But He’s Intelligent and Articulate…. A Blog Comment on the Bryan Loritts Story Highlights The Toxicity of Modern Evangelicalism

A person who was involved in Bryan Loritts Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in Mountain View, California leaves a comment at The Wondering Eagle. In it she talks about how Loritts is talented and intelligent and calls the blog a tirade. And in the process she ignores the sex crimes allegations that were covered up at Fellowship Memphis. This is a post that is responding to Haley’s comment. 

“Never tell a fool that he is a fool. All you’ll have is an angry fool.”

Talmud

“You can educate a fool, but you cannot make him think.”

Talmud

As a dog returns to its vomit,  so a fool repeats his foolishness.

Proverbs 26:11 NLT

This afternoon this blog got a comment from someone in the San Francisco Bay Area on the Bryan Loritts situation. It is a person that spent time at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship (ALCF). The person explains why they like Bryan Loritts. Before we continue you can also read this post for some back drop of Bryan Loritts at ALC. “Bryan Loritts Leaves Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in Mountain View, California. Did the Voyeurism and Child Pornography Scandal of Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis Catch Up with Him?”  I want to make some comments but let’s analyze this comment. Feel free to offer your analysis below.


I was just as surprised as anyone else at ALCF when Pastor Bryan suddenly left. We miss him, but we shouldn’t be speculating as to why he did because it’s gossip and un-Christian-like. My home church is not ALCF, where I attended for over 5 years, but I returned to my home church last year, after the relatively new sr. pastor there also suddenly left. I returned to support my home church during yet another transition. However, I continued to watch all of Pastor Bryan’s sermons online. He truly is a gifted preacher.

Pastor Bryan is also intelligent and very well-read, is very articulate, and seems to have done a lot of self-examination. His Bible knowledge and spiritual depth and maturity are incredible. It was obvious to me that PB and PG (Pastor Gary) spend much time preparing each week for their sermons. They use expository preaching and often quote from books they’ve read (they are many) and use personal experiences, often with humor. Sermons are neither superficial nor elementary. They are from a deep place and a deep connection with God.

I am a native-born Asian American was checking to see where PB might currently be because I want to continue listening to his sermons. Then, I came upon this tirade. I think Morningstar should reconcile with PB and move on.


I like comments like this because they give you a window into someone’s mind and how they are thinking. For me comments like this offer a perspective on evangelicalism that is bother troubling and revealing. Let me go through and list some of the concerns that come from the above comment. 

  1. There is warped view of what gossip is from Haley. Gossip is actually discussing the facts of the situation. You ignore the situation and give Bryan Loritts the benefit of the doubt permanently. Suspicious situations are to be downplayed and ignored as they are gossip. What should be a red flag is just ignored. These types of situations happen all across life. For example I remember one time years ago in a job when someone I worked with suddenly disappeared. It bothered me and let me know that something was going on. Sometime later I learned that the person I worked with had engaged in some embezzlement and he company removed the individual. The company did the right thing and  at the same time my feelings were confirmed. 
  2. Haley talks about the instability in both ALCF and her local church that she went back to. What does this tell me? Evangelical Christianity is a very unstable system. In my own journey I have observed how many evangelical churches are unstable. Pastors come in and out. Scandal and problems and shifting theology and fads. One day you are Wesleyan church and then you get a Calvinist pastor and the theology and rules shift.  In my view its a racket. How can you rest and recover from abuse, the challenges of life or more in a system that is so unstable? You can not…its for this reason among many that I think evangelicalism should be dismantled. 
  3. There is a focus on the gifts of Bryan Loritts or his intelligence or that he reads a lot. So as long as a person is gifted sex crimes then are okay? Am I reading that right Haley? The voyeurism and child pornography issues at Fellowship Memphis that Bryan covered up are fine. People who were caught up in the scandal like Greg Silby and Jennifer Baker who shared their story and saw Loritts behavior first hand are to be dismissed. Jennifer, a victim of sex crime should be ignored? If Haley acts this way to such people what happens when a member of her own family or so is a victim of a sex crime? Do you just dismiss it? In the end you just focus on the gifts and talents of a person and ignore the rest of their character. Is that correct Haley? 
  4. How do you know that these pastors read books? How do you know that they they process them and can analyze them> How do you know that they don’t grab audio books or ask staff to read books and to highlight features of them? Some pastors use and work their staff for their own personal purpose. Many people give pastors the benefit of the doubt too much. It hurts those that do work hard as well, by the way. 
  5. So the blog is a tirade? When I link in journalistic sources from newspapers like the Memphis Commercial Appeal or Los Angeles Times is that a tirade? For me this reveals your cognitive dissonance Haley. It also shows how you will bounce around from cult to cult unless you learn from this, Learn from the mistakes of many others and myself which are written about at this blog so that you yourself will not be harmed. That said you are a free functioning independent adult, and you need to work through the Bryan Loritts issue just as I and many other people have. I would start by reading the following blog post that I wrote. I watched Bryan Loritts career for nearly 15 years and listened to him speak in Campus Crusade for Christ. I know he is talented but I also know he is a fraud. You can read that post in, “Of all the Scandals Written About at The Wondering Eagle, Bryan Loritts Was The Most Disturbing. Here’s Why.”

Readers how do you look at Haley’s comment on Bryan Loritts and ALCF? 

 

6 thoughts on “But He’s Intelligent and Articulate…. A Blog Comment on the Bryan Loritts Story Highlights The Toxicity of Modern Evangelicalism

  1. For all the talk of “freedom in Christ” and the power of individual faith, evangelicalism is a very hierarchical, authoritarian system. You can talk trash about, and criticize, non-believers, heretics, and “backsliders” all you like… but the leadership is sacrosanct and untouchable. Criticizing the leadership might get in the way of growth, “spiritual” and numeric, and that is unacceptable.

    Of course, a huge chunk of the OT and NT is a written record of prophetic criticism of the leaders of Israel and the Church, but that point seems lost on many…

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is something I noticed when I was mixed up in a few splinter “fellowships” in the Seventies (overripe remnants of the Jesus People movement of the Sixties):

      On the macro level, everything was Cro-Magnon anarchy on steriods — every on-fire “fellowship”, church, not-a-cult, and house church going its own way, completely independent.

      Yet within each one of these totally-independent entities bouncing around like bumper cars, you found total lockstep conformity. Where any nail that poked up got hammered down HARD.

      Like

  2. Somewhat ironic that Christ’s teachings contrast so strongly with the hierarchical, authoritarian teachings of the day. And centuries later the Protestant Reformation also contrasted in the same way. Sola Scriptura does not have room for personality cults.

    Like

    • It does if those personality cults can be Justified by SCRIPTURE(TM).
      Which in my experience is what happens with all these Head Apostles and Anointed Prophets.
      “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED!”

      Like

  3. As a former Kid Genius, I can attest that “intelligent and articulate” is not all that people think it is. A lot of successful sociopaths have been described as “intelligent and articulate”; it’s what makes a good con man. An “intelligent and articulate” sociopath can make anyone BE-LEEEVE that Up is Down, Evil is Good, War Is Peade, Freedom Is Slavery, Ignorance Is Strength, and Two Plus Two Equals Purple with a few words and gestures, like a D&D magic-user casting Mass Charm Person. I’ve seen it happen for real.

    Trust me as one who’s been there, “highly intelligent and well-read” has its serious downside.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. His Bible knowledge and spiritual depth and maturity are incredible.

    So was one of the two characters in Luke 4:9-11, and I’m not talking about the Rabbi from Nazareth:

    And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:
    For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:
    And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

    Liked by 1 person

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