Tullian Tchividjian Out for Moral Failure: Updated

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117 Responses

  1. Paige says:

    There is none righteous, no not one.

    Praying for him, his family, the church….. for grace, hope and peace…..
    Praying for the cannibals to show restraint.

  2. Michael says:


    Amen…this is going to be very ugly.

  3. Michael says:

    Tullian has been removed from the Coral Ridge staff directory, but no statement has come out of the church.
    This is the quietest I’ve ever seen social media on such a big story.
    Tullian is tweeting his experience and that’s a bit odd…

  4. Nonnie says:

    This is so sad. Praying for he and his family and for the folks in his church.

  5. Captain Kevin says:


  6. Captain Kevin says:

    Amen to Paige’s prayer points! I’ve been enjoying Tullian’s writings. This is just so sad.

  7. em says:

    amen to every word of Paige’s prayer…

    praying the Church today matures to where we celebrate God’s Truth, and that we get over looking for superior men – there is only one celebrity – Jesus Christ

  8. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The funny part is this has been his message – there are none righteous, there are no superior men, there is no making ourselves better. The only thing we can do is come to the cross daily, moment by moment and ask forgiveness … for everything.

    As I said, the sole purpose Jesus had in saving us, was to forgive our sin – because we can’t get away from it.

  9. Ryan Couch says:

    This sucks. And Michael you’re right, this is going to get ugly and brutal. Tullian and his message of grace for the Christian has/had been a drink of cold water during many years of struggle in the ministry. I’m grateful to God for him, may his message continue…

  10. Michael says:


    They will blame his theology.
    Count on it.

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Hey Ryan,
    “I’m grateful to God for him, may his message continue…”

    His message will continue because it is not his message – it’s Jesus’ message. Many people, especially in the church always have a problem with Jesus’ message.

  12. Ryan Couch says:

    Michael, yes they will.

    MLD, I’m thankful that it’s Jesus’ message, very thankful.

  13. Bryan Stupar says:

    I echo #5

  14. em says:

    #s 10 & 11 amen

    the only dumb thing that i see, that is the genesis of where we are now was keeping mum, sweeping spsecifics under the rug with a general confession of “i am a sinner” … ego rationalized as discretion? my theory on David was that he told himself that he had to protect Bathsheba’s reputation… dunno

    was it wrong for the BGEA to keep such close tabs on Tullian’s grandfather Billy? They watched him 24/7 when he was on the road at least… was Billy more holy? maybe more humble – dunno

  15. dswoager says:

    I almost hope that the response to this is truly brutal. It seems that a wolf is never quite so easy to identify than when they bare their teeth.

    Having little to no details on what has happened, I pray that all involved can be sensitive to the Lord’s leading, and find a place of reconciliation. Whatever that might eventually look like.

  16. Donner says:

    Saddened to read this, but not surprised. I was a member of CRPC in 2009 when Tullian came. I witnessed and experienced his abuse of power firsthand. Yes, I use the word, abuse, intentionally. I’ve been hesitant to post here of my experience because of Tullian’s many fans here. But whenever I saw his name, the anger resurfaced. I was going to post yesterday but decided not to.

    When I left CRPC, the Lord led me to CCFTL. And we all remember last year when Bob Coy’s “moral failure” was exposed. Sadly, I witnessed the same drunkeness with power in Bob and Tullian. I still attend CCFTL (and I am still waiting for news of Bob’s repentance). This weekend, for Father’s Day, Bob Barnes from Sheridan House preached. Barnes, by some accounts, was at least partially involved in confronting Bob Coy last year. How grievous that on this year’s Father’s Day, another pastor has fallen.

    I take no pleasure in Tullian’s downfall but neither do I defend him. I have seen his true colors and now many more people will see them as well. I am grieved for our local Body of Christ as yet again, South Florida Christians must endure scandal that besmirches our Lord’s name. Please, PxP members, as you have read and know about the terrible pain and destruction caused by spiritual abuse, please, please pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ here in South Florida. Thank you for your mercy.

  17. Rick says:

    May God grant a glad repentance for all involved–was struck this morning by 1st Corinthians 13: 5. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Jesus is better than we think He is.

  18. Rick says:

    grammatical deficit: a glad repentance to all involved

  19. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    ” I am grieved for our local Body of Christ as yet again, South Florida Christians must endure scandal that besmirches our Lord’s name.”

    Why do we think this “besmirches our Lord’s name”? This is what I argue against.
    1.) Christian folks think that other Christians should be sin free (or at least keep it undercover) lest the outside world know that Christians sin. I thought the bumper sticker said that we weren’t perfect – just forgiven?

    2.) Christians make up this man made facade to the non Christian world – “if you will become a Christian you too will have your life turned around, correct your behavior and you too will be a good person.

    Then both the Christian of man made standards and the non Christian are shocked that a Christian sin. The Christian is embarrassed because God’s name has been “besmirched” (a falsehood and an impossibility) and the non believer has been given to excuse to stay away from the faith – not by the sin or fall, but because of the failure of the man made standard.

    Why can’t Christians be honest and tell the world that what God provides is not external goodness – but a solution to your ongoing problem.

    Tullian’s fall should be one more reason for the church to celebrate God – not be embarrassed that he has been besmirched

  20. em says:

    i am not disillusioned by what has come to light here… Tullian T. is just what i thought he was… what i hope will be proven to be true is that he wasn’t up there teaching really basic, strong truth and doing it so well in the midst of an ongoing affair… I hope he was in the midst of transacting with our Lord according to John 8:11
    “I beat my wife this morning, but no matter as I am a sinner … our topic for the morning is grace.” … we can’t step over our Lord’s words to the sinner, “go and sin no more.”

  21. Donner says:

    MLD, you raise valid points. None of your points applies to my comment.

    The Lord’s name is besmirched among His enemies. Unbelievers have cause to scoff at Christ because of what one of His servants has done. They scoff and mock in unbelief, but they scoff and mock nonetheless.

    When Nathan confronted David about his sins with Bathsheba and Uriah, he made this exact point: 2 Samuel 12, verse 14.

    “However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the Lord’s enemies to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.”

  22. Josh the Baptist says:

    Truth or Sunday School answer..?…

    I figure I’ll go with the truth.

    This makes me very mad. Men, ESPECIALLY pastors, you don’t have to sleep with women who aren’t your wife. You don’t don’t have to do it. True, all the examples we are seeing make it seem like a mythical feat, but honestly, it’s not even that difficult to avoid. These guys are starting to convince me that the evolutionists are right, because we certainly act like a bunch of animals. I hope it was worth it. I hope it was worth trading it all in for a few minutes of pleasure. Congrats to Tullian, he’s the latest idiot in a long line of idiots.

  23. Josh the Baptist says:

    Woah….AND he threw his wife under the bus?

    Very classy there Tullian.

  24. Donner says:

    #20, good post, em.

  25. Donner says:

    After reading Tullian’s statement, I stand by my comment that his true colors would be revealed. Tullian did the unveiling himself.

  26. Scott says:

    Man, we are messed up people. He discovers his wife is having an affair, so, he goes out and has affair himself for comfort? Good Lord, man.

  27. That Guy Over There says:

    I’m going to reference something I heard Two different pastors teach recently.

    1. Elijah revived food from Ravens… Unclean birds

    2. Judas was sent by Jesus to cast out demons and proclaim the kingdom.

    The point being that if God has chosen to minister to his people via an “unclean thing”, that doesn’t invalidate the ministry… God is dealing with TT like he removed Bob Coy, Driscoll and a host of others. He won’t be mocked, but his correction doesn’t mean that he won’t be gracious to minister to his people.

    Whatever TT said or preached, if it was the word of God and gospel, isn’t less true because he fell to temptation. If anything, it he grace (and correction) of God is more true than ever for him right now.

  28. Andrew says:

    I’m glad Tullian resigned so God can deal with him. However, I find the timing of the article about him in GTY suspicious. http://www.gty.org/blog/B150617.

    It sounds like maybe the GTY folks may have had some inside info on this and ran this story to expose him ahead of time for his theology. If that is the case, I am wondering who really has a bigger problem here.

  29. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Scott, you would be 100% correct if you had just left your comment at “Man, we are messed up people.”

  30. Scott says:

    MLD, it’s just a manner of speech 😉

  31. Michael says:


    # 19 might be the best thing you ever wrote here.
    I may use it again tomorrow…

  32. em says:

    “who am i to throw stones” – we’re all sinners…
    not to be missed is the fact that after the ones ready to throw stones had walked away, the transaction wasn’t over…
    our Lord addressed the poor woman in John’s 8th ch. not only by telling her that He didn’t condemn her for her sinful way, but she was urged by God to stop… it troubles me when we are so bent on confessing we are sinners that we can’t then get up and attempt to walk a better walk… if someone stops me from sinning, they haven’t stopped me from being a sinner it’s true, but they have done God’s work – helping me to not act out… IMV

  33. em says:

    ““Several days ago, Pastor Tullian admitted to moral failure, acknowledging his actions disqualify him from continuing to serve as senior pastor or preach from the pulpit, and resigned – effective immediately.”

    okay, looks like it’s done and over as far as we are concerned – maybe, we should have been praying harder and much earlier than now, though… whenever God’s Word is declared with power, the devil takes note

  34. covered says:

    Josh, I picked up on the same thing re his wife. It seems as though he is saying that because of his pain from finding out about his wife’s infidelity, he committed the same sin. Had he never mentioned what his wife was doing and allowed that bit of information to surface on it’s own, I would have bit more respect for him. No one wins here and this is very sad indeed.

  35. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    em, you mentioned earlier that Billy Graham’s people had to set up safeguards to prevent sin. Doesn’t that show that BG was just as big a sinner as all of us that he needed special action to keep the physical manifestation that was already going on in his mind, soul and heart?

    The woman in John 8 was not “urged” by Good to stop – she was commanded … and I doubt she was capable of following such commanded and lived a full life of sin – as I do.

  36. Xenia says:

    From the church’s statement:

    “The Leadership of Coral Ridge remain committed to promoting the transforming power of the Gospel.”

    What do you suppose they mean by “transforming”?

  37. Laura Scott says:

    In my opinion, Tulian’s mention of his wife’s sin could potentially be used to pave his way back into the pulpit. It reads as someone looking for sympathy rather than compassion.

    In our sympathetic (also known a politically correct) mindsets, we would be less likely to look for or demand a restoration process which could be lengthy and would not necessarlity guarantee a return to the pastorate.

    Even in a confession, sin can abound.

  38. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I’ll go with transforming people from children of death, darkness and the devil to people of life light and the Son of God.

    I ill guess you may thing going from bad behavior to good behavior. 😉

  39. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Laura has it – “Even in a confession, sin can abound.”

    I said a couple of weeks ago I confess as sin almost all of my good works … because of motive.

  40. Xenia says:

    I ill guess you may thing going from bad behavior to good behavior<<<

    Yes, that would certainly be included.

  41. Xenia says:

    I am not going to back down from my belief that as a Christian walks with Christ he becomes a better human person.

  42. Xenia says:

    Well, I am not going to argue. Somehow MLD has made this guy’s fall a victory for Christianity and I’m not terribly interested in repeating all the things I said the past few days.

  43. Xenia says:

    You all were not so gracious when Bob Coy fell.

    Of course, he was from the odious Calvary Chapel and this TT fellow preached a message that some of you find attractive.

  44. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well I want to be clear that I think Tullian’s actions are not excusable or acceptable. But I think that on a social and societal level. We don’t treat our spouses that way.

    Se, I can out moralize anyone here in this area. I have never kissed or romantically touched another woman but my wife – ever. I am almost muslim in this area – I do not touch other women outside of female family member – I don’t even shake hands with other women – in fact I rarely shake hands with men.

    My policy long before becoming a Christian. By the way, those of you who do the things I mentioned, I find to be perverts. 😉

  45. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    ” Somehow MLD has made this guy’s fall a victory for Christianity ”

    The context was the forgiveness of God, and the sentence right before before spoke of God’s solution to our ongoing problem.

    Yes, that is reason for celebration – in fact I celebrated my confession of sin and God’s absolution even this very morning.

    Some may have celebrated their ongoing better behavior at the altar this mornig – but not me and my churchmates.

  46. Linda Pappas says:

    Matthew Chapter 7

    12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

    Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

    14 Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    It is not a matter of not being able to change and correct your behavior. It has to do with the condition of your heart and how it remains in rebellion vs. being obedient as you choose to become more like Jesus. This is an internal change that goes on—one that takes place as a result of being born again and filled with the Holy Spirit. Not something done out of legalism or earning your way or your salvation. It is a supernatural phenomena that cause the person to seek and to do that which God has ordained, purpose, and put into place via that through His grace made available to all who truly surrender their hearts to Him.

    Matthew Chapter 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

    18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

    Matthew Chapter 15

    7 [Ye] hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

    8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me.

    9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.

    10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:

    So once again, had not the Pastor been exposed, would he had gone on as if this was not occurring?????? Don’t even think God wasn’t ticked off and in this He used those that could and would bring this “pastor” to an account. At the same time loving them enough to give an opportunity to make right the wrongs committed against one another and those they used to act out their unfaithfulness and those things that it was seated upon. All praise, glory, and honor belongs to the Lord. And then to those who will support them in their endeavors to heal and to reconcile their marriage.

  47. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It makes you wonder what people need to do to confess sin – say “sorry” what ever you want to call it. In America today, if someone make a racial comment in conversation, they are not allowed to say “sorry” – no, they must be fired from their job and shunned by society.

    The reason pastors have advisers is to help them see in their blind spot. So it took a while for Tullian to have his come to Jesus moment.

    King David lived in his sin for probable many more months than Tullian before his adviser confronted and convinced him. From David I don’t know that we have any immediate public confession in the Jerusalem post and their wasn’t even any talk of him resigning his postion as King.

    Tullian has both resigned his position and interviewed for an article in the Washington Post…. and that is not good enough.

  48. Donner says:

    Pray for the discernment of the Lord. Compare Coral Ridge’s statement to The Village’s statement(s) to Mars Hills’ statement(s) to Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale’s statement to Ergun Caner’s statement to SGM’s statement to …. Well you get the point.

    (No wonder Michael needs a vacation.)

    In my opinion, both Tullian’s and Coral Ridge’s statements come off as damage control. Matt Chandler’s statements have progressed and he seems to show humility and repentance.

  49. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Donner – how do you compare the abuse of leaders over individual congregants or entire congregations to a pastor sleeping around? (TVC; MH; SGM)

    Do me a favor since this is so clear to you – write for us what you think Coral Ridge’s statement should have been.I thought Tullian did a good job on his end – confessing to both sins – the sin of his adultery and the sin of the pettiness of his reaction of his wife’s adultery.
    Double confession in a national news outlet – not going through a Christian rag like Christianity Today and resignation.

  50. Donner says:

    MLD….seriously? You can’t see that destruction is wreaked on individuals and congregations because of a pastor’s adultery?

    When a pastor sleeps around, he abuses his congregants!! It’s the height of abuse of power. It savages the gospel and mocks the sacred concept of the Lord and His bride. The fallout is devastating, emotionally, spiritually, in families, on livelihoods. Just ask the 19 families whose loved ones were laid off as a direct result of Bob Coy’s sin. What about their children? What about Tullian’s three children? The shame and emotional suffering they will endure lasts for years. What about the families of the people they slept with? You don’t consider all of that abuse? If not, you don’t understand abuse.

    As far as your request for me to write a statement, please. The fact that you think what Tullian wrote constitutes a “confessing to both sins” shows the lack of discernment is on your part, not mine.

    Instead of focusing your moral outrage on me, turn it to Tullian where it belongs. You should be outraged at his behavior and his attempt to justify it. There is both occasion for outrage and the extension of grace here.

  51. Jim says:

    I’m with Josh on this. These guys really need to figure out how to stay faithful to their wives?
    Selfish little baby boys acting like this is the mystery of the ages.

  52. Lynne says:

    Lets call a spade a spade – when these pastors speak of the transforming power of Christ and then act like ‘everyone’ else, I can’t fault those who doubt our ‘truth’ – these actions place ‘doubt’ in my ‘heart’ and mind. I’m tired of them being ‘excused’. Get real!

  53. Rick says:

    The Good: Confession and appropriate demonstration of the consequences of leadership failure: resignation.

    The Bad: I think TT’s high view of grace (which I embrace) would better have been served by his personal confession without the explanation regarding his wife. The explanation seems rather Adam and Evish–I did what I did because of what she did. That part of the explanation would have best been related to a personal mentor or counselor–grace would have left his wife unexposed in this.

    The Ugly: My own heart as I reflect on how easy it is for me to accept TT’s confession and resignation and wish he and all involved the best, while still thinking the confession and repentance by Chandler and the TVC elders incomplete. Incomplete because, in my view, it was not accompanied by resignation, or at least repudiation of the ungraceful portions of their membership covenant.

    I think I am prejudiced by my own experience and sensibilities–I have had the hell beat out of me by church and parachurch leadership while the adultery of church leaders has never affected me on the same level. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy–who am I to assign levels of grievousness to sin. I am harder (to the point of being stiff-necked) regarding leadership failures like that at TVC) than I am regarding the moral failure of adultery. I am realizing through these discussions–not my place. So I repent, gladly.

    I rejoice that with light comes life–may it be for all involved in both churches.

  54. Jim Vander Spek says:

    Tragic as this is, such failure does not come out of the blue. It is, instead—as Jesus taught—the result of a life lived in disobedience to his teachings:

    “But everyone who hears these sayings of mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

    Until the Church begins to faithfully understand, teach and obey the teaching of Jesus regarding lust, the results will be the same whether in the lives of the mighty or the weak. http://www.overcoming-lust.com/articles/understanding-lust/

  55. Bob says:

    The victory of Coral Ridge and all Christian organizations when faced with similar issues isn’t that Jesus saves and provides a way of salvation. The victory is how those who confess, proclaim live and walk in what Jesus has done for them.

    Paul teaches how the sins of leaders are treated is a teaching tool for those who are in the bleachers and watching the process and the outcome. To simply say, “we are all sinners” and the victory is His forgiveness without corresponding action is a deception and a falsehood.

    The questions which must be asked indlude how will Coral Ridge deal with the moral failures of its leaders, the effect on those directly involved, could this have been prevented and what will be taught to their congregants through it.

    In the end what is done in light of this revelation is more important than the sin itself.

  56. Laura Scott says:


    You would be better served dealing with the arrogance, entitlement, and narcissism issues before you ever get to the lust.

  57. dswoager says:

    I don’t know a whole lot about Tullian, most of what I do know came from a partially read book that I was less than impressed with, and then largely a few blog posts that surrounded the whole TGC thing. I came away from those blog posts more refreshed than I had been from much of what I end up seeing online (including myself). It was a freeing message that could legitemately be called “the good news”.

    This is probably incredibly naive, but if those who were being taught by him in person on a weekly basis were receiving the same thing that he was distributing to the masses, I would think that they are far better equipped than most to deal with a moral failure by their pastor.

    He falls into that celebrity category, so I am sure that there is some cult of personality that was going on there that complicates things, but the message of grace would seem to offer a clearer path to healing than the “gospels” of sin management that we see elsewhere.

  58. em says:

    Josh and Jim hit the nail on the head

    God wants us to be soldiers and ambassadors, who can follow orders and represent the Kingdom in grace, not politicians who can spin sin into grace – i think Tullian got it, but he found himself in a position that he didn’t qualify for… it’s over, God loves him and he can write some more books perhaps

  59. Papias says:

    My heart just breaks to hear of this news. Not because he’s a pastor and/or he’s famous, but just because its a marriage, and that bond is symbolic of Christ and the Church.

    Truly, we need to be praying for this couple.

  60. Francisco Nunez says:

    Amen to #1

  61. Babylon's Dread says:

    I am too tired from dealing with all of this as a pastor … virtually every day without relent … I think I take a pass and thank God for my faithful understanding and powerful wife. I think I will thank God for his deliverance from temptation and his faithfulness. I think I will keep working to get people restored to each other when they train wreck.

    I think I will just say I do not know TT or his wife or their lovers. I am sad for them, over them and about them, but I have no room in my carousel to concern myself with their messes. The sad broken witness to Christ and the Gospel is what I take from this. Once again we betray the Gospel because just like the broken world we cannot say no to ourselves.

    As Chaucer wrote “….if gold rust, what then will iron do??For if a priest be foul, no wonder that common man should rust…”

    May the LORD have mercy on us all

  62. Ixtlan says:

    “Once again we betray the Gospel because just like the broken world we cannot say no to ourselves. ”

    This is the crux of the issue. The current church structure either becomes a means to proclaim the gospel or the resources to build our own kingdom…… and with some, they pull double duty. Modern evangelicalism has such a skewed view of what is important, and what is virtuous because they have allowed their story to be shaped by something other than the gospel itself. They traded in self-sacrifice for pragmatics long ago.

  63. Muff Potter says:

    Why not just forgive and forget? Nahhh… that would be too easy. Peccadillos of a sexual nature are always the worst thing there is in fundagelicalism. Your hash is settled, your goose is cooked. Your church/denom. investment portfolio can profit greatly from the misery of the downstrata in the third world, that’s okay, just don’t get caught with your pants down with another consenting adult.

  64. CrucifiED says:

    dswoager, I’ve been thinking the same sort of thing when you said… “If those who were being taught by him in person on a weekly basis were receiving the same thing that he was distributing to the masses, I would think that they are far better equipped than most to deal with a moral failure by their pastor.”

    I agree! They are not being crushed by the disappointment of having believed in a moralistic gospel. The proper use of law/gospel in his teachings will not only see this congregation through dealing with their pastors sin properly, but it is also the Gospel that is going to help heal a fallen pastor and his family’s faith in Christ.

    If his church and his children have seen this modeled in Tullian’s life when they have failed, then he will likely see it modeled in their lives now as they work with him through this time of confession and repentance and character adjustment from the Lord.

  65. Jim says:

    1) I love Tullian’s message and hate the fodder he’s given lower law lovers.

    2) He’s an adulterer. “Moral failure” sugar coats the act. We’re in mixed company here, and I’m old fashioned, but base language is appropriate for base acts, and I think “adulterer” is a kind, soft term.

    3) I don’t hate the guy, and clearly believe that God’s grace is available to him. I hope that he and his wife will forgive each other and enjoy the gift of marriage. Far away from any pulpit ever…

  66. CrucifiED says:

    As Michael said last night, many will probably use Tullian’s theology against him in this in taking the change to prove their theological points; that’s exactly what is happening already and the first thing I saw on Facebook this morning.

    And that James McDonald tweet… just freakin’ sick! I have no respect for a man saying such a thing at a time like this even if Tullian’s doctrine was off. That’s low of him.

  67. Papias says:

    Crucified – What James Macdonald tweet – link?

  68. Xenia says:

    Are some of you of the opinion that one’s theology has no effect on one’s behavior?

  69. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia – have you ever know a person to hold a theology that says sin is OK?

  70. Tim Brown says:

    Adultery is the result of a series of impediments and barriers that have been removed along the way. This applies whether or not the adulterer is a pastor. No man goes to bed at night in love with Jesus and in love with his wife and then goes out the next day and commits adultery. Adultery is the result of a series of impediments and barriers that have been removed along the way.

    A man removes the barriers of forbidden thought (fantasizing), barriers of forbidden time and space (intentionally crafting times and places to be alone and unaccountable), barriers of forbidden talk (speaking of intimate things that belong only between married couples or in the counselor’s office), barriers of touch (hugging, kissing, embracing, etc.)

    No pastor falls into adultery – he walks into it – intentionally, deliberately, removing layer after layer of God-ordained protection. I grieve for Tullian, for Bob Coy (from my own camp), and for all the others. I grieve for the churches affected by these moral failures. There are people who will never go to church again and will never trust spiritual leadership again because of these men.

    If any reading this find themselves removing the God-ordained barriers and moving closer to a man or woman not your spouse, I plead with you to walk the other way. Bread eaten in secret may be sweet, but it will turn to gravel in your mouth.

    Tim Brown, Pastor
    Calvary Chapel Fremont

  71. Michael says:


    Good word…

  72. Xenia says:

    MLD, you did not answer the question that I actually asked.

    Answer mine and I will answer yours.

  73. Francisco Nunez says:

    Great way to sum things up Pastor Tim.
    God bless you.

  74. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I guess it depends. Yes, I have seen Baptists (and others) who do not consume alcohol due to their “theology”
    But I have not seen anyone hold a theology that says sin is OK.

    Your turn 😉

  75. Xenia says:

    I don’t know of anyone* who holds to a theology that says sin is ok. There are various theologies about dealing with sin, such as MacArthur’s “Lordship” theology which appears to be in opposition to TT’s views on grace. And there’s the EO view, which involves asceticism and is off the Protestant radar entirely.

    There seems to be a concern here that people might blame TT’s fall on his theology and I was wondering why one can’t see a connection.

    We have a saying: orthodoxy** leads to orthopraxy.
    Right belief leads to right practice.

    * Well, there was a famous Russian cult from the last century, the Khlysty (Хлысты), who believed that the more you sinned the better because then you got to experience God’s forgiveness and love over and over. It is thought that Rasputin was influenced by these people which might explain why he was such a hound.

    ** That’s little “o” orthodoxy, not big “O” Orthodoxy, for the sake of this discussion anyway.

  76. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    ” orthodoxy** leads to orthopraxy” – but isn’t that just like telling a fallen brother / sister “you’re not doing it right!”

    It also sounds similar to what Jim Vander Spek said at #54 – which I took to say “if only people would get rid of the sin in their life (lust in his case) we wouldn’t need to be wasting our time confessing our sin and wasting Jesus’ time forgiving us.

    That group of Russians were doing the exact opposite of what Paul spoke of when presented the same question – “no you can’t sin for the sake of receiving more grace. So they may have been affected by their theology – but the theology affecting them was not a Christian theology. Mormon theology allows for polygamy.

  77. Michael says:

    At some point I have to conclude that either people never listened to TT or read Luther because the conclusions drawn are never what is consistent with what has been taught.

    Preaching grace isn’t a license to sin, it’s the motivation to repent.

  78. Xenia says:

    I only mentioned the Khlysty because I wracked my brains and they were the only pro-sin group I could think of. The Mormons don’t believe they are promoting sin because they don’t believe polygamy is sinful. Yes, you’re right, the Russian cult was doing the exact opposite of what St. Paul said.

    If someone is fallen they need to be helped back up. Telling a man addicted to pOrn will certainly involve changing his habits. I would tell someone who looked at pOrn or drank all day “You’re not doing it right.” I think Pastor Tim Brown’s post was excellent.

  79. Xenia says:

    Telling a man addicted to pOrn will certainly involve changing his habits. <<<

    Ugh, this sentence is a mess.

    You need to tell a man addicted to whatever that recovery will involve changing his behavior and habits.

  80. Nicoletta says:

    I’m going to raise an uncomfortable question here; what gender is the friend TT had a affair with?

  81. london says:

    Unless you are married to, related to, or ministering to him, that’s really none of your business.

  82. Michael says:


    I’m at a loss as to why you would even ask the question…

  83. london says:

    To start trouble and rumours. That’s why….

  84. em says:

    Nicoletta’s question is indicative of the times…

    there’s been a car crash, we’re caught in the gawkers’ slowdown and we’ve learned that someone died, for some it is a person we know and care about… this event is much like that and there are not any appropriate words… beyond what Xenia would say, “Lord have mercy” … have mercy on us all, indeed

    so sad to live in a time where sex has become a spectator sport… maybe it always has been in some circles – dunno

  85. “what gender is the friend TT had a affair with?”

    How culturally sad is Nicoletta’s question? How far back in the dark ages is this person? Do some here in the 21st century still think there are genders? Is this not the thinking of sexual bigots? 😉

  86. I have a minute now that I am home from work. Since Tullian is now a fallen warrior it will be for me to preach / teach grace to some. I will keep it short. When someone falls into sin, the encouragement / advise they should receive is go to the Lord, confess your sin and receive the absolution promised. Done – the end. Pure grace – nothing else expected – no quid pro quo, nada.

    Now, if you think that someone should change their behavior to help prevent more sin, you do that ONLY as a standalone project – not as part of the confession and absolution. What I see people wanting to do is set it up that as one action, you confess your sin and to show that you mean it you go out and prove to God that you meant it by changing you behavior.

    Not for a minute should you believe that only Roman Catholics tie penance to forgiveness – evangelicals of many stripes do it. Oh, they may not have you say 10 Hail Mary’s or Our Fathers, or whip yourself while crawling on your knees up the steps of St Peter’s, but they want to place the same burden on you.

    The confession and absolution must be all on their own – because that is what Jesus required of us.

  87. To show how bad it is, folks do not realize that even in our confessions we are full of sin – all of us and we cannot do it right – but look at those here out for their pound of flesh protesting that, in this situation Tullian did not apologize / confess/ write his statement correctly and that Coral Ridge was just as guilty.

    So, we were treated to some who made the observation to God saying “Hold it God, I know your were going to forgive Tullian, but I have reviewed his confession and he mentioned the sin of his wife and he did not outwardly apologize to everyone in the world and he surely did not check in with me. God let me get back to you when I get this guy straighten out.”

  88. Aopenom Time says:

    As someone who has gone through the devestation that an affair will cause in a marriage, I want to add a few thoughts.

    First, nothing, absolutely nothing, ever justifies an affair (revenge or otherwise). Entering into an affair is a purely selfish act, and the people involved are often deluding themselves to one degree or another.

    There is more than enough blame to go around for both the husband and wife. In TTs case, unless his wife was a complete sociopath (which I doubt), he no doubt contributed to her eventually seeking out an affair, or at least being open to one (which still does not excuse it).

    TT’s failure was in allowing himself to seek comfort from a friend (I’m going to assume it was a woman). The absolute LAST thing a person dealing with an affair needs to do is to be seeking comfort or friendship from a member of the opposite sex. During the death throes of my marriage (which lasted years), I intentionally kept my distance from members of the opposite sex precisely because I knew I was vulnerable due to my situation. As a pastor, who undoubtedly had dealt with affairs in his role as a leader, TT should have kept the same safeguards in place for himself.

    And for the men out there (I’m one), it’s really not that hard to keep it in your pants when you’re married. It’s a choice – you can choose to avoid situations were you can fall and honor your vows, REGARDLESS of the current state of your marriage. Or you can choose to play with fire, and get burned. Sooner or later.

  89. Donner says:

    Your #65 is right on.

  90. em says:

    #86-“When someone falls into sin, the encouragement / advise they should receive is go to the Lord, confess your sin and receive the absolution promised. Done – the end. Pure grace – nothing else expected – no quid pro quo, nada….Now, if you think that someone should change their behavior to help prevent more sin, you do that ONLY as a standalone project – not as part of the confession and absolution.” … finally, MLD is making cogency

  91. Passing buy says:

    Hey Pastors, what ever happened to”Don’t touch the ladies, Don’t touch the money, and Don’t touch the Glory.”
    When Jesus returns will he find Faith on the earth?

  92. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Regarding a recent article.in Charisma magazine concerning the fall of Tullian, my thoughts are:

    Are you kidding me? You need accountability software for your computer? What are you, 5 years old? So the fact that Jehovah is watching your every move isn’t enough to keep you accountable? I fear God far more than a wife and surely don’t need to be treated like a 2 year old child that needs a babysitter to watch my every move so I don’t fall into sin. If the fear of God and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit isn’t enough to keep you accountable then no computer software or accountability partner will keep you from falling into “moral, failure” err Adultery. This teaching of accountability partners is not biblical and this whole avoid being alone thing is also not biblical as it is a blessing to have alone time in order to be refreshed with Jesus Christ. Accountability comes when being caught in sin and then Matthew 18 comes into effect aka church discipline then is excercised which followed through leads to disfellowshipping of the unrepentant sinner which begs the question, why wasnt his wife publicly rebuked after she continued in her adulteress affair and then why wasn’t she kicked out the church after refusing to repent and then marked and avoided?

    So let’s see, in today’s apostate church, adultery is now called moral failure and homosexuality is called same sex attraction.

  93. Francisco says:

    In response to #92. Not to start a debate but accountability starts with fellowship. Fellowship with God and with other men that Christ has brought to our lives.

    If we look at King Saul’s account the Lord put a young David, a Jonathan, and a Samuel to come alongside him. Rather than embrace these men and thank God for them, he tried to undermine them or worse put them away. He purposely chose not to have fellowship with them nor with God and thus became unaccountable because he was unteachable.

    No doubt that we’ve all done regretful things so freely before a Holy God that we would never do before others. I thank God for His forgiveness, mercy and Grace. This said should we fall like David, or Saul may we repent like David. May we also embrace the Nathans ,Samuels, and Barnabas that Christ puts in our local fellowships to encourage us especially during times of testing so that we don’t have to end up with the same fate of Saul and those who chose to be deceived.

  94. dswoager says:

    Solomon, I was going to write something similar.

    I agree with what Tim said above as far as this, ” No man goes to bed at night in love with Jesus and in love with his wife and then goes out the next day and commits adultery,” but all of the setting up barriers to avoid sin reminds me of Colossians 2:23, of having the “appearance of wisdom” but are of “no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh”. These things that are suggested may have some effect on behavior, they do nothing to address the underlying lusting of the flesh.

  95. Tim Brown says:

    @94 Hi, dswoager – the barriers I mentioned are not barriers we put in place, but those already in place. It is quite easy (so I hear) to get around accountability software and other accountability structures one wants to erect. The barriers I wrote of are internal and organic and not externally imposed. They are not as easily dismantled.

    A man is as accountable as he wants to be. I agree, the law never kept anyone from transgression who wanted to go in that direction. No doubt, we’ll be reading and hearing about additional layers of accountability. And as well-intentioned as these may be, they will be as useless as the law was in curbing a wayward heart.

  96. Bob says:

    First I have to write that MLD twisted many of the comments again to fit his views on sin, confession and absolution.

    But, he is right about this; no amount of process will make one sinless.

    Now I’m read a debate going on here about rules and limits to protect oneself from sin and their worth.

    My comment is this, after over three decades of some sort of ministry even the best fall.

    I believe rules and limits need to be a part of every organization, including secular, because they are there to protect people. However, the fact is no law will prevent sin or rebellion against God.

    Just ask yourself how many laws God did Adam and Even have in His garden? Just one, “Don’t eat of that tree” and they went ahead and did it anyway. So why didn’t they just eat of the three of life first?

    Now about TT, he fell and I don’t believe anything would have stopped him. At some point his mind (or heart) became so hardened God could have put the “tree of life” between him and that woman and he would have just walked right around it.

    I’ve personally heard TT’s story over and over again, from church leaders to secular friends and they almost always end the same; they give up all they have for a tree they thought would make them happy and fulfilled.

    I’ll give one “success” story I lived. Many years ago a brother and I were leading a teenage group for males. During one of our “planning” get-togethers this brother confessed to me he was having difficulty at home with his wife and was thinking of leaving her.

    I replied, “You know we are friends and I won’t toss you out, but you will have to step down entirely from leadership.”

    He hated that answer, but he understood. Today, about a decade later he and his wife are together, stronger than ever and still loving Jesus!

    Oh and if it helps, neither of us, unlike TT, were getting paid one red cent.

  97. Bob says:

    The tree, not three of life.


  98. em says:

    re: avoid being alone – be sensible, it has to do with far more than (gasp) temptation – sure some of it is accountability, but mostly the reason for avoiding being alone (with an unrelated person of the opposite sex) is that we have crazies and predators among us and they are drawn to celebrity-so-calleds, whether rock stars, politicians or men of the cloth (okay… persons of the cloth for the literal minded)… imagine after a long day or not so long one, unlocking your hotel room and voila! “hi, i’m your biggest fan” or whatever… just try and back out of that without being smeared … or worse
    unless it’s changed, even your gynecologist won’t be in the examining room without a nurse or somebody besides the patient… it’s professional and it’s common sense

  99. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “But, he is right about this; no amount of process will make one sinless.”

    The doctrine of grace as I have been trying to explain it has nothing to do with sin, attempts to avoid sin or even how to control yourself after you sin. It is one sole thing – how do you handle it after you sin.

    It’s confession on your part and hearing God’s promised absolution. Never is it, you are forgiven, when you repent and stop doing the bad act – not when you set up accountability software – no, nothing else but going to Jesus afterwards.

    About accountability software – it is still the same sin when you want to get back into the computer but are locked out. The sin is not in our computer but in our heart. When someone is proud of themselves because the software kept them from watching the porn they must go and confess that supposed “victory” as sin.

    This confession and absolution is not for sissies. 😉

  100. em says:

    i can’t pass this up, sorry… accountability software = wife 🙂

  101. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Using recovering tools such as Internet Blocking disrupts the addictive cycle.
    Having an accountability party helps the person to talk about what’s triggering them.
    Psychotherapy gets to core issues and the beliefs and thoughts, values and entitlement one has created to reinforced, protect, and to act out the addiction, while learning and adopting new values and beliefs that enables a healthier interaction with others.


  102. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    party — should be partner (s). “keeping it real and being honest’ vs. defense mechanisms, such as denial, justification, rationalization, generalization, reaction formation, blaming, and distracting or avoiding.

    Yup, the wife is one person who should be included in the accountability circle, so that others working with them, will know if he is being abusive and just keeping under the radar (playing games) and blowing smoke.

  103. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    There has been enough psychology brought into the church ,we don’t need more of it. In fact I submit we need to expel it from the church altogether (Colossians 2:8 regarding warning to not be cheated by the vain philosophies of man.) I’m sure King David didn’t go to the psychotherapist of his day whatever that would have been. Psychology looks at man as an animal which we are not, we are spiritual beings which then neccesitates a spiritual solution which is called repentance. We are told in scripture inspired by Jehovah that we are forgiven as far as east is to the west and our sins are remembered no more when we repent. If it is good enough for almighty God it is good enough for me. All other man made means to be right with God and make pennance are from the evil one and shame on those who dare seek to put those burdens on the forgiven. The repentant brother/sister will have elders in the local church that watch over their souls so those are the ones who the repentant one will go to for counsel not some theory inspired non scientific pop psychotherapist. An offended spouse of an adulteress/adulterer has every justification for divorce. If they choose to stay, then certainly it can take time for trust to be restored to it’s full and relationship to have that full sweetness again but if the offended spouse cant forgive then better for him/her to divorce so as not to make both of their lives miserable with unforgiveness which leads to bitterness of the soul. I always remember scripture and how it doesn’t end well for those who don’t forgive. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Those who say they have no sin are liars.

  104. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Psalms 1:1
    “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

    Colossians 2:8King James Version (KJV)

    8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

    Matthew 6:15
    “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

    ◄ Psalm 103:12
    King James Version
    “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

    Matthew 18:21-35King James Version (KJV)

    21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

    22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

    23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

    24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

    25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

    26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

    27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

    28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

    29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

    30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

    31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

    32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

    33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

    34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

    35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

  105. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Forgot all this informal puritanical side hug stuff they tell you to do at church all the while ignoring the scripture

    1 Thessalonians 5:26
    “Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.”

    People get upset in church when they see this but the bible says to the pure all things are pure. We do this in our fellowship.

  106. Linda Pappas says:

    David has Nathan and the Lord spoke directly to him, but until then he kept on keeping on, now didn’t he. Even then, he may have stopped sleeping with the wives of others, but he didn’t do much in the way of damage control involving his children, now did he. So although, as God told us, was a man after his own heart, he fell short in remaining a rather passive parent, until the one son decided he was going usurped him right out of the throne. Well that got David’s attention once again, but think about it. Had he been more mindful he would have turn his heart towards his children as God did with him while correcting and disciplining him at the same time. But he didn’t and his children suffered as well as the kingdom and those generations that followed, his example and then did worse.

    How quick and easy it is to divorce your spouse when it appears they might never repent. Not to say, you should not—just saying that is it a case of forgiveness or more so that the person needs to repent and prove they will no longer endanger or betray their spouse. Or is it having a heart that is forgiving, but to receive this, one must turn away from what is destroying the relationship or have cause the spouse to separate for the sake of safety.

    By the way there were not any doctor, dentists, podiatrist, nurses, or any other type of medical professionals in David’s time either. Yet we know that God gives gifts, talents, and resources to enable people to be helped or assisted. What more the human brain is part of the body and when it is not working adequately due to internal and or external factors then its really tough if not downright impossible to see the reality of things whereas, one can make a better or more informed choice.

    Now David knew he was wrong—-he just didn’t care. Pride and Arrogance at its best.

  107. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    The teaching of accountability partners comes from A.A. not the bible. The Church like it is wont to do, adopted this from alcoholics anonymous. Biblical accountability comes into play when sin is discovered in the church and that’s when Matthew 18 is excercised. Biblical accountability isn’t some man made idea where you have another man/women perform fruit inspections on you to see if your behaving properly. Jehovah Witnesses love that type of accountability which makes sense since they are a cult like A..A is. The Church is supposed to be different and yes anything outside of biblical teaching should be rejected. In our fellowship we have a discipling program however we don’t perform interrogations on those being discipled to see if their behaving, that is a cult mentality. We simply instruct them in the bible which includes how to live. If they share with us that they are in sin then that is different and we will reprove them and tell them they need to repent and if they don’t then church discipline comes into play. Other than that we believe the best in them as scripture tells.us to do. Even for those who repented after fornication, adultery etc. We believe the best in them and don’t badger them with man made processes of repentance. We will leave that to the cults to do.

  108. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Are you making the case that the local church body isn’t set up to be some type of “accountability group”? I don’t particularly like the terminology, but we are stuck with it in this conversation.

    In the case of the guy in adultery with his dad’s wife, I think Paul was just as upset that no one had come along side of the guy and said “hey bro, this is not cool what you are doing to your dad’s old lady – you need to show some respect. Is there anything I can do to help you break this chain of indecency?”

  109. em says:

    i have the impression from something that he’d posted onlline a while back that Coral Ridge was a house divided when Tchevidjian was called to be their pastor… thus Tullian was for a time unsure that he should take the position… we don’t really know much of the behind the scenes dynamics that may have pressed in on his home and family…

    one thing i do know is that he has an aunt and an uncle who have a duty to love now… i will be watching to see where their hearts are… family business reputation mean more than a soul? i pray not

  110. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It’s odd that you would mention an aunt and uncle and not his parents.

  111. em says:

    well, MLD… i am odd… 🙂

    his parents are not quite in the public eye as are Franklin and Anne… will the his mother’s siblings stay arm’s length for the good of corporation? … perhaps they will simply be behind the scenes with strong support – the family does have their share of stresses and sorrows
    so it’s all really none of my business, now that i think on it

  112. London says:

    These types of threads just feel so wrong to me somehow.
    What’s the benefit of airing dirty laundry when so many are hurting?
    Are we supposed to be weeping with those that weep, rejoicing with those that rejoice?
    All these threads pointing out where people are failing, just feel like feeling gleeful at someone else’s pain, rejoicing that somehow we’re above it all and it (whatever it happens to be at the moment) could never happen to us.
    Yes it can! Any of it, could happen to any of us….we’re all just one step away from something terrible happening to us or our family. Don’t be surprised if when it does, someone is posting it on line and rejoicing that it’s not them.

  113. em says:

    London, you are right! and i am thinking on it….

  114. Jim Vander Spek says:

    MLD: Absolutely agree as to #99. Expecting a technological solution to a heart issue is a dead end. Lust will always win if we allow it to live in our hearts. If it is deprived a feast of pornography, it will gladly settle for whatever morsel it can find to feed on.

  115. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I could just imagine a guy with the software, tinkering with the keystrokes every night trying to break the code and failing – but going to bed victorious because he “resisted” the temptation. LOL 🙂

  116. Bob says:


    Matt 18 is simply an interpretation/ application of the Torah and two or more witnesses process. A more applicable rendering of that Torah reaching should be from 1 Tim 5:19, 20 and how it is applied to leadership.

    What bothers me about holding the Matt 18 flag high is the first place I saw it done and proclaimed in such a way was at a CC and yet they forgot about the Timothy version of the same Torah rule. ”

    A little of this maybe, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”

    But yet, even “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours.”

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