Tullian Tchividjian, Clergy Sexual Misconduct, Fortress Press, Rachel, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church
“But you can’t ignore wounds and cries for justice. For until all parties agree accountability has occurred, there is no reconciliation. And until reconciliation has occurred, there’s no restoration.”
A couple weeks ago, I published a press release from Fortress Press. Later, Brad/futuristguy posted the article, Tullian Tchividjian and Fortress Press: Don’t Legitimate Second Chances Require a Real Track Record of Repentance First? It included important comments from a former editor at Fortress Press, David Lott. Here is part of David Lott’s comment which is relevant to this post, as you will soon see:
I’m not against second chances. I believe in God’s profligate grace. I have no prior personal opinion about Tchividjian or his book, though my subsequent study of what precipitated his downfall I find shocking and repugnant. But I do object strenuously to a publisher positioning itself as the arbiter and vehicle of such rehabilitation, and especially in such a self-congratulatory way in order to boost sales and gain media attention. I object to invoking the #MeToo movement in this misbegotten effort to expedite Tchividjian’s restoration to normality, while ignoring the voices of those whom he exploited. ~David Lott, former editor at Fortress Press
One important part of the press release from Fortress Press stood out to me when I read it:
After careful consultation with his pastoral counselor and other mentors, Fortress Press is confident that Tchividjian has repented of his past indiscretions and has put himself under the authority of trusted Christian leaders.
To be a reputable company, it’s important to go to the sources. Fortress Press apparently went to Tullian Tchividjian’s “pastoral counselor” and other “mentors.” Well, that’s fine and dandy, but if you recall, Tullian Tchividjian was under care and mentors and lied while he was engaging in sexual misconduct with multiple women (see this: An Infographic on Tullian Tchividjian’s Pursuit of Women) — all while he was senior pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, married to his wife, Kim, participating in Liberate conferences, writing best-selling books, speaking, podcasting, and of course, working on his physique and tan.
When you are dealing with a master manipulator and someone who chronically deceives people, it’s important to go directly to those he harmed. I did just that. I went to the primary sources and communicated directly with Rachel. Both told me that he has not contacted them and repented.
When I told Rachel (this Rachel: Survivor of Tullian Tchividjian’s Alleged Clergy Sexual Abuse Goes Public with Her Story – Part 1) about the re-release of his new book, she was very upset and wrote the following statement.
Written by Rachel
I️ am deeply disappointed to hear the news that Fortress Press, a Christian publishing firm, is partnering with Tullian Tchividjian to re-release his book. Tullian has never acknowledged the real truth about the past, but rather has viciously lied to cover his tracks and keep the spin in his favor. He has a very repeatable pattern of finding yes-men to hide behind and use to further his “career.” Christianity can be no more than a means of financial gain to this man. I️t pains me that vulnerable people believe he is a man of God. I believe he is a liar and a spin doctor of sinister magnitude.
Some good men have trusted Tchividjian and learned the hard way over the past few years. Much of this is public news … yet there are people who still want to believe he is legitimately repentant and to give him the platform his narcissism requires to further its own ends. It’s hard when you meet Tullian to believe that he could be a sinister person. He seems genuine, humble, very likable. However, the responsibility now resting at the feet of those “mentoring” him and helping further his career is to investigate the truth about him and not just believe his narrative.
Tullian has deeply hurt, and continues to hurt, people close to me whose stories may never be heard. His behavior “behind the scenes” remains scandalous. He has never taken the crucial steps that would indicate biblical repentance … confession of the truth and a genuine public acknowledgment of his repeated lies to the press. I️ have never wished to shame Tullian in a spirit of bitterness, as he has insinuated to others about my motives. But rather, details are necessary when spin and lies are being created to form a narrative. His narrative is always aimed at maintaining public sympathy and keeping his options open to profit financially from the church.
On 30th November, 2016, The Christian Post summarized the content of a blog post I️ had written for Spiritual Sounding Board. Tchividjian’s comment on my testimony denied the truth blatantly. Tullian has never recanted these lies or reached out or apologized to me for throwing my name in the dirt to protect his own.
QUOTE FROM CHRISTIAN POST, 30th NOVEMBER 2016
He dismissed the following claims made by Rachel, however, as “absolutely false.”
Rachel claims Tchividjian: Encouraged her husband to divorce her without her knowledge; suggested to her that if Coral Ridge failed as a church and he was able to buy the building he would turn it into a nightclub; borrowed thousands of dollars from her and her husband to hire a private investigator to look into his now ex-wife, and said he does not believe premarital sex is unbiblical.
I️ stand behind everything that I️ wrote in the article to this day. There were no lies on my part. Tchividjian, when caught between a rock and a hard place (having been exposed by his pastor in Orlando 9 months after stealing over $11,000 from my family), returned the funds by check. Copies of the check were even posted on the Spiritual Sounding Board blog. Is Tchividjian insinuating these copies were forged?
Surely the beginning of genuine repentance for Tchividjian would be to confess his lies and to step away from profiting financially in any way from the church. His income should come from working in a secular job and restoration should be made, including financial restoration, to his many victims. Had we sued him, the courts would have ruled this in our favor. He has done nothing to right any of his wrongs, but merely adds insult to injury.
Why do foolish Christians still support this man without investigating who he truly is? Grace? We may all be sinners, but we don’t all have to be blindsided, used, and duped by someone who is a master of deceit.