Tullian Tchividijan’s Brother, Uncle Part of Ministry Statement Urging Reforms to Protect Against ‘Wolves’

The board of the organization GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), which includes the brother and uncle of Tullian Tchividijan, as well as the son of Ronald Reagan, has released a statement of grief over Tchividijan’s sexual misconduct and is urging churches to implement reformation to protect against “wolves” in their midst.

“The GRACE board is deeply disturbed about the revelations of sexual misconduct by Tullian Tchividjian. As an organization that deals with the abuse of God’s lambs and the damage silence causes, we feel compelled to speak,” the statement reads.

As previously reported, Tchividijan, the grandson of Billy Graham, resigned from his role as pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, formerly led by the late D. James Kennedy, in June of last year after admitting to having an affair with a church member.

However, Tchividijan stated that he had fallen into an inappropriate relationship in confiding with the woman about his wife’s infidelity. After being hired as the Director of Ministry Development at Willow Creek Presbyterian Church in Winter Springs, he soon admitted that he actually had already been in another affair before his wife was unfaithful, and then had a second sexual relationship. He was consequently fired.

Last month, one of the women, named Rachel, came forward and stated that their sexual relationship only ended when they were caught after Coral Ridge’s IT department advised that Tchividijan’s messages could be read on the church server. She said that Tchividijan told the church to delete it all, but elders soon arrived at their homes to confront them about their behavior.

Rachel opined that that she had been groomed by Tchividijan after attending his church in seeking healing in her marriage. She said that he began texting her a year ago, as well as a number of women, sending material at times with sexual overtones.

“Each time I created distance, Tullian pursued me with more intensity,” she said, stating that he “love bombed” her, gave promises of marriage, and used the gospel as justification.

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Two other women also came forward who had once viewed Tchividijan as being a victim who slipped into impropriety out of hurt over his wife’s infidelity, and stated that they are now upset to discover that Tchividijan had been lying as he had already been in an affair and then began another one. They both claimed that Tchividijan had too sent them risque’ texts, and have now cut off all communication out of concern over the former pastor’s behavior.

One of the women said that Tchividjian began yet a third relationship after being forced to step down from the pulpit and while still being married to his wife. Tchividjian went on to divorce and then married the third woman, Stacie Phillips, in August.

In response to the revelations, six pastors, two counselors and two female ministry leaders, released an open letter expressing grief and outlining that they had once thought Tchividjian was penitent, but no longer feel that way after hearing the other side of the story. The counselors who signed the letter, Paul Tripp and Scotty Smith, had both counseled Tchividjian following his resignation, and Kevin Labby of Willow Creek Presbyterian Church was a part of the open rebuke and call to repentance as well.

Now, Tchividjian’s brother and uncle, Basyle ‘Boz’ Tchividjian and Emmanuel Tchividjian, are a part of a public statement expressing deep concern over the former pastor’s alleged behavior and are calling the Body of Christ to be more vigilant about impropriety in its midst. Michael Reagan, the son of former President Ronald Reagan, serves on the GRACE board as well.

“We fear that we (the Church) have often helped wolves deceive others and hide themselves in sheep’s clothing for our own gain and comfort. In doing so we have not loved those who prey on God’s sheep for we have left them in their darkness and bondage,” the GRACE board statement, released on Dec. 7, laments. “May the fruit of this grievous sin bring a sweeping of God’s refining fire through the lives of His people across the globe.”

GRACE therefore outlined a number of proposed reforms to help protect the flock, including seminary training on maintaining appropriate boundaries, rigorous screening of potential pastors, the implementation of a code of ethics and clear policies on how to deal with infringements.

“Those who provide pastoral counseling must read and agree to adhere to an appropriate code of ethics, such as that promulgated by the American Association of Christian Counselors which strictly prohibits sexual contact between pastors and those they are counseling,” the organization wrote. “This includes not only prohibitions on sexual contact but sexual innuendo, sexual ‘humor,’ comments on attractiveness, etc.”

“Clergy and other church leaders should also adhere to appropriate policies pertaining to texting and the use of social media,” it said.

GRACE said that the Church must confront such issues lest those who do not learn from history be doomed to repeat it.

“Although we must continue to speak against abuse within the Church, speech without action is a hollow reminder the Church has done too little for too long to protect the vulnerable,” it outlined. “In the midst of this most recent scandal, we pray the Church’s future will be better than our past.”

Tchividjian preached as a guest at a California church in October and is scheduled to release a book through publisher David C. Cook, which says it will not pull the deal despite the latest revelations.

Tchividjian has responded to the women’s stories by stating, “As far as things that have been said and written about me (especially recently) some of them are true and some of them are absolutely false. There is nothing I can do about any of it. I cannot correct every falsehood and I cannot go back and right every wrong thing I’ve done or said.”

“As I have previously said both publicly and privately, I am guilty of, and I continue to grieve, some decisions I’ve made, some things I’ve said, and people I’ve hurt throughout my entire life, but specifically in 2014 and 2015. I wish I could go back in time and do those things differently. I can’t,” he also said. “From the bottom of my heart, I am truly sorry for the pain I’ve caused and the hurt I’ve induced and I humbly ask you to please forgive me.”

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  • Amos Moses

    Praying for the return of TT to Gods grace and mercy and to be in a right relationship with The Almighty ………

    • Robert

      There you go again ruining every thing with the only correct response. What’s wrong with you anyway. we’re you even liked by your Sunday school classmates.?

      • Amos Moses

        ¯_(ツ)_/¯ ………. who cares ………

  • Emmanuel

    The church goers need to stand up and remove these godless leaders. They are not meeting the Biblical standard to be a leader.

    • bowie1

      That’s something the elders need to do.

      • Neo Donatist

        good luck w/ that………

  • Faithwalker

    There are two words I don’t hear preached about or encouraged to often from the leaders in the BOC these days…. “righteousness and holiness.” However, It is the power of the Holy Spirit that convicts, strengthen, and keep us in those seasons of temptation (I speak from experience). Now is the time for all believers to put on and and stay clothed in the full armor of God. Without the Triune God dwelling in our hearts, and not just in the intellect, we are sheep being led to the slaughter. My prayer for TT is that he die to self and submit his will to the will of the Father for restoration, reconciliation, and healing.

    1 Peter 1:13-16 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14. As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16. Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

    • Amos Moses

      Well said ……

    • Robert

      Lets not get in such a hurry let’s Reason this out if the 2 brothers and Ronald Reagan the cowboys son helped him apply Mathew chapter 18 verse 19 . The choir then would have a brand new soprano to boot.

  • Robert

    So I think the brother and uncle can hold him down and Ronald Reagan the cowboys son can use the wet stone and realy sharp knife.

  • Robert

    So. How many think the uncle and brother And Ronald Reagan the cowboys son. Should help this womanizing fellow apply Matthew chapter 5 verse 29 and 30 litterly to that offending body part.. How many think that would help him be holy and if not give the reason Christ love for us has to be the motivator.

  • Rich Finaldi

    You know what , this is disgusting and sick that Tullians family literally came out against , screw what they think this guy is broken now , who in Gods name are these guys to basically exile him from ANY voice to preach , when he’s had the best message I have ever heard in 24 years being saved! All you brood of vipers , you make me want to vomit . You’s are disgusting , and know nothing of your own wretchedness

    • hytre64✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      @Rich – Who are they? They are preachers of the Gospel, who actually follow the Biblical requirements for Godly leadership. It is part of their jobs as leaders in the church to first try to correct him in private (mt 18:15-18) and if he refuses correction to then bring him before the church.

      Biblical Qualifications for Ministry

      Titus 1:6-9 If any man is blameless, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of being profligate or insubordinate. For a Elder (any office of ministry), as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, master of himself, upright, holy, and self-controlled; he must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it.

      1 Timothy 3:2-7 Now an Elder must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher, no drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil; moreover he must be well thought of by outsiders, or he may fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

      • Rich Finaldi

        if you truly understood Titus 1:6-9 “if any man is blameless” , ok is any man ever in history blameless ? except for Jesus himself?! these verses are taken WAY out of context

        • hytre64✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

          No – These verses are directly talking about the qualifications of an Elder (ie. apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers).

          If you believe otherwise, then show a “correct” interpretation of these verses.

          BTW – blameless would imply that his sins have been forgiven and he is now walking in a manner befitting a follower of Jesus.

    • Emmanuel

      This young man can still attend church, sing the songs and be an active member of the church. But, he can’t take a position of leadership or teacher. If you say he can, then you must allow a gay couple lead in worship or a single man with multiple girlfriends lead the youth group. No question he is saved, restored and forgiven but he needs to sit and enjoy.

  • The article says, “and used the gospel as justification.” I wonder what gospel this was. There are folks that say the gospel presented by the grandfather, Billy Graham, intrudes works of righteousness into the gospel of salvation by grace through faith alone apart from works.