Posts Tagged With: hyper grace

Tullian Tchividjian, a man after God’s own heart

 Tullian TchividjianTullian Tchividjian stepped down from his leadership role as senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida after he confesses to an immoral relationship. His wife committed adultery, he then followed the same destructive path. His last few tweets as of today were:

“I’m so so sorry. I love you all…fade to black.”

“So grateful that God is a bottom feeder.”

“No vertical condemnation does not mean no horizontal consequences. Surrender early.”

“Welcome to the valley of the shadow of death…thank God grace reigns here.”

“You and I are persistent promise breakers. God alone is a perpetual promise keeper.”
From his twitter page.

His bottom feeder comment reminds me of the song Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. As I like to say whenever I play that song, that chariot will swing as low as it has to in order to rescue the worst of us.

The Bible tells us that when Jesus suffered on the cross, He “swallowed death“. He became sin to make us the righteousness of God. Because of his love for us and for his Papa He voluntarily drunk the dregs of all it means to be separated from Love – His Papa – to rescue us from all that we had become apart from him. The way I like to think about Christ’s atonement is that Jesus has plumbed the very lowest depths of hell to rescue whoever might be there. He came for every last one of us sinners (see Ephesians 4:9-10).

Jesus took Tullian’s sin upon himself at the cross. At the cross Jesus became guilty of Tullian and his wife’s adultery and has already suffered the wrath of God on his behalf because of his great love for them. Jesus has done the same for you. He became guilty of all your sin.

Tullian is obviously receiving the forgiveness and restoration that Jesus extends to him. He has confessed his sin and can expect, along with anyone else who confesses their sin, to be completely forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NIV)

One of the comments on one of the posts on Tullians Facebook page was this:

“Tullian Tchividjian, hearing the news was heart breaking. I pray God uses this to further his gospel and pray you and your wife find common ground. You said it yourself “I am the biggest sinner I know.” You are upholding that phrase well but you are also upholding a better practice, confession and repentance. What you did makes you no less of a leader to a lot of us. Depending how you handle the situation it could even make you a bigger one. Come out of this a better pastor, father, and husband. Don’t rest and give the devil hell.”

God will and is using this to further the Gospel (The Good News) that Jesus loves and forgives sinners. None of our sin will remain secret for long. All of heaven knows all our stuff already, and the Lord has said, “you may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Num 32:23) and “God cannot be mocked, we reap what we sow”. And again, “But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.” (Luke 12:2 NASB)

We will all stand before God one day and give an account for our lives. Jesus has assured us we have the opportunity through trust in him and by receiving his gift of righteousness that we can stand before him pure and clean and as white as snow warmly received by cheering crowds of heavenly saints and angels because we trusted and appropriated his gift.

Or, we can hide and cling to our sin and suffer the profound shame and regret in the presence of a Holy God and all the saints and angels.

“People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 NLT (NASB says “will find compassion”)

Another quote from Tullian:

“If the depths of everyone’s sin was made public, we would all be much more gracious to each other.” ~ Tullian Tchividjian

He’s very quotable. I also wholeheartedly believe he truly is a man after God’s own heart. This phrase was used by the LORD of King David. His sins were made public too. He suffered some severe horizontal consequences. Many who are reading this have as well. There is grace for you!

The thing about grace that is often overlooked, and even perhaps not stressed enough (even by Tullian) is that grace empowers us to live holy lives. To live a holy life is a New Testament imperative:

“…but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth…” 1 Peter 1:15-17 NASB

He means it. He gives us the Holy Spirit to see to it. He expects it, commands it, and demands it. So, what does being “holy” mean? I have come to learn that, just like the commitment we make in marriage, it means essentially that you become 100% God’s… i.e. wholly God’s, surrendered. This is what the Bible also refers to as, “pure in heart”. We get to surrender our all to love! This is why I love the song I Surrender All which appears on our last album:

The result of this complete and absolute and total surrender is living empowered by the Holy Spirit to do and be and live as God would have you to. His Grace (His unmerited favor) works this into our lives:

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:11-14 NKJV)

God will change us because he loves us Tullian

I still love Tullian and still think he has a great deal to contribute to the kingdom of love in Jesus Christ… in fact, even more so now. I am reminded of a quote about Johnny Cash after he passed on: “Sinners make the best saints.”

I will still recommend Tullians books and teachings (Here is one not to be missed: Jesus Plus Nothing Equals Everything!). I also suggest you visit his Facebook page and subscribe for grace filled quotes and encouragement. I pray for the healing of his marriage and that God would bless his ministry to all the rest of us sinners made saints by the grace (unmerited, undeserved, unearned favor – and smile – of God upon us) of Jesus (whose Name means “I AM Salvation”). I encourage you to run to Jesus yourself and find his open arms welcoming you back into the sweet loving fellowship of your Papa who loves you intensely and immensely.

Jesus plus nothing equals everything

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Categories: Forgiveness, Gospel, Grace, Redemption | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Great Grace Debate

John Crowder is certainly a controversial character… but, so was Jesus (Have you ever read the Gospel of John?!?!). And yet, I sincerely love this guy. Sometimes when I’m having a bad day, I listen to him and he cheers me right up… with a clear presentation of the Gospel! Does this mean I think he is right about everything he says? No. But perhaps this is because I’m wrong and need some of my theology challenged in light of the Scripture he’s bringing to the table. Isn’t it funny how we use ourselves as the measurement for what is true? Within each one of us are a myriad of things we accept as truth that have gone unchallenged for most of our lives.

One of the things John Crowder says often is, “Be a good Berean.” The Bereans were people who the apostle Paul noted were more fair-minded or open-minded who didn’t just discount the things Paul said because it didn’t fit with all their preconceived ideas but they studied the Scriptures themselves to see if what is being said was according to the truth of Scripture.

Some people (with “good” reason) avoid John Crowder altogether. They think he is dangerous. They are right. He is dangerous! But dangerous to who? To the kingdom of light or darkness? Will John Crowder mess people up or bring them closer to Christ? Mess them up in a good way or bad?

Of course I like most of my brothers in the faith. I struggle to like the religious tyrants, but in the grand scheme of things even religious tyrants likely have their place and have a role to fulfill as well. From my understanding the Lord Jesus saved John Crowder out of a serious drug addiction, and his ministry started out geared toward those addicted to drugs. His message was to them, “Hey, Jesus is a better high… the best high of all.” He has been criticized for “acting drunk” on the Holy Spirit (what is he really experiencing?), a comedy stunt where he was “tokin’ on a baby Jesus” and “slosh fests”… etc… and to be honest with you, in the past I have cringed at some of these bizarre things he has done. It would have been SO easy to write him off… that is, until I heard him speak.

He gets grace. He understands the Gospel in a brilliant and unique way. It is an absolute joy to hear him talk about the depths and riches of God’s Great grace and the person of Jesus. He has quite a comical way of cutting through all the silliness and B.S. that goes on in the church. He is truly a gift to the church, and we wouldn’t have ever heard what he brings to the church if there wasn’t some controversy. Right?

Crowder wears the badge of “Hyper Grace” with pride as he explains in the first few moments of the video below. I know I will probably get flak for posting this. I’m willing to risk that and put my neck out for the chance to lure you into this Great Grace debate.

I recently reblogged Paul Ellis explaining What is Hyper Grace. It is a must read! Please visit that link and then if your interested in a serious debate on some of the issues that arise with any serious consideration of Grace then read on.

A few months ago I watched a Sid Roth video who hosted Dr. Michael Brown and made some attacks and wild claims against the “hyper grace” movement. When I heard it I perceived that John Crowder was the main person being attacked by Mr. Brown and I wanted to hear his side of the story. I was initially suckered in by Dr. Michael Browns talk and just about to apologize to the world for believing grace was so good… for about ten minutes… and then I repented of that ridiculousness.


Dr. Michael Brown could not have chosen a better person to go up against. His argument was won without even a debate because all people would have to do is google “John Crowder” see all the stir and opposition he has and dismiss him out of hand. Nothing John Crowder says will make a bit of difference because he’s eccentric. People won’t take the time to hear what he actually has to say. How many have rejected Jesus in the same way?

God created John Crowder because God must have a wild sense of humor… I actually think John is hilarious talking about little fat friar tuck bartender angels rolling out barrels so we can get hammered on the ‘Drunken glory!’. It’s like he’s part comedian, part theologian.

Categories: Gospel, Grace | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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