Clergy Sex Abuse, Misuse of Scripture, Sexual Abuse/Assault and Churches, Spiritual Abuse, Tullian Tchividjian

Reader Comments on My Bitterness and Hatred for Posting about Tullian Tchividjian’s Clergy Sexual Misconduct

I received an email not too long ago rebuking me for my posts on Tullian Tchividjian. This, of course, is not a first. I changed the person’s name and formatting for easier reading, but the content remains the same.

Hi Julie Anne,

My name is Taylor. And I interned at Coral Ridge in 2012. God undoubtedly used Tullian to open my eyes to Jesus and to grasp the gospel. A few conversations here and there was a cool thing to get to experience since I looked up to him and was so thankful for how God gifted him to communicate the gospel in a way that wrecked my heart in the best way possible to be an authentic follower of Jesus and not just a Sunday-I-Guess-I-Ought-To-Do-Right Christian.

I was devastated and heartbroken when I heard of the news of Tullian’s affair(s). I do not take sin lightly. Even though at times I’m way too prideful to admit and see my sin. Sadly enough I can fall into pride and feel justified in my sin! I hate that so much! I do not believe sin of any magnitude should be ignored. I believe it is essential that serious confrontation with sin takes place in the heart and life of every Christian. Today I came across your post from 2016 maybe? I’m not really sure when it was posted, but that’s irrelevant. I was literally stunned at the page I opened up to. 

I know that I am so ill-deserving of God’s Grace and mercy. It appears that you would say the same. The awareness I have of my sinful, cold, hardened heart apart from God’s never ending grace, mercy and pursuit of me, often brings me to tears of joy, and stirs my heart towards compassion for the fallen, and even the perpetrators against me. By no stretch of the imagination do I perfectly achieve compassion and grace for my perpetrators and frustrating and/or irritable people. Nevertheless, I do not believe my role, or anyone’s role, in God’s kingdom is to pile on peoples bad moral decisions. Even though too often my initial reaction is to do so.

Obviously the choice is yours as far as what you do with your website, what pastors/authors you choose to pay attention to, who you like or don’t like etc. It is also up to you to decide to love people against conditions of deserving love in the same way Jesus chooses to love us everyday.

Again, I was devastated, stunned and heartbroken when the news of Tullian’s choices of infidelity came to light. However, as heartbroken as I was by the news of Tullian’s selfish, self-indulgent sin, I am equally heartbroken by your blog posts in regards to Tullian’s falling from grace. 

I would define this 4-part series, or whatever you want to call it, and the culture you are cultivating as downright sinful and disgusting. It appears that your motivation is to have compassion for the people hurt by his decisions and to speak out against shallow Christianity perhaps?

Whatever your motivation, the posts are completely unacceptable Christian or even Non-Christian behavior. To continue to heap coals on Tullian’s sinful choices he made is not standing for justice. It is not helping anybody see Jesus in a compassionate, grace-filled light. Your posts and “investigative journalism” or whatever, helps reach zero people for the fame of Jesus. It also cultivates bitterness, resentment, and hate. And I don’t throw the word “hate” around lightly like many people do these days. 

What Tullian did was disgusting. But I am telling you, Julie Anne, your relentless pursuit of this story is not helping in the compassionate stand-up-for-justice way you think it is. My prayer is that your eyes are opened to the bitterness and hate that you are catering to, and how anti-Christian this material is. We are all fallen and broken with a desperate need of His unrelenting grace.

As a Christian, it would be beneficial to you and to me for you to remove the Tullian posts, no matter how old they are or how justified you feel they are. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this. 

   – Taylor

How would you respond to his e-mail? What important considerations is he missing? Where is he wrong? I will send him a link to this article so he can read the comments.

179 thoughts on “Reader Comments on My Bitterness and Hatred for Posting about Tullian Tchividjian’s Clergy Sexual Misconduct”

  1. What about justice for the victims? What about warning future potential victims? Should we stop having newspapers, then, reporting murders, rapes, etc.? Maybe whenever anybody in authority does anything, we should show Christian forgiveness and not report on it or talk about it…..


  2. I feel like this letter writer is very young.

    It is also up to you to decide to love people against conditions of deserving love

    K…(love the implication that you can’t ‘love’ someone and call them out at the same time)

    However, as heartbroken as I was by the news of Tullian’s selfish, self-indulgent sin, I am equally heartbroken by your blog posts in regards to Tullian’s falling from grace.

    ‘equally heartbroken’ that you reported true stuff.

    Julie Anne, how many long letters do you think this person wrote to Tullian about how he should fix himself? He also seems not to have mentioned (if aware) the stuff TT was saying about you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It causes cognitive dissonance to see behind the mask of someone you thought was a hero but is actually an abuser. Some people respond by seeking truth and justice and break an abuser’s grooming bonds, others care more for their own comfort and look the other way.

    I think it comes down to a matter of love, do you love others who are suffering? And when you see abuse, is your ego so fragile that you’ll heap more burdens and blame on whistleblowers and victims to shut them up to avoid caring for your neighbor who is being abused?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tullian has much more opportunity to find a platform for his side of the story than those he abused. They do not & are typically disbelieved, suppressed & ostracized.
    God is filled with extravagant grace, but He demonstrates that simply by saving us from the justice our sin deserves & redeeming us. He is also Holy & gives standards for pastors & elders in the Bible. Those who are disqualified from those are still forgiven just like everyone & free to serve in other ways as God leads.
    Probably lots more but those 2 points jump out at me.


  5. I’m reminded that the Bible does list some pretty horrific crimes and offenses. I would ask -“Were the Bible’s authors in sin for writing the Bible?”

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Hi Taylor, I think I understand where you’re coming from. I was raised to believe that the church needs to be unified and pure in order to win people for Jesus. Since we all know that sin is pervasive in the church, how does the church remain unified and pure in light of the impure members. There are essentially two choices: circle the wagons, and shine the light.

    Circle the wagons is the choice many churches make. They believe that in order to reach the lost, the lost have to think of the church as essentially perfect. When sin shows up in a church, it must be hidden and swept under the rug. Look at the Catholic church. They knew that some priests had a problem with pedophilia. They believed that they needed to circle the wagons (cover-up the sin) by silencing victims, which they did by settling lawsuits with non-disclosure agreements, and moving the priests around. In Tullian’s case, the PCA did this as much as possible. They dealt with the elephant in the room, which was publicly-known adultery, but ignored the many instances of spiritual abuse and abuse of authority that had been prevalent in his tenure.

    The flip side is shine the light. Few churches practice this. One example I can point to is the work of Jimmy Hinton, whose former-pastor father is a pedophile. A victim came to Hinton, who believed her, reported to the police, and then kept his church informed about what his father had done.

    The problem is that the circle the wagons churches make us think it is somehow wise and Biblical to circle the wagons, while it is somehow vengeful and bitter to shine the light. Jesus said the opposite.

    Now when He had spoken, a Pharisee asked Him to have lunch with him; and He went in, and reclined at the table. When the Pharisee saw it, he was surprised that He had not first ceremonially washed before the meal. But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness. You foolish ones, did not He who made the outside make the inside also? But give that which is within as charity, and then all things are clean for you.

    “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

    I don’t think Jesus needs us to protect his turf by lying and covering up the sins people have done while claiming to serve him. We’re not bitter or vengeful for calling out evil deeds and evil men.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Sounds like a very young intern that hasn’t grown up and out of hero worship. When leadership continues in a long established pattern of sin we are commanded by the apostle Paul to confront it “ right then and there in front of everyone”. Tullian is disqualified from serving in any capacity within the church. How many have been featured here that fit that category. Spanky Sproul, Doug Phillips, Marky Mark Driscoll…. The list goes on and on .

    Unfortunately we are in a time where church men would rather ignore or even cover up the great harm that members of the Christian industrial complex are causing for the sake of the church. That of course translates into for sake of profitability of the enterprise. Ultimately God gets disgusted with the corrupting and rains down judgment. Entire mega churches and even denominations have been destroyed. Church buildings and large real estate holdings have been lost. Julie Ann, I would reply to the intern in the gentle way like you always do. He is obviously young and very inexperienced. That being said he needs to grow up and realize he is not advancing a biblical concept.

    This is assuming that this intern exists and it’s not the TOOL himself engaging in a bit of damage control. Lost cause Tullian, get a job in the real world and leave the teaching to people that can manage to remain faithful to their spouse.


  8. The tenacity with which you have pursued Tullian in his humiliation strikes me as scab picking. Perhaps you could do your next series on Saul of Tarsus, and the victims of his persecution of early followers if Christ. Surely those victims need their story told?


  9. “… the posts are completely unacceptable Christian or even Non-Christian behavior.”

    It was faithful christians who put an unacceptable person into a position of power. It was faithful christians who followed a super-star pastor, and allowed people to be hurt because of it. And if nobody ever talks about what happened, and how it happened, and what warning signs people should have seen but missed, then nobody will learn from this event, and nobody will be able to prevent the next one, or the one after that. And that’s just setting up a lot of other christians to be hurt by this same kind of thing in the future. Including, possibly, “Taylor”. The loving response in this kind of case should be anger, anger that motivates you to learn how to prevent this sort of thing happening to other people, that motivates you to take action. Never listen to people like “Taylor” when they tell you to shut up. Keep talking.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Sounds like a very young intern that hasn’t grown up and out of hero worship.

    Yes, I mentioned the young thing but the hero worship was there too. Never meet your heros, I guess? Figuring out that people you thought very highly of are exceedingly flawed and sometimes worse can be hard. It’s part of growing up.


  11. I often wonder about whether or not it’s wise to make some of this stuff public. That is not to say that I don’t want anything to be done about the sins that are committed within the church, more like, at what point does journalism go from improving the awareness of sins to outright slander.

    That’s a VERY difficult balance to find, but also an inevitable line that must be, in some ways, played around with. I think you do it well enough (as much as I’ve read) but I’m also sure there’s a question of whether or not an article/blog post will be for outright spite and slander, or for the sole purpose of bringing awareness to a very real and serious problem in the church (covering up certain sins rather than responding to them appropriately).

    At the end of the day, I don’t envy your position, lol! Don’t know if I could do it myself. Would constantly be second guessing myself about the whole thing.


  12. This is my first time commenting here in years of reading your blog. I don’t always agree with everything JA posts but I think it’s always beneficial to listen to what she has to say. She has always sounded gracious online (which can be difficult feat no matter how gentle you might sound in real life) and with that I say, no… please don’t take down the Tullian posts. I’d say it’s a comprehensive series and got the makings of investigative journalism. While called to grace, aren’t we also supposed to expose evil?
    Keep on JA. Keep on.


  13. Scout wrote: “Perhaps you could do your next series on Saul of Tarsus, and the victims of his persecution of early followers if Christ.”

    Umm… there are some “minor” differences between Tullian and Saul of Tarsus. Saul was an unbeliever at the time he persecuted Christians. He did not continue that behavior after he became a believer!

    A better parallel might be the shepherds in Jude who feed only themselves, foaming up their shame, etc. Paul publicly warned about those kinds of shepherds.

    I don’t think Julie Anne would continue writing about Tullian if he would choose to stay out of the pulpit and limelight. However, he wants to return to the pulpit, and the Bible does have some rather clear guidelines about church leaders. Words like “blameless, good reputation, self-controlled, above reproach, and respectable” come to mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Reading through the letter, I half wonder if Taylor is female, just from the tone and such. But that’s way off topic, and yes, unlikely since Coral Ridge is PCA.

    Regarding the idea that we ought not mention TT’s sins here, doesn’t Scripture mention Paul’s sins, and David’s, and Moses’? (and a host of others, too) Really, we should remember here that one of the authenticating marks of Scripture is that the colossal screw-ups of God’s people are listed; if it were just a hagiography, those would be glossed over. In the same way, might we not find that one of the marks of our ministries is… we fess up to our sins and do not cover them over?

    Plus, in this case, we have a guy already returning from what, judging by the evidence, ought to be a “lifetime ban” from the pastorate. Shouldn’t people be warned about a likely wolf in a pulpit? Paul certainly did for Hymeneaus and Alexander, and John did for Diotrephes, and John does about a false prophetess in Revelation. It leads to a final (for this comment) thought for me; shoving things under the carpet is exactly how things like pastoral sexual abuse are enabled.

    I’ve personally mulled over whether to spread the word on a particular bad “pastor” I had the bad luck to know–it was deception over wannabe KJVO/trail of Blood and not sexual abuse–and my choice has been to speak firmly against KJVO, not denounce the pastor; but that is because the pastor is retired, and the bigger threat is that others will fall into the KJVO/TOB traps. (in a nutshell; you cannot make a KJVO case without liberal use of slander and character assassination, hence it is out of bounds)


  15. Wow Julie Anne, it seems as though you are “corrected” often by those who deem themselves as “know it all elitists,” either the name of a false Jesus, or the name of their “worldly wisdom selves……and these can be either men or women who love mocking those they see as the “lessers.”

    I searched for that hidden rusty nail in the brome surrounding my back forty garbage pile and found it, “Praise Jesus (the only One of our Scriptures),” that I stepped on, sending me to the nurse’s station for an updated tetanus vaccination from an amazing nurse who empathized with my pain…….she stepped on a toothpick years ago and the dr. said that she must be imagining the pain for they didn’t see any “outward appearance of a foreign toothpick.” Long story short, she sought the wisdom of good folks in the medical field and had it removed…….praise GOD for empathic and compassionate people in our journeys of this life!!! 🙂

    Likewise, Julie Anne, I am thankful that you boldly bring to light the workings of darkness amongst Jesus’ sheep. The mentioned letter from “Taylor” is exactly the type and shadow of darkness that many an innocent c’hurch goer has had the un-pleasure of encountering within the religious system who plays favorites to their cherished “in-crowd,” (the “yes” men and women who love their places of honor), while abusing….lying, slandering, alienating, shunning, reviling, destroying their victim’s reputation within their communities, ripping their victims names off of the c’hurch mailboxes, eliminating their names from c’hurch birthday and wedding anniversary calendars, and playing “god” in the lives of those they believe are “going to hell in a hand basket.”

    Experience with c’hurch and internet vipers lends itself to leaning of the Words of Christ, instead of the words and opinions of comment threads via the internet. Many will mock you, guilt you, and manipulate/control you into believing that you are apostate by not following their celeb preacher man or woman’s words and vain philosophies……and the same goes for the 501c. 3 c’hurch system……if you don’t worship, praise, and shake the pastor man’s hand as you exist….well then… won’t be liked very well by the leadership, because after all, does not your salvations depend upon a “leadership team of sorts.” Yea, right.

    Does “Taylor” worship Jesus in spirit and truth…….or does he dance around the golden calf of celebrity religion who uses and abuses the LORD GOD in vain for personal power, glory, and fame…..and tremendous amounts of mammon as a result?

    I would like to check that golden calves’ hooves, for there is a resounding possibility that this golden beast has multiple toxic rusty nails pounded through it with a primitive anvil/hammer, attached to an egotistical/prideful pedestal…….all the while mocking those who love the Jesus of the original writ, seeking to follow and serve Him.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Julie Anne does demonstrate compassion for sinful people who are willing to admit their sin and demonstrate humility and repentance by accepting the consequences for their actions. Her graciousness was evident in her response to Josh Harris’s fall from evangelical grace. Tullian Tchvidjian has shown no willingness to accept the consequences of his moral failures– consequences which should mean exclusion from the pulpit, from positions of authority within Christian ministry, from positions of teaching. As long as he continues to cling to authority and power when he has demonstrated himself so horribly unfit for both, then I applaud Julie Anne for continuing to speak out against him, and warn others about him.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. BB, the name used was a unisex name. I am not positive either way.

    BTW, everyone, please look through the comments, I just approved a handful that were stuck in moderation while I was away.


  18. The words “bitter” and “hate” are used often as a silencing tactic. I don’t know your motivation for posting the previous posts, that is between you and God. But this person is trying to silence you from speaking out.

    If you believe your motivation for posting to be right and just, trust that belief. Don’t allow gaslighting to add doubt (or try not to anyway, these tactics are hard to get past)

    Liked by 2 people

  19. well weren’t you put in your place – ugh… that’s one way they “kill the prophets”… so sorry Julie Anne! the responses by some to abuses of power are unbelievable… oh, the lies, the deception, the distortions, the denial, the bullying, the cover up and silence that have been allowed for far too long in the Kingdom Church… we are up against entrenched strongholds, including authoritarian (predominantly white male in US) type leadership in the Church that is feeling threatened by the #metoo/#churchtoo exposures coming out… these authoritarian type leaders can no longer control the narrative, so one way is to discredit those (often women) who are speaking up…


  20. I’m out and about today, so checking in when I can. I’ve only read a handful of the comments, but wanted to be sure and let you know that I am absolutely fine. This kind of thing does not get to me personally. I do not lose sleep over it. What I would love to discuss, however, is the belief system that this individual has that led to these comments. That is what is fueling all of this. Thanks!


  21. Melvin, “but I’m also sure there’s a question of whether or not an article/blog post will be for outright spite and slander, or for the sole purpose of bringing awareness to a very real and serious problem in the church”

    Like Lea mentioned, slander must be both malicious and false.

    I don’t think we can control what other people do with these stories, but sharing stories of victims is a useful and important task. I see this as a call for the church to grow up and stop supporting abusers, but obviously, there are going to be people that use this as fodder for anti-church/anti-Christian arguments.

    But, let’s imagine a world where all victims have a voice. Would churches cover up abusive clergy if they knew the victims would be heard? Abuse survives because of a power imbalance, as well as an information imbalance. As long as churches are confident they can silence victims, the abuse will continue.

    Now think another way. If people leave the PCA because they didn’t adequately deal with Tullian… whose fault is that? Is it the people who told the truth about what happened or is it the PCA?

    Their lack of action means that Tullian can say,
    ‘his “infidelity in 2015 was completely wrong, morally and ethically.” But, he said, there was no element of abuse in that or the other affair.

    “I don’t care what role a person has, a consensual relationship between two adults is not abuse. And some of these people will try to make the case that, ‘Well, because you’re in a position of authority, it is abuse,’” Tchividjian said. “And I’ll go, ‘OK I can see how that has been and can be used by people in those positions.’ … (But) that just was not true for me. I was not abusing my authoritative role to try and find women.”’ –Palm Beach Post


  22. Mark’s last paragraph where TT argues that his actions were sinful, but not abusive, makes clear why we need to have people speaking up. If I remember correctly, his relationship with the personal trainer involved a large loan that he was at least rather slow to pay back, and also involved causing huge marital strife (or even divorce?) for a couple that, let’s be honest, probably couldn’t absorb a twelve grand hit nearly as well as a pastor with 8-10 books (and attendant royalties) should be able to.

    Put differently, if he gets to talk and use his network to regain authority, position, and income, then his victims do as well–and I’m not going to say that it’s wrong because the victims work with an advocate.


  23. Because Tullian never admitted to the ABUSE he committed, he is not reformed. In order to repent from his actions, he needs to tell the truth about his actions.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I did a quick look up of repentance in Judaism, and Christianity. Never mind the fruit worthy of repentance. He disqualifies himself on so many levels. And this is why people still blog about him.
    This is why people can’t let it go.
    This is why he is not qualified to pastor in any religious context. He doesn’t even meet the standard of elder.
    People assume he has repented but don’t bother to look up the qualifications of repentance nor the fruit of repentance.
    It’s all about forgiveness, forgiveness. Well if you don’t repent or have fruit of repentance what is there to forgive?
    Then they get upset with people who point it out and not the guy who created the HUGE mess in the first place.

    This is what I would say to Taylor.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Sorry, but Taylor’s e-mail doesn’t ring true to me.

    It’s too vague (read a post in 2016? – they are all dated, so quote it so we all know exactly what was said), the humility also seems to me to be false, and the conclusion that the post(s) should be removed and that it is creating or catering to a culture of hatred just over the top, as it talking about relentless pursuit. (To date it seems to me TT has been the one to indulge in a ‘relentless pursuit’ … of both power and euphemistically ‘perks’.)

    I think the belief system at the back of this is forgiveness without genuine repentence, cheap grace that sees TT make some attempt to admit wrongdoing, after which we should all forgive and forget, not realising this so-called pastor is trying to carry on a ministry as though nothing ever happened. Can’t be done, disqualification in such cases as these is permanent, meaning you cannot just forget what went on. To remove posts exposing a false pastor would be irresponsible, very far from being ‘anti-Christian’.


  26. Taylor, what makes you feel you can say, “It is not helping anybody see Jesus in a compassionate, grace-filled light” ? What made you think that you are the spokesperson for everybody?

    Contrary to your opinion, these posts help me very much to see Jesus ‘in a compassionate and grace filled light’ because long ago, after many negative experiences, I came to the conclusion that church was full of hypocrites who turn a blind eye to evil. These kind of posts have restored my faith that some Christians, at least, are actually sincere and care about truth. That makes me hopeful that maybe God cares, too. People with your attitude pretty much snuffed out my faith in God.


  27. Also,

    “As a Christian, it would be beneficial to you and to me for you to remove the Tullian posts, no matter how old they are or how justified you feel they are. ”

    Okay… who would write this? I mean, the audacity and the obviousness… It made me laugh out loud.


  28. Here’s the meat of the complaint, from my perspective:

    “To continue to heap coals on Tullian’s sinful choices he made is not standing for justice.”


    …whew, sorry. I’m sure that was uncalled for, but I just can’t help myself.

    JA, you are awesome. I love how you expose that which shameful people seek to sweep under the carpet. If TT had properly repented publicly, he would have recused himself from ministry. The fact that he still seeks a pulpit shows that his motives are selfish and greedy. He wants that easy paycheck that comes from fleecing the flock. F— him. Let him burn.


  29. Melvin said: “At the end of the day, I don’t envy your position, lol! Don’t know if I could do it myself. Would constantly be second guessing myself about the whole thing.”

    I have never second-guessed my posts on Tullian. It must be public because he has harmed too many already!

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Here is my 2¢ (and my opinion is probably worth about that, my spelling is… If it weren’t for spell correction…)…

    If the blog was on a witch hunt, I would agree with the writer of this letter. This is more than that, however.

    Spiritual Sounding Board has always been concerned with the victims of abuse (I’ve been following Julie Anne since she was fighting the lawsuit).

    Where the victimizers are concerned, I’ve sensed that, in the first place, SSB has always been concerned that there are no more victims from that person. Secondly, however, I have seen articles where there is a genuine concern for the repentance and reconciliation of the victimizer. While I have had discussion and differences with what an appropriate amount of time and evidence of true repentance is, I do know that is a genuine concern.

    I feel these two paragraphs above show the difference between witch-hunting and calling out and warning of abuse. My belief is if SSB ever did step over that line, there would be appropriate measures taken to set things right.


  31. Oh sure! I just mean like, I guess, I just don’t know at what point I’d be doing it for the wrong or right reasons. It’s great that you feel confident about this. We need people like you doing this work! ESPECIALLY when there’s such a problem with church’s hiding or relocating the problem rather than simply fixing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. The biggest issue I have with this communication is that it presents a number of mere opinions as if they were incontrovertible facts, whilst offering no explanation or argument as to why these opinions should be given any credibility. E.g.

    “…the posts are completely unacceptable Christian or even Non-Christian behavior.” In what way are they unacceptable behaviour for a christian? What christian principles are being transgressed?

    “Your posts and “investigative journalism” or whatever, helps reach zero people for the fame of Jesus. It also cultivates bitterness, resentment, and hate.” What evidence is offered that “zero people” are being reached for Jesus, or that “hate” etc is being cultivated by these posts?

    “…your relentless pursuit of this story is not helping in the compassionate stand-up-for-justice way you think it is.” Again, what evidence is there to back up this statement?

    “As a Christian, it would be beneficial to you and to me for you to remove the Tullian posts…” Exactly what benefit would be gained, and what evidence is there that this alleged benefit would be mutual?

    As sincere as “Taylor” may be in what he wrote, it seems from the letter that he is not only expecting you to simply accept his word as gospel, but that he believes you should act according to his conscience on this matter.


  33. I counted 12 posts about Tchividjian here in 2016.
    Some were about victims, some were about leaders who addressed his sin, one was a timeline etc.


    Life is not always either/or, zero sum. Human beings are complex and their actions have long term effects – especially leaders. Coral Ridge was torn and split, people were hurt.

    The bible says even the rocks will cry out – that’s great you had a positive experience with the guy and with Coral Ridge. But colouring the tough reality of a fallen leader through your lens doesn’t change the facts there were a trail of victims and wounded people.

    “Nevertheless, I do not believe my role, or anyone’s role, in God’s kingdom is to pile on peoples bad moral decisions. Even though too often my initial reaction is to do so.”

    I’m seeing projection here. Sometimes it will be your role, just as it is the role of all the folk who called him out.
    When you were at Coral Ridge, did you reach out to the victims of his abuse? Did you comfort fellow congregants torn by the strife? Did you weep with those who weep and sit in silence and listen to their disgust and pain as well as your own?

    “It appears that your motivation is to have compassion for the people hurt by his decisions and to speak out against shallow Christianity perhaps?

    Whatever your motivation, the posts are completely unacceptable Christian or even Non-Christian behavior. To continue to heap coals on Tullian’s sinful choices he made is not standing for justice.”

    You went off the rails here friend. You are passively-aggressively assigning a motive, when Julie Anne is very clear about motive. Leave motive to the writer and the Holy Spirit, it is not yours to assign.

    “It is not helping anybody see Jesus in a compassionate, grace-filled light.”

    I caution you falling into the trap of playing the assistant Holy Spirit here. You don’t know that. The post in question may not have helped you, but if you read the comments you see others were helped.

    “My prayer is that your eyes are opened to the bitterness and hate that you are catering to, and how anti-Christian this material is. We are all fallen and broken with a desperate need of His unrelenting grace.

    As a Christian, it would be beneficial to you and to me for you to remove the Tullian posts,”

    Julie Anne has left a record, not an “unacceptable … behavior”, not “coals of sinful choices.”

    Justice in the bible is restorative. It doesn’t erase, minimize, excuse, cover up, justify, intellectualize or rationalize. It’s clear eyed.

    Julie Anne let his assault victims who had no platform and no celebrity speak. That is mercy. That is grace. That is love.

    Bitterness…hate…anti-Christian. Careful, Taylor, careful.

    You have been heard.
    Julie Anne gave Tchividjian victims a voice.
    I think you too are a victim.
    Idols have clay feet. Hard lesson, isn’t it?

    Pray for the man you looked up to – that he will repent. And please pray for those he is now ministering to without that repentance and without oversight.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. No problem! And by the way, I found you while doing research for one of my podcasts! I have a Christian movie podcast where I talked about Amazon Prime’s ‘The Boys’ and it’s super post-modern, so I dug into why people resonate with a post-modern story where everything the characters believed in is actually not nearly as wholesome as they thought.

    Couldn’t help but look into church scandals (catholic and protestant combined), failed justice system stuff (reading about Brock Turner again was infuriating!!) and especially the #metoo movement. Was a pretty dark episode to read about, but the most encouraging thing was learning about people like yourself who want nothing more than the church, of all places, to start taking this seriously!

    Really great stuff. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. for the fame of Jesus

    Missed this phrase the first time around but it’s really weird.

    Tullian has much more opportunity to find a platform for his side of the story than those he abused.

    Shera, I think this is a great point and why people like Julie Anne are really needed. Tullian gets national magazines to try to swing people to his side but what does anybody else get?

    Liked by 2 people

  36. I guess the Bible is wicked then. Throughout the old and new testament are example after example of people calling out the abuse of spiritual abuse of leaders. The NT specially gives standards for “leaders”. How is one to enforce standards if abuse/wrong doing is not called out?

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Loved Mark’s comment: “There are essentially two choices: circle the wagons or shine the light.” I grew up singing “This Little Light” — and believing the truth in that simple children’s song. I believe it still. Keep shining the light, Julie Anne!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. “Nevertheless, I do not believe my role, or anyone’s role, in God’s kingdom is to pile on peoples bad moral decisions. Even though too often my initial reaction is to do so.”

    And, yet, Taylor took upon himself (or herself) the role to “pile on” Julie Anne’s decision to expose a wicked person. I find this sort of thing is often the case: People judge victims for daring to “judge” the abuser, all the while claiming that they, themselves, are not judging. These people join in kicking the victim instead of standing against those who abused them.

    I have two thoughts:

    One is that there is a vast difference between a person who repents (which means that they confess, change their behavior, and redress wrongs) and those who don’t. The Apostle Paul, and others in the Bible received forgiveness because they genuinely repented. God did not forgive the unrepentant wicked person, and He doesn’t ask us to either. Luke 17:3-5 says: “If your brother sins, REBUKE him, and IF he repents, forgive him.” TT and many others are NOT repentant, they continue to cover up their abuse and to excuse, justify, minimize, and shift blame. They need to be exposed because “Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch.” (1 Cor 5:6-7) “Good” people need to take a stand against the wolves before they scatter and destroy the sheep. God pronounces “woe” to the shepherds who do this. (Jer 23).

    Secondly, the Bible says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice” (Proverbs 31:8-9). And, “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Eph 5:11) Also, God said to Ezekiel (33:7-9), “I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.”

    What Julie Anne is doing in exposing wickedness is completely Biblical. She, and others like her, speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves and works to see that they get justice. In speaking out, she also potentially gives the wicked a chance to repent.

    Rather than focus on a handful of verses that are often taken out of context and twisted, as I suspect many do, I suggest that Taylor read through the whole Bible, both old and new testaments, taking note of what God says about the wicked, as well as His views about those who repent and those who don’t. Read what Jesus (also the prophets and the apostles) said about those who are wicked. You know, “nice, loving words” public words such as “hypocrites” and “white-washed sepulchers.” Like Taylor, “the Pharisees were offended when they heard this” (John 15:12)

    When people like Julie Anne speak out against evil and injustice, I see the love and compassion of God.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Boy, there are some excellent comments posted! A moment ago, I sent an e-mail to “Taylor” giving him the link to this post and encouraged him/her to read the comments. I knew you all would know how to respond! What a great and spiritually healthy group represented here. 🙂


  40. J A asked “Where is he wrong?”
    Sigh…. Oh My! I suppose that depends upon how you define “wrong”.
    To answer this fully, I’d need to write yet another book! Better yet, a movie script.
    How about “Cerulean Blue”?
    We’ll open in 1974 with Evangelist Billy Grampa helping Dr Kennedy dedicate his new 300 ft Jesus Tower. Little CC (Cerulean Coralridjian) toddles up to Kennedy’s daughter and she says “Whew! Someone needs a change!”
    Then fast forward 35 years, same building, and new pastor CC is excommunicating her. I can have him write “No church government can tolerate such an insurrection from those who will not listen to admonition, refuse all counsel, and will stop at nothing until they have overthrown legitimate authority and replaced it with their own.”
    Oh wait— the real TT actually wrote that! Just to show that he may not have been as grace-full as he seemed back when Taylor was an intern.


  41. I think that I understand Taylor’s heart behind what he/she says, and I don’t want to dismiss outright the desire for peace within the universal church body.

    However, peace without truth is an illusion, and, unfortunately, we often, within the church, pursue peace at the cost of truth. I agree that if TT was outwardly and explicitly repentant, made significant life changes, and had not continued to pursue a position of power and influence, then, yes, it would be wrong to continue to point out his past or hunt him down only for the purpose of humiliation. However, he keeps trying to erase and minimize his past sins, which have hurt not only himself but many others, and construct a new narrative for his life. This is dangerous and deserves to be called out as long as it keeps happening.

    I also think that this blog serves the purpose to be a voice for the powerless. People who are in positions of power have outlets on which to share their side of the story, which are weighed as more credible (church websites, personal blogs with tons of followers, media outlets, etc.) At my own church, one of most common criticisms against my pastor’s accuser was that they didn’t think it was appropriate for her to post her public accusation on Facebook. But where else was she supposed to go? I am thankful for blogs like yours that hold power accountable and give credibility to the stories of the vulnerable.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. I broke down the email this way:

    1. The author has a personal connection to TT. That gives us some idea of the tone behind the words. The author mentions several times feeling devastated and heartbroken. Rightfully so if there is a personal connection there.
    2. Because of the personal connection, TT’s actions are minimized. We see this in the wording of feeling prideful and justifying own sinful behavior and ill-deserving of God’s grace. The personal connection and minimizing of TT’s actions allows the author to not feel like he/she is able to call out TT on his actions.

    3. There are conflicting statements: “I do not believe sin of any kind should be ignored” and belief that serious confrontation with sin should take place. However, it is sinful to point out the wrong actions of TT because this would mean the author has to acknowledge his/her own sin. Instead, the author chooses to confront the “sin” of Julie Anne instead of TT’s sin.

    4. The author ends with stating that it would be beneficial to remove the post for Julie Anne and the author. I can understand that the author think Julie Anne is being sinful for posting the information and removing it would be beneficial for her, but how, specifically, is it beneficial to the author for the post to be removed? Would it be beneficial because the author then would not be confronted with the reality of TT’s wrong actions?

    Overall, I find that those who use the argument of not confronting one’s wrongful actions because we all are sin is not helpful at all. In the case of TT, he has a pattern of abusive behavior which people need to be aware of. There is absolutely nothing wrong, sinful, or prideful about discussing abusive behavior. To hide it and easily let it go because we all sin only enables the abuser to continue their wrong behavior.

    Julie Anne, we certainly have received some interesting emails this week!

    Liked by 1 person

  43. “Taylor”, the telling of my story on Julie-Anne’s blog gave other women who Tullian had sexually abused over many years of his “ministry” the courage to come forward. Although many of their stories remain untold, enough has been made public to leave no question remaining that Tullian is a pathological narcissist and a sexual predator. DOZENS of women over decades were sexually and spiritually abused. When you knew him, he was sleeping with a child sex abuse survivor who he manipulated through the telling of her “story” into a trusting and then sexual relationship that lasted for several years. The girl wrote chapters of his books and blog posts.

    You don’t know Tullian Tchividjian. Few know the true depravity of this man. You cause harm by defending him in your ignorance.

    Julie-Anne, thank you for all you have done for the victims of Tullian Tchividjian. We remain ever grateful and thankful for the voice you have given us, and for your friendship and support. You show Christ in this situation to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. “It appears that your motivation is to have compassion for the people hurt by his decisions and to speak out against shallow Christianity perhaps?”

    Umm, yeah. And nowhere in this rebuke to you did this person express any concern for the victims, only about Tullian. 🙄 I don’t think this person has an inkling of the damage done to Tullian’s targets. This person wants to extend more grace to Tullian than the victims.

    I also think this person is ignoring, or intentionally avoiding, Tullian’s vitriol towards Julie Anne. I hope they are equally rebuking Tullian for his behavior. This is just a clanging symbol.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Cinematic Doctrine! I’m on all kinds of podcast apps, but you can follow me on WordPress, too!

    If you ever get around to listening to the episode on The Boys I’d love to hear what you think, but also, hopefully I got all the facts right, lol! That’s one of my biggest worries. I fact check and make sure what I say is actually what happened but I don’t have an editor or anything so usually it’s all up in the air, lol!

    Just gotta trust the Lord, is all! What else is new? ahaha


  46. Rachel’s comment brings something very important to mind regarding this kind of cases; it is often the first person to report who somehow makes it seem safer to come forward. I am guessing it is in great part for that reason (yes I need to get and read the book) that another Rachael spoke both to the MSU Police and the Indianapolis Star when coming forward about Larry Nassar. It was both a crime report and a bit of a public service announcement, really.

    I see hints of this as well in how abuse victims from SEBTS and SWBTS came forward; it is almost a gambit that assumes that what they experienced is what someone else experienced, and the knowledge that that someone else might have some evidence that is even more compelling than the first accuser has. So we might argue that sites like this, humble though they be, might have that compelling purpose–let survivors know that others are out there and just might support them.


  47. Poor kid never heard of “cheap grace.”

    Discipleship is costly. Yes, we are graciously forgiven the moment we truly repent. But our sins still have consequences and repercussions — both for ourselves and for others.

    And when our sins have seriously hurt others, we must make restitution. When Zacchaeus encountered Jesus, he repented joyfully, and his sins were instantly forgiven. How did he respond? By repaying those he had defrauded fourfold. And by giving half of his property to the poor!

    Liked by 2 people

  48. You nailed it Diane. When someone is repentant, they are grieved at the pain they inflicted on others. Their focus is on those they harmed, how to make things right, not self. All of Tullian’s actions lead to self-promotion, showing absolutely no concern for his victims.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Does TT have any children with women other than the women he is currently living with? If so, they are sure victims in this mess!


  50. Ah, let me see, ah, what Taylor is missing: TT is not repentant, has not apologized to those he has hurt, and truely has no sense of how perverse his actions have been. Yet, he wants to get right back into the pulpit! Right! Absolutely! Of course, why no!


  51. I’m just wondering what Bathsheba’s story is. Wondering why David was still the Prophet of God, why he remained King of Israel.

    Wondering why no one called 911. Ms. Steele admitted that she wanted to have sex with TT, from what I read. That’s exactly what the Christian Post said. She wanted to have sex with him, so she did. NOW she calls him a predator. If I recall Jesus said that if you lust after someone in the heart, that you have committed adultery already. SHE lusted after him, just as she admitted that she wanted to have sex with a married man. And she did. So, blame TT for having sex with her? After all, it’s what she wanted.

    TT has a long list of “vicitms” that no one bothered to call the cops to have a criminal investigation?

    She asks for marital advice, THINKING that is justification that he has POWER? The article states that SHE “considered it” counseling. But what is the LEGAL aspect of it? Was he really counseling her? Or did she make an assumption that is not based on law?

    The ME TOO movement states to BELIEVE THE VICTIMS.

    The only way to believe a victim is when a jury declares one to be a victim. DUE PROCESS. People declare themselves to be victims without LEGAL evidence.

    It is a personal choice to believe accusations. But it is another matter to prove the allegations.

    I would bet that a court of law would teach Ms. Steele a little bit about the law, regarding what she perceives as an abuse of power, and AUTHORITY.

    Church boards are not criminal lawyers, and I see that they blurred the lines between CHURCH POLICY, and criminal activity in the civilian sector.

    This is all public news, and yet, still…no one is doing a criminal investigation. I see adultery, but I sure don’t see criminal activity where there would be any likelihood of TT winding up in a jail cell.

    Without DUE PROCESS…what’s the crime?

    To conclude, it’s a personal choice to believe accusations. But it is another thing altogether to make a legal charge against someone without evidence. To say that someone abused their authority, ya kinda gotta prove that they had authority from a legal standpoint, not in the court of public opinion, but in a courtroom. A church board can’t determine that.

    Julie Anne,

    I know this will go into moderation. Brett Kavanaugh comes to mind. An innocent man dragged thru the mud without due process. And absolutely no evidence. Believe the victims the left told us. What victim? Anyone can make a claim. And that Ford lady STILL had the opportunity to file a criminal complaint, because for that state, the statute of limitations have not expired. She can still, to this day, file a criminal complaint. I think she lied in order to attempt to stop Kavanaugh from getting on the bench of the Supreme Court.

    Is Ford a victim? I don’t think she is at all. And I don’t think that TT’s accusers are victims either. But that’s a personal choice, because they have yet to prove themselves to be victims in a court of law.

    By the way…I hope things are going better for you since your crying at the doctors place. I read that, and it practically had me in tears. But, I think it’s what you may have needed to do anyway. Sometimes after a good cry, you feel better. I hope that was the case.

    Ed Chapman


  52. I think TT’s brother, Boz, explains the situation perfectly:

    “Adult clergy abuse is when a ministry leader uses his position to identify, groom and engage in “consensual” sexual contact with someone in his congregation or under his influence. There are no exceptions to this kind of dehumanising objectification, exploitation and betrayal.”


  53. livingliminal,

    Me, I just call it plain adultery. That’s a commandment not exclusive to a pastor. In the Law of Moses…both parties in a consensual sexual contact is guilty. And it doesn’t matter what religious position of authority that the man had. Both would be getting a punishment of the death penalty in those days. Today’s in house church rules have made abnormal justifications for the woman.

    Ed Chapman


  54. “Me, I just call it plain adultery.” Well, nothing personal, but I suspect Boz has the advantage here in both expertise and experience.

    “In the Law of Moses…” We don’t live under the law of Moses…

    “Today’s in house church rules have made abnormal justifications for the woman.” Boz’s statement holds true regardless of the sex of the ministry leader.


  55. livingliminal,

    Well, that’s all good and such, but it lets the other party off the hook for their part.

    The problem that I have, is that the church seems to think that their internal policy replaces civil and criminal law.

    And that is a systemic problem. It sends a message to the world that no one in the church needs to call law enforcement, cuz they can handle it in-house.

    Our Bill of Rights is for all citizens, and considered God given rights, and it protects the accused.

    Now, if we are going to only concentrate on TT, the accusations against him of being a preditor, I think that he has a right to defend himself.

    Boz can set church policy all he wants, but that tells the world that church policy can circumvent the law, just like it has for a very long time now. Church goers are encouraged to not call law enforcement, cuz they are taught that the government, mans government, is evil. This is why we have so much problems with REAL sexual abuse in the church today. Some are still resisting calling law enforcement… from the pulpit.

    Should TT be a Pastor? Of course not. But should he be accused of being a predator? Not without due process, which includes cross examination of the accuser.

    Ed Chapman


  56. livingliminal,

    We may not love under the law of Moses, but by the law is the knowledge of sin..Romans 3:20.

    Both parties are guilty of the same sin. That’s my point.

    We do live under the laws of the United States. Church policy does not override that law.

    Ed Chapman


  57. TT has a long list of “vicitms” that no one bothered to call the cops to have a criminal investigation?

    There is so much predatory and otherwise bad behavior that is not in any way illegal. I dont think you get what is meant by ‘predation’.


  58. The only way to believe a victim is when a jury declares one to be a victim.

    This statement is utterly absurd. In any other context than ‘excusing men for their terrible behavior’ it would be laughed out of the room.

    Without a jury, you what… Believe the accused? Why?


  59. Lea,

    So, you don’t believe in due process?

    You are making an assumption that I believe the accused. I didn’t say that. I don’t believe anyone. Let a jury decide. Believing either party is not my job. That’s a personal choice.

    But adultery is a sin. My contention is that adultery was committed by both parties, not just one party. Ms. Steele made a statement that she wanted to have sex with TT. She lusted after him. She’d have a hard time in court convincing jury that TT is a predator.

    She’d also have a hard time convincing a jury that TT was her counselor.

    Ed Chapman

    Ed Chapman


  60. Ed, You’re way off base here. First of all counseling requires a development of a position of complete trust with the counselor. It shouldn’t be unexpected that a counselee would share the detail of prior abuse, whether it is sexual or not, because that is part of the healing process.

    That is why all licensed counselors adopt the code of ethics of their respective organizations, which make it unethical for counselors to have romantic relationships with their counselees. It’s because they are placed in a position of trust and that trust can be manipulated.

    It is the same as Dr, Larry Nassar who used his position of trust, as a doctor, to take sexual advantage of underage girls. By your logic, those girls were willing victims because they did not press charges or cry out or whatever stumbling block you want to put in front of them that somehow makes them culpable.

    Tullian used his position of trust, as an unlicensed counselor and pastor to spiritually and emotionally manipulate these women into wanting sex with him. He was an ordained pastor in the PCA, which is an authoritarian denomination. The denomination says (BCO 8-5)

    When a man is called to labor as a teaching elder, it belongs to his
    order, in addition to those functions he shares with all other elders, to feed
    the flock by reading, expounding and preaching the Word of God and to
    administer the Sacraments. As he is sent to declare the will of God to
    sinners, and to beseech them to be reconciled to God through Christ, he is
    termed ambassador. As he bears glad tidings of salvation to the ignorant and
    perishing, he is termed evangelist. As he stands to proclaim the Gospel, he is
    termed preacher. As he dispenses the manifold grace of God, and the
    ordinances instituted by Christ, he is termed steward of the mysteries of God.

    So… what if Tullian declared to Rachel that it was the “will of God” that she sleep with him. Is that consensual, or does the fact that the PCA explicitly says that the pastor “declare[s] the will of God” make it questionable. Does the fact that disobedience to the PCA church courts and leaders is cause for excommunication change the relationship?

    That is why most states and countries recognize a difference in authority or position of trust as making sex that might otherwise be seen as consensual sexual assault.


  61. Lea, “The only way to believe a victim is when a jury declares one to be a victim.”

    Until the jury declares someone to be a victim, at which point the perpetrator was falsely accused. It’s amazing how unimpeachable the character of our courts has become, well, only when they let rapists go free, that is.

    Ed, this puts you at odds with God. God says that Amnon raped Tamar. No jury declared Amnon guilty or Tamar a victim. You can take that one up with God.


  62. It’s amazing how unimpeachable the character of our courts has become, well, only when they let rapists go free, that is.

    Right Mark? The minute someone actually gets convicted the standards change. It’s almost like it’s disingenuous! Even when they confess.

    Honestly, with TT there is no question of what happened really, hasn’t he admitted to wrongdoing? It’s just a matter of whether people interpret these things as predatory or not. I dont know that any of them were illegal in this case, although there have been plenty that were.


  63. Ed – I just approved 3 of your posts . . . reluctantly. It is unethical for a pastor to have a sexual relationship with a congregant because of the power differential. It’s the same as a teacher/student, counselor/client, doctor/patient. You and I have gone round and round on this issue and I’m not going to let you shame survivors and give predators like Tullian a pass.


  64. Hi Julie Anne. I understand ethics. I’m not convinced on the legality of the power differential. She claims he was counseling her. He denied that. I don’t see a victim, therefore I don’t see survivors. Her lust for him negates out her claim. She committed adultery, too. It’s a shame that is over looked. But thanks for posting my comments.

    I believe in due process, and the right for him to defend himself. Anything less goes against our constitution.

    Ed Chapman


  65. Ed, “You are making an assumption that I believe the accused. I didn’t say that. I don’t believe anyone.”
    “Brett Kavanaugh comes to mind. An innocent man dragged thru the mud without due process.”

    You didn’t say a man you “PRESUME” to be innocent. You have declared your truth. That he IS innocent. That means you’ve declared Ford to be a liar. What jury declared her to be a liar? What “due process” did you give her?

    So, if you weren’t so blind, it would be obvious to you that the “truth” you’re proclaiming is simply what you WANT to be true. You WANT Kavanaugh to be innocent and Ford a liar because it matches your foregone conclusion that the “right” is a bunch of upright, honest men and the “left” a bunch of cowardly liars.


  66. A jury of his peers in a court of law. Dial 911 and let law enforcement investigate. That’s the only way that I know to prove guilt and a jail cell… that is, if that’s the goal.

    Ed Chapman


  67. You WANT Kavanaugh to be innocent and Ford a liar

    I had to step out of a comment thread elsewhere that was flat out declaring Ford was a proven liar, with literally no evidence provided because it’s so infuriating. I get saying you don’t know who you believe. I do not get saying things are proven that are clearly not.

    Also everybody needs to go watch Unbelievable on netflix or read the book or article about the real story because man. Talk about infuriating.


  68. JA, there will just be another bar. At first, it’s, ‘I need to hear the facts’, then it’s ‘He needs to be declared guilty in a court of law’, then it’s ‘The justice system failed this person’.

    I think the conclusion is that there is a certain category of people, maybe rich white conservative males, that can never do any wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. Ed, any organization that has an iota of sense knows that they can trash their reputation immensely before there is any legal issue, and the example of an adulterous pastor being tolerated by a church is one of them. Others include the college or workplace that tolerates sexual harassment (or worse); if you wait to get sued or prosecuted before taking action regarding someone who is “making some really bad decisions”, you can kiss your organization good-bye.

    In this case, we have an admitted adulterer who is returning to “ministry”. The only disagreement is of whether the very real prestige and perceived authority of the pastor qualifies the case as “just adultery” or “abusive adultery”, and multiple people who were involved in “counseling” Tchividjian note that he wasn’t honest or forthright in his response.

    In other words, that last bit means he was abusing the systems he was working in. Now we might somehow quibble over whether his affairs qualify him as an abuser, but ironically his response to those who tried to help him makes the case emphatically.


  70. Julie Anne, and others,

    Guys, please…I’m not against what you are doing. But what really is being accomplished? If you want JUSTICE, ya gotta take it to the law enforcement.

    We have a constitution. But I see trash talk of the law. Do you people not see that the CHURCH is the problem as to why nothing goes to court? It’s one excuse after another.

    How many FELONY crimes have been committed in church that NO ONE CALLS THE COPS. I’ve seen stories that NO ONE IS ALLOWED to call the cops in the church, UNLESS they get approval from the TOP DOG at the church. WHO made up that stupid rule?

    There is a serious systemic problem in the church’s that convince people to STAY AWAY FROM THE COURTROOM.

    Someone earlier mentioned Larry Nassar. Well, he is in a jail cell, isn’t he? HOW did he get there? Just by people talking about it? Or did someone go to the cops?

    The Bible states to SEEK JUSTICE. IF these women are TRULY victims, then seek justice for them. Put action into it.

    I remember a line that used to be said when people get married. If anyone has any reason that these two should not be married, SPEAK NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE.

    Don’t ya think it’s time to put up or shut up? It’s OVER. Unless someone is willing to take it to court.

    The BIGGER CRIME in my OPINION, is the preaching from the pulpit to NOT REPORT CRIME TO LAW ENFORCEMENT.

    To me, this isn’t about TT or the allegations against him. It’s the lack of will to take it to court. FOR ANY CRIME BY ANYONE. The leaders (which is what you guys call them) wants to keep FELONY crime IN HOUSE, keep it hush hush, cuz the church’s don’t want to tarnish their “ABOVE REPROACH” reputation to the community. Celebrity, PUBLIC FIGURES, that will in the SOUTHERN BAPTISTS that tell a STUDENT, a victim of RAPE to NOT CALL THE COPS. That was SEVERAL YEARS AGO, and it is JUST NOW coming to light.

    What’s it gonna take for the church to wake up and report crime to the law enforcement?

    That’s my WHOLE POINT. TT has a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to face his accusers in a court of law. Tell me I’m wrong?

    What laws do you church people abide by? IN-HOUSE church rules only?

    Are ya gonna seek justice, or just talk about it? Or is vengeance the goal? What’s this really all about?

    Ed Chapman


  71. I blocked “Chapmen Ed” from my blog just the other day.

    He left a long comment on my blog that I only skimmed before trashing.

    I explain more about that (Link): here (link is to the post on my blog).

    I don’t know what drove him to my blog to comment.

    Chapmen Ed is is a CSA denier.

    I’ve seen him around the internet on other blogs in the last few years, where he likes to blame women victims of CSA, and argue they are not victims but are equally to blame. There is no reasoning with him on this subject.


  72. That’s not true. Not true at all. My point is self righteousness in what you said on your blog. And I didn’t give opinion on your blog. Just two bible refs. One of which is a man that prayed, at least I am not an adulterer. Jesus said that he is not justified in that prayer.

    I’m not a fan of self righteous statements either.

    My comment was 2 bible verses with a very short statement.

    That’s all it was.

    Ed Chapman


  73. Ed, I think I mostly agree with your latest post, but I don’t think saying that TT’s sex was consensual accomplishes anything you’re saying. You are victim blaming and silencing. The same sort of victim blaming and silencing that keeps victims silent in the church.

    It’s not just the pastors preaching it from the pulpit. It’s also the little old bittys that take their little bites out of the victims. Someone I know was sexually assaulted by a man in her church. The little justice she got was that he was told not to come to church, then the old ladies made a point of going to her and whining about how much they missed him.

    That said, JUSTICE, is not the exclusive domain of the secular legal system. Paul tells the elders of the Corinthian church to judge their members. Justice. So, not only should the church tell members to report crimes to the police, but they should also judge those within their midst. If they had faithfully judged TT, and the elders who knew about his affairs and covered them up, then TT couldn’t have said, “I never abused anyone, it was consensual.” The elders resigned from their offices. They were not deposed, meaning that they could be re-elected and serve.

    “TT has a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to face his accusers in a court of law. Tell me I’m wrong?”

    So does Christine Ford.

    If you’re going to accuse her of perjury without a trial, and then claim that we cannot accuse TT of sexual assault without a trial, you’re just a plain and simple HYPOCRITE. You’re not defending the Constitution. You’re just trying to silence people who don’t agree with you.


  74. Ed: “Guys, please…I’m not against what you are doing. But what really is being accomplished? If you want JUSTICE, ya gotta take it to the law enforcement.”

    Is that where Martin Luther King Jr. needed to go to get justice for the Civil Rights Movement?

    With so many within the church calling out for “Separation of Church and State” or pointing to Paul’s words about deciding legal issues within the church, what you suggest is extremely short-sighted.

    There are clergy who are decent men who would never stoop to preying on women in their congregation.

    But there are other men who seek out those positions of power for the very purpose of preying on the vulnerable. These men rely on the separation of church and state and/or deciding legal issues within the church argument to protect them and give them a sheepfold to prey upon with impunity. This sort of dynamic needs to be busted up and exposed for what it is. There needs to be open protest against this misuse of power and the unrighteous protection of predatory clergy. Just like MLK Jr. needed to draw attention and expose the injustice of segregation.

    It’s not a legal issue to be taken to the police or justice system. You are either very misinformed or purposely trying to confuse the issue.

    It is a misuse and abuse of power that needs to be exposed for what it is. The justice system has nothing to do with it. so stop pushing this idiotic course of action.


  75. TT has a right to face his accusers in a court of law? Well, I guess if he were credibly accused of something that actually violates the law, or if he or one of his victims decided to sue in civil court, but as things stand now, what we have is noncriminal adultery/fornication which also has a strong scent of abuse.

    There are times when it is entirely appropriate to encourage victims/accusers to go to legal authorities. There are also times when victims don’t want to expose themselves to the “second assault” that can too often happen in legal processes, as well as times where there is a moral offense that will not be of interest to the police. Since this case is in that last category as far as I know, I’m somewhat perplexed why Ed Chapman continues to beat that drum.


  76. There are also times when victims don’t want to expose themselves to the “second assault” that can too often happen in legal processes,

    Indeed. And that is their right. If we as a society wish to encourage victims to report to the police, we need to see the police acting promptly on reports, investigating, actually running rape kits through the system instead of putting them in storage. And when police actually do investigate, prosecutors need to prosecute. The victim has zero control over what the police or prosecutors decide to do. Anybody who wonders why people don’t report needs to do some reading.

    Here is a start: (serious CW)

    Not that literally any of this applies in TT’s case, because there are tons of things you can do that are terrible but not illegal? You would think a christian might be aware of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. If you want JUSTICE, ya gotta take it to the law enforcement.

    In addition to everyone else’s responses to you, Ed, I also want to ask: How does this apply to those who can never have their cases heard? There are likely hundreds of people in the U.S. alone who have been victims of sexual assault as children. For many of them, “justice” (as you define it) can never be realized due to archaic and unrealistic statutes of limitations. What do you propose they do? Sit in silence forever and never tell their stories? If they do speak out, are they guilty of libel or slander in your eyes, because their assailants will never face a jury?

    This seems a very cruel stance to take against victims of abuse, Ed. And yes, I consider Ms. Steele a victim, and one whose case will also never come to a trial (for the reasons that Bike Bubba mentioned).

    Liked by 1 person

  78. SKIJ, people put very bizarre restrictions on speech in these cases, don’t they??!! I’m with Anne Lamont:

    “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

    If it is true, it is true. You dont have to get anyone else’s approval to speech the truth.


  79. Quoting CE:

    “That’s not true. Not true at all. My point is self righteousness in what you said on your blog. And I didn’t give opinion on your blog. Just two bible refs. One of which is a man that prayed, at least I am not an adulterer. Jesus said that he is not justified in that prayer.

    I’m not a fan of self righteous statements either.

    Yep, it was true.

    You are and were (on my blog) accusing me of being “self righteous,” which is a FALSE statement and FALSE Claim, and I do not appreciate it AT ALL.

    Does the Bible or does it not say that sex outside of marriage is SIN?
    Yes or No?

    I remain a virgin over the age of 45 – that is FACT.

    Ergo, I am and have lived out the Bible’s sexual ethics.

    Has Tullian lived out the Bible’s sexual ethics? NO.

    That is not a “self righteous” comment or observation by me. It is a FACT.

    Tullian committed multiple sexual sins against several different women. FACT.

    In TT’s case, that means the Bible says he is disqualified from working as a pastor ever again.

    You, like 99% of Christians, will likely claim to respect celibacy and sexual purity, but in reality, you DO NOT, as you have insulted an adult virgin for being an adult virgin – for carrying out the Bible’s instructions for sexual purity, you term that “self righteousness”.

    You are defending a known sexual sinner, TT, who sins repeatedly in the area of sexuality while falsely accusing me and putting me down.

    And thanks, CE, for giving me the green light to have sex outside of marriage. Since you are saying it is allegedly “self righteous” for me to be following Christ’s teachings about sex,
    and that it’s OK for Tullian to have sex all over the place AND remain in pastoral positions,
    that means there are NO penalties for fornication.

    Soon as I run across a fine looking man, I will be sure to have sex with him outside of marriage.
    Thanks for lowering the standards and not wanting to call out sexual sin for sexual sin and giving it all a pass.


  80. By the way, do CE, share with us the Bible passage that reads as follows:

    ~~~~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~
    “Thus saith the Lord God, any man who works as a preacher who has sex with multiple women outside of marriage, and who cheats on his wife repeatedly, he shall be rewarded and given a pay raise.
    “The Lord honors fornication, and anyone who says that man’s sexual behavior is sin is “self righteous”
    “The Lord your God is totally fine and down with a grown man taking sexual advantage of numerous women and especially exploiting his position as pastor to do so,
    and that man should not only NOT be fired, but he should be given a corner office and promoted too.”
    ~~~~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~

    I want to know what book of the Bible that is in, and which chapter and verse, please.

    Since you are SO FOND of quoting Bible verses at me.


  81. quoting Mara:
    ~~ ~ ~~ ~~
    But there are other men who seek out those positions of power for the very purpose of preying on the vulnerable. These men rely on the separation of church and state and/or deciding legal issues within the church argument to protect them and give them a sheepfold to prey upon with impunity.
    ~~ ~~ ~~~

    Yes. The predators go where their prey is.
    A lot of pedophiles will seek out any jobs where there are kids: school teacher, boy scout, Sunday School teachers.

    Anna Salter interviewed jailed pedophiles, and the pedos said one of their FAVORITE hunting grounds were churches, one reason being they said, is that most church people are naive, will easily forgive, and will keep allowing them access to children.

    I don’t know if Tullian T. got into ministry because he wanted to sexually exploit women, or, if once he was in, he saw it would be a relatively easy thing to do,
    but he has been using his clerical position of trust to lure in women who are emotionally vulnerable, or who may have marriages that are on the rocks.

    Larry Nassar used his job to molest dozens of teen and some pre-teen girls.

    These perverts go where their preferred prey is located.

    And this CE person keeps putting up a false dichotomy. It doesn’t have to be report it to the cops ~Vs.~ report it to the church,

    Or it should be handled by the cops Vs. handled by the church.

    It’s a matter of both.

    The Bible tells you in the New Testament that any man who claims to be a Christ follower yet who engages in on-going sin (like Tullian) should be booted out of fellowship, with “such a one do not even eat.”

    Elsewhere the Bible outlines the criteria for what can make or break allowing or denying someone to be a pastor or teacher, and I do believe repeated sexual sin is a grounds for firing the person.

    And a last point. I don’t even think CE is aware of this.

    Also, a lot of states ALREADY have laws against what Tullian did.

    Many states have laws that pastors are not allowed to enter into sexual relations with their congregants, since they are acting as counselors.

    I don’t know about Tullian’s state – didn’t he do this in the state of Florida?
    I don’t know what Florida’s laws are, but a lot of states already say it’s illegal for pastors to have sexual relations with their congregants.

    States do not say, “Well, it was consensual on both sides. The woman seemingly had sex with the pastor of her own accord so this is adultery, so we won’t get involved”

    That is not what most states say about pastor-congregant sex. It’s not adultery, they consider it abuse and maybe fraud.

    Just like in many states, psychiatrists and psychologists are prohibited from having sexual relationships of any sort with their patients. And ditto on school teachers and their students.


  82. If anyone ever wonders why a lot of women (and some men) victims don’t come forward to family, friends, police, or employers when they are sexually assaulted and abused, look at CE’s posts on this.

    An insistence on court-style evidence and a jury verdict of “guilty” up front is one reason why systemic sexism against women in the form of sexual exploitation by bosses, teachers, etc, keeps going on for many YEARS. And there are dozens of victims.

    CE’s attitude is one reason why sexual offenders / sexual harassers (especially the repeat offenders) such as Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, and Bill Cosby and the apparent one-offs such as Brett Kavanaugh get away with raping, groping, and-or sexually harassing multiple women for decades.

    I am not a liberal saying that.
    Life long conservative here.
    No fan of Hillary, AOC, Pelosi, etc


  83. And also for CE and people like him:

    Men constantly get away with rape in our nation.

    Most rapes of women are under-reported. When they are reported, often, the police (who are usually MALE) do not believe the victims.

    Many police think women lie or exaggerate about being raped, so they don’t investigate
    (there was recently a long in depth, online article about this issue a few weeks ago)

    Judges let the rapists off with a slap of the wrist and actually say infuriating things like,
    “I know he raped the woman, but he’s young, has his whole life ahead of him, so I’m going to let him off easy, no jail time,”
    or, “it would ruin his reputation and his wife might leave him”

    The judges in this nation, and 99% of the male commentators (and a handful of women sympathizers), always side with the male accused EVEN IF and WHEN it can be demonstrated in a court of law the man is a rapist, never mind pre-trial commentary.

    No care is shown for the WOMEN VICTIMS of these men or how those women’s lives are impacted. All sympathy goes to the pond scum men who rape women.

    This attitude is very common – “even IF the guy is a rapist, he’s still a really swell human being” –

    (Link): Fla. Sex Assault Suspect Is Released Without Bond After Attorney Claims He’s ‘High-Achieving’


    “Even if true,” the allegation “does not mean he’s not been an outstanding young man,” the judge says after releasing the man from jail

    A Florida judge waived the $125,000 bond of a University of Florida residence hall assistant accused of sexually assaulting a female student in his dorm last month and released him from jail after the suspect’s attorney argued that his “high-achieving” client was in danger of getting zeroes on assignments which could jeopardize his “academic future.”

    Men in our nation seldom face repercussions when they rape women. That above is just one example.

    So I do not know why guys like CE cry and clutch pearls in concern and worry about JUSTICE and DUE PROCESS and what happens to men who get accused (false accusations are low anyway).

    You guys don’t care about how common sexual assault of women by men is, even in the proven cases.

    You only care about men and the men’s jobs and the men’s reputations.
    That is your priority, your only concern.

    Zero concern that women are being violated with some guy’s penis in their private parts that they don’t want in their bodies. You don’t care about that and how traumatizing and dehumanizing it is.

    That 20 year old boy raped that blacked-out 20 year old girl behind a dumpster a few years ago.

    What was his name, Brock Turner? Go google him.

    He was caught, turned in, and the little pervert’s father had the audacity to tell the judge in a letter that his son was still a good boy and shouldn’t have his whole life ruined for a “five minute mistake.”

    That a-Hole, the pervert’s father, actually referred to the rape of a woman by his P.O.S. son “a mistake”
    -as though it is this trivial little, inconsequential thing, no big deal, so hey judge, just let my son go.

    Well, if his boy gets raped by multiple men in jail if he ever serves jail time for this or for anything else, I would just love for someone to turn tables and tell the father, “Well, those men who sodomized your son, it was just a ‘five minute mistake,’ so just let it go.” And see how he likes it.


  84. Mara, “Is that where Martin Luther King Jr. needed to go to get justice for the Civil Rights Movement?”

    This is so insightful. The racists who were denying rights to minorities were doing so under the law. Rosa Parks violated the city law which required blacks to give up seats for whites. Black people were not allowed to enroll in state universities. Black people were not allowed to use “white” libraries.

    So, what is JUSTICE here? What crime did the bus driver commit against Rosa Parks?

    Justice is more than pressing charges and appearing before a judge. We know that our entire culture has been complicit in rape culture – from the “modesty” appeal, to the “crying out” appeal to the “it was consensual” appeal to the ability of prosecutors to re-rape women on the witness bench.

    How many underage girls did Epstein rape AFTER!! he was sent to “jail” for raping underage girls? How many women did Bill Cosby rape AFTER!! women went to the police? Why are men with a straight face saying that TT is a valid spiritual leader after he serially seduced multiple women? Why are we defending his actions as “consensual sex” rather than “clergy sex abuse”? Why did OJ Simpson go free after admitting to multiple counts of domestic violence against his wife?

    Not only do we have to seek justice under the current laws, we need to seek true justice by standing with victims and giving them a voice.


  85. I do agree that most churches mishandle abuse cases, especially abuse of children.

    Most churches want to handle all crimes and sins “in-house,” when, in some cases, it should be reported to outside authorities, and in some states, it’s a law that pastors must report crimes.

    The church should not only report certain situations to the police (and some states REQUIRE them to report),
    but they also need to deal with sin in their midst, as discussed in (Link): 1 Corinthians 5

    I think CE is trying to be Disingenuous.

    He’s trying to argue that if we believe that a preacher diddling one of his congregants is abuse,
    it should be reported to the police.
    He doesn’t think it is abuse, however.
    He keeps wanting to victim blame the women and say they played a role, so it’s “just adultery” and not abuse, or not abuse of position (but it is abuse of position).

    However, as I already mentioned above, a lot of states already do regard what TT did as being a legal offense.

    It’s not just some of us here on this forum saying that a pastor having sex with his congregant is wrong and abuse (and not in the category of adultery), it’s also secular authorities saying that, which is why there are already laws against it in some states.


  86. Christianpundit’s comments regarding states criminalizing clergy/congregant relations in certain cases got me looking, and wow. Apparently a number of states, including Florida, do criminalize adultery between clergy and congregants in certain cases, so my comment about “I don’t think this is criminal” could well be wrong. Here we go:

    Not that we have to go to criminal or civil courts, but it looks like my dismissal of the possibility in TT’s case was premature. I don’t have the time or expertise to render a strong view either way, but wow, that was interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  87. (Link): Clergy sex abuse of females complicates intricate issue

    (in the context of the Roman Catholic Church but can also be pertinent to Baptist or Protestant contexts – I see the same attitudes in Baptists and Protestants as what is mentioned about Catholics as what is mentioned in this article):

    (Apologies for the very long excerpt, but it covers so much of what has been said in this thread):

    The Kansas City Star – July 12, 2002

    They are the forgotten victims of clergy sex abuse, neglected by the media and overlooked by church activists.

    Yet many experts estimate that females — both girls and women — constitute a sizable number of all victims of sexual abuse by priests.

    …As a result, female victims say they feel frustrated and isolated as they attempt to deal with the emotional aftermath of sex abuse.

    And, others say, dealing with those victims presents a unique set of problems for the church — and for those looking to blame the crisis on gay priests.

    “They were totally unwilling to really acknowledge that what happened to me was really terrible,” said Corinne Corley, a Kansas City attorney who said she was sexually abused by a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Louis when she was a teen-ager in the 1970s. “Because of the heterosexual factor, they’re going to assume that you were Lolita, a temptress.”

    “The double standard is terrible,” agreed Gary Schoener, a clinical psychologist in Minneapolis who has handled hundreds of clergy abuse cases. “It is presumed that the abuse of young boys is more deviant and therefore more harmful.”

    Financial settlements involving female victims tend to be smaller than settlements for male victims, Schoener said.

    And women are more apt to feel victimized again after they report abuse — meaning that cases involving sexual abuse of females tend to be under-reported.

    “We’re treated like we’re the evil sinner; like we caused the good, holy priest to sin,” said Barbara Blaine, president and founder of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

    …”Girls and women are the only group that, if you’re in a deposition, they’re asked if they liked it,” Schoener added. “I’ve probably only had that asked of one adult male, ever. The girls are asked what they were wearing; they are accused of being seductive. That is virtually routine. The way in which it’s dealt with is totally different.”

    … Several experts contacted by the The Kansas City Star estimated that females constitute a significant portion of those sexually abused by priests. Some think it’s as much as half.

    …Corley said a priest who taught at her high school sexually abused her in the early 1970s. She was a sophomore and had gone to the Rev. Alfred Fitzgerald for help in dealing with a dysfunctional family.

    Fitzgerald took advantage of her, Corley said. The abuse included furtive kisses and fondling. Fitzgerald also wrote long, dark letters to her for years afterward, describing, among other things, his “yearnings as a man,” Corley said.

    …But, Corley said, an archdiocesan committee of laypersons and an auxiliary bishop treated her horribly at a 1999 meeting, when the committee was considering whether to reinstate Fitzgerald.

    “It was degrading and demeaning,” Corley said. “They talked about this guy like he was just a bad little boy…”

    …Schoener said the impact of coming forward is different on girls than boys.

    “If you are a girl, the likelihood that revealing the abuse may impact your current relationships like your marriage is fairly great,” he said. “We have women and girls who lose their marriages or have their marriages badly mucked up because they came forward.

    “I feel for the boys. It’s not that I don’t think it’s harmful. It’s that it is no more harmful than what happens to the girls or the women.”

    But some church officials have seemed unwilling to recognize that.

    …The Star has been contacted by dozens of people alleging they were victims of clergy sex abuse. About half were women.

    Some said they had been kissed and fondled as youths, at school, in church, even in their homes. Others said the abuse had taken place when they were adults, during counseling sessions, when they were particularly vulnerable.


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