Breaking News: Former Church Says Tullian Tchividjian Should Not Be in Ministry – via Warren Throckmorton

The following notice from Willow Creek Church was posted at approximately 8:30 PM (PDT) Thursday, December 1st, on Warren Throckmorton’s blog: Statement: Former Church Says Tullian Tchividjian Should Not Be in Ministry.

We are deeply grieved by these latest allegations, and have profound gratitude for the courageous individuals who shared them, as well as those who worked tirelessly to chronicle their stories. I read their accounts multiple times through tears. My prayer is that they will receive the necessary care to move forward, and toward that end we continue to offer earnest prayers and full support.

We would also like to state in the clearest possible terms that we do not believe that Mr. Tchividjian should be in any form of public or vocational ministry. Rather, inasmuch as he is truly repentant and in accordance with his membership vows, we would urge him to immediately return to his church of membership, submit to its leadership, and pursue healing and renewal through repentance in the context of his local church to the glory of God and for the good of the broader Church and her witness to the world.

On behalf of the Session of Willow Creek Church,

Kevin Labby, Senior Pastor
Willow Creek Church – Winter Springs, FL

Willow Creek Church employed Tullian Tchividjian from August 2015 until March 2016. Mr. Tchividjian was fired when a second incident of his sexual misconduct while a pastor came to light that he had failed to disclose since May 2014, except to at least three men who kept his sin private: Steve Brown, and two men who were elders at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church where Mr. Tchividjian had previously been Senior Pastor.

Spiritual Sounding Board may update this post as more details become available.

LINKS to Rachel’s Story:  Part #1Part #2Part #3Part #4.  Part #5.

23 comments on “Breaking News: Former Church Says Tullian Tchividjian Should Not Be in Ministry – via Warren Throckmorton

  1. Kudos to Kevin Labby and Willow Creek for releasing this statement. After their initial support of Tullian, they recognized their mistake and did the right thing.

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  2. Pingback: Survivor of Tullian Tchividjian’s Alleged Clergy Sexual Abuse Goes Public with Her Story – Part 4 | Spiritual Sounding Board

  3. Finally; NOW who is going to Bench and pull TT from total ministry? If, David Wilkerson were alive he would have done it. WHERE ARE THE MEN, WHERE ARE THE HOLINESS MEN PROTECTING PEOPLE AND THE FLOCK AND DEMANDING STANDARD OF THIS IS HOLY AND THIS IS PROFANE and part of the healing and restoration of so many men/women in ministry/pulpits themselves that need healing and restoration and foundations, biblical and otherwise in place? Also, that TT gets the healing he needs and for his current marriage and children and that he is bearing fruit and has accountability and no more abusing sheep=people. Can’t recall; very famous sports figure and Pastor held him accountable to the unth degree for transgressions and holding him accountable as a husband/father, Son of God! That’s Love! That’s LIVING the Gospel and Bible=Word and God the Father and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit! Then maybe the World would take notice and Prodigals would come Home if they saw Men truly living Jesus Christ!

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  4. So typical. Happens over and over. As a pastor I have learned to not even bother warning other churches and pastors about some person who caused our own church great harm and then moved on. Why? Because they won’t listen to such warnings. Not only that, they then almost always go right to the evil person and tell them that I gave the warning. Time after time it has happened. Why? Arrogance I guess. “We know better than you even though you have known this guy for 20 years and we just met him.” Are churches THAT desperate to fill their pews? I guess so. And note, this is also the very reason that pedophiles for example find it so easy to keep up their evil in churches. Most Christians don’t want to hear the warnings, don’t want to hear about anything “negative,” and have been brainwashed by false teaching into thinking that any such warning is “gossip.”

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  5. You know what’s unbelievable? That Willow Creek, one of the largest evangelical church’s in the country, that instructs and influences many other churches, hired him to begin with. How does that even happen? Their directive NOW, regarding TT, would have been most appropriate back then. I hope they have the humility to understand, that by hiring this abusive, misogynistic man, has undermined their influence, and they should be looking at their own leadership for exactly how this came to be. I am a white woman and I will say that the culture of white, evangelical men who lead with their ‘man’ cards, has left a bitter taste in my mouth, and many others within the church. I am so turned off by the church of today! Legalism is alive and well, make no mistake, but I will join the ranks of those who will not be silent on the matter. You wonder why so many leave the church? Look no further than the mirror.

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  6. Kudos to Kevin Labby and Willow Creek for releasing this statement. After their initial support of Tullian, they recognized their mistake and did the right thing.

    I am glad they recognized their mistake and that they put out this statement.

    Obviously they should never have hired him. I hope they, and the many many other churches who do the same sorts of things, will learn from their mistake.

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  7. To rephrase Grace’s note in a way I hope she would appreciate, it boggles the mind that any church would grant its pulpit for even ten minutes to a man who clearly is not a “one woman man” and “of good reputation”, as Paul prescribed for the pastorate.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s good to see them make the right response at this point, but I also have to ask, shouldn’t they have been the ones to figure all this out in the beginning?

    When TT was looking for work, did anyone think of speaking with his victims? Did anyone do any background checking? Is it S.O.P. that they all just take each others’ word for things?

    Is there such a separation between the guys “at the top” and the parishioners that they aren’t really aware of what’s going on outside of their group? Do they actively try to find out?

    As Bike Bubba pointed out, they failed even to simply follow the most basic scriptures.

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  9. As Bike Bubba pointed out, they failed even to simply follow the most basic scriptures.

    As for Willow Church, it seems to me that they

    were personal (semi)friends/good old boys with Tullian so they wanted to ‘help’ him (by giving him a paid position in church)
    Thought they could get away with ignoring the rules by giving him some made up job where he ‘wasn’t in ministry’.

    All of which was foolish.

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  10. 2nd count…That tells me everything. I hope when they tell him to prove himself and his repentance they are talking loooooong term. Too frequently churches trip over themselves to restore a man like this. It is so very wrong headed. Repentance is very easy to pretend. Fruit of repentance should be proven over the very long term.

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  11. Jeff, even though a few churches will hire the pastor you’ve warned them against, hundreds, perhaps thousands, will not. It’s still worth doing.

    3 blossommon, I don’t think real predators can reform (at least not in this life). Once a leader has a sense of entitlement to get what he wants (sex, fame, power), it doesn’t go away. It’s not the “sex”; it’s the entire self-absorbed drive toward self-aggrandizement.

    THOT!, although I like your idea, I don’t think there will ever be a universal policeman or agency to keep predators out of ministry. Christians need to wake from their naive, irrationally optimistic mindset and take the warnings in Scripture about wolves rising up from among us seriously.

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  12. Jeff Crippen: FULLY understand where you’re coming from. Maybe it’s pride, arrogance, were better than everyone else mentality or it’s NOT going to happen and or effect/affect us, but it does; so you’re are seeing who is the wolf that doesn’t protect the flock or the true that does (so few true Matthew 7:13-14=spoken of the number of few who make it)! Famous Reporter asked me once “why didn’t come public sooner on the corruption and abuses in the church”. Meaning was beating my head against the wall of NOTHING being done; leaders NOT dealing with to NO avail. That’s why created Round Table of Men to report church abuse to and NOT until then, did anyone do something (because AoG’s didn’t do and or care to take deal with anyone in house; you weren’t going to mess with their dynasty (hope it doesn’t die nasty) or the way they had money coming in or their reputation, name=very evil group as so many. Meaning, they don’t care so long as it’s business as usual and no one rocks the boat and or their little world. They even have people on payroll to run the so called troublemakers out that want holiness, righteousness, repentance, prayer, Bible=Word rather than PREYING on the people. Sent TT to a list of Men in Christendom, let’s see if they do anything; if not then know they’re part of the rat pack (will send you the list then we will know). All you can do is also, take it world-wide media* and hope they do their job and expose (yeah right)!
    graceatthecross: Yes, people are waking up and exiting.
    Synopsis: I’m no psychologist, thinking about TT behavior to women is he either has such a hatred for his Mother that he is defiling so many women a revenge and getting even endeavor; NOT to mention hatred of himself (Earl Jabay’s books). Also, learned this: if you sit in judgment of your parents you repeat the same sins (definitely subconscious on revenge and getting even on his dysfunctional family)!
    Wonder what Susan Forward-Ph.D, Herb Goldberb-Ph.D, Dr. Laura, Joshua Coleman’s*, those who have discernment to get to the root issue. Jeff Crippen: I’m of Ezekiel 2: message, DELIVER THE MESSAGE; NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT THEY DO WITH IT. *going to them also.

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  13. Anonymous2: Problem is where is TT going to go and make a living without being the used religion=type used car salesman that he’s been selling his DEAD religion for so long and his B.S./rhetoric not to mention all the lies. Do you want to to notify all media: just google all email addresses for media and all mailing (used to do both, emails and put on USPS pre-paid post card; meaning everyone can read). Click on angelfire.org and do it (read: rumormills on how to=very old list; but it does work as been at it for years. one of the problems is IF, they don’t do their job as addressed in Battle Hymn by John Scura/Dane Phillips and Marketing of Evil & David Kupelian other reads; look at “Losing My Religion” by William Lobdell)!
    Look at all Trinity Foundation, in Dallas TX (Ole Anthony/Pete Evans) has tried to expose on MANY, MANY CORRUPT Ministries to NO AVAIL like TBN, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, they have DVD’s and articles exposing contact them and or go to their website. Yed brainwashed people (sheep) still tithe, attend and throw money at these organizations which are a business. God, Jesus, Holy Spirit doesn’t get a dime but the prostituting and the whoring of their name=so sad!
    Anyone want to Picket outside TT current church and bring in the Media Cameras?

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  14. Anonymous2–Chris Moles, who has a ministry working with guys who have been abusive, disagrees. He says any Christian can change. I agree and believe that this type of healing is promised in the Bible for those who seek it.

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  15. Irene: Believe why this was done was because their has been no repentance (true which is to change, turn away from sin or abuses); pattern of the many victims over the years of predatory and whatever else behavior; especially to married women (pretty evil actually). Think of three men in Christendom that should NEVER be in Ministry as didn’t submitted to what mandated and still doing Business of their Ministry their way; no repentance or how far reaching their actions and people they destroyed along the way. No FRUIT of being in Ministry (like so many in church leadership).

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  16. Anonymous2–Chris Moles, who has a ministry working with guys who have been abusive, disagrees. He says any Christian can change.

    I believe lundy bancroft said that abusers can change, but mostly they don’t bother because they don’t have to. They get everything they want without changing.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. It seems they usually want to change initially, even if only to get their wife back, their children back, their reputation back, etc. But, they don’t realize that it doesn’t happen overnight; it takes YEARS of de-programming. And isn’t a big part of being abusive wanting things to happen NOW?
    God, give us wisdom.

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  18. It seems they usually want to change initially, even if only to get their wife back, their children back, their reputation back, etc. But, they don’t realize that it doesn’t happen overnight; it takes YEARS of de-programming.

    Or they control their behavior just enough to get what they want, i.e. wife, children, reputation back, and then when they get those things they just stop bothering.

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  19. Here’s my 2 cents. We can have a theoretical discussion all day long about whether TT (and other abusers and false teachers) are capable of true repentance or not. We can go around and around in circles talking about the doctrines of grace, repentance, judgement, and human nature. But at the end of the day, whether TT “repents” or not, and whether he is sincere or not, doesn’t really matter when it comes to his future involvement in “ministry.” He should never, ever be in public ministry or be a paid staff member at a Christian organization again. He needs to find an honest way to make a living and support his family. Go back to school if necessary. Work in a field where he will not be around people or have authority over others, especially women. If he wants to volunteer at his local church in the distant future, he could be a blessing by cleaning toilets or mowing the grass or packing food baskets for the poor. I’m not being sarcastic — I’m serious. He should never be given a public platform again.

    Let me put it this way. If a former alcoholic is truly repentant, does he or she hang out at the local bar in order to “witness”? How much more for someone who has a history of abusing people — IF they are truly sorry for the pain that they caused, they would want to avoid putting themselves in a situation where they could continue to hurt others. IF TT is truly repentant or becomes repentant in the future, he would never again seek to be in public ministry or work for a Christian organization. To do so would just show his insincerity and arrogance.

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  20. “Anonymous2–Chris Moles, who has a ministry working with guys who have been abusive, disagrees. He says any Christian can change. I agree and believe that this type of healing is promised in the Bible for those who seek it.*

    The problem is these types lived a long con. They are masters of the con and deception. It becomes their nature. To change would mean totally leaving the limelight including Twitter and such. How could anyone know their repentance is real? Because they say so? Their best bet is to get a real job and live a quiet life outside the public eye. My guess is he can’t based on his behavior the last year. .

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