.

    He says that he became an agnostic atheist because of the unresolved problem of evil/suffering. Nobody resolves that issue. People believe or disbelieve for many reasons, but Ehrman says that it had/has nothing to do with his field of study.

    I feel strongly about history and about scholarship and if/where we disagree that is the area; that is not where Ehrman disagrees.

    Incidentally, to add fuel to the fire, I do not know why I believe, but it may be that the calvinists are at least semi-correct about why some do and some don’t believe. Oh, my, now I have done it.

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  116. I am still being misunderstood. What I have said is even worse than you all have figured out. I am not arguing that TT should be ‘forgiven’ but rather I am arguing that not all the women he danced a jig with are necessarily victims. Somebody brought up the fact that he married one of them. I think that the women who get involved with these people need not categorically be labeled, one and all, as helpless victims but that all should be forgiven (because of extenuating circumstances) if indeed the wiles of these predators are as described.

    And yes, Dee, that applies to whoever the predator is and whatever his/her job or personality.

    I was talking about the women, and about the complexity of the situation, not about this particular predator.

    But while we are at it, some of these predators may be mentally ill, and that does introduce a further ethical level to consider.

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  117. okrapod: He carries the total responsibility for what he did, but the others also made some poor choices.

    IMO, their choices are irrelevant to us. Tullian’s aren’t. That’s the difference.

    My other concern is how often the vitriol at the woman involved is FAR stronger than that which is directed at the male, particularly if he was married and she was not. I do see this as quite gendered criticism at times.

    As for the rest, I’m a bit with you in going back and forth on how much being a pastor is similar or dissimilar to being a therapist as far as relations with clients or parishioners, for instance – I see this a bit more case by case than perhaps dee or JA do. The boundaries placed between a therapist and their patients tend to go beyond sexual into every day life (you aren’t supposed to accept money from a patient either, or house panting, or what have you). The relationships between pastors and parishioners in general would often blur those lines.

    But Tullians predation is pretty clear from his actions and as he is the one setting himself up as a spiritual ‘leader’ and being accepted as the same in some quarters, that we can rightly criticize.

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  118. okrapod: If there is anything that can be said about me it is that I never have been and am not a follower of persons.I googled birth dates, and when I burned my old KJV with Scofield notes Ehrman would have been either 7 or else 8 years old.I remember the year but not the month.Give me a break here.You can disagree but…really???

    Like I said, I was just curious how much stock you put in to what what Ehrman says, nothing personal, I don’t put much stock into his views, just curious about your take. He also is very critical about the gospels not in unison about the day of Jesus crucifixtion, but to me ( a non scholar) the gospels do not contradict each other.
    Jesus was crucified on Friday, to this day the name for the day Friday, is called preparation day in Greek, to me that is fascinating. Again was not calling you out or anything, wondering what your take is/was….

    He was trained by Bruce Metzger, one of my heroes, I love to watch Bart debate, James white, or Dan Wallace on all the textual variants in The sacred text.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_reliability_of_the_Gospels

    Take a look at the 218 references to this article and get back with me when you can attribute all this scholarship to one currently existing person, Ehrman or otherwise.

    The attitude of conservative evangelical protestantism as to the canon of scripture is not the majority opinion.That is why they have to keep saying it, passing resolutions about it, and defending the idea.The majority opinion is tradition in various forms including but not limited to scripture, and canonicity technically by decree as it were.

    I am not a conservative evangelical protestant and never was regardless of the fact that something quite similar was the tradition into which I was born and in which I was raised.

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  119. Once he has repented and been in counseling….MAYBE Uncle Franklin could send him to a 3rd world country to work and serve those in need. That is if he is repentant and wants to reach the lost. He should not be front and center of anything in Christian ministry. If he needs to be front and center, he needs to work in corporate world not Christian world.

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  120. okrapod,

    I concur. I cannot sign on to the proposition that grown women who get seduced by predators like Tchivdjian should automatically be absolved of any culpability.

    Children who are taken advantage of by the ‘power differential’? Yes.

    Grown women?
    No, because if it cannot be classified as outright rape, it really does take two to tango.

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  121. Muff Potter,

    With underage kids, it is not just a power differential, kids do not have the fully developed emotional/moral/self that SOME adults have ( and what we expect all adults to have).
    Raising kids, while being the parent, I have also tried to take a “academic” view and watch “human development” in them from new born to adulthood….. and I find it fascinating…
    This is why, pedos, especially maskerading as Priest or “spirtual leaders” ar so EVIL. i am using the word EVIL to signify the worst form of depraved behavior….. pedos are, IMHO, still the soul of these kids..

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  122. Muff Potter: Children who are taken advantage of by the ‘power differential’? Yes.
    Grown women?
    No, because if it cannot be classified as outright rape

    But it can still be a power differential. Like in a sexual harassment on the job situation. I think it helps to think of these men as predators. You can be predatory towards grown women as well as children. Children aren’t culpable at all, of course. But I think circumstances can be mitigating for adults too…(which is why we recognize situations where a person is vulnerable: Doctor/therapist: patient, Boss: employee, etc. I think the argument made is that pastor/parishioner is similar. And in many cases you’ll find the pastor preying on his employees, so you have two levels going on.

    But mostly, as I said above, I don’t think it’s my job to judge the women in these situations, and the only reason it matters to us as outsiders is that the men are setting themselves up into a position to prey on more people.

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  123. ___

    “Should A Repentant TT Be Restored To Ministry?”

    hmmm…

    (Repugnance R US?)

    SKREEEEEEEEEETCH!

    A church considering pastoral restoration must always seek wisdom from above (James 1:5) and godly counsel from trusted Christian leaders…

    Yes, Christians live in grace and should consistently extend grace to others.

    Always.

    However, Jesus’ church has a responsibility to police itself and discipline erring believers (1 Corinthians 5:9–13).

    A pastor guilty of multiple adulteries, as is the documented case with TT, should remain a former pastor. His response to church discipline should be to humbly repent and then consistently seek restoration of fellowship.

    Should he desire to go beyond fellowship and seek to regain the office of pastor?

    In most cases, it seems, this would be very unwise for the individual, the ordaining organization involved , and for the church(s) he would be administering.

    However, there is nothing to preclude social media participation, and book publishing, should this individual become aware of how he is now perceived, and how his actions have harmed those directly associated with his previous harmful behavior, and those [future tense] in his path should he continue this harmful behavior.

    ;~)

    – –

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  124. Muff Potter: it really does take two to tango

    Agreed. But in Tullian’s case he ‘tangoed’ multiple times! That’s a whole lot of dancin’ for a “pastor” … even if he had a willing dance partner.

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  125. Sòpwith: A pastor guilty of multiple adulteries, as is the documented case with TT, should remain a former pastor.

    “Multiple” and “former” being the key words. I don’t understand why any churchgoer would have a problem understanding this … but, it’s increasingly clear that the average churchgoer these days doesn’t have a clue about a lot of things.

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  126. okrapod: He gets into the unreliability of oral tradition referencing experiments that have been done, and for me this has been a real help.

    What I find very interesting is how people can believe that the NT books, which all appear to have been written no later than AD 70 to AD 90, cannot possibly be true because of the amount of time that passed from the original events (~40-60 years), yet at the same time having no problem believing in the veracity of victims’ accounts from 40 years ago. I tend to believe that human memory is better than Erhman seems to believe. Just as I tend to believe that victims can remember the important details from decades ago, I also believe that the NT books would not have survived scrutiny if they were as inaccurate as many suggest. It’s not as if the NT canon was developed in a vacuum.

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  127. Ken F (aka Tweed): What I find very interesting is how people can believe that the NT books, which all appear to have been written no later than AD 70 to AD 90, cannot possibly be true because of the amount of time that passed from the original events (~40-60 years), yet at the same time having no problem believing in the veracity of victims’ accounts from 40 years ago.I tend to believe that human memory is better than Erhman seems to believe. Just as I tend to believe that victims can remember the important details from decades ago, I also believe that the NT books would not have survived scrutiny if they were as inaccurate as many suggest. It’s not as if the NT canon was developed in a vacuum.

    Ken, the same textual critics that say the gospels are written too late, ( being too late cast doubt on the veracity of their testimony)will in the same breath say the historical record for, let’s say Alexander the Great is fine, they are good with the record of A/T/G when the best account of he life is written some 450 years after the fact.

    One of my biggest concerns with Ehrman is the way he presents his opinions, he is not the same man at debates with equals, ( textual critic scholars), as he is in his books, which is consumed in mass, much more than his debates.
    He will admit in debates that Christians that know their stuff can refute a lot of what he says…he is a book peddling machine, first and foremost…..

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  128. Repentant or unrepentant, sexual abusers have no place in ministry or leadership. God calls those who are spiritually mature and demonstrate a spirit of sacrificial service to lead his people, not the pretty boy American Idols of the Modern Church or the descendants of former celebrity idols.

    People who choose to follow such ‘idols’ demonstrate that they are interested in something other than walking with God.

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  129. dee: As for the woman caught in adultery not being in the earliest of the manuscripts …It was when I found that out that I went on a search to make sure I truly understood how we got our Canon. It was a time of great discomfort for me. However, I came to the conclusion that smarter people than me have faced that same situations and remained comfortable with the faith.

    Even though I have been reading about the authority of biblical manuscripts for more than 30 years (on and off), I only recently came across one of the best explanations I’ve heard on this passage in Katharine Bushnell’s book “God’s Word to Women” (https://godswordtowomen.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/gods_word_to_women1.pdf). See sections 83 through 85 starting on page 238. She pretty much shatters Ehrman’s theory – many years before Ehrman showed up. I highly recommend this book.

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  130. Benn: He will admit in debates that Christians that know their stuff can refute a lot of what he says…he is a book peddling machine, first and foremost…..

    I’ve come to the conclusion that well resourced axe grinders will find many people willing to help them either grind or use their axes. Ehrman’s theories cannot withstand academic scrutiny, but they are good for selling books. If we were to apply his theories to all of history we would pretty much have to reject almost everything we know about historical figures. As an example, just because the story about George Washington and the cherry tree is probably not true, it does not mean that George Washington did not exist, that he did not lead the army, that he was not the first president, or that he was not a Virginian. But Ehrman would have to cast doubt on all these known facts if he is to be consistent with how he treats the history of Jesus.

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  131. __

    “Discovery And Confusion May Now Share The Same Root, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    “…it’s increasingly clear that the average churchgoer these days doesn’t have a clue about a lot of things…” -MAX

    Bump.

    Max, as you are well aware, defrocking and reinstatement in today’s 501c3 ‘christian’ church environment can be a complicated issue. Apparently, there are a ‘rainbow’ of sexual issues taking precedence not just adultery or fornication.

    What?

    A warning of what to expect?

    SKREEEEEEEEEETCH!

    But you must realize, Max, that in the days going forward, the times will possess great danger. Individuals will become utterly self-centred, greedy for money, full of big words. They will be proud and contemptuous, without any regard for what the scriptures teach them. They will be utterly lacking in gratitude, purity and normal human affections. They will be individuals of unscrupulous speech and have absolutely no control of themselves. They will be passionate and unprincipled, treacherous, self-willed and conceited, loving all the time what gives them pleasure instead of loving God. They will maintain a facade of “religion”, but their conduct will deny its validity. IMHO, kind intuitive church folk would do well to keep clear of such individuals like these… ( -J.B. Phillip’s NT; adapted.)

    ATB

    Sòpy

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JhZEBsMkED0

    ;~)

    – –

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  132. Max: As a side-note, I’ve seen this progression before within Calvinist ranks … from “believer” to atheist/agnostic. The continual twisting of Scripture to support any pet theology will fry your brain after a while. It’s so much easier to pray for the Holy Spirit to teach you all Truth, rather than trusting in the interpretations of mere men. Many otherwise brilliant men/women have fallen into this snare.

    I’ve seen it too, and for the life of me, I can’t understand why some really smart folks have to have it as an all or nothing deal, and then when the deal goes sour because so and so says such and such didn’t happen, they convert to atheism, agnosticism, or whatever ism-du-jour there is.

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  133. Sòpwith: But you must realize, Max, that in the days going forward, the times will possess great danger.

    As the old hymn says “Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come” … but in my reading of Scripture, it’s clear that things on earth will get worse not better as we approach the end of time.

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  134. I actually found this page after searching some on Jen Wilkins and the link to this blog post coming up: http://thewartburgwatch.com/about-us-the-basics/about-us-blog-rules-of-the-road/

    Which is just interesting…so I thought I’d share. Grace is truly one of the mysteries of God’s plan, and I think that is why we struggle with knowing how to identify, give, receive, and live in it. It does not give us a free pass to live in sin…but it does give us hope when we look and see that we are in fact not where we want to be, not the perfect reflection of our Lord our heart desires to be. Thus, grace is both what brings us back to desiring to live in a way that is pleasing to our Lord, and frees us when we still fall short…

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