Tullian Tchividjian, who was fired from his position at Willow Creek Presbyterian Church after revelations of a previously unconfessed affair, has said he will "forever regret" the effect his actions have had on his ex-wife and children.
Tchividjian issued what his publicist says is his final statement on the issue, saying: "I recently confessed to my pastor and elders a previous failure from a few years ago. I deeply regret my actions and putting myself in the compromising position that led me to sin the way I did. My heart grieves for all of those that have been hurt by my selfishness and foolishness."
His publicist Hunter Frederick clarified that the previous affair took place in 2014, before the relationship that led to his departure from Coral Ridge. He also denied that Coral Ridge's elder board had advised him to keep the relationship from his wife, saying they had urged caution in how he told her because there were children involved.
His comment appears to refer to a Christian Post report citing a Coral Ridge source who claims two elders knew about the 2014 affair but did not tell the others.
Tchividjian said the process of repentance is "progressive and painful", adding he was "so thankful for the elders of Willow Creek Church who have been nothing but gracious and firm with me since I have arrived and they continue to do so today. Even though this previous sin happened before I came to Willow Creek, it pains me deeply to know that something from my past could in any way hurt these gracious people today."
Tchividjian said: "I hope and pray that the events in my own life over the past couple years serve as a warning to all who, like I did, believe they are standing firm."
In a post for the Aquila website entitled 'Should We Have Hired Tullian?' Tchividjian's pastor at Willow Creek, Kevin Labby, wrote that giving him a title when he arrived at the church created the false impression he was functioning in a ministerial capacity. However, he said churches were bad at restoring those who had fallen and that Jesus was 'scandalously generous' to his repentant ministers.
"So, in the last analysis, would I do it again? Yes. A thousand times yes. I love Tullian. A lot. Sure, I kind of want to punch him right now, but only like two brothers duking it out in the backyard and then coming in for supper. Would I do this again, the same way? No. I've learned a lot and I'm learning still.
"Would I love to see our churches work out a better way of doing this moving forward, for the glory of God and the good of ministers and their families? Good grief, yes. It's time to run to our wounded, not away from them."