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Free and Strong America

Monday, September 21, 2009

CRPC makes the right decision

From yesterday's Sun-Sentinel article.....

"Members of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church on Sunday turned back an attempt to fire Pastor Tullian Tchividjian, voting in his favor by a two-thirds margin. After a contentious, two-hour congregational meeting closed to non-members, Tchividjian won 940 of 1,362 ballots cast at the Fort Lauderdale church. The vote climaxed a months-long conflict in the triple-steepled church, long known for its evangelical forthrightness and conservative politics. With 2,678 members, the church has championed evangelism, Bible-based faith and quality education. It also has hosted rallies called Reclaiming America for Christ, spurring thousands for grass roots activism on matters like abortion, homosexuality, evolution and school prayers. Tchividjian, 37, a grandson of the evangelist Billy Graham, is only the second pastor at Coral Ridge, following the Rev. D. James Kennedy(pictured above), who died in September 2007."

A few brief thoughts on the matter. In the interests of full disclosure, I'm not a member of CRPC, however I attend services there about once a month. My overall feeling is that it was too late in the process to change horses in mid-stream and after all, the job had been formally offered to Tchividjian after the congregation voted on the matter and he was officially installed last Easter. Some of the criticisms leveled at Tchividjian were not legitimate in my estimation such as not wearing the litugical robe that Kennedy always donned before worship services. If Tchividjian was not wearing a robe while pastor of New City Church, then it was unrealistic to think this would change upon becoming senior pastor of CRPC. One minor criticism that might have some merit would be the length of sermons that some have complained are too long. The average person, depending on what studies you believe, has an attention span (in meetings for example) of between 15-20 minutes. If his detractors could demonstrate that his sermons were consistantly quite a bit longer than that, then I'm sure this would be a matter that could be settled between church members, behind closed doors. That is, if any criticism offered up were constructive in nature and respectfully presented.

In conclusion, let me just say that Dr Kennedy is an incredible act to follow. There was none like him and there won't be another to follow. The church was going to take a different direction no matter who was finally settled on to take the helm. The only question would be to what degree the changes would come. Now that this matter is finally behind them, may God use this experience to refine and strengthen His church in Fort Lauderdale and and from this day forward, give discernment as to what course is best to follow in order to further His kingdom.


Anonymous said...

Good points. I do wonder what people expected vs. what he was already doing at New City.

Makarios said...

I get worried when people care about what clothes the Pastor is wearing. Of course there are a people like that in every congregation, similar to those who can’t adapt to changing styles in music. It’s so terribly petty and unimportant.

I worry even more about those who judge the quality of a sermon by it’s length. What the heck are you going to Church for anyhow, for show? Or to make yourself feel like a Christian?

When I read about the other things that have characterised the congregation, I’m surprised that these two things are issues at all.

JD Curtis said...

Thank you for your comments. The "robe" thing was silly. He wears a nice suit and thats OK with me. There were some people who didnt like the way traditional service was run. The reason that I attend CRPC once a month is because my church doesnt have a traditional service on the last Sunday of the month and that's when I go there. Having attended the traditional service @ CRPC several times when Tchividjian was the celebrant, there was nothing that I noted that was amiss from the service. It was fine.

feeno said...

I know my opinion is not as highly reguarded as Mak's but I'll leave it anyway.

When matters of the Church like this arise, I just go to the word. "Great peace have they which love thy law and nothing shall offend them". I love my Church, however I know some Christians wouldn't feel as comfortable there as maybe some other type church. But that's not all together bad either, remember what Paul said "whether in pretense or in truth Christ is being preached therefore I rejoice, yea I will rejoice.

Shalomie Homie, feeno