Thursday, July 09, 2015

On Pastor Tullian's MP3's

You may have heard that Pastor Tullian Tchividjian has resigned from his position at Coral Ridge Presbyterian due to adultery.

Here are my thoughts:

I wish for closure for the unnamed persons alleged to be involved in adultery.

I wish closure for Pastor Tullian's family.

I wish closure for Pastor Tullian.

I wish closure for Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.

By closure I mean getting to a point where healing, forgiveness, peace, and getting on with life where there is no more fear of new, temporal consequences for any old actions that took place this year. Walking in grace.

I wish a modest level of financial comfort for Pastor Tullian so that he can get back to making new sermons available to the public. 

I wish that God would continue to bless and prosper the ministry of CRPC.

I wish that God would continue to raise up preachers with an understanding of the Gospel as Tullian has had. Sometimes I've wondered, even been asked by a friend, if I'm too obsessed with Tullian, the man. But I think the exact reason that his preaching struck a chord with me is the vocabulary. He reminded us of the exact meaning and scope of grace.

The above are all my sincerely held convictions that I am praying for. They are also my nicer thoughts. 

Here are my less-nice thoughts.

Did Tullian need to travel so much?

Are the mentors, close friends, and employers of any theological genius necessarily going to be as profound or even "listenable" as the genius? Do we need to pretend that if a gift in preaching were given to one, that all four get it equally? I will admit that when I hear the other guys on the podcast of CRPC sermons, I would often fast forward to the end. Let me ask, are all four pastors afforded an equal share of writing chapters in any books written from this group?

I understand that Tim Keller is pastor of a multi-pastor congregation, yet there is an iTunes podcast feed with sermons only by himself. Is this dangerous rock-star treatment of Tim, or an acknowledgment of the gift? I don't wish anything bad for the other pastors, but I bet I wouldn't go to great lengths to get their MP3's.

Now we come to the most recent developments in the case. CRPC used to have a podcast feed and a website featuring the sermons of all its pastors. Tullian's sermons have been removed from this view.  There used to be podcast feeds and websites for and pastor, but these have been removed from view. CRPC out an explanation on their site saying that this was done to protect Tullian and his family.

Here I have two objections:

1) Does this make any sense -- cannot damage to Tullian and his family, is such a thing were possible, be done using his books, sermons on YouTube, or the MP3's folks already have on their hard drives? The enemies would have plenty of ammo elsewhere.

2) If the answer were, but look at all the other sermons we have made available by these four other pastors. This is where I have to say no, gifts in preaching are not given out equally to everyone at a particular site.