How Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Church Mishandled Rick Trotter’s Alleged Voyeurism

Whenever I find myself in an exceptionally beautiful environment, I can't help asking myself – what lies beneath? I'm fascinated by the idea of a perfect surface concealing a rotten core. Sharon Bolton link

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Bryan Loritts

*Warning: Graphic detail on a form of deviant sexual behavior necessary to understand a church situation*

Note to lawyers: All incidents attributed to the characters in this story are alleged

If anyone would have told the Deebs that they would be spending time researching articles in order to understand the issues surrounding voyeurism and paraphilia before they started this blog, we may have joined a tennis team instead!

The next couple of posts will deal with what appears to be one of the most mishandled church situations we have discussed since Karen Hinckley and The Village Church. Of course, nothing will ever quite live up to the Sovereign Grace Ministries scandals but this one sure made a good run at it.

The cast of characters 

Rick Trotter:

He is the brother in law of Bryan Loritts and a former employee of Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Church. He is also the  former announcer for the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association. On 8/9/2016 he was arrested on four counts of charges that he photographed someone without their consent at the Downtown Church. He has a previous history of doing the same thing at Fellowship Memphis in 2010 but was not arrested.

From what I can tell, Rick Trotter does not hold any college or seminary degrees. He apparently graduated from high school and had some interest in the performing arts as a teen. if anyone knows of other degrees, please let us know.

  • Graduate of Tri-Cities High School of Visual and Performing Arts.
  • Trotter worked as a restaurant manager at Chick-Fil-A.

This background apparently qualified him to be the worship leader at both Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Church. It probably didn't hurt that he was the brother-in-law to Bryan Loritts.

Bryan Loritts:

He is the co-founder and former lead pastor of Fellowship Memphis.he then served a few months as a pastor at Trinity Grace Church in New York City. After that stint, he now serves as the pastor of Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in California. He is the President of the Kainos Movement, an organization aimed at establishing the multi-ethnic church in America as the new normal. He is the devoted brother-in-law of Rick Trotter who worked with him at Fellowship Memphis. he is a popular speaker. He recently spoke at Summit Chruch here is Raleigh and is currently speaking at Russell Moore's 2016 ERLC conference along with Matt Chandler.

John Bryson:

He is the current lead pastor at Fellowship Memphis which he helped found with Bryan Loritts. He recently became a former board member of Acts 29 (he claims he just rotated off.)

Fellowship Memphis:

This is a church which started in 2003 with the admirable goal of being a multicultural church in the heart of Memphis. Rick Trotter worked for this church for a period of time before being terminated in 2010 due to making a voyeuristic video of women utilizing the church's restroom.

Downtown Church

This is a multicultural church in Memphis which started in 2010. According to the website:

Rick Trotter came on as Interim Worship Leader in August 2011.

He was terminated in May 2016 when he got caught kneeling behind a woman during the service taking a picture with his a cell phone.

Not involved but important to the story.

Crawford Loritts:

He is the senior pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in  Roswell, Georgia. He holds an earned Bachelor of Science degree in Bible with an emphasis on pastoral studies. He claims multiple doctorates but they appear to be honorary. Please correct me if I am wrong. He is on the board of  CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ) and is a visiting professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. More importantly, he is a council member of The Gospel Coalition and is heavily involved in conferences, speaking, etc. 

He is the father of Bryan Loritts and the father in law to Rick Trotter.

Lecrae:

I could not resist this one. He is much beloved by The Gospel Coalition. Lecrae has also recorded some music videos with Rick Trotter. I feature one of them at the end of this post.

(He is) an American Christian hip hop artist, songwriter, record producer and actor. He is the president, co-owner and co-founder of the independent record label Reach Records, and the co-founder and president of the non-profit organization ReachLife Ministries.

Theologically, Lecrae follows the Reformed tradition of theology and is considered an influential figure in the New Calvinist movement.[89][90][91] He cites Tommy Nelson, John MacArthur, and John Piper, among others, as early influences on his Christian faith, and Lecrae even titled one of his hit songs, "Don't Waste Your Life", after the book of the same name by Piper.[92][93] Lecrae explains that through Nelson, MacArthur, and Piper, he subsequently discovered Spurgeon, Calvin, and Francis Schaeffer, the last of whom Lecrae calls his "personal hero".[92] Other theologians cited by Lecrae include Tim Keller, Andy Crouch, Randy Alcorn, and Abraham Kuyper.[94][95] He also looks to Martin Luther King, Jr. for inspiration on working out faith in social issues.[95]

Some introductory thoughts on naive and dangerous church leaders

It is important to understand that this story has been reported extensively in the media in Memphis. Trotter was a public figure, serving as the announcer for the Grizzlies for the last ten years as well as working for churches and Chick-Fil-A.

What I am about to write is an overview of the allegations and the information that I have gleaned from reading multiple reports and talking with one anonymous, yet well placed individual. I plan to cover these allegations in excruciating detail on Monday and even Wednesday. It is deeply disturbing to the Deebs that this sort of response continues to exist after 7 years of reporting on sex abuse in churches.

We understand that people with obsessive sexual proclivities (pedophiles, voyeurs, etc.) are found everywhere, including in churches. What we do not understand why church continue to attempt to cover up these incidents and continue to hire folks who have been convicted of sexual crimes, believing , of course, that they have repented and have been cured. This is naive, dangerous and just plain stupid but I will leave further rants up to the readers who we think will have much to say.

The overview

This overview contains the allegation in this story. On Monday we will discuss them in detail while at the same time throwing in an interesting side story or two which may give some deeper insight into the situation. 

In 2010, a  video camera was found in a women's restroom at Fellowship Memphis. After some investigation on the part of Bryan Loritts and others, it was discovered that Rick Trotter was the one who placed the recorder. It allegedly showed a number of women taking care of their personal business in the bathroom, obviously expecting privacy.

Rick Trotter confessed to this and shared the videos which he had stored on his phone. At this point the story gets downright weird and upsetting. According to the Commercial Appeal, the church claimed that they reported this to the police.The police have denied receiving such a report. One victim claimed to have been told by church leaders that the evidence had been destroyed because the police told them to do it. (Ed. comment: Good night!)

 They said they had already consulted with the police and they were told to destroy the evidence," she said.

The church informed the victims of what had transpired and asked them not to report this to the police because it would harm Rick Trotter's career.

The adult victim said they were discouraged from filing charges to avoid affecting Trotter's life and career.

"They said that no one would consider pressing charges because it would ruin his life and he had a family. 

The women were told to meet with Trotter and his wife to discuss this.

After that, Trotter and his wife met with some of the alleged victims at their house, three of the alleged victims said, a process that at least one of the women refused to take part in. The church statement doesn't mention those sessions.

"They made us meet with him, with Rick Trotter. Sit down with him and his wife. That's terrible. I couldn't handle that at the time," said the adult woman, who left the church almost immediately after this happened.

Bryson denied the above accounts. He even claimed that no minors were involved.

In the statement, Bryson denied that any minors were recorded, and said the church "asked whether (the victims) wanted to press charges. The victims were also offered independent professional counseling paid for by the church. It is our understanding that none of the victims at that time chose to press charges."

However, the Commercial Appeal reported that at least two minors have come forward. I have also been told by an individual that there were minors involved.

At this point, Trotter was terminated from Fellowship Memphis and sent to sex addiction rehab, which was allegedly paid for by the church according to the Commercial Appeal.

After Fellowship Memphis leaders fired him for "inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature" in 2010, they supported his wife and children while they paid for him to get three months of counseling.

However, it is alleged that the church community was not told of Trotter's problem. One individual attempted to get the word out and was allegedly threatened with church discipline.

Shortly after this treatment, Trotter applied for a job as a worship leader at Downtown Church. According to the Commercial Appeal, Fellowship Memphis told them there had only been one incident (although that one incident involved in a number of women.) Showing a profound lack of common sense on the part of both church, Trotter was hired.

After Trotter applied for a job at Downtown Church in 2011, pastors and elders of both churches met and discussed his past transgressions.

They got his permission to speak openly about how he used his smartphone to secretly record women in Fellowship's restroom.

Downtown Church leaders spoke to his counselors "to determine the effectiveness of the treatment as well as his readiness to re-enter the ministry."

They met with Trotter and his wife "to assess his readiness to re-enter the ministry as well as overall health."

They gave him "an accountability plan" and hired him part-time. They hired him full-time in 2014, but only after he made "a statement of full-disclosure" to the congregation.

Their naive trust was misplaced. They eventually discovered Trotter taking pictures up women's skirts in church. Who knows how long he had been doing this? He has been terminated by both the Downtown Church and the Grizzlies.

Voyeurism is a paraphilia

I wonder if anyone at either church took some time to read about voyeurism. Was it blown off as just locker room behavior? Was Rick thrown a bone because of his brother-in-law and father-in-law? 

The following discussion involves voyeurism which is practiced by a person who is over the age of 18 and has had this problem for greater than 6 months. Trotter's behavior is one sort of paraphilia that is concerning.

Definition of a paraphilia

Voyeurism is a paraphilia.

A paraphilia is a condition in which a person's sexual arousal and gratification depend on fantasizing about and engaging in sexual behavior that is atypical and extreme. A paraphilia can revolve around a particular object (children, animals, underwear) or around a particular act (inflicting pain, exposing oneself). Most paraphilias are far more common in men than in women. The focus of a paraphilia is usually very specific and unchanging.

A paraphilia is distinguished by a preoccupation with the object or behavior to the point of being dependent on that object or behavior for sexual gratification.

Paraphilias include sexual behaviors that society may view as distasteful, unusual or abnormal.

One type of paraphilia is voyeurism.

…voyeurism (observing private activities of unaware victims)

Criteria needed in order to consider this a disorder

Some recent criteria needed in order for voyeurism to be considered a disorder are:

 To be diagnosed with a paraphilic disorder, DSM-5 requires that people with these interests:

-feel personal distress about their interest, not merely distress resulting from society’s disapproval;

or

-have a sexual desire or behavior that involves another person’s psychological distress, injury, or death, or a desire for sexual behaviors involving unwilling persons or persons unable to give legal consent. 

From this definition we can see that Trotter was involved in activity that involved unwilling persons who had not given consent to this behavior.

Prognosis

Unfortunately, the prognosis for many paraphilias is not great.

Paraphilias have been found to be quite chronic such that a minimum of two years of treatment is recommended for even the mildest paraphilia

As was noted, Trotter received treatment for only a couple of months. Had both churches done their homework, they would have realized that Trotter was highly likely to re-offend, apology or not. However, they apparently gave little thought to the victims and instead thought it was way cooler to hire a potential criminal because he said he was sorry.

Voyeurism as a crime.

Here are some of the legal aspects of this crime.

Expectation of Privacy

One legal issue that often comes up in these types of cases is the expectation of privacy. This legal concept has been fleshed out repeatedly in front of the Supreme Court of the United States. Generally, in order for the prosecutor to successfully prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the suspect committed every element of the crime, he or she must show that the victim both subjectively and objectively had a reasonable belief in the expectation of privacy where he or she was seen or recorded. Locations where there may be a reasonable expectation of privacy may include in private offices where there is a door that can be locked, in locker rooms and in bathrooms. However, videos or photographs taken while in common areas in a workplace may not meet this definition. 

Legal Consequences

On the criminal level, a person convicted of a crime related to voyeurism may face the conviction of a misdemeanor or felony, based on state law. The circumstances determine the degree of criminal conduct, such as the age of the victims, the number of victims and how the victims were recorded. A conviction may result in a jail sentence, requirement to pay a fine, probation and court-ordered counseling. Additionally, the offender may be required to register as a sex offender due to mandatory registration requirements. 

In addition to any criminal consequences, an offender may also be sued for invading the victim’s privacy or causing harm to his or her reputation. Due to the serious nature of the consequences that an offender faces, it is in his or her best interest to consult with a lawyer familiar with sex crimes in his or her jurisdiction.

I, along with Deb and many readers, am sick and tired of celebrity pastors trying to tell us that they care for our souls when they blow off sexual predation in their midst. Even Al Mohler has been known to joke about such matters. Until I see churches within The Gospel Coalition and Acts 29 getting serious about this sin, their protestations of authority, etc. will be met by me with a vehement shake of the head and by my telling future church attendees to refrain from trusting their church leaders.

More on this story on Monday.

Comments

How Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Church Mishandled Rick Trotter’s Alleged Voyeurism — 426 Comments

  1. Thanks for tackling such a tough subject. Dee and Deb should be awarded the Christian version of the Pulitzer Prize.

  2. Victorious wrote:

    @ Velour:
    I agree!

    Really. Our gals – The Deebs – deserve awards. Glad you agree. I guess since we’re planning to have Camp Backbone in Kentucky in Nancy2’s neck of the woods in 2017, we could award Dee and Deb with “Golden” Backbones. Because those gals have spine!

  3. Deb wrote:

    @ Velour: Dee's just getting started… So glad she's back.

    Yeah! I don't see how she does it. It hasn't been a full month since Polly's death and Dee is already blazing more trails at lightning speed.

  4. ‘The adult victim said they were discouraged from filing charges to avoid affecting Trotter’s life and career.

    “They said that no one would consider pressing charges because it would ruin his life and he had a family.”‘

    Reporting a crime is not what ruins a criminal’s life, committing the crime is what does it. You choose the consequences when you choose the deed. These pastors ought to have known better.

    And I wonder if they feel any remorse now knowing of the repeat performances?

    These sort of things are why denominations and associations were created. They were made to vet out predators from leadership. Epic fail here, for sure!

  5. I’ve been reading this at the wondering eagle site and all the articles.

    I am stuck on the fact that downtown hired this man in the first place! So wrong. So negligent. Staff have access to churches at odd hours and generally have keys, which is exactly what a man who LESS than a year ago (?) was caught filming women in the bathroom.

    I cannot get past this point. Because it is absolutely insanely maddeningly criminally negligent.

  6. @ Lea:

    Sorry, is exactly what a man like this should never be given. The access to the church of a staff member.

  7. dee wrote:

    @ Velour:
    @ Victorious:
    @ Deb:
    Nothing gets my back up like sex abuse and churches.

    Yours and mine!

  8. Just making sure it is known that fellowship Memphis is affiliated with fellowship associates (little rock AR) and fellowship bible church in Brentwood TN where a child was molested by a teen at church and the church is now in a major lawsuit. These people truly do not learn from their mistakes.

  9. Looks like IF the alleged activities did happen, that Mr. T may have a loose screw ’cause he would have had to be ‘out of control’ not to realize he would get caught again in the obvious posture of ‘kneeling down’ to photograph up women’s skirts.

    . . . and this person has a wife and a family to support????

  10. I am very glad you are addressing this btw. I find this extremely distressing! I don’t know what it is about this type of crime, but it just so so creepy.

    I did want to say one of the articles quoted a victim at fellowship as saying the pastors told them in addition to not wanting them to press charges because it would damage trotter, they would have to play the videos in court. I don’t know if this is just me reading in, but I would take that as a threat of extreme personal embarrassment.

  11. "The church informed the victims of what had transpired and asked them not to report this to the police because it would harm Rick Trotter's career."

    Church leaders that do this should be prosecuted for being complicit with the crime.

    This makes me sick. 🙁

  12. If anyone would have told the Deebs that they would be spending time researching articles in order to understand the issues surrounding voyeurism and paraphilia before they started this blog, we may have joined a tennis team instead!

    if y’all ever do take a sabbatical for tennis, we’ll understand.

  13. razorbackSally wrote:

    Just making sure it is known that fellowship Memphis is affiliated with fellowship associates (little rock AR) and fellowship bible church in Brentwood TN where a child was molested by a teen at church and the church is now in a major lawsuit.

    Is this incident being reported in TN press? Can you forward me any info? I will check it out over the weekend and add it to the more in-depth coverage next week. You comment is quite important. There is another situation that happened at Memphis Fellowship that has yet to be reported which I will discuss next week. Could there be a systematic pattern of overlooking the serious nature of sex abuse and other forms of paraphilia by this organization?

  14. Under Legal Consequences, above, the Deebs refer to state law. It can get messier than that if the victim of photographic voyeurism is under the age of 18.

    1) If the victim is under 18, it is considered “production of child pornography.”
    2) If the camera or cell phone was manufactured outside of the perpetrator’s state (and they all are; they’re made overseas) then it becomes a Federal crime. It’s an interesting technicality designed to make it tough on the child porn industry, which very often involves rape of small children.
    3) Federal prosecution of production of child pornography will earn the perpetrator a 15-year MINIMUM prison sentence, NO parole.
    4) If the victim is under the age of puberty, this is weighted more heavily.
    5) In my opinion, the addictive properties of this kind of disorder outweigh the fear of getting caught or the fear of prison. This addiction is a demon, possibly more powerful than nicotine or alcohol or heroin. I know two men who are serving sentences of more than 15 years. One of them I grew up with, and he’s known as an odd duck. He had set up miniature cameras in bathrooms where there were teenage girls. While out on bail awaiting sentencing, he was caught yet again with mini-cameras in the house of a friend with young girls. The other man was a kindergarten teacher (and had taught my own girls years earlier) who was caught photographing the private parts of his 5-year-old female students (in a classroom, behind closed doors, with a school camera). The added offense of violating his position of trust and authority didn’t help his case.

    Counseling may help in some cases, but I wouldn’t count too heavily on it. This disorder is too addictive for a quick fix. If churches discover behavior like this that has crossed the boundary of criminal offense, they must turn it over to the legal authorities and not consider handling it themselves—for their own sake if not for the victims’.

    And I want to warn anyone who may be involved in this behavior: the Federal Prosecutors and Assistant District Attorneys who handle these cases are often women. You don’t want to mess with women when they’re protecting kids. God help you.

  15. @ BeenThereDoneThat:
    Can you imagine if anyone stole my computer and saw what I spend my time on? It would be a bizarre mix of child sex abuse, paraphilia, domestic violence and clothing sales. Cute shoes and voyeurism…

    If I go missing, someone grab my computer and dump it in the ocean after you finish my bid on eBay in case I am still alive.

  16. dee wrote:

    If I go missing, someone grab my computer and dump it in the ocean after you finish my bid on eBay in case I am still alive.

    Thanks. I needed a little comic relief.

  17. I have been a victim of prolonged sexual harassment several times. I can be perfectly honest in saying that my life has never been the same. It is so bad that I am afraid to walk around my neighborhood by myself most of the time.

    So forgive me if I have no sympathy with the “his life will be ruined” argument. He needs to go to jail for what he’s done, and he shouldn’t be around his kids or their friends.

    Churches need to be extremely vigilant against predators of all kinds. Just because someone goes to church and says they are sorry doesn’t mean they are still not a predator.

    I agree with Bridget:
    Bridget wrote:

    Church leaders that do this should be prosecuted for being complicite with the crime.
    This makes me sick.

  18. dee wrote:

    Can you imagine if anyone stole my computer and saw what I spend my time on?

    We’ll point the authorities to your blog and say, “See? She’s really all about the cute shoes”

  19. There is a lot more that needs to be stated in regards to Fellowship Memphis. On Sunday August 14, 2016 I woke up and checked my email. I had a message from someone telling me they were one of the people who was filmed in the restroom at Fellowship Memphis. They asked for help and for me to write about it.

    So I told them I would and took it on. Here is the problem in the story in the Memphis Commercial Appeal they named no names. I researched and worked with my source and connected the dots and wrote the following post last Sunday August 22.

    https://wonderingeagle.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/the-sordid-tale-of-rick-trotter-bryan-loritts-john-bryson-and-acts-29-fellowship-memphis-and-downtown-presbyterian-church/

    This I was told was the first post that connected the dots and publically linked Bryan Loritts and John Bryson to the cover up. My post wasn’t even up for a number of hours when Bryan Loritts contacted me. He wanted to speak with me. My gut feeling is that he was trying to do damage control and get the post down. My source said that what I had written and put together was accurate. So I was dealing with Bryan Loritts and figuring out how to respond to him. I asked Amy Smith about it and fortunately she got involved and that helps drag this out further. Bryan Loritts has accused me of slander in an email. I intend to publish it. All I did was write the truth of the situation.

    You guys need to check out my blog. I have about 5 or 6 articles already published about this. Now that my East Coast Mom is involved the party can really get going! 🙂

  20. Bridget wrote:

    “The church informed the victims of what had transpired and asked them not to report this to the police because it would harm Rick Trotter’s career.”

    Were they talking about his career in voyeurism? Seems to be his field specialty. Someone needs to damage, no destroy that!

  21. Dave (Eagle) wrote:

    Bryan Loritts has accused me of slander in an email.

    Writing the truth is obviously their defn of slander, especially if it is truth they are trying to hide.

  22. From the OP:

    They gave him “an accountability plan” and hired him part-time…

    An accountability plan? What did that look like, I wonder?

    Why do I get the sinking feeling it merely consisted of something like this once a month:

    Church staff: “Have you been filming semi- nude ladies without their knowledge again?”

    The guy: “Why no, no I haven’t.”

    Church staff: “We’re good here, then. Your word is as good as gold.”

  23. I’m now awaiting for the crowd to show up to tell us the following:
    1. Voyeur Dude deserves to be treated with Gospely kid gloves,
    2. to say all of us are as perverse or as capable of sneaking cameras into bathrooms, and/or
    3. telling us that the Gospel cures Voyeurism

  24. So. The cops deny any such report (in other words, it never happened). And one alleged victim says the cops told the church honchos to deestroy the evidence?
    So. Is the blue brotherhood in on a coverup? Were they maybe passing the vids around and just being boyz and brothers in blue?

  25. Daisy wrote:

    I’m now awaiting for the crowd to show up to tell us the following:
    1. Voyeur Dude deserves to be treated with Gospely kid gloves,
    2. to say all of us are as perverse or as capable of sneaking cameras into bathrooms, and/or
    3. telling us that the Gospel cures Voyeurism

    I know, right!! Insanity.

  26. Nancy2 wrote:

    Dave (Eagle) wrote:
    Bryan Loritts has accused me of slander in an email.
    Writing the truth is obviously their defn of slander, especially if it is truth they are trying to hide.

    I haven’t read what you wrote, but here is California’s Anti-SLAPP Law (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation). You should check the jurisdiction where you live as well.

    From Harvard University’s Digital Media Law Project:
    http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/anti-slapp-law-california

    “Activities Covered By The California Anti-SLAPP Statute

    Not every unwelcome lawsuit is a SLAPP. In California, the term applies to lawsuits brought primarily to discourage speech about issues of public significance or public participation in government proceedings. To challenge a lawsuit as a SLAPP, you need to show that the plaintiff is suing you for an “act in furtherance of [your] right of petition or free speech under the United States or California Constitution in connection with a public issue.” Although people often use terms like “free speech” and “petition the government” loosely in popular speech, the anti-SLAPP law gives this phrase a particular legal meaning, which includes four categories of activities:

    any written or oral statement or writing made before a legislative, executive, or judicial proceeding, or any other official proceeding authorized by law;
    any written or oral statement or writing made in connection with an issue under consideration or review by a legislative, executive, or judicial body, or any other official proceeding authorized by law;
    any written or oral statement or writing made in a place open to the public or a public forum in connection with an issue of public interest; or
    any other conduct in furtherance of the exercise of the constitutional right of petition or the constitutional right of free speech in connection with a public issue or an issue of public interest.
    Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 425.16(e)(1-4). As an online publisher, you are most likely to rely on the third category above, which applies to a written statement in a public forum on an issue of public interest.

    Under California law, a publicly accessible website is considered a public forum. See Barrett v. Rosenthal, 146 P.3d 510, 514 n.4 (Cal. 2006). The website does not have to allow comments or other public participation, so long as it is publicly available over the Internet. See Wilbanks v. Wolk, 121 Cal. App. 4th 883, 897 (Cal. Ct. App. 2001).

    Many different kinds of statements may relate to an issue of public interest. California courts look at factors such as whether the subject of the disputed statement was a person or entity in the public eye, whether the statement involved conduct that could affect large numbers of people beyond the direct participants, and whether the statement contributed to debate on a topic of widespread public interest. Certainly, statements educating the public about or taking a position on a controversial issue in local, state, national, or international politics would qualify. Some other examples include:

    In addition to providing a motion to strike, California law also allows a person whose identifying information is sought in connection with a claim arising from act in exercise of anonymous free speech rights to file a motion to quash — that is, to void or modify the subpoena seeking your personal identifying information so you do not have to provide that information. Cal. Civ. Pro. Code § 1987.1.

    How To Use The California Anti-SLAPP Statute

    The California anti-SLAPP statute gives you the ability to file a motion to strike (i.e., to dismiss) a complaint brought against you for engaging in protected speech or petition activity (discussed above). If you are served with a complaint that you believe to be a SLAPP, you should seek legal assistance immediately. Successfully filing and arguing a motion to strike can be complicated, and you and your lawyer need to move quickly to avoid missing important deadlines. You should file your motion to strike under the anti-SLAPP statute within sixty days of being served with the complaint. A court may allow you to file the motion after sixty days, but there is no guarantee that it will do so. Keep in mind that, although hiring legal help is expensive, you can recover your attorneys’ fees if you win your motion.

    One of the benefits of the anti-SLAPP statute is that it enables you to get the SLAPP suit dismissed quickly. When you file a motion to strike, the clerk of the court will schedule a hearing on your motion within thirty days after filing. Additionally, once you file your motion, the plaintiff generally cannot engage in “discovery” — that is, the plaintiff generally may not ask you to produce documents, sit for a deposition, or answer formal written questions, at least not without first getting permission from the court.

    In ruling on a motion to strike, a court will first consider whether you have established that the lawsuit arises out of a protected speech or petition activity (discussed above). Assuming you can show this, the court will then require the plaintiff to introduce evidence supporting the essential elements of its legal claim. Because a true SLAPP is not meant to succeed in court, but only to intimidate and harass, a plaintiff bringing such a lawsuit will not be able to make this showing, and the court will dismiss the case. On the other hand, if the plaintiff’s case is strong, then the court will not grant your motion to strike, and the lawsuit will move ahead like any ordinary case….”

  27. “At this point, Trotter was terminated from Fellowship Memphis and sent to sex addiction rehab which was allegedly paid for by the church according to the Commercial Appeal.”
    How much did this cost? Was the membership aware of this particular budget item?

    I am quite done with such resources directed towards the offender. Sure, go ahead and help, but do not spend more time and money on the single offender than you spend individually on each and every one of his victims. Oh wait that might bankrupt the “church”. Well then, maybe then these “leaders” might show more good sense than hiring such a dysfunctional person, as a worship leader of all things, just a short period after his prior offenses were first discovered. Who knows how long this guy had been at it before he was first caught either time.

    The poor judgement here is mind blowing. Randomly pull names out of a hat and you will likely get better “leaders”.

  28. “Bryan Loritts has accused me of slander in an email. I intend to publish it. All I did was write the truth of the situation.”- Eagle

    @Eagle,

    Here’s more on California’s Defamation Law from Harvard University’s Digital Media Law Project. http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/california-defamation-law. Bryan Loritts lives in California and is the pastor at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in Mountain View, CA, not too far away from Google’s headquarters (couple of miles).

    You might want to respond and cut and paste the information from the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard in an email to him. Send him the link too.

    **************************************
    California Elements of Defamation

    Defamation, which consists of both libel and slander, is defined by case law and statute in California. See Cal. Civ. Code §§ 44, 45a, and 46.

    The elements of a defamation claim are:

    publication of a statement of fact
    that is false,*
    unprivileged,
    has a natural tendency to injure or which causes “special damage,” and
    the defendant’s fault in publishing the statement amounted to at least negligence.
    Publication, which may be written or oral, means communication to a third person who understands the defamatory meaning of the statement and its application to the person to whom reference is made. Publication need not be to the “public” at large; communication to a single individual other than the plaintiff is sufficient. Republishing a defamatory statement made by another is generally not protected.

    *As a matter of law, in cases involving public figures or matters of public concern, the burden is on the plaintiff to prove falsity in a defamation action. Nizam-Aldine v. City of Oakland, 47 Cal. App. 4th 364 (Cal. Ct. App. 1996). In cases involving matters of purely private concern, the burden of proving truth is on the defendant. Smith v. Maldonado, 72 Cal.App.4th 637, 646 & n.5 (Cal. Ct. App. 1999). A reader further points out that, even when the burden is technically on the plaintiff to prove falsity, the plaintiff can easily shift the burden to the defendant simply by testifying that the statements at issue are false.

  29. Dave (Eagle) wrote:

    It called me sick and obsessive.

    It looks like they are coming out of the woodwork so turn up the lights. Ick.

    I’ll stand beside you, but I might want to stand on a chair, to mix metaphors.

  30. Bill M wrote:

    Dave (Eagle) wrote:
    It called me sick and obsessive.
    It looks like they are coming out of the woodwork so turn up the lights. Ick.
    I’ll stand beside you, but I might want to stand on a chair, to mix metaphors.

    Was the email Eagle got from California? From Abundant Life Christian Fellowship or someone else?

    If it was from ACLF, they always handle things that way. Their big pastor before…had an affair and was forced out. (Paul Sheppard.)

  31. Bill M wrote:

    Well then, maybe then these “leaders” might show more good sense than hiring such a dysfunctional person, as a worship leader of all things, just a short period after his prior offenses were first discovered. Who knows how long this guy had been at it before he was first caught either time.

    I remember when I first saw stories of this surface on social media a few days ago, a lot of the news articles illustrated their stories with the photo of this guy, apparently on a church stage, smiling big, with Lyrics to a worship song in big letters behind him.

    I don’t remember exactly what those Lyrics were. They were something about how “Oh, how I love God,” or, “God really loves us all,” or something.

    Seeing that guy photographed, juxtaposed against those lyrics about God’s love was unsettling and made church in general, or that particular church, look like a farce.

  32. @ Deb:
    From the post: “Let us first say we are here for the victims. Trotter’s actions are contrary to our values, and we are deeply sorry for the suffering of the victims.”
    Really??? Stop trying to cover it up. Turn the pervert over to the cops!

  33. What is it with these guys and sex scandals? I am sure that if they were preaching in the pulpit, they would exhort their listeners to have backbones, to stand up and do the right thing. But seems like it’s usually “do as I say, not as I do”…

    I have an honest question: do police really instruct people to destroy evidence?

    Was it the official police dept that told them to destroy evidence? Or was this maybe a police officer who happens to go to the church speaking informally? (a la the Duggars reporting Josh “to the police” which if I remember correctly, turned out to be just talking with a cop friend of theirs, who also turned out to be a pedophile).

    As far as paraphilias go, I don’t know anything about the subject but I have read of cases where a “peeping tom” graduated to rape. And I really have a hard time thinking of any psychological problem that can be solved in 3 months, much less a sexual addiction? Sexuality seems to be at the core of personality, you don’t just change it. What kind of a treatment center was this? And they actually spoke with the church officials and gave an opinion that Trotter was capable of going back into ministry? It’s hard to believe a professional would take a risk light that.

  34. siteseer wrote:

    I have an honest question: do police really instruct people to destroy evidence?</blockquote

    No the police don't have people destroy evidence. It just "sounds good" for pastors/elders to tell that to church members. It gives it all an aura of legitimacy, pass the blame, and we [church leaders] had nothing [Nu-think, Hogan's Heros] to do with it.

    Destroying evidence is a crime. Obstruction of Justice. Accessory After the Fact.
    Intimidating a Witness.

    Was it the official police dept that told them to destroy evidence? Or was this maybe a police officer who happens to go to the church speaking informally? (a la the Duggars reporting Josh “to the police” which if I remember correctly, turned out to be just talking with a cop friend of theirs, who also turned out to be a pedophile).

    Yes, the Duggars had a friend of theirs, a former law enforcement officer now in prison for sex crimes, talk to Josh and it was nothing serious.

    The Duggars also conviently managed to blame their city’s woman police chief for following the law and releasing a report (on the advice of the city attorney) requested by media. She had no choice and she could go to jail for not turning over a copy of it.

    Duggars also got Josh an attorney when he turned 18 or so — so he could sue Arkansas
    Social Services for investigating their family and child abuse.

    They really scrape the bottom of the barrell.

  35. Bill M wrote:

    I’ll stand beside you, but I might want to stand on a chair, to mix metaphors.

    Try a Brass Pro Shop or a Gander Mountain. Both carry hip waders.

  36. @ siteseer:

    Siteseer,

    Here is a short video from criminal defense attorneys in the Los Angeles, CA
    area that explain what “Accessory After The Fact” is in a criminal case.
    Shouse Law is the name of the defense firm. It’s well known.

    While it’s in my state (California) and explains the laws here, states across the U.S. have similar laws.

    http://www.shouselaw.com/accessory-after-fact.html

  37. ^Siteseer: One clarification about the good explanations of criminal defense law by the attorney in that video. He explains it from a defense side, and while accurate, may downplay in some videos the state’s case against a defendant.

  38. Velour wrote:

    dee wrote:

    Is this incident being reported in TN press?

    Yes.

    http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/williamson/brentwood/2016/02/16/judge-wont-dismiss-fellowship-bible-church-child-rape-suit/80467930/

    Re: the Fellowship Bible Church lawsuit:

    The lawsuit claims the church urged the family to not pursue charges and asked it to attend another church campus.

    It further states that the church “sought to hide the truth about the perpetrator pedophile and about the rape of (the 3-year-old) from other families.”

    I’m really thankful to these people for shining the light on this behavior.

    It is just horrible to read the word “rape” and “3 year old” in the same sentence. 🙁

  39. Bill M wrote:

    “At this point, Trotter was terminated from Fellowship Memphis and sent to sex addiction rehab which was allegedly paid for by the church according to the Commercial Appeal.”
    How much did this cost? Was the membership aware of this particular budget item?

    And was this the same Rehab as Josh Duggar’s?

  40. siteseer wrote:

    Was it the official police dept that told them to destroy evidence? Or was this maybe a police officer who happens to go to the church speaking informally? (a la the Duggars reporting Josh “to the police” which if I remember correctly, turned out to be just talking with a cop friend of theirs, who also turned out to be a pedophile).

    Or “Code of Blue” a la ToJo and Bob Griener?

  41. Bill M wrote:

    I am quite done with such resources directed towards the offender. Sure, go ahead and help, but do not spend more time and money on the single offender than you spend individually on each and every one of his victims.

    Remember Boz M?
    Prosecutor who specialized in child sexual abuse cases?
    And how he said he’d NEVER seen a church take the side of the victim.
    Always “Rally Round the Perp, Boys! God Saith!”

  42. Daisy wrote:

    An accountability plan? What did that look like, I wonder?

    Why do I get the sinking feeling it merely consisted of something like this once a month:

    Church staff: “Have you been filming semi- nude ladies without their knowledge again?”

    The guy: “Why no, no I haven’t.”

    Church staff: “We’re good here, then. Your word is as good as gold.”

    Church staff: “And can you send me some of the pictures? (pant pant pant pant pant…)”

  43. Lea wrote:

    I did want to say one of the articles quoted a victim at fellowship as saying the pastors told them in addition to not wanting them to press charges because it would damage trotter, they would have to play the videos in court. I don’t know if this is just me reading in, but I would take that as a threat of extreme personal embarrassment.

    Three words: PLAUSIBLY DENIABLE BLACKMAIL.

  44. Nancy2 wrote:

    Both carry hip waders.

    Get a pair for all of us, they are likely to start showing up. First asking what they think are gotcha questions, providing (ed.) no answers, then bidding farewell with tsk, tsk. This is nauseating, I think I'll go see what's selling on eBay.

  45. Short off-topic announcement regarding some prayer requests:

    *Harley in Texas just had her foot surgery the other day (bones) and is in a lot of pain. Please pray for her healing and rest.

    *Tim Fall’s father. He’s 92 and doing better since a fall in his kitchen, brain surgery, and time in Intensive Care in the Hospital. He will be moving to an assisted living facility near Tim and his wife’s home. They had to pack up his dad’s apartment. They are under stress right now so please pray for Tim and his family.

    *Billy in Texas. (Abuse case that Dee wrote about.) He had a good week starting high school! Thanks to those who helped buy his school supplies, someone here previously got him a computer (which I had posted about for quite awhile and didn’t realize somebody had stepped up — so thanks!) for his school work which he needed. Catholic Gate-Crasher was also going to be sending clothes to him with her employee discount, so thanks to her for that. Please continue to pray for Billy and his Mom, Marquis. The GoFundMe account is open for them on the Open Discussion page and they continue to need assistance with food, gas, bills, etc. Marquis is a single mom.

    *NMGirl. Pray for her finances. She needed a new roof on her home which she couldn’t afford. She needs income. She loves her pets. Please pray for her provision and comfort.

    *Jeannette Altes. She’s looking for a job, being treated for a tumor, and has been out of work. She will have rent due on September 1st. She will also need food and gas.
    Her GoFundMe account is also over on the Open Discussion thread.

    *Anybody else’s prayer needs that I may have forgotten, I’m sorry. Please let us know.

  46. dee wrote:

    Can you imagine if anyone stole my computer and saw what I spend my time on? It would be a bizarre mix of child sex abuse, paraphilia, domestic violence and clothing sales. Cute shoes and voyeurism…

    I just got curious wondering what exactly is out there in terms of Christian treatment centers so I googled “christian intensive therapy for sex addiction” lol! I guess that would look great in my internet history…

    Well, there appear to be a lot of places out there, several seem to offer 12 week intensives and one even seems to offer a home treatment option for the 12 week intensive… I must say I feel for those struggling with such an addiction, it must seem pretty hopeless and I wonder what the success rate really is with these places.

  47. Thanks for covering this Deebs. A few more things for readers to consider:

    Voyeurism as a paraphilia is not curable, not even with physical or chemical castration. Intense counseling can help a voyeur cope with their urges, but the urges will never, ever leave.

    Over 95% of all violent rapists and serial killers who also engaged in sexual assault, started out as voyeurs.

    As many as one third of voyeurs have allegedly escalated their voyeurism to sexual assault. It is part of the fantasy, that the girl/woman secretly wants this. This is a very serious crime and people should not assume that it stops with the filming. These sexual predators need to be put behind bars.

    Voyeurism, as a crime, is one of the most repeatedly committed crimes there is. Voyeurs are prompted to commit this crime with every reasonable opportunity that presents itself. Most accumulate video files in the hundreds or thousands. Very few other crimes are committed so repeatedly. This is why escalation is often inevitable.

    Trotter uploaded his dreadful videos to the internet. Each victim gets to live in fear of those videos surfacing for the rest of their lives. It is basically a life sentence. If you don’t think these videos have the ability to terrorize and humiliate their victims, then you really don’t understand all the reasons a girl may need to use a public bathroom. Can you imagine the anxiety and fear these young teen girls now have to live in?

    The core of this crime is about control and humiliation. The more humiliating the video, the higher its value. This is why many voyeurs, like Memphis preacher Sammy Nuckolls, used multiple cameras. He wanted one aimed at the toilet, one at the shower and even put cameras in oversized shoes he would leave at the base of his vanity to get that post shower upshot. He sprayed the inside of his shower with baby oil so some of the girls would have to awkwardly squat to clean it up to avoid slipping. That’s how these sleazes operate.

    Trotter kneeling in prayer to get his videos is neither original nor unexpected. Sammy would put a spypen on the spine of his beat up bible and offer to pray for his young students – naturally, only the ones who wore shorter skirts. He would place a chair opposite from him so they could sit facing each other. Then bowing his head with his eyes closed he would “pray” for the troubled youth while positioning his bible, aiming between the victim’s knees to film her crotch. Sammy also offered the girls taking showers in his home “special lotion” to prolong the exhibit. I believe it was an Oprah recommended product. These aren’t pastors. They are wolves who go into ministry to gain easier access to forgiving victims.

    Readers can see Sammy in action in the following videos, setting up his cameras, then some brief footage of him in court. He is serving a 10 year sentence for videoraping 13 girls taking showers in his home in the greater Memphis area (DeSoto County MS) and also has two 5 year suspended sentences in two separate counties in Arkansas. His crimes in Texas and West Virginia were not charged due to the MS sentence. Readers, please watch this so you can better understand exactly how these predators disguise themselves as preachers to gain unfettered access to trusting, obedient, forgiving victims. Part 1 is about 3 min https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpZlW5C-2kw and part 2 about 8 min https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOPoN3_ie8A

    One article said that Rick Trotter received approximately 3 months of in-patient treatment. Many fallen pastors go to The Meadows Sex Treatment center in AZ. The Meadows costs around $1,000 a day for in-patient treatment, which is not out of line. The church paid for this treatment and also provided financial support for Rick Trotter throughout this. The church was willing to pay over a hundred thousand dollars in tithes and offering to this offender. What did the victims receive?

    One other question I would like to hear answered is how much did Mrs. Trotter know? It is tragic, but for a number of reasons many voyeurs’ wives know about the voyeurism and refuse to report the criminal. Some even participate in the viewing or setting up the victims. How much did Mrs. Trotter know and when?

  48. Concerning the post….sigh. This really is at the heart of why I will never join a church again. They simply are not safe. In my own personal sphere, I know of three pastors whose churches/ministries I was part of who are (were, one’s dead, thankfully) serial sexual predators. In all cases, the church – those who know what goes on – continually cover for or shuffle off quietly so they get hired at some other church. It really is epidemic. In my case, they are either AofG or Word of Faith. The problem is not confined the Baptists. Maybe I’m just lucky (ha!), but it seems to be the norm more than not. In none of the cases were the police involved – sadly. So there is no criminal record. Although one did settle a civil suit out of court.

    Dee and Deb, you are amazing. I know that the light must be shone on these things if for no other reason, so that the victims have a voice. In my current frame of mind, I fear that it is mostly hopeless because there are too many narcissists running churches and too many people who need their pastor to always be right for this to every really get fixed. I hope the authorities in this case pursue with great vigor. And in spite of my above statement, I know that increased exposure will force future narcissistic pastors to see value to their own image to operate differently. But for the ones currently in the middle of it, I expect to see them double down, spin and twist, distract and accuse in the ways only narcissists can – to try and create so much confusion – to smear the truth tellers to whatever extent they can – and draw the narcissistic supply in close (pew sitters / cheerleaders) and keep their show going.

  49. His poor wife…oh I cringed to hear that she had to meet victims with him. How horrifically humiliating. I do wonder, if we ever have a case where a woman is done for something like this, if her husband will have to accompany her in meeting her victims…

    How awful to be married to someone with this predilication. And if the ‘minor’ possibility turns out to be true, to be married to someone who makes childporn. We all know what she’ll be expected to do.

  50. A trend I’ve seen over the years is growing complexity of children/youth ministry. I suppose one could argue that such an emphasis on children’s ministry creates safe places for kids. On the other hand, the number of volunteers needed to support the complexity creates even more opportunities for unsafe people to be around children, especially when churches get desperate for volunteers.

    I’ve heard all kinds of arguments on the pros and cons of segregating children into their own church experience through robust children’s ministries. But I’ve never seen any arguments for or against in terms of safety from predators. I suspect that large and complex children’s ministries make children less safe, but I’ve never seen any data and don’t know where to look for it.

  51. In one hand we have women being accused of,"fornication", if they teach/lead the men.

    In the other hand we have male pervert, being coddled and protected, by male leadership. What a whacky, sick environment the neo calls have set up as an example of church life.

  52. Christiane wrote:

    . . . and this person has a wife and a family to support????

    I think that the complementarian angle should not be overlooked. When women are in a dependent position, men’s sin ends up being excused and minimized for the sake of his family’s financial security. This is seen as “caring” for them, who also are innocent victims. Instead, the church should help her financially so that she is in a position to leave if she wants to, get established in the workforce, assist with childcare costs, etc. until she is no longer dependent on him.

  53. Ken F wrote:

    But I’ve never seen any arguments for or against in terms of safety from predators. I suspect that large and complex children’s ministries make children less safe, but I’ve never seen any data and don’t know where to look for it.

    I study this issue on websites like (attorney) Richard Hammar’s Church Law & Tax website,
    Church Mutual (the largest insurer of churches), and the child safety protocols of large denominations. Example: Seventh Day Adventists.

    There are lots of recommendations that churches trying to reduce children being preyed upon follow:

    *background checks for all employees and volunteers (that won’t catch people who have preyed upon children but have never been arrested)
    *training in child safety (sometimes once or twice a year)
    *design: windows in all classrooms
    *all doors to rooms not in use are to be locked (closets, storage rooms)
    *two or more adults are required to be with youth at all times
    *no adult is permitted alone with youth
    *no adult is permitted to give rides to youth alone
    *no adult may email/text youth
    *and many other protocols to make it harder for those who wish to prey upon minors to do so.
    *many times, not all, predators will move on to ‘easier pickings’ when confronted with good child safety/prevention policies

  54. Nancy2 wrote:

    Stop trying to cover it up. Turn the pervert over to the cops!

    Amen! They should have done this the first go-round.  I have to wonder whether CBMW's Statement on Abuse influences how churches handle these abusive situations. 

    http://cbmw.org/about/statement-on-abuse/

    STATEMENT ON ABUSE

    Adopted by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood at its meeting in Lisle, Illinois in November, 1994.

    • We understand abuse to mean the cruel use of power or authority to harm another person emotionally, physically, or sexually.
    • We are against all forms of physical, sexual and /or verbal abuse.
    • We believe that the biblical teaching on relationships between men and women does not support, but condemns abuse (Prov. 12:18; Eph. 5:25-29; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7-8; 1 Pet. 3:7; 5:3).
    • We believe that abuse is sin. It is destructive and evil. Abuse is the hallmark of the devil and is in direct opposition to the purpose of God. Abuse ought not to be tolerated in the Christian community.
    • We believe that the Christian community is responsible for the well-being of its members. It has a responsibility to lovingly confront abusers and to protect the abused.
    • We believe that both abusers and the abused are in need of emotional and spiritual healing.
    • We believe that God extends healing to those who earnestly seek him.
    • We are confident of the power of God’s healing love to restore relationships fractured by abuse, but we realize that repentance, forgiveness, wholeness, and reconciliation is a process. Both abusers and abused are in need of on-going counseling, support and accountability.
    • In instances where abusers are unrepentant and/or unwilling to make significant steps toward change, we believe that the Christian community must respond with firm discipline of the abuser and advocacy, support and protection of the abused.
    • We believe that by the power of God’s Spirit, the Christian community can be an instrument of God’s love and healing for those involved in abusive relationships and an example of wholeness in a fractured, broken world.

    They believe abuse is sin, but it is also breaking the law.  From my reading, I see nothing about contacting the authorities when the law has been broken.  That's the loving things to do for both the perp and the victims.

  55. Through a glass darkly wrote:

    I think that the complementarian angle should not be overlooked. When women are in a dependent position, men’s sin ends up being excused and minimized for the sake of his family’s financial security. This is seen as “caring” for them, who also are innocent victims.

    I would take this further. We know many of the subordinationists claim women are not made in the image of God (in direct contradiction to Genesis 1:27). I found a couple sources, but I know Dee and Deb have mentioned better ones in the past; I just can’t find them at the moment.

    I would posit that many men in this movement believe that women, even female children, are at the disposal of men. I don’t know that these pastors believe that, but I wonder if they often rush to protect predators because there are so many that do. Their movement would not have half the appeal to the men that it does if it didn’t put women on a lower level.

    And, at the very simplest, they clearly care about PR. It’s why they hired a PR firm, and ordered all the victims to keep quiet. Their reputation is more important than the victims. The Calvinistas are in a hard spot, because their theology attracts predators and men with fetishes, but if they fight hard against abuse, they probably wouldn’t have a movement at all.

    I think anyone, in any job, who tries to hide a felony crime should be arrested and charged.

  56. razorbackSally wrote:

    Just making sure it is known that fellowship Memphis is affiliated with fellowship associates (little rock AR) and fellowship bible church in Brentwood TN where a child was molested by a teen at church and the church is now in a major lawsuit. These people truly do not learn from their mistakes.

    I wondered if it was. Another fellowship had a associate pastor into p*rn but I think he got fired.

  57. ishy wrote:

    I would take this further. We know many of the subordinationists claim women are not made in the image of God (in direct contradiction to Genesis 1:27). I found a couple sources, but I know Dee and Deb have mentioned better ones in the past; I just can’t find them at the moment.

    I have copied and pasted good posts on these topics and resources at the top of the page under the Interesting tab/Books,Movies, etc. tab for peoples’ future reference. Check there. Post good resources over there too that you find for future reference.

  58. JH wrote:

    Readers, please watch this so you can better understand exactly how these predators disguise themselves as preachers to gain unfettered access to trusting, obedient, forgiving victims.

    Thank you. I think education is our best defense against this, since churches don’t care enough to protect people.

  59. Deb wrote:

    We believe that both abusers and the abused are in need of emotional and spiritual healing.
    We believe that God extends healing to those who earnestly seek him.
    We are confident of the power of God’s healing love to restore relationships fractured by abuse, but we realize that repentance, forgiveness, wholeness, and reconciliation is a process. Both abusers and abused are in need of on-going counseling, support and accountability.

    This little sequence is what leads to ‘God can heal, so you can’t leave the guy’.

  60. Deb wrote:

    Both abusers and abused are in need of on-going counseling, support and accountability.

    Also, why would the abused need ‘accountability’?!!!!!!

  61. @ Ken F:
    Ken this is my professional field, I’m the Team Leader & Senior Youth Worker of a small secular youth organistation, I also was a Church Youth Worker for 15 years. We (me & another coupel of church Yotuh Workers who were also trained in ‘secular’ safeguarding) totally updated our church’s safeguarding stuff as it was poorly done & had gaps allover the place. Decent safeguards must be in place, practised, & updated. Otherwise herding together someone’s favourite prey group can be a very bad idea indeed.

  62. Deb wrote:

    @ Lea:
    Great question!

    This is more of their conflating the people who have been harmed and the people doing harm. They do it through the whole statement as if they are the same!

    ishy wrote:

    would posit that many men in this movement believe that women, even female children, are at the disposal of men.

    I think you are right. When you read their materials, everything women are as individuals is discounted and distilled down into ‘person who had support/help/glorify men’. Women are nothing on their own to these people. How can that NOT lead to abuse?

  63. Beakerj wrote:

    Decent safeguards must be in place, practised, & updated. Otherwise herding together someone’s favourite prey group can be a very bad idea indeed.

    Do enough churches know how to do this? I suspect that way too many are naive. If churches were good at this we would not be hearing about so many cases like this.

  64. JH wrote:

    One other question I would like to hear answered is how much did Mrs. Trotter know? It

    I may have an answer to that question on Monday. Thank you for your excellent comment.

  65. Ken F wrote:

    Beakerj wrote:
    Decent safeguards must be in place, practised, & updated. Otherwise herding together someone’s favourite prey group can be a very bad idea indeed.
    Do enough churches know how to do this? I suspect that way too many are naive. If churches were good at this we would not be hearing about so many cases like this.

    It’s not that churches are naive. Many of them want to mitigate the seriousness of their favorite predator friends and family members.

    Also with the narcissists in clergy leadership, all of the predators there, it takes a truly sound church (and denomination) to protect children.

    Baptists have had many predators, including pastors, that they have shuffled from one church to the next. The Roman Catholic Church was forced to change its way due to relentless litigation and paying out billions of dollars for child sex abuse cases.

    Obviously that needs to happen in Protestant churches where there is an epidemic of child sexual abuse. For all of those that decry litigation, sometimes it’s necessary when people and institutions won’t do the right thing.

  66. Ken F wrote:

    Beakerj wrote:
    Decent safeguards must be in place, practised, & updated. Otherwise herding together someone’s favourite prey group can be a very bad idea indeed.
    Do enough churches know how to do this?

    They can learn how to do it from insurance companies like Church Mutual, the largest insurer of religious groups in the U.S. They have lots of information on their website.
    Ditto Richard Hammar (attorney) at Church Law & Tax.

  67. JH wrote:

    These aren’t pastors. They are wolves who go into ministry to gain easier access to forgiving victims.

    This would make Ezekiel blush. See Ezekiel chapter 34.

  68. Deb wrote:

    They [CBMW] believe abuse is sin, but it is also breaking the law. From my reading, I see nothing about contacting the authorities when the law has been broken.

    Deb, that was my immediate reaction too. As a crime, the first place to go is the police. Matthew 18 is not the rule here.

  69. Lea wrote:

    Deb wrote:
    Both abusers and abused are in need of on-going counseling, support and accountability.
    Also, why would the abused need ‘accountability’?!!!!!!

    And why don’t the abusers need to be in jail?

  70. Bridget wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    Deb wrote:
    Both abusers and abused are in need of on-going counseling, support and accountability.
    Also, why would the abused need ‘accountability’?!!!!!!
    And why don’t the abusers need to be in jail?

    The questions I keep asking over and over.

  71. Ted wrote:

    Deb wrote:
    They [CBMW] believe abuse is sin, but it is also breaking the law. From my reading, I see nothing about contacting the authorities when the law has been broken.
    Deb, that was my immediate reaction too. As a crime, the first place to go is the police. Matthew 18 is not the rule here.

    And if there are children present when domestic violence occurs, then there is a an additional crime that is prosecuted in many states, including mine (California): child endangerment.

  72. Ken F wrote:

    Beakerj wrote:
    Decent safeguards must be in place, practised, & updated. Otherwise herding together someone’s favourite prey group can be a very bad idea indeed.
    Do enough churches know how to do this? I suspect that way too many are naive. If churches were good at this we would not be hearing about so many cases like this.

    I just don’t see how any church can be that good at this. The nature of church makes it a perfect place for deviant cons. Churches are not willing to even have a zero tolerance policy. And they are usually more interested in rehabbing the “Christian” pervert con.

    One of the reasons SGM was immediately told to leave Christian Academy as their weekend church site when the protecting pedophiles story broke is because of their zero tolerance policy. They cannot afford to be affiliated in any way With such behavior.

  73. Amen…. These “threats” by leadership to whistle blowers makes we want to through up, and prove to me they are as depraved as the perps…. The victims ( the women photographed/videoed for these leaders that seem to be able to identify victims!) should be their SOLE concern, period.

    @ Ted:

  74. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    Amen…. These “threats” by leadership to whistle blowers makes we want to through up, and prove to me they are as depraved as the perps…. The victims ( the women photographed/videoed for these leaders that seem to be able to identify victims!) should be their SOLE concern, period.
    @ Ted:

    It never works like that in churches. And I don’t believe for one minute NO little girl or teen used that restroom. That is probably why the evidence was destroyed. Also, isn’t it a crime to lie about police advice on evidence?

  75. Lydia wrote:

    And I don’t believe for one minute NO little girl or teen used that restroom.

    Yeah. I’ve been in church all of my life up until a few years ago. There’s usually a longer line for the ladies restroom than the men’s, and there are ladies of ALL ages. Same at most public restrooms. What, do the little girls and teens have a separate restroom? Or maybe they just have better bladder control? Doubtful.

  76. Lydia wrote:

    And I don’t believe for one minute NO little girl or teen used that restroom. That is probably why the evidence was destroyed.

    Evidence is slowly coming out and sketchy, but supposedlu he was taping a restroom at downtown for years and police are going through footage to id victims (though reports seem to focus solely on the ‘upskirt’ videos)?

    The reports on the fellowship restroom are also sketchy as they say ‘one instance’ and the later two months and always multiple victims! Obfuscation. Maybe they caught it one time, and they are counting that as one time even though extended periods of time? Not sure.

    But, I have never seen a restroom segregated by age. So how could there not be victims who were underaged?? It would be sheer good luck.

  77. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    There’s usually a longer line for the ladies restroom than the men’s, and there are ladies of ALL ages. Same at most public restrooms.

    Not to mention that women with small children bring little boys into the restrooms too.

    I don’t have any reason to say that he was seeking out children or girls who are underaged, but I don’t know how you could possibly avoid it if you were just filming a restroom!

  78. I just started working for a local school system that had a huge scandal last year because a school volunteer made compromising videos of students. As a result, no teacher can ever, ever enter student restrooms, and if you have young students that need help with toileting needs, there have to be two staff members in the rest room and you need to sign in and out of the bathroom. Let a teacher commit an offense like church staff members do all the time, and see what happens. Teachers would lose their careers for sure – pastors should be subject to the same scrutiny!

  79. Deb wrote:

    They believe abuse is sin, but it is also breaking the law. From my reading, I see nothing about contacting the authorities when the law has been broken. That’s the loving things to do for both the perp and the victims.

    Amen! Surely they know that we are subject to the governing authorities and these types of behaviors are against the law in most, if not all, states.

  80. Deb wrote:

    Both abusers and abused are in need of on-going counseling, support and accountability.

    This is akin to saying that when a drunk driver plows into a car that has stopped at a red light in traffic, the drivers of both vehicles should held accountable for the accident, the damage done, and the injuries sustained!

  81. Through a glass darkly wrote:

    I think that the complementarian angle should not be overlooked. When women are in a dependent position, men’s sin ends up being excused

    That is part of the problem, but I think it goes beyond that.
    In a belief system like that, what’s the big deal about putting a camera in a gurls bathroom, anyway. Heck, it’s not that much worse than putting a camera by a litter box!

  82. Trotter’s relation to Loritts and his employment by the Grizzley’s brings up two point that I have noticed about church corruption. One is Bryan Loritts is at least second generation in the “family business” and Trotter is a brother in law and thus part of the royal family, how much a part did that play in the re-hiring at another church.

    The other issue is that news reports indicate Trotter was an extrovert, his public announcing at games consisted of a stream of superlatives. These noisy extroverts seem to be what churches look for as their leaders. Going out and finding a tall guy for King like Saul is now passé, the sophisticated crowd looks for the flashy extrovert.

  83. @ JH:
    Thank you for the detail. A big problem with these crimes is people do not understand the premeditation and even expense that goes into them. It is a long con.

  84. Lea wrote:

    Deb wrote:

    We believe that both abusers and the abused are in need of emotional and spiritual healing.
    We believe that God extends healing to those who earnestly seek him.
    We are confident of the power of God’s healing love to restore relationships fractured by abuse, but we realize that repentance, forgiveness, wholeness, and reconciliation is a process. Both abusers and abused are in need of on-going counseling, support and accountability.

    This little sequence is what leads to ‘God can heal, so you can’t leave the guy’.

    This word “counseling” is very ambiguous. A naive person would look at this and picture the abused receiving support, comfort, and good advice. It does not work out that way at all, it seems that most victims describe harrowing sessions where they are demanded to forgive, remain silent, and not go to the authorities.

  85. Lydia wrote:

    @ JH:
    Thank you for the detail. A big problem with these crimes is people do not understand the premeditation and even expense that goes into them. It is a long con.

    I think that’s why some of this seems to minimized into upskirt videos. There is nothing random or impulsive about sitting around hiding cameras in a bathroom.

    That man as staff would have had easy access to do these things. Downtown is culpable for his actions.

  86. 35 years ago, when I was a undergraduate, the campus ministries that I was somewhat involved with targeted “campus student leaders” … I.e. Frat boys and especially their presidents….. When they ripped them in, the quickly groomed them to up front in the weekly meetings… They expecilty told me this was their strategy for building the movement..

    I was always left with the feeling, what about the hurting introvert over their in the corner, doesn’t Christ care about them? Flash forward 35 years, many Churches have perfecting it to a science, and using perps to boot!

    Bill M wrote:

    Trotter’s relation to Loritts and his employment by the Grizzley’s brings up two point that I have noticed about church corruption. One is Bryan Loritts is at least second generation in the “family business” and Trotter is a brother in law and thus part of the royal family, how much a part did that play in the re-hiring at another church.
    The other issue is that news reports indicate Trotter was an extrovert, his public announcing at games consisted of a stream of superlatives. These noisy extroverts seem to be what churches look for as their leaders. Going out and finding a tall guy for King like Saul is now passé, the sophisticated crowd looks for the flashy extrovert.

  87. Lea wrote:

    Not to mention that women with small children bring little boys into the restrooms too.

    I just read the Commercial Appeal again, and it says the bathroom was coed. It only mentions women victims and a 16 year old, though.

  88. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    I was always left with the feeling, what about the hurting introvert over their in the corner, doesn’t Christ care about them?

    Early in my Christian life, my fundie pastor did a sermon on how it is unacceptable for Christians to be introverts. He sneered, “you introverts need to get a new personality!” and he was serious. God can’t use introverts, you see. Once you become a Christian it turns out your value is in how useful you are to the church.

    I started out by finding God and being thrilled with knowing him, but once I started going to church it was one discouragement after another.

  89. Lea wrote:

    The reports on the fellowship restroom are also sketchy as they say ‘one instance’ and the later two months and always multiple victims! Obfuscation. Maybe they caught it one time, and they are counting that as one time even though extended periods of time? Not sure.

    It is worded to minimize the crime and not straightforward about what happened.

    But, I have never seen a restroom segregated by age. So how could there not be victims who were underaged?? It would be sheer good luck.

    But since the evidence was destroyed, there is no way of knowing, or rather, proving. Very convenient.

  90. I also experienced similar preaching, in a campus group… They hammered to us was all about Being “out there” sharring the gospel.. But even then, i noticed the people they built up came across as used car salesman, and some ot them, i later found out,… had been sales people….

    I this current OP, it us clear they liked the alleged perp up front…. I bet he drew people in to!! So much of the church had lowered to the number of “butts in the seats”

    siteseer wrote:

    Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    I was always left with the feeling, what about the hurting introvert over their in the corner, doesn’t Christ care about them?

    Early in my Christian life, my fundie pastor did a sermon on how it is unacceptable for Christians to be introverts. He sneered, “you introverts need to get a new personality!” and he was serious. God can’t use introverts, you see. Once you become a Christian it turns out your value is in how useful you are to the church.

    I started out by finding God and being thrilled with knowing him, but once I started going to church it was one discouragement after another.

  91. Lydia wrote:

    It never works like that in churches. And I don’t believe for one minute NO little girl or teen used that restroom.

    Yes,that would be child porn. Someone was just arrested in my county for taping in a bathroom in a home where he rented a room. Adults and children used the bathroom. Because children were taped it’s now also child porn.

    That is probably why the evidence was destroyed. Also, isn’t it a crime to lie about police advice on evidence?

    Yes, it’s a crime to lie to police. It’s called “filing a false police report”, whether it was done orally or in writing.

    Also Obstruction of Justice and Accessory After The Fact.

  92. siteseer wrote:

    This word “counseling” is very ambiguous. A naive person would look at this and picture the abused receiving support, comfort, and good advice. It does not work out that way at all, it seems that most victims describe harrowing sessions where they are demanded to forgive, remain silent, and not go to the authorities.

    Someone else posted on TWW that these “meetings” are akin to a Communist Chinese Re-education Camp.

  93. Bill M wrote:

    Trotter’s relation to Loritts and his employment by the Grizzley’s brings up two point that I have noticed about church corruption. One is Bryan Loritts is at least second generation in the “family business” and Trotter is a brother in law and thus part of the royal family, how much a part did that play in the re-hiring at another church.

    And, where is Loritts’ concern for his sister and nieces/nephew? Has his sister been so conditioned to this environment that she believes that she is nothing and she must accept whatever repeat-offender Trotter does? If my brother did what Trotter did, our whole family would come down on him, hard, and support whatever my sil chose to do!

  94. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    I was always left with the feeling, what about the hurting introvert over their in the corner, doesn’t Christ care about them?

    Can I just explain something about this? Being an introvert does not necessarily mean that one is “hurting.” Being an introvert does not mean that the person is broken or needs fixing. There are very strong, healthy, capable introverts. I acknowledge that there are hurting introverts, but there are just as many hurting extroverts. The hurting extroverts often have a harder time seeking and receiving help than extroverts, because they “appear” okay, outgoing, happy, etc. It is good to seek both personalty types in team building as they both have something valuable to offer. Unfortunately, our society (and church society even more) seems to crave extrovert leaders.

    As Nick puts it, IHTIH 🙂

  95. No one with only an honorary doctorate should be called (or hold themselves out to be) a doctor in my opinion. It is deception.

  96. Nancy2 wrote:

    Has his sister been so conditioned to this environment that she believes that she is nothing and she must accept whatever repeat-offender Trotter does?

    Have you read Eagle’s post that he linked to upthread? I just know that you’re going to love it. 😉

    At Fellowship Memphis John Bryson preaches about the roles of women and how they have persecuted men. He has also taught classes on how to stand up to women, mothers and wives. On Mother’s Day John Bryson made sure that dish rags were passed out to all women who came to church.

  97. “The church informed the victims of what had transpired and asked them not to report this to the police because it would harm Rick Trotter’s career.”

    Church leaders are mandated reporters of crime in their midst. They are not called by God to cover criminal actions by their own, but to report them to civil authorities. To counsel otherwise is to participate in the crime.

  98. I think introverts are vital for group dynamucs and health!! They tend to be the ones that sit back, observe, and then comment. I have observed on a number if iccasions they have the profound thoughts that win the day…
    But, our current culture is so in the moment, entertain me NOW, that personality type gets elevated..

    @ Bridget:

  99. Bridget wrote:

    There are very strong, healthy, capable introverts. I acknowledge that there are hurting introverts, but there are just as many hurting extroverts. The hurting extroverts often have a harder time seeking and receiving help than extroverts, because they “appear” okay, outgoing, happy, etc. It is good to seek both personalty types in team building as they both have something valuable to offer. Unfortunately, our society (and church society even more) seems to crave extrovert leaders.

    Good point about introverts and extroverts. I am on the cusp of an I/E and can go either direction. Mostly E, but sometimes I.

    As for me, I don’t crave extrovert leaders. I just want some humble, decent people (men and women) who love God and others.

  100. “Voyeurism is a paraphilia.”

    Well, here’s where this old man departs from conventional psychology in this regard. We write too many of these things off to the abuser having a mental quirk. I firmly believe that when a church staffer exhibits such behavior, there is often a spirit driving it. Indeed, mental illness is real and tragic. But, sometimes demonic oppression/possession is involved. The early church understood this and were on guard against it, but after 2,000 years of men messing with the mind, Christian psychologists are reluctant to proclaim “The devil made him do it.”

  101. @ BeenThereDoneThat:
    Oh, yeah. I read it. I would put kerosene on my dishrag and given it back …….
    What is happening to our churches when women feel it is appropriate to listen to that misogynstic crap?
    Multi-cultural church —- a place where MEN of all races and cultural background are welcome! Side note: if you bring your women, please keep them leashed.

  102. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    Have you read Eagle’s post that he linked to upthread? I just know that you’re going to love it.
    At Fellowship Memphis John Bryson preaches about the roles of women and how they have persecuted men. He has also taught classes on how to stand up to women, mothers and wives. On Mother’s Day John Bryson made sure that dish rags were passed out to all women who came to church.

    I read it ….. Gag.
    That would be okay if the men get grease rags and anti-perspirant for Father’s Day!

  103. Velour wrote:

    Obviously that needs to happen in Protestant churches where there is an epidemic of child sexual abuse. For all of those that decry litigation, sometimes it’s necessary when people and institutions won’t do the right thing.

    For the x^nth time, sooner or later the diarrhea is really gonna’ hit the fan (blades at high speed) in a high profile Protestant case and the gavel will come down hard and heavy.

  104. @ dee:

    From what I was told Heather Trotter, Rick’s wife and Bryan Loritts was an enabler of Rick. Their finances allegedly were in a mess. Plus she refused to have the internet canceled amd allegedly downplayed it. My guess is that she was married to Rick Trotter due to his fame in Memphis. Rick allegedly gave away Grizzley basketball tickets. Heather liked the attention and her access and meeting some of the basketball players. Heather never left Rick even when he allegedly had an affair.

  105. Bill M wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:

    Both carry hip waders.

    Get a pair for all of us, they are likely to start showing up. First asking what they think are gotcha questions, providing (ed.) no answers, then bidding farewell with tsk, tsk.

    While doing the Church Lady Superiority Dance…

  106. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    35 years ago, when I was a undergraduate, the campus ministries that I was somewhat involved with targeted “campus student leaders” … I.e. Frat boys and especially their presidents….. When they ripped them in, the quickly groomed them to up front in the weekly meetings… They expecilty told me this was their strategy for building the movement…

    Christ… God of the Cool Kids’ Table at High School and nothing more…

    I was always left with the feeling, what about the hurting introvert over their in the corner, doesn’t Christ care about them?

    In one word: NO.

    Christ only cares about Chad & Megan & Muffy & Buffy at the Cool Kids’ Table.

    Welcome to never-ending High School by Divine Right.

  107. Bill M wrote:

    The other issue is that news reports indicate Trotter was an extrovert, his public announcing at games consisted of a stream of superlatives. These noisy extroverts seem to be what churches look for as their leaders. Going out and finding a tall guy for King like Saul is now passé, the sophisticated crowd looks for the flashy extrovert.

    The back-slapping, glad-handing, always SMIIIIIILING Used Car Salesman.

  108. Former CLCer wrote:

    Let a teacher commit an offense like church staff members do all the time, and see what happens. Teachers would lose their careers for sure – pastors should be subject to the same scrutiny!

    Rank Hath Its Privileges.
    Especially when that Rank is bestowed by Divine Right.

  109. I wish I had never brought it up. But since I did I will again defend some position.

    I am a classic textbook ISTJ. All the way. Every day. In every way. The popular idea that means shy, marginalized and hurting has never been my experience. Somehow that idea has become popular. Here is a ink as to what goes on in the mind of the introvert. I can vouch for it that this is how my mind works. As to how ‘introvert’ as a classification may be experienced by any of the other groups which include an ‘I’ classification on the Myers-Briggs scale, well you would have to ask one of them. You all can easily access ISTJ and all the other ‘I’ groups on line

    http://www.quietrev.com/6-illustrations-that-show-what-its-like-in-an-introverts-head/

    I hate to ‘testify’ because it is too spur of the moment, because I have not had time to think it through (process it), because I tend to be a perfectionist and while that is an asset in some situations it is a hindrance in others, and because I do not ‘feel’ that I owe it to other people nor they to me for us to share our private religious thoughts (especially in the unguarded spur of the moment situation) because there is always the swine and the pearls thing. When I find myself in such a situation in which there is pressure to do what I think is not right for me, I usually react aggressively and say something both effective and offensive, and that does not usually turn out well. None of that is shyness, but it is all consistent with ISTJ. And hey, I was born that way and I have a case of the can’t help its, if what plays for one plays for all.

  110. Deb & Dee,
    Al Molher huh? This goes to show how we, as a Faith, disregard God’s hatred for sin…Narrow is the Gate, and MANY think their passing through…this is distressing when consideration isn’t given to the victim but the perp is given latitude “because he has a family and a job” This makes me crazy…AND the police told them to destroy the evidence…WHAT kind of church is this, what kind of people are they?

  111. Bridget wrote:

    Being an introvert does not necessarily mean that one is “hurting.”

    Although, once an introvert has been in church awhile, they may be!

  112. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    I think introverts are vital for group dynamucs and health!! They tend to be the ones that sit back, observe, and then comment. I have observed on a number if iccasions they have the profound thoughts that win the day…
    But, our current culture is so in the moment, entertain me NOW, that personality type gets elevated..

    For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

    This is a little off topic but I think it ties in with these problems in the church in that those members who are more inclined to observe and listen carefully, think deeply, ask questions, analyze are not as welcome as others. When these people are not an active part of the body, things do go awry.

  113. Nancy2 wrote:

    http://www.live5news.com/story/32825196/fellowship-church-hires-crisis-management-team-following-rick-trotters-arrest
    The firm the church hire for damage control is not a PR firm, but a law firm that specializes in public strategy.

    From the article:

    Members said they received an email containing more information about the firm handling the investigation; one member said something doesn’t seem quite right.

    “If anyone has information they would like to share, they can, please, contact the firm directly,” the member explained.

    She said there is no mention in the email about victims going to the police.

    “The difference in investigating a problem to see what went wrong from a legal perspective and then them wanting to do damage control,” she added.

    The church is telling members they are doing an “internal investigation.” This suggests that they are trying to get at the truth and be transparent. However, in actuality, the firm they hired is a PR firm. They want members with information to contact this firm instead of authorities. This is duplicitous and ought to be illegal.

  114. @ JH:

    Just wanted to toss out there that sometimes men prey on other men in this fashion, like in this news story:

    “Cop Admits To Posing as Woman [on Craig’s list web site] To Give 60 Men Oral Sex Through A Hole… But There’s More”
    http://countercurrentnews.com/2015/10/cop-admits-to-posing-as-woman/

    He filmed those encounters and posted them online, too.

    The article says that cop also put hidden cameras in a local public bathroom and uploaded the videos to a site he ran. He was making money off this exploitation.

    If you’re a man, you’re not necessarily safe, but I am willing to bet most victims of this stuff are girls and women.

  115. @ okrapod:
    Great link! I can totally relate. Although, I was raised by an extremely extroverted mother which skewed my MBTI for a while.

    One thing that bothers me about personality indicators that people have a tendency to assign moral attributes to types. A bad idea. There is a good chance Mother Theresa and Adolf Hitler might have shared the same indicators. :o)

  116. Nancy2 wrote:

    Dave (Eagle) wrote:
    Heather never left Rick even when he allegedly had an affair.
    So, she’s nothing more than a gold digger?

    Ummm…how do we know anything about this woman? What are the sources? Did she say that?
    I think we have to be careful about roping a possibly innocent spouse in to something.

  117. @ siteseer:

    I don’t understand how this sort of thing is not obstructing an investigation? Are the authorities ignoring the information that other earlier evidence was destroyed by church leaders?

  118. https://youtu.be/os9qM0d9rmk

    This song really captures one of the compelling reasons I stayed with my parents / sister / nephew when needed but backed off when not. In the local faith community, this was one of those we won’t forgive you “sins of fellowship” like not doing whatever the pastor tells you to do. Mainly because my “natural” family was not “Officially Saved” thus I should hate them for my “love” of Jesus. After some years I had come to be convinced that 2 Peter 2(22 Jude 1(12 Matthew 10(37 1 John 2(19 and my personal favorite quoted to me far more than John 3(16 ever was Revelation 3(16. Someone asked me why I no longer go to “church” and before I could catch myself and give a bs answer I said self-preservation.

    Dee retweeted this song it as her is / was a blessing.

  119. Lydia wrote:

    One thing that bothers me about personality indicators that people have a tendency to assign moral attributes to types. A bad idea. There is a good chance Mother Theresa and Adolf Hitler might have shared the same indicators.

    Excellent observation.

  120. Lydia wrote:

    One thing that bothers me about personality indicators that people have a tendency to assign moral attributes to types. A bad idea.

    Agreed. It is a bad idea, because many of us do not fit the classic coordinate systems. Some of us are all over the map and defy standard classification. I’m proud to be one of those ‘rogue anomalies’.

  121. Muff Potter wrote:

    many of us do not fit the classic coordinate systems.

    There was an article recently about people who are both extroverts and introverts. That seems to fit me best.

    Personality tests or fun, but I would hesitate to assign too much weight to them.

  122. Muff Potter wrote:

    Agreed. It is a bad idea, because many of us do not fit the classic coordinate systems. Some of us are all over the map and defy standard classification. I’m proud to be one of those ‘rogue anomalies’.

    That’s okay, The classic coordinate system is only two dimensional. I would hope there is more to us than that.

  123. Max wrote:

    Church leaders are mandated reporters of crime in their midst.

    Actually this depends on the state. But morally speaking, I think they should report no matterter what the state law says.

  124. Deb wrote:

    Both abusers and abused are in need of on-going counseling, support and accountability.

    The abused person needs to be held accountable for what? For having negative thoughts about the abuser? For keeping the abuser from having access to the children? For calling the cops, or telling the truth under oath, or throwing the abuser out of the house, or divorcing his/her sorry a** and getting custody of the children? I will tell who needs some accountability, the religious leaders who push this concept under the guise of christianity.

  125. @ Deb:

    I think these complementarian organizations speak a good game but they don’t follow through.

    They also refuse to admit that their gender teachings, even when taught and implemented properly, perpetuate or cause abuse against girls and women.

    I just quoted Mary Kassian on the last thread or so where she whined in a recent interview with ‘Christianity Today’:
    “I get really tired of people who argue that complementarianism leads to abuse or subservience of women. It mischaracterizes the complementarian position”

    I think this guy’s page is more accurate in how and why groups such as CBMW don’t really handle abuse well:

    Control: The Reason The Gospel Coalition and CBMW Cannot Actually Condemn Spousal Abuse
    http://fiddlrts.blogspot.com/2016/01/control-reason-gospel-coalition-and.html

  126. There was a case in DC recently, where a Jewish Rabbi groomed women to participate in a ritual bath and had cameras in the changing room:

    https://www.washingtonian.com/2016/01/03/washington-dc-peeping-rabbi-barry-freundel-voyeurism-case/

    The article is interesting- it talks about the Rabbis use of his unique power (to provide a “legal” conversion) to get women into a position where he could record them.

    In this case, the Rabbi was actually fired, and tried in court and sentenced to jail, because a group of women went to a lawyer and the lawyer helped them contact the police, before approaching the Rabbi. The Rabbi never had a chance to control the situation.

  127. Lea wrote:

    I wondered if it was. Another fellowship had a associate pastor into p*rn but I think he got fired.

    There was a preacher who had a really bad porn problem but lied to people and told them he had cancer.

    Pastor Uses Cancer Hoax To Hide Porn Addiction (2008)
    http://www.wnd.com/2008/08/73940/

    A popular pastor, songwriter and worship leader, whose hit song, “The Healer” – inspired, he said, by his own two-year struggle with aggressive terminal cancer – has confessed he never had the disease, a ruse he created to cover his addiction to pornography.

    Michael Guglielmucci, who formerly led music at Edge Church International near Adelaide, Australia, has gone into hiding after his confession was read from the pulpit by his father, who is founder and head pastor of the church.

  128. To finish my point about the article (sorry, didn’t finish my thought…), it shows the importance of going directly to the authorities and not letting the church handle illegal behavior.

  129. Lea wrote:

    This little sequence is what leads to ‘God can heal, so you can’t leave the guy’.

    My belief is, if that is so, God can heal a man whether or not the wife stays or leaves, so might as well tell her divorce is a legitimate choice if she wants to go that route.

    God can heal a man whether or not the guy gets to be around women and girls in a church, or around kids in general, so the guy being permitted in a church building and/or around kids (or girls only) is not a necessity.

  130. Lea wrote:

    This little sequence is what leads to ‘God can heal, so you can’t leave the guy’.

    Something else just occurred to me, how secular law/ society gets stuff right that Christians bungle.

    Secular culture, thru laws, often prohibits pedos from living within X miles of kids (like around schools), by law, they are not allowed to do things like hand out candy to kids on Halloween, etc.

    But even in regards to animal abuse, there are laws that forbid known animal abusers from ever having another pet ever.

    A big win for animals: The FBI now tracks animal abuse like it tracks homicides
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2016/01/06/a-big-win-for-animals-the-fbi-now-tracks-animal-abuse-like-it-tracks-homicides/

  131. Lea wrote:

    Also, why would the abused need ‘accountability’?!!!!!!

    I asked up thread, what do these churches consider “accountability” to be?

    If it’s just Bubba the associate pastor asking Chester the Molester once a month, “have you fondled any kids lately,” of course Chester is most likely going to say “Why no.”

    And knowing the gullibility of church-goers like I do, Chester’s word will be taken at face value.

    Which leaves Chester free to keep exploiting kids in the church the entire time.

  132. Daisy wrote:

    I think these complementarian organizations speak a good game ……..

    In my mind, they are more like cartoons: a bunch of Dudley Dorights rescuing and protecting all of the fair maidens. “My HERO!” : (

  133. Ted wrote:

    Deb, that was my immediate reaction too. As a crime, the first place to go is the police. Matthew 18 is not the rule here.

    I agree. I just wanted to reiterate how naive so many Christians are. I’m probably preaching to the choir her, but anytime a church does attempt to handle child abuse, domestic abuse, or some other sort of problem….

    So long as the perp puts on a show of sincerity, squirts a few tears, and says some pretty words about Jesus healing them, the rest of the church thinks things are fine again.

    They once more lower their guard, and the perp either walks away free to another church, to start over again, or he keeps on at the same church.

  134. Daisy wrote:

    If it’s just Bubba the associate pastor asking Chester the Molester once a month, “have you fondled any kids lately,” of course Chester is most likely going to say “Why no.”

    ……… and then Bubba asks all of the kids, age 2 and up, if they have done anything or dressed in a way to tempt poor Chester.
    I get the feeling that’s their version of accountability, under pastoral “care”.

  135. brian wrote:

    Someone asked me why I no longer go to “church” and before I could catch myself and give a bs answer I said self-preservation.

    My feelings exactly.

  136. Bill M wrote:

    The other issue is that news reports indicate Trotter was an extrovert, his public announcing at games consisted of a stream of superlatives. These noisy extroverts seem to be what churches look for as their leaders. Going out and finding a tall guy for King like Saul is now passé, the sophisticated crowd looks for the flashy extrovert.

    American culture definitely favors extroversion. As an introvert myself, I get tired of that.

    Maybe if churches hired introverts, they’d get more qualified, competent people, people who care about getting the job done right, vs. the extroverts or narcissists who go into ministry to get attention.

    Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking By Susan Cain
    https://books.google.com/books?id=Dc3T6Y7g7LQC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false

  137. Lydia wrote:

    One thing that bothers me about personality indicators that people have a tendency to assign moral attributes to types. A bad idea. There is a good chance Mother Theresa and Adolf Hitler might have shared the same indicators. :o)

    Very true. I’ve seen people excuse bad behavior because “that’s just my temperament.”

    I think it suffices to say we are created differently to fill different roles in the body.

  138. siteseer wrote:

    This word “counseling” is very ambiguous. A naive person would look at this and picture the abused receiving support, comfort, and good advice. It does not work out that way at all, it seems that most victims describe harrowing sessions where they are demanded to forgive, remain silent, and not go to the authorities.

    Good point. That is something that crosses my mind when I read stuff like what Deb copied.

    You cannot trust that what you mean by word “X” is what some church or complementarian organization means by word “X.” They may define it or understand it totally different.

  139. Daisy wrote:

    I asked up thread, what do these churches consider “accountability” to be?

    If it’s just Bubba the associate pastor asking Chester the Molester once a month, “have you fondled any kids lately,” of course Chester is most likely going to say “Why no.”

    Something kind of popped out at me from this article http://www.live5news.com/story/32729340/rick-trotter-makes-first-court-appearance

    “He was my friend and colleague,” one of the victims said. “We all prayed together weekly. We worshiped together weekly.”

    During one of those worship sessions, a victim noticed Trotter with his phone out.

    One of the pastors asked for his phone immediately. Then the videos were found,” the victim said. “We’re all undone by his deceit and his betrayal.”

    It kind of sounds like the pastor was not caught by surprise, he immediately knew to ask for Trotter’s phone. Possibly he was just astute and thought quickly, but I would be curious if Trotter had failed and repented again at other times during this period? Maybe you had to ‘be there,’ it’s kind of hard to picture what was happening.

  140. Mike Smith wrote:

    Deb & Dee,
    Al Molher huh? This goes to show how we, as a Faith, disregard God’s hatred for sin…Narrow is the Gate, and MANY think their passing through…this is distressing when consideration isn’t given to the victim but the perp is given latitude “because he has a family and a job” This makes me crazy…AND the police told them to destroy the evidence…WHAT kind of church is this, what kind of people are they?

    They are a classic “Thought Reform” authoritarian church. They are everywhere and they redefine sin and grace to control the narrative.

  141. Magnolia wrote:

    To finish my point about the article (sorry, didn’t finish my thought…), it shows the importance of going directly to the authorities and not letting the church handle illegal behavior.

    +100

  142. siteseer wrote:

    Early in my Christian life, my fundie pastor did a sermon on how it is unacceptable for Christians to be introverts. He sneered, “you introverts need to get a new personality!” and he was serious. God can’t use introverts, you see. Once you become a Christian it turns out your value is in how useful you are to the church.

    I hate to burst his bubble, but one reason I’ve been able to help certain people in various ways over my life is precisely because I am an introvert and more quiet and reflective.

    I’ve had people approach me for help who feel too uncomfortable approaching more extroverted types.

    If you’re a Christian, I’d think you would recognize that God did not issue everyone with a factory-standard personality type and celebrate that, not shame them for being different.

  143. @ Bridget:
    I’d also add if you come from a family like mine, regardless if you are introverted or extroverted, you will be brainwashed from youth and heavily pressured to believe that admitting to hurting is a shameful, wrong thing.

    I was not taught to act happy perky extroverted when hurting, but I was taught (or pressured into) to act stoic and un-emotional, even if I was having a rough time.

    A lot of churches and church people do that as well.

    They claim to care about wounded people, but the first time a person comes up to them admitting, “I’m wounded, please help me” they will get scolded for it and discouraged from ever again seeking help.

  144. Lydia wrote:

    @ Daisy:

    Accountability to church leaders from the victims sounds like code for not talking.

    For forgiving maybe.

    On the downtown church, it was reported that trotter gave some little speech before or as he was coming on staff and everybody was cool with it. I would love to hear if there wasn’t more to that, i.e. People who objected but were ignored. I highly doubt this decision was brought before the church for a full discussion with all the facts and Trotter absent during it so everybody could express concerns.

  145. @ Magnolia:
    I read another article on this guy concerning his past being protected at another synagogue he attended when he got out. It was kept from the congregation by the board and when it came out it caused all sorts of problems and divided the place. Reading comments was a horror. It is instructive how one persons evil self gratification has long term ripple effects for so many people.

  146. Daisy wrote:

    If you’re a Christian, I’d think you would recognize that God did not issue everyone with a factory-standard personality type and celebrate that, not shame them for being different.

    The model God gives us in unity in diversity.

  147. Lydia wrote:

    concerning his past being protected at another synagogue he attended when he got out.

    Will people ever learn that once you have committed certain crimes, there are positions of trust you can never again hold???

    You don’t hire convicted embezzlers to be your accountant, and you don’t put sex offenders back where they can easily offend in the exact same way. This Is basic stuff.

    Get. A. New. Job.

  148. Lydia wrote:

    One thing that bothers me about personality indicators that people have a tendency to assign moral attributes to types. A bad idea.

    While not a moral judgement I think it a wrong choice to place an introvert out as your spokesperson. By the same token I have found extroverts to be poor facilitators. When placed into “leadership” they are often very poor listeners and quickly adopt the follow me strategy. I sometimes wonder if many also have a low compassion quotient, I’ve been run over by far too many of them.

    One reason so many extrovert have become leaders in the church, it is about putting on a show. An extrovert may make a good preacher, but when they put the same guy in charge they are putting someone that is often poor at listening and including others. Every person has a function but if you can’t listen, if you don’t have compassion, then you should not be given much power.

    Either way the church simply should not be focused on one individual, introvert or extrovert, but 9 times out of 10 it is an extrovert, Trotter is simply another example.

  149. I will add that I believe Trotter is fundamentally lacking compassion to be able to violate people in such a manner.

  150. @ okrapod:

    I am an introvert. I do see other introverts get upset at times if or when introversion is lumped together with other things, such as shyness.

    While it’s true that shyness and introversion are not the same thing, and that not all introverts are hurting, some are.

    Up until a few years ago, in addition to being introverted, I had S.A.D. -social anxiety disorder- (I still have a more generalized anxiety issue, but the SAD cleared up).
    So, for many years, I was painfully shy on top of being introverted too.

    I also had depression for years, low self esteem, and since my mother died, I was in grief for a long time after that. So I was hurting as well.

    There are some introverts who are also shy and in pain.

  151. Bill M wrote:

    By the same token I have found extroverts to be poor facilitators.

    I think these extrovert introvert descriptions are way too broad! Not all extroverts are spokespeople constantly talking types and not all introverts are constantly quiet until they have something to say that will impress the room.

    There are also lots of people who sort of switch off too.

  152. Mike Smith wrote:

    and MANY think their passing through…this is distressing when consideration isn’t given to the victim but the perp is given latitude “because he has a family and a job” This makes me crazy…

    And a lot of the lady victims have families and jobs, too.

    So I’m like, and what is your (the church’s) point by mentioning the guy has a family to support, a reputation, and bills to pay, etc?

  153. Nancy2 wrote:

    In my mind, they are more like cartoons: a bunch of Dudley Dorights rescuing and protecting all of the fair maidens. “My HERO!” : (

    The envision themselves like that but when honest to God crimes and sins happen to girls and women, they scold and shame women and either don’t hold the male perp accountable or only give him a light slap on the wrist.

    Doug Wilson has done that. Bill Gothard allegedly molested girls. Doug what’s- his- name who harassed his teen-aged nanny.

    They talk about being noble, old-fashioned knights and defenders of women, but the patriachalists and complementarians prey on women themselves, or defend men who do.

  154. Nancy2 wrote:

    ……… and then Bubba asks all of the kids, age 2 and up, if they have done anything or dressed in a way to tempt poor Chester.
    ——-
    I get the feeling that’s their version of accountability, under pastoral “care”.

    I think where it gets even worse is I have seen a time or two where the perp (say, Chester the Molester) actually does admit to the pastor in their weekly or monthly accountability chats that yes, he has looked at child abuse (porn imagery), or whatever.

    (I think this may have been the case with the Village Church and their pedo?)

    And the pastor’s response is to cover that up and/or simply say, “I’m sorry to hear that. That’s too bad. Try harder next time, Chester. That is all, you are dismissed now.”

    What kind of “accountability” is that?

  155. Daisy wrote:

    They talk about being noble, old-fashioned knights and defenders of women, but the patriachalists and complementarians prey on women themselves, or defend men who do.

    They absolutely do. Makes you think all that stuff about taking care of women is a big scam to make them easy prey, doesn’t it?

    As someone on here said when boys will be boys girls will be garbage.

  156. It’s good to be cautious about ‘labeling’ anyone’s personality based on just ONE psychological test. The profession warns people about coming to conclusions based on a single indicator.

    If someone is concerned about their own position on the continuum between two extremes, then it might be better to seek counseling about it where a more thorough investigation could be done to evaluate where that person might place;
    but even then, there are so many OTHER factors in people’s lives that affect how they inter-relate with others that ‘labeling’ is not wise …. usually testing will also involve interviewing which brings these other factors to the fore and they can be weighed in the balance.

    I am at that state of my own life where I am embracing my own eccentricities and beginning to enjoy them. We are not all made to be ‘the same’ so I suspect there is a really good reason for that and it does have something to do with each of us in our uniqueness having something special to offer to the world. Introversion? Don’t worry about it. Our Lord, before any major event in His Life, sought out a place of silence, a desert, a garden, where He went to be alone for prayer. If Christ, Who spoke and acted in the very Person of God, needed that time and space for Himself, who are we to think it is not also for us who are made in His image? 🙂

  157. @ Nancy2:

    Reading one of the articles in the link, it mentions he was not only filming these women, but live streaming them also. This is disgusting. I’m sure there’s a whole lot more darkness that’s involved here. You have to violate a lot of boundaries first before you ever get to the point you’re live streaming, in church (!!!!), women you pray with.

  158. Lydia wrote:

    One thing that bothers me about personality indicators that people have a tendency to assign moral attributes to types. A bad idea.

    I think we all have a tendency to judge others who have a different personality than we do. This is especially toxic from the pulpit. The root of this is simply pride. Why are other people so different than I am? They must have something very wrong with them! Humility values the differences and overlooks the annoyances we all feel because people are different than we are. But welcome to INTJ analysis.
    Thanks to all those who are shedding light on more church scandals. Bring this stuff out into the Light. Jesus is standing out in the Light, not in some dark corner somewhere.

  159. Lydia wrote:

    they redefine sin and grace to control the narrative

    Certain corners of New Calvinism are approaching antinomianism … a law unto themselves. On judgment day, they will find that the holy standard did not shift to suit their fancies – they drifted from it.

  160. Daisy wrote:

    Why Most Pastors Aren’t Answering Your Phone Calls

    The author of that piece in Christianity Today failed to list the most important reason:

    (10) They aren’t pastors.

  161. Max, that’s interesting about neocals and antinomianism. Some of them certainly behave like a law unto themselves. Nomianism (making the gospel into a new law of obedience) is the biggest reason I’m on the verge of dumping the presbyterian and reformed tradition.

  162. @ Bill M:

    A very good example of those opposites are the Clintons. Again, extroverts and introverts can be both be great citizens or deceivers and charlatans.

    I facilitated MBTI for years and became increasingly alarmed at how personality assessments were being used. It goes to the whole problem of group think or what leaders prefer. I wish we would focus on individuals, their skills and strengths.

  163. @ NJ:

    This is one of those areas that causes mass confusion, IMO. We have been so inundated with legalism that we tend to dismiss the concept of “Law” as bad. A lot of that comes from legal and forensic style interpretations. We do run into some confusion in the New Testament because the Pharisees were not called legalists but “lawless” by Jesus Chrrist. John in first John refers to sin as “lawlessness”. It is a huge topic that deserves attention. And I think the problem can be traced back to Augustine’s concept of original sin and how that permeated the interpretations coupled with total depravity and cheap grace.

    Like the Pharisees, a lot of these church leaders just redefine what is sin so they are exempt. And law is not always a legal term such as ‘do unto others’ and all the ‘one another’s’ are laws to live by.

  164. Max wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    they redefine sin and grace to control the narrative
    Certain corners of New Calvinism are approaching antinomianism … a law unto themselves. On judgment day, they will find that the holy standard did not shift to suit their fancies – they drifted from it.

    When a pastor tells a victim they must forgive immediately and such they are antinomian. When they play down evil or call good, evil, they are antinomians. They either don’t understand the cross/resurrection or don’t like what it represents.

  165. I am increasingly convinced that much of American Christianity and evangelicalism in general is really a business exercise in practical atheism. This utter refusal to expect or take personal responsibility and this disgusting idolatry of image protection is why. These “pastors” have no fear of God and even less love for His people. They may think that is harsh, but they need to stop excuse making and repent. This is the state of the church in the West, and it’s not those individuals with covenant membership contracts in good standing who necessarily comprise the Body of Christ. It’s us who love Him and His people.

    Divorce Minister wrote:

    ‘The adult victim said they were discouraged from filing charges to avoid affecting Trotter’s life and career.

    “They said that no one would consider pressing charges because it would ruin his life and he had a family.”‘

    Reporting a crime is not what ruins a criminal’s life, committing the crime is what does it. You choose the consequences when you choose the deed. These pastors ought to have known better.

    And I wonder if they feel any remorse now knowing of the repeat performances?

    These sort of things are why denominations and associations were created. They were made to vet out predators from leadership. Epic fail here, for sure!

  166. Lea wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    @ Daisy:
    Accountability to church leaders from the victims sounds like code for not talking.
    For forgiving maybe.
    On the downtown church, it was reported that trotter gave some little speech before or as he was coming on staff and everybody was cool with it. I would love to hear if there wasn’t more to that, i.e. People who objected but were ignored. I highly doubt this decision was brought before the church for a full discussion with all the facts and Trotter absent during it so everybody could express concerns.

    People don’t do their homework on these perversions. That church sounds authoritarian from what I read of it and there are elements of Thought Reform involved. So I am not expecting to see a lot of independent thinking. The only thing it proved to me that they put him on church staff after his speech is that quasi cult has a church full of people who could never imagine they are enablers. But they also believe their leaders truly care for them, too.

  167. Melody wrote:

    hey may think that is harsh, but they need to stop excuse making and repent.

    I call many of these churches what they are – franchises. Many seminaries are franchisee training grounds with frighteningly low educational standards. It’s the religious version of 7-11.

  168. @ Mr. Jesperson:
    I don’t think most pastors have a clue about the personality types of the pew sitters. A bigger problem is elevating certain styles over others.

    Some play to the audience which craves entertainment. This was a huge marketing niche for the YRR. They said they were not entertainers but intellectuals with the true gospel and young people flocked to them. And we see how that has turned out!

    Introverts can be very compelling public speakers as well. They might be more exhausted afterwards, though. :o)

  169. Mr. Jesperson wrote:

    The root of this is simply pride. Why are other people so different than I am? They must have something very wrong with them! Humility values the differences and overlooks the annoyances we all feel because people are different than we are.

    Well said!

  170. Lydia wrote:

    ut they also believe their leaders truly care for them, too.

    I’m sure that’s true. I’m sure it was presented as here is this wonderful fellow with a laundry list of issues that god has healed him from. Praise god! We will have him on staff.

    Anyone who would have said anything after that would have been rebuffed.

  171. Lydia wrote:

    Introverts can be very compelling public speakers as well. They might be more exhausted afterwards, though. :o)

    Introverts also might be more resistant to the ‘pastoral’ part of pastoring. Constantly being in fellowship with members might become exhausting.

    I worked with a lady who was very outgoing and a public speaker and just plain loud, but it when the meeting time was over, she would retire to her room rather than doing any socializing.

  172. Lea wrote:

    I worked with a lady who was very outgoing and a public speaker and just plain loud, but it when the meeting time was over, she would retire to her room rather than doing any socializing.

    Some people are enthralled with the sound of their own voices and have no patience with not being the center of attention. Narcissism.

  173. Christiane wrote:

    Some people are enthralled with the sound of their own voices and have no patience with not being the center of attention. Narcissism.

    I don’t think that was her deal. My point was she presented very extroverted but ultimately needed the alone time to recharge. Which is a very introvert sort of thing. I just thought it was interesting.

  174. Lea wrote:

    I think these extrovert introvert descriptions are way too broad! Not all extroverts are spokespeople constantly talking types and not all introverts are constantly quiet until they have something to say that will impress the room.

    Maybe it’s more to the point that the church is gravitating towards entertainers as opposed to pastors.

  175. I would not have expected Tennessee to have strict mandatory reporting laws..

    “…Sexual abuse:
    When a child is involved in intentional sexual acts that produce sexual arousal and/or gratification for the perpetrator or sexual behaviors/situations in which there is a sexual component. – See more at: https://www.tn.gov/dcs/article/reporting-abuse-faq#sthash.6QGNFhVI.dpuf-

    Who Must Report Child Abuse?
    Everyone in Tennessee is a mandated reporter under state law. Any person with reasonable cause to believe a child is being abused or neglected must, under the law, immediately report to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services or to local law enforcement. The reporter can remain anonymous.
    – See more at: https://www.tn.gov/dcs/article/reporting-abuse-faq#sthash.6QGNFhVI.dpuf

    Failure to Report
    Failure to report abuse is a violation of the law and a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a sentence of up to three months imprisonment, a fine or both. Those who report and “act in good faith” are immune from any civil or criminal charges which may result. The reporter has the right to remain confidential and anonymous.
    – See more at: https://www.tn.gov/dcs/article/reporting-abuse-faq#sthash.6QGNFhVI.dpuf

    Information You Will Be Asked to Provide:

    *Witnesses to the incident(s) and how to reach those witnesses
    *Details of any physical evidence available
    – See more at: https://www.tn.gov/dcs/article/reporting-abuse-faq#sthash.6QGNFhVI.dpuf
    (note- I think these two items of information would have been very problematic for a head pastor. Connecting witnesses directly to law-enforcement by-passes pastor influence and authority. Physical evidence begins to create a tangible event and not merely assorted recollections of an event, possibly well after the fact. This acts to create an obvious lack of control for church leaders in the direction of any investigation.)

    *How the reporter came to know the information and the reporter’s thoughts about the likelihood of further harm to the child – See more at: https://www.tn.gov/dcs/article/reporting-abuse-faq#sthash.6QGNFhVI.dpuf

    (The last thing you want is to create a specific statement regarding the evidence trail and time-frame.)

  176. Lea wrote:

    On the downtown church, it was reported that trotter gave some little speech before or as he was coming on staff and everybody was cool with it.

    This was one of the claims made by someone commenting on Eagle’s blog. For such a questionable decision to be unanimously “cool” with every one implies coercion. The commenter was boasting how no one disagreed. This should not be possible, no such decision would be ever be unanimous.

    I wonder how dissent would have been received? Well actually I’m not wondering, I am very sure the dissenter would have been ostracized and treated as the bad guy, that is why the decision was “unanimously” accepted.

    A quick rule of thumb, if you are considering joining a group and something comes down that should spark debate, but there is none, everyone goes along with a smile, then you are in hostile territory and should escape.

  177. Lea wrote:

    My point was she presented very extroverted but ultimately needed the alone time to recharge.

    You are describing me. I can function in such a role but find it draining, unlike those who draw energy from the crowd.

  178. @ Lea:
    Some relatively introverted people will rise to the occasion of defending victims and will fiercely take the part of those in trouble who need advocacy;
    then, when they have concluded their work, they return to be at home with their own company again.

    I’ve seen this in my family. Rather dramatically, I must say. 🙂

  179. Bill M wrote:

    You are describing me. I can function in such a role but find it draining, unlike those who draw energy from the crowd.

    I’ve worked in the middle of a lot of activity, rising at early hours and staying at work until six pm or after, and enjoyed it thoroughly;
    but at the end of the day, I needed ‘quiet ME time’ (tea, a book, wrapped in blankets before a fire), or if not, then morning vigil time (candles lit, psalms read, prayer, planning and just plain being thankful).

    I think that some ‘ME’ time is a universal need in people, even among those who are ‘extroverted’, yes.

  180. Max wrote:

    Certain corners of New Calvinism are approaching antinomianism

    That is an interesting assertion, I would normally think antinomianism would be the opposite end of the spectrum of from the legalism I would associate with the calvinistas. Is this another of those spectrums that is actually a circle and when they go to one extreme they can emerge from the other extreme.

  181. Bill M wrote:

    That is an interesting assertion, I would normally think antinomianism would be the opposite end of the spectrum of from the legalism I would associate with the calvinistas. Is this another of those spectrums that is actually a circle and when they go to one extreme they can emerge from the other extreme.

    ‘Legalism’ for the congregation;
    ‘Antinomianism’ for the ‘leadership and their friends’

    ‘inform the polics about your child’s rape by our paedophile friend and we will see that you are punished by our Church discipline committee’

    it’s a strange, evil gospel these people preach, isn’t it?

  182. Magnolia wrote:

    There was a case in DC recently, where a Jewish Rabbi groomed women to participate in a ritual bath and had cameras in the changing room:

    https://www.washingtonian.com/2016/01/03/washington-dc-peeping-rabbi-barry-freundel-voyeurism-case/

    Fascinating story. I think he shared a trait with many of our church leaders:

    Barry Freundel was a deeply political man,” says Leon Wieseltier. “He also had a shocking lack of spirituality. Power was what stimulated him.

  183. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    I also experienced similar preaching, in a campus group… They hammered to us was all about Being “out there” sharring the gospel.. But even then, i noticed the people they built up came across as used car salesman, and some ot them, i later found out,… had been sales people….
    I this current OP, it us clear they liked the alleged perp up front…. I bet he drew people in to!! So much of the church had lowered to the number of “butts in the seats”
    siteseer wrote:
    Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:
    I was always left with the feeling, what about the hurting introvert over their in the corner, doesn’t Christ care about them?
    Early in my Christian life, my fundie pastor did a sermon on how it is unacceptable for Christians to be introverts. He sneered, “you introverts need to get a new personality!” and he was serious. God can’t use introverts, you see. Once you become a Christian it turns out your value is in how useful you are to the church.
    I started out by finding God and being thrilled with knowing him, but once I started going to church it was one discouragement after another.

    Jeffrey, you and I may have been in a similar movement. In the movement I came out of, shyness was all but considered a sin. It was considered being “into yourself”, and you were supposed to be “out of yourself”. And if you were an extrovert, you moved up the “ladder” pretty quickly into leadership.

  184. Christiane wrote:

    Bill M wrote:
    That is an interesting assertion, I would normally think antinomianism would be the opposite end of the spectrum of from the legalism I would associate with the calvinistas. Is this another of those spectrums that is actually a circle and when they go to one extreme they can emerge from the other extreme.
    ‘Legalism’ for the congregation;
    ‘Antinomianism’ for the ‘leadership and their friends’
    ‘inform the polics about your child’s rape by our paedophile friend and we will see that you are punished by our Church discipline committee’
    it’s a strange, evil gospel these people preach, isn’t it?

    That is so true, Christiane.

    Some friends’ son was sexually abused by a youth pastor and his father walked in and caught the youth pastor doing it. The senior pastor ordered that the entire family being shunned during their darkest time. No one – not their closest friends – were permitted to speak to them anymore.

    They left that church…and have never stepped foot in another church. Their entire family. I don’t blame them.

    Jesus talked about millstones tied around those who hurt children, drowning perps.
    And instead millstones are tied around children and their families and they are not rescued from a sea of sorrows but drowned with heavy weights.

  185. @ Lea:
    Introverts tend to over prep for public speaking. (Her loudness might be overcompensation). And she was probably exhausted when done.

    My training crew and I used to laugh about this sort of thing all the time. The introverts (me) would get there early and make sure everything was perfect. We were prepped to the max because every curve ball known to man is pitched in these sessions.

    The extroverts arrived on time but loved to stay after and socialize.

    The introverts had to internally process before they did a group debrief.

    The irony is that participants would never have been able to tell who was the introvert or the extrovert facilitators unless it came up.

  186. Bill M wrote:

    I would normally think antinomianism would be the opposite end of the spectrum of from the legalism

    “Old” Calvinists are legal; “New” Calvinists are lawless (not all, but certain corners of the movement). The new reformers, with their culturally-relevant message and methods, are pushing the boundaries back to accommodate 21st century followers. While proclaiming to be orthodox and restorers of the gospel that the rest of the church has lost, YRRs are not classical Calvinists with their Christianity Lite approach to doing church.

  187. Melody wrote:

    I am increasingly convinced that much of American Christianity and evangelicalism in general is really a business exercise in practical atheism.

    Well, one thing is certain. Much of the American church are not conducting themselves in a manner to usher in the presence of God.

  188. Lydia wrote:

    Introverts tend to over prep for public speaking. (Her loudness might be overcompensation).

    She was always loud (worked with her in other situations)!

    Lydia wrote:

    The irony is that participants would never have been able to tell who was the introvert or the extrovert facilitators unless it came up.

    That was what I was actually trying to get at. It’s possible some of the pastor types are actually just really good at doing the public speaking thing and then retreat. I really hesitate to go around labeling everyone, because I think there is a lot of wiggle room in the extrovert/introvert deal (as I said, I was really happy to read the article about people who are both, because that fits better for me). A pastor being an introvert could potentially explain some of the lack of pastoral care and need to retreat to the office, if it were the case with some people. Of course, the simplest answer is just lazy, lack of care for this gospel crowd. They seem to enjoy socializing with each other well enough, judging from all the conferences.

    But we may be getting off topic. I don’t think being an extrovert turns someone into an uncaring pervert. That’s a whole other kettle of fish.

  189. Lydia wrote:

    They said they were not entertainers but intellectuals with the true gospel and young people flocked to them.

    Ha! There are YRR churches in my area which have crowds of young folks flocking to their entertaining style, which includes:

    – black movie theater sanctuaries
    – elaborate light & sound systems
    – cool bands (loud electric guitars, drums)
    – “praise” teams (performers)
    – Jay Leno-type preachers propped on stools under a spotlight
    – lots of music, short “sermons”
    – free coffee and pastries
    – no commitments necessary

    Yep, short on intellectual, but long on entertainment. They attract curious crowds, not congregations of the Lord.

  190. @ Lea:
    Great points. It is always a bad idea to project moral characteristics onto personality preferences.

    My former pastor was introverted and scholarly. But you would never know that by talking to him or listening to him. However, in a convo we had about preferences, he told me he is more at ease connecting with individuals than groups.

  191. Christiane wrote:

    ‘Legalism’ for the congregation;
    ‘Antinomianism’ for the ‘leadership and their friends’

    I can think of a few exceptions so let me try and refine it.
    ‘Antinomianism’ for those who submit to ‘leadership and their friends’
    The unforgivable sin is not submitting to the pastor.

  192. @ Max:
    There is great irony there, Max. Going back and watching Mohler in 1993 and his button down stance to the last few years of partnering with Driscoll and such. Then looking at the very cool SBC YRR church plants. Follow the money.

  193. Daisy wrote:

    @ JH:
    Just wanted to toss out there that sometimes men prey on other men in this fashion, like in this news story:
    .

    This is very true and for some men it can be traumatic. The law makes no distinction on gender. However, some men don’t care about being filmed in a bathroom naked or half naked, while virtually all girls and women do.

    As an example, Memphis based youth pastor Sammy Nuckolls set up his spy cameras in the showers during overnight revivals. Some boys took showers on those trips as well and were likely captured by the cameras which were motion activated. Sammy was caught by police with his spycam and laptop which only contained his “all star” hits which were 25 different females and no males. The police waited four days to execute a full search warrant so Sammy’s original hard drives were never recovered.

    Sammy was also the head camp pastor for LifeWay FUGE Camps so he had access to tens of thousands of girls showering every day during the summers for many years. The boys at the revivals said they would press charges if videos of them were found because they were furious that their youth pastor would tape the girls, but honestly they weren’t fearful about recordings of themselves surfacing. The boys simply didn’t feel as violated.

    Video voyeurism will likely become more rampant as businesses choose to allow men to openly use girls/ladies bathrooms. The technology is such that the spy cameras’ battery power is limited because of the tiny size of the cameras. On average, one session only yields about 90 min of motion activated video, so the predator has to keep switching out batteries or cameras to get more footage. In the past, this has been a practical deterrent for keeping spy cameras out of girls bathrooms and changing rooms, because men aren’t supposed to be there and previously if a man was seen inside them, security would be immediately called. That used to represent a lot of risk for voyeurs. Now voyeurs can freely enter either previously restricted area by declaring they identify as female. You would not believe how tiny and cleverly disguised these cameras are.

  194. This story really hits home for me. I live in the Memphis area. My family and I visited Fellowship Memphis a few times during the time that Trotter was on staff there. Now I’m left wondering if he took photos of me or my at-the-time teenage daughters. I was able to find Trotter’s wife on Facebook and we have three mutual friends.

    I am disgusted by the actions of the leadership of Fellowship Memphis and of Downtown Church. When you have allegations/possible proof of a crime you go to the police.

    My heart goes out to Heather. She’s married to a pervert and liar. She has young children with him. And she’s steeped in a church culture that tells her divorce is a bigger sin than taking up-the-skirt photos.

  195. okrapod wrote:

    Deb wrote:

    Both abusers and abused are in need of on-going counseling, support and accountability.

    The abused person needs to be held accountable for what?

    For Rocking the Boat.

  196. Lydia wrote:

    @ siteseer:

    I don’t understand how this sort of thing is not obstructing an investigation? Are the authorities ignoring the information that other earlier evidence was destroyed by church leaders?

    Are any of the authorities members of the church?

    Remember how cops in Pastor’s Pocket have assisted and enabled abusive pastors in the past, to the point of becoming Pastor’s Enforcers. And the pedo cop Friend of Jim Bob who covered everything up when Josh Duggar groped his underage sisters. And Bob Griener and ToJo becoming police chaplains and invoking the Code of Blue (cop version of La Omerta).

  197. Elizabeth Lee wrote:

    I am disgusted by the actions of the leadership of Fellowship Memphis and of Downtown Church. When you have allegations/possible proof of a crime you go to the police.

    My heart goes out to Heather. She’s married to a pervert and liar. She has young children with him. And she’s steeped in a church culture that tells her divorce is a bigger sin than taking up-the-skirt photos.

    I also went to Fellowship at the time and watched as they scrambled to cover it up. You are right to be disgusted and concerned. I was told by more than one staffer that Bill Garner, Hamp Holcomb and Bryan Lorrits made sure the recordings were destroyed.

    Heather continued to minimize her husbands actions and actually blamed others for their issues and for being so hard on him. She made excuses for his behavior and refused to leave until his actions recently came out in the media.

  198. __

    With a multitude of predators at the church gates, and the watchman asleep within its midsts, is apostasy not far behind?

  199. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Remember how cops in Pastor’s Pocket have assisted and enabled abusive pastors in the past, to the point of becoming Pastor’s Enforcers.

    Even if a cop friend told them to destroy the evidence, any adult with any amount of sense would know that destroying evidence is wrong. I don’t buy the “cops told us to destroy the evidence” line at all.

  200. Elizabeth Lee wrote:

    This story really hits home for me. I live in the Memphis area. My family and I visited Fellowship Memphis a few times during the time that Trotter was on staff there. Now I’m left wondering if he took photos of me or my at-the-time teenage daughters. I was able to find Trotter’s wife on Facebook and we have three mutual friends.
    I am disgusted by the actions of the leadership of Fellowship Memphis and of Downtown Church. When you have allegations/possible proof of a crime you go to the police.
    My heart goes out to Heather. She’s married to a pervert and liar. She has young children with him. And she’s steeped in a church culture that tells her divorce is a bigger sin than taking up-the-skirt photos.

    I’m sorry, Elizabeth, for you and the others that have to figure out if you were victimized by this pervert’s hidden filming in the ladies’ restroom.

    Yes, I feel sorry for his wife. Humiliating and confusing for her. I hope she reads good blogs like Clara Hinton’s and others, women married to pastors they found out were sex offenders.

  201. ishy wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Remember how cops in Pastor’s Pocket have assisted and enabled abusive pastors in the past, to the point of becoming Pastor’s Enforcers.

    Even if a cop friend told them to destroy the evidence, any adult with any amount of sense would know that destroying evidence is wrong. I don’t buy the “cops told us to destroy the evidence” line at all.

    Me neither. It’s probably a lie and if it is or isn’t they had no right to destroy evidence! Assuming that even true.

  202. Your post is one of the main reasons this blog exists and why we post here. The Church is a place where you are supposed will safe and supported, not where evil goes on AND is covered up by the leadership. Bad things happen, it is part of being human, but how the bad situations are handled, and how victims/violated people are treated is what Christianity is about… God forgives, but the scriptures are clear that their are still consequences… Now the consequences are falling on this churches leadership

    Elizabeth Lee wrote:

    This story really hits home for me. I live in the Memphis area. My family and I visited Fellowship Memphis a few times during the time that Trotter was on staff there. Now I’m left wondering if he took photos of me or my at-the-time teenage daughters. I was able to find Trotter’s wife on Facebook and we have three mutual friends.
    I am disgusted by the actions of the leadership of Fellowship Memphis and of Downtown Church. When you have allegations/possible proof of a crime you go to the police.
    My heart goes out to Heather. She’s married to a pervert and liar. She has young children with him. And she’s steeped in a church culture that tells her divorce is a bigger sin than taking up-the-skirt photos.

  203. Thank you both for covering this. As for why this continues in churches, I have a theory that this is due in part to complementarian teaching concerning gender roles. In the majority of churches I have visited, it has been made abundantly clear that male behavior is not as closely regulated as female behavior.

    For example, rules regarding dress. Women and girls are scrutinized heavily and told repeatedly that their dress will cause their brothers-in-Christ to fall. In reality, in the majority of rape cases, the attacker can’t even remember what their victim was wearing. It’s not about dress, it’s about somebody else projecting their desires and beliefs about their victim onto the victim. As for the men and boys in the congregation, they soon get the message that they can blame women for their sinful wants and desires. “Oh she clearly wants it because she’s wearing a skirt that doesn’t go below the knee.”

    In addition, women and girls are trained not to show anger or “opposition” to men. From this, men and boys learn that women and girls are easy targets for their frustrations and aggression because they have been taught not fight back or stand up for themselves.

    If we look at this scenario, we see a pastor’s brother-in-law (a male, in a position of authority) whose suitability for leadership is being questioned by women and minors (those not in authority, whose testimony is questionable due to their gender and status). This man does not have to answer for his behavior (as he is male and his transgressions were caused by the “sinful” behavior of women and minors, attempting to lure him into sin with their wiles.)

    You said it yourself, he didn’t have any biblical qualifications, but he did have the most important one…being male.

    On top of it all, we have to consider that in a complementarian worldview, everything boils down to authority. By questioning the pastor’s brother-in-law, the churchgoers were pointing out that their pastor was wrong in choosing this man for a church position and thereby, questioning their pastor’s authority. Their pastor’s “God-given” authority I might add. Remember to question the pastor is to question God and that is why they have been harshly punished for their “rebellion”.

  204. ” In the majority of churches I have visited, it has been made abundantly clear that male behavior is not as closely regulated as female behavior”

    Sam, that is the best description I have heard yet. That is exactly what goes on to varying degrees.

  205. Sam wrote:

    This man does not have to answer for his behavior (as he is male and his transgressions were caused by the “sinful” behavior of women and minors, attempting to lure him into sin with their wiles.

    I see this in the larger culture, that men are helpless against their lust. I remember going to a Christian singles discussion, and the topic was sex. One young guy quite seriously asked if he would die if he didn’t have sex by the time he was 25. He was something like 21 and believed if he didn’t get married right away, his body would kill him.

    Our culture objectifies women, and then tells men they have no choice but to act on their desires, no matter how twisted they are. Even women fall into the trap of believing this, just look at the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon, which was written by a woman. I read a fantasy book whose main character believed, much like the character in 50 Shades, that he had to dominate women and own them, and there was no other choice. Looking back, I wonder how I ever finished that book, because the character went on and on about it. BTW, I met that fantasy author, and he was a total jerk to all the women present. So I think he really did believe it.

    I don’t believe in total depravity, so I believe humans can learn to restrain themselves even without Christ. If total depravity was true, we’d have a world much like that Purge movie all of the time.

    I worked as a daycare and preschool teacher for 7 years. The kids that were totally out of control pretty much had the same thing in common–their parents gave in to everything the child wanted. And usually they blamed someone else for the child acting up (teachers, the other parent, etc). Now when I see adults acting like toddlers, I’m fairly certain they’ve been coddled their entire lives, and learned to coddle themselves.

    I thoroughly believe that Christians are capable of not being helpless against any of their wants. Anytime I see Christians persistently act like they’re helpless, they are either probably not a Christian, or they are choosing to feed their wants. One of the “marks” of the Calvinista movement is that they feed their movement by telling men they can get what they desire. This is absolutely against Christ’s model.

  206. @ Elizabeth Lee:

    Your post is one of The reasons why even if it were true that everyone at downtown was totally ok hiring someone who had done this, it still wouldn’t be ok because innocent visitors never had a choice. You have to protect them too.

    I’m not in Memphis but I’m not too terribly far from it, but this is one of those things that could happen anywhere. And that’s so disturbing.

  207. It certainly amazes me that leadership at another church would be so quick to place Trotter in a similar position after what he did.

    Would they recommend an alcoholic who when working as a bartender drank be given another position as a bartender?

    What about someone that molested children back having to do something with children?

    Just absolutely amazing. Are they that ignorant of how hard it is for someone like this to change?

    Did they think it was that insignificant what he did at the first church?

    I am more for giving a person a chance for actions they did before they came to Christ but someone who was a professing Christian and especially one in a leadership position shouldn’t be trusted or placed in situations that give him opportunity to repeat his actions until he has proven himself more.

  208. @ Lydia:
    The young reformers have learned that they need to couple Mohler’s religion with gimmicks to attract a crowd. They don’t want to come out of seminary and just do church using the religion of old dead guys … they need more than that to become “mega” as quickly as possible. So they bring in as much of the world as they can while still appearing to be Christian. And the young gullibles flock to it.

  209. @ Steve240:

    My guess is that being involved as a sports announcer had a lot to do with it. A big thing in the seeker world is what local celebrities attended. That brings people in.

    One thing I learned the hard way was to stop trying to bring reason to decisions made by a small powerful group of men who are insulated.

  210. Sam wrote:

    In the majority of churches I have visited, it has been made abundantly clear that male behavior is not as closely regulated as female behavior.

    I’m going to strongly suggest that patriarchy is at the bottom of this and related attitudes.

    Yes, I’m back from vacation and will be wandering over to the House of Driscoll in a bit.

  211. @ Max:

    Back when Mohler and co started promoting Driscoll, I could not believe it. It was like the tail wagging the dog. The founders type churches were just simply not bringing in the recruits. The young gullible men were flocking to Driscoll types. Mohler had to get in front of that.

  212. Steve240 wrote:

    Did they think it was that insignificant what he did at the first church?

    His behavior is insignificant because women are insignificant.

  213. mirele wrote:

    Sam wrote:
    In the majority of churches I have visited, it has been made abundantly clear that male behavior is not as closely regulated as female behavior.
    I’m going to strongly suggest that patriarchy is at the bottom of this and related attitudes.
    Yes, I’m back from vacation and will be wandering over to the House of Driscoll in a bit.

    Welcome back, Mirele.

    You are a trooper to go over to H.O.D.
    Keep up the good work, have a great day, and a great week.

  214. Max wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    The young reformers have learned that they need to couple Mohler’s religion with gimmicks to attract a crowd. They don’t want to come out of seminary and just do church using the religion of old dead guys … they need more than that to become “mega” as quickly as possible. So they bring in as much of the world as they can while still appearing to be Christian. And the young gullibles flock to it.

    While that is certainly true – the gimmicks – one of the other gimmicks is to present a reverent church service, hymns. That’s how I got in one of these bad NeoCalvinist, authoritarian, abusive churches.

  215. @ Velour:

    ^Buyer beware: No matter what kind of church you go to (hip music or reverent music),
    ask them their thoughts about John Calvin. Look for those pesky Membership Covenants.
    Look at their website (9 Marks, Acts 29) means its authoritarian/NeoCal. Get to know their doctrine. And whatever you do…don’t sign contracts.

  216. Sam wrote:

    You said it yourself, he didn’t have any biblical qualifications, but he did have the most important one…being male.

    This is an excellent comment.

  217. Concerned wrote:

    I was told by more than one staffer that Bill Garner, Hamp Holcomb and Bryan Lorrits made sure the recordings were destroyed.
    Heather continued to minimize her husbands actions and actually blamed others for their issues and for being so hard on him.

    Thank you for this info. I have been told that Trotter’s wife has allegedly enabled him in this behavior. You comment appears to say the same thing.

    Also, I wonder how many people in the church thought it was strange that they destroyed the video.

  218. Velour wrote:

    one of the other gimmicks is to present a reverent church service, hymns

    The problem with deception is that you don’t know you are deceived because you are deceived.

  219. Lydia wrote:

    Back when Mohler and co started promoting Driscoll, I could not believe it. It was like the tail wagging the dog. The founders type churches were just simply not bringing in the recruits. The young gullible men were flocking to Driscoll types. Mohler had to get in front of that.

    Mohler is an interesting character in that he can move about comfortably with “Old” Calvinists (“Founders”, Packer, Sproul, etc.), as well as the “New” Calvinists (Piper, Dever, and yes even Driscoll).

    While most classical Calvinists may be opposed to the message, method, and mission of their neo-brethren, others in the old guard (e.g., Mohler) appear to be putting up with this new brand as long as the essential reformed message moves forward in SBC ranks and elsewhere. Mohler has found that he can mobilize the YRRs to accomplish what the Founders group could not do after decades of trying … Calvinization of the Southern Baptist Convention. It’s the tail wagging the dog for sure … show me which way you want to go and I’ll get out in front to lead! The New Calvinist movement = the youth group running the church!

  220. Steve240 wrote:

    Did they think it was that insignificant what he did at the first church?

    When boys will be boys, girls will be garbage.

    I think the truth is that it didn’t matter very much to them, and they weren’t very concerned about it happening again. Whether this is because they would rather have him there for their image (celebrity status, multicultural, sinner redeemed?) or because they are really, really naive doesn’t matter so much to me. Churches need to stop doing this, and the only way that will happen is if there are serious consequences. Loss of revenue, loss of people, loss of jobs. Actions should have consequences for the people that actually made the decision, not just innocents.

  221. Sam wrote:

    For example, rules regarding dress. Women and girls are scrutinized heavily and told repeatedly that their dress will cause their brothers-in-Christ to fall. In reality, in the majority of rape cases, the attacker can’t even remember what their victim was wearing. It’s not about dress, it’s about somebody else projecting their desires and beliefs about their victim onto the victim. As for the men and boys in the congregation, they soon get the message that they can blame women for their sinful wants and desires. “Oh she clearly wants it because she’s wearing a skirt that doesn’t go below the knee.”

    Ironically, this is the same ethos which drives Islamic attitudes towards women and women’s apparel.

  222. As I continue to think about this disgusting situation, I am struck by how premeditated this perversion is. Getting a camera, going to the trouble of setting it up so that it is not seen (he obviously screwed up since it has been discovered, twice at least). Further, he probably retrieved it multiple times, or if he “streamed it”, it was accessed many, many times. Our laws makes BIG differences between crimes that are premeditated vs those that are emotionally driven. This pervs actions are clearly premeditated…. You do not “accedentily lose it” and set up a camera!, or do it in the “heat of uncontrolled emotions!
    To “discount” this crime the first time, and tell women they will wreck the perps life if they press charges is unthinkable…… Anyone that told these women that are just as responsible as the perp for the second church violation….. IMHO … They have no respectability in my book to lead a church….. Same with the people that rehired him…..

  223. Max wrote:

    The young reformers have learned that they need to couple Mohler’s religion with gimmicks

    Not gimmicks ………… Bait.

  224. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    As I continue to think about this disgusting situation, I am struck by how premeditated this perversion is.

    This is why they are concentrating on the ‘upskirt’ aspect of things so heavily, imo.

    They don’t want you to think about what this really means, practically. He had to think this through, hide the cameras, retrieve the info…he was barely out of a treatment program when they likely gave him STAFF ACCESS to a the church!!! Having had family on church staff, I guarantee you this man had access at all sorts of odd hours, and probably a key. Which is all he needed to set this stuff up.

    Criminally. Negligent. on the part of the church. imo.

  225. Velour wrote:

    Yes, I feel sorry for his wife. Humiliating and confusing for her. I hope she reads good blogs like Clara Hinton’s and others, women married to pastors they found out were sex offenders.

    You got me curious to look up Clara Hinton. This is so good. I’m sure so many Christian women who have found themselves married to troubled men would relate and find solace and good counsel here http://www.findingahealingplace.com/2013/05/15/chosen-to-be-a-child-molesters-enabler-the-beginning-of-my-story/

  226. ishy wrote:

    I worked as a daycare and preschool teacher for 7 years. The kids that were totally out of control pretty much had the same thing in common–their parents gave in to everything the child wanted. And usually they blamed someone else for the child acting up (teachers, the other parent, etc). Now when I see adults acting like toddlers, I’m fairly certain they’ve been coddled their entire lives, and learned to coddle themselves.

    I’ve heard this same sentiment from police officers, too, about kids who get into trouble. Another component is that this enabling can also coexist with abuse and neglect. The parents abuse the children when they are frustrated or neglect them because it is too much trouble to take care of their needs, but then give them their own way the rest of the time. The kids grow up with rage and without self control, it’s an awful combination.

  227. I keep hearing the phrase over and over again – don’t tell the police as we don’t want their career or life ruined. What kind of career does a music minister have? He works in the church and is very replaceable. He does music, so that’s his career. Yeah right, guaranteed he isn’t know well around the U.S. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of him. Glad of that too. I’ve ready way to many of these types of stories of all kinds of sexual perverts out there. But this one takes the cake for me. Putting his pen that was a camera, in his bible, aimed at her private parts is beyond perverted. This man is really some type of sicko.

  228. @ Dave (Eagle):

    Is it not funny that the man accuses you of “slander” – actually it’s libel, but that’s another discussion – a legal term. I wonder if he’ll turn you over to the law? Oh, wait, I forget that Loritts has a habit of destroying evidence and refusing to turn evidence over to proper authorities.

    The entire thing is laughable. Bryan Loritts, you had your chance, just stop. Stop now.

  229. Unepetiteanana wrote:

    Is it not funny that the man accuses you of “slander” – actually it’s libel, but that’s another discussion – a legal term.

    Is it libel to accuse someone falsely of slander?

  230. I haven’t read all the comments but lack of qualifications aside why a church would hire this clown after being caught already is insane.
    In our jurisdiction, if a crime has been committed & police suspect that computers have been used, they can seize any device that the perpetrator may have had access to. Including company servers, with no obligation to give them back while the case is on going.
    What a liability!
    It’s also well known that these men will upload the photos to websites to trade with others. I not sure the guy just kept them on his phone.
    Yes, these crimes happen in secular society too, but once again we see the danger of a closed group that discourages any free thinking. Outside the churchiverse, this guy never work again, but he’ll “repent” and be back in the saddle somewhere else.

  231. What Place do Pedophiles Have in the Church? by Jimmy Hinton
    http://wineskins.org/2014/04/08/what-place-do-pedophiles-have-in-the-church/

    Snippets:

    I believe that, while pedophiles can and should repent, the church is not in a position to welcome them into the assembly where children are present. In fact, we have written into our policy that any known sex offenders will be removed from regular worship and will be offered an alternative worship with a group of adults only. This can be at the church building or in a home. But for them to participate in worship with children present is an act of sheer insensitivity and irresponsibility.

    ….Mr. Raines [child molester], the man quoted above, was in prison for a short time then was let out on parole. He almost immediately infiltrated a church and became the director of the children’s choir. He was incarcerated two more times after this.

    …I could go on and on and give example after example of this. Perceived repentance, tears of sorrow, promises to never do it again, stories that minimize what actually went on during the abuse—these are ploys to gain access to children.

    Pedophiles successfully molest children without us adults knowing it. This is what makes them successful. And here’s the catch—churches are welcoming them with warm embraces in the name of Jesus.

    …What’s worse is that many churches are unknowingly siding with child abusers by allowing them into services with children.

  232. Lydia wrote:

    The young gullible men were flocking to Driscoll types.

    Blog post by Mark Driscoll, July 2016:

    You Are Invited to Pastors School
    http://markdriscoll.org/you-are-invited-to-pastors-school/

    Driscoll’s page points to one by Jimmy Evans (who has basically taught on his TV show that adult singles do not have “whole” brains/ are incomplete, because it takes a man, who has 1/2 brain, married to a woman, who has 1/2 brain, to equal a whole brain/ person):

    From the Evans page:

    Exclusive Access to Invaluable Wisdom

    Jimmy Evans’ Pastors School is an intensive three-day coaching format, where every student has the opportunity to ask their most pressing questions.

    However, seating is limited to the first 200 Senior Pastors, Key Church Leaders, Staff and Ministry Spouses that register.

    Limited Time: Buy 2 Pastors School registrations and get 1 free!

    The price appears to be $150.

    (But, “Discount automatically applied at checkout. Price does not include lodging, food or travel expenses.”)

  233. JH wrote:

    Video voyeurism will likely become more rampant as businesses choose to allow men to openly use girls/ladies bathrooms.

    Yes, and it’s already happened.

    This is via Fox News:
    Transgender woman arrested in voyeurism incident at Idaho Target, July 2016

    An Idaho man who told police he identifies as a woman was arrested Tuesday after allegedly taking photos of a woman in a Target fitting room, officials said.

    Sean Patrick Smith, 43, was allegedly dressed in women’s clothing when he entered the fitting room in the women’s section of the store in Ammon on Monday, East Idaho News reported.

    Smith, also known as Shauna Patricia Smith, then began taking pictures of a woman in the changing stall next to him, police said.

    University Of Toronto Gender-Neutral Bathrooms Reduced After Voyeurism Reports (2015)
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/10/06/u-of-t-bathrooms-voyeurism_n_8253970.html

    Two women showering in Whitney Hall, a residence at U of T’s University College, reported they saw a cellphone reach over the shower-stall dividers in an attempt to record them, in two different incidents, police Const. Victor Kwong told The Toronto Star.

    Headline:
    Police: Peeping tom caught filming women in Brentwood Target dressing rooms
    – via KMOV, St Louis, April 2015

    An O’Fallon, Missouri man was arrested on April 23 after allegedly secretly filming women in a Target dressing room.

    Matthew Foerstel, 26, faces felony charges for invasion of privacy in the second degree and unlawful possession of a firearm.

    If I am understanding this story correctly, this guy has a history of video taping girls/ women

    Woman Chases Pervert Out Of Target Before He Can Follow Her Into The Restroom
    – via Red State blog, May 2016, by Sara Gonzalez

    Candice Spivey of Yulee, Florida just might be a new critic of Target’s radical bathroom policy. She was approached by a convicted pervert while shopping for bikinis at Target, and since she recognized him from a previous encounter, she decided to film the incident.
    ——
    [Spivey said] …So when they [the police] ran his background he has a history of video voyeurism and has been in trouble for putting cameras in his shoes and filming under girls skirts, in the dressing rooms when girls are changing into bikinis, etc. He filmed three different girls in one location at Neptune Beach. He’s been all over Jacksonville.

  234. Velour wrote:

    For all of those that decry litigation, sometimes it’s necessary when people and institutions won’t do the right thing.

    Yes indeed. The mentality that “Christians should never sue other Christians” just means that Christians can be pressured to give up their legal rights under the worst possible circumstances.

  235. Now that I have a little more experience and this story is not my first rodeo, I have taken notice of the comments on Eagle’s blog. While there have been a couple of defenders that stuck with the facts or legitimate questions most are of the silencing variety. Hopefully it is okay with Eagle that I post them here as education for first timers. (My comments are in parentheses)

    Done
    “you have an entire blog dedicated to how angry you are?!?!”
    (gaslighting)(Done is also a reason I am almost a “done”)

    Questioning
    “I understand that you were hurt by the church, and I have been deeply hurt as well. But writing things that are both untrue and vindictive…”
    (gaslighting, discredit Eagle, he is just irrational because he is hurt)

    Loritts
    “I think once our conversation is over you’ll have incredible clarity, and may even want to take this down.”
    (classic, you don’t have all the facts)

    Absurdity
    “Curious…do you realize that Rick will probably not serve time for this? It is only a misdemeanor and not a felony. I’d love to see you put your writing to good use and spend time arguing that this should be taken seriously by the justice system.”
    (shifting, moving the goalpost)

    Anonymous
    “You are sick and obsessive. … Rick will probably not serve time or be on a sexual predator list? Why don’t you take time to fight that instead of attacking a bunch of people who actually did the right thing? Instead of attacking Rick you’re attacking the church?”
    (gaslighting and more shifting, same argument as Absurdity, are they the same person?)

    Anonymous
    “Rick read a statement of confession regarding what he’d done at Fellowship to all of Downtown Church’s members before he was hired, and the whole church still didn’t object to his being hired.”
    (shifting – hide behind the church members)

    Me – As a followup exercise do an internet search on (silencing techniques). It is very helpful to understand the manipulation behind such comments. Much of churchianity has ingrained into us that some things should not be talked about and it takes only a few unchallenged “silencing” comments to send first time readers back to their sound proof chamber. At first such comments troubled me but now I see them for what they are, evil attempting to cloak itself.

  236. Lea wrote:

    You don’t hire convicted embezzlers to be your accountant, and you don’t put sex offenders back where they can easily offend in the exact same way. This Is basic stuff.
    Get. A. New. Job.

    Sometimes, when a company discovers that the chief financial officer has been stealing money, the company gives the person a stellar recommendation to get rid of him/her without divulging the loss of money. The company keeps looking financially secure, and the embezzler gets to victimize somebody else.

    Maybe sometimes the church that hires a molester has been duped.

  237. Bill M wrote:

    An extrovert may make a good preacher, but when they put the same guy in charge they are putting someone that is often poor at listening and including others.

    Intriguing thoughts. I’ve known some introverts who were great preachers, because they worked so hard on sermon preparation–refining their words, striving to find the message for that congregation on that day.

    You’ve caused me to realize that I prefer introverted preachers, specifically because of their aversion to being in a show. But surely there are some truly gifted, sincere, faithful, extroverted preachers too…

  238. Friend wrote:

    But surely there are some truly gifted, sincere, faithful, extroverted preachers too…

    Indeed. The issue I’m concerned about is hiring one guy to be the all encompassing leader in charge of everything. I don’t even think leadership is a great idea, Jesus spoke about servants, but one leader to do preaching, teaching, run meetings, be a spiritual leader, organize and direct volunteers, control budgeting, etc is rife with errors. One salesman may be the best in the company at interacting with customers and selling widgets but that does not mean he should run the company.

    I come from the business world and the best CEOs I found were not flashy and outgoing. I don’t think there should even be a CEO of the church, yet they often pick someone based not on decent management capability but by their personality. Simply put, a good preacher does not equal good manager.

  239. Bill M wrote:

    At first such comments troubled me but now I see them for what they are, evil attempting to cloak itself.

    You betcha. The same pattern repeats itself in situation after situation. Gaslighting is an all time favorite. The hope is one will be tempted to defend themselves and convince the gaslighter it is not because one is bitter or hurt. Once you do that you are dead meat.

    You know what is really scary? how few Christians are willing to put themselves into the shoes of victims. How few are willing to understand what goes into carrying out oerversion. The long con, the premeditation and even the expense!

  240. Bill M wrote:

    As a followup exercise do an internet search on (silencing techniques). It is very helpful to understand the manipulation behind such comments. Much of churchianity has ingrained into us that some things should not be talked about and it takes only a few unchallenged “silencing” comments to send first time readers back to their sound proof chamber. At first such comments troubled me but now I see them for what they are, evil attempting to cloak itself.

    Excellent post, Bill! Having seen how this all works in the past, when I hear these silencing techniques now, it makes me want to get up on a rooftop and broadcast the information. The Bible tells us to speak the truth and that "no lie is of the truth."

    Don't let anyone shame you into silence with false guilt. God is the God of truth.

  241. Friend wrote:

    Maybe sometimes the church that hires a molester has been duped.

    Sometimes this is true. In this particular case, however, they claim to have been made fully aware.

    So, Downtown was dumb. And negligent.

  242. siteseer wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Yes, I feel sorry for his wife. Humiliating and confusing for her. I hope she reads good blogs like Clara Hinton’s and others, women married to pastors they found out were sex offenders.
    You got me curious to look up Clara Hinton. This is so good. I’m sure so many Christian women who have found themselves married to troubled men would relate and find solace and good counsel here http://www.findingahealingplace.com/2013/05/15/chosen-to-be-a-child-molesters-enabler-the-beginning-of-my-story/

    Yes. It’s a good blog. There’s another one…Brenda’s A Solitary Journey.
    http://brendafindingelysium.blogspot.com/

    I found out about Brenda from Julie Anne’s Spiritual Sounding Board blog.
    Julie Anne knows her. Julie Anne has a special section of her blog devoted to the whole pedophilia issue and helping women who find out they are married to perps.

    Someone will post a heart-breaking comment…and then others more experienced come along and offer support. In the meantime, if I see a comment..I welcome them to SSB, empathize, and tell them to hold on and a more experienced person will be commenting to them soon.

    There’s also a confidential support group over there that can’t be seen.

  243. Lea wrote:

    Friend wrote:
    Maybe sometimes the church that hires a molester has been duped.
    Sometimes this is true. In this particular case, however, they claim to have been made fully aware.
    So, Downtown was dumb. And negligent.

    Negligent hiring.
    Negligent retention.
    Negligent supervision.
    And on and on the torts (wrongs) go under civil law and the lawsuits that can be filed.

    And for then there’s the criminal side.

  244. Max wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    one of the other gimmicks is to present a reverent church service, hymns
    The problem with deception is that you don’t know you are deceived because you are deceived.

    I think a lot of people, myself included, simply want to go to a nice church, know other people, hear the Word of God, and grow as Christians. And I wanted to serve. My intentions were well-meaning.

    I just didn’t know that I was going to be deceived at the get-go. Neither did others.

  245. Bill M wrote:

    Me – As a followup exercise do an internet search on (silencing techniques). It is very helpful to understand the manipulation behind such comments. Much of churchianity has ingrained into us that some things should not be talked about and it takes only a few unchallenged “silencing” comments to send first time readers back to their sound proof chamber. At first such comments troubled me but now I see them for what they are, evil attempting to cloak itself.

    Differences Between Healthy Churches and Unhealthy, Abusive Churches
    In Recovering from Churches That Abuse Dr. Ronald Enroth lists eleven questions from LaVonne Neff “Evaluating Cults and New Religions” in a Guide to Cults and New Religions, pages 27-32:
    1. “Does a member’s personality generally become stronger, happier, more confident as a result of contact with the group.”
    Unhealthy churches use a variety of abusive tactics to control members including intimidation, legalism, guilt and fear.
    2. “Do members of the group seek to strengthen their family commitments?”
    Abusive churches try to keep members away from family members.
    3. “Does the group encourage independent thinking and the development of
    discernment skills?”

    Authoritarian leaders discourage and punish independent thinking and discernment by members. These abusive leaders require conformity from members.
    4. “Does the group allow for individual differences of belief and behavior, particularly on issues of secondary importance?”
    Authoritarian churches are legalistic and require that members stay within
    “prescribed boundaries”. There is a rigidity in these groups that traps people and puts them in spiritual bondage. These groups also emphasize beliefs that “do not receive great attention in mainstream evangelism.”

    5. “Does the group encourage high moral standards both among members and between members and non-members?”
    In legalistic groups there is usual an emphasis on high moral standards and official proclamations of such. It is common, however, that there is a double-standard among the leaders and the people in the pews. Abusive churches tend to have more sexual misconduct than conventional churches. And “leaders sometimes exhibit an unhealthy interest in sexuality (p.29).”
    6. “Does the group’s leadership invite dialogue, advice, and evaluation from outside its immediate circle?”
    Authoritarian religious leaders are usually threatened by others’ opinions expressed within the group or from outsiders, exhibit attitudes of spiritual superiority, are independent and do not like accountability structures, and choose ‘yes-men’ who won’t question them.
    7. “Does the group allow for the development in theological beliefs?”
    Authoritarian church leaders are usually intolerant to any beliefs not like their own. They usually denounce other Christian groups and have an ‘us vs. them’ mentality.
    8. “Are group members encouraged to ask hard questions?”
    Unhealthy, abusive churches don’t permit questions. Healthy church leaders permit and encourage questions, including hard questions. In unhealthy groups, disagreeing with church leaders is considered to be disagreeing and disobeying God. People who ask questions in these systems “labeled as rebellious, unteachable, or disharmonious to the body of Christ. Persistent questioners face sanctions of some kind such as being publicly ridiculed, shunned, shamed, humiliated, or disfellowshiped (p. 30).
    9. “Do members appreciate the truth wherever it is found, even if it is outside their group?”
    Abusive churches view themselves as superior to other Christian churches and groups. “The only way to succeed in an abusive organization is to go along with the agenda, support the leadership, ignore or remove troublemakers, and scorn detractors and other outside critics who seek to ‘attack’ the ministry.”
    10. “Is the group honest in dealing with nonmembers, especially as it tries to win them to the group?”
    Abusive churches are known for having ‘split-level religion’ (p. 31) where a public image is presented to outsiders and another to the ‘inner circle of membership’. A healthy church reveals who they are and their intentions.
    11. “Does the group foster relationships and connections with the larger society that are more than self-serving?”
    It can be difficult to discern an abusive church. Contact, over time, however will reveal abusive, unhealthy characteristics in the points above that LaVonne Neff made. Abusive church leaders demand “obedience” and “submission”, keep members busy with church activities, and foster dependence on their unhealthy church.

  246. Velour wrote:

    I think a lot of people, myself included, simply want to go to a nice church, know other people, hear the Word of God, and grow as Christians. And I wanted to serve. My intentions were well-meaning.

    Yes, your intentions were noble. God knows that. “Ministers” who don’t provide an environment for those things to take place will have hell to pay on pay day someday.

  247. Sam wrote:

    Their pastor’s “God-given” authority I might add. Remember to question the pastor is to question God and that is why they have been harshly punished for their “rebellion”.

    “If you question anything *I* do
    YOU REBEL AGAINST THE FATHER, TOO!”
    — Steve Taylor, “I Manipulate”

  248. ishy wrote:

    I read a fantasy book whose main character believed, much like the character in 50 Shades, that he had to dominate women and own them, and there was no other choice. Looking back, I wonder how I ever finished that book, because the character went on and on about it. BTW, I met that fantasy author, and he was a total jerk to all the women present. So I think he really did believe it.

    Sounds like his fantasy novel was written with one hand, if you know what I mean.

    Total Wish Fulfillment on the order of Twilight, 50 Shades (which originated as Twilight fanfic), and all the Rough Sex/Rape Fantasy scenes in Ayn Rand.

  249. ishy wrote:

    Even if a cop friend told them to destroy the evidence, any adult with any amount of sense would know that destroying evidence is wrong. I don’t buy the “cops told us to destroy the evidence” line at all.

    Another variant on The Geraldine Defense, that’s all.

  250. Concerned wrote:

    Heather continued to minimize her husbands actions and actually blamed others for their issues and for being so hard on him. She made excuses for his behavior and refused to leave until his actions recently came out in the media.

    She’s married to The CELEBRITY; he’s her meal ticket to Lifestyles of the Rich and FAMOUS(TM).

  251. Max wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I think a lot of people, myself included, simply want to go to a nice church, know other people, hear the Word of God, and grow as Christians. And I wanted to serve. My intentions were well-meaning.
    Yes, your intentions were noble. God knows that. “Ministers” who don’t provide an environment for those things to take place will have hell to pay on pay day someday.

    Indeed.

  252. Nancy2 wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Negligent hiring.
    Negligent retention.
    Negligent supervision
    Criminally Intentional negligence.

    Ahh yes. Foreseeability. They hire a high risk guy like him and then are scratching their heads saying that they have no clue had it could all go wrong.

    And as the courts say in jury instructions, “Would a ‘reasonable’ person forsee a problem?”

  253. Friend wrote:

    Maybe sometimes the church that hires a molester has been duped.

    Can’t a Church request the basic clearance reports from the police that are used by public school systems to screen employees and bus drivers????

    If they do this uniformally, as a stated procedure for hiring, there is no stigma at all to being investigated or researched for info about arrests, convictions, incarcerations. WHAT’S THE PROBLEM????

    Churches KNOW that danger is out there. Of course, a predator may not have a record, but for the love of Christ, why not CHECK to make SURE that an individual is not on a predator list?????

    Is it ‘ego’? ‘We can cure him/her’ ???
    Or is it usually a ‘buddy system’ among good ole boyz where a paedophile is ‘excused’ ’cause ‘he’s my buddy’ and ‘he says it won’t happen again’???

    Good grief. So much suffering because STUPID and CARE-LESS.

    The ONLY way to combat this nightmare is to involve the police, to sue, and to publicize the crazy to the max. As for the ‘innocent’ ‘duped’ Churches, education and information will help, unless there is ‘denial’ (but that this is possible THESE days, I don’t believe CAN be true anymore, not anymore)

  254. Is it time to legally hold Church ‘authorities’ accountable for reasonable failure to check new employees’ backgrounds?

    And as for the ‘buddy system’ with predators coming in under the auspices of ‘leadership’, time to throw Church authorities responsible for the tragedy that ensues into the pokey.

    Enough. No excuses. My own Church included. ENOUGH.

  255. I was out at the House of Driscoll today, after a weekend off to go to the East Coast for a vacation. Here are the numbers:

    9 am service – 100 cars. (Compare to 162 cars on 8/7/16.)
    10:45 am service – 133 cars. (Compare to 170 cars on 8/7/16.)

    Driscoll’s attendance is off 30 percent from his highs on opening day three weeks ago.

    For the first time, I had a staff member wearing a The Trinity Church lanyard approach me in a friendly manner. Driscoll has met 23 Sundays, I’ve been out there 20 of them, and this is the first Sunday this has happened. I appreciate you, unnamed (for his own protection) dude.

    I also had an attendee drive up on the parking lot side, roll down her car window and shout, “You’re weird!” I couldn’t stop laughing. I mean, I know I’m weird. Everyone knows I’m weird. One of my managers says I’m as weird as a bag of hair. I might have been offended if you’d told me I was normal!

  256. Christiane wrote:

    Is it time to legally hold Church ‘authorities’ accountable for reasonable failure to check new employees’ backgrounds?
    And as for the ‘buddy system’ with predators coming in under the auspices of ‘leadership’, time to throw Church authorities responsible for the tragedy that ensues into the pokey.
    Enough. No excuses. My own Church included. ENOUGH.

    The legal problem is that churches aren’t controlled by laws, like say schools are controlled. No one has to make them vet their employees a certain way. Churches and religious organizations are exempt from many anti-discrimination laws that get non-religious employers sued (age, illness like cancer, pregnancy, color, etc.).

    Sadly in the case of this church and others like it, after it blows up, that when damage is done to people (children and adults) that when litigation starts that a victim/plaintiff has standing to sue and attorneys will make these claims…negligent hiring, negligent retention, negligent supervision.

    Former employers of a predator can be sued if they didn’t disclose problems and hid them, deceiving a new employer.

    This church, however, already knew his history. And if they get sued…that will absolutely be against them. It was forseeable that he was a problem.

  257. @ mirele:

    Thanks, Mirele, for another fine report at the Hou$e of Dri$coll.

    Good for you for being you, no matter what anybody says. You rock!

    The lady who rolled down her window…does she even know what was done to the Petrys in Seattle? Paul Petry (an elder, pastor, and Ivy League educated attorney) was fired and excommunicated for opposing Mark Driscoll’s un-Biblical consolidation of power.
    He walked home in the rain.

    Paul Petry, his wife Jonna, and their children were shunned. Jonna’s father, who came to church with them, got very ill and died. He was a heartbroken man over what Mark Driscoll and his other elders did to the Petry family.

    https://joyfulexiles.com/

    Mark Driscoll has NEVER made amends for the damage he did to the Petrys and many others.
    Other pastors/elders from Mars Hill did come to their senses, a little too late in my opinion since Mars Hill was shutting down.
    http://repentantpastor.com/

  258. siteseer wrote:

    . The watchmen have been silenced in the churches, shamed for speaking the truth, called divisive, made unwelcome, keyed out. They watch the disaster from the outside, broken hearted

    And they pray.

  259. Christiane wrote:

    Can’t a Church request the basic clearance reports from the police that are used by public school systems to screen employees and bus drivers????

    This only catches the people who have been convicted though.

    I think I said this at Davids place – if the church is merely going to cover things up and persuade victims not to report, you are not going to fix it this way. That’s why reporting to the police is so important, it can help others.

    But again, downtown knew. So ignorance is not a defense for them.

  260. Lydia wrote:

    One thing I learned the hard way was to stop trying to bring reason to decisions made by a small powerful group of men who are insulated.

    Good point. They are in such a bubble that I sometimes wonder if they are clueless about things like this.

  261. Lydia wrote:

    One thing I learned the hard way was to stop trying to bring reason to decisions made by a small powerful group of men who are insulated.

    Good point.

  262. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    As I continue to think about this disgusting situation, I am struck by how premeditated this perversion is. Getting a camera, going to the trouble of setting it up so that it is not seen (he obviously screwed up since it has been discovered, twice at least). Further, he probably retrieved it multiple times, or if he “streamed it”, it was accessed many, many times. Our laws makes BIG differences between crimes that are premeditated vs those that are emotionally driven. This pervs actions are clearly premeditated…. You do not “accedentily lose it” and set up a camera!, or do it in the “heat of uncontrolled emotions!

    As the old saying goes, for every rat you discover there are at least 8 or so that you don’t find. Thus for Trotter I wonder what else and where else he was doing this video taping where he wasn’t discovered. I have a real hard time believing it was just these two instances.

    Someone who has been shown to have this proclivity or actually known addiction shouldn’t be placed in situations where it is too easy to do these type of actions or even where the person is in an elevated position of trust like a church leader.

  263. Lea wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    Can’t a Church request the basic clearance reports from the police that are used by public school systems to screen employees and bus drivers????

    Proper ways of vetting people who work with children including doing LifeScan finger prints and running criminal checks through the F.B.I. and the state’s Department of Justice.

    Police reports may be available under a state’s Sunshine Laws (like we saw the media get in the Josh Duggar case).

    But in this case the former church did know why this man was terminated. They had a legal responsibility to report that to potential employers and they could be sued if they didn’t. Knowing that serious information the new church chose to hire him any way.

    This only catches the people who have been convicted though.

    That’s just one component in a proper employee pre-hire check. You can still find out if they had problems at a former job.

    I think I said this at Davids place – if the church is merely going to cover things up and persuade victims not to report, you are not going to fix it this way. That’s why reporting to the police is so important, it can help others.
    But again, downtown knew. So ignorance is not a defense for them.

    Here is the link below for all of the states’ mandated child abuse reporting laws.
    If the church officials dissuaded victims from reporting to police, that is Obstruction of Justice and a crime, along with other crimes. I really hope in the years to come our society changes and we will start seeing arrests, prosecutions, and convictions for this very thing.

    https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/state/

  264. Velour wrote:

    Here is the link below for all of the states’ mandated child abuse reporting laws.
    If the church officials dissuaded victims from reporting to police

    That only works if we were dealing with children – which in this case some reports say yes some no.

    Velour wrote:

    You can still find out if they had problems at a former job.

    Yes, and in this case THEY KNEW. I can’t get over how reckless it was to make this man staff with his history.

  265. mirele wrote:

    I also had an attendee drive up on the parking lot side, roll down her car window and shout, “You’re weird!

    That’s what passes for “Christian” behavior in that church. So, I’d guess they’d call Driscoll’s past behavior “saintly.”

  266. Concerned wrote:

    I was told by more than one staffer that Bill Garner, Hamp Holcomb and Bryan Lorrits made sure the recordings were destroyed.

    I’ve met Hamp Holcomb. Bill Garner was my Sunday School teacher at a different church.

  267. mirele wrote:

    “You’re weird!”

    Weird? Weird?!! That’s a strange word for a Driscollite to toss at another. To follow Driscoll is about as weird as you can get.

  268. Lea wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Here is the link below for all of the states’ mandated child abuse reporting laws.
    If the church officials dissuaded victims from reporting to police
    That only works if we were dealing with children – which in this case some reports say yes some no.
    Velour wrote:
    You can still find out if they had problems at a former job.
    Yes, and in this case THEY KNEW. I can’t get over how reckless it was to make this man staff with his history.

    They are mandated to report child abuse and other crimes. Is the church insured or are they self-insured?

    If they are insured by say Church Mutual, the largest insurer of churches in the nation,
    than their contract normally requires reporting of criminal acts to law enforcement.
    It’s a violation of most insurance contracts NOT to report crimes.

    Dissuading victims, including adults, from contacting law enforcement is
    Obstruction of Justice, a crime. Destroying evidence is Accessory After The Fact
    and also O.O.J. It can also be Intimidating a Witness. Criminal Conspiracy.

    I’m in California so here is Shouse Law, a Los Angeles area criminal defense firm
    that does a good job of explaining in the video Accessory After the Fact.
    http://www.shouselaw.com/accessory-after-fact.html

    Other states will have similar laws.

  269. @ Velour:

    Interesting link, but not all states have the same law as California. Even California requires it to be ‘malicious’. I bet most churches could church it up enough to beat that. I am having trouble finding a law in Tennessee that would correspond to the California law, apart from witness tampering, which is sort of different. Maybe a lawyer can step in and make sense of it.

    Destroying evidence is another matter. I would like to hear more about that.

  270. Christiane wrote:

    Friend wrote:

    Maybe sometimes the church that hires a molester has been duped.

    Christiane wrote:

    Can’t a Church request the basic clearance reports from the police that are used by public school systems to screen employees and bus drivers????
    Churches KNOW that danger is out there. Of course, a predator may not have a record, but for the love of Christ, why not CHECK to make SURE that an individual is not on a predator list?????

    As for the ‘innocent’ ‘duped’ Churches, education and information will help, unless there is ‘denial’ (but that this is possible THESE days, I don’t believe CAN be true anymore, not anymore)

    Yes, of course they should do thorough background checks, especially as some repeat offenders are known. A background check might also turn up folks who have not yet been identified as offenders, and it would certainly deter some bad folks from targeting churches.

    There are organizations that do background checks specifically for churches. Some of these organizations also evaluate facility safety (for icy sidewalks, etc.), do staff training, etc.

    Too many churches are allergic to outside scrutiny.

  271. Lea wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Interesting link, but not all states have the same law as California. Even California requires it to be ‘malicious’. I bet most churches could church it up enough to beat that. I am having trouble finding a law in Tennessee that would correspond to the California law, apart from witness tampering, which is sort of different. Maybe a lawyer can step in and make sense of it.
    Destroying evidence is another matter. I would like to hear more about that.

    Correct, not all states have laws like my state (California) which is why I noted that other states have “similar laws”.

    You can ask attorneys free questions on the website Avvo.com They will answer from the TN jurisdiction and from across the nation.

    Justia website also has information on applicable TN laws.
    http://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2010/title-39/chapter-16/part-5/39-16-503

    I also look up criminal jury instructions for further laws and case laws (appellate court decisions that are binding on the lower courts).

  272. 14 Penal Code 135 PC – Destroying evidence. (“Every person who, knowing that any book, paper, record, instrument in writing, or other matter or thing, is about to be produced in evidence upon any trial, inquiry, or investigation whatever, authorized by law, willfully destroys or conceals the same, with intent thereby to prevent it from being produced, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”) (emphasis added) – Shouse Law on CA law (other states may have similar laws)

  273. What about the victims?! An article in the Memphis Commercial Appeal describes treatment by church leaders of abuser vs. victim that is commonly reported on TWW:

    “Leaders of both congregations seemed to go the extra mile to help their fellow staff member, to forgive his trespasses and protect their institutions. Their first priority should have been to help and protect the most vulnerable among them, the women who were trespassed against.”

    http://www.commercialappeal.com/columnists/david-waters/churches-tried-to-help-trotter-what-about-victims-39e12e1e-e896-3e90-e053-0100007fb5a2-390077061.html

  274. Christiane wrote:

    Of course, a predator may not have a record, but for the love of Christ, why not CHECK to make SURE that an individual is not on a predator list?????

    Yes, churches must do background checks. Even then, only a small percentage of offenders will ever encounter the criminal justice system. I’ve shared this video before. It deals mostly with weeding out potential child molesters, but you get the idea of how much effort should be involved to create a safer church environment. iMO, it was negligent to hire Trotter knowing his past history.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z_UUNSskzU&sns=em

  275. @ BeenThereDoneThat:
    BTW, the lawyer in the above video mentions that the Catholic Church has raised its fences since the scandals broke. In fact, my brother and SIL, who are very involved in Boy Scouts, were required to attend an abuse prevention class held at a local Catholic church.

    Where do you suppose the problems are cropping up now? Yet, the evangelical church continues to stick it’s head in the sand.

  276. Friend wrote:

    Too many churches are allergic to outside scrutiny

    All of these crimes of perversion that the DEEBS have blogged about that have been done in churches and covered up by church leaders ……..
    If those same crimes were committed by strangers in the bathrooms and dressing rooms at the schools (even colleges) children of the church leaders attend, and their children were victims……
    If those same crimes were committed by strangers at their wives places of employment, or even in the customer bathrooms and dressing rooms at Walmart and their wives and children were victims……….
    I’m suspect that these same church leaders would be doing everything they could to have the criminals prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But, when it happens in their little fiefdoms, nope. No big deal. We’ll take care of it “in house”. Move along.

  277. Max wrote:

    “Leaders of both congregations seemed to go the extra mile to help their fellow staff member, to forgive his trespasses and protect their institutions. Their first priority should have been to help and protect the most vulnerable among them, the women who were trespassed against.”

    How much of this mentality, do you think, comes from this idea that church members and staff are separate, that pastors shouldn’t be interacting with their members as friends, etc…that seems to be coming out of pastor land these days?

    IF they thought of their members as real people, equals, and of course if they thought of women as real people, equals, they would treat them equally in such an occasion.

    But then, a commenter seemed to indicate that it was a staff bathroom that was filmed. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but was it simply visitors who were filmed at fellowship or staff? Maybe that’s why he was fired outright there, and then image management is why they didn’t want to report?

    I have so many questions on this.

  278. Nancy2 wrote:

    Friend wrote:
    Too many churches are allergic to outside scrutiny
    All of these crimes of perversion that the DEEBS have blogged about that have been done in churches and covered up by church leaders ……..
    If those same crimes were committed by strangers in the bathrooms and dressing rooms at the schools (even colleges) children of the church leaders attend, and their children were victims……
    If those same crimes were committed by strangers at their wives places of employment, or even in the customer bathrooms and dressing rooms at Walmart and their wives and children were victims……….
    I’m suspect that these same church leaders would be doing everything they could to have the criminals prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But, when it happens in their little fiefdoms, nope. No big deal. We’ll take care of it “in house”. Move along.

    And boycotting. These same Christians would boycott Target or any other business, be on the internet, social media, signing petitions. Outcry.

    It’s time to boycott churches that do this and don’t give them your money. Your time.
    Your volunteering. A warm body in a seat. No. Unless they’ve earned it they don’t deserve it.

  279. I just checked out the website for Crawford Loritts’ church. If anyone is interested in supporting his ministry, this church takes donations in stocks!

  280. Velour wrote:

    And boycotting. These same Christians would boycott Target or any other business, be on the internet, social media, signing petitions. Outcry.

    Yup.
    Golly gee! How many thousands of reports of voyeurism have we heard about at Target??! Criminal sins of perversion run rampant in Target bathrooms! Right?

  281. Nancy2 wrote:

    But, when it happens in their little fiefdoms, nope. No big deal. We’ll take care of it “in house”. Move along.

    The patience of the courts with regard to Protestant sex-crimes is wearing thin.

  282. Lea wrote:

    IF they thought of their members as real people, equals, and of course if they thought of women as real people, equals, they would treat them equally in such an occasion.

    This is where New Calvinism, particularly in SBC ranks, departs from historical Baptist doctrine regarding the “priesthood of the believer.” Southern Baptists have long held, until New Calvinism came along, that all believers from pulpit to pew have equal standing as priests before God. Whose job is the ministry? Every believer has a part! New Calvinism is separating churches into “us” vs. “them”, in which patriarchal church leaders are elevated above other Christians … an unBiblical stand that is wrong and oppressive.

  283. Nancy2 wrote:

    I just checked out the website for Crawford Loritts’ church. If anyone is interested in supporting his ministry, this church takes donations in stocks!

    Wow, just wow. I just had to work through a possible stock donation for the non-profit I do volunteer work at, and it’s not exactly an easy thing. (Thankfully, the donor just cut us a check, so we didn’t have to go through the hassle of converting the stock into lovely, usable US Dollars.)

  284. Max wrote:

    “Leaders of both congregations seemed to go the extra mile to help their fellow staff member, to forgive his trespasses and protect their institutions. Their first priority should have been to help and protect the most vulnerable among them, the women who were trespassed against.”

    These five Staff Members said one to another:
    “Staff Member unto Staff Member o’er the world is Brother”…
    — Paraphrase/Filk of Chesterton’s “Ballad of the Battle of Gibeon”

  285. Christiane wrote:

    Is it ‘ego’? ‘We can cure him/her’ ???
    Or is it usually a ‘buddy system’ among good ole boyz where a paedophile is ‘excused’ ’cause ‘he’s my buddy’ and ‘he says it won’t happen again’???

    Remember the Jerk with the Kirk In Moscow, Idaho and his Pet Pedo?

  286. Velour wrote:

    Ahh yes. Foreseeability. They hire a high risk guy like him and then are scratching their heads saying that they have no clue had it could all go wrong.

    “What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” followed by “But How Were We To Know?”

    Where have we seen this one before?

  287. I read about Rick Trotter here and have just read in the news that former congressman Anthony Weiner was caught sexting again, showing his crotch. In both cases these men get caught and go right back to their hobby/addiction. A few years ago, a Grand Rapids pastor/theology professor was caught one night on a ladder looking into the window of a female student, and the next night, the student and her boyfriend were waiting for him, and what do you know, he came back again, climbed the ladder and was caught red handed. Is there someone out there who’s a therapist or some sort of specialist who could explain this? And is the problem getting worse? I’m a historian and I know there were a lot of sex crimes among the Puritans—and long before and after. So what’s going on?

  288. Lydia wrote:

    One thing I learned the hard way was to stop trying to bring reason to decisions made by a small powerful group of men who are insulated.

    It appears the hard way may be the only way. I have a few associates also dealing with authoritarian church leaders and they believe they must give it a try. These people care deeply and are unable to pack up and walk away without trying their best to change things. I’ve put the bug in their ear to cast the dust off but if I were to push harder it would be counter productive.

    Unfortunately most everyone does not have authoritarian structures on their radar when picking a church. When they finally diagnose the problem they or their family have many relationships that are painful to leave behind. It is a vicious repetitive cycle of taking wonderful people, grinding them up, and spitting them out.

  289. Ruth Tucker wrote:

    I’m a historian and I know there were a lot of sex crimes among the Puritans—and long before and after.

    Really?? I might have to dig into this one because I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything about this topic. Not doubting, mind you, just interested. That does make sense.

    Ruth Tucker wrote:

    And is the problem getting worse?

    It’s probably the easiest time in history to commit some of the voyeuristic crimes. I imagine they’re coming out of the woodworks.

  290. Ruth Tucker wrote:

    I read about Rick Trotter here and have just read in the news that former congressman Anthony Weiner was caught sexting again, showing his crotch. In both cases these men get caught and go right back to their hobby/addiction. A few years ago, a Grand Rapids pastor/theology professor was caught one night on a ladder looking into the window of a female student, and the next night, the student and her boyfriend were waiting for him, and what do you know, he came back again, climbed the ladder and was caught red handed. Is there someone out there who’s a therapist or some sort of specialist who could explain this? And is the problem getting worse? I’m a historian and I know there were a lot of sex crimes among the Puritans—and long before and after. So what’s going on?

    An ancient wisdom tells us, this:
    “12 … our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (from Ephesians 6)

    and the Ancient of Days advises us to pray, this:
    ‘deliver us from evil’

    There is only one ‘enemy’, and there certainly are many whose lives provide testimony to his existence.
    May God have mercy on us all and protect us from the evil one.

  291. Ruth Tucker wrote:

    Puritans

    So now I’m looking this stuff up and this is certainly familiar:

    For crimes of rape: “Fines and public whippings were employed more frequently for both parties involved.”

    Also: “Men’s and women’s sexual transgressions were usually equally punished, but the Puritans emphasized the woman’s offense more than the man’s offense. A man’s offense was just considered a violation of his marriage, while a woman’s offense was considered a violation of her marriage and an offense against the community. Women were blamed more for illegal sexual activity because they were considered to be ruled by their emotions, while men were considered to be governed by reason.”

  292. Ruth Tucker wrote:

    So what’s going on?

    The enemy is coming in like a flood and the church is not lifting up a standard against him. According to Scripture (Isaiah 59:19), the Spirit of the Lord is supposed to step into the gap and lift up that standard, but it’s becomingly increasingly obvious that the Holy Spirit has been relegated to the back pew in many churches. Coupled with that is a widespread outbreak of prayerlessness among God’s people, who ain’t scaring the devil much when they get up in the morning. So, the enemy slips into church undetected and does his thing. Flesh is ruling in too many places, not Spirit.

  293. Max wrote:

    Weiner is just being a weiner again. He has a sickness.

    “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly” (Proverbs 26:11).

  294. Max wrote:

    Just heard that on our local news. Weiner is just being a weiner again. He has a sickness.

    Probably an incurable sickness.

  295. mirele wrote:

    I also had an attendee drive up on the parking lot side, roll down her car window and shout, “You’re weird!” I couldn’t stop laughing. I mean, I know I’m weird. Everyone knows I’m weird. One of my managers says I’m as weird as a bag of hair. I might have been offended if you’d told me I was normal!

    I am really weird too. Join the party. I would note that anyone who actually acts like Jesus is going to stick out like a sore thumb in our culture. Glad you have not gotten tired of my old neighborhood.

  296. Max wrote:

    Max wrote:
    Weiner is just being a weiner again. He has a sickness.
    “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly” (Proverbs 26:11).

    I thought of this verse all weekend long as these bizarre stories keep being reported.

  297. Nancy2 wrote:

    Max wrote:

    Just heard that on our local news. Weiner is just being a weiner again. He has a sickness.

    Probably an incurable sickness.

    Huma Abedin has separated from him. Probably best now that they have a young child. He certainly knew he would get caught again, but it didn’t matter to him I suppose. Now he may have lost his family. He was a ‘joke’ back when, but with a wife and a child, the joke isn’t very funny anymore. He has a sickness, yes. God forgive me for laughing with my husband when I first heard this news this morning …. after thinking about it, I see nothing amusing in it because of what it means for his family, his child. I hope he gets help.

  298. Nancy2 wrote:

    this church takes donations in stocks!

    That’s been the case at many churches where we have been members. A seminary which shall not be named has one person specifically assigned to solicit and administer donations of assets which have appreciated. Charitable trusts and the like are a thing due to tax laws which encourage them. Whether or not that is a good policy is another topic… 🙂

  299. @ Bill M:
    Yeah. They don’t necessarily look or act authoritarian when you are checking them out. There are tell tell signs but one needs to have some experience.

  300. Steve240 wrote:

    As the old saying goes, for every rat you discover there are at least 8 or so that you don’t find. Thus for Trotter I wonder what else and where else he was doing this video taping where he wasn’t discovered. I have a real hard time believing it was just these two instances.

    It has been said that he was recording in the bathroom at his own home, as well. I thought I had read something about him recording at the Chick-Fil-A he formerly managed but I can’t find that now.

  301. ION:

    Off-topic (and perhaps out-of-universe) but I have a major week and a half of work coming up. So I’ll be out of the virtual town until mid-September. Coincidentally, you may find that God comments less often that He usually does.

    I’m sure you’ll all manage.

    IHTIH

  302. Ruth Tucker wrote:

    Anthony Weiner was caught sexting again, showing his crotch. In both cases these men get caught and go right back to their hobby/addiction.

    When you think of the humiliation each suffered publicly and the fact that neither seems to have been affected by that… it goes to show how deep these compulsions run.

    I’m no expert but it seems like peoples’ sexuality is a part of personality itself (formed in the first years of life), and I doubt it is really amenable to change. A person may learn to control their behavior but that does not mean they lose urges. People who have compulsions that harm other people must not be put into positions where they have access to people they can abuse. Of course, they are driven to seek out those positions and are usually good at covering up their motives. The church is pretty much their ideal place.

  303. Ruth Tucker wrote:

    I’m a historian and I know there were a lot of sex crimes among the Puritans—and long before and after. So what’s going on?

    It would be interesting to hear more of your perspective on this!

  304. Muff Potter wrote:

    The patience of the courts with regard to Protestant sex-crimes is wearing thin.

    I sure hope so, Muff, but the authorities are loathe to do anything that can be made to appear as infringing on the practice of religion.

  305. Mae wrote:

    In one hand we have women being accused of,”fornication”, if they teach/lead the men.
    In the other hand we have male pervert, being coddled and protected, by male leadership. What a whacky, sick environment the neo calls have set up as an example of church life.

    What an excellent summary of the double standard at work in these situations, especially among the hyper-comp/Neo Cal crowd.

  306. I’m a historian and I know there were a lot of sex crimes among the Puritans—and long before and after. So what’s going on?

    It would be interesting to hear more of your perspective on this!

    We know about the charges of voyeurism, adultery, beastiality, etc., because the Puritans had such severe punishments, and they were recorded in Selectmen’s minutes and elsewhere. For example a teenage boy was charged with beastiality, a capital crime, and was put to death.

  307. Burwell wrote:

    Mae wrote:

    In one hand we have women being accused of,”fornication”, if they teach/lead the men.
    In the other hand we have male pervert, being coddled and protected, by male leadership. What a whacky, sick environment the neo calls have set up as an example of church life.

    What an excellent summary of the double standard at work in these situations, especially among the hyper-comp/Neo Cal crowd.

    If they can’t see from this contrast that they are in terrible trouble, we can add ‘living in an alternate reality’ to an analysis of what makes neo-Cals tick.

  308. Max wrote:

    Max wrote:

    Weiner is just being a weiner again. He has a sickness.

    “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly” (Proverbs 26:11).

    “The dog returns to its vomit,
    The sow returns to her mire,
    And the burnt fool’s bandaged finger
    Wobbles back into the fire…”
    — Rudyard Kipling, “Gods of the Copybook Headings”

  309. Max wrote:

    Ruth Tucker wrote:

    Anthony Weiner was caught sexting again

    Just heard that on our local news. Weiner is just being a weiner again. He has a sickness.

    And a highly-appropriate name.

  310. Ruth Tucker wrote:

    We know about the charges of voyeurism, adultery, beastiality, etc., because the Puritans had such severe punishments, and they were recorded in Selectmen’s minutes and elsewhere. For example a teenage boy was charged with beastiality, a capital crime, and was put to death.

    Wow. Well I guess that their strict laws and punishments did not prevent people from developing these issues. That’s something we could learn from today.

  311. Nancy2 wrote:

    this church takes donations in stocks!

    I can think of a few church “leaders” who belong in the stocks, or pillory…

  312. siteseer wrote:

    Ruth Tucker wrote:
    We know about the charges of voyeurism, adultery, beastiality, etc., because the Puritans had such severe punishments, and they were recorded in Selectmen’s minutes and elsewhere. For example a teenage boy was charged with beastiality, a capital crime, and was put to death.
    Wow. Well I guess that their strict laws and punishments did not prevent people from developing these issues. That’s something we could learn from today.

    It seems like high-control groups always have problems with sexual abuse.

    For further study check Steve Hassan’s web page and books (psychologist, cult expert, author, former cult member). He was inspired by the psychiatrist who studied Thought Reform, Dr. Robert Jay Lifton.

    * Recovering from Churches That Abuse, by Dr. Ronald Enroth – FREE online version
    http://www.reveal.org/development/Recovering_from_Churches_that_Abuse.pdf

    He covers the sexual abuse issue starting at page 13.

    * https://www.freedomofmind.com/ – Steve Hassan’s website with videos

    * http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/transcript_lifton.html

    * https://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/the-hunger-games-trilogy-5a/

  313. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    ION:
    Off-topic (and perhaps out-of-universe) but I have a major week and a half of work coming up. So I’ll be out of the virtual town until mid-September. Coincidentally, you may find that God comments less often that He usually does.
    I’m sure you’ll all manage.
    IHTIH

    Next time, Nick, give us months in advance to plan our trip to Scotland. Will you leave us a key under the front doormat, or will it be with a neighbor?

    We’re a trust worthy bunch. You can tell that from just looking at us, right?

  314. Nick,

    Is your work local or will you be gone? I’ve always wanted to house sit in Scotland!
    I’m sure other Wartburgers feel the same.

  315. @ Ruth Tucker:
    I second siteseer’s interest in your Puritan history. I have read a brief overview of Colonial church history as part of a history of Calvinism.

  316. @ Lydia:
    found on Twitter:
    ” “Anthony Weiner is proof that the Clintons don’t actually have people murdered.”

  317. Max wrote:

    @ Nick Bulbeck:
    I’ve been to Ed-in-burg a few times. Great country!

    A revelation from God is at the top of the page under the Interesting tab/the Cooking tab.
    It’s a Yorkshire Pudding recipe from Scotland. I don’t know if it’s God’s recipe or Nick’s. Although God being God, I’ll give the credit to him as it’s like mana from heaven. Have with a pot roast and gravy. Cookied veggies, etc.

  318. Velour wrote:

    It seems like high-control groups always have problems with sexual abuse.

    Maybe the sexual abuse is a twisted way of proving/celebrating the fact that they have control?

  319. Short off topic prayer request. Please pray for Julie Anne over at Spiritual Sounding Board as she has a surgery/medical procedure today.

  320. Nancy2 wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    It seems like high-control groups always have problems with sexual abuse.
    Maybe the sexual abuse is a twisted way of proving/celebrating the fact that they have control?

    Maybe.

    It could be that there are several types of predators in these high-control groups.
    *Predators without boundaries who started these groups for ulterior motives.
    *Those who emulated the bad behaviors in the high-control group.
    *Those who were raised that this was their ‘right’ to abuse others…and ‘took it’.
    *Any other category that I’ve missed?

  321. Nancy2 wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    It seems like high-control groups always have problems with sexual abuse.

    Maybe the sexual abuse is a twisted way of proving/celebrating the fact that they have control?

    Animal Forced Dominance Display.

    Alpha Male/Herd Boss/Paterfamilias has absolute sexual rights over all the Herd.

  322. siteseer wrote:

    Ruth Tucker wrote:

    We know about the charges of voyeurism, adultery, beastiality, etc., because the Puritans had such severe punishments, and they were recorded in Selectmen’s minutes and elsewhere. For example a teenage boy was charged with beastiality, a capital crime, and was put to death.

    Wow. Well I guess that their strict laws and punishments did not prevent people from developing these issues. That’s something we could learn from today.

    But remember the standard solution from those in Power:

    DOUBLE DOWN AND SCREAM LOUDER!
    More Laws, More Strict Laws, More “Creative” and Sadistic Punishments.
    PUNISH! PUNISH! PUNISH! PUNISH! PUNISH!
    And this holds for Lords Secular as well as Spiritual.

  323. siteseer wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:

    The patience of the courts with regard to Protestant sex-crimes is wearing thin.

    I sure hope so, Muff, but the authorities are loathe to do anything that can be made to appear as infringing on the practice of religion.

    The last time some Congressman from the Bible Belt tried to investigate crooked televangelists, he got forced to stop by the uproar of constituents who sign over their Social Security checks to their favorite ManaGAWD.

  324. siteseer wrote:

    It has been said that he was recording in the bathroom at his own home, as well. I thought I had read something about him recording at the Chick-Fil-A he formerly managed but I can’t find that now.

    I remember a LOT of Chick-Fil-A jokes from the old “Stuff Fundies Like” blog.

    Most centering around Chick-Fil-A being the only career path other than Pastor open to graduates of Fundy U.

  325. Lydia wrote:

    @ Ruth Tucker:
    It seems to have also become more brazen. Stupidly so.

    “You can’t stop me now!
    I’m Stronger!
    Stronger than your law!”
    — Al Stewart, “The Last Day of June, 1934”

  326. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    They are actually a great employer for serious HS students in working around their school activity schedules like debate club travels, etc. I would eat there before I would some of the other no so serious teen prepared foods at the taco franchise. No way.

  327. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Most centering around Chick-Fil-A being the only career path other than Pastor open to graduates of Fundy U.

    Can’t be. People who work at chick-fil-a tend to actually be nice.

  328. So Bryan Loritts was pastor of Trinity Grace Fellowship church in NYC for a little while. I checked out the TGF website. They offer classes on marriage. The books they recommend include John Piper’s “this Momentary Marriage” and Tim and Kathy Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage”.

  329. Lea wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Most centering around Chick-Fil-A being the only career path other than Pastor open to graduates of Fundy U.
    Can’t be. People who work at chick-fil-a tend to actually be nice.

    True.

    There’s a fair number of pastors I’ve met who also have worked as janitors and in insurance sales.

  330. Nancy2 wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    It seems like high-control groups always have problems with sexual abuse.

    Maybe the sexual abuse is a twisted way of proving/celebrating the fact that they have control?

    Wise observation. ‘Shaming’ and ‘Control’ in one act. Then, the intimidation of victims and cover-up attempts to shield the perpetrator by ‘friendly leadership’ …. it fits the concept of ‘rape’ as a crime more about power and control than ‘sex’. It would be seen as a ‘win-win’ by such leadership, if they were that sick. And apparently something about unquestioned ‘authority’ fosters a rich soil for opportunities to abuse, with all its trappings of a ‘buddy system’ between Church leadership and predator.

    Very wise observation.

  331. Christiane wrote:

    Churches KNOW that danger is out there. Of course, a predator may not have a record, but for the love of Christ, why not CHECK to make SURE that an individual is not on a predator list?????

    But if his first church covered it up, he would not be on any official kind of predator list, to my understanding.

    But yes, your idea sounds like a reasonable one, for any reasonable church to implement.

  332. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    Velour wrote:
    It seems like high-control groups always have problems with sexual abuse.
    Maybe the sexual abuse is a twisted way of proving/celebrating the fact that they have control?
    Animal Forced Dominance Display.
    Alpha Male/Herd Boss/Paterfamilias has absolute sexual rights over all the Herd.

    Entitlement mentality, and what’s worse, they think it’s God-ordained.

  333. Patriciamc wrote:

    Entitlement mentality, and what’s worse, they think it’s God-ordained.

    I think the ones that go into the seminary ‘because that’s where the money is’ are so cynical that there is no genuine ‘belief’ in them about God …. they are using the ‘set-up’ for their own gain. Entitlement? well, if they have had to go through a seminary to get into the business, why shouldn’t they reap the rewards and ‘bonuses’. Great cynicism and contempt do not bespeak of faith in such people, no.

    My concern is for the young man who IS called by God who enters such a ‘seminary’ only to become corrupted by the neo-Cal way of abusing people instead of serving them. THAT is the person that I think gets hurt the worst, and those responsible for the corruption of that soul will answer to God on the Day. They have interfered with the workings of the Holy Spirit. That’s a really big no-no. The worst.

  334. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I remember a LOT of Chick-Fil-A jokes from the old “Stuff Fundies Like” blog.
    Most centering around Chick-Fil-A being the only career path other than Pastor open to graduates of Fundy U.

    Hey, I have a religion degree from Fundy U! But I’m a woman. So I can’t even be a bad pastor.

  335. ishy wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    I remember a LOT of Chick-Fil-A jokes from the old “Stuff Fundies Like” blog.
    Most centering around Chick-Fil-A being the only career path other than Pastor open to graduates of Fundy U.
    Hey, I have a religion degree from Fundy U! But I’m a woman. So I can’t even be a bad pastor.

    You can be the pastor for Pound Sand Ministries (TM). Our first event – Camp Backbone – will be held in Kentucky in Nancy2’s neck of the woods. Sporting events will include
    learning how to use firearms and shooting Patriarchy books from garage sales authored by The Usual Suspects.

    Camp Backbone will be a competing conference to the Council on Biblical Manhood Womanhood’s 2017. We will be tweeting to them in our C.B. t-shirts and a choice of subversive leggings or yoga pants. That makes them REALLY upset, and well…we like that!

    Regards,

    Velour, Vice President
    of Online Retail,
    Marketing and Consumer Surveys
    Pound Sand Ministries (TM), proud sponsor of Camp Backbone

  336. ishy wrote:

    But I’m a woman. So I can’t even be a bad pastor.

    Oh ishy!! This is so crazy, when you think about who all gets a ‘second chance’ for their abuse and secret recordings and making time with the youth…but a woman? Heaven forbid!

    The seminaries don’t even want women teaching greek!

    I never really thought much about all this before, but one of my now ministers did a funeral years ago and she was so warm and caring and personal about it…maybe I kept that all in the back of my mind for when I was ready to be back in church.

  337. Christiane wrote:

    My concern is for the young man who IS called by God who enters such a ‘seminary’ only to become corrupted by the neo-Cal way of abusing people instead of serving them. THAT is the person that I think gets hurt the worst, and those responsible for the corruption of that soul will answer to God on the Day. They have interfered with the workings of the Holy Spirit. That’s a really big no-no. The worst.

    There are still non NeoCalvinist seminaries, thankfully.

  338. Velour wrote:

    We will be tweeting to them in our C.B. t-shirts and a choice of subversive leggings or yoga pants. That makes them REALLY upset, and well…we like that!

    So much fun! Thanks for the laugh. 🙂

  339. Pingback: Linkathon! | PhoenixPreacher UNITED STATES

  340. Patriciamc wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    Velour wrote:
    It seems like high-control groups always have problems with sexual abuse.
    Maybe the sexual abuse is a twisted way of proving/celebrating the fact that they have control?
    Animal Forced Dominance Display.
    Alpha Male/Herd Boss/Paterfamilias has absolute sexual rights over all the Herd.

    Entitlement mentality, and what’s worse, they think it’s God-ordained.

    The technical term for that is “Divine Right”.
    The Christianization of the pre-Christian God-Kings, i.e. “The King Is A GOD!”
    “Caesar sits above the gods,
    Barbara the maid…”
    — G.K>Chesterton “Ballad of St Barbara”

  341. Velour wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    I remember a LOT of Chick-Fil-A jokes from the old “Stuff Fundies Like” blog.
    Most centering around Chick-Fil-A being the only career path other than Pastor open to graduates of Fundy U.
    Hey, I have a religion degree from Fundy U! But I’m a woman. So I can’t even be a bad pastor.
    /
    You can be the pastor for Pound Sand Ministries (TM). Our first event – Camp Backbone – will be held in Kentucky in Nancy2’s neck of the woods. Sporting events will include
    learning how to use firearms and shooting Patriarchy books from garage sales authored by The Usual Suspects.

    I would be glad to put my SEBTS exegetical and preaching skills to use for once. Wouldn’t that ruffle some feathers?

    Oh, BTW, I used to teach archery, so you can add that to camp activities. I’m not bad with a firearm, either, though probably not half as good as Nancy. I’m more of a medieval weapons fan, though. Bows, swords, and I have a miniature trebuchet collection.

  342. Lea wrote:

    Oh ishy!! This is so crazy, when you think about who all gets a ‘second chance’ for their abuse and secret recordings and making time with the youth…but a woman? Heaven forbid!
    The seminaries don’t even want women teaching greek!
    I never really thought much about all this before, but one of my now ministers did a funeral years ago and she was so warm and caring and personal about it…maybe I kept that all in the back of my mind for when I was ready to be back in church.

    Hmmm, maybe this has all become clear now. They’re more afraid that women will be better at being pastors than them?

  343. ishy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    ishy wrote:
    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    I remember a LOT of Chick-Fil-A jokes from the old “Stuff Fundies Like” blog.
    Most centering around Chick-Fil-A being the only career path other than Pastor open to graduates of Fundy U.
    Hey, I have a religion degree from Fundy U! But I’m a woman. So I can’t even be a bad pastor.
    /
    You can be the pastor for Pound Sand Ministries (TM). Our first event – Camp Backbone – will be held in Kentucky in Nancy2’s neck of the woods. Sporting events will include
    learning how to use firearms and shooting Patriarchy books from garage sales authored by The Usual Suspects.
    I would be glad to put my SEBTS exegetical and preaching skills to use for once. Wouldn’t that ruffle some feathers?
    Oh, BTW, I used to teach archery, so you can add that to camp activities. I’m not bad with a firearm, either, though probably not half as good as Nancy. I’m more of a medieval weapons fan, though. Bows, swords, and I have a miniature trebuchet collection.

    I love archery too! Woo hoo! Yes, we’ll add that sporting event to the list of activities at Camp Backbone in Kentucky.

    “Bows, swords, and I have a miniature trebuchet collection.” — What sports do you suggest we do with these at Camp Backbone? Paper cut outs of The Usual [Patriarchy] Suspects that we will shred to ribbons with our swords?

  344. ishy wrote:

    I would be glad to put my SEBTS exegetical and preaching skills to use for once. Wouldn’t that ruffle some feathers?

    Ruffle feathers? This will be an egalitarian event proudly brought to you by Pound Sand Ministries.

    Price of Admission to join Camp Backbone: ability to ruffle some feathers. Just like our fearless leader Nancy2.

    As I sit here typing I am wearing my new t-shirt from Amazon. “Cinnamon Rolls Not Gender Roles.”

  345. Velour wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    I would be glad to put my SEBTS exegetical and preaching skills to use for once. Wouldn’t that ruffle some feathers?
    Ruffle feathers? This will be an egalitarian event proudly brought to you by Pound Sand Ministries.
    Price of Admission to join Camp Backbone: ability to ruffle some feathers. Just like our fearless leader Nancy2.
    As I sit here typing I am wearing my new t-shirt from Amazon. “Cinnamon Rolls Not Gender Roles.”

    Oh, not y’all. The people who’d probably try to deny a woman ever went to SEBTS and learned intellectual man-only subjects like Greek.

  346. Velour wrote:

    “Bows, swords, and I have a miniature trebuchet collection.” — What sports do you suggest we do with these at Camp Backbone? Paper cut outs of The Usual [Patriarchy] Suspects that we will shred to ribbons with our swords?

    The mini trebuchets shoot marshmallows. I’m sure they could shoot paintballs just as well.

  347. ishy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    ishy wrote:
    I would be glad to put my SEBTS exegetical and preaching skills to use for once. Wouldn’t that ruffle some feathers?
    Ruffle feathers? This will be an egalitarian event proudly brought to you by Pound Sand Ministries.
    Price of Admission to join Camp Backbone: ability to ruffle some feathers. Just like our fearless leader Nancy2.
    As I sit here typing I am wearing my new t-shirt from Amazon. “Cinnamon Rolls Not Gender Roles.”
    Oh, not y’all. The people who’d probably try to deny a woman ever went to SEBTS and learned intellectual man-only subjects like Greek.

    My ex-dictator, I mean “pastor”, attended John MacArthur’s The Master’s Seminary and The Master’s College, which in my opinion is the California version of SEBTS. My pastor also
    earned two “advanced” degrees including a “Ph.D.” (cough) from a diploma mill in Independence, Missouri. Cost: $299. A real Ph.D. takes 8 years of hard work to earn.

  348. ishy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    “Bows, swords, and I have a miniature trebuchet collection.” — What sports do you suggest we do with these at Camp Backbone? Paper cut outs of The Usual [Patriarchy] Suspects that we will shred to ribbons with our swords?
    The mini trebuchets shoot marshmallows. I’m sure they could shoot paintballs just as well.

    I’m liking this. I can see a table full of graham crackers and Hershey’s Chocolate Squares. You can shoot the marshmellows onto the table and we’ll have S’mores at
    Camp Backbone 2017.

  349. Velour wrote:

    C.B. t-shirts and a choice of subversive leggings or yoga pants.

    I don’t like yoga pants, and I need pockets, so I’ll be wearing blue jeans. Probably Levi’s, with Pound Sand Ministries embroidered on them ……… somewhere.

  350. ishy wrote:

    Oh, BTW, I used to teach archery, so you can add that to camp activities.

    Oooooo, teach me!!! Do you know how to use a crossbow?
    Wish we could find a woman that can throw knives and axes!
    How about a theme for our weapons training classes: Protection Isn’t Sexist?
    Or something along those lines. Ideas?

  351. ishy wrote:

    Hmmm, maybe this has all become clear now. They’re more afraid that women will be better at being pastors than them?

    Can we film your sermons at Camp Backbone and put them on you-tube?

  352. Velour wrote:

    I’m liking this. I can see a table full of graham crackers and Hershey’s Chocolate Squares. You can shoot the marshmellows onto the table and we’ll have S’mores at
    Camp Backbone 2017.

    With a bonfire.

  353. Nancy2 wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    C.B. t-shirts and a choice of subversive leggings or yoga pants.
    I don’t like yoga pants, and I need pockets, so I’ll be wearing blue jeans. Probably Levi’s, with Pound Sand Ministries embroidered on them ……… somewhere.

    You are our fearless leader, Nancy2, so you can scare the boyz at Council on Biblical Manhood Womanhood in your jeans, I’m sure of it. I, on the other hand, will go with the subversive yoga pants (which by the way look like my bike pants). The boyz think it very unladylike to wear leggings (big NO NO) or yoga pants.

  354. Another church whose lack of knowledge, education and experience tripped them up. They were faced with a terrible situation involving someone they loved and trusted, and were too ignorant to realize that they’d been played by a perp. So, once again, we see naive Christians thinking that confession + repentant words = cure. The ‘in Christ we are new creations’ argument is a difficult one to figure out. However, if being in Christ didn’t cure me from being a choco-holic, why would I expect it to magically cure any other problem? It’s nothing more than cheap grace mumbo-jumbo to believe that perps can be instantly cured — yet this kind of thought is often found among those who don’t normally practice charismatic gifts as well as those who do. ‘Tis a puzzlement.

  355. Nickname wrote:

    They were faced with a terrible situation involving someone they loved and trusted, and were too ignorant to realize that they’d been played by a perp.

    They didn’t do their jobs at that church. Perps are people we know. And that’s why we have to be careful. There are attorneys that specialize in church safety (Church Law & Tax), there are insurance companies (Church Mutual, the largest insurer in the United States of churches), there are groups like G.R.A.C.E. – Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment.

    You can bet that church has a good sound system and other bells and whistles. But the safety of others’, including children, wasn’t paramount? That’s not going to sit well with a jury. Because a ‘reasonable person’ would have kicked it in gear and done something, been guided by proper professionals.

  356. @ Mr. Jesperson:

    “I would note that anyone who actually acts like Jesus is going to stick out like a sore thumb in our culture.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    don’t encourage the culture warriors.

    (and people who pray loudly in restaurants)

  357. Nancy2 wrote:

    Oooooo, teach me!!! Do you know how to use a crossbow?

    “That’s why I never liked crossbows. They take too long to reload.”
    — Game of Thrones

  358. ishy wrote:

    Oh, not y’all. The people who’d probably try to deny a woman ever went to SEBTS and learned intellectual man-only subjects like Greek.

    Don’t women in Greece & Macedonia speak Greek?