The Latest Tullian Tchividjian / Tom Chantry Episodes Expose the Folly of Protestant Church
Paul Dohse for TANC Ministries: a response to the call to a repentance process for Tullian Tchividjian.
Tullian Tchividjian, the great-grandson of Billy Graham and a wildly popular teacher among evangelicals is also a sultan of authentic Protestant orthodoxy in our day. No one, but no one, can articulate Protestant orthodoxy better.
So, it shouldn’t surprise us that his immoral sexual exploits have become public, but it should surprise us that the who’s who of evangelicalism are calling for his complete departure from ministry. The same could be said for many other uber-popular evangelical leaders that have been caught with both hands in the cookie jar. Recent examples include RC Sproul Jr., Rob Turner, and Tom Chantry. Those are the most recent ones as these episodes are becoming un-news-worthy due to frequency.
Why should it surprise us that they are expected to resign from ministry? Because their behavior is the logical outcome of Protestant soteriology. I explained this in a recent post:
The Protestant Reformation was NEVER about individual transformation. Instead, it was about the extreme opposite. The real Protestant gospel was about growing in one’s understanding of how large the gulf is between God’s holiness and man’s depravity. This is a salvation process that begins with basic knowledge concerning man’s evil and God’s good (the knowledge of good and evil), and one grows in their salvation as they see the degree of discrepancy between man’s evil and God’s good. Therefore, one’s growth in salvation is determined by their increased appreciation of what Christ did for us, not anything we do.
True salvation, according to authentic Protestantism, begins with recognizing that man can only be evil, and only God can be good. Growth in salvation is determined by one’s understanding of the following: the degree of difference between the two.
Hence, according to the true Reformation gospel, God’s righteousness is purely substitutionary. This is Martin Luther’s “alien righteousness.” Now, what Protestants ASSUME is the following: “Well, but of course, before we were saved we had no righteousness of our own.” Um, no, the Protestant gospel demands an alien righteousness throughout the salvation PROCESS while salvation (being justified before God) requires a “righteousness outside of us.” Our righteousness (justification) is therefore said to be a mere “legal declaration.”
The new birth is then relegated to a mere gift that enables one to perceive (only) God’s holiness as set against our wickedness. That’s the Protestant gospel plain and simple and it’s not even arguable.
Tom Chantry, son of Reformed icon Walter Chantry, and recently indicted for child molestation, put it this way:
One way to summarize the doctrine of divine sovereignty is this: It is God who acts, not man. How will the lost be saved? God must act. How will sinful Christians overcome the “old man”? God must act. How will the church grow in both holiness and influence? Again, God must act. He is the sovereign; He is the great Actor in every aspect of our spiritual life.
This is the typical verbiage we hear non-stop from evangelical pastors in every kind of church. Yet, in light of further allegations concerning Tchividjian, a group of well-known evangelicals have penned an open letter that further illustrates the decadence of the Protestant Institutional church. While knowing grade-A-well that Protestantism promotes the total depravity of the saints, church leaders continue to advertise the church as a cultural moral compass and society’s moral high ground. This is a deliberate ploy that plays to the expectations of society at large.
This is the church’s cultish approach that draws people in under the pretense of individual transformation and healing, and then uses assumptions to slowly strip them of all individualism and personal identity with God. This eventually makes them slaves of ecclesiological authority. If “believers” have no righteousness infused within as a result of the new birth, they have no right to their own lives or ability to determine God’s will for themselves. The church has always claimed authority over the souls of mankind by proxy.
This is the institutional church scam: the same “behaviorism or moralism” disdained as an affront to God within the church is used to recommend itself to the world. While making any moral performance an act of God alone, they call on Tchividjian to “repent.” Really? Tchividjian is a leading authority on what the Reformers meant by that word and must know that these “teachers” are grandstanding. Obviously, none of them really believe that any person can repent or do any good work. In fact, they say it continually.
Furthermore, why are any of these scholarly reprobates shamed at all? According to their theology it was God who didn’t act to prevent their behavior to begin with. Also, such behavior is inevitable according to their presuppositions concerning mankind.
And lastly, why are sane people giving their hard earned money or time to this gargantuan lie called “church”?