Ray Perkins was the head football coach at Alabama from 1983 to 1986. His record was 32-15-1 for a .677 winning percentage… better than 17 of 29 coaches at Alabama. He left under adversity after three seasons. Why? Basically, he wasn’t Bear Bryant.
What do Joel Gregory, Steve Gains, and Tullian Tchividjian have in common? They followed beloved long tenured pastors… and eventually found themselves under attack. They all suffered from the ministerial version of “The Ray Perkins Syndrome.”
Joel Gregory followed W.A. Criswell at FBC-Dallas, TX. Steve Gains followed Adrian Rogers at Belleview in Memphis, TN. Tullian Tchividjian followed D. James Kennedy at Coral Ridge in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
The most recent one to deal with this situation is Billy Graham’s grandson, Tullian Tchividjian at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. One of the main ones calling for his resignation by sending letters to the congregation is Dr. Kennedy’s own daughter Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy. To read about how these people who oppose God’s man are giving the church a black eye… click here and here.
Now those in opposition will argue there are more to their objections to the new pastor than that he followed Moses… uhh… their previous pastor. But bottom line, I guarantee you to a great degree the new guy behind the pulpit just doesn’t (And couldn’t) measure up to the last guy they loved.
Has pastor Tchividjian committed doctrinal heresy? No. Has pastor Tchividjian committed an immoral act? No. Has pastor Tchividjian done anything illegal? No.
So why do they want to run him off? He doesn’t wear a robe when he preaches… his hair is spiked… he doesn’t promote political activism… his collar is loose in the pulpit… and he hired some of his previous staff when the two churches merged. (Tongue in cheek) “OH! NOW I understand… They have every right to be asking for his resignation!” Truth: Pastor Tchividjian is different from Dr. Kennedy (And that is a good thing!) and THAT is why they want to run him off.
The best thing the malcontents could do at Coral Ridge is shut up… go to church somewhere else… and keep their mouth shut! The Biblical thing for them to do is pray for Pastor Tchividjian instead of preying on him (Get it?). No wait… the BEST thing they could do is to be at peace with the leadership of the congregation, apologize for their dissensions publicly, and repent of giving the Church a black eye!
I am glad that the majority of the church at Coral Ridge have banned the malcontents from attending church there or setting foot on their property. The leaders of Coral Ridge are following the Scripture as found in Romans 16 and Titus 3. If more churches would deal with their malcontents in this manner, the church would be healthier!