Tullian Tchividjian, the grandson of Billy Graham with the funny name, is in the news again.
Some of you may remember last summer, when he resigned as pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in the Miami area after admitting to an extramarital affair. Since then, he had been participating in a restoration program at Willow Creek Presbyterian Church, also in the Miami area and not to be confused with Willow Creek up in Chicago, which included a position on staff at the church. But just this past week, news of an additional, previously undisclosed affair came to light. Willow Creek decided this was more baggage than they could handle and let him go.
Let this be a reminder that, as noted last week, repentance is not a one-shot deal. Repentance is a process and a journey, in many cases fraught with unexpected setbacks and crazy detours. Our churches have to be communities where this process can happen in real time, in real life, even if it is imperfect, even if it involves lots of setbacks and lots of crazy detours. Where people are at all sorts of different stages in the journey from “And that is what some of you were” to “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified…” and are free to talk about it openly, even if only with a few close and trusted friends. As a resurrection people who follow a resurrected Savior, we have to believe that repentance and spiritual transformation can happen in our midst. That there is no sin, and no sinner, who cannot be reached by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.