JD Greear, Bryan Loritts, and the Guidepost Solutions Investigation: Moving Quickly From Caring Well to Couldn’t Care Less

Frosty Dunes of Mars-NASA

“Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.” ― Mahatma Gandhi


Well, the vaunted Guidepost Solutions report is in. They did exactly what they were paid to do. They claimed that Loritts made some mistakes but that he is good to go. Nothing to see here, folks, move along…but…there is much we don’t understand. Guidepost Solutions and Summit Church posted the entire report on the Summit website at this link. (Looks really slick.)

Here is the introduction.

Guideposts introduce us to their investigation of Loritts.

On February 4, 2010, an employee of the Fellowship Memphis church (“Fellowship”) in Memphis, Tennessee discovered a cellphone recording her while she used a bathroom at the church. When she examined the phone, the employee realized that it belonged to Rick Trotter, the Worship Director at Fellowship. The employee immediately notified Bryan Loritts, Lead Pastor of Fellowship, who was Trotter’s brother-in-law at the time. After discovering Trotter’s phone contained multiple voyeuristic videos recorded at Fellowship, Loritts fired Trotter. Trotter was never prosecuted for his misconduct at Fellowship by any law enforcement entity.

Another Memphis house of worship, Downtown Church (“Downtown”), later hired Trotter, even after Loritts disclosed the details of Trotter’s illicit actions at Fellowship to Downtown leadership. In May 2016, Downtown fired Trotter after he was seen recording a video up a woman’s skirt (an “upskirt” video) during a church service. Trotter later confessed to recording similar videos of other victims at Downtown; he subsequently pled guilty to four counts of misdemeanor voyeurism and was sentenced to a 60-day jail sentence.

In 2019, Loritts and leaders of The Summit Church (“Summit”) in Durham, North Carolina began to discuss the possibility of Loritts joining Summit. In connection with these discussions, Summit conducted due diligence, which initially focused on Loritts’s pastoral practices and leadership capabilities. After Loritts disclosed Trotter’s wrongdoing at Fellowship and his role in the church’s response, Summit expanded its due diligence review to include an examination of how Loritts handled this matter as a Fellowship leader. In addition to conducting its own interviews, Summit hired a law firm to investigate Loritts’s role in the Trotter matter and how he and Fellowship responded to that matter. Ultimately, based on its own interviews and the results of the law firm review, as well as background checks and information from Loritts’s personal references, Summit hired Loritts as its Executive Pastor of Teaching and Development in June 2020.

However, after speaking to a victim advocate and individuals who witnessed Fellowship’s handling of Trotter’s misconduct, Summit decided to obtain an independent evaluation of the information it had gathered during its due diligence process with respect to Loritts’s handling of Trotter’s abusive actions at Fellowship. In January 2021, Summit hired Guidepost Solutions, LLC (“Guidepost”) to conduct an independent assessment and to create a safe, confidential channel to allow any additional victims of Trotter to report their experiences.

Well, that a pretty good start but it all goes downhill from there.

JD Greear: Loritts is the man!

Jules Roys wrote Opinion: Bryan Loritts is not ‘Qualified for Ministry’ & Report Doesn’t Clear Him of Wrongdoing

In an email to congregants on Friday, Summit further stated that the results of Guidepost’s two-month investigation “affirms our confidence in Bryan’s position here at the Summit . . .”

Didn’t Loritts say he reported his brother-in-law to the police?

According to Guidepost Solutions, they could not find any evidence Loritts reported the crimes of Trotter to the police. Back the Guidepost *Solutions* report.

Through formal Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) requests, we asked the Memphis Police Department (“MPD”) to provide all records in its possession relating to any contact with Fellowship in 2010. Our review of MPD records found nothing relating to the events of 2010 involving Trotter. The MPD also maintains records of phone calls in its Computer Aided Dispatch Systems (“CADS”). These phone calls are documented by the address from which the call is made. In our FOIA request, we asked the MPD for records of calls made from two Memphis addresses associated with Fellowship in 2010: 3340 Poplar Ave Suite #230 and 255 North Highland Street. Other entities shared the North Highland Street address with Fellowship; calls associated with any entity at that location would appear in the CADS system. Our review of the MPD records showed us that there were no CADS records of any calls from either address related to Fellowship during February 2010.

…Fellowship Pastor #3 thought that either the attorney or Fellowship Pastor #2 contacted the MPD and recalled the decision to call the police took place after the first elder meeting, two to three days after the phone was discovered. Again, we could find no records to corroborate any outreach to the MPD or DCS by any individual associated with Fellowship.

Uh oh!!! But, hey, don’t worry, all is well. He’s still a really awesome pick for pastor of the Summit.

Loritts could say anything to anybody because he was “following the advice of counsel” but doesn’t seem to know who he, she, or they are.

But Julie Roys leads me to say “Hey, wait a minute.”

Several months ago, Loritts claimed in a videotaped interview with the Biblical Recorder that he withheld information from his congregation about Trotter’s crimes because he was following the advice of counsel.

Back to Guidepost Solutions:

Fellowship Pastor #3 believed the elders consulted with an attorney who was a member of Fellowship at the time. No one we spoke to, including Loritts, could provide the name of the attorney, or even identify the law firm that was consulted or provided advice to Fellowship. One individual who we interviewed about Trotter’s wrongdoing at Fellowship and the church’s response to it (“Individual #1”) thought, but could not confirm,that the attorney who provided counsel to Fellowship may have been a close friend of one of the elders and a high-profile attorney in Memphis.

At this point in GUidposts report, lots of discussions ensue about advice by an attorney(s) whose name(s) no one seems to recall. At this point, Dee commenced to banging her head on the kitchen table, upsetting Tulip, the pug. This is just plain ridiculous. Some attorney(s) gave all this advice but not one person can provide a name? This is unbelievable to me and makes me believe that Loritts and friends are not telling the truth.

According to Loritts, in one meeting with elders, legal counsel provided guidance on how Fellowship could inform the church body about Trotter’s firing. Loritts said Fellowship’s counsel instructed the church not to disclose the specifics of Trotter’s termination to the congregation.

You have got to read the *Response of Fellowship Elders* section. It reads like the famous Abbot and Costello *Who’s on First” skit.

Fellowship Pastor #3 told us Fellowship Pastor #2 was charged with following up with the attorney about legal issues.

Fellowship Pastor #3 also recalled the elders discussing the possibility of an attorney securing the phone in a safe deposit box. Fellowship Pastor #3 thought that either the attorney or Fellowship Pastor #2 contacted the MPD and recalled the decision to call the police took place after the first elder meeting, two to three days after the phone was discovered.

Out of the possibility of dozens of victims of Trotter, only three came forward, one of whom was Loritts’ sister!

Guideposts could only talk with three victims. That’s with one of them being the sister of Loritts who would most likely stand by her brother!

According to Roys:

Another issue with the investigation is that only three victims of Trotter’s abuse spoke to Guidepost. (There reportedly are dozens of victims, several of whom were children at the time Trotter recorded them.)

Guideposts offered this little interaction which makes me feel worse than if they hadn’t mentioned it.

Victim #3 told us she was “certain” that Loritts advised her she could press charges; he added that he would if it were him. Indeed, Victim #3 used the word “certain” more than once when describing her recollection of what Loritts told her. We were struck by the strength of this recollection because she admitted her memory of other details of these events was “foggy.”

Just in case you are interested, Victim 2, aka Loritt’s sister,r provided this nice letter to GUideposts supporting her brother.

In addition to his loving care and support, Bryan also offered me the option to prosecute. It was solely my choice to not press charges. I was not coerced nor persuaded to not press charges and anyone who indicated otherwise is a liar. The trauma I personally experienced and that my family has endured at the hands of this person is incomprehensible and I am deeply offended that my brother’s and family’s integrity is being questioned in this manner.

Julie Roys believes that Guideposts seemed to be able to find  only those with vested interests in supporting Loritts

So essentially, what Guidepost found was that everyone with a vested interest—Loritts, Pastors #1, #2, #3, and Victim #2—support Lorritts’ narrative. (So does Victim #3, but given her “fuzzy” recollection, her testimony is unreliable.)

Guideposts reported that Victim #1 said that Loritts told her that Trotter’s phone was destroyed.

I find this information significant. I find that this is the first actual indication that the phone is gone. Loritts, on the other hand, doesn’t remember a thing. he doesn’t remember a lot.

Two of the individuals who we interviewed, Victim #1 and Individual #1, were critical of Loritts, and relayed to us one-on-one conversations that they had with Loritts – conversations that Loritts could not recall at all (with respect to Victim #1) or recalled differently (with respect to Individual #1). They contend that Loritts’s response to Trotter’s misconduct was inappropriate. However, they did not provide any specific evidence to us or to Summit that would prove that Loritts engaged in any sort of cover-up. Victim #1 told us that Loritts told her that Trotter’s phone had been destroyed, but she did not state that Loritts himself had destroyed the phone or advised someone else to destroy it.

Guidepost ends their investigation with kudos for Summit for being rigorous in their investigation of Loritts and really good guys all around.

In our view, based on our investigation here and our experience, Summit’s efforts are commensurate if not more rigorous with the vetting processes commonly undertaken by many religious organizations for jobs of this organizational leadership level.

Religion News reported Guidepost report: Bryan Loritts mishandled abuse allegations at former church but did not cover them up

Here are a few things from this post.

  • An investigative firm says it found no evidence that pastor and author Bryan Loritts covered up abuse allegations at Fellowship Church, the megachurch he co-founded in Memphis, Tennessee
  • “The current whereabouts of Trotter’s phone, which contained voyeuristic recordings made at Fellowship and elsewhere, is perhaps the most frustrating issue of all,” said the report from Guidepost Solutions,
  • “What I should have done immediately was call the cops,” Loritts told the Biblical Recorder, a Baptist newspaper, in 2020. “I didn’t do that.”
  • Loritts told Guidepost Solutions that he regrets not doing more to prevent Trotter from returning to ministry.
  • The church’s elders said the report shows Loritts made mistakes but did not cover up abuse and that the church had done due diligence.We trust Bryan, believe he is qualified for ministry, and have confidence in him to lead at the highest levels,” the elder said in a statement.
  • Boz Tchividjian, an attorney and founder of GRACE, a nonprofit that helps religious groups recognize and respond to abuse, said the report from Guidepost reveals how ill-prepared churches are to deal with abuse.

Rachel Denhollander praised the Guidepost report to the Houston Chronicle.

Don’t forget. She recommended Guideposts to the Summit. I would like to know why she didn’t recommend G.R.A.C.E.

According to Julie Roys:

“Summit’s decision to pursue an independent review of this situation was a healthy and needed step,” Denhollander told the Houston Chronicle. “The framework of bringing in a skilled, credible firm, fully waiving privilege and providing avenues for anonymous and confidential reporting is critical in making it possible to obtain all the information.”

Where am I at? I think this whole thing smells and I am left with a whole bunch of questions.

  • Where the heck is the cell phone with the picture? (I bet it was destroyed per Victim #1)
  • I thought Loritts said he reported this to the police. Did he?
  • What is the name of this *well-known* Memphis attorney(s) that gave all of this advice? Why doesn’t anyone remember him, her, or them? Do they even exist? Guess what I think…
  • Why did Loritts not tell the truth about his doctorate? Gotta love this robe. Why doesn’t this matter to the Summit?
  • Why did Greear hire Loritts since Greear loves to be known as the *Caring Well* guy?
  • Why would Summit elders say that Loritts is qualified to lead at the *highest levels?*

I’m going out on a limb here. In 2015, I said this about Ravi Zacharias, “If he’s lying about this (His bio which included a fake doctorate,) what else is he lying about?” I repeat my question this time about Loritts. “What else is he lying about? ”

As for Summit, the leaders have demonstrated their inability to find an excellent hire. There are plenty of men who would have jumped at the chance for this position. These would be men from all conceivable backgrounds and talents. The Summit chose mediocrity and a propensity for prevaricating over straight-talk and humility. I suggest that they all get a copy of A Church Called Tov: Forming a Goodness Culture That Resists Abuses of Power and Promotes Healing. They all could use it.

PS Whatever happened to that old saying “Be above reproach?”


Comments

JD Greear, Bryan Loritts, and the Guidepost Solutions Investigation: Moving Quickly From Caring Well to Couldn’t Care Less — 90 Comments

  1. From one of the links in the article, this one from June 12, 2020 Is another chronology with his comments accepting it:

    https://julieroys.com/loritts-responds-to-allegations-of-cover-up-it-wasnt-us-trying-to-hide-anything-it-was-following-the-counsel-of-lawyers/

    “In the interview, Loritts admitted that he did not inform his congregation about Trotter’s crimes until about six months after the church had discovered them. But Loritts said his secrecy wasn’t motivated by a desire to cover for Trotter, but rather, a desire to minimize liability.”

    No, not at all about coverup or secrecy; just trust him on this, right?

    “Loritts also admitted that he failed to call police when a staff member discovered Trotter’s phone in a church bathroom and gave it to Loritts. “And here’s what I got to own,” Loritts said. “What I should have done immediately was call the cops. I didn’t do that.”

    Oh, there’s an ‘also’. How exactly does owning this manifest itself? An ‘oops, mistakes were made, nameless lawyers were consulted, police were called or not, phones disappeared, thanks for my restored position and paycheck’ type of ownership?

    “”In some ways . . . I saw myself as a victim,” Loritts said, though he added that his victimization was “not anywhere near the level” of those Trotter secretly recorded.”

    Quite the perspective there.

    “Loritts also expressed regret that he didn’t do more to prevent another church in Memphis, Downtown Church, from hiring Trotter.”

    Yet another ‘also’, but all involved are asked to trust him — and for many of them, pay him — going forward?

    “Yet Loritts added. “If I had to do it all over again, I would have put a full court press on, telling him not just, ‘Here’s what (Trotter) did,’ which I told him that. I told him everything. I would have grabbed him by the collars, and I would have said, ‘Do not hire him.’””

    “Loritts then choked up and said, “I feel culpable. And what happened with these other people because I didn’t go the extra mile . . . if I had to do it all over again, Seth, I would have went the extra mile. And I gotta own that.””

    Another place where people are just supposed to take his word that he would’ve done something differently – – even though this was the occasion where he could’ve done something differently and didn’t. Perhaps the collar-grabbing about hiring might fit the one who spoke about feeling victimhood here.

    But wait —- there’s more:

    “Yet later in the interview, Loritts admits that in 2015, he hired Trotter himself— to lead worship at a conference for The Kainos Movement. “That was a horrible, horrible decision that I’ve got to own,” Loritts said.”

    All of these opportunities to own, and it doesn’t seem to be a lot of ownage rather than a lot of secrecy, and this involves the church of the current SBC president.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  2. From one of the links in the article, this one from June 12, 2020 Is another chronology with his comments accepting it:

    https://julieroys.com/loritts-responds-to-allegations-of-cover-up-it-wasnt-us-trying-to-hide-anything-it-was-following-the-counsel-of-lawyers/

    “In the interview, Loritts admitted that he did not inform his congregation about Trotter’s crimes until about six months after the church had discovered them. But Loritts said his secrecy wasn’t motivated by a desire to cover for Trotter, but rather, a desire to minimize liability.”

    No, not at all about coverup or secrecy; just trust him on this, right?

    “Loritts also admitted that he failed to call police when a staff member discovered Trotter’s phone in a church bathroom and gave it to Loritts. “And here’s what I got to own,” Loritts said. “What I should have done immediately was call the cops. I didn’t do that.”

    Oh, there’s an ‘also’. How exactly does owning this manifest itself? An ‘oops, mistakes were made, nameless lawyers were consulted, police were called or not, phones disappeared, thanks for my restored position and paycheck’ type of ownership?

    “”In some ways . . . I saw myself as a victim,” Loritts said, though he added that his victimization was “not anywhere near the level” of those Trotter secretly recorded.”

    Quite the perspective there.

    “Loritts also expressed regret that he didn’t do more to prevent another church in Memphis, Downtown Church, from hiring Trotter.”

    Yet another ‘also’, but all involved are asked to trust him — and for many of them, pay him — going forward?

    “Yet Loritts added. “If I had to do it all over again, I would have put a full court press on, telling him not just, ‘Here’s what (Trotter) did,’ which I told him that. I told him everything. I would have grabbed him by the collars, and I would have said, ‘Do not hire him.’””

    “Loritts then choked up and said, “I feel culpable. And what happened with these other people because I didn’t go the extra mile . . . if I had to do it all over again, Seth, I would have went the extra mile. And I gotta own that.””

    Another place where people are just supposed to take his word that he would’ve done something differently – – even though this was the occasion where he could’ve done something differently and didn’t. Perhaps the collar-grabbing about hiring might fit the one who spoke about feeling victimhood here.

    But wait —- there’s more:

    “Yet later in the interview, Loritts admits that in 2015, he hired Trotter himself— to lead worship at a conference for The Kainos Movement. “That was a horrible, horrible decision that I’ve got to own,” Loritts said.”

    All of these opportunities to own, and it doesn’t seem to be a lot of ownage rather than a lot of secrecy, and this involves the church of the current SBC president.

    Also from the Loritts interview:

    “Brown did ask Loritts why Loritts had instructed Garner to call CPS and whether Loritts had seen videos of minors on the phone. Brown also noted that a 2016 report in the Commercial Appeal quoted two of Trotter’s victims who claim they were 15- and 16-years-old at the time they were recorded. Loritts said that he scanned Trotter’s phone when it was in his possession and had seen “block after block” of video thumbnail pictures of videos. But Loritts said he didn’t notice any videos of minors.”

    This seems truly disturbing, both that this was the answer offered and that it apparently received little to no pushback then and now from those involved. Even in everyday normal circumstances, one cannot tell 15 and 16-year-olds from 18-year-olds with the level of accuracy needed in such situations. In the circumstances of the nature of the videos, that figures to be even more so.

    Any person in any level of responsibility worth their salt should know it’s above their paygrade to just make an internal calculus to say they “didn’t notice any videos of minors“ and then move on from that without taking appropriate action and passing it along. Is this really the level of investigation the SBC president is signing off on for public view and affirming this guy as a leader with responsibilities as a compensated “Shepherd“ with teaching responsibilities — including some to do with “reconciliation“, per the archived link below?

    https://web.archive.org/web/20200607000744/https://www.brnow.org/news/bryan-loritts-to-join-the-summits-leadership-team/

    Meanwhile, this guy actually goes out and claims that he feels like a victim — in the middle of what looks like ‘woulda shoulda coulda’ — when his actions indicated little to no desire to have the proper officials check out whether they were minors involved — or evidently to do much of anything about it other than more waiting until someone else uncovered things years down the road?

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  3. Maybe I’m missing something here, but I get the very strong impression that none of these men thinks there’s anything actually *wrong* about taking video of women and girls in the bathroom. It’s just a little “mistake,” like running a red light, could happen to anyone.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  4. I now believe that the SBC, as represented by Greear, does not believe that *not reporting* is anything to worry about. That is why they didn’t go after Jules’ awful pastor, Steve Bradley, who refuses to speak with her.

    The SBC will not change and victims are not safe in their churches. Yes, some like Wade Burleson’s church, are safe. But, as a whole, I do not trust them whatsoever.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  5. “PS Whatever happened to that old saying “Be above reproach?””

    Oh Dee, that’s an old school teaching which applied to “Old” Calvinism and other expressions of the faith of our fathers … this is “New” Calvinism, you know. If you used “above reproach” in the pastor/elder/deacon selection process today, you couldn’t find enough men to qualify! Who among the dudebros in the Christian Industrial Complex could truly pass that test?!

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  6. Afterburne: Maybe their definition of reproach is deficient.

    The Biblical definition of “reproach” implies blameless, faultless. Who among SBC’s New Calvinist elite could meet such rigor? So, they twist the meaning of reproach to make it fit their movement to ‘almost’ blameless, ‘sorta’ faultless. How else could they find enough followers to take over SBC traditional (non-Calvinist) churches through stealth and deception?! … not to mention recruiting 1,000 inexperienced, spiritually immature candidates per year to fill lead pastor rolls at SBC church plants! Yeah, it’s necessary to redefine some of those Biblical qualifications for leadership … it’s for the good of the NeoCal movement, you know.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  7. Jeffrey Chalmers: these clowns never put the victims first

    It seems to me that they have no concept of harm having been done to the victims; to them, the victims are just objects. They believe every man wants to look at women’s and girls’ exposed bodies at every opportunity and that it doesn’t hurt the women or girls if they’re peeped at or recorded.

    The cover-up is because they know it is illegal and/or considered inappropriate by society, but they don’t believe it’s actually *wrong*. Dan Herron from the 3/28 post seemed to have the same attitude about his harassment of women.

    It raises the question of whether they all have a belief system that renders women worthless to them or whether they are all narcissists or have some other personality disorder.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  8. Cynthia W.: It raises the question of whether they all have a belief system that renders women worthless to them or whether they are all narcissists or have some other personality disorder.

    If your belief system causes you to subordinate someone because of gender, you are effectively saying “You aren’t worth as much as me; thus, your church role must be limited.” If your belief causes you to subordinate Jesus, you are effectively saying “Jesus is lower than God; thus, we won’t talk about Jesus much.” You find both aberrations in New Calvinism. Narcissist wannabe church leaders can certainly find a home in the NeoCal movement, where a great multitude of men already reside with an inflated sense of their own importance and lack of empathy for others. Not the stuff that true pastors are made of, but who needs a pastor when you have ME!

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  9. Cynthia W.,

    While your analysis provides at least two possible, viable, options. In “secular humanist” organizations, I have also seen leaders behave this way, and it did not involve women, or “unrepresented minor groups”. But I definitely agree that the church has a long history of devaluing women and children. We could probably come up with other motivators, such as fear of lawsuits, which I guess still goes back to putting your own position over victims.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  10. Because I am “Individual #1” in the report, I can say definitively that this investigation was a complete sham!!!!

    The investigators told demonstrable lies about what I told them and twisted the words intentionally to provide plausible deniability in the report. Rachel Denhollander is aware they lied (she and I had a conversation about it), but asked me not to focus on the lies and misstatements that Guidepost made, because she wants this “process” to work and for others to have faith in it (?!?!?) Seriously (?!?!?) Rachel is a stooge in this case being used by Summit and the SBC to whitewash a B.S. report. When I asked her if she would put her children in any church Bryan Loritts was leading, she said “No.” (‘Nuff said!)

    I can go into more detail, but suffice to say that the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew have done far better investigations! Moreover, they don’t draw asinine conclusions about the obvious evidence.

    The important thing that most people won’t realize is that the scope of this “investigation” was very intentionally limited. They weren’t interested in details about Loritts’ fake doctorate, the fact that Fellowship (while Loritts was head pastor and not “recused” from anything) had brought Kanakuk child molester Pete Newman to town and provided for him WHILE HE WAS OUT ON BAIL, passed along Loritts’ predator brother-in-law to another church and hired him, himself, to lead worship at a conference. And, importantly, they said the interview that Summit did with me, a victim of Trotter who had been coerced to not press charges, and 2 witnesses was “beyond the scope of their investigation.”

    This was a set-up from the beginning and should be acknowledged for the travesty it is! “Best practices” my arse!! Bryan Loritts is not morally qualified to lead a kazoo band!

    The church does not need better “processes”–it needs better men and women!!

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  11. Cynthia W.: they have no concept of harm having been done to the victims; to them, the victims are just objects

    The lack of empathy by church leaders in the Christian Industrial Complex is reaching unBiblical proportions! It’s as if they don’t have an ability to understand these situations from a victim perspective, nor have the sensitivity to feel their pain. This, of course, is contrary to how the Church of the Living God is to operate … such leaders are not truly called to the sacred office of pastor no matter how you spin it, IGO.

    (IGO = In God’s Opinion)

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  12. Max: If your belief system causes you to subordinate someone because of gender, you are effectively saying “You aren’t worth as much as me; thus, your church role must be limited.”

    “I Know I’m Right –
    I HAVE A DICK!”
    (AKA What hangs between your legs makes you GAWD’s Speshul Pet.)

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  13. On other matters is the bizarre case of a fundamentalist church voting to excommunicate the founding pastor who founded the church 70 years ago. The article states:
    members have been excommunicated for “failing to tithe,” “filing for divorce,” and “failure to attend the regular services of the church.”

    It is not just the elders who vote but the congregation and they will be voting on the very old founding pastor next. This is of interest here because his son, who also used to be a pastor, has admitted to sexually abusing one of his own children many years ago. This issue is being leveraged to try to oust the founding pastor: https://julieroys.com/pastor-faces-excommunication-chicago-founded-70-years-ago/

    I put this under the “truth is stranger than fiction” category…

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  14. “PS Whatever happened to that old saying “Be above reproach?””
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    here’s my take:

    when pastors think about ‘the pastoral ministry’, they have observed

    -expectations foisted on pastors to be everything to everyone
    -expectations to have perfect lives and families
    -fail in these expectations and pastors risk being ‘voted out’
    -the net result- the thing called ‘pastoral burn-out’

    the solution: take “above reproach” with a grain of salt

    the congregation’s expectations may be unrealistic and unfair. but it seems to me the ‘pastoral ministry’ response has been to swing too far in the other direction:

    -the CEO model
    -authoritarian control
    -the biggest paycheck possible

    -and since it is impossible to be all things to all people and to live perfect lives that don’t disappoint every combination of expectations, therefore stop trying.

    take the pressure off by lowering the bar on ‘above reproach’. in fact, ignore ‘above reproach’.

    the result: integrity standards that are far below what people of no faith hold for themselves.

    (yes,’the evil worldly world’, those goblin-like sucks-to-be-you sub-par human beings, hold themselves to a higher set of morals, as it turns out)
    .
    .
    as i see it, ‘ministry’ has been reinvented as upwardly mobile lucrative career field that accommodates the desire for power, wealth, the desire ‘to win’,

    and that ticks all the right political boxes (which includes doctrine & theology),

    but none of the ethical boxes.
    .
    .
    i’ll wrap all this up with ‘biblical’ and honest/ethical/moral are simply different categories that don’t necessarily intersect.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  15. Max,

    I have difficulty understanding someone who learns that his brother-in-law is taking video of women/girls in the bathroom and reacts with, “I need to protect my brother-in-law!” Wouldn’t you want to get your sister out of the grasp of a pervert, if nothing else? Unless you believe it’s normal … that every man would do this if he thought he could get away with it …

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  16. Cynthia W.: It seems to me that they have no concept of harm having been done to the victims; to them, the victims are just objects.They believe every man wants to look at women’s and girls’ exposed bodies at every opportunity and that it doesn’t hurt the women or girls if they’re peeped at or recorded.

    The cover-up is because they know it is illegal and/or considered inappropriate by society, but they don’t believe it’s actually *wrong*.Dan Herron from the 3/28 post seemed to have the same attitude about his harassment of women.

    It raises the question of whether they all have a belief system that renders women worthless to them or whether they are all narcissists or have some other personality disorder.

    From what we’ve seen on this aite, looks like a mixture of both. On the one hand, it can make one consider that if they’ve been in the same echo chamber and all have the same “answer“ for a given issue, it will might promote the emergence of a similar mindset and acceptance of failures along those lines because of their own internal worldview.

    That could well include those who think they have little to no input in having control over the physical cuz flesh and spiritual are different, we’re all depraved, we’re not bending the flesh to our will like Paul learn to do quick enough for some reason — but pastor / teacher said that can get better under the direction of leadership, discipline / discipleship, etc. (Note the focus on the individual who was the perpetrator, not so much on the victim, especially when caring about that and acting on it can get messy and involve penalties.)

    For some, the reasoning may be because society is too fleshly, and that has crept in the church which is too fleshly, and the society and church is under too many Jezebel controls (which has been Winsomely defined for them by their NeoCal Shepherds), which means not enough purity and “biblical” Rulemaking, covenanting, and such have taken hold sufficiently.

    Things just may happen to be set up so the time and again and again, they would turn to the self-appointed leaders as a one-stop shop of authority, expertise, and answers on just about everything. And the guys don’t actually have to have any expertise – – though of them might claim subject matter expertise academic credentials and even have them; if enough believe that their position (or “vision”) defines their anointed-ness, the one shop model offered can be seen as bulletproof and the most logical place for all of life‘s problems to be solved.

    Plus, many of the anointed / chosen smile a lot, seem relatable, know a lot of Bible verses, show emotions and “get real” sometimes, and do all sorts of high-functioning, normal-looking things. When they teach about them having the rule over you and you being their personal little sheep, you just know that they’re going to be nice about that (especially cuz anointed), right? What could go wrong with turning massive amounts of life’s decision-making involving you, your career, and your family over to such people — I mean, anointed people — and leaving it the heavy lifting to them on the thinking — I mean shepherding, judgment, and discernment part? I mean, doesn’t the piece of paper everyone signed make all of us one big biblical family / flock?

    There’s this from Greear (amidst what seemed to me like essentially test marketing of misleading, problematic, politically-calculating fancy dancing on the SSA issue while seeking to cast his crew as having what looks like a “biblical“ but contemporary / compassion approach):

    https://summitchurch.com/GetFile.ashx?Guid=aa4be5dd-4072-4765-950e-ab1457c87371

    “Jen Wilkin says we should whisper about what the Bible whispers about and shout about what it shouts about. The Bible appears more to whisper on sexual sin compared to its shouts about materialism and religious pride.”

    That may be viewed as a deflective strategy towards the above ends, but might be taken seriously by the young “leaders“ and seminarians upon him test marketing like this and kissing dating goodbye.

    Thus, when one of the “good guys“ does something that on its face is heinous, the spin machine can start in those trained like a bunch of little Manchurian candidates: “Sure that was bad, but this guy is one of the anointed, and it’s up to our anointed leadership to handle this biblically, so let’s only go talk to the good guys in charge, etc.”

    Of course, basic self preservation and image protecting also figures to loom. That’s especially the case if a de facto “if one falls, we all fall – – as well as our future money making opportunities” outlook exists, where people see all of that going up in smoke if one of their crew with which they are tied suddenly goes rogue in the “moral failing“ department.

    I think in many cases, you might have a mix of those who do not factor in hirelings and grievous wolves in the flock because they are so inclined to believe someone so who they work with is a good guy and everyone send so they can sort it out it with enough Oopsies. And I think there are many cases where people involved know how bad it is but don’t care, evidenced in how they tend to consistently prioritize self-preservation, empowerment, and enrichment over the rest.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  17. Cynthia W.: I have difficulty understanding someone who learns that his brother-in-law is taking video of women/girls in the bathroom and reacts with, “I need to protect my brother-in-law!”

    Yes, very difficult to understand … particularly considering that both men held the title of “pastor.” Protecting pervert brothers in the ministry has no place in the Kingdom of God. Writing it off as “That’s what boys do” is a juvenile attitude unbecoming of a man of God. But we are not really dealing here with Kingdom living and men of God.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  18. JDV: “Sure that was bad, but this guy is one of the anointed, and it’s up to our anointed leadership to handle this biblically, so let’s only go talk to the good guys in charge, etc.”

    Whew! How many times have we seen that play out in NeoCal ranks?! The “guys in charge” are always more biblically-correct than the goobers in the pew, you know. One is never anointed to do wrong things, unless you are a New Calvinist who has come into the world for such a time as this … then it’s OK to make room for some bad things here and there.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  19. JDV,

    “Jen Wilkin says we should whisper about what the Bible whispers about and shout about what it shouts about. The Bible appears more to whisper on sexual sin compared to its shouts about materialism and religious pride.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    seems to me this what-is-a-whisper/what-is-a-shout thing is a matter of convenient interpretation.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  20. Max: Yes, very difficult to understand … particularly considering that both men held the title of “pastor.” Protecting pervert brothers in the ministry has no place in the Kingdom of God.

    Two Perv Pastors said one to another:
    “Perv unto Perv o’er the world is Brother!”
    — paraphrase of Chesterton’s “Ballad of the Battle of Gibeon”

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  21. Max: Whew! How many times have we seen that play out in NeoCal ranks?! The “guys in charge” are always more biblically-correct than the goobers in the pew, you know. One

    Max, wasn’t such Clericalism and Priestcraft (i.e. only Clergy matter in the eyes of God, the Laity can all go to Hell) one of the main beefs the Reformers had against the RCC? And weren’t the Sons of Calvin the most extreme of the Reformers?

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  22. elastigirl: seems to me this what-is-a-whisper/what-is-a-shout thing is a matter of convenient interpretation

    Yes. Reminds me of Driscoll’s teaching on how to handle disagreements in theology by categorizing primary (closed-handed) doctrines or secondary (open-handed) ones. Mohler also did this through a “theological triage” where he prioritized essential vs. secondary/tertiary doctrines. In both cases, THEY defined primary and essential since they are smarter than everyone else who aren’t as Biblically-literate … and their “convenient interpretation” was to paint reformed theology as the only viable way to doing church.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  23. Cynthia W.: I have difficulty understanding someone who learns that his brother-in-law is taking video of women/girls in the bathroom and reacts with, “I need to protect my brother-in-law!” Wouldn’t you want to get your sister out of the grasp of a pervert, if nothing else?

    See my comment above about Biblical Manhood:
    “SHE’S ONLY A WOMAN.”

    In some tribal societies (don’t remember which), once a boy becomes a Man (in some sort of formal Coming-of-Age rite), the first thing he does is to beat up his own mother because now that he’s a Man, she’s Just a Woman.

    How long before THAT becomes Biblical(TM) with the Biblical Mahood crowd?

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  24. I think many church systems exist primarily for the leaders to exercise unaccountable power over the powerless members. And when a pastor exercises this power in a way that is just a little more “distasteful” than the normal crushing authoritarianism (ie committing a sex crime), the whole system rushes to protect itself in order that the leaders can continue their little glad-handing dance of making sure no one, not the police, not the other leaders, and certainly not the sheep, takes away their power.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  25. I’m really disappointed in Rachael Denhollander’s response here and likewise was disappointed with how she interacted with Mohler and quickly excused him in regard to the severity of his SGM and Mahaney enablement.

    Guessing: It is possible that her husband doing his PhD at a SBC seminary and her taking part in the Caring Well curriculum may be causing her some blind spots and inconsistencies with SBC cases. Though she has been right on about most other SBC problems. I can’t imagine her responding the way she is here with Lorritts and Summit or the way she excused Mohler if this was *any other* scenario. It greatly confuses me.

    I immensely respect and admire her for all her unflinching intelligence and bravery and advocacy work in every other area. No doubt especially with Nassar, Michigan State, and USA gymnastics.

    But this..I don’t understand and can’t get behind.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  26. Max: they persecuted the reformers who weren’t Sons of Calvin … shunning, excommunication, imprisonment, torture, execution. Calvin wasn’t the only reform in town … there were others who were more Christlike.

    New book out showing this:

    “Refusing to Kiss the Slipper: Opposition to Calvinism in the Francophone Reformation” by Michael W. Bruening (Oxford University Press, 2021) 384 pages

    https://books.google.com/books?id=aeAeEAAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PA4

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  27. Jerome: New book out showing this:

    “Refusing to Kiss the Slipper: Opposition to Calvinism in the Francophone Reformation” by Michael W. Bruening (Oxford University Press, 2021) 384 pages

    https://books.google.com/books?id=aeAeEAAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PA4

    Thanks Jerome. Sounds like an interesting read, a scholarly work. Hopefully, this will shed some fresh insight on the real Calvin.

    I’ve always felt that the true reformers were the Anabaptists. They were heavily persecuted by both the Catholics and the Magisterial Protestants.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  28. Afterburne: Maybe their definition of reproach is deficient. Like their judgement. These two maladies apparently go hand in hand.

    Ditto their definition of leadership. A lot of obfuscation and cover-up, as well as “I don’t recall”-ing going on.

    As Simon Sinek says, there’s rank or title, and then there’s leadership. Sometimes rank/title lacks leadership and sometimes leadership does not carry a title.

    Certainly God has real leaders in His church.

    The above decade-long saga would not be my impression of godly leadership, on several fronts (various individuals & institutions involved). IMHO.

    Again, thank God, this Holy Week Season, that there are authentic godly leaders among the Elect, here and now; they truly are followers of Jesus. Our Lord was unrecognized often during His Earthly ministry, lacking worldly rank & title; yet He is the ultimate Leader. Ever grateful.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  29. Bridget: Also, sexual sin is NOT the same as pastoral abuse or actual illegal abuses against others that are prosecutable!!!

    In those circles, ‘sexual sin’ with another consenting adult is the absolute worst thing there is. You (generic you) can be a slum-lord, no big deal, Chester the molestor?, they’ll hide it from the cops and ‘restore you’.
    Get caught doing the hanky panky with another consenting adult?
    Your hash is settled and your goose is cooked.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  30. “From Caring Well to Couldn’t Care Less”

    The New Calvinists couldn’t care less about women … they put them into complementarian bondage.

    The New Calvinists couldn’t care less about preaching the ‘real’ Gospel … they hardly mention Jesus.

    The New Calvinists couldn’t care less about church members … they don’t visit their homes or know their names, don’t pray with folks in hospitals and nursing homes, don’t preach funerals. They show up for a couple of hours on Sunday mornings, then tweet their lives away at coffees shop during the week.

    However, they do care about themselves – what they look like, how they sound, which NeoCal idols they worship, who they hang out with. The dudebros go to great lengths to protect their own.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  31. Max: Not just any seminary … he is a PhD student at Southern Seminary … SBC’s flagship institution of higher learning (indoctrination) … where King Mohler is on the throne … ground-zero for New Calvinism.

    A Calvinjugend who will graduate (and be ordained) into the Truly Reformed SS.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  32. Headless Unicorn Guy: Calvinjugend

    Could it be that the YRR movement is over? Mike Leake, who once counted himself among their ranks, think it is:

    http://www.mikeleake.net/2021/03/an-autopsy-of-the-yrr-movement.html

    “All of the unhealthy cases of church discipline gone wild, spiritual abuse, cult of personality, etc. can be traced back to a failure on this very principle … it could not allow others to “be Christ’s”.”

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  33. Charles Scott Shaver
    You are one of the most ornery, consistently mean, and self-absorbed folks I have ever had on this blog. You don’t know much about me and your comments are indicative of it. Tell your pals at CBN it ain’t working. Send back Peter Lumpkin. At least he and I have a somewhat pleasant relationship.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  34. JDV,

    In the end, he has an issue and it boils down to this. Will he or won’t he let practicing homsexuals join the church. My guess he won’t and his summation goes in the toilet.

    For those who are wondering, I believe that all churches should practice the faith in the way they believe. But they need to be honest when doing so.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  35. dee,

    This is just a completely speculative guess: what if JD didn’t want to fire Loritts because of the optics in the SBC? The SBC just had two Black pastors leave with their congregations. I wonder if JD thought that firing one of the few remaining prominent Black SBC leaders would be too much?

    I didn’t read all the comments, so I’m sure someone else suggested this already. I know it’s a touchy subject – just a guess.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  36. Max: Could it be that the YRR movement is over?Mike Leake, who once counted himself among their ranks, think it is:

    http://www.mikeleake.net/2021/03/an-autopsy-of-the-yrr-movement.html

    “All of the unhealthy cases of church discipline gone wild, spiritual abuse, cult of personality, etc. can be traced back to a failure on this very principle … it could not allow others to “be Christ’s”.”

    Or perhaps it’s got enough bad press that distancing from the labels appears advantageous — while business goes on as usual

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  37. dee,

    Bolshy, in a good way. Thanks, Dee. Some of us, particularly women, wish we were more so, but at TWW, we experience good role modeling. Kind of opposite of my experience of being a woman in church.

    (Emma Thompson says she is bolshy.) From the Urban Dictionary: “2) (more commonly) an adjective meaning that someone is very assertive in the pursuit of something and/or hostile to authoritarian manoeuvres by others. A bolshy person gets cross if confronted and is likely to say ‘what’s it to you?’, ‘mind your own business’ and stuff like that a lot.”

    Why is it that, culturally, guys are supposed to have all the grit, while women must stay gracefully quiet? Particularly in church circles (culture).

    “True Grit” – the daughter was looking for a man with true grit but she ended up demonstrating it herself.

    Dee, Julie Anne Smith, Sheila Gregoire, Gretchen Baskerville, No Eden Elsewhere, Watch Keep’s Amy Smith, etc. Role models for today’s Christian women.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  38. Max,

    “Could it be that the YRR movement is over?”
    ++++++++++++++++

    well, as i see it it was over as soon as it started — just waiting for the machinery to unwind and the hum to finally die out.

    simply too many things that are life-taking (as opposed to life-giving) to be sustainable.

    really wondering how many of the YRR individuals know it’s over and done. it’s totally possible to keep going and cheering and be totally oblivious that the ship sank a while ago.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  39. elastigirl: wondering how many of the YRR individuals know it’s over and done. it’s totally possible to keep going and cheering and be totally oblivious that the ship sank a while ago

    The big screens, fog machines and skinny jeans are still hopping at the SBC-YRR churches near me. These guys were clueless when they signed up for the NeoCal game and they are still clueless. As Al Mohler said once “Where else are they going to go?”

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  40. JDV: Or perhaps it’s got enough bad press that distancing from the labels appears advantageous — while business goes on as usual

    Yes, I think that is it. The YRR movement is just being repackaged … same characters with the same lies. The young, restless and reformed are now older, but still restless and reformed … perhaps we should call them ORR now.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  41. Max,

    A note about when a church staff member gets caught and then the supervisors and experts are called upon to respond. The congregation looks on.

    Been catching a bit of the trial. It seems that the supervisors and experts (mainly medical) knew something was off from the get-go at the scene. Nothing to do with vocal onlookers. The supervisors & experts seem to be testifying to seeing something awry. Yes, there were onlookers filming that were alarmed and vocal. But it’s the experts & supervisors now testifying that are framing certain realities about this case in the framework of their training & expertise, following protocols. No rose-colored lenses. No back-slapping.

    The reason I bring this up as an observer is to note that when church overseers & supervisors finally take their jobs seriously & are honest & follow legal & good church protocols, it just may make a difference in dealing with rogue actors who wreak destructive havoc in church social environments. Add to that the input of real experts (like in this case, there are medics, independent of LE) who also testify to seeing something off.

    Not commenting on the outcome of this case. Not at all.

    However, good supervision & appropriate experts bring civility, is my observation. They make sense. Common Good, Rule of Law, Protocols. When those two elements (supervisors & trained independent experts) aren’t present or don’t function, the rogues rule, it seems.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  42. Ava Aaronson,

    “Why is it that, culturally, guys are supposed to have all the grit, while women must stay gracefully quiet? Particularly in church circles (culture).”
    +++++++++++

    i have so many responses to this question. too many for “succinct”! but because i can’t keep quiet on this one, here’s a start:

    1. i’ll switch around some metaphors and say ‘the big, loud wheel gets the grease.’

    men are generally bigger than women. taller with bigger bones and muscles, and deeper, bigger voices.

    generally speaking, the potential for a bigger presence.

    a friend’s daughter (‘chloey’) who was a nanny for a family was being overworked, taken advantage of, and not being paid. ‘Chloey’ was assertive and asked to be paid. To no avail.

    The next step was ‘Chloe’ went to the house, knocked on the door, and asked again. This time her step-dad was standing behind her. All he did was stand there. He didn’t have to say a word. All that was needed was his 6’3″ presence.

    she was paid immediately.

    Crimany, i wish this wasn’t the case. Elastigirl can take out adversaries with my one-two punch but at times –i hate to say it– Mr. Incredible’s sheer hulking presence and deep voice makes for a faster and bigger POW.
    ————

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  43. Ava Aaronson,

    “Why is it that, culturally, guys are supposed to have all the grit, while women must stay gracefully quiet? Particularly in church circles (culture).”
    +++++++++++

    2. because the male species are generally endowed with powerful attributes of size and sound,

    and because living beings tend to reflexively go with the quickest identifiable source of power (sheer size/sound presence),

    the living beings that are smaller and whose voices don’t have quite the boom get overlooked.
    ——————

    but these are the reflexes of survival instinct.

    step 1: the reflex – to find physical safety with something big and booming.

    step 2: the reasoning – now that we’re physically safe, how do we problem-solve?

    size and sound are no longer the priority. intellect, wisdom, developed skills, and the sheer force of personality in any size, shape or form enter the scene.
    ————

    seems to me throughout history the larger story is physical safety and survival. thus the big humans were most needed.

    there has been less opportunity for all human participation.

    technology and nutrition are changing that.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  44. elastigirl: but these are the reflexes of survival instinct.

    step 1: the reflex – to find physical safety with something big and booming.

    And decades of “Persecution Pron” and Satanic Conspiracies/WItches Everywhere have locked Christians into Survival Instinct Mode with NO active neurons above the Survival Instinct Brainstem.

    P.S. Four-five years ago, wasn’t a certain Reality Show star the Biggest and Boomingest on the public stage?

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  45. Max: However, they do care about themselves – what they look like, how they sound, which NeoCal idols they worship, who they hang out with. The dudebros go to great lengths to protect their own.

    Tells you who their REAL LORD and God is, doesn’t it?
    (i.e. the one they see in the mirror)

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  46. Max: So extreme that they persecuted the reformers who weren’t Sons of Calvin … shunning, excommunication, imprisonment, torture, execution.Calvin wasn’t the only reform in town … there were others who were more Christlike.

    But Calvin was the one who Held the Whip.
    Waving a Get Out Of Hell Free Card signed by God Himself before the creation of the world.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  47. Ava Aaronson: Bolshy, in a good way.

    Bolshy/Bolshie is British slang, short for Bolshevik, referring to people who are stubborn and uncooperative and refusing to help. The “revered” source Urban Dictionary is not entirely wrong (especially as the word can be used on good humor), but actual Bolsheviks did not oppose authoritarianism. In fact they rather preferred it to czarism, in remarkably forceful ways.

    I don’t know exactly what qualities you’re trying to describe, but women in the church should feel free to describe themselves as outspoken, determined, independent, assertive, firm, strong, etc., if they are and if they want to use those words. Too many of us have bought into the tiny vocabulary assigned to us.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  48. Friend,

    Yes. Count me as one who was invested in being a quiet go along girl, as I felt God was prescribing, and church was encouraging.

    Very thankful for so many new understandings, and certainly TWW and the TWW commenters have played an essential role. Thx all. New voices.

    Emma Thompson describes herself as bolshy as a woman in standing up to inappropriate men in her field of work. Nothing political or historical in her reference; but very bold.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  49. In the midst of such a world, the resurrection is on display again. Here in the Ozarks the hawthorn has bloomed, along with cherries, weeping cherries, pears in abundance, daffodils, tulips, crocus and hyacinths, grape hyacinths, and huge mounds of forsythia. Some azaleas are blooming, and the redbuds are just beginning to bloom. Grass is that insane vibrant green you see in Tennessee or Virginia all summer.

    There is sorrow, meanness, and stupidity abounding but that does not stop God’s love letter and gifts of flowers from reminding us He is in control, He loves us, and He is good beyond all we can imagine.

    God loves us. Mean, nasty, grouchy, sinful old us. He loves us. And there ain’t nothing we can do to stop Him from loving us.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  50. Ava Aaronson: bolshy as a woman in standing up to inappropriate men

    Yeah, that makes sense. Bolshy in that she wasn’t supposed to call them out. At most, women are supposed to giggle and scoot away, right?

    I’m so tired of this.

    My church has a volunteer who might be described as a battle axe. Honestly I used to dislike her because she was, well, bolshy. Let’s say I had a request that was not likely to be approved. She wouldn’t say, “Hmm, let me think a minute. I’m not completely sure that’s something we can do. Would you like me to ask?”

    She’d say, “Ha! Are you kidding?” And then she would make the right thing happen through some other means. I kept wondering how a woman could get away with this… was she rolling in dough?

    One amazing day, I realized that the clergy and staff are comfortable with assertive, no-nonsense women, and she is LOVED FOR WHO SHE IS. And I’ve been a pain to them ever since. 😉

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

Leave a comment - Click here for our commenting rules

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *