Dazed and Confused? Okay, maybe not dazed, but Confused?
“I had informed The Gospel Coalition of my plan to make this transition in August when the new Liberate site is launched, but was informed on Thursday that certain members of The Gospel Coalition wanted the transition to happen ASAP. I was disappointed and a bit confused. We would’ve loved to have had more time to get things ready on our end and I have always been open to having any conversations with any of the staff at The Gospel Coalition who had any questions whatsoever about the content I was posting. I would’ve been happy to answer any questions they may have had and provide robust clarification if needed. None of the powers that be, however, ever mentioned anything to me (either by email or phone) before Thursday when I was simply told that the transition needed to happen now.” TT
Dazed and Confused? Okay, maybe not dazed, but Confused? For the past few years Tullian has been challenged and asked to clarify himself. He and Rick Phillips started to communicate a bit at one time. Now I can’t speak to the issue of who communicated (or who should have communicated) with Pastor Tullian Tchividjian at all. But evidently he understood there were some concerns as he states, “I know I have had some differences with some of the other contributors to this site but my goal has always been to do nothing but preach the Good News with every post, to bring relief to the burdened and broken, and rest to the weary and heavy laden by fixing the readers’ eyes on the finished work of Jesus.” I am grateful that Pastor Tchividjian desires to focus on the finished work of Jesus. I am grateful he desires to bring relief to the burdened and broken by fixing their eyes upon Jesus. But part of the problem is that he is only giving half a message. Once our eyes are focused on Christ we need to hear what the Spirit says to the Church. After we see him we need to hear Him.
At the end of his short fairwell address to the readers of his blog at the Gospel Coalition Tullian takes the high road of Luther in declaration form, “Here I Stand.” The famous quote was delivered by Luther as an act of confessing and doing. It was an act of desiring to obey God rather than man. His comment was followed up by another short phrase. “Here I Stand. I can do no other.” Tullian could have done something more. He was not placed in a situation as Luther was. He could have given full weight to his brothers who were imploring him to hear all of the scripture speak instead of his truncated view of the Gospel. Yes, the Work of Christ is Finished. But there is still a work for us to do. The Gospel message is more than just a proclamation of our justification (our being declared righteous) before God. The Gospel of our Salvation also includes our freedom to obey (Sanctification) in light of our future hope of deliverance (Glorification).
I find it ironical that his new ministry is called Liberate. The part of the message that others are trying to get Pastor Tchividjian to also focus on is found in Jesus words and the Words of St. Paul. Freedom from bondage to sin and Freedom to Obey.
Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
Joh 8:35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Rom 6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
Rom 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
Rom 6:10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
Rom 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rom 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Rom 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Rom 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
Rom 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
Rom 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
Rom 6:21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
Rom 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now I am pretty sure that Pastor Tchividjian understands this point also. Unfortunately he has skewed things by turning every text of scripture that he can into a message of Justification by Faith Alone. And that is a wonderful message and a message that some declare is the article upon which the Church stands or falls. But there is much more than that in the account when we consider the doctrine of Salvation. I will just leave you all with this thought. Salvation is more than justification. It is about reconciliation. It is about Eternal Life. It is about knowing and being known by God. It is about relationship and freedom found in that relationship.
Hurry up and save the work. The program has a flaw. It is shutting down at its present location. I will pray and have prayed for this system flaw. May Pastor Tullian be given eyes to see and ears to hear so that Christ may be exalted and glorified. Blessings upon Him. I pray I see things more clearly also as I am prone to only see a partial message.
I would encourage everyone to watch the video in this blog post.