What Should Tullian Do Now?


I decided on the spur of the moment that this article needed to be written. Not because I have anything important to say, or anybody important will read it, but because maybe someday the information will be useful to me. I serve as a Deacon in a small Reformed church in a semi-small town on the east side of nowhere Iowa. I don’t know why I felt compelled to write, but I think it’s important among the cacophony of voices I say my piece.

I don’t know Tullian and I don’t know anybody that does. I’ve never heard him preach, but I’ve observed his life from a distance for a few years. I’ve not even been saved as long as he’s been a pastor most likely, so why do I have the authority to write about him? Because I think God’s word speaks clearly about his life and he should listen. If he could hear my words, or read what I write I would want him to know a few observations I’ve had and what I think he should do moving forward.

Some of you probably don’t know of him or probably don’t know what I’m talking about but Tullian Tchividjian is the grandson of Billy Graham. He had been going through some marital issues and it was revealed that affairs had occurred within the marriage. Mutual affairs. A very sad and awful thing for a family to go through and especially for the children, nobody sees the devastation of sin from the before pictures, only the after.

Tullian is well known, in many circles, for what most would say are Antinomian tendencies.   He doesn’t seem to worry, or focus as much on living a holy life as he focuses on the grace of God. What I write is well documented in other places, and I care not to write about it here, but for some of us that cared this was a shipwreck waiting to happen.

A couple days ago it appears he has filed to divorce his wife and with that as the backdrop here are the things I would say to Tullian if I ever had a chance. I will write to him as a brother since I’m not aware that he has denied the faith, but his actions are questionable at best. Regardless, I’ll treat him as if he is indeed in the faith for the time being.

Don’t Divorce – I don’t know if Tullian knows that God hates divorce? I would imagine he has read the Scripture, but this is imperative; does he not remember he made a covenant with God?

…Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.   “For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the LORD of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” – Malachi 2:14-16

Get Wise Counsel – I have no idea how the leadership of his church plans to restore this man, and he may very well need to seek someone outside of this body. That would indeed be a travesty if he cannot find men that would tell him the truth and not what he wants to hear.

Where there is no counsel, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. – Proverbs 11:14
It seems if there was good counsel in the first place, this may have turned out differently, but I don’t know the structure of his church, I hope they will learn from this.

He Needs to go Dark – Get off social media! I’ve seen some of his tweets and other things floating around, and for the life of me I don’t see a man that is broken by his sin, but a man that appears to believe God is visible in the clouds. God is visible in His written word, and this is where he needs to have his face buried.

Proverbs 10:19 In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.

His Elders should put a restraining order on his activities and have him in intensive biblical counseling along with a thorough examination of what went wrong. This didn’t happen overnight. It was playing out in front of us all.

Repent in Biblical Fashion – David was a murderer and an adulterer, and many Christians are quick to point this out. Yes, of course, we know that, but look at how David handled his sin.  We see a disturbing pattern among “celebrity” Christians and that is to acknowledge their “mistakes” but never repent of their wicked and evil hearts.

For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight… Psalm 51:3-4

For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. – 2 Corinthians 7:10

Endeavor to lead a Quiet Life – This goes along with getting out of the spotlight. It would appear he enjoys the attention and that will always keep him where he cannot focus on God, because he wants to focus on himself. He should flee attention, go spend a month in a cabin. I know of one if he needs a place to go. Better yet go serve the poor somewhere in some third world country and don’t tell anybody but your Elders where you are going. Drop your phone in the toilet on the way to the airport.

…that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior. – 1 Timothy 2:3-4

Realize his Wretched Condition – Tullian is a sinful man. I am a far more sinful man than he is, and I can easily prove it. I expect he grew up in a very moralistic fashion, just like Josh Duggar. I was a fine sinner, perhaps as good as almost anyone and by the grace of God He picked me up and breathed His precious Spirit into my dead, cold heart. I don’t know if Tullian realizes his deplorable state. Perhaps he does, and I just don’t see it coming out of his mouth, but I confess that I don’t hang on every word he says, so I may have missed it. Can he echo what Paul said, what I say about myself?

This is a faithful saying and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. – 1 Timothy 1:15-16

What a proclamation by Paul! Do you realize this? Do I realize this when I think highly of myself? Do I realize that pride comes before a fall, and that by the grace of God and that grace alone, He keeps me from falling off the cliff every day? Oh the riches of His mercy, how amazing they are, for wretched sinners just like me and I hope for a wretched sinner like Tullian.




I had decided I didn’t want to do a whole series on Bonhoeffer’s book The Cost of Discipleship, but there is too much here to not take opportunity to hit on some very relevant topics that can be applied today just as they were when the Lord Himself declared them.  All of these “struggles” or should I say sin issues sometimes ensnare the saints as easily as they ensnare the sinner.

Matthew 5:27-30 “You have heard it that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’  But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.  And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”

Are you an adulterer?  Have you noticed how impossible it is to live up to the standard that Jesus set for His followers?

This is impossible isn’t it?

Today’s culture certainly makes it as difficult as possible by placing images of sexuality every place the eye looks.  Doesn’t this seem to be harmless enough to lust after a beautiful woman, why would this be equated with adultery?

Lust – epithumeō – to set the heart upon, that is, long for (rightfully or otherwise): – covet, desire, would fain, lust (after).

Bonhoeffer writes – ADHERENCE TO JESUS allows no free rein to desire unless it be accompanied by love.  To follow Jesus means self-renunciation and absolute adherence to him, and therefore a will dominated by lust can never be allowed to do what it likes.  Even momentary desire is a barrier to the following of Jesus, and brings the whole body into hell, making us sell our heavenly birthright for a mess of pottage, and showing we lack faith in him who will reward mortification with joy a hundredfold.  Instead of trusting to the unseen, we prefer the tangible fruits of desire, and so we fall from the path of discipleship and lose touch with Jesus.  Lust is impure because it is unbelief, and therefore it is to be shunned.  No sacrifice is too great if it enables us to conquer a lust which cuts us off from Jesus.  Both eye and hand are less than Christ, and when they are used as the instruments of lust and hinder the whole body from the purity of discipleship, they must be sacrificed for the sake of him.  The gains of lust are trivial compared with the loss it brings-you forfeit your body eternally for the momentary pleasure of eye or hand.  When you have made your eye the instrument of impurity, you cannot see God with it.  Surely, at this point we must make up our minds once and for all whether Jesus means his precepts to be taken literally or figuratively, for here it is a matter of life or death.

Life or death!  Do you believe this?

Will you try and soften this teaching, or find a way to justify your “looks”.  Some will use the argument that this could be “interpreted” in some other way.  Once again the Lord draws a line in the sand to show people their sin and their need for a Savior.  He points it all back toward Himself as the only place of refuge.

The culture we live in today has placed a high priority on prostituting its women.  Even men and fathers that go to places called churches willingly allow their daughters to be the object of lust from men.

Go to a youth group meeting or a church function and look at the attire of these young women.  Does it include the shorts that ride up so high you can see more than necessary?  It’s not just the young women showing too much.  How about the ladies that are revealing themselves below the neckline?  I don’t offer this as a crude response, but for us to consider what we are telling people.  This is commonly accepted in churches and nothing is said or preached from the pulpit.  Why?

If you’ve allowed this in your family I urge you to repent and seek your daughter or wife’s forgiveness.  Then be committed to change, it won’t be easy especially for those that consider this part of the culture acceptable.  As a father of three daughters it’s not easy to find chaste and modest clothing.  We consistently struggle to live in the world but not be of the world (1 Corinthians 5:10).

Will you do something about this in your household?

If Jesus has shown you sin in your life, what can you do about it?  That’s where the act of mortification comes in.  “Cut it off”!  The act of obedience leads to faith.  You can’t have faith without obedience.  In the words of that famous theologian Bob Newhart, “STOP IT”.

Jesus was not really promoting mutilation of our bodies, but was telling us it’s time to take drastic measures.  Stop going to the places that “offend”.  Turn off the television, stop going to R-rated movies, and change your homepage.  Do whatever it takes to turn your eyes from sin.  Place your faith in Christ, turn from sin and be healed.  Stop selling your soul to every woman that walks past you and stop selling your daughter or wife to the gaze of any man that comes along.



Rob Bell’s slippery slope


Recently my wife and I have come to the decision that faithfulness in marriage is no longer relevant.  We’ve decided that’s old fashioned Christianity.  Not that we want to partake in that ourselves, but we certainly don’t believe that those that are unfaithful in their marriage are in sin.  It’s just something that many people struggle with, so we’ve decided it’s no longer to be called sin in our vocabulary.

We are also debating whether to allow our children to lie.  We understand that there are times when it makes more sense to tell a little white lie.  Not big, fat and juicy lies that really destroy people, although if that happened on occasion it might be okay given the circumstances.  You know what I’m talking about right?

We read the Bible to our children and have a morning family devotional, we are currently going through Proverbs, but when I come to the part about a lie being an abomination to God, I just skip that one (Proverbs 6:17).  We believe much what the Bible has to say… we like the parts we like, especially about God’s love.  But we just can’t buy into all of it… (this is me being satirical)

Okay, that’s all I can stand to write.  Can you hear me screaming now?  Nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!

Rob Bell is the former pastor of a well known church in Michigan.  Bell has a big following and is the author of several best-selling books.  He made the news again by coming out with his support for “homosexual-marriage”.  I don’t care to spend a lot of time on Rob Bell and his false teachings.  I have concern and compassion for his eternal soul and those that embrace “his theology”.  And I mean it’s “his” theology it certainly is not of God.

My focus today is to discuss the authority of Scripture and those that decide they can pick and choose what they want to believe about the Bible.

The authority of Scripture is fundamental to an understanding of God.  If we choose to pick and choose, or disbelieve the Bible, we choose to disbelieve God.  Wayne Grudem in Systematic Theology [1994] writes “Therefore to Disbelieve or Disobey Any Word of Scripture Is to Disbelieve or Disobey God” – Chapter 4 on the Authority of Scripture – Page 81.  This was a huge revelation to me when I was saved.  I liked parts of the Bible and I really thought some of the things Jesus said were pretty cool, but to believe it all?  That was crazy…

2 Peter 1:19-20 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your heart; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

This verse tells us everything we need to know about the truth and the authority of Scripture.  Peter is telling us we need to believe the Bible.  All of it!  It’s really that simple.  And of course he’s not alone.

Paul also tells us 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I could spend weeks providing Scriptural evidence and proof of the authority of God’s Word but it’s not about me showing more scripture to prove Rob Bell is wrong.  We only need to show why he disbelieves God and why those that follow him will continue to support him.


They want to suppress the truth because they don’t like the truth (Romans 1:18).

Romans 1:21-22 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools.

No matter what the sin, those that hate what God’s Word plainly teaches, will distort, adjust, or just ignore.  They will show their foolishness and disbelief, no matter how slick and cool the packaging.  Those that teach and those that follow them are heaping judgment upon themselves.

2 Timothy 4:2-4 Preach the word!  Be ready in season and out of season.  Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

Can you see the amazing truth Paul is showing us and how true this is today?

If you believe adultery is sin and if you believe lying is sin, then you must believe that homosexuality is sin (1 Corinthians 6:9, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Timothy 1:10).  You can’t have it both ways.  You take all Scripture as truth or you take none of it as truth.

I hate who I was before Christ.  I hate when I sin.  But I can’t find a way to justify my sin and look for loop-holes in the law.  God’s Word is truth and I must cling to this truth as the only hope I have for salvation.

If I suppress the truth in unrighteousness, I’m not right with God.  As David said I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.  Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight… Psalm 51.

I pray God is merciful and will show Rob Bell his sin.  I pray God is merciful and He shows me my sin.  I pray God will do all according to His good pleasure and He will save those that can recognize their sin and fall on the finished work of Jesus Christ as the only One capable of saving them.  I pray they will repent and turn from their sin.  If they truly love Christ they will follow His commands (John 14:15).

John 17:17 Sanctify them by Your truth.  Your word is truth.