Tullian Tchividjian, a grandson of prominent evangelist Billy Graham who resigned as senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida in June after confessing to an "inappropriate" relationship, has been deposed of his pastoral credentials following a vote by the South Florida Presbytery (SPF) of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).
According to Dominic Aquila of The Aquila Report, the Presbytery voted to depose the 43-year-old pastor at its meeting on August 11, 2015. The report notes that the PCA Book of Church Order (BCO) says that, "Deposition is the degradation of an officer from his office," meaning the pastor has his ordination credentials removed so that he no longer can perform the duties of a minister of the Gospel.
Following its decision, the Presbytery issued the following statement:
"The South Florida Presbytery met for its regular stated meeting on August 11, 2015 and acted on a case concerning TE Tullian Tchvidjian. While Pastor Tullian Tchividjian was deposed of his pastoral credentials, the South Florida Presbytery is committed to continuing to offer him pastoral care. Our goal in doing this is to both protect the integrity of the Church from which his credentials were given while, at the same time, wrapping Tullian in the grace offered by Jesus Christ to all those who confess sin, pursue repentance and desire restoration."
As previously reported by the Gospel Herald, Tchividjian, who has three children with his wife, Kim, resigned from his position as senior pastor of the PCA congregation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in June after releasing a statement revealing his affair. The pastor, who had served at Coral Ridge since being called there in 2009, said that he was "heartbroken and devastated" when he discovered that his wife had been in an adulterous relationship, and in response "sought comfort in a friend and developed an inappropriate relationship myself."
The Coral Ridge congregation voted on June 28 to formally accept Tchvidjian's resignation. At the time, executive pastor Rob Pacienza revealed that the church was "saddened by the news" but emphasized that they were praying for Tchividjian and his family.
"Several days ago, Pastor Tullian admitted to moral failure, acknowledging his actions disqualify him from continuing to serve as senior pastor or preach from the pulpit, and resigned - effective immediately," Pacienza said.
"We are saddened by this news, but are working with and assisting Pastor Tullian and his family to help them through this difficult time, and asking people to join us in praying that God will bring restoration through this process and healing to all involved."
Meanwhile, Tchividjian has reportedly spent time in "intense counseling" with Christian counselor Dr. Paul Tripp and has been open about his flaws, explaining that he decided to allow the public to watch him in his "broken and weakened condition" so that they can better understand that Christianity is "good news for bad people coping with their failure to be good."
"I've struggled with anger, with frustration, anger with God, anger with my wife, anger with the church, trying in some way shape or form to allocate blame for my bad decision on something or someone outside of me. And one of the things God is forcing me to face, I knew I was bad [but] I didn't know I was this bad," the Surprised by Grace author during a recent interview with William Vanderbloemen.
However, "The message of the Christian faith is that because Jesus was strong for us we are free to be weak," he explained in a later Facebook post."The gospel of grace, in other words, frees us to let people see us at our worst so that they can see God at his most gracious best. After all, this whole thing is not about us and our reputation and status and strength and competence. It's about Jesus, what he's done, and who he continues to be for broken down ragamuffins like me."