Abandoned to Christ
You've most likely already heard about Tullian Tchividjian's wife's affair, and his reciprocal affair that required his resignation as Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (1 Tim 3:1-7). This announcement has stirred a media and social media frenzy; attracting both prayers and piranhas.
I can't imagine what it's like to live a life through the magnified lens of the media, the favoritism of followers, and un-Christlike criticism of detractors. The majority of us can't imagine that either, but we're so quick to condemn, excuse or join whatever seems to be the most popular position (at the moment). We make quick assertions, often, without stopping long enough to seek God's precepts.
"There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."
-Proverbs 12:18, ESV
We're commanded by God our Father to weep with those who weep. And anyone in their right mind and with a right heart would be lamenting because of this news, rather than rejoicing. If we're commanded by God not to rejoice when our enemies fall (Prov 24:17), how much less ought we not rejoice when a brother and sister in Christ fall? Neither, you, nor I, nor Tullian, his wife, or any other human being who has walked this earth (save Jesus Christ) is sinless. And yes, I know that those who are in leadership (specifically those who teach the Word of God) are held to a higher standard, but that isn't God's approval for us to rail against Tullian or his wife and anyone else involved in their sins.
It is our duty and joy as God's holy and beloved children to pray for our brother Tullian, his wife Kim, their three precious children and the church family at Coral Ridge. Being mindful of the fact that none of us can claim being incapable of committing the same sin, and that we're only saved by God's gracious gift of repentance and faith in Jesus; we can humbly and lovingly pray for those who sin differently from us rather than condemn; supposing our sins are better. All sin is utterly putrid before the sight of our holy God and Father.
Please know, I'm not making excuses for Tullian's sin (and neither should you) just because he's a celebrity pastor, or "just a human being"; because before he is anything, he is a child of God Almighty who's been endowed with the same grace (the power in Christ to die to sin, Romans 6:14, 18) that every Christian has been given. Rather than rejoice in his demise, my heart breaks for him, his wife, their three children, and their church. Which is why I'm moved to fervently pray on behalf of (not against) all of them. And I beseech you to do the same.
For those who think I'm writing this because I'm one of Tullian's followers, rest assured, I am not. I'm actually one of those who warn people not to follow him or his teachings because though he denies being an antinomian, the majority of his teachings mimic this liberal teaching of God's grace (Tullian's teachings magnify the power of sin and diminishes the power God's grace to overcome sin). I'm also deeply concerned about his resemblance to Adam by saying "I sinned because my wife sinned." One of the first priorities of a husband is to be a covering, a protection for his wife; but he didn't—he exposed her to ridicule. Therefore, it's reasonable to question the validity of his repentance since he didn't simply say, "I disqualified myself by committing adultery." Because honestly, it wasn't his wife's sin that disqualified him to be a pastor, it was his sin.
But opposing his teachings and questioning the integrity of his repentance is far different than rejoicing in, and self-righteously clamoring about his sin. I don't rejoice. I weep. And I pray...fervently pray for the restoration of his marriage, but most especially, his and Kim's restoration of intimacy with Christ our Lord; for every sin depreciates the inexpressible joy and peace of communing with our Creator.
"Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything."
-2 Corinthians 2:5-9, ESV