Clergy Sex Abuse, Tullian Tchividjian

Clergy Sexual Abuse: If she consented to sex with her pastor, is she guilty?

Clergy Sex abuse, consent, sexual abuse, pastors who abuse, Tullian Tchividjian

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Last week I got in a Twitter debate with someone and I wanted to post a few significant tweets on:

clergy sex abuse

 

We were referencing Tullian Tchividjian and the sexual relationships he had with women while he was married and serving as pastor. Here are some tweets and discussion questions.  (By the way, I am working on an update on the Tullian Tchividjian saga. I’ve been sitting on some information for quite some time.)

Let’s talk!


 

 

Is it a slap in the face to call women who engage with their pastors as “victims?”

Is a woman who has sex with her pastor equally responsible?

 

231 thoughts on “Clergy Sexual Abuse: If she consented to sex with her pastor, is she guilty?”

  1. P.S. for Bridget.

    I don’t know how reliable this person’s information is (it is a Tullian parody account -name: “Tullian Tchananagans”- by a person who pretends to be Tullian), but he says in some Tweets that Tullian’s new wife, Stacie, was one of his mistresses:

    _Tweet Link_

    That Tweet reads:

    “Road to glory: 1) stay off Twitter for 6 month 2) marry current mistress✅ 3) chnge the narrative 4) get book deal & speaking tour 6) Lie Lie Lie”

    Another Tweet on that page reads:

    [Tweeted by “Tullian Tchananagans / ‏Aug 26]

    So marrying a groupie who you had one of many affairs with legitimizes the whole thing? Got it.”

    Another Tweet on that page reads:

    [Tweeted by “Tullian Tchananagans / Aug 25]

    Tomorrow I marry the love of my life. Well my third affair at least and the one who thinks I’ll be faithful

    [shows screen capture of Stacie Phillip’s Twitter page / photo]

    Like

  2. Okay Julie Anne. I get the vibe from the Parody account that he (she?) seems to have insider info to tweet the stuff he does.

    Also, I’ve only been vaguely keeping up with the Tullian drama, so I’m not completely sure what’s been going on with him. Things are kind of sketchy and hard to follow.

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  3. “It is no wonder Jesus knelt down and penned words in the dirt for all of the Pharisees to see, as they hurled their abuse at the adulterous woman caught “in the act.” Jesus, the true and only “Head” of our faith knew exactly what lived and breathed in the hearts and minds of those evil and wicked men who sought to destroy that woman caught in sin. Jesus exposed their sins publicly and not one man was standing there to condemn that woman to death.”

    There is another piece to this that is rarely brought up by pastors. If she was “caught in the act”, why wasn’t the man brought before Jesus, too? He was under the same penalty.

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  4. Lydia,

    “There is another piece to this that is rarely brought up by pastors. If she was “caught in the act”, why wasn’t the man brought before Jesus, too? He was under the same penalty.”

    Fascinating statements. I have never pondered the implications of equal responsibility for their sexual sins under the Law, and yes, why not bring the male figure into the judgement as well instead of only the woman. We are given no clear understanding exactly who this man was, perhaps another important religious male figure back in those days? Hmmmm. What a clear, concise picture of Jesus’ mercy and grace upon a wo-man, and if Scriptures serve us correctly, Jesus didn’t just blame the woman for the nasty adultery, did He.

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  5. “What a clear, concise picture of Jesus’ mercy and grace upon a wo-man, and if Scriptures serve us correctly, Jesus didn’t just blame the woman for the nasty adultery, did He.”

    We should consider the Pharisees were in sin for not bringing her partner in crime. How could they caste stones while protecting the other adulterer? Talmudic style rules? I think so. Horrible rules for women in oral law. Female “voices” were even considered as full of temptation for men. Perhaps Jesus was referencing that by writing in the dirt?

    (The verse in 1 Corinthians 14 about women being “silent” in church is right out of oral law. You can find it in the Talmud. The word means no sound at all. Paul refutes it. . There are horrors for women in the oral law.)

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  6. Lydia – Not only that, but if even the written, biblical law had to be followed robotically to the letter, even in the era before grace, why didn’t Jesus pick up the first stone Himself and set upon her? Lev 20:10 hadn’t been blotted out, had it? But yet Jesus didn’t, did He? So if following the law, even then, were the only way to serve the Lord, the only way to avoid sin, why didn’t He initiate the stone-throwing?

    This is why people who think the law is still in effect today (like chapmaned24) would be dangerous if they weren’t so unconvincing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Truthdetector142

    I do not believe that the law of Moses is in effect today. I don’t know where you get that idea.

    But there is two commandments in the law of Moses that are in effect today, and those commandments are the NT commandments.

    Love God
    Love People

    In those two commandments we are told that those two “fulfills” the law, which means that if you are loving your neighbor as yourself, you are not committing adultery, not stealing, not coveting, etc. You are not “observing” those laws, you are only “observing” the love commandments, but in doing so, you are not violating the law of Moses for which you are not under.

    So, we have people professing to be Christians that are not “obedient” to the commandments of Jesus (God) when committing adultery.

    Also, one thing that you are forgetting is that Jesus told that adulterous woman to “sin no more”, which shows that even Jesus considers adultery to be a sin, even tho he did not stone her himself.

    Hebrews 10:28
    He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

    The Law of Mose is the Law of God, not an opinion of Moses, and God is not a moral monster. God is Holy. Who are we to judge God’s laws as immoral in the Law of Moses?

    I see many people disparage the law of Moses, as if Jesus was correcting his Father in Heaven over his harsh laws.

    1 Cor 6:18-20
    18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without (outside) the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

    19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

    20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

    So, does that mean that we can now commit fornication that we are no longer under the law of Moses?

    Romans 7:12
    Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

    Ed

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  8. Ed, you have hijacked this conversation and steered it far away from it’s original intent. In doing so, you are still blaming victims which is not what we do here. It’s time to stop. Feel free to contribute to other conversations, but if it has to do with clergy sex abuse, I’m not going to allow your narrative when you are not understanding the dynamics involved and show little compassion towards those who were taken advantage of by clergy who used their position of trust to control and manipulate.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That was a terrible mistake on my part, Ed. You were correct in assuming it was okay to respond the way you have, but I’m now getting emails with people who are uncomfortable with the direction you have taken it. So that’s why I spoke up.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Ed –

    I got the idea from you, and how you answered me above, you know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t play games with me, don’t be coy. For one who claims to speak plainly, you speak like a full blooded snake oil salesman, and having been many years in B2B sales and many more an attorney, I’ve seen a few.

    When I asked you:

    “When I eat pepperoni on the pizza, is that a sin? When I trim my beard, is that a sin? If I were to buy a coat that had wool and linen in it, would that be a sin?”

    You answered:

    “1 John 3:4
    Sin is the transgression of the law

    Romans 3:20
    The law is the knowledge of sin.

    Romans 7:7
    I had not known sin but by the law

    I quote scripture. Can I say it any plainer than that?”

    You know full well what would be the implications of your plucking out of scriptures in that context, especially in light of the fact that you’d already made a big show about how Deut 22 called for death penalty by stoning.

    Don’t play around Ed, you know exactly where I got the idea from: from your words on this forum. I won’t put up with you weaseling around.

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  11. Truthdetector,

    Julie Anne has requested that I stop. But for you, I will humor you with

    Is adultery a sin? Yes or no?

    It does not matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, Adultery is still a sin. How out of context is that? How is that “plucking”?

    Are you indicating that adultery is no longer a sin? This post has nothing to do with beards, or food, and is another reason that this has gotten off track, away from the topic of adultery.

    I will no longer be on this thread.

    Like

  12. Ed – In your world Jesus should have picked up the first stone and stoned that woman caught in adultery dead, because that’s what Deut 20 says, isn’t it? That’s EXACTLY what it says. In your world, Jesus sinned because He didn’t follow the law, didn’t He?. Did He follow Deut 20, Ed? Answer me.

    Like

  13. In that story I think the point was that only God can forgive. Since Jesus did forgive the woman I believe He was confirming He was God. In my mind the focus is really about Jesus and his claims, not the woman or activity she was in. Could be any sinful activity recorded and Jesus would have done the same. God is the only one that can forgive sin in a Biblical sense.

    I believe if anyone truly repents of sin God forgives. Doesn’t matter who the person is. Having said that I will add that there are always consequences to our sin even if we repent. Sin hurts others no matter how we slice it or dice it.

    I think there are several different views on this thread, legal, Biblical and psychological. We can keep in mind where that person posting is coming from in order to remain civil. Sometimes those frame of references clash but that doesn’t mean it is a wrong point to come from. All of it can add to a richer dialog if we allow it.

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  14. My point is about the law, and the way Ed Chapman insinuated that the law is still applicable out of one side of his mouth (and uses Deut 20, which he introduced into the thread, not anyone else, to support this notion and to condemn the woman who played about with TT equally, which I don’t think fair or biblical), then out of the other side of his mouth, he plays dumb and wonders where oh where anyone would get such an idea from what he’s said and then when presented with what he’s said and asked a direct question, he dances and dodges and ducks like a shyster politician. Makes my head explode, cannot take people like that. Just answer the question is my advice to them, be a straight shooter, don’t play games–or risk being rightly thought a snake oil salesman and a Pharisee.

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  15. Julie Anne,

    I hope that you will allow me the opportunity to defend myself against truthdetector.

    Truthdetector,

    I said that I was not going to be on this thread, but you keep mentioning my name.

    Yes, i mentioned Deuteronomy. It was not for the purpose in stating that they deserve to be stoned.

    It was for the purpose to show that God did not ask questions about the circumstances surrounding the situation, showing that both parties are guilty of sin, and why…but in order for them to be stoned, there must first have been witnesses of the crime.

    In that case, there was absolutely no one not guilty of the sin of adultery. Both parties are guilty. One party was married, the other was not.

    Principals of the OT laws are used today in everyday life, like it or not.

    Women knew the law of Moses

    (Two or Three Witnesses).

    This is from the NIVr

    Deuteronomy 19:15
    [ Witnesses ] Suppose someone is charged with committing a crime of any kind. Then one witness won’t be enough to prove that person is guilty. Every matter must be proved by the words of two or three witnesses.

    Matthew 18:16
    But what if they won’t listen to you? Then take one or two others with you. Scripture says, ‘Every matter must be proved by the words of two or three witnesses.’ (Deuteronomy 19:15)

    And Paul mentions it twice:

    2 Corinthians 13:1
    [ Final Warnings ] This will be my third visit to you. Scripture says, “Every matter must be proved by the words of two or three witnesses.” (Deuteronomy 19:15)

    1 Timothy 5:19
    Don’t believe a charge against an elder unless two or three witnesses bring it.

    And…finally,

    Acts 15
    19 “Now here is my decision. We should not make it hard for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Here is what we should write to them. They must not eat food that has been made impure by being offered to statues of gods. They must not commit sexual sins. They must not eat the meat of animals that have been choked to death. And they must not drink blood. 21 These laws of Moses have been preached in every city from the earliest times. They are read out loud in the synagogues every Sabbath day.”

    Call me names all ya want. They must not commit sexual sins is still in effect today, and these laws of Moses have been preached in every city from the earliest of times.

    Ed

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  16. There are a lot of old testament rules I have no intention of following – like everything about menstruation! So there.

    I believe if anyone truly repents of sin God forgives.

    I believe this. I also believe that true repentance involves a lot of actions and apologizing and care for the people you actually hurt and a lot less whining about how sad it is that you got caught than certain pastors are prone to.

    Like

  17. I’m not suggesting that the principles of the Law, Scriptures and Prophets are not in effect today; for heaven’s sake, I have Jewish blood, my family doesn’t even celebrate Christmas or Easter, our big holidays are Jewish, my children have never known Easter–they know Pesach, however. They also know Jesus as their Messiah.

    So just letting you know where I’m coming from, I’m not one to snip the first 39 books from the Bible. Even the Golden Rule attributed to Jesus is not original with Him, it was first spoken in Jewish tradition (so far as i know) by Hillel (who taught Gamaliel, who taught Saul of Tarsus).

    What is making me nuts about you, though, is that you just can’t seem to bring yourself to do two things:

    1). Answer a question directly, letting “yes” be “yes” and “no” be “no”.
    2). Understand that there is a difference–and a massive one–between a predatory pastor who flits from woman to woman within a church, using his power as control over them to get sexual favors (in the spirit of Hophni and Phinehas, to make a Jewish reference for you), and a woman who’s groomed, softened up for the kill, and exploited for pastor’s sick, forbidden thrill. Adultery is wrong, fornication is wrong, but if you can’t see a difference between the woman and the pastor in that situation (after checking out the video posted above from a talk by Dr. Cameron Altaras, which I highly recommend), then my statements stand.

    Like

  18. The Old Testament case law is just that. It’s an application of the moral law (the Ten Commandments) to the specific circumstances of the Jews.

    The problem is that the Bible doesn’t (to your satisfaction?) provide the details to differentiate between “adultery” and “rape”. In the case of “murder” and “manslaughter”, the case law goes into great detail to describe under what circumstances someone murdered vs what circumstances someone killed someone else without the intent to kill.

    So, I think the question is what we should glean from the following: “But if in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the girl; there is no sin in the girl worthy of death, for just as a man rises against his neighbor and murders him, so is this case. When he found her in the field, the engaged girl cried out, but there was no one to save her.” (Deut 22:25-27)

    Now, interestingly, this passage does not say married woman. So, if you want to argue literally, the other law would say that a married woman who was raped should still be put to death, right?

    But, that’s not the point of what this is saying. Think of this as commentary on two actual cases. The first case is an engaged woman who had consensual sex with someone else in the city. She and her partner were sentenced to death, because it was considered to be adultery. The other case was a woman who was engaged who claimed to be raped, but instead of the sentence being death because it was consensual, only the man was sentenced to death and she was let free – because even if she had cried out, no one could have helped her.

    The principle is that there is a difference between consensual sex and rape, and that, in the Israelite culture, it was expected that women who were being raped would cry out, but it doesn’t mean (like Gothard would claim) that all women must scream while they are raped or it’s consensual. That is just one form of rape.

    So, the fact that the Bible doesn’t explicitly say “forces her” means economic force, or psychological manipulation, or force of authority doesn’t mean that those don’t constitute force. In fact, if you look up the word in a Hebrew concordance, it is the same word that is translated “prevailed” in : “Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab and against the commanders of the army.” So, the word must be more broad than simple physical force, and interestingly this is precisely the kind of situation seen in clergy sex abuse. The authority of the minister puts them in a position where their seduction “prevails” – forces something to happen. This often leaves the victim very confused because on the surface it seems consensual, but it really isn’t.

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  19. TruthDetector,

    To answer your questions:

    You do not ask questions relevant to the conversation, i.e. beards and food.
    In my Christian world (Non-Calvinism) pastors are not in a position of power and control over congregants. I’ve read the statutory laws in regards to this, and based on what I have read, I disagree with the premise that you and others here are advocating. There is one caveat of the statutes that is not being met to make this an illegal act, therefore, I do not see this as a you and others here do.

    And, Mark,
    There are indeed examples in the OT about rape, and if I am not mistaken, the woman in the rape has a responsibility to make it known. There is even a law about virginity, if found by the husband that his wife is not a virgin, and what needs to be done to prove her virginity, and if found that if the husband was right, then she is to be stoned, too…not taken to court. And, there is another law where no witnesses are there, but the husband has suspicions. And in reading Jewish websites, a particular Jewish scholar, dead several centuries now, who is well revered states that if the allegations are right, the woman dies from the bitter water, and so does the one who she slept with even tho he is not around, but if the husband is wrong, the husband dies. That is not in the Bible, but it is stated by that particular Jewish scholar. Can’t remember his name, but it’s easy to find on the internet.

    But, one thing that I will concede to both of you, is that I am at odds of “case law”, because from my limited understanding of Jews, I always was taught that stoning happened immediately, not taken to the civil authorities. Example, Jesus was going to be stoned on numerous occasions without anyone making a citizens arrest, or calling for the Romans in arresting him. Hanging on a Tree, yes, but not for stoning. That is why I am confused at the “Hillel” references that I have heard from a couple of different Calvinists as of late. Yes, the woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus by scribes and Pharisees, but Jesus was not in any custody when people wanted to stone him.

    Anyway, I hope we can dispense with the name calling. Can I disagree without being called a son of hell? Jeesh!

    Ed

    Like

  20. Ed, the stone throwing, responsibility of making it known, etc, is all OT. We are not in the OT. You remind me of Doug Wilson who said that since Lourdes didn’t cry out, she is responsible. Please stop.

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  21. Ed, “and if I am not mistaken, the woman in the rape has a responsibility to make it known.”

    If you’re not mistaken, you might offer some sort of evidence, right?

    Virginity… The law talks about a “bride price of virgins”. A father who collects the bride price of virgins is making a legal claim that his daughter is still a virgin. If it is found that she is not a virgin (the father’s legal claim is fraudulent) then she is stoned in the presence of her father. They are both complicit in the fraud.

    You obviously need to learn how to read your Bible. Just because every instance of stoning doesn’t say call witnesses have a trial, etc., doesn’t mean that you can claim that stoning happens immediately without a trial.

    I’ll help you: https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=death+witnesses&qs_version=NASB

    One example: “then you shall bring out that man or that woman who has done this evil deed to your gates, that is, the man or the woman, and you shall stone them to death. On the evidence of two witnesses or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness. The hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.” (Deut 17:5-7)

    So, that is a counterexample. Stoning happens after witnesses, which means some sort of trial. Read Lev. 24:10-16 to see how blasphemy was handled. How about Stephen in Acts 6-7?

    This raises a hermeneutical principle – scripture interprets scripture. For example Paul tells Timothy to “appoint elders”. The Episcopal form of government keys in on that. Yet, we see in Acts 6 that there was a process of electing and ordaining church officers. So, the Bible isn’t required to record in exhaustive detail every detail of everything that happened. For example, Moses has a speech defect. God says I’ll tell you what I want you to speak, and you tell Aaron, and he will tell the Israelites. But, then later, it says “Moses told the Israelites…” Does that mean that God cured Moses’ speech impediment, or do we understand that it is shorthand for God->Moses->Aaron->Israelites without the need to explicitly call it out every time. In the same way, “they picked up stones to stone him” proves nothing about the timing of the events.

    “Example, Jesus was going to be stoned on numerous occasions without anyone making a citizens arrest”

    Again, you need to learn how to read your Bible. The accounts do not say, at 11:10AM, Jesus began preaching. At 11:20AM, Jesus said. At 11:21AM, they picked up stones. Even though our modern reading of the passage might give us the sense of immediacy, the original does not necessarily have that.

    If you want to read immediacy into the Bible, what about this amazing miracle? “Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain” (Gen 4:1) That’s the SHORTEST GESTATION EVER!

    Perhaps you need to read the Bible to see to what God has to say instead of reading it to see what you’ve already decided is the truth? The fact that you are making wild and crazy claims about what the Bible says without any shred of evidence suggests that either you haven’t read it, or you’ve purposefully blinded yourself to what’s there.

    Like

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