Bishop Larry Trotter is being called all kinds of names by people who have seen the picture of him and his granddaughter in the bathtub together which you can see by clicking here.
In an effort to neutralize pedophile-like blanket statements about Bishop Trotter, I wrote a blog to educate the public and raise awareness about child sexual abuse. I stand by the fact that we can not tell from this picture that he has sexually abused this child.
New developments are now helping me to understand the motive for the picture that was posted. Bishop Trotter says that this was “unwise” on his part, but it has been revealed that he used this same child in a public demonstration at his church on a political issue concerning a teacher’s strike that is preventing children from attending school.
His church Sweet Holy Spirit Baptist Church is the location of one of the city’s safe havens to keep children off of the street during the teacher-strike. He used his granddaughter in this demonstration saying that the children are the ones who are suffering from no education as the disputes over money persists.
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The use of his granddaughter for his demonstration is questionable because he is using a reenactment of what Christ did on the cross which represents the remission of sins, for a political statement which has nothing to do with what Christ did.
While his actions may be questionable, they are not examples of child abuse. While he may be over-the-top and successful in making a huge noise to bring attention to the issue, we can not go around calling people pedophiles.
If we start calling everyone who makes us uncomfortable a pedophile, because of an inappropriate misjudged choice, we run the risk of allowing real pedophiles to blend in, and this is not at all what we want for our children. – Ressurrection Graves
Last week a video surfaced of a pastor in Detroit who had a ceremony to consecrate (promote) two members of his ministry team. After watching the video, although I was very uncomfortable to see a grown man laid on top of another man, a scripture came to mind. In the background a song by William McDowell was sang by members of the worship team, “I Give Myself Away.”
When the video came on the Bishop kept saying, “You have to die to self,” repeatedly. The scripture I believe he used for this consecration service was II Kings 4:32-37 where Elijah went to resurrect a child who was physically dead. Bloggers, Bishops, believers and non-believers alike all took shots at the video and he was called everything but holy.
My response was simply this:
I believe that in many instances the “intention” is not “premeditated wickedness” and this is why being clear about how we conduct and participate in ministry is so important.
I do not know this man, and I do not know that his actions exhibited behavior of a false prophet or whether he has taken scripture out-of-context and used II Kings as a metaphor, although I am inclined to believe the latter because in the video, his behavior seemed to demonstrate as someone who believed in the ceremony that he conducted.
While both of these Bishops are likely at home in prayer and disturbed that what they believed happened is not what was interpreted, I think that we need to take these examples and use this time to remember that we are accountable for our relationship with God and we need to consult God when we choose what church to attend, and leadership to follow.
Bishops also must consult God about their radical methods because Christ can not get lost in the marketing. And, non-believers who already have little understanding of spiritual things will take a mistake from ministers and blame God. Believers who have one foot out and one foot in, will do the same.
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My only concern as a child sexual abuse expert is that we learn ways to protect children from child sexual abuse grooming, a term that I introduced. The way to do that is to learn actual signs of abuse.
Below is a picture of a girl from the Philippines on a cross with actual nails pierced through her skin as a re-enactment of the crucifixion. All of the live models stay up there for 20 minutes, and then are rushed to first aid. It happens every Easter.
While this picture is an exaggeration of what Bishop Trotter did with his granddaughter for a political point, and misjudgment may be his charge were his actions unholy or child abuse?
Would you have accepted the demonstration of Bishop Larry D. Trotter’s granddaughter as a human-figure posing as the crucifixion if this was done inside of the church sanctuary during a Christmas or Easter play?
Ressurrection Graves is a licensed minister, child sexual abuse educator and H.E.A.L.E.R. She supports victims of domestic and sexual violence in their healing, and teaches child sexual abuse prevention to churches, and mandated reporters. She is a regular radio guest and speaker who can be reached at: ressurrection dot wordpress at yahoo dot com. To check out her speaking topics, please click here.