Part 5 focuses on the other side of Mr Tchividjian's misuse of his platform as a Christian celebrity minister, speaker, and writer – his accountability system victims: superiors, peers, and subordinates. What courage must it have taken to publicly post a call for Tullian Tchividjian to repent? To apologize for having amplified his impact? To resign from the board of his newly resurrected non-profit? To remove from their ministry website various resources he'd produced? To cancel contracts that would extend his influence? What did it cost those who were close to him in terms of ministry – especially those who held authority to oversee his recovery plans, and those who'd been his platform peers? These are the kinds of questions we should consider as we read this final piece in the case study of Tullian Tchividjian and the details of his abuse of systems, ministry, and accountability ...
It’s not the job of any supervisor, peer, or subordinate to prevent Tullian Tchividjian from sinning, whether he does so mildly or spectacularly. It wasn’t the role of his non-profit board, church sessions, publishing house legal departments, counselors, friends, etc. It’s not even possible. He himself is responsible for his own choices and their impact.
... there were over 150 individuals in at least 10 institutions who had direct connections with Tullian Tchividjian as his superiors, peers, or subordinates. And yet, it seems nobody could keep him from his two extramarital sexual involvements he has already admitted to (after they were discovered or disclosed), or from his reported predatory/seductive behavior patterns, or from his reported multiple failures to tell the full truth.
What does real-world remediation / repentance look like? How can we see what it takes in both attitudes and actions to accomplish damage repair? This post gives three examples of remediation (repair work) — one dealing with a product, one with a denominational organization, one with a social system. Each is notable for seeking to engage in a constructive way parties who were directly involved, and in some cases those who were indirectly affected.
Systemic abuse always includes a degree of relational manipulation to get/keep people hooked in, as well as deception in order to hide the truth.
So, then the question I'm learning to ask myself is: what pain am I avoiding, and why am I avoiding it? Isn’t numbing pain simply prolonging it? Why would I want to prolong pain? What would happen if I moved toward the pain and wrestled with it? What would that look like?
Imagine unsuspecting passengers getting in his car and then experiencing Tony proselytize. I have a problem with this. I wouldn't like it if a Buddhist or Muslim Uber driver tried to sell me their religion.
SBC has failed miserably with sex abuse cover-ups. This a conference where YOU have to pay to attend hear people discuss issues in which THEY (SBC) have failed. This is messed up. It should be free. #SBC #churchtoo Quote Tweet
"I watched him weather a storm of abuse scandals that hit our church, acknowledging where he had failed to protect the victims and acknowledging that he, himself, had once been a victim. That’s no light thing, and anyone around him could tell the situation was wearing on him."
I can't imagine the level of psychological trauma, pain & horror as Joshua (and Shannon) began to discover a lot of their framework for their life was built on religion & false fears & manipulated, pseudo acts of "love."
"Many people tell me that there is a different way to practice faith and I want to remain open to this, but I’m not there now."
But it makes me once again question those ideologies that led up to this point. It makes me think about spiritual abuse. It makes me think about Patriarchy. What significant changes were made in their journey? What ideologies did each one keep, and each one ditch?
One of the key passages used to justify male hierarchy is Eph 5:22 (to the neglect of 5:21 which ironically states that we are to submit to each other!!). Which one is it?? Women submit to men, or we all submit to each other? Why is this so confusing?
But what I missed in listening to the stories is that sometimes those stories resonated personally for me. Sometimes after listening to or reading someone's personal story, their story elicited a personal response for me. It reminded me of my own journey. My own unfinished business.
"Ramesh explained briefly the situation to Ravi. I remember Ravi was very angry. More at Ramesh than me it seemed. He was not speaking in kind terms. Only pointing out that this news would ‘kill our parents’ and ‘end your future as a doctor.'"
Everybody wants to believe a transformation story. But you are believing a lie if you are allowing Tullian Tchividjian to convince you that he is transformed. I have done the due-diligence work to find out. I have asked the questions to his victims.
"The elders have called upon Stephen Bratton to accept the full responsibility for his actions and to place himself at the mercy of the criminal justice system."
But what it means is that we are being taken seriously. I think that gives us a bit more credibility. When we reach out to church leaders and ask questions, they will know we mean business.
"No ONE should tell EVERYONE anything. That's the role of your leaders. We are entrusted, and we're going to give an account."
We have a long ways to go if we are unable to convince this Christian man that the onus is on him to control his lusts.