I recently read an article where several pastors were calling for repentance of the former pastor of Coral Ridge Church. Over a year ago Tullian Tchividjian's resigned due to a moral failure that he admitted too, after the affair was exposed on the church’s computer.
Please understand I’m not challenging the thought or need for repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation with God and family. However, I’m challenging pastors that feel it is their responsibility to make their call public. When I look at the greatest sex scandal recorded in the Bible, yes, I’m talking about the King and the Fox (or better known as Bathsheba). When the prophet Nathan came to call for repentance he did not take out an article in the Jerusalem Times, he didn’t stand on the King’s front porch, nor did he call the great council. He went to King David and told him what God had laid on his heart to say, repent and get things right with God.
Repentance is a noun: meaning “the action of repenting; sincere regret or remorse,” or as one person put it, “it is turning your back on sin, and going the other direction towards God.” I have been in ministry for 35 years, and watched many pastors stand and demand someone repent for something they did; at the same time wondering is there something they should be repenting for as well. The pastors that have called for Tullian Tchividjian's public apology remind me a lot of the Pharisee that brought the women caught in adultery. In my opinion they felt like they needed to set the example. When I think of those events in the Gospel my question is, where was the man caught with her? Why did they pick this woman? I have a dozen questions. However, the best one, how many facts do we have?
I’m thinking back and it has been nearly 30 years since someone of Pastor Tullian Tchividjian's status has fallen. I was pastoring in the 80’s when Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggart both fell, and watched the Pastors of American come un-hinged. I preached a message following those events entitled the “Day God’s man fell.” I used as my text the events of the Apostle Peter, and his fall denying Christ three times the night of prior to Christ death. My points were simple:
- Repentance is a request asking Christ to forgive us of our sin. (I John 1:9)
- It is a change in our behavior and attitude.
- It is a rebuilding of trust with those we have wronged.
- It is submitting to accountability of either presbyter or accountability (men’s) group.
I guess my question is, did the gentlemen that wrote this letter see this as the method of calling for repentance done Biblically according to Matthew 25?
Please understand I’m not condoning Pastor Tullian Tchividjian's sin, his divorce, his re-marriage. Sadly those things happen and I for one will continue to preach on the destructive consequences of sin. However, I find myself very concerned when pastors or individuals call for Public Repentance. It sort of reminds me of seeing men put the stocks in Boston, and other parts of New England in the early 1700’s, we were going to make everything about us public.
From what I have read in several other articles and even the excerpts from his recent book he has repented and is making things right with, God/Christ, his ex-wife, his children, his grandfather, parents, and the church he hurt. However, I’m not one of them; yes I’m hurt to hear an awesome pastor fell. However, I’m happy to hear that he has re-established his relationship with God/Christ. My job is very simple; pray for Pastor Tullian Tchividjian's, and every other pastor (famous or not) that God will help prevent from falling into sexual immorality, and for those that need help rebuilding their relationship with Christ; not to continue to demand more from them in public than I do other sinners.
Remember our job as Christians is always the same …. Love the Sinner, hate the sin!