Tullian Tchividjian, the disgraced son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, confirmed on Thanksgiving Eve his marriage to his new wife Stacie Tchividjian through a public statement on Facebook, while the wedding had been held at an earlier date.
"I am now, and have been, focused on my relationship with God, my new wife Stacie, my three kids and one daughter in law, and my grandson," said Tchividjian, who had divorced his current ex-wife Kim after confessing to an extramarital affair in summer of 2015. He also later admitted to an unconfessed affair in 2014.
As the fallout of his actions, Tchividjian resigned from his post as the senior pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and his pastoral credentials were deposed by the PCA South Florida Presbytery. In the ensuing months, he issued numerous statements of apology, attempting to amend the wrongs, not with exception to this latest post on Facebook.
"As I have previously said both publicly and privately, I am guilty of, and I continue to grieve, some decision I've made, some things I've said, and people I've hurt throughout my entire life, but specifically in 2014 and 2015," he wrote. "I wish I could go back in time and do those things differently. I can't. Where I have been able to make amends for hurt that I have caused, I have attempted to do so. In most cases, amends have been made and in some cases they haven't. All I can do (and have been doing) is to learn from the past and live in the present."
William Graham Tullian Tchividjian is the former senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. A graduate of Columbia International University, where he earned a degree in philosophy, and Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, where he earned his Master of Divinity, he also authored seven books. During his time at Coral Ridge, Tchividjian founded LIBERATE-a ministry that sought to "connect God's inexhaustible grace to an exhausted world" through conferences, a website, a daily radio program and a weekly TV broadcast.
Tchividjian admitted that he eventually became suicidal during his darkest moments. After spending two hours researching on the best way to kill himself, he wrote: "Words cannot express the pain I feel for the hurt I've caused. It has become too much to bear. Based on what I've done and the pain I've caused, I have concluded that it is safer for all those I love that I just disappear. Life without hope is death. At the end, I tried. I really, really tried. God knows that my apologies and my expressions of love were real. So real. But what does that matter when the people you want so bad to believe you, don't? I understand why they didn't. Given my recent track record, why would they? So when it became clear that those I love most wanted nothing to do with me, the choice I needed to make became clear. Initially, I got angry and defensive when I was told that I'm a monster, evil, disgustingly dangerous, etc. But it has sunk in and I finally believe it. I am all those things. Lord have mercy. One final word to the church: when people screw up bad, try to help them. Do your best to sacrifice anything and everything to help them. More than likely, they screwed up bad because they need help. Don't turn your back on them. Pursue them. Something isn't right with them and they need help. Even if they have hurt you bad, do everything you can to help them. It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."
Tchividjian said the journey God has taken him on over the last two years has been one of complete deconstruction. "It has felt like my skin being painfully ripped from my bones. Just when I think I can't take anymore, God seems to dig deeper. As painful as it has been, however, it has also been very liberating."
Death before resurrection always has been, and will always be God's mode of operation, he said. "Dark desperation always precedes deep deliverance. That is my hope. That is my only lifeline."
He said the good news is that who you really are has nothing to do with you. 'Your identity is firmly anchored in Christ's accomplishment, not yours; his strength, not yours; his performance, not yours; his victory, not yours. The gospel doesn't just free you from what other people think about you; it frees you from what you think about yourself."
In his post this morning, Tchividjian expressed his thanks to his mentors and counselors who walked and guided him during this difficult period of his life. These people include Tim Keller and Paul Tripp, "I am very grateful for the small group of wise and godly people who are (and have been) walking through this meticulously with me. I am fully accountable to them and there is nothing that they do not know."
While the 44-year-old pastor is now living out a second chance his marriage to his new wife, he remembers his mistakes and continues to ask for forgiveness. "For 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."
In conclusion, he said, "I wholeheartedly agree with Charles Spurgeon who, when looking back on dark seasons in his own life, said:
"I bear witness that I owe more to the fire, and the hammer, and the file, than to anything else in my Lord's workshop. "
In late October, Tchividjian was invited to preach at the Spring Hill Community Church in Santa Rosa on the message of God's redemption, where he shared a poignant experience of how it feels like for God to intervene in his life when he needed it the most. His new wife Stacie was present at the sharing, and she posted the message on her Facebook page.
Stacie first shared photos of their marriage on Nov. 8, and Tullian's sermon on Nov. 19. Tullian also shared the message on that same day.
During this period, Tullian also posted a picture with this message from him, "God loves broken people because broken people are all that there are."