Bryan Loritts Blames Bloggers for Darrin Patrick’s Death, but Has Vested Interest in Keeping Them Quiet

By Julie Roys

Pastor, author, and speaker, Bryan Loritts, last weekend took to Instagram and blamed bloggers and evangelicals for the tragic death of restored megachurch pastor, Darrin Patrick.

In a video that garnered more than 13,000 views, Loritts alleged that evangelicals “stink at grace.” And he implied that Patrick took his life because evangelicals, egged on by bloggers, couldn’t get “past” Patrick’s past.

“And it’s just heartbreaking,” Loritts said. “Like, there’s a whole industry out there—blogging, Christian media—that that exists and thrives off of fallen leaders. . . . When I heard that my friend died, my immediate thought was, ‘Evangelicals were an accomplice to his death.’”

However, Bryan Loritts, son of nationally recognized pastor, Crawford Loritts, has a vested interest in keeping bloggers and Christian media silent.

Four years ago, Loritts was accused of covering up sex crimes committed by his brother-in-law while both men were employed by a church in Memphis. And though Loritts has left that church, and tried to put the allegations behind him, major questions remain. And blogs like the Wartburg Watch, Watchkeep, and Wondering Eagle have continued to report on the issue, much to Loritts’s chagrin.

This weekend, Loritts shot back.

Darrin Patrick & Bryan Loritts

He complained about a blogger—possibly Wartburg Watch—who had written about Darrin Patrick’s death and had linked to an article questioning whether leaders are getting restored too quickly.

Though Patrick had been fired from an Acts 29 megachurch four years ago for patterns of sin, he had been hired by Seacoast Church 16 months later and restored to ministry. Last week, Patrick died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but the church has not indicated whether his death was an accident or suicide.

Clearly, Loritts believes the latter.

And he suggested that Christians should call out bloggers who mention the pasts of fallen pastors the same way that the rapper Snoop Dogg called out CBS host Gayle King after Kobe Bryant’s death.

Snoop Dogg

King had the audacity after Bryant’s death to mention Bryant’s 2003 rape charge when interviewing WNBA star Lisa Leslie. And in an expletive-laced video, Snoop Dog said: “Gayle King, out of pocket for that s–t, way out of pocket . . . Funky, dog-haired b–ch, how dare you try and tarnish my motherf–ing homeboy’s reputation, punk motherf–er.”

Snoop Dogg also threatened King, saying, “Respect the family and back off b–ch before we come get you.” 

Though Loritts said he doesn’t condone threatening people, he said Snoop Dog did “something beautiful” when he rebuked King.

Loritts added: “I think the Evangelical Church needs some prophetic Snoop Doggs who will say to these people who keep blogging, and posting, and writing, and using out of context phrases like ‘disqualified from ministry’—who won’t let people move from their past—‘You’re out of pocket.’”

Cover-up Scandal in Loritts’s Past

It’s understandable why Loritts would want  pastors to be able to move on from their past and to silence bloggers. Loritts stands accused of serious misconduct for which he has never offered a credible response.

In 2016, several alleged victims of Loritts’s brother-in-law, Rick Trotter, accused Loritts of pressuring them not to report Trotter’s sex crimes against them. One of the victims also accused Loritts of destroying evidence of Trotter’s crimes.

Rick Trotter

The crimes allegedly occurred at Fellowship Memphis, a multi-cultural church Loritts co-founded with John Bryson, a former member of the Acts 29 board. Loritts and Bryson served as lead pastors at Fellowship Memphis. And Trotter, who also was the announcer for the Memphis Grizzlies, worked part-time as the worship pastor.

According to a local news report, Fellowship Memphis caught Trotter in 2010 placing a hidden camera in a bathroom where Trotter reportedly recorded both women and minors. Fellowship Memphis fired Trotter in 2010 and paid for him to receive three months of counseling for sex addiction.

But the church did not report Trotter to authorities.

The following year, Trotter was hired by another Memphis church—Downtown Church. And news of Trotter’s crimes did not become public until six years later when Downton Church discovered that Trotter again had made indecent recordings—this time of its members. So in 2016, Downtown Church reported Trotter to police.

It was then that a victim told The Christian Post about Loritts’ involvement in the alleged coverup of Trotter’s crimes in 2010. She said:

After getting caught by the (Fellowship Memphis) staff, Rick’s brother-in-law, Bryan Loritts, and lead pastor and elder, John Bryson, claimed to have destroyed the evidence (Trotter’s iPhone) after watching the footage. They told all the women that they had consulted an officer and attorney. And if we pressed charges, it would ruin Rick Trotter’s life and the video would be played in court.

They had set up meetings with all the women to sit down individually with Rick Trotter and his wife, Heather, so he could apologize. I can’t tell you how distressing it all was. (Trotter) was fired from Fellowship Memphis and the church helped pay for him to go to rehab in his home town of Atlanta.

Similarly, The Commercial Appeal reported on August 11, 2016, that four of Trotter’s alleged victims told the paper that Bryson and possibly other church officials discouraged the victims from going to police.

One of the alleged victims, who was only 16 at the time of the recording, told The Commercial Appeal that Fellowship’s leaders discouraged her parents from going public. Another alleged victim, who was 15 when she was recorded, said her family left Fellowship when they “found out what lengths the church went to cover (Trotter’s crimes) up and keep it quiet.”

At that time, August 2016, Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Church issued a joint statement, claiming that the “individuals victimized” in 2010 were “all adults” and that “none of the victims chose to press charges.”

However, about two weeks later, Loritts tweeted that Trotter had recorded a family member of his and claimed, “We did immediately report to police and DCS.”

DCS is an acronym for the Department of Children’s Services. So it would appear that Loritts was aware that some of Trotters’ victims were minors.

I called and emailed DCS to see if the agency had any record of a report from Bryan Loritts from 2010. The agency has not yet responded.

However, police confirmed to multiple media outlets when the story first broke that no one from Fellowship Memphis had reported Trotters’ alleged crimes in 2010.

I reached out to Loritts multiple times, asking for an explanation, but he did not respond.

In late August, 2016, Bryson, under pressure from the public, announced that he had hired a private investigator to investigate Fellowship Memphis’s handling of the Trotter affair.

I contacted Bryson this week, asking for the name of the firm that conducted the investigation, as well as its findings, but Bryson did not respond.

Bryson remains the lead pastor at Fellowship Memphis.

Loritts, on the other hand, left Fellowship Memphis in 2015 and took a job at Trinity Grace Church in New York City as pastor of preaching and mission. Then, in March, 2016, Loritts moved to California and took a job as lead pastor at Abundant Life Christian Church in Mountainview, California—a job he abruptly left several months ago.

Loritts Enjoys Broad Acceptance Despite Allegations

Despite the concerning allegations against Loritts, and his own statements, which conflict with known facts, Loritts continues to enjoy widespread acceptance in the evangelical community.

Loritts currently serves on the trustee board at Biola University. And over the past several years, Loritts has spoken at events sponsored by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, Moody Theological Seminary, and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Just five days ago, Loritts appeared on Moody’s Radio’s Equipped with Chris Brooks. And next month, Moody Publishers is releasing a new book by Bryan Loritts, with a foreward by Crawford Loritts, entitled, “The Dad Difference: The 4 Most Important Gifts You Can Give to Your Kids.”

Loritts, however, appears to be transitioning to something new.

Just a few days ago, the house where Loritts and his family were living in San Jose, CA, sold for $1.46 million.

And in February of this year, Loritts unexpectedly left Abundant Life Christian Church. On February 17, Abundant Life Pastor Gary Anderson, apparently shaken by Loritts’s sudden resignation, expressed dismay about Loritts’s departure. But Anderson didn’t offer any explanation for why Loritts left so suddenly.

I searched for an announcement online about Loritts’ departure but couldn’t find one. I also emailed Pastor Anderson and the communications director at Abundant Life, but they did not respond.

Another Appeal for Grace

This past Monday, Loritts posted a follow-up video to the one on Darrin Patrick he had posted over the weekend. In it, he once again appealed to evangelicals to have more grace with fallen pastors.

Loritts also admitted in the video that when he was in his 20s, he committed a sin so serious that his pastor had “every right to fire me.” But Loritts said that his pastor, Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer of Faithful Central Bible Church, said instead, “We don’t do that over here.”

Bishop Ulmer & Luke MacDonald

Interestingly, Ulmer recently hired Luke MacDonald to serve as the associate pastor of preaching and outreach at Faithful Central Bible Church.

Luke MacDonald is the son of James MacDonald, the disgraced former pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel. Luke resigned as an executive pastor at Harvest last year amid calls for his removal.

According to numerous sources I interviewed during my extensive investigation of Harvest, Luke was very much an accomplice to his father’s bullying and “massive . . . governance failure” at Harvest.

To my knowledge, Luke has never repented for the sins he committed at Harvest, nor apologized to those he so grievously wronged.

Yet Luke was the first person to comment on Loritts’s Monday Instagram post. “thx pastor,” he wrote. “true and graciously stated.”

No doubt, Luke is grateful for Loritts. Shortly after James MacDonald sued me, two bloggers, and their wives, Loritts came to MacDonald’s defense. Ironically, in a blog, Loritts pleaded for mercy for MacDonald, despite MacDonald’s egregious sins, the many he victimized, and MacDonald’s complete absence of repentance or apology. Loritts also claimed that the white church’s failure to forgive its fallen pastors is a “malady.”

“The malady of white evangelicalism in America is the absence of empathy towards their hurting and leaders,” Loritts wrote. “This malady strips them of empathy and causes them to hurriedly label people as being disqualified from ministry.”*

*The last two paragraphs were added after the initial posting of this article. I also removed the video of Snoop Dogg’s rant because some complained about its explicit nature. However, the video is linked in my article.

UPDATE: The  information about Loritts taking a job in 2015 at Trinity Grace Church was added to the original article.

Loritts’s Video About Darrin Patrick’s Death:

 

Loritts’s Follow-Up Video:

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42 thoughts on “Bryan Loritts Blames Bloggers for Darrin Patrick’s Death, but Has Vested Interest in Keeping Them Quiet”

  1. misterjesperson

    And here we have another white-washed septic tank posing as a preacher. A wolf complaining that someone would dare publicly declare his sin! A snake amid a brood of other vipers leveraging God’s authority in order to make themselves rich and famous. This is not a church, it a business with mafia like undertones just under the surface. Making light of the clear sin of leaders while attempting to shame those who are merely pointing out evil.

    Beware those who call good as evil and evil as good from Isa. 5:20. These men do what other narcissists do which is to deflect so there is no actual sorrow or repentance over their own evil. This is not The Church that the real Jesus is building. Jesus’ true servants are humble and do not have selfish ambition. They do not cover up crimes, nor do they set up systems where crimes are easily committed due to a lack of oversight and a refusal to publicly call out leaders who sin. 1 Tim. 5:20, “But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning. I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism. Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.”

  2. Kenton Amstutz

    God gives grace and forgiveness for our sin. But their are still consequences. If any crime is committed, it needs to be reported to the police. Period. I don’t know if Darrin Patrick committed any crimes but if he did , they need to be reported. You mentioned nothing about Darrin Patrick’s victims. God is full of grace and mercy but he is also a just God. I agree that evangelicals sometimes stink at grace but they also stink at understanding sexual abuse as a reportable crime. If a man or woman is found guilty of sexual abuse, they need to be held accountable to the authorities and accept the penalty. Those who try to restore criminals are accomplices in their crimes and may be accomplices in their subsequent suicides. When are churches , universities, youth organizations going to learn that they must report criminals not restore them. Not their job. So many past examples of victims abused and it’s all covered up. It’s 2020, people!! Wake up and do the right thing! Report all physical and sexual abuse. All pastors are mandatory reporters just like doctors. This is a scourge on the church and it must stop!

  3. What is going on in the church?! Im so over evangelical church- covering up aggregious “ crimes”, obviously sins- but are crimes – no less than any other place where innocents are taken advantage of. Moody and Chris Brooks celebrating him and his writing? No way, Im over Moody- might as well be a cult of money grabbers. Im grieved, DL Moody would be rolling in his grave if it werent for resurrection.

  4. David Jankowski

    I’m getting really discouraged as we learn of one after another spiritual leaders who fail and fall. In 52 years of ministry, I have never had one of my associates fail in these sexual ways.

    1. I think there are churches where sexual sins are not taken seriously (that’s obviously the case with Loritts Sr and Jr, and then it becomes a pattern. A long time ago I was in a church where the pastor was forced to resign because of adultery. There were several on the leadership board who were aware, and two on the leadership board were also seeing women who weren’t their current wives…it was so sad and wrong, but it had become the pattern of that church. The situation also caused terrible damage to the church, and it has never fully recovered.

    2. I’ve been in my current church almost 20 years, and we’ve only had one public case of an elder who fell into sin. It was dealt with quickly, compassionately, and publicly. There was a congregational meeting, the issue was presented, along with the “restoration” plan-but it was not restoration to ministry. That was never in the plan. It was marriage counseling paid for by the church, as well as a supervision plan while at church. The congregation was also advised that similar behavior would not be tolerated for anyone in leadership. That has been repeated several times from the pulpit as public issues occur in churches. I know lots of things can happen that aren’t public, but if you put the word out, I think it helps. Basically it’s, “we will never stop loving you, but that kind of sin means that you should not be in leadership.”

      After being in a church where the pastor was a serial adulterer and all I kept hearing was “he was such a good preacher”, my current church’s approach has given me much more confidence in the leadership. It has also been a call to keep a close eye on my own walk of faith because I am also in leadership, on a lower rung of the ladder, but I still have people who look to me for spiritual direction. I know that the standard is high.

      Back in the early 90s, when a couple of celebrity pastors fell from grace, Chuck Swindoll published an article answering the question if pastors caught in adultery could ever serve as pastors again. He was very cautious, and his general conclusion was “never.” Why? The amount of deceit, both self-deception and deception of others, indicated a depth of sin that needed to be addressed in a very major way. One is trying to lead two different lives, while at the same time purporting to be the spiritual feeder/caretaker of the flock. Swindoll said that just sorting that out would take so long and be so hard that it would forever disqualify one from pastoral ministry. There could be other opportunities for ministry, possibly, but not pastoral.

  5. I knew nothing about the Lorrits/Trotter events and won’t comment on them. I think both the traditional press and bloggers often fail to distinguish between extremely serious offenses that merit lifetime bans from ministry and less serious infractions. There is a conflict of interest for them, if all infractions are compelling then there is more to write about. But what irritates me the most in high profile self inflicted deaths is the excessive eulogizing of the departed. Blaming bloggers is one manifestation. It is in no way the bloggers’ fault. If the bloggers have lied they can be sued. But I’ve heard two recent suicides described as “devoted” fathers and one as a loving husband. At what point does one’s final act negate previous acts of love and devotion? I think we’ve lost sight of such things in the search for compassion at all costs. The cost of excessive eulogizing is in the lowering of the social barriers to self harm. Those barriers are necessary and beneficial.

    1. Sir, thank you for reminding me why I blog and support others who do.

      You imply, without any factual basis, that all bloggers just want to get attention by disparaging pastors.

      Has it occurred to you that bloggers may really care about the victims of pastors who sexually, physically, and spiritually abuse women, children, and other groups of people who are often marginalized by society?

      I ask that question because those are the issues that the bloggers I know focus on.

      Perhaps the crux of the matter isn’t whether or not someone should be allowed to remain in ministry. It’s whether they should be allowed to use their perceived Christian religious beliefs as an excuse to molest, rape, and physically assault others under the guise of being Christian pastors who should be considered above reproach no matter how they behave.

      Maybe you would better understand what’s really at stake if you took the time to research the facts and issues mentioned in this article.

      By your admission, you haven’t done so.

      Have a nice day.

  6. Looks to me that if anyone is “out of pocket” it would be Bryan Loritts. Yes, there is grace, forgiveness and restoration to the Church for any repentant sinner, but there is not necessarily restoration to ministry. I assume Loritts knows this, yet he said that he can’t find “disqualified from ministry” anywhere in the Bible. You also will not find the term “Trinity” in the Bible, but the construct has been logically obtained through reading of the Scriptures.

    I suggest Loritts read I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. These verses lay out the Biblical qualifications for a leader or elder of a church. If there are qualifications it follows that a leader who has a major failing in any of these items has disqualified himself from leadership in the church.

  7. I have not spoken about this but now is the time when such inflammatory things are being said about me and other bloggers. Darrin Patrick messaged me a few months ago. I happen to know that he did not blame me for what happened. So I wonder why Loritts is spouting such nonsense.

    1. Dee,

      I read what you wrote. It was not “out of pocket.” And there’s no indication anywhere, other than Loritts’s speculation, that Patrick’s death had anything to do with bloggers or Christian media.

      Patrick’s rebuke by his church four years ago was public as 1 Tim. 5:20 indicates it should be. So was Patrick’s restoration. And there’s nothing wrong with discussing how quickly fallen pastors can be restored. That’s a legitimate discussion and you didn’t approach it in a graceless way.

    2. He’s spouting nonsense to garner sympathy.
      My former pastor had the strangest Facebook post about this, too. I had never heard of Patrick but looked him up after reading the post.
      He said that he knows “my brother labored well, loved deeply and suffered for the Kingdom. I know he took too many hits, some he brought on but most were unkind and ungodly…. If you are not in ministry, know this, it is endlessly rough and deeply painful. If you know a pastor or a church worker, drop everything and reach out to them. Tell them you see them carrying the burdens of others…tell them you love them. Tell them you can’t believe how they labor and care and give. If you have sucked life from them, give it back. Act like you know Jesus is King and do what he says.”

      I felt very scolded. Like “we” were to blame for the death of a pastor. Or like we shouldn’t bring our hard stuff to our pastors.

      The most frustrating thing is that we ALL carry each other’s burdens. Life is hard.

      Anyway. It’s sadly not surprising.

  8. First of all, the institution we call the church today is not the model given us in the NT – period. The profile for leaders is not the profile given in the NT model. I think we should be much more careful in how we use the word “church”, megachurch”. In spite of the fact that many believers attend, the church is not a building or an institution / business organization as is pervasive today. We should adopt a different title – “religious institution” or whatever. We should get away from calling these places “Bible Believing Churches” when there not even close to the NT model. How on earth do you shepherd 15000 people, and a lead pastor, (whatever that is supposed to be), watch over 62 elders, 135 deacons and even begin to think he knows them well enough to discern their character. It’s wrong right from the start.

    Secondly, public figures in these institutions should get public scrutiny when they are involved in serious sin that will not be dealt with by the institution. They should be called out and the repentant will not run away from what they have done. Crimes should be reported to civil authorities immediately. Crimes stay on your record for good in spite of the fact that God forgives his children completely and forever. Consequences and forgiveness are not the same thing. Humble former leaders that have committed disqualifying sins and crimes will not push themselves back into the public spotlight, they will have the well being of the entire body in view.

    Thirdly, having said that, many on social media, blogs, etc. who claim to speak with the authority of God are graceless, and just as abusive as many of those they condemn for being the same. Those “spiritual leaders” that do sin in ways that are not disqualifying, (there is a wide range of opinions on that one), who repent, and who do not hide the crimes of others are mercilessly punished by those who claim to be taking a stand for Christ. Pharisaical bull and worse. It’s a big mixed bag of spiritual filth is what it is.

    I served in one of these institutions for 30 years, attended conferences put on by many of these institutions that are often in the headlines today. I don’t go to these establishments anymore. I have not found one that fits the Christian community and shepherding model of the NT, and I haven’t found one that doesn’t make me so uneasy that I can worship. Rant over – we need to cut it straight.

  9. B Loritts is a total clown. Sorry, no offense intended to actual clowns by lumping Loritts in with them. This is the same dude who claimed at ER2 that Christians who opposed heretic TD Jakes did so only because….wait for it…they were racist. Yes of course, couldn’t possibly have anything to do with his denial of the Trinity or his heretical health and wealth gospel. Loritts knew this was patently false when he said it. Now he approves of noted preacher snoop dog threatening people with physical violence, simply for telling the truth. Nothing this guy says or does should be taken to be remotely serious.

  10. If an unbeliever told me that “the church,” as they see it, is a clown show, I would have to agree with them. The church generally is soft, compromising, celebrity worship driven, worldly, not grounded in the Word, psychobabble crazy.

  11. Paul Lundquist

    Once again, thank you, thank you, thank you Ms. Roys for your perseverance and courage in exposing corruption. I’m thankful to God for the way you do your homework and the care with which you provide detail and documentation. This piece on Bryan Loritts is a compelling piece of work.

    Four days ago a man I had just met asked me if I was an evangelical, and I said yes. I am an evangelical because I believe that Jesus rose from the dead, and because non-evangelical forms of Christianity make mistakes (as I see them) that I cannot embrace. But the last few decades have seen such a flowering of corruption in the evangelical world that it has left many of us with spiritual vertigo, embarrassed of our tribe, and no longer knowing what Christian radio station we can listen to, what church we can join, or what Christian institution we can attend that we are confident will not be run by a cabal of greedy men with little integrity.

    Christian ministry must be conducted by men and women whose marriage beds are undefiled (Hebrews 13:4); whose honesty is such that they would not be struck dead by the test applied to Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11); who would never think of naming a ministry after themselves (“He must become greater; I must become less” – John 3:30); and who have too little money left after generous giving to be able to afford an expensive house (Hebrews 13:5 among other verses). If there are few individuals like that, well, good. “Let not many of you become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we will incur a stricter judgment” (James 3:1).

  12. Just wow. What sort of “pastor” cosigns on the likes of Snoop Dogg? The man is a 50 year old gang member who endorses smoking drugs and paraded several women around on their hands and knees on leashes. He should have been arrested for his threats against Gayle King and roundly boycotted by all. The last person in the world who should be patting him on the back and saying others should emulate him should be a Christian pastor. I’ll never walk away from or give up on Jesus and hope no one else does either. At the same time I personally want nothing to do with national ministries or megachurches anymore. Even the old school ones that I cut my Christian teeth on I find too much to take anymore. The gross commercialization and shiny productions masquerading as Christianity has turned me off. Too many of them are toxic. No one is asking any of these people to be perfect but how about stay within the bounds of what is moral, ethical, and oh yeah…LEGAL. Covering up sex scandals, money shell games, and cronyism is just too much for me. The one thing I’ve learned is that all of these folks seem to be interconnected in many ways. Anymore it seems that every time I see Acts 29 or Moody I wonder if there’s been yet another scandal involving them or their surrogates and the answer is far too often ‘yes.’ Yet they wonder why people are turning away from the church.

  13. Brent Thompson

    “The malady of white evangelicalism in America is the absence of empathy towards their hurting and leaders.”

    It is my understanding of the unwritten rules governing the blog-commenting “game” that I, a white man, commenting on matters of race takes risks. On one hand, I can be accused of privilege, racism, or, God help us, white supremacy, or, on the other hand, of virtue-signaling, appropriation, or being holier-than-thou.

    Granted, the “white church” in America has many maladies. I also know it is a far-too common stereotype to contrast between “white” churches and “black” churches by saying that white churches place a high priority on believing and practicing the “right” way, while black churches are less judgmental and place less emphasis on strict orthodoxy and orthopraxy.

    That, and other stereotypes, should not be dragged into a discussion of predators in the pulpit.

    Thus throwing caution to the wind, I’m calling out Mr. Loritts for his “white evangelicalism” comment.The scourge of predators in the pulpit has nothing to do with orthodoxy or orthopraxy, and has nothing to do with “white” churches versus “black” churches.

    Shame on Mr. Loritts for injecting race and twisting racial stereotypes to make a point. Any church, regardless of racial composition, that takes a strong stand against predators in the pulpits, and that prioritizes victims over perpetrators, is suffering from no malady for doing so. Any church, regardless of racial composition, that “restores” paraphiliac or deceitful or criminal-against-person church-staff members back into ministry occupations, is suffering from many maladies: Pride, vulgarity, and negligence, to name some.

    Mr. Loritts, stereotypes are crutches for a narrow mind.I hope you seek healing for your enfeeblement.

  14. First, my deepest condolences to the Patrick’s family in their loss.
    Dealing with the topic on hand, it is wrong for Bryan Loritts (BL) to blame bloggers and Evangelicals as “accomplice to his death.’” It would be similar to me blaming Darrin Patrick’s (DP) hunting partner as an accomplice in his death; putting DP in that situation and providing the firearms. If there is any blame to be assign; BL should take responsibility rather than point his fingers at others. As a Pastor, author, speaker and FRIEND; did BL not see any signs of depression, keep in contact, counsel, pray and provide encouragement to DP? We know that BL failed as a Pastor, author, speaker and BROTHER-IN-LAW to Rick Trotter (RT) by protecting him rather than reprimand him; giving him a pass on his past. We know that BL failed as a Pastor, author, speaker and brother to his SISTER Heather by protecting RT and allowing him to continue his sinful behavior. We know that BL failed as a Pastor, author, speaker and FAMILY MAN as one of his own family member was recorded by RT per BL ‘s tweet on 8/25/16 10:33am. Yes, God is a God of grace and 2nd chances. We find this throughout the Bible- Noah, Moses, David, Jonah, Peter and others. One who is incarcerated when given a 2nd chance, should be very thankful. But when a Rick Trotter, Dr. Anthony Moore, Tullian Tchividjian, James McDonald and others are not stopped; they will continue their sinful behavior. Blogs peel away the spin and reveal the truth. It should be a warning ” ….you may be sure that your sin will find you out”.(Numbers 32:23)

  15. I’m trying to understand the point of this post. Loritts posed a very interesting thought about grace (or the lack thereof) in the evangelical church. Instead of addressing it, we get a lengthy “whataboutism” blog of predicting someone else’s intentions (a dangerous game), with comments about Snoop Dogg (huh?), selling a home in San Jose (as someone who lived in the Bay Area – and attended/was baptized at Abundant Life – I can tell you $1.46 million is par for the course for even small homes), and a game of connect-the-dots to FINALLY get to the bone Ms Roys wants to pick: Loritts is tied to the MacDonalds.

    Without hypocritically getting into another game of “whataboutism”, deflection, and who did what to whom….
    I’d like to get back to the INITIAL issue: does ANY of this make Loritts initial point invalid? Did we refuse to let Patrick overcome his sin? Are evangelicals lacking in grace? Do we let sinners repent and return to ministry? Should we?

    Let’s not get dragged into the sinner’s game of “deflect when confronted with our own sin”. Let’s talk about it.

    1. The point of this post is to give the context of Loritts’s comments so people can evaluate their worth.

      No one, other than Loritts, is claiming that Patrick took his life because evangelicals/bloggers are lacking in grace. And even Loritts doesn’t offer any evidence other than his own musings.

      The truth is, Patrick was shown a lot of grace. Not many people can be fired with cause from their jobs, receive free counseling for the issue that caused their firing, and then land another well-paying job 16 months later. Other than one blog that questioned whether Patrick was restored too quickly (which is a valid question) bloggers largely gave Patrick a pass.

      I’m grieved that Patrick took his own life, if that is indeed what he did. And I feel terrible for his family. But what Loritts did was unconscionable. He seized this tragedy as an opportunity to blame innocent parties for Patrick’s death while also garnering sympathy for himself. What he did was despicable and self-serving, and it’s pathetic that so many Christians fell for it.

      1. @JulieRoys Thank you for your response. I better understand your point, but don’t fully agree on the following:

        There is a difference between clarifying the context and shaming the messenger. IMO, this toes the line, especially since you show no proof of Loritts wanting to silence anybody. It’s a bunch of assumptions, opinions, biases, and circumstances strung together to try to make a statement about someone else’s intentions. That’s touchy territory.
        It also shouldn’t take a whole army of people to make a claim for it to be considered. Popularity is not proof. There are plenty of times where there has been ONE brave voice that raised enough concern to start a whole movement. The issue is if that one voice has enough evidence to be considered. Sounds like that is what you are questioning.
        The main question I have on if Patrick was shown grace is about if he was able to move on without his past being thrown up in his face all the time. I see this in both the Christian and secular world: giving an offender another chance (so we can morally grandstand about giving them another chance), but making sure that the offender (and everyone around them) NEVER forgets the mistake that was made, and using that mistake to discredit any progress and/or actions that the offender takes that we disagree with. That is NOT grace.
        This tragedy is unfortunately being exacerbated by people taking sides and digging up dirt on one another. Let’s remember that when there is loss, it is very common for those who are grieving to look for someone or something to blame. I implore us to prove Loritts wrong and show grace under those circumstances and not deflect or dig up dirt in response.

        1. Funny, M H because what you accuse Julie Roys of doing is what Lorrits is doing. Yet you want grace for BL, yet don’t give Julie the benefit of the doubt.

          1. When you are accusing someone of something, the burden of proof is on you to have enough evidence. (Our judicial system is actually based on this premise). “Whataboutism” is not evidence. This initial post is lacking; other posters agree and actually provide better context than Ms Roys. While I appreciate her reply – and it was helpful – I don’t fully agree with her approach here.

            Doesn’t mean I agree with or support Lorrits at all.

    2. The point of the post is that Lorrits is a dirty old man who consistently covers for other dirty old men. He is pointing the finger and judging others that take issue with dirty old men treating Christ like their whore. That is the issue. I do agree this report was lacking significantly in detail. The writer failed to mention the hiring of Pete Newman (Google Kanakuk Kamps and Pete Newman), who was at one point, Missouri’s most prolific child sex offender. She also failed to point out that Lorrits was the last person in possession of Trotter’s recordings which took place at the Lorrits home, Trotter’s home and the church. Lorrits told the parents of a babysitter (a minor at the time) that he “took it (Trotter’s recordings) home and didn’t know where it was now.” I might add that this only added insult to injury for the victims. He blatantly lied about going to the police. No report was ever filed. His own underage boys were recorded, along with his own sister, still he never reported it. The elders and other pastors were complicit in the cover up. The investigators they hired went after the victims, following, harassing, and collecting information on them. The victims. Let’s not shoot the messenger. She did not even scratch the surface on this. Blame should rest squarely on the evil that is manifested in Lorrits, Bryson, Trotter and the like. He has no right to call out the speck in someone else’s eye. His words are invalidated. End of discussion.

    3. Brent Thompson

      M H – I think you’ve missed the main point of this article, although you did pick up on one supporting point and mistook it for the main point. And, I thank you for commenting as you did, because it shows (I hope) that you are trying to make heads or tails of the whole sordid scourge of predators in the pulpit and how “the church” should respond.

      Please note that, actually, Loritts said “white” evangelicals lack grace. I guess, following that logic coming as it does from a man of color, his “black” churches are adundantly graceful? Loritts said that lack of grace is the malady of the “white” church. That might be true, and it might not be true. I think we can find “black” churches that are graceless and “white” churches that are graceful.

      Regardless, is the state of “white” and “black” churches in America in any way relevant to Loritts’ justification for downplaying victims–even those in his own family!–and advocating the “graceful restoration” of criminal perpetrators right back into the milieu out of which they chose their victims and perpetrated their crimes?

      What do you think of Loritts injecting race into the matter? Is that helpful to a discussion of predators in the pulpit being caught and then “restored” to the pulpit to the horror of their victims? Or is Loritts’ race card “deflective” and just another form of “whataboutism” to distract from the real issues? Could it be that by subtly playing his race card, Loritts really wants Julie Roys, Dee Parsons, Todd Wilhem, et al, to sit down, shut up, and keep their questions to themselves?

      1. @Brent thank you for your response, as I am trying to make heads or tails of all this without judgment (as it’s clear that I don’t have all the facts). And no matter what side ANYONE is on, my spidey senses go off when there is deflection or whataboutism instead of addressing the proposed issue or question head on. (There’s a reason for that based on my own church background, but that’s a whole other thread).

        I don’t fully understand the role that race is playing, at least not in the context Loritts raises. I am a black woman who has had extensive experience serving and worshipping in black churches, white churches, and mixed churches, and I CAN say that the culture is very different. It plays out in many ways: the music (gospel vs hymns vs contemporary), the politics (in the black church to love God is to be a Democrat, in a white church to love God is to loathe Democrats), the role of women (if they can be elders/deacons), the attire of women (if pants are allowed), the response to sexual sins (both heterosexual and homosexual), and more are all SO different. Speaking for myself, I see how a lack of grace plays out across church demographics – but in very different ways. So IMO it’s not about IF there is a lack of grace in a black or white church, but how it manifests itself.

        While I agree with much of your post, what I find unsettling is that it seems to position you as a voice of authority on when someone else can bring up race. I do not mean to pick on you, as I see this happen a lot: someone does not like that race was brought up, so they use condescending statements like “playing the race card” to tell the other person it isn’t ok or allowed. Truth be told, we do not know what someone else’s experience is. That is exacerbated when that someone is of a different race, as race does color how we perceive or experience others – AND how others perceive or experience us. Just because you cannot relate, understand, or agree does not mean you can dictate whether another person brings up race. As a black woman, I have had times when I tried to address or introduce my experiences as a black woman, only to be silenced (and angered) when a person implied I have no right or rule to bring up race. Who sets these rules?
        Just a little food for thought.

        1. Brent Thompson

          Well, I wrote in an earlier comment before my comment on yours that I am taking a risk, as a white man, in even trying to comment on matters of race. (Scroll earlier and you can see for yourself what I said wrote in my comment on May 14 at 3:05 pm). I think your final paragraph expresses exactly my concern: That anything I say about race can (might? will?) be twisted to make what I am saying appear to be something (e.g. I think you are suggesting my comment is tinged with white supremacy?) that it was not intended to be. People of all color can discuss race; if that is not possible, then no healing of racial inequality and prejudice can ever occur. Some food for you to think about, too.

          As I tried to be respectful to you, please return the favor and give me credit for writing exactly what I mean and for having some basic intellectual understanding of the maladies of the white race and its institutions in American. In other words, no where am I telling Loritts (or you) to sit down and shut up. Rather, I think working through racial injustice, racial inequity, and segregation in American churches is cheapened by injecting race into the question of predators in the pulpit. What does racism have to do with the re-victimization of victims when their perpetrators of recidivist crimes get put right back into the same environment and power position in which they perpetrated in the first place? Are victims of black predators in “black” pulpits somehow differently harmed than victims of white predators in “white” pulpits? If not, then why is Loritts even bringing up the notion of race in this context, if not to distract, deflect, or divide?

          I think it is fair understanding to “hear” Loritts telling all these white bloggers to sit down and shut up about predators in the pulpit. Do you agree with him that bloggers are like white churches: Suffering from the malady of being graceless?

          In America, sometimes everything, a lot of things, is about race. But, some things are not about race. I think advocating for justice for victims of clergy predators and supporting victims of crimes committed by church ministers is not about race. We are only discussing it now because Loritts brought it up to advocate for and support his friends who are alleged or proven criminal ministers. That’s a shame.

          1. @Brent
            You absolutely can comment on race. It is not my intention to silence you at all, but to shed light on common reactions to arguments that include phrases like “playing the race card.” I actually think there aren’t enough white men who speak up on matters of race, so I do applaud your willingness to do so. Given their role throughout history and society as a whole, white men have a very important voice that is crucial in driving the dialogue on race (among other things) forward. I do wish they were more openly invited to have a seat at the table. Likewise, I wish they would stay at the table, even if they disagree or don’t understand why or how race is playing a role in the topic at hand. Stay and ask…seek to understand.

            My point is that someone doesn’t have to literally say “sit down and shut up” for that to be the message received. Other phrases like “race baiting” and “playing the race card” are “thought stoppers”, used to get the other person to STOP talking about or bringing up race….so….in other words…it gets them to shut up without literally using the expression. And the natural question in response is “why should they stop talking about it?”

            I will say that black victims of crime do find themselves less likely to be believed, and often find themselves defending why they didn’t deserve to have it happen to them. (How many times are we hearing narratives on what a black person did to “deserve” being shot?)
            When it comes to the black pulpit, I can say from experience that black pastors are MORE than celebrities in the black community. I’m trying to find the right word to describe the pedestal upon which they are placed. To accuse a black bishop/deacon/elder/pastor of predatory behavior brings on a lot of “you’re attacking the heart and spiritual leadership of our whole community”, “Satan is using you to attack our church” and “you’re helping the white man take out yet another black leader”. Now I don’t agree (or even fully understand) with Loritts, but I am speaking on what I have seen growing up in the black church.

            (Speaking generally, not on Loritts): You may not see the role race is playing in a person’s argument, so I encourage you to ask why they brought it up or how it plays into their perspective and experience rather than dismissing it altogether because YOU don’t see its relevance. Likewise, I would ask you why you DON’T see race as playing any role in it. The answers to those questions would shed a lot of light on both perspectives, backgrounds and experiences. Unfortunately, churches remain VERY segregated, so it is difficult to discuss the state of the church today and NOT discuss race.

            I hope that makes more sense

        2. M H, I’ve been in a number of “white” churches, and I can assure you that they contained both democrats and non-democrats. I don’t think it’s helpful to stereotype all white, black, brown, etc…., churches as being one particular way.

  16. so sad to see these polished well-trained communicators so lacking in character and prudence. How can someone go through Moody Bible Institute and be a speaker at all these places and have anything to do with covering up sex crimes or making such an awful comment holding up Snoop Dogg’s comment as a good example.

  17. The Loritts video makes no sense. Is he saying a pastor can be disqualified from heavenly reward but not be disqualified from ministry? What about being qualified for ministry? Why doesn’t he mention any of the verses that talk about that? It’s only logical that if there is limited qualification for ministry then there is such a thing as being unqualified (or disqualified as one transitions from being qualified to unqualified.) Not only lacking in character and prudence but lacking in honest or sensible biblical exegesis. Also, I never did get the hypocrisy of those who judge Christians for judging pastors who betray their flocks? Let’s assume for a second that holding fallen pastors accountable and maintaining qualifications for ministry is a sin. Why is that the only sin people can be called out for?

  18. The more these leaders whine and howl…..the closer others are to discovering and exposing their sin . Truth has no need to hide.

  19. While I appreciate some of what Bryan Loritts is trying to say with regard to grace, he unfortunately came across as a bit of a scold. Moreover, he is painting evangelicals with too broad a brush, which is both unhelpful and unfair. And merely because he keeps repeating over and over that “evangelicals are theological but not relational” does not make his assertion true. It should be common sense that in any large movement, whether religious or secular, there will be adherents who don’t practice (or live up) to the goals and aspirations of that particular movement. It is called sin.

    Secondly, and more to the heart of the matter, Loritts actually let the “cat out of the bag” during his segment on pastors needing to have “safe places” to process their own weaknesses, struggles, and sin. He mentioned a pastor’s “bad porn habit”. Seriously? From a “safe places” standpoint, why didn’t Loritts mention the elders of the church? Wouldn’t that be a good place to start? How about a pastor’s own wife? How about a men’s discipleship group that provides accountability? This is not rocket science. It should be obvious – and expected – that men have accountability if they pursue a calling to ministry, especially ministry leadership.

    Thirdly, if a pastor is struggling with a “bad porn habit,” where in Scripture does it convey the idea that a pastor must continue pastoring and shepherding while he struggles with his porn habit? Instead, why can’t that pastor (or elder or deacon, etc.) step down from ministry for a season until they seek accountability and break the habit? How is it honoring to one’s wife (let alone the church) if a pastor is habitually lusting after other women during their spare time? I believe 1 Timothy chapter 3 is clear about the conduct of men serving in ministry leadership.

    Lastly, if Loritts’s own father had to “warn” him about pursuing a pastoral position at a traditional evangelical church that “lacked grace,” then why take the position? Sadly, when I listen to people like Loritts, I sense that they feel entitled to their position of being a pastor. There should be zero entitlement. Rather, it should be a humble calling. Further, it should be a calling where the pastor is more concerned about the “safe place” that he creates in the church than he is about the church being a “safe place” for himself.

  20. Loritt’s thinking is rather disturbing. He seems to assume that as long as a particular sin has been forgiven and a process of restoration has taken place, the person may resume their former roles of spiritual leadership. I don’t see any allusion to the Biblical truth James 3:1 explains: “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” Qualifications laid out for elders and deacons as leaders in ministry hold them to be above reproach, both in fact and in reputation.

    Where a weakness has been exposed wisdom may suggest that in some circumstances relinquishing a particular service is needed to protect potential future victims and, for the sake of the larger body, to stay above the possibility of suspicion. Forgiveness and general restoration is not the issue. But a return to the place of temptation as a LEADER may not be wise.

    Our culture of (sometimes questionable) tolerance can lead to a misuse of what is called grace in failing to distinguish between spiritual restoration and what is advisable in terms of public service going forward.

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