Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
-Ephesians 5:11, 13, NIV
Former Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Tullian Tchividjian again has found himself in the midst of a storm created by his own poor, sinful choices. Those sinful choices include deception and infidelity.
For those unfamiliar with the background, I wrote about the initial situation in the post here. Tullian is Rev. Billy Graham’s grandson, and he stepped down from the pastorate admitting to an affair back in 2015.
More recently, he was fired from his current position with another church over “some previously undisclosed failures in his life” per the pastor at that new church (see source here). Speculation over such failures suggest it included another affair partner in addition to the known one that led to Tullian ending his pastorate at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.
I find this both sad and disheartening.
It is sad in how someone like Tullian–who had been doing some real good in the world for God, in my opinion–tragically engaged in ministry-destroying sin. I stand by my stance that this is tragic.
It is disheartening and disillusioning to watch as someone who I had hoped had learned his lesson is now revealing the pit of sin he dug was deeper than he admitted. Whether or not it was an actual additional affair (or more) does not really matter. The pastor at this other church viewed the disclosure of “failures” as warranting a termination of employment at the church.
The story smells to me, now, of a cheater who tried to play the game and get away with it. However, his deeds got exposed, and now, finally, he is coming clean…or is he?
That is a problem with engaging in deception.
A cheater may finally be telling the truth of having disclosed everything but has so destroyed trust via months or years of lying that no one believes him or her anymore.
I hope this is the end of the deception on Tullian’s part. He is certainly paying a price for his sins. And I am glad to read from what is publicized that he is not making excuses for them.
That said, his is a tale of caution for leaders not to reinstate a minister to a church job too quickly after discovering such a person has engaged in infidelity.
They do not “just” cheat.
Infidelity is not the only sin that has taken place when someone commits adultery.
And I am of the firm stance that engaging in lying as a way of life is actually more problematic going forward than stopping the illicit sex.
It was those lies that caused the most lasting damage for me. And it is those lies, I believe, that cause the most lasting damage in a cheater as well.
I suspect this is part of what was discovered painfully in this latest installment in the tragic case of Tullian Tchividjian. It is hopefully the last of the sad, tragic chapters. However, lying and deception are hard habits to kick once obtained. Further, they are certainly incompatible with being a true minister of Christ (e.g. John 8:44).