Clarity on the TT Situation

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249 Responses

  1. Papias says:

    While there is no list of qualifications for “church staff”, I have to wonder, wouldn’t by definition a church staff member then fall under the qualifications of deacons?

    This subtle point that he not in the pulpit, not teaching, not pastoring.. and yet he’s managing the churches staff, when he could manage his marriage vows?

  2. Papias says:

    Sorry …..insert could “not” manage his marriage vows…

  3. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’ve heard the exact opposite of some of this.

    And it could have all been done without the fluffy “Welcome to the staff”. And the Senior Pastor is a huge fan.

  4. Michael says:


    I hear you…you know that.
    The other side of the coin is that if he’s willing to serve in an administrative capacity without the pulpit and under discipline, this may be the godly path to true restoration.

  5. Michael says:


    The guy leaves a trail…and it hasn’t been pretty.
    I think I’m clear that I’m not a fan.
    I still think we need to think this process through.

  6. Michael says:

    Unfortunately, it also makes MLD look good… 🙂

  7. Em says:

    just came from reading Todd Pruitt’s piece that Michael linked to on Linkathon… and he clarified what has been bothering me that i couldn’t quite put together… i want and pray for Tullian T to restore into enjoying Christ (i know nothing of his personal life, let alone the marriage) – but does working in an environment that, intentional or not, affirms him as a celebrity of the church all the time do that? i sense his achilles heel is that need for feeling ‘special.’ has he learned to stand, learned that in Christ he can do so? dunno

  8. Josh the Baptist says:

    So, the new stance is : Cheat on your wife, throw her under the bus, file for divorce, and then take a cushy job to be paid by tithing congregants.

    Nope. Not falling for it.

    He can sale cars. God may have already forgiven him, that’s not my place. But he needs off twitter, facebook, and DEFINITELY off any church staff. And NEVER be a pastor again.

    That’s the road he chose when he slept with someone who was not his wife.

  9. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Here’s the thing – I asked in my #72 on the other thread if it was possible the PCA sent him there to cool his heels.
    I know Presbyterian polity and and made comment in my #75 that they are a lot more in control than the LCMS.

    Remember how the session jumped when Jason even squeaked to having Roman leanings – they were ready to bring him to a full sessions trial.

  10. Patrick Badstibner says:

    This particular church confuses this matter greatly by speaking of their staff as engaged in [“ministry,” (a non-Reformed/Presbyterian way to speak)] without making the important qualification that these people who “minister” do so as paid employees of the church (i.e., staff positions). – Your right Michael this is a good thing and the perfect place for Tullian to be. Though I disagree with the wording of your statement above I understand what you mean, but it is because I disagree with the wording of your statement that I believe this is a great place for Tullian.

    If we are to believe Romans 12:1, 1 Corinthians 10:31 and 1 Peter 2:9 then our lives should be lived in ministry. Now, if we want to speak of ministry as in offices or as most reformers would speak of offices then I can agree with you. Yet, I know reformers who believe that there are no special callings and that all of us have a calling to use the gifts God has given us in ministry. In fact I know a local PCA who would 100% agree with that. It is a mistake to say that the pluimber is not in ministry, as much as the one standing behind the pulpit on Sunday morning.

    Given that, for the reasons you mentioned along with the fact that such a position gives him an opportunity to use the knowledge he has been given to minister in his new position, while being mentored and recovering, it is a great position. I know of others who have been in similar situations, that held similar jobs, who returned to full-time pastorate. To consider this a wonderful opportunity and good gift from the Father for Tullian is the only position a high law, gospel motivated view allows us to take.

    Thanks Michael for the update.

  11. Michael says:

    I think your position is perfectly understandable and I have more than a little sympathy with it.
    My job is to report as truthfully as I can and I hope this gives us a more complete picture than we had before .

  12. Em says:

    all of this makes clear that we have a divide between pew sitters and their pastors – a divide created by the clergy themselves – us and them… good or evil? i don’t know – a band of brothers apart from the Body, yet a part of the Body? … i don’t know

  13. Josh the Baptist says:

    It’s just a smokescreen, Michael.

    Where’s the press conference announcing new gigs for the wife and children he is abandoning?

  14. j2theperson says:

    It seems like the church that hired him and the PCA leadership–if they are really behind this move–could have publicly explained things somewhat better. They knew he’s a religious celebrity, they knew he’s followed by a lot of non-Presbyterians (i.e. people who don’t know how their rules and regs work). Why not just come out and explain what it is his position will be and why they chose to place him in it instead of giving him a fancy title that makes it look like he’s well on his way to being back in the saddle. Tullian has had no problem live tweeting this entire fiasco so it’s not like he has any sort of privacy that needs to be respected.

    I’m still dubious that this is not a move on his part to get back into full-fledged ministry.

    One can only hope that a large portion of his salary will be going0 to his wife and children in the form of spousal and child support payments.

  15. Josh the Baptist says:

    ” Tullian has had no problem live tweeting this entire fiasco so it’s not like he has any sort of privacy that needs to be respected.”

    Bingo. Don’t believe the smokescreen.

    A tullian fanboy gave him a job at his church. That’s all there is to it. If it were anything else it would have been explained that way.

    Instead, they welcome a renowned pastor and author to there staff (no mention of his family) who happens to like surfing.

    Wake up, folks.

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Patrick brings up a good point – one I almost brought up yesterday, but knew I would be booed down for using terms this evangelical crowd dismisses. The word is office – pastoral office… one I am not called to. Now we all do ministry but we are not ministers.

  17. Steve Wright says:

    The other article said “The South Florida Presbytery has also attempted to shepherd him during this time. But those offers appear to have been rejected.”

    and that this new church is part of the Central Florida Presbytery.

    If the other article is accurate at all then it sounds to me a lot like a certain Santa Ana pastor 20+ years ago refusing his own church’s restoration process and choosing a different process in Costa Mesa that was far more to his liking.

    I don’t think anyone here was under the delusion the guy does not have to answer to a boss at the new church….

    I would like to know 3 things.

    1) The process, voting etc that brought him to the church. Was he ordered there by the Presbytery or did the local elders have a say in it.

    2) Where in the budget did they find his salary. Anything get cut?

    3) A list of all the nobody pastors of churches of 100-200 that were defrocked for adultery and given paid staff positions within weeks of their firing by another church. Or is the PCA just as guilty in thinking someone’s “gifting” as a pastor is seen by butts in the seats.

  18. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    ” Or is the PCA just as guilty in thinking someone’s “gifting” as a pastor is seen by butts in the seats.”

    or perhaps they now what they are doing.

  19. Steve Wright says:

    I have a #4 too.

    4) What exactly ARE his responsibilities. We’ve heard a lot about what he won’t be doing, and that he will answer to people for what he will be doing…but what exactly is that? If he is “managing the staff and resources of the church”…well, wasn’t someone already doing that? Who got fired? What volunteer who did the work was told their free services were no longer needed because they were going to pay the rock star now to do it. Sounds a lot like what I have said all along, a made-up title with a makework project…like Chuck giving Taylor the job of transcribing tapes back in the day.

    As an aside, I’m sure the staff is thrilled at their new “manager”…well, scratch the sarcasm…maybe they ARE thrilled.

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It’s amazing the information “Lone Ranger” pastors / churches will demand of other churches, especially those invested in a large church denominations is something. Churches that allow no votes asking to know how people voted in the other church.

    People who have never formalized or shared the day to day workings of their staff demanding to know “What exactly ARE his responsibilities?”

  21. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, I asked my #3 because Michael’s source is saying “This is not circumventing the process to get back in the limelight. This is the process at work.”

    If this is the established process of the denomination, then I assume they do it for all their pastors who fall and are defrocked, right? Why not? What pastor is going to turn down a new job at a church after losing his old church and family from scandal.

    So such a list should be par for the course, and I expect it would not be difficult to find multiple examples if it is “the process at work”…and not special treatment for the guy with the mega church and the famous pedigree that other disgraced pastors never get a whiff of….

  22. Steve Wright says:

    People who have never formalized or shared the day to day workings of their staff demanding to know “What exactly ARE his responsibilities?”
    What do you want to know MLD?

  23. Michael says:

    I still want to know why the hell Danny Bond is a “pastor”…

  24. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve, what indication do you have that they don’t do it for all who are willing?
    You make all negative assumptions when people don’t do things the way you think they should be done.

  25. Michael says:

    Throckmortons link answers some of these questions…

  26. Thank you for sharing this, Michael, for the sake of clarity. I’m in tears over the damage done to the church by those who, seemingly, confess and repent following exposure.

  27. Michael says:


    Thank you…and I share in that grief.

    At least we are dealing with a true process here that may bear fruit.

  28. Steve Wright says:

    Sounds like glorified consultant work to me….

    MLD – My question is sincere. If I was part of that denomination, I would like to think if I was not giving special treatment then I would show that was the case.

    Michael – I don’t support Bond. I think there has not been nearly enough years gone by for him to possibly be eligible to teach in a Bible College, whether at Golden Springs or the extension campus at CCCM

    Steve Wright
    Senior Pastor Calvary Chapel of Lake Elsinore

  29. Steve Wright says:

    Churches that allow no votes asking to know how people voted in the other church.
    MLD that is wrong and you know it – nobody is getting hired on staff, or paid anything, without a formal vote of our Board of Directors.

    I asked for the process. Mainly to see if this glorified difference between guys like you and the dreaded evangelical is any difference at all. Did the Presbytery greenlight the hiring and the pastor call the voting elders together with the good news, “Hey, we can scoop up TT!” “Chuck (er) the Presbytery said it was OK”

    Was time of such the essence that they had an emergency meeting just for this issue..or did it come up in the normal monthly/quarterly (whatever) meeting agenda as just one other item.

  30. Xenia says:

    Ok, not as bad as I thought. Thanks for posting the article, Michael.

  31. Xenia says:

    If the truth of the matter is his old church sent him to his new church to work at a humble job and TT is thankful for this job, then this is a good thing.

    The Twitter, the glamour photos, the surfing is all personally distasteful to me but he appears to be in the hands of his own superiors and maybe this humbler job will improve him to the extent that he too finds the coolness distasteful. God knows.

  32. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Sounds like glorified consultant work to me….”

    It may be.

  33. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Was time of such the essence that they had an emergency meeting just for this issue..”

    I called an emergency meeting this past May to vote giving authorization to the principal to pick up a hot shot teacher for our school. Time was of the essence that we even voted to circumvent our normal process.

    Hey it happens – sometimes you need to open the door when opportunity knocks. 😉

  34. Southern Cal local says:

    I think it strange that you are all over this thing with Tullian and yet you had Don Stewart speak at you church shortly after his divorce and remarriage.

  35. Paula says:

    “Rather, he’s now doing development/management of the church staff and its resources. He’s essentially doing staff management stuff.”

    So this is a position a woman could hold? And why make a public spectacle of it if they aren’t using him for his fame?

    Kevin Labby (after listening to a message of his from last January) strikes me as a Purpose Driven change agent in the PCA. He was talking about submitting to elders even when they’re wrong and through changes you might not like or understand… you know, typical ‘transitioning’ garbage language.

  36. Paula says:

    And this still doesn’t explain how he “doesn’t want” the divorce but is taking the steps to divorce Kim. Pastor man speak with forked tongue.

  37. Rachel Ramey says:

    I don’t know what I think of the situation as a whole. For the most part, I don’t believe it’s any of my business. Insofar as it publicly appeared that church discipline was being made mockery of, I think other believers had the right and responsibility to ask the church for clarity — which it sounds like has happened.

    But I would like to point out that the creation of a job as a means of meeting a brother’s need is not necessarily an inherently bad thing. If that’s what happened here (and I don’t know if it is), was it a good thing in THIS instance? Again, I don’t know.

    But sometimes the creation of a job is the means a church uses to take care of its people. When I was very little, we had a mentally unstable extended family member living with us. Our church created a secretarial position paying just enough to cover gas money, to enable my mother to bring me and be out of the house during the day (while Dad was gone at work) and work safely at the church. That is, in my estimation, a wise and practical solution arrived at by a group of elders to meet a need in the church.

    As I don’t know Mr. Tchividjian’s specific needs, because I don’t know him, but I can assume it’s at least a possibility that this was a wise, practical move, as well.

  38. Michael says:

    Rachel…well said.
    We will have to wait to see if this was a good decision or not.

  39. Benjamin says:

    I have mixed feelings about this. Yes, he was deposed without censure. Yes, everything is kosher on paper as per the PCA BCO. However they are missing the spirit of the letter.

    I agree with Carl Trueman who said elsewhere, before the news of TT’s new job broke: “When he finds himself delinquent in doctrine or life, he should report himself to his Presbytery and place himself under its discipline and pastoral care. Anyone interested can find the relevant vows and processes in the PCA Book of Church Order, Chapters 19.3, 21.5 and 38.1. ”

    Technically speaking, he did report himself. But they voted to let him go and he sought pastoral care elsewhere. I understand why he would do that: better to go back to friends and family than stay with people you haven’t built relationships with. (That does raise an additional question: 6 years in the presbytery, and you never made any friends?)

    So as Steven Wright said, where is the SFL Presbytery greenlight? Show me the money.

    Also, the South FL Presbytery can no where be compared to the more gung-ho PNW presbytery.

    All that being said, regardless if proper Presbyterianism has been upheld… I hope indeed the Willow Creek session keeps him “in check” at minimum. For TT’s own sake and for the sake of the flock.

  40. Kevin Labby says:

    I want to thank you for this very well written and objective piece. I also want to thank you for some of the insights that will translate into correctives at Willow Creek Church. For instance, I agree with your statement about our staffing nomenclature. We’ll try to improve there shortly, making it easier to see the clear delineations we have amongst our staff and their respective functions.

    I’ve been trying to communicate openly to those genuinely interested in clarity. Although disagreements might remain, I pray for the Spirit’s work in promoting peace through gentle, respectful dialogue. Your post is an answer to prayer.

    Please pray for us as we seek to honor Christ, preserve the peace and purity of His Church, and promote the good of Tullian and, by extension, his family during this difficult time.

    Much love in Christ,

    Kevin Labby, Senior Pastor
    Willow Creek Church
    Winter Springs, FL

  41. Michael says:


    Thank you for the kind words and responding.
    We don’t usually see such openness in these situations and it’s much appreciated.

  42. My family and I are praying for you and your church, Pastor Kevin.

  43. Patrick Kyle says:

    I say ‘Good for Tullian’ What do those who think he shouldn’t be there suppose he will do to pay his spousal and child support? How is he going to pay his bills? Or should he be destitute for awhile? Ministry skills don’t really translate into ‘secular’ job skills very easily. Go into an interview and tell them you are an ‘ex’ Pastor, and see what kind of traction you get. This sounds like a great opportunity for him to heal and rehab under the hand of other Christian Pastors.

  44. Babylon's Dread says:

    Thanks for all of this clarification.
    God’s blessing to them all as they navigate this.

  45. Josh the Baptist says:

    He can sale cars.

  46. Babylon's Dread says:

    So you took down your original post on this?

  47. Josh the Baptist says:

    Garbage, and another black eye for the church.

    Enjoy your new notoriety, Kevin.

  48. Michael says:


    I haven’t taken down anything.

    Unlike most of these kinds of stories, we have had a lot of new information come forth that deserves to be heard.
    I have my own prejudices and I’m still involved in tracking some stuff down behind the scenes.
    My credibility depends on being as good a reporter as I can be…and that’s what I’m trying to do here.

  49. DavidM says:

    This morning I received a personal email from the Senior Pastor of Willow Creek, in response to a couple of emails I sent to him yesterday regarding the TT situation. He was very gracious and honest. There is a lot going on that is not widely known. I initially harshly judged the church, but realized, of course, that I DO NOT know all the factors that went into their decision. I appreciated his reply and I am compelled to pray for them all.

  50. Josh the Baptist says:


    Why are you guys falling for the “more secret information” stuff this time around?

    Here’s what I need to know:

    1. He cheated on his wife, and has been obnoxious about it ever since.
    2. He likes surfing.

    If the only goal is to help Tullian, you don’t promote your new star on the website. WE ALL KNOW THAT, but now we suddenly fall for the same old tricks.

  51. Michael says:


    The story isn’t over…let’s see what else is revealed.

  52. Josh the Baptist says:

    If you can figure out a scenario that doesn’t have him cheating on his wife, then I may be interested. Otherwise, and I’ve said it a million times, the best thing for him, and his family, and his old church, and the new church…is that he go away. Get a job in the private sector. Show up and worship with the body. Do this for the next 20 years or so, and then he MIGHT be useful as a Ministry Development Director. For now, work in an office, sell cars…whatever. He’s smart and capable, he can find a job. Tullian in a public church position is an awful idea for all involved.

  53. Bob Sweat says:

    Wow Josh!

    I have made things clear in a previous post a few weeks back about how I feel about Tullian. While I am attempting to understand why his restoration process needed to include this type of position, I will hold off for now.

    However, I would like to address how some have used words like “Never be a pastor again”. I disagree! And I’m not necessarily referring to Tullian. For me, I have made the choice not to return to pastoral ministry. That choice was not based of my feeling disqualified, but rather a choice for personal reasons. Never is a big word which refuses to take into account what God can do.

    Now I know some love to quote the passage from Timothy that gives the qualifications of an elder. It has always amazed me how some love to use “Husband of one wife”, but how about,”sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach”? Or, “manage his own household well?” I could go on but you all know the Scripture from Timothy 3.

    I’m thankful there are people with grace. I’m thankful for men like the Superintendent of my past denomination who at one time told me to my face that I would never pastor again, but would later ask me to return. I’m thankful to some on this blog who recognized that repentance can lead to restoration to pastoral ministry.

    For some, minds will never change. This is not an attempt to change those minds, just a reaction to “Never!”.

  54. EricL says:

    Sadly, the position of “pastor” is reaching a notoriety comparable to “politician” and not because sinners are offended by their righteous courage. Not at all.

    As a member of the body, I am discouraged by all of it and I think God is giving us what we have asked for: celebrities. With all the drama and debauchery of Hollywood or Washington DC.

    When will TBN start hosting an annual award show to match the rest of our culture? Put in your nominations for Best Sermon, Best Crusade of the Year, Best Producer of a Sunday Show, Best Dressed Preacher, and Best Raker in of the Cash.

  55. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Eric L,
    I draw a short line for a celebrity pastor. Any time someone says “you really must come to my church and hear my pastor he is so good” – Voila!! you have a celebrity pastor.

  56. EricL says:

    I really appreciate Bob’s heart @55. He encourages me that there can be some hope for repentance among fallen leaders. My hope is slim, but stronger due to men like Bob. Thank you for your openness.

  57. Josh the Baptist says:

    Bob – I would gladly have you as my pastor. I think you are in the tiny minority that have handled things the right way. (At least, according to what I know.)

    On this subject, I am often accused of lacking grace, but that’s not true. God’s forgiveness is readily available for all who sin, including adulterous pastors. However, for the greatest percentage of those, such a large percentage that I feel comfortable saying all, when they choose to make the pulpit their personal hook-up service, they choose to stop being a pastor. God can and will do whatever he wants to do. He has used adulterers, and even scumbags like myself.

    We wine about the sanctity of marriage, and say we need to be strong against divorce, etc. If I am err on the side of being too much for marital fidelity, I am OK with that.

  58. brian says:

    This helps clarify to some degree, but the first thing that brought me here was when I got the left foot of fellowship from my volunteer position. I put in ten years a little over 1 K hours per year, I was never paid a dime, in fact, I helped support the ministry to the tune of thousands of dollars per year. I really believed, and I understand I was and am a pathetic piece of human filth for thinking like this, that what I was doing had some value, it did not at all. That was made clear to me and it was because I was not a paid staff or in some other way famous in the group. All that restoration crap is just that crap. It does not happen for the rank and file we are nothing more than cannon fodder for the machine.

    I mean I did go back to the group and apologize and we “made up” but the damage to my reputation and ministry was immense. It was at that point that what I was doing was not ministry, it was a total waste of time in any type of sense other than it helped people, even saved a few lives along the way, but it had no meaning within the corporation.

    I will admit my sin was far viler and more filthy even demonic than TT, I made a phone call and voiced my concern to the higher ups. Of course it was misunderstood and I became de facto evil and a servant of Satan. No restoration, no folks coming out of to help, nothing, not even a face to face, I got the boot over the phone.

    You know, I understand I sound like a broken record and I moan and groan about all this nonsense but it hurt, it broke my heart, if I even have one, another gift from the evangelical religion when you learn to doubt if you even have a soul.

    TT has the pedigree that is what got him back in the saddle so fast, nothing at all else. If it was a pew sitter or volunteer etc, not a chance even if the Triune God came down and asked. It would not happen.

  59. Em says:

    my mind too easily wanders thru the “what ifs” of stories like this…

    i seem to remember that Coral Ridge had an element that objected strongly to calling the Tchividjians to their pastorate in the first place – a sizable and influential group that did not ever reconcile to sitting under his teaching… from what i’ve seen of Tullian, he is not a tough minded man (stubborn and tough minded are not interchangeable terms)…

    so? … so now i’m asking myself if that family walked into a situation that was a recipe for a disastrous outcome just such as has unfolded… this man, who gives every indication of loving God’s truth and teaching it, was he qualified to be at the helm of a large, not so united, church body in the first place?

    i hope he returns to teaching when it is God’s will for him to do so… without knowing anything at all about the man himself, i’m coming to conclude that Tullian is not designed by God to be in the office of senior pastor – at least, not of a large and divided congregation … how very sad if Coral Ridge should be culpable in the destruction of a family… pray some soul searching goes on there, also

  60. Em says:

    brain’s conclusion is so very sadly true… it shouldn’t be so in the church, but it is… the seating order will be a little different in Eternity… the personality boys and the border-line competent and not-so-committed to the Lord beneficiaries of nepotism will be sitting over there by the kitchen door

  61. Matt Redmond says:

    One question:

    What if he worked as an insurance agent and was a SS teacher and cheated on his wife and then filed for divorce, would this be a good place for him to work?

    This looks acceptable and a good idea only if you see it as a demotion.

    Also, as someone who worked in multiple churches (PCA), I know for a fact he will be treated as a pastor/minister. The part-time youth pastor is treated as such. He will not be seen as a lay employee by anyone. If that doesn’t matter, then I give up and we might as well concede to the celebrity culture.

  62. I don’t think I saw this posted earlier. Tony Arsenal, who was the one yesterday who wanted the pastor brought up on charges and who wanted TT banned from communion has has time to think.
    This is a response from the Willow Creek pastor and then Tony Arsenal response, apology and repentance. Handle well on all parts.

  63. Matt – why wouldn’t the part-time youth pastor be considered a pastor / minister since it in his title?

  64. Matt Redmond says:

    Okay, youth “director.”

    And normally the part-time guy in a PCA church is not licensed and not ordained. So technically not a pastor. But *seen* as one.

  65. Xenia says:

    IMO, if this is the place where his superiors believe he’ll be able to work out his salvation and demonstrate fruits of repentance, then who are we to object.

  66. Xenia says:

    I think this is probably the Presbyterian version of sending him back to the monastery for a few decades of prayer and fasting.

  67. Matt Redmond says:

    No, it’s not.

  68. No, it’s not.

    Matt, how familiar are you with this Central District to judge their motives? You may know something, so we will listen. I know nothing of them.

  69. Josh the Baptist says:

    If we let this by, then I don’t want to hear about any other pastor scandals. Don’t want to hear about anyone returning to ministry to soon, or any of that. After all, we’d never have all the facts.

    If you guys are good with a man cheating on his wife and being employed by another church within a couple of months, your thoughts on pastoral ministry just don’t hold much weight.

  70. Xenia says:

    If we let this by<<<<

    Who are we to be doing any "letting?" He has his own church hierarchy, let them look to him.

  71. Michael says:

    Let me clarify…again.

    My intent here was not to approve or disapprove of this situation.
    I’ve already said some pretty strong things in opposition to it.

    What I presented here was the rationale behind the move.
    I think we owe the people we’re skewering that.

    This is not even close to being a settled matter…

  72. Xenia says:

    In the past here on the PPhx we have torn to shreds adulterers who slip-slided away from their church’s attempts at discipline. That does not appear to be the case here; he appears to be in full compliance with the decisions of his church’s hierarchy. As to the wisdom of giving him a church job… Is this really any of my business anymore? If it ever was?

    In fact, I am feeling increasingly uncomfortable discussing these peoples’ lives. I have my own sins to attend to.

  73. While everyone is reloading may i recommend this article on Piss Christ. If the topoc came up, we would see more evangelical hand ringing and calls for boycotts and defunding of the arts.
    I think this guy knows what being Christ Centered is all about.

  74. Surfer51 says:

    I just spent ten minutes carefully typing out my comment and reviewing it before submittal and lost it all because of the short window allowed for typing comments. (“Timed out” it said)

    So I hit back arrow and found I lost it all.

    This happens a lot here.

    I wonder why?

  75. Surfer51 says:

    Well at least #74 is similar to my lost comment. I fell better now…

  76. Surfer51 says:


  77. Steve Wright says:

    I think Josh and I are seeing what seems like a double standard for the purpose of upholding the supposed superiority of older denomination structures in these circumstances. Let’s recap with some facts.

    In CC (and I assume most Baptist circles) if a nobody pastor flames out like this he is done. Far more adulterous and scandal-ridden pastors are OUT of CC today than still in. Not all but the majority. Sometimes guys like Kesstler and Sabolick go on outside CC, and the guy I mentioned earlier who now is sleeping in his car…

    Of course a couple celebrities and those with friends in high places have remained. Danny Bond was mentioned today. Unless there is relevant information none of us have read here, Bond’s scandal was about 7-8 years ago, and the present distress is he will be volunteering to teach one night a class at a satellite campus of a small unacreditted Bible college – to I am guessing less than a dozen students, almost all of whom would have been in elementary school when Bond failed at his church. TT’s scandal was being read about the day of his hiring by most of the flock there.

    To mention that in the same breath as TT and the timing is something, but to talk about a restoration process in place and not allow Bond the same grace YEARS later in a far inferior profile of ministry

    I’m a hardliner. I already said I don’t think guys like Bond should be teaching and I hold myself to the same standard. If not for Bob Sweat I would not allow even a modicum of possibility, but for those of you who do believe in possible restoration after scandal, maybe Bond is not the best example to be upset over.

    Our principles should be constant no mater the denomination.

    As to TT, I want someone in the know to refute the claim in the earlier linked article that the SOUTHERN Presbytery had a restoration plan that TT refused and the CENTRAL offered him one he accepted. That is either black or white, yes or no. If yes, then it shoots to pieces almost every supportive post about the “process”

  78. Michael says:

    “In CC (and I assume most Baptist circles) if a nobody pastor flames out like this he is done.”

    Since when?

    Chuck Smith bragged in a national publication about his penchant for “restoring” fallen leaders and I could list a bunch right now who are still in ministry in CC.

    I can provide the quote if you’d like…

  79. Steve Wright says:

    southern cal local….If you think it strange then you need to email me and you will get your education and the answers you might want. I’ve never seen a post by you here before so either a longtime lurker finally could not take any more of my challenge on the TT or you are someone familiar to the community who wanted to use a fake name to play gotcha against me.

    My guess is your grasp on the facts is limited and I KNOW your understanding of our church is inferior.

    pastorsteve (at) calvaryle (dot) org

  80. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, I hear of fallen guys too…little guys at little churches and they are gone from CC. Typically gone from ministry.

    I know Chuck’s quote…I disagree with it strongly.

  81. Michael says:

    Danny Bond has impacted two churches with his meanderings, this is his third wife.
    I didn’t see you go on all day long about him…

  82. Michael says:

    You may disagree with it strongly, but it’s the statement of the founder as to what his practice was.
    So, truthfully, in CC they are not always gone.

  83. Michael says:

    “As to TT, I want someone in the know to refute the claim in the earlier linked article that the SOUTHERN Presbytery had a restoration plan that TT refused and the CENTRAL offered him one he accepted. That is either black or white, yes or no. If yes, then it shoots to pieces almost every supportive post about the “process”’

    The new pastor has addressed that as a miscommunication between him and Coral Ridge.
    There are people disputing that claim.

    Because there is a structure and process here, we will know the answer to that eventually.

  84. Michael says:

    Furthermore, as I have already stated in more than one place, we have been working on a TT story for about two weeks that will raise even more questions.
    I published this in fairness and to give some understanding of the process that’s ongoing to an audience that is probably unfamiliar with it.

  85. Steve Wright says:

    I said they are not ALWAYS gone…I was very clear as that is rather obvious.

    I stated my take on Bond teaching now..very clearly. By my name and title. Even if it is to a dozen people one night a week

    I’m glad the Willow Creek leadership is charming and kind in answering questions. Chuck had a way of charming people too you know…I did not know that was the standard.

    I missed the post about the “miscommunication” in all this so I do thank you for that.

    I stated a whole lot of other questions I have not seen addressed…maybe I should email the pastor too (if reading them here is not sufficient to warrant an answer).

  86. Steve Wright says:

    I didn’t see you go on all day long about him…
    Because nobody, including me, was defending him like they are Willow Creek and TT.

    Once Xenia and I got you to name the name (well, once Xenia did) my response was immediate…I only bring him up now after coming back and seeing this thread explode and the way things changed under this guise of restoration. A tiny class, once a week, volunteer basis versus TT…scandal timeline,,not even close

  87. Scott says:

    Does anyone know what the director of ministry development does? What does that entail?

  88. Michael says:

    I think this has been a great thread.

    We’ve had reasoned and passionate opinions stated and different perspectives offered.

    My guess is that it has had quite an impact on the new pastor.

    While I might disagree with his actions, at least he came on here in person and spoke to us and he has spoken openly with others in the media as well.

    I have tried very hard to be clear that I was not endorsing this situation…but I did feel a responsibility to explain it the way it was explained to me.

    I think that’s what my job is when I’m able to acquire the information.

    While I know the reality is that some will damn me whether I do or don’t, I think I did this right.

  89. Michael says:


    This is what the pastor told Warren;

    “Tullian followed a founding pastor at Coral Ridge, as did I here at Willow Creek – although I did so on a much, much smaller scale. We believe that he can be of great assistance as our leaders work together to shape Willow Creek’s vision, organization, and processes for its next season of ministry. As a significant part of this, Tullian will be helping us strengthen our connections with mercy ministries in the local community, helping us strengthen and better coordinate our efforts to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, comfort the weary, and provide other forms of mercy ministry.”

  90. Steve,
    If you look at my #64 – the link – you will see that the guy yesterday who was trying to get the PCA to investigate the pastor and ban TT from the table – has posted a letter of response and has responded to that – in that letter, they say that they worked with both the Southern and Central districts and that the Southern had no problem in what was handled.

    Although he still disagrees some, his apology and repentance is something others here might wish to partake in.

  91. Steve Wright says:

    Michael I do agree with your #90, and give credit to the pastor for communicating to the extent he has. I expect no less but I do realize it is rather rare today in such cases.

    This was a good thread and I am glad you put the article up

  92. Steve – did you get my email earlier?

  93. Steve Wright says:

    Thank you MLD. That speaks better for TT (at least not going rogue) but sure lessens the PCA in my eyes…

    I do hope we can hear of other examples of fallen pastors getting staff positions so quickly after their scandals….if this is standard restoration policy of the denomination

    (Also, I will email you my reasons but I got your email and you asked me to say something here – so I will. Six months (or 7) was not nearly enough in my opinion…)

  94. Scott says:

    Thank you, Michael.

    I really do feel for Josh. I understand his passion and how that something like this just doesn’t make any sense.

    I hope the pastor and leadership are prepared to absorb things that are likely to surface about TT which could reflect negativity on their discernment and judgment in bringing him on staff.

    I hope that’s not the case, but the potential of it happening are possible.

    I think I should start a truck driving school for fallen pastors. I can teach them how to drive truck, earn a living and disappear onto the backside of the highways and biways for many years.

  95. j2theperson says:

    Why are you guys falling for the “more secret information” stuff this time around?***

    This does kind of seem like a situation of “fool me once shame on you fool me 263 times shame on me

  96. Michael says:


    There are lots of negative possibilities here.

    TT is not popular with many in the PCA…that is a kind understatement.
    There are a lot of influential eyes on this matter, so we haven’t heard the last of it.

  97. I’m still amazed that people who have no skin in the game think they are the ones to override decisions, in this case made by a church, 2 Florida districts of the PCA and TT himself.

    Still no one has given me what I asked for yesterday – any kind of scriptural reference that you are totally disqualified working with a church for messing with the Elder / Pastor qualifications.

    Paul tried that with Mark and Barnabas said ‘screw the old man Mark – you come with me.’

  98. I wonder what Steve Brown’s take will be?

  99. Micah says:

    Some of you people make me sick. You’re the very reason people avoid Christianity and coming to know Jesus. I’ve never seen a more hypocritical brood of vipers in my life. Guess what? He’s a human being. A flawed sinner. Did he make wrong choices? Yes. Did he disregard his marriage vows before men and God? Yes. With that out of the way, let me share something about Scripture some of you have seem to forget, or just taken out of context your entire life. There’s this thing called GRACE. Spooky, right? Yeah, the man failed. He had a high calling as a pastor and a husband, and he blew it. But if he admitted his sin, repented publicly, and chose to be humble: His slate is clean before God. He is clothed in the Righteousness of Jesus. You remind me of the Pharisees. Proud, haughty, tipping your nose at the sight of sin as if you’d never committed one. Whether you like it or not, you’re in the same boat. Ever looked lustfully at another person? Guilty! Adulterer! Ever thought ill of your neighbor? Murderer! If anyone needs to be on their knees, asking for forgiveness, and stepping down from their high horse: it’s hypocrites like yourselves.

  100. Michael says:


    That was an amazingly over the top, self righteous, judgment on a community you know nothing about.

    Yes, there is grace, yes, he is forgiven, but the question of whether he should work in the church is open for debate.

    That’s what we’ve been discussing…because discussion is part of what the church has done since it’s inception.
    Sometimes those discussions have been heated.

    Now, because I’m trying to be nice today, I won’t tell you to go do what my impulse was to tell you to go do.

    That’s grace.

  101. Michael says:


    Steve has been pretty hurt by this, but he’s always been a friend to fallen pastors.

    I’m of the opinion that TT basically took all his material from Steve and repackaged it slightly to build his own ministry.

    I guess I’m not that nice after all…

  102. j2theperson says:

    ***Still no one has given me what I asked for yesterday – any kind of scriptural reference that you are totally disqualified working with a church for messing with the Elder / Pastor qualifications.***

    I still think that–regardless of the motives of the church that has hired him–this move is just a stepping stone for Tullian to get back behind a pulpit, so I roll my eyes at it for that reason.

    Even if he never returns to the pulpit the whole thing seems tacky because it really seems like he just threw his wife under the bus.

    Where is the cushy job with the fawning web-bio for his wife and children?

  103. j2 – in divorces, I always put the fault at the feet of the husband. With that said, if I do remember correctly, she broke the vows of the marriage bond before he did. I hate to be crass, but who actually threw who under the bus?

  104. Steve Wright says:

    Last I checked a hypocrite is someone who expects a different standard from others that he does not place on himself. I doubt that is happening around here…

    It’s also a lazy charge among Christians, insulting too…

  105. OK, I can now go to bed on a note that even Steve Wright will agree. Dodgers kicked Giants butt back 6 1/2 games. 🙂

  106. Steve Wright says:

    MLD…I use the start of college football season as my barometer for any pennant races…and that is tomorrow…so good timing on the update. 🙂

  107. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    the job title comes off as a fancier variation of “development director”. Though it’s not entirely clear what that could entail from my decade in non-profit work–a director with “development” in the title could work on donor cultivation and retention and support people from behind the scenes who do the more public work raising funds for capital development projects, program activity, and things like that. Not sure that’s what TT’s going to actually be doing but based on the language of the title and having some background in the non-profit side that’s an educated guess.

    That’s not the same as consultant work because a consultant would be brought in for the perspective of not knowing the demographics of the donor base and networked associations. A director would be the one to decide whether/if a consultant might get contacted but unless there’s a crisis on donor retention or cultivation development officers in non-profit probably don’t want to rush to bring in a consultant.

  108. Matt Redmond says:

    Okay, let me ask like this:

    If a man was in charge of “development” for a non-profit and taught SS at church and cheated on his wife and then divorced her, would we then think this was a good idea? Would we think it’s a good idea to put him in this staff position?

    I’m concerned about this for two reasons. First, I’m in the PCA, so it actually can affect me and the denomination I’m a part of. Second, he is a public figure. Once you write a book (includes me) you invite scrutiny. Goes double when you appear on TV, etc. It is absurd for anyone to go so hard after a public and high-profile ministry and then not have the expectation that his actions after being removed from the pastorate are also public. His books (I’ve read, benefitted, and enjoyed them all) use his past sins all the time. To say we can’t discuss what is happening is absurd.

  109. Steve Wright says:

    “Tullian followed a founding pastor at Coral Ridge, as did I here at Willow Creek – although I did so on a much, much smaller scale. We believe that he can be of great assistance as our leaders work together to shape Willow Creek’s vision, organization, and processes for its next season of ministry.
    WtH..while not a dictionary definition, my ‘consultant’ comment was based on the first sentence above here…the idea that he has a certain experience…unique…that he can share with us and is relevant for our situation because of that experience being, to a degree, shared by this church.

    I followed a founding pastor too…..who cares.

    There are hundreds (thousands?) of pastors in the USA who could say the same thing.

    Why mention it? Why OPEN with it?

  110. Neo says:

    Isn’t Tullian PCA? This speaks tomes about how lax that particular denomination is with polity.

  111. IF, in fact, the leadership of the South Florida and Central Florida Presby churches got their heads together and signed off on ALL that happened with Tullian….

    -The move to the new church, PLUS

    -The new director position at the new church, PLUS

    -The fanfare public welcome by Tullian’s new pastor, PLUS

    – The cheerful, glowing bio talking of his love for surfing and football! with details about his family, conspicuously absent (contrast his bio to the others), PLUS

    – The social media P.R. campaign rolled out by Tullian,

    ……then they totally deserve what they get. BUT, I’m not fully convinced they have signed off on some of those details which played out *after* their decision.

    What I *think* happened is that they assumed that, like a normal and genuinely repentant person, TT would transfer quietly to his new church, with no fanfare, no social media activity, no glowing bio announcing a return to “ministry” (with the wording used for that announcement later dissected and parsed ad nauseum). And if I’m right, they’ve got a big mess on their hands.

  112. And the bigger issue, obviously, is the state of Tullian’s soul. His being lauded and put back into a ministry position* does not serve his spiritual condition. The ink’s not even dry on his divorce papers. It’s too soon, it’s too public, it’s too….. everything 🙁

    * Yes, I have seen the parsing and redefining of the words in Tullian’s new title (“Director of Ministry Development”), but in a way (rightfully so) that we would never allow with, say, emergents or postmoderns or seeker sensitives. Consistency matters…….

  113. Steve Wright says:

    As an aside, if denominations like the PCA are so different from their independent evangelical brethren when it comes to the whole personality of the senior pastor, cult of celebrity thing…then WHY does it matter when someone follows the “founding” pastor.

    For years I’ve read on this board how the pastor in CC circles is the center of it all, and how terrible this is…how most other churches have their pulpits on the side so the altar is the center etc. etc. How people are only there for the founding pastor and if he is gone, they will go. Look at how empty it is when he is on vacation…yada yada ad naseum

    So who cares who founded the church in the PCA structure? Why would it matter when that person is no longer there and why would there be some sort of unique issue in “following” the FOUNDING pastor as opposed to being the 10th pastor in a church of 100+ years of age.

    Or maybe, at least in America, there is not a lick of difference between how the celebrity is seen (and of course given special treatment when necessary under the guise of restoration) in denoms like the PCA and your average independent evangelical church. Just more likely to have a vote of likeminded enablers instead of one enabler..

    I do know this. If the Sr Pastor conference of 2014 had taken a vote and the pastors approved of Bob Coy going up to another CC church on staff for restoration purposes literally WEEKS after his fall…with the accompanied fanfare…the entire CC organization would be blasted to high heaven here and around the blogosphere.

    I think you all know it too.

  114. Josh the Baptist says:

    Bob Coy loves walks in the moonlight, reading Harry Potter, and trout fishing.

  115. j2theperson says:

    ***j2 – in divorces, I always put the fault at the feet of the husband. With that said, if I do remember correctly, she broke the vows of the marriage bond before he did. I hate to be crass, but who actually threw who under the bus?***

    I agree that if she cheated first that could possibly change the dynamic of everything in their relationship; however, at this point, the only proof we have that she did cheat is Tullian’s claim that she did. Obviously, odds are she probably did. But when a man comes out with a statement like Tullian did that was basically, “Boo hoo! This is all my wife’s fault.” I’m not inclined to view him or his future actions charitably. And, if he can blame her for the fact that he cheated on her, I’m sure she can come up with arguments as to why he is to blame for her cheating on him, but she’s been at least slightly classier throughout this whole thing in that she hasn’t aired their dirty laundry in public. And, he was the one that filed for divorce, not her–eventhough he claimed he was stepping away from ministry to focus on his marriage and family.

    Basically, he’s done nothing throughout this that would lead me to view his actions as anything less than suspicious and self-serving. It’s not something that gets my blood pressure up or that I have a big vested interest in. But this is a blog and the points of blogs are to discuss things. So, my two cents is that the guy is not to be trusted and this move on his part is just one step on an inappropriate and too quick journey back behind the pulpit. When I place his actions and responses to this scandal next to the actions and responses of other pastors to their scandals I see nothing that would lead me to believe that things will end differently with Tullian. I wouldn’t set foot in the church that just hired him, and I think the people who go to that church are naive if they don’t recognize that their leadership has just enabled an unrepentant adulterer.

  116. Josh the Baptist says:

    I have no concern at all for what his wife did nor did not do. The only reason that is even a question is because a celebrity used his adultery confession to publicly shame the mother of his children.

    No respect for that, at all.

  117. Well, I don’t know about following founding pastors but there is something to following the previous pastor. In Lutheran churches the retiring pastor leaves the church so as to not create a division for the incoming pastor.

    Steve, you did have your hands full following after a founding pastor. We all read about it on Faccebook … so perhaps there is a unique aspect.

    Following a famous founding pastor like James Kennedy I imagine has it’s own issues that could have used some special handling. (like his family still being there.)

    Anyway Steve, I think you are zeroing in on a throw away sentence in the guy’s statement.

  118. Josh the Baptist says:

    Maybe I’m being a little too vague about where I stand on this.

  119. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Even if TT’s not saying anything himself the situation is strange. The church did a PR announcement regarding the hire and it’s a position for which they’d have to roll out a red carpet just so people know what the job is.

    Some OPC folks have been concerned the PCA is dominated by personality cults since the emergence of Tim Keller, so there’s that. TT’s situation isn’t necessarily “new” in terms of people being concerned about how lax the PCA is at a practical level.

  120. Wenatchee – where can I find the PR rollout, I have been looking. Outside of the church website I saw nothing (not counting all the blog stuff afterwards. I would like to see the initial thing. Can you point me?

  121. The funny part is that when CCFL tried to help Bob Coy with his rehabilitation / restoration, the blog here blasted them.
    When Willow Creek attempts to help TT with rehabilitation / restoration, they get blasted.

    All I can assume is that some folks here are more concerned that proper punishment takes place – not rehabilitation / restoration

  122. j2theperson says:

    Because, MLD, restoration/rehabilitation always seems to include a path back behind the pulpit. How hard is it to come up with a rehab plan that does not aggrandize the adulterous pastor and set him up for a return to a position from which he will, for the rest of his life, be unqualified to fill?

  123. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’ll never put a happy face on adultery. Sorry, MLD.

  124. So Josh – does that go for ALL of the items listed in the Timothy & Titus passages.
    No return?

  125. Josh the Baptist says:

    A – See my response to Bob Sweat @ 59.

    B – Not all things from “the lists” are as easily quantifiable as “Did you have sex with that woman.”

  126. j2theperson says:

    I’m just baffled by how difficult these pastors seem to find keeping their junk in their pants. Adultery is ridiculously easy to not do. It’s like they have no impulse control at all. It’s shocking and weird.

  127. j2, since you brought it up with certainty, out of the 100,000 pastors in the US how many do you think committed a physical act of adultery this year? (I am sure that 100% failed at the Jesus standard – even the lady pastors)

  128. Not all things from “the lists” are as easily quantifiable as “Did you have sex with that woman.”

    Sure they are – How about the pastor who has a son who is an unbeliever and is in juvenile hall or even jail – does he need to resign?

    “a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.” When he resigns. can he take a job as a systems guy in a church?

  129. Josh the Baptist says:

    I don’t know the exact number,. but I am sure of at least one.

  130. j2theperson says:

    I didn’t say anything about numbers, so I don’t know why you’re asking me that question. I don’t understand why Tullian, Bob Coy, and those of their ilk have such a hard time not committing adultery. It’s not a difficult thing to avoid.

  131. Xenia says:

    I don’t know anything at all about the inner workings of the PCA but I do respect the fact that they have some kind of authoritative church government- a hierarchy- that has the power to defrock and discipline sinners. This is what has been missing in the other stories reported here on the PPhx, lack of authoritative oversight. If Kevin Labby is telling the whole truth and nuthin but the truth then the matter is under control and the rest of us can just go on about our own business.

    Yes, I find the Tweets and bio-blurb distasteful, very unbecoming of a grown man who should be silent, sober and introspective at this time. If I were Pastor Kevin I would keep a very close eye on new employee.

  132. I guess I need to sign up for Twitter like everyone else here so I know what’s happening.

  133. Xenia says:

    MLD, I look at Twitter about once every two months. It it almost 100 percent self-promotion. In fact, the only reason I even got a Twitter account was to do some self-promotion of my own, to advertise my old blog.

  134. Josh the Baptist says:

    If I have a twitter account, I don’t remember the name or the password.

  135. So how is everyone seeing TT’s self promoting tweets?

  136. Josh the Baptist says:

    Somebody links to them. Or posts them on a blog. or facebook.

  137. Josh the Baptist says:

    So here is the ultimate test of how hypocritical (or legit) this might be:

    Would they have given Tullian’s new job to a gay guy?

  138. Josh – what about my #131?

  139. The gay guy is probably unrepentant of his sin.

  140. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’ll answer that with a question: What about an adulter? Should he resign?

  141. Josh the Baptist says:

    So you wouldn’t hire a gay janitor? Because remember, that was your argument.

  142. “What about an adulter? Should he resign?”

    from the elder / pastor restrictions – Of course

    Your turn. 😉

  143. Bob says:

    1st – J2 wrote about how easy it is to not commit adultery, sadly history tell us how easy it is to do such things. Why else are there millennium old writing, rules and standards about such things. Just an opinion and not a justification.

    The thing about TT is it seems to be his notoriety has landed him a non-secular job so quickly. I ask would they have done the same for the sound booth guy/gal?

    While it’s probably a very poor example, one might remember the sons of a rather famous Levite whom decided to do things not quite right. What was God’s consequence?

    I know good old TT will show up again in the future with a new job and trophy wife, so I’m really not too worried about him. What is at stake is the integrity of those around him and that is the real issue at hand.

  144. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’m done.

    My further comments on this situation aren’t going to help anything.

    I’m sad the Tullian got snagged by two of the most obvious traps there are: sex and fame.

    Praying that God continues to keep me from those snares.

  145. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    MLD, if there wasn’t a public statement about who had what job you wouldn’t know who it was. That’s PR, too. TT could have said nothing and written nothing but the employer does have to say something, who they hired for what position.

  146. Josh, how can you be done without answering my 131. It is central to your whole case.

  147. Josh the Baptist says:

    I answered you MLD. I have no case. I wouldn’t hire the guy. Think it is terribly unwise. Thought I had made that clear. Now, I’m done with the topic. Won’t answer anything else.

  148. Pastor Al says:

    They do it for the tax-free status. Everyone’s a “minister” to avoid taxes.

  149. Well at least you are consistent if you would fire your pastor because his son is an unbeliever.

  150. Michael says:

    The reason it matters who the founding pastor was in this case is that TT replaced the most famous man in the PCA at the time, D James Kennedy.

    Following founding pastors is always awkward.

    Trying to make this a comparison with CC is ridiculous…CC’s founder was very clear that he would often restore fallen pastors and we know that he often overruled board discipline of pastors when he felt like it.

    The models are different, the processes are different, and even when outcomes are similar they were usually similar for different reasons.

    Having said all that, the PCA is still staffed by humans who can make bad and sinful choices.
    We shall see if they do this time.
    The process has barely even started.

    The ball is in TT’s court…how he plays it will tell us much about the future.

  151. Xenia says:

    Some people are concerned that his new job isn’t humble enough, or maybe menial enough. We only think this because it is the practice of many churches to post photos and puff bios of their staffs on their web sites which make it look like everybody from the custodian to the guy who runs the sound board is some kind of minister. Looks to me like he will be overseeing the church’s charitable work. Running a soup kitchen? Isn’t that what we always say we think these fallen pastors should be doing?

    He was defrocked. He’s no longer a minister of any kind even if his new church’s web site puffs up all their employees to minister status. (“Al” is probably right about the taxes.) If his church’s hierarchy wants to give him a safe place to repent where he can be overseen by clergy I for one am glad he has been given this opportunity. Everyone is salvageable. What he makes of it is entirely up to him and as I said, if I was Pastor Kevin I would keep a close eye on his activities.

  152. Em says:

    i have a hunch – dunno – that Tullian didn’t grow up in the real world… not even the real world of the Faith
    i have a hunch – dunno – that he was both a target of iconoclasts and an object of fawning sycophants
    so… to speak of humbling the man … how would that be accomplished in his world? but i pray God, it is and he comes out of it loving God even more – not just older and wiser and with a better act
    God hates pride, which makes it hard for most of us 🙂

  153. Francisco Nunez says:


    Thanks for clarifying the disciplinary structure of the Presbytery and for making the distinction between a hired staff member vs. an Elder/pastoral role. This certainly helps clarify things.

    I think that while it’s important that other churches not undermine the restoration process of another fellowship’s fallen elder by bringing him on board to serve in a pastoral role across town, I agree that a fallen shepherd needs to be able support himself and provide for his family during the long journey of restoration. Sadly many folks often want to see a fallen elder pushing shopping carts for Walmart but as someone else earlier mentioned, pastoral gifts don’t necessarily transfer well into the secular job world. While a fallen elder way never serve behind the pulpit again we certainly need to care for them especially if he is repentant. If its simply a job so be it. I also believe that just because a fallen elder is removed from the pastoral office doesn’t mean that he needs to leave the fellowship. If Christ sits on the throne in the local church then the fallen elder can and should be restored locally.

    I realize that some of us including myself come from the much smaller organic church bodies and it is often difficult to understand how the dynamics of the larger “mega churches” work. I’m realizing that many of the mega churches are large organizations with HR, accounting, and operations departments and many “employees” just like any other for profit business.

    One to thing to consider as elders when we are bringing a person on board is that spiritual leadership is a gift and the lack of a formal title doesn’t give nor limit the influence of a person. Leadership is simply the ability to influence others regardless of title or position. At the end of the day we need to ask ourselves when we bring someone on staff in the local church “are we at peace with this spiritual liability we’re making?”

  154. Steve Wright says:

    Aren’t there a ton of businesses that work in either the public or private sectors for profit or non profit that are basically in the business of helping others?

    I’m trying to figure out what pastoral “gifts” don’t transfer to the secular world (not to bash on my good friend Francisco but it is something I see written over and over again)

    The question is all the more relevant for guys who are used to public speaking, shaking hands, being kind, meeting strangers (like many of these fallen pastors and certainly TT)

    I agree that just because a guy is a pastor does not mean he could be a plumber or hang drywall…(of course he could also do like everyone else and go to school to learn a new trade if he desired)

    But to think TT or any other pastor couldn’t peddle insurance like I did for 20 years is laughable. Or any other of 1000 jobs. He might even have an easier go at it than me given his fame and abilities and willingness at self-promotion.

    So if someone has a list of the pastoral gifts that can’t be used in the marketplace I would love to see it. But loving, compassionate servants who can express themselves well is a pretty marketable skill nationwide..Selfish narcissists might have a tougher go at it though…

  155. Uriahisalveandwell says:

    Have not read through the last 12 hours of comments, so don’t know if this consideration have been mentioned yet.

    Positioning T.T. on staff may enable him to keep a roof over his head while enabling them to grow or develop their ministry staff, however, and this is a big however: What does this to have to do with the issues that led him into and then justifying his adulterous and narcissistic behaviors. Seems to me they are not qualified or equipped, nor as of this date have even mentioned that he is receiving serious long term therapy from a licensed provider. All that Throckmorten (sp?) article mentioned is that the guy being interviewed stated that T.T. appeared to be sincere in his repentance—-???? So they give him a position to work his way through that repentance, yet, to me, it’s a head scratcher, as it does not get to core of what yet needs to be addressed psychologically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, other than to say it is adultery and that he had sinned. Seems so trite and superfluous, which means the seeds that grew this will remain dormant to arise again one day.

    Total agreement with Josh and Steve W.

    Somewhere I read, not sure where, that he had been adulterous in his behavior, short of this affair he has confessed in being involved, of being quite friendly with females along the way, long before the alleged adultery committed by his wife.

    Another thought, even if it had been the Janitor, church discipline ought to be put into place. If the Janitor had stolen something, or had abused a child, or had abused his wife, being on the staff does not send a warning to others. Rather, the message is a boast that in the name of Jesus, such things will be tolerated if one just say they have sinned and they are sorry. Don’t have anything to do with true repentance and bearing evidence of such though, not does it.

    But then Michael tells us to wait and see. I tend to go with the “smoke and mirrors” knowing only too well what lies behind an adulterous and unfaithful narcissistic mindset. Hope I am wrong in this case——would be nice to see a genuine change of heart that would bears as much evidence as it did while pursuing that which caused one to fall.

  156. Francisco says:

    Steve I see your point. Looking at things closely there certainly are many gifts and talents that do transfer over to the business world or even public office.

  157. Steve Wright says:

    Frankly, there are lots of labor jobs out there that don’t take much skill at all but are just very hard work….and they usually don’t pay well…especially compared to the senior pastor of a large church.

    Humbling, hard work – little earthly reward….

    actually sounds like the perfect job for a broken child of God.

  158. Nonnie says:

    “As a significant part of this, Tullian will be helping us strengthen our connections with mercy ministries in the local community, helping us strengthen and better coordinate our efforts to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, comfort the weary, and provide other forms of mercy ministry.”

    Sounds to me like TT is going to be representing the church to the local community in ministry. Mat.25:35-36

  159. Michael says:

    Not all sin requires therapy to be repented of.

    What is being consistently ignored here is that we have already seen a public demonstration of church discipline.
    This man was defrocked and put under discipline and that was publicly announced to the world.
    He remains under discipline and any breach of that discipline will result not only in public disgust, but that of his peers and possibly even become a case in the ecclesiastical courts.

    This has been a matter of no little publicly spoken scorn by many in the PCA already.

    I would not have hired him, but there is much more to go in this process.

  160. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Laughable – build a wall around the church office to keep sinners out. All sinners proceed to the sanctuary – the office, well hat’s restrict to the sinless only. 🙂

  161. Papias says:

    MLD, Do you want to sit in the pew listening to someone who has committed adultery to preach against it?

    Not talking sinless perfection here.. talking about having some flippin standards for clergy.

    You’re better than #163.

  162. Michael says:

    I will add that my information is that this is a newly created position and the funding for it was up in the air at last report.

  163. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Paps – why just adulterers. Read my #131 and tell me what you think.

    Also, a lot of people work in the church office – none of whom will ever stand in the pulpit.

  164. Steve Wright says:

    Thank you for the #165 Michael…looking forward to further updates on that end.

  165. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    this past year we added a new staff position with nothing in the budget. We added a Director of Family & Youth

  166. Uriahisalveandwell says:

    If my memory is serving me well, part of the bio he had when serving with CC mentioned that he struggles with chronic depression. Yet was very good in administrative corporate management. Not too long ago, a welfare check was done on him given the nature of the posting he made. We also have bared witness to his justification of why he chose to do what he did regarding the trust given to him as a father, pastor, and husband, while knowing scripture and growing up in a family that goes back generations setting an example on how to serve as well as to how to love.

    Given this, it would be most beneficial if he was required to seek treatment beyond that which can possibly be addressed by this pastoral staff by token of placing him on staff. Keeping an eye on him does not reach into the heart of what needs to be addressed to enable him to come to terms and to reconcile not only with those he has harmed, but also within the self and others in present and future relationships.

  167. Papias says:

    MLD – your #131 only obfuscates the issue at hand.

    You are also assuming that TT will never be in the pulpit again. I disagree with that assumption.

  168. Michael says:

    I really can’t comment much on this…but if I went through what TT appears to have gone through in terms of his family I might have done some really stupid things as well.
    It’s going to be a long time before that guy is emotionally healthy, another reason why this position may not be a good idea.

  169. Em says:

    “Not all sin requires therapy to be repented of.” a double amen to that statement

    reading the comments above, most thought provoking and actually informative
    i am seeing a couple things more clearly – i think, dunno, tho do i?
    there are significant signs that therapy/counsel is called for in this man’s case…
    and, no matter what MLD asserts about sinners permeating the world, 🙂 Tullian very much needs to be actively employed, but outside of church… might make a great police chaplain, tho … or hospital chaplain? only half joking…

  170. j2theperson says:

    Don’t know why this guy was fired. His job was secular and he didn’t even commit adultery and was simply looking to hook up with another single person. I’m sure his actions didn’t speak to his qualification for the position for which he was hired for.

  171. Neo says:

    Just to be clear, someone else is posting as a “Neo” that is not this Neo.

  172. Neo says:

    And it stinks I just posted beneath the post that I did. Give me a break.

  173. Em says:

    Neo, you’ve given me an idea … when i post something stupid here, now i have a disclaimer …

    not saying that’s what you’re doing – not at all saying that – just sayin 🙂

    you might think about changing your handle?

  174. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    MLD – your #131 only obfuscates the issue at hand.

    Perhaps these standards are just a cultural thing. Perhaps pastors having believing and obedient kids was important back then as a qualification and today adultery is the culturally relevant one.

    Or perhaps if you are guilty of any of them, there is a path back to recovery and restoration.

    Is it OK for someone to say, my church will follow this one but not that one? And is any church worker required to have believing and obedient kids?

  175. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    To be honest I think many here are seeking punishment and not restoration. He (not just TT) must be punished first, he must follow the RCC ordinances of penance first before he is ever even thought of for a pastoral position again.

    I don’t see it in the Bible – and neither do any of you.

  176. London says:

    They withdrew his employment offer because tgey figured any guy who would send multiple pictures of his penis to someone he doesn’t know well (the single lady in question) and then follow up with a phone call when she clearly didn’t respond, is not the kind of person they want working for them.
    They made the right decision. He is not a victim. He made a bad choice and didn’t check for details (phone numbers) before acting on them. All kind of red flags.

  177. London says:

    Plus, unwillingly having to know what your co-workers “bits” look like while your sitting across the table from them in a meeting, is just gross.

  178. Jim says:

    Haven’t read all of the comments, but I’m with Josh and Steve and Matt on this.

    BTW, the active Twitter/FB handles are still “PastorTullian”.

  179. Jim says:

    Re funding-

    “I want to assure you that this is not being done at inordinate expense to Willow Creek Church. I’ve spent the last week seeking and contacting financial partners, both regionally and nationally, willing to come alongside our church family as we come alongside Tullian. I’ve been so thankful and encouraged by the response. There is work left to be done, but we have sufficient partners to move ahead.”

  180. Scott says:

    I’d like to make TT an offer.

    Find the nearest Community College in his area that offers a truck driving course. Once he goes through the 160 hour course and receives his commercial drivers license, I will hire him, drive to Florida in my semi-truck and pick him up. I will train him on my truck for a couple of months and pay him $15.00 an hour plus basic benefits.

    Once he’s ready to solo, I will hook him up with a good company and he can drive cross country. I suggest 4 or 5 years before going back into the “ministry”. His income potential will be somewhere in the 40k to 50k a year to start.

    However, ministry opportunities will be more than he can imagine! Truckers really need the message of grace he’s so well versed in!

    He will have ample opportunity to seek God all by himself for hours, days & weeks at a time and I guarantee him and his counselors he will be a changed man after several years of it.

  181. Steve Wright says:

    Jim, I had someone tell me basically the same thing…that a special offering from outside “supporters” was being raised to fund the position so nothing got cut at Willow Creek

    Frankly, I did not want to believe it.

    It would be very rare to find people who give to a church for some work who do so totally from funds they would use for themselves…in other words, Christians from OTHER churches it sounds like are paying for the expense no doubt at least in part to other ministries and churches.

    Financial partners regionally and nationally? Are these CHURCHES and MINISTRIES? So the tithes of someone appalled by this might be used to pay this support?

    I trust a similar financial effort is being made for the wife

  182. Xenia says:

    We really want to rub his nose in it, don’t we.

  183. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, how about telling the Willow Creek congregation there would be some cuts. How about the staff at Willow Creek taking a pay-cut to fund. How about saying it is coming from their savings in reserve..or the building project fund or whatever their finances might be like.

    I read that clip as to say, hey, don’t worry Willow Creek family, none of you are paying for this.

    Which of course means OTHERS are paying for it. I wonder if they know that?

    What am I saying…these aren’t evil evangelical churches doing their money deals in the dark. I am sure every national financial partner (i.e. fanboy) will announce to the congregations on Sunday, “We want you to know that YOU are paying TT to work at Willow Creek”

  184. Michael says:

    We don’t know squat about the financing at this point.
    I do know a CC pastor who put a mega church in hoc to another mega church to buy radio stations…and the congregation doesn’t know that the church they paid for is now owned by someone else.

    That one’s ok because the board approved it and the senior pastor must have heard from God.


  185. Xenia says:

    Actually Steve, I wasn’t referring to your post.

  186. Steve Wright says:

    We know what the press release says, Michael.

    Someone else is paying for TT to work at Willow Creek. The pastor “wants to assure you” of that…

    I know my point are a grief to you Michael….as you keep bringing up CC examples several years old – examples I have never once supported

    I also know that if we read Bob Coy has had extensive counseling with Greg Laurie, Mike MacIntosh and Raul Ries and they are impressed with his repentance it would go over like a lead balloon.

    I think I am going to hang with Josh now for the rest of this discussion.

  187. Xenia says:

    Ok, I’ve commented enough on a topic that is none of my business.

    Off to Colorado for a while. See you all later.

  188. Scott says:

    Enjoy the Rockies, Xenia.

  189. Michael says:

    They are not a grief to me at all…they just smell of rank hypocrisy.
    You are an adamant supporter of an organization that bragged about how they deal with fallen pastors…by restoring them.

    I’m trying to remember the last time CC actually announced that they had defrocked someone other than Coy…most of the time someone would have to read about it here.

    I can’t recall a single example of someone being under discipline with the exception of Bob Coy.

    I don’t like what this church and this presbytery have done.

    What I do like a lot is that there is a process in place, a process that no one has to read about on a blog because the denomination clearly states the actions being taken.

    I like the fact that it is wide open to public critique from other presbyteries and there is an ecclesiastical court that can be accessed as well.

    I love the fact that we all have access to the same facts and that a blogger isn’t having to risk all to find out those facts and be vilified and demonized by the group.

    I love the fact that PCA leaders are doing the blogging in some instances.

    MLD has raised some painful but important points in this mess that I have found hard to answer.

    We are so used to coverups and lies that a reasonably transparent process isn’t trusted either.

    There is much we still need to ponder in this mess…

  190. Em says:

    #78 – to be honest, MLD – i think you’re dead wrong on what you think…i haven’t read a single post that i interpreted as a desire to see the man punished… unless you equate reproof and correction with punishment? everything discussed here is about restoration and rehabilitation
    ‘course, if you’re equating sorrow and anger over the pastor’s behavior …?… well, sin usually does equal punishment as, by definition (mine anyway), sin is destructive

  191. Em says:

    #193 reference … make that number number 178, not 78

  192. j2theperson says:

    ***They withdrew his employment offer because tgey figured any guy who would send multiple pictures of his penis to someone he doesn’t know well (the single lady in question) and then follow up with a phone call when she clearly didn’t respond, is not the kind of person they want working for them.
    They made the right decision. He is not a victim. He made a bad choice and didn’t check for details (phone numbers) before acting on them. All kind of red flags.***

    Exactly. And yet committing adultery and blaming your wife about it doesn’t send up all kinds of red flags? This young guy did something really stupid, but something that was far less harmful than what Tullian has done, but his secular employer had the good sense to rescind their offer. Tullian causes a lot of harm to his family and gives the PCA a big black eye with his behavior and he’s almost immediately offered some kind of ministry position? Uncool. I don’t understand what it is with religious people not being able see the big red flags in situations like this.

  193. Scott says:

    Michael, you mentioned DJ Kennedy and his stature within the PCA. I wonder what his daughter Jennifer thinks about how things have turned out in this whole TT debacle at Coral Ridge?

    In case anyone isn’t familiar with how things went down after her father’s death, a little internet search will reveal that the way TT is being treated here compared with the way she and her contingency were handled back in the day, is night and day.

  194. Michael says:

    Scott, that’s nonsense.
    That group tried to ruin TT before he could even get started because he was no longer going to be the Vatican for right wing Christian politics.

  195. Scott says:

    Ooops. Sorry about that, Michael. I forgot you’re a dyed in the wool liberal now. Any mention of what Jennifer might think or feel about about this whole matter is irrelevant.

    Carry on.

  196. Scott – the true story there wasn’t about politics at all. By rule they put things up to vote. Her contingency lost like 75 / 25. But being the bosses daughter she felt entitled and took the route of sabotage when TT showed up.

    She was trouble from the beginning.

  197. Michael says:

    I am not a dyed in the wool liberal. I object to any political influence in the church.

  198. Donner says:

    MLD, I’m not gonna let that one slide. Jennifer Kennedy was not trouble from the beginning (BTW, where is all the nice grace-talk that you shower on TT when it comes to Jennifer?).

    You are wrong in this.

  199. Donner – I have not showered any grace on TT that I don’t shower on all. The point was, her group lost and refused to accept it without a fight.

    So are you saying that she did not lose the vote by approximately the margin I stated and that she still fought it?

  200. Rebekah says:

    Bob, I really appreciated your #55. I am glad that you found grace. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. When one of my loved ones fell, (an emotional affair as opposed to anything physical) he was condemned and so was his wife. Nothing was ever the same with the leadership in that church. He was not ordained in that church, but rather in the denomination, but taught School of Ministry classes at the church. There was no plan for restoration, reconciliation, no counseling for he or his wife. They had to go through one of the most difficult times of their lives alone. The social inviations suddenly ceased as well. Attempts of his wife to go out for a cup of coffee with the pastor’s wife were ignored. They finally after several years left that church and that denomination; and have found a new church to worship. He was upfront with the new pastor, and the pastor showed him grace. He is not in ministry in the new church, but he does lead a Bible study. So, I guess I see both sides. Yes, no one sins in a vacuum, and I can’t imagine the pain the wife is going through. But to throw away these men like yesterday’s trash, like what happened to my loved one, is not God’s heart either. I shudder when I read comments like “maybe after 20 years, he can be a pastor again”. Harsh, I think. I’ve never seen my loved one cry so much in the days right afterward, and then again when years later, feeling the condemnation of leadership and friends in the church. Just my thoughts.

  201. Em says:

    FWIW and old lady’s memory isn’t worth much… MLD is correct, i think as i recall reading awhile back (before this problem being discussed became news) that Tullian was quite concerned, upset might be closer to what i read – rethinking the wisdom of taking on the pastorate there because of the attacks from a segment of Coral Ridge’s congregation – that is why i wondered to what extent some of the church might be culpable, creating the stresses that led to the break up, or break down, of the Tchividjian home

  202. Em says:

    my parting petty shot tonight… relevant to nothing… wasn’t D.James Kennedy a dance instructor at Arthur Murray or somewhere before he got the call? not sayin he wasn’t a good minister of the gospel… just that the world is strange and getting stranger… 3 simultaneous cat. 4 hurricanes march past Hawaii all at one time? yes, the world is definitely coming to an end … oh, i forgot it’s coming at the end of September, so we may as well think about October in Eternity …?… that would be cool – at my age, it could happen, irregardless

    God keep all close

  203. em, if you want to know what it is like check up on those who immediately followed WA Criswell at First Dallas.

  204. Scott says:

    Michael & MLD, okay, if you say so.

  205. Donner says:

    I’ll restate what I said: I take issue with you characterizing Jennifer as trouble from the beginning. In this you are mistaken.

    FWIW, I did not “read” about what happened at Coral Ridge. I was there, as a member, when all this went down. I voted for Tullian to come, and after he showed his true colors from the pulpit, I voted to recall him.

    It was not a secret ballot, and Tullian’s crew savagely visited retribution on those who voted against TT. This I know for a fact.

    Usually, what people hear or read these days about that time is Tullian’s account, perspective, or recollection parroted in media.

  206. Steve Wright says:

    They are not a grief to me at all…they just smell of rank hypocrisy.
    There was a time, Michael, when you did not join the chorus of those who said my insistence on staying in CC meant I had no right to speak against scandal elsewhere. That either I need to quit my affiliation and pull our church out of CC, or just shut up.

    You bring up old years old scandals like Bond and Kestler and I again make clear my disgust. You bring up Chuck’s famous words about restoration and I say I disagree with Chuck.

    You call my posts hypocritical, the exact charge that guy visiting the blog the other night made that you jumped all over.

    What I have been doing is to show that the glorified process that is underway sure looks like preferential treatment just as for an evangelical celebrity. Apparently, judging by this thread, I am not alone – as many people without the dreaded CC taint have said the same thing.

    As I have said from the beginning….if the PCA will show us their other examples of restoration of adulterous defrocked pastors with paid staff positions within 2 months then I’ll retract my opinion that this is preferential treatment for a celebrity pastor.

    Now find a way to respond to this post with a Skip Heitzig reference and we can call it a day.

  207. Steve Wright says:

    Usually, what people hear or read these days about that time is Tullian’s account, perspective, or recollection parroted in media.
    Donner, the winners always write the history books.

    That’s why I appreciate MLD’s reference as an eyewitness when Skip first came to California – and what changes were made and how people were treated etc.

    There I made the Skip reference myself…

  208. Scott says:

    “It was not a secret ballot, and Tullian’s crew savagely visited retribution on those who voted against TT. This I know for a fact.”

    Doesn’t like grace to me….

  209. Scott says:

    Sound like grace that is.

  210. Michael says:


    You were the one who started a defense of your system as opposed to this one.
    You always make it about me and you and this thread has nothing to do with the ever growing animosity between us.
    Those “old scandals” have repercussions to this day…you minimized what Bond getting a position at CCCM meant…because you had no contact with the people to whom it was another kick in the gut to.
    You claimed this your inquiries “grieved” me…when in reality they do not.
    Your minimizing of the continuing damage done by “old scandals” in a system that I have no evidence at all of being changed…that grieves me.

    The night before I printed this article I blew up TT with one of my most withering blasts ever on Twitter and Facebook.

    Despite every effort by you and others to paint me as a TT apologist, I’ve tried to make myself clear otherwise, while giving us all an opportunity to think these things through.

    Someone who knew the system better than myself was very gracious and helped me write this one to inform people of a whole different perspective on the matter.

    I thought then and I think now it was valuable.

    Finally, I know that many outside our community have been reading and taking notes on all of this, meaning that we are helping a lot of people think things through.

    I’m happy with what has happened here.
    I don’t really give a damn if you are or not.

  211. Michael says:

    One last thing before I’m done.
    This process isn’t over.
    There are still things that can be seen and examined by all concerned and if this has been as grave a mistake as many think it is…correction can be made.

    It’s not a perfect system, but it’s a hell of a lot better than no system at all.

  212. Michael says:


    Do you remember the name of that book by the poor guy who followed Criswell?
    That was a classic…

  213. Steve Wright says:

    There is a huge difference between saying one’s support for the PCA process here means one ought to support CC examples. That’s not been said at all.

    What has been said is that one’s criticism of the CC examples ought to lead to similar criticism here…as the circumstances are very similar.

    Here’s another distinction with a difference.

    It’s good to have a Calvary Chapel pastor on this blog who is outspoken about integrity in Calvary Chapel.

    It’s good to have a Calvary Chapel pastor on this blog who is outspoken about integrity in the Church.

    (And you keep mentioning our so-called animosity causing me to get rebukes from people to “work it out” when as I have told you before, anytime you want to share our email exchanges with a 3rd party for impartial judgement I am fully agreeable…in fact I WELCOME it.)

    I will take my leave of the TT discussion now…but I am going to join the other 107,000 followers of @PastorTullian so he can keep me informed…

  214. Joel Gregory – “Too Great A Temptation: the Seductive Power of America’s Super Church”

    I was SBC at the time.

  215. In defense of Steve, we need to be considerate that he is so open about being a CC pastor. It is then too easy to take swipes at CC and aim them in his direction. I know what it is like to be open about your church identity – which most here are not. It’s like when I say something that is non Lutheran but may be controversial – someone will come on and say “yeah, but Luther wanted to kill all the Jews.

    So let Steve say what he has to say without somehow lumping him with others.

  216. Now to whack Steve. First the PCA has not done anything. Two of their Florida districts have. But that is their business. Why do you think that the PCA owes you any explanation of what they do in cases like these?

    What if they came back and said they have done this for 10 former pastors would you accept that and stand down or would you go after more raising the issue “why not all?” As you can see, it’s a no win no matter what they do.

  217. Scott says:

    I just read the comments on Warren’s blog from the post he did of the email exchange with the Willow Creek pastor.

    Some really good comments and observations were made over there.

    One particular commenter named this_is_jenny (not sure if that’s exact) made one of the most compelling arguments against TT being being placed on the church staff there I’ve read yet.

    MLD is becoming too big for his britches. I think most of this being brought on by the Dodgers pulling away from my Giants.

  218. Steve Wright says:

    What if they came back and said they have done this for 10 former pastors would you accept that and stand down
    100% yes. If the situations were the same…very public fall…defrocked, adultery, divorced, only a few weeks later being put on paid staff, at a created position at another church.

    Absolutely. If they do that for the nobodies, then they are just being consistent.

  219. Sinner and Saint says:

    Steve, you’re right they would never do for a nobody what they’re doing for TT. Part of me is bothered by that…as one who was a nobody pastor and had no one come to my rescue when I needed help it makes me jealous but when I’m thinking rightly I rejoice that he’s being treated well (whether he deserves it or not).

  220. brian says:

    Sinner is making the point I was trying to make, there is not a possibility this would be done for one of the non-professionals in the industry lateral transfers are only for mid-level management or higher. Oh and all the redemption restoration nonsense, that’s all bronze age ramblings and has nothing at all to do with the modern “faith”.

  221. Some good comments after I went to bed last night

    1.) Scott makes a good point – we should evaluate church decisions by blog comments.
    2.) Steve – too many “ifs” in your 100% acceptance.
    3.) Saint and Sinner – you do good to point out that fallen pastors or unjustly treated pastors do need someone to come to their rescue. Because it has not happened in the past or not often enough doesn’t mean that it should be chopped down when it does happen.
    4.) brian is right – redemption and restoration were only for biblical times and apparently, in reading the blogs has no space in the modern church.

  222. j2theperson says:

    *** I am going to join the other 107,000 followers of @PastorTullian so he can keep me informed***

    Wait a minute. He hasn’t changed his twitter handle that gives him the title “Pastor”? And there are people out there who still think he’s not plotting a return to the pulpit? As I said earlier, “Fool me once shame on you; fool me 264 times shame on me.”

  223. Steve Wright says:

    What if they came back and said they have done this for 10 former pastors
    My “ifs” simply define your “this” in the question you asked me. The devil is in the details MLD.

    That’s what makes it so outrageous to many of us…as you see, I’m not alone in the assumption of special treatment. This isn’t about being against redemption. That’s like those who throw around the “grace” word in other scandals..very off the mark.

    I emailed you back by the way….I’m out the rest of the day

  224. Steve Wright says:

    Correct j2…

  225. Steve – I replied to your reply 🙂 Have a good day out.

  226. Em says:

    “4.) brian is right – redemption and restoration were only for biblical times and apparently, in reading the blogs has no space in the modern church.”

    doesn’t it seem that all times should be “biblical?” …?… 🙂

  227. Scott says:

    So, according to MLD if someone is not part of a particular church polity as a voting member or leader, your comments or evaluation of a very public matter like TT are meaningless.

    In other words, shut your pie hole.

    Unless you agree with his perspective.


  228. Em says:

    this is an interesting “incident” on so many levels – i am just beginning to realize that the church, over the decades, had evolved into something so collegiate … each discipline-so-called operating in their own vacuum … then along comes the internet … opening doors and windows too long shut, perhaps … dunno

  229. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Scott, LOL 🙂 – step off the ledge – aren’t you trying to sway a church body (of which you have no skin in their game) to change their mind through blogging? I think that is what this_is_jenny is doing (I haven’t read her stuff.)

    So, should a church read the blogs to make decisions?

  230. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I guess the big question is – anyone here who is involved in their own church, are you going to allow ‘outsiders’ to determine your decisions? (well the seeker sensitive churches do, but that’s another story.)

    Shouldn’t the PCA governing bodies whoever they are, large or small be offended that their methods of discipline come under question by people who only show interest on hot topics? When was the last time anyone here looked into or investigated any of the the PCAs actions?

  231. Bob says:

    “well the seeker sensitive churches do, but that’s another story.”

    That’s utter garbage!

    All leaders want their message to be heard and the language of the culture determines how the people hear.

    While I am not part of a “seeker sensitive” church I do believe the church must ( and it’s biblical) be able to communicate, live with and teach in a way relevant to the culture at hand. How pointless it is to speak in syntax of God when no one can understand a word of what is said. Think Latin in an English speaking community.

  232. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Bob, read up on how Rick Warren started up Saddleback. It was pre blog but the same thing. He went and asked people why they don’t go to church – got the answers and gave it to them.

    So, the blogs (ooops, culture) told him what the church how it should be, instead of the church telling them what they should be. But if you think it is syntax…

  233. j2theperson says:

    ***aren’t you trying to sway a church body (of which you have no skin in their game) to change their mind through blogging?***

    I don’t know about Scott, but I’ve posted because it is a topic of conversation on this blog and I like talking about stuff here. I have no illusions that anything I say here will make Willow Creek or Tullian change their minds or course about anything. But, I can offer my perspective and people who are reading it can take it for what it’s worth. If a person going to a church that does what Willow Creek has done only hears people say that what was done was good and right while they themselves have doubts and misgivings about it then they might ignore what their gut and spirit is telling them and think that they’re wrong and lacking spiritual insight and just suck it up and stay at an unhealthy church. But, if there are other people out there voicing concerns at least they know they aren’t alone and will be more emboldened to leave or take whatever steps they might feel is necessary to respond to the situation.

  234. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    J2 – aren’t those voicing comments in favor doing the same thing – trying to sway opinion.

    My point really is that perhaps church leadership should not read blogs when making decisions.

  235. Em says:

    looking at adultery from the perspective of a spouse… one time/first time and repentant? let’s work on the problem… however, unrepentant/implacable/second time – sorry you’re outta here … seems to me that should be a standard for a pastor also – IMHO – dunno

  236. Scott says:

    From the link Michael posted at #238:

    The consensus of church history argues strongly that pastoral adultery disqualifies the minister. Lutheran historian Carl A. Volz categorically states in Pastoral Life and Practice in the Early Church that the church debarred pastors from public ministry “through moral lapse” and “heresy.” He notes that ordination did not protect presbyters: what was conferred could be removed. The noted second-century presbyter, Hippolytus, powerfully assailed immorality among church leaders and insisted on their immediate removal from office. The early second-century document The Teaching of the Apostles states that the one who had been ordained but subsequently disobeyed God’s Word should be disqualified, because the man had lied in taking his vows of loyalty and purity before Christ and his church. Such a violation of ordination vows was seen as an egregious breach of the third commandment.

    The same views were held by the Protestant Reformers. Calvin, in The Register of the Company of Pastors, prescribes: “In order to obviate all scandals of conduct it will be needful to have a form of discipline for ministers … to which all are to submit themselves. This will help ensure that the minister is treated with respect and the Word of God is not brought into dishonor and scorn by the evil fame of ministers. Moreover, as discipline will be imposed on him who merits it, so also there will be no need to suppress slanders and false reports that may unjustly be uttered against those who are innocent.”

  237. Scott says:

    And again, which is what Josh was saying for two days. Refusing to restore someone like TT to the ministry is not hanging him with noose around his neck.

    “The fallen minister who confesses sin, seeks God’s grace, and desires to remain in fellowship with the church of Christ, must be welcomed and received as any fallen Christian. He must be forgiven as Jesus commands (Matt. 18:22). But forgiveness and restoration to the fellowship of the church does not mean the former minister now meets the qualifications for holding the office of pastor/elder.

    The church is not to punish the repenting man who has fallen. But refusing to return him to the role of pastoral ministry is not punishment. To remove a fallen minister is to honor Christ’s holy standards; it is to follow the wise counsel and pattern of leaders over the centuries; it is to protect the man himself and his family; and it is to guard the church body, loved so dearly by the Chief Shepherd.”

  238. Michael says:

    I’m going to say this one more time.
    The TGIF was not about this situation.
    I respect Josh much and agree with him for the most part.

  239. Scott says:

    It’s cool, Michael. I am just drawing attention to some of the very good and sound teaching extracted from the link you posted.

  240. Em says:

    #240 & 41 – words to really take seriously and think on, glad you posted them, Scott…

    law and grace … righteousness and justice, the holiness of God reconciled with His love at such a cost … i’m beginning to see that our attempt, in the last hundred years or so, to increase the head-count of professing Christians by charisma rather than sound teaching … is even affecting our understanding of God as an absolute

  241. Em says:

    “sound teaching” a phrase in 2 successive posts – hmm…

  242. em,
    “i’m beginning to see that our attempt, in the last hundred years or so, to increase the head-count of professing Christians by charisma rather than sound teaching …”

    You can’t increase the head count with sound teaching either. That would imply that people don’t go to church or are not Christians because they do not have enough information. The theory is ‘give them enough information and they will believe. It doesn’t work that way.

  243. Em says:

    no, MLD, you are correct that sound teaching doesn’t persuade those who are not searching, but then do Madison Avenue techniques persuade people who are searching for redemption or just a better way of life? if we keep it not too challenging, just ‘believe’ in Jesus and give lip service to the Faith, folks WILL get a better way of life – a new religion – if they’re not too far over the edge already … maybe, it all settles and evens out in the end … dunno

  244. Hugh McBryde says:

    I contend we haven’t seen repentance, until we know with whom Tullian fell. Furthermore, we can’t know that repentance has occurred until we know with whom his soon-to-be-ex-wife Kim fell. The simple fact is that Church discipline would have expose these things in a fashion broad enough that these facts would be out there. Since I am not of the PCA, and
    therefore not of Coral Ridge, I in particular do not have any business knowing.

    Nevertheless, not being able to find out means that the PCA and Coral Ridge haven’t done their job, and I can criticize them for that failure, and by inference state that we haven’t seen Tullian repent.

    For rhetorical purposes, I submit the following: Was Tullian’s “lover” even a woman? You see, we don’t know what he did, do we, unless we are told with WHOM he did it.

  245. Cherie says:

    Today, I was searching for Pastor Danny Bond as I was wondering where he is now. I used to attend Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa primarily, but attended Pacific Hills Church sometimes to hear Pastor Danny as he was such a great teacher and the worship band was incredible. I heard about what Danny did and was disappointed for his family, but he too is only human and stumbled. Does anyone have an update on him?

  246. Michael says:


    Try looking under rocks or around old wood piles.

    Bond is on his third wife at last count, I believe, but his first family still suffers the repercussions of his actions.

    Mao was a good teacher too…

  247. Hugh McBryde says:

    Your actions speak louder than your words. Being on your third wife, unless the first two DIED presents a bad image. It INVARIABLY impacts the children which makes you appear to be a bad manager of your own household. All of these things make you appear to be a hypocrite to the rank and file in your church and the watching world outside. I, for instance, can count myself blameless in my divorce. I did zero to merit it. A divorce though, as Michael states, has repercussions. Without going into detail, for certain sins there is no way to distribute blame. If (for example) someone “cheats” and/or leaves, there’s nothing you can do about it. If that SOMEONE then blames their partner, convinces the family, and tears it apart, what have you got left? A lousy picture, that’s what you have. I strongly believe that one of the reasons for having the requirements of office for an Elder in a church, be it ruling or teaching, is plain old good appearances. We of course want MORE than that, we want good teachers and doers of the word. We want real Christian men of faith maturity and knowledge, but we also have to face the fact that no one has a “right” to the ministry and sometimes you just don’t present the picture to the outside world that you need to present. I’m not convinced Tullian for instance, has learned this. Based on Danny Bond being married to three women, offhand I’d say he hasn’t either. I can state that my divorce drove a huge wedge between myself and my children. I don’t think I should be spending a good portion of my time explaining to people how it is they don’t understand that it wasn’t my fault. People fall. When they’re not, they often present a convincing image that they have, even when they haven’t. Both conditions cloud the witness of a public person. Just imagine for instance that Donald Trump were applying to be your pastor. It may turn out that he has real and perfectly good justifications for all of us apparent personal errors. You can’t ever move that cloud aside, it’s there forever.

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