Letter to Pastor Tullian: Keep Preaching Grace!

I am deeply saddened hearing news of Pastor Tullian’s resignation as Senior Pastor from Coral Ridge church.

My heart goes out to him as he faces the consequence of his choices.

God knows, we’ve all fallen morally.

Some of us are in the public eye. Others aren’t.

I’ve failed morally many times, yet God’s grace always picks me back up. Jesus’ blood washes me clean once again and I get on the horse and ride again.

God knows, a recent study showed 30% of Christian men admitted to moral failure here in Cambodia.

But if we are all to resign after failing morally, who would there be left?

There is no one righteous. Not even one.

Where do we draw the line?

Correct me if I’m wrong, if we are saying a man is only fit to preach the gospel and lead a church if he is morally upright by human standards, then aren’t we missing the whole point of grace? Aren’t we missing the gospel?

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

  • Romans 3:23

This is all about obeying the law.

We are saying that the position of leader in a church depends on our own ability to live a moral life.

This is all about obeying the law!

But all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

According to Isaiah, compared with the righteousness we have received from God as a free gift – our own righteous acts are like filthy rags!

Not even our sin.

Our righteous acts!

If we can only lead a church if we are righteous by our own acts then NO ONE is able to lead a church…

As the only reason any of us are righteous is because of Christ in us. 

I’m sure if we delved into the secret lives of pastors NOT ONE  would attain the moral standard God requires.

NO ONE would be fit to lead!

This is why we depend on Christ.

It is He who makes us righteous.

He is our holiness, righteousness and redemption.

It is He who makes us fit to lead. Not by ourselves. Christ in us makes us righteous.

Leaders of Coral Ridge church: we are not morally righteous by our own acts.

Pastor Tullian is, if anything, more qualified to preach from the puplit, as he knows what it is to depend on the grace of God!

Seriously, what secret sins are church leaders keeping to themselves?

Where do we say “You did that, so you can’t lead,” and “You did that, so you can’t lead.”

Watching porn? Fantasizing over a congregation member? Cross Dressing? Having homoerotic desires?

Who draws the line?

Jesus drew the line – in the sand. And what did he write?

He who is without sin cast the first stone!

There is no one righteous. Not even one.

And if the church is saying we are only fit to lead a church because we have obeyed certain laws and managed to live righteously by human standards – then that church is living according to the law.

On its website, Coral Ridge acknowledged that 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.

– Christianity Today.

Disqualifying him to serve as senior pastor or preach from the pulpit.

Who says?

God?

Or man?

This smacks of legalism.

We are only fit to preach from the pulpit if we manage to live upright lives and obey the law.

Legalism!

Law!

And under The Law no one can stand.

There is no one righteous. Not even one.

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by His grace.

We all like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has gone to his own way.

Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love.

Pastor Tullian will be aching in his heart.

Let’s all gather round him and nurture him back to seeing himself as God sees him – holy, rightoeus and perfect – because of Christ’s sacrifice.

Nothing we do can altar the way Jesus sees us.

Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love.

Pastor Tullian – you are still a Senior Pastor in God’s Kingdom.

You are still an anointed preacher, a gifted writer and a great man of God.

You are still a warrior for Christ, saved by grace and righteous by faith.

Perhaps God has taken you out of a church that appoints its pastors depending on their own self-righteous acts, rather than on their honest preaching of the grace of God from the valley of their own shadow – where, if we are brave enough to admit it, we all visit.

Whatever happens, God’s grace is sufficient for you.

His power is made perfect in weakness.

From this trial you will grow stronger and the message of grace will reach far and wide.

I leave you with the words of Paul:

I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.

  • Philippians 1:12

Bless you brother.

Wishing you a fast and powerful recovery.

Amen!

Steve Edwards

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