Former megachurch pastor, Tullian Tchividjian, who has admitted to sexual misconduct with multiple women, is set to headline a men’s conference this Friday in the Dallas, Texas, area.
The “Man Up” conference, featuring Tchividjian, who’s Billy Graham’s grandson, is hosted by Casey Stone. Stone leads Stone Ministries and serves as senior pastor at Generation Faith Center, a small church in Quinlan, Texas, near where the conference will be held.
The event promises to encourage men “in the Word of God and leave a better you.”
“As husbands, fathers, businessmen, ministry leaders or even a friend, there are pressures that come with these responsibilities that can seem overwhelming at times,” the event website says. “Our prominent and famed but relatable guest speakers will hit these topics head on.”
Tchividjian resigned in 2015 from Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after admitting to sexual misconduct with a congregant. Tchividjian said at the time that he had engaged in what was termed an “affair” only after learning that his wife had been unfaithful to him.
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Months later, Tchividjian was hired by another Florida church—Willow Creek in Winter Springs, Florida.
That church fired Tchividjian in 2016, after learning Tchividjian had an “inappropriate relationship” with another woman prior to his wife’s infidelity. The church said Tchividjian had withheld the information about the additional misconduct, and it came to light only after Tchividjian was confronted by elders with “strong rumors.”
According to abuse experts, a sexual relationship between a pastor and a congregant is abuse because of the imbalance of power and betrayal of trust. However, Tchividjian has denied any abuse and maintained that “a consensual relationship between two adults is not abuse.”
Tchividjian divorced his first wife years ago and has since remarried. He is currently pastoring a small church in Jupiter, Florida, called The Sanctuary.
The Roys Report (TRR) reached out to The Sanctuary and Tchividjian regarding this story, but neither replied.
However, in a statement to TRR, Casey Stone wrote, “The conference has a theme of being built and REbuilt by the Word of God. (Tchividjian’s) part of being at the conference is to share his testimony of repentance and rebuilding.”
Lori Harding, a former pastor who worked closely with Tchividjian at Coral Ridge and recently told her story to TRR in a two-part podcast, claimed Tchividjian has never repented.
“He did not submit himself to discipline in the Presbytery, either one or either time,” stated Harding. “He has not publicly apologized or sought reconciliation. His M.O. has not changed.”
Similarly, Andy Rowell, a ministry leadership professor at Bethel Seminary, stated via email: “Tchividjian has a history of rationalizing sin by pointing to grace, but being a follower of Jesus means allegiance to his teaching. Grace should result in obedience.”
Stone, however, questioned critics of Tchividjian. “It saddens me that some believers would identify with the law and sentence Tullian to death in a sense instead of allowing the Grace of Jesus to rebuild his life as well,” he wrote.
According to social media posts, the Man Up Conference will include axe throwing, an obstacle course, and a car show, in addition to teaching sessions.
Rowell found the inclusion of these “masculine” aspects of the event worth cross-examination, especially given the speaker lineup.
“By having Tchividjian, who was disqualified from leadership because of his sexual infidelity, the conference organizers are sending the message that masculine instincts are to be praised rather than channeled properly,” said Rowell. “You may be in fact leading other people to be tempted to participate in the same sin he committed.”
The conference website states that general admission tickets cost $20. There is also a $299 “VIP” ticket option that includes a dinner and meet-and-greet with the guest speakers.
Following years of ministry with Tchividjian, Harding said she understands that “the Billy Graham connection” and that Tchividjian’s charisma brings a certain celebrity aura. “He’s the bad boy of reformed theology, which is appealing to men,” she said.
But Harding added that to see Tchividjian, whom she considers an abuser, headline a Christian men’s conference is “a sad commentary on evangelical America.”
“Accountability is severely lacking,” she said. “Until the systems and structures that allow abuse are addressed, we will continue to see a complete lack of accountability within evangelicalism.”
Related: Lori Harding shared her story involving Tullian Tchividjian in a recent two-part podcast.
Freelance journalist Josh Shepherd writes on faith, culture, and public policy for several media outlets. He and his wife live in the Washington, D.C. area with their two children.
44 thoughts on “Disgraced Pastor Tullian Tchividjian to Headline Christian Men’s Conference”
This was actually the full statement from Stone Ministries.
Hi Josh, thank you for reaching out. I did decide to have Pastor Tullian speak at Man Up Conference 2022- knowing of moral failures from over 7 years ago. The conference has a theme of being built and REbuilt by the Word of God. His part of being at the conference is to share his testimony of repentance and rebuilding. Romans 11:29 tells us that his gift and calling will not be taken away – if God isn’t taking away his calling, how can I? I simply choose not to take the judgement into my own hands. We have to remember the way Jesus handled a similar situation; In John 8:11 Jesus’ response to a woman who was caught in the act of adultery was “go and sin no more”. The law ordered her to be put to death, but the grace of Jesus allowed her to rebuild her life. It saddens me that some believers would identify with the law and sentence Tullian to death in a sense instead of allowing the Grace of Jesus to rebuild his life as well. Bless you friend.
Nobody is calling him to death, but it appears Lori Harding is calling him to repentance and ownership for his sin and the trauma he caused her.
Can you or he answer for this?
Does anyone know who the first person was to name a “ministry” after himself?
St. Paul didn’t, did he? In the first chapter of 1 Corinthians he kind of alluded to the inappropriateness of such a thing. Is it necessary to name something after oneself?
Why do people avoid naming churches after saints but name ministries after themselves? For years now, churches have named with marketing in mind, even overusing the French word “Pointe” (why do English speakers include the “e”?) and the names of holy people are ignored. I know of a Baptist church that changed its name from “Trinity Baptist” to “Turning Point.” Their logo looked like the Chinese character for “middle” spinning around.
What do you think? Is it vanity, ego, marketing or something else?
Pastor Casey, thanks for submitting the full statement. Your are a gracious man indeed, and I commend that.
Readers of this website desire that all believers, fallen ministers included, experience God’s grace. Many are concerned, however, that permitting persons who have engaged in highly destructive sins to continue with public ministry may not be in the best interests of such individuals, their employers, or the witness of the church worldwide.
God can use Mr. Tchividjian to further His kingdom. Like you, I am no judge of Tullian’s spiritual gifts or his future. But he may be disqualified from some positions, at least for a long while. Chapters 9, 10 and 11 of Paul’s letter to the Romans discuss God’s call of Jews, not an individual pastor’s career path.
Best wishes for the conference.
I see what you’re saying and I appreciate your disposition toward forgiveness, but God did say that a pastor/elder must be “beyond reproach” and “the husband of [only] one wife” (1 Tim 3:2 and cf many other verses). He disqualified himself from being a pastor with his own actions – you’re taking the verse about God not removing our callings out of context and out of the rest of the Bible. Additionally, celebrating an abuser/adulterer is not gracious at all to those in congregations who have survived abuse. You’re not supposed to elevate the powerful at the expense of the weak (James 2; cf many other passages).
The following statement what is written by John MacArthur. He did write some very good things–in the past. Having an adulterer leading a religious meeting is like having a bookkeeper accused of embezzlement of returning to his job❗
We must recognize that leadership in the church cannot be regarded lightly. The foremost requirement of a church leader is that he be above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2, 10; Titus 1:7). That is a difficult prerequisite, and not everyone can meet it….”(!)
By the way, I think it’s time for John McArthur to retire.👍
It was time for McArthur to retire a LONG time ago – or never to nepotistically take over his father’s gig…..
The world would be a much better place.
Tullian needs to prove his repentance by humbly submitting to the Presbytery before he is showcased as a model of repentance. How can platforming pride be good for anyone?
Casey, your reading of scripture here is badly flawed.
The question is not whether Tchividjian is no longer a Christian. Unless I see evidence otherwise, I’m going to assume that Tchividjian is regenerate.
What the question is, though, is whether Tchividjian should be a Christian Leader – a pastor/elder.
The verses you quoted say nothing about Christian leadership. Romans 11 is about Salvation, not about whether a person is “called” to leadership. John 8 is not about leadership either.
Verses that DO speak about leadership are 1 Timothy 3.1-7, Titus 1.5-9 and 1 Peter 5.1-5.
Tchividjian resigned from Coral Ridge after admitting to an extramarital affair – adultery. One of the qualifications of Christian leadership is to be a “husband of one wife”. This is because it is essential that Christian leaders model the godliness they proclaim from the pulpit in their everyday behaviour. By committing adultery, Tchividjian permanently disqualified himself from Christian leadership.
Adultery is bad, but not so bad that a person no longer be a Christian. Christian adulterers should be welcomed back into the church after they have repented of their sins (if they don’t repent, they should be expelled. See 1 Corinthians 5).
But Tchividjian should be content only to be a church member, a sinner who sits under the word of God, not the leader delivering it.
Our salvation is not based on works. True. But Christian Leaders must be selected on merit. And the verses I’ve quoted from Timothy, Titus and Peter indicate that how a person speaks and acts is a non-negotiable element of Christian leadership.
So I call upon you now, Casey, to remove Tchividjian as a speaker from your conference. I say this, confident that God is calling you to do this.
PERMANENT disqualification from leadership? So 20 years from now, Tchividjian can’t be a leader? Can someone point to where that is in scripture? I am a person who believes in restoration AFTER repentance and counseling – if ministry is indeed their calling.
Yes, CALLING. Not a job or interest, but calling by the Lord. I read a Bible where many were called despite sins including adultery and murder. I don’t want to see us and our “human memory” get in between someone and their calling, especially if they have been repentant and been counseled to be restored. Years ago, I was part of a church where the pastor stepped down (presumably due to affair – this was not officially confirmed but strongly implied in his resignation letter); for over 2 years, he and his wife underwent counseling. While I had relocated by then, I was pleased to see he had returned to preaching – and has since then led a thriving congregation.
Peter was confronted to his face by Paul but not permanently removed from ministry. John Mark was sent on his way by Paul (despite Barnabas trying to intercede) due to sharp contention over whether his running from persecution disqualified him from evangelism, yet we still see John Mark called out by Paul in his final letter (which many translate to Paul’s forgiveness and John Mark’s qualification to continue evangelizing).
Then again, I’m convinced if Paul were alive today, we’d refuse to listen to him due to his murderous past.
So again, where does it say when a leader falls that they are no longer EVER able to lead?
Was Paul committing murder after his conversion?
No Jennifer, he wasn’t. But my point is NO ONE has a longer memory of past sins – even those committed before coming to Christ – than “Christians”.
My non-Christian friends are more gracious and forgiving than people in the church. I’m not being sarcastic.
No, Paul didn’t kill anybody that we know of after his experience on the road to Damascus. On the other hand, after David got a pass on adultery and murder, he went out and conducted a census. 1 Chronicles 21:1. It’s good to be special.
Marin: “Husband of one wife”
Everyone here says husband of one wife, that scripture goes beyond adultery. Jesus cranked it up, that would include any men that look at women with lust in their heart. Looking at porn. Matt Chandler has been suspended over inappropriate texting a woman.
What is wrong with not being allowed to *lead* any longer in the Church? Doesn’t the Psalmist write that he would be happy to be a doorkeeper in the house of the LORD? (Psalm 84:10) Tullian Tchividjian can worship and follow God – but scripture states that he has disqualified himself as a leader/pastor.
I am honestly just questioning if scripture says being restored to ministry is impossible.
Sounds like many are interpreting it that way (Tullian is husband of one wife; I could’ve missed this detail, but did he marry his mistress and commit bigamy?), but I disagree. I believe with a repentant heart and appropriate counseling, one can return to ministry. I actually believe being restored to ministry can be even MORE powerful and an even GREATER testimony; knowing that God did not remove His calling because one fell short.
Again, this is also because I believe ministry is a calling determined by God alone – not a job, interest, or skill.
I am both sad and afraid that many believe God would say, “well, Marin, I DID have a calling on your life, but you messed it up. Yeah, you repented, but NEVER again! Nope! Let’s talk about your plan B…”
I am walking talking proof that no sin I committed EVER threw off God’s calling on my life. (I can’t share my story in 300 words, but I’ll just say in my 20’s, I made an effort LOL). And I’m grateful.
Why would anyone want this joker to be their “leader” in the first place….
I, like some others here, applaud your desire to forgive and show grace. However, there needs to be a sharp line drawn between that attitude of grace (as displayed in John 8 like you said), and platforming men as leaders who are not above reproach. Tullian has disqualified himself from eldership (permanently or not MAY BE up for debate, but definitely not after a few years). Can his story be used to show that God is forgiving and slow to anger and that His mercy endures despite our failures to those who are found in Christ? Absolutely! However, eldership is not required or even necessary to demonstrate that. If he were humble and repentant, he would have stayed far away from eldership for some time knowing that he brought great shame upon the office of elder. Instead, he moved right back into ministry. That’s not ethical, healthy or most of all, Christlike.
Additionally, and as a side note, your understanding of Romans 11:29 is very flawed. This causes me to question your ability to exegete Scripture properly. This verse and passage have nothing to do with out individual gifting for ministry or vocation. It is entirely about salvation and the gift of election given to Abraham and his offspring by the Lord. It’s an exposition on the Gospel, not a statement to cherry pick and use a motivational speech talking point.
Thank you for the clarification Pastor Stone. Blessings!
I am the woman he abused at the end of his time at Coral Ridge. He has left a wake of pain. Seven years have passed. He has never told the truth or publicly or privately apologized. He has never missed a beat…barreling on with his “career”. At times of media attention, he has only lied vulgarly and blatantly. If you knew the details you would feel physically sick that you trusted him to be a leader at your conference. He doesn’t care one iota about those he has hurt. He is incapable…his phycologist called him a sociopath. He will suck you in, Casey. Pray for discernment. I am one of many, many woman he abused. I don’t believe he has the ability to stop.
What’s the best way to communicate with you? Id like to chat for a sec had no idea.
The leadership movement has failed, we’ve seen the young restless and reformed movement fail…now it’s the, Been a few years since Covid hopefully everyone forgot the past, let’s replatform them movement.
Ugh, good night. Time has shown up one thing, Charisma and a good preach will cover a multitude sins in a lot of churches unfortunately.
[From the article above] Stone, however, questioned critics of Tchividjian. “It saddens me that some believers would identify with the law and sentence Tullian to death in a sense instead of allowing the Grace of Jesus to rebuild his life as well,” he wrote.
Asking a disgraced pastor to leave ministry as a vocation, either temporarily or permanently, is not a death sentence. Rather, withdrawing from the pulpit may create the circumstances needed to allow God’s grace to truly rebuild a man’s life. Enabling any believer to avoid accountability is not a loving response.
Paul frames it perfectly in Romans 6:1. “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?”
I noticed on the conference flier that there’s a few activities like an Obstacle Course. Does that include one gets men to avoid getting caught with their pants down or how failed leaders can continue in ministry after repeated mistakes?
If you commit ethics violations in other fields that involve trust, doctor, lawyer, stock broker for example, your license to practice is either suspended or revoked. It doesn’t mean God can’t forgive your sin but society has determined that there is a standard of trust involved with these occupations and to prevent such individuals from doing further damage we limit their right to practice these occupations going forward. When it comes to the ministry however there seems to be this forgive and forget mentality with little to no concern from many Christians concerning the ethics responsibility that comes with the occupation of being a minister. Some people simply are not cut out for a job in this field and need to find another job where the ethics bar is not as high. The problem is that these ministers with ethical failings feel they have a right to make a living in the field of ministry and regardless of their ethics issues will refuse to find a new occupation. They seem to understand that there always seems to be a church ready to offer them a job regardless of their track record assuming they can fill the pews.
Exactly. If a teacher were caught in a comparable situation, his professional license could be permanently revoked. Someone’s negative choices may result in consequences they don’t like. That doesn’t diminish grace and forgiveness, but grace and forgiveness doesn’t mean lack of consequences.
It seems today’s evangelical Churches have neglected to read the book of Timothy. It lays out accountability and also speaks to the character of leadership! Sexual sin and a lack of financial accountability seems to be becoming common in the church. It’s sad 😢 And as a result the political power evangelicals sought I feel they will see less of.People are not going to take their moral stance seriously.
In other news Abraham gave his wife to the Egyptian King, and David had an affair that led to murder.
How dare God call those men his friends! Who does he think he is? God or something?!?
Tchividjian can still be God’s friend – no one has intimated that he is not saved (although, if I was repeatedly unfaithful to my husband I would question my commitment to Christ). However, he does not get to be “king” any longer. New testament scripture says Tchividjian has forfeited his right to lead/pastor. He now gets to *follow* Jesus…..like the rest of us.
Very good to see Bible passages and principles being discussed, rather than cancel culture ideas.
Well, he’s not a practising LGBT, is he. Surely these days you shouldn’t expect more of a pastor than that, insisting on somethng like fidelity in marriage, how old-fahioned! Or so it seems …
They are not platforming Tullian because he is repentant, it’s because he draws a crowd. And they use Christian lingo to defend this decision. Nothing new under the sun here. Maddening.
I think so, too. And I think a significant percentage of his appeal is simply that he has the right “look”. The photos on social media are what counts hence….
If there are customers for this show, then a lot of the responsibility has to be on them.
As sad as this is, it is encouraging to see so many brothers and sisters lovingly refute the notion that forgiveness means restoration.
Stone’s application of Romans 11:29 either a sadly incompotent hermeneutic at best or deliberately manipulative at worst, thus he’s either a poor teacher or a wolf
Maybe it’s abuse and maybe it’s not. If the pastor is married to someone else,it’s still adultery and he’s got no business pastoring a church.
More like having an embezzling accountant lecture on what to look for so someone else doesn’t cook the books. But I get it.
Plus he divorced and remarried so quickly after leaving Coral Ridge. All very sad. The calling is a high one to teach. James 3:1 gives a warning about being judged more strictly as a teacher of the Word.
A CALLING? yes, they all say they are called. but where is any proof it’s a calling vs good gig with lots of “look at me look at me” and of course the benefits with outstanding pay and perks. Free airplane rides, nice houses… sorry I am way to jaded after being conned by the best of them from the eighties till a few years ago. If your called, then tell God us flock need to get the memo also. Just to name a few: Hinn and Dollar and (hey we found 600k in the wall) Osteen and White and Copeland and Duplantis. All with great boastful callings from God. OR so I thought. And my favorite is the guy in NYC who had somewhere (depending on his insurance claim) 400k thru 1 mil in jewelry stolen during a service. Right. Called by God or their financial planner. Is it Gods calling or their malignant narcissism that has them need to sand before a crowd. There supposed to be educators not cheerleaders. Nothing humble or Jesusish about any of them.
How can a “calling” be distinguished from a personal desire?
Augustine “reportedly” ignored the calls of an ex-lover who finally shouted, “It is I”, to which he replied, “But it is no longer I.”
John Bradford beautifully said, “There go I, but for the grace of God.”
It takes planning, lying, deceiving, etc… to engage in an affair. To continue to teach from God’s word while participating in unquestionably wrong behavior proves a lack of authenticity – doesn’t it? It definitely says one has a severed conscience.
If it is true that God CAN/WILL not only forgive us of our sins but CAN/WILL also CLEANSE us of those sins, then those representing Him, ought to be proof of that promise.
I don’t even want to get started on these “family ministries.” (eye rolls)
Is character no longer a thing among Christian leaders?
What a mess we find ourselves in, on what ever position we take. I’m so thankful God sent His Son. We are all dumb sheep. So thankful we have a true Sheppard. We sure as heck need one.
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