Public records from Florida courts show that former pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (CRPC), Tullian Tchividjian, has filed for dissolution of marriage from his wife, Kimberly, on August 20, 2015.
This filing comes only two months after Tchividjian released a public statement to the Washington Post:
“I resigned from my position at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church today due to ongoing marital issues. As many of you know, I returned from a trip a few months back and discovered that my wife was having an affair. Heartbroken and devastated, I informed our church leadership and requested a sabbatical to focus exclusively on my marriage and family. As her affair continued, we separated. Sadly and embarrassingly, I subsequently sought comfort in a friend and developed an inappropriate relationship myself. Last week I was approached by our church leaders and they asked me about my own affair. I admitted to it and it was decided that the best course of action would be for me to resign. Both my wife and I are heartbroken over our actions and we ask you to pray for us and our family that God would give us the grace we need to weather this heart wrenching storm. We are amazingly grateful for the team of men and women who are committed to walking this difficult path with us. Please pray for the healing of deep wounds and we kindly ask that you respect our privacy.”
Tullian’s wife, Kim, released her own statement to Washington Post on the same day, which underscored that all was not well with their marriage (bolding is mine):
“The statement reflected my husband’s opinions but not my own. Please respect the privacy of my family at this time, thank you. I do thank everyone for the outpouring of love for my family as well during this difficult time and we appreciate all the prayers and support we are receiving.”
Here are the public records of the filing:
In October of 2013, Tullian Tchividjian’ book, One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World was published. I found an excerpt from the book in this article, Marriage and One-Way Love:
A marriage flavored by one-way love eschews score-keeping at all costs. It is not a fifty-fifty proposition, where I scratch your back and then you scratch mine. A grace-centered marriage is one in which both partners give 100 percent of themselves. They give up their right to talk about rights. This means that a grace-centered marriage, in theory, is one where both parties are constantly apologizing to each other, asking for and granting forgiveness. No one is ever innocent in a grace-centered marriage. If original sin is as evenly distributed as the Bible claims it is, then both parties have some culpability. Every marriage is the union of two selfish people, fighting for their way, desperate to win. That’s why an apology so often feels like we are betraying ourselves. We would rather see a marriage fall apart than cede any ground in the “war of the roses.”
In April of 2015, he spoke at Concordia to seminary students. We know that he found out about his wife’s affair 3 months before he released his statement, so that means when he spoke at Concordia, her extra-marital affair was certainly on his mind. The talk may have coincided with his own infidelity because he said in his statement that he sought solace from a female friend after finding out about his wife’s affair, which resulted in his own extra-marital affair.
The beginning of his talk at Concordia was about the law and the gospel. He expressed how he believes many pastors have been teaching it wrong for years and harming people. At the end of the talk, around the 40-minute mark, he gives an illustration of what he views as a true gospel response as he describes his wayward eldest son. It was uncomfortable listening to him talk about his son, knowing what was currently going on at home. What would his kids feel about this talk, knowing their parents’ marriage was shattered? It was disturbing to hear him talk about sin in a light-hearted manner, especially in reference to his new grandson as “payback.”
June was when we heard about both affairs via the public statements, and that Tullian Tchividjian was stepping down at CRPC.
In July, Christianity Today reported that Tchividjian would be receiving week-long counseling from Paul Tripp:
The counselling reportedly started this week, and Tripp will be working closely with Tchividjian to evaluate the root causes of the affairs and seek personal healing. According to the source, Tchividjian has already repented his sins and is “seeking wise biblical counsel” to ensure a lasting positive change in his life. His wife Kim went with him for counselling as well.
August 11, Tchividjian was stripped of his minister’s credentials:
The South Florida Presbytery (SPF) of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) voted at its meeting on August 11, 2015 to depose Tullian Tchividjian from the ministry. The PCA Book of Church Order (BCO) says that, “Deposition is the degradation of an officer from his office.” That is, the minister has his ordination credentials removed so that he no longer can perform the duties of a minister of the Gospel. (The PCA’s South Florida Presbytery Deposes Tullian Tchividjian from Ministry).
August 20, only nine days after having his ordination credentials removed, Tullian Tchividjian filed for divorce from his wife of 21 years.