Some of you may remember David Trotter from our site in 2007. He was a pastor in So Cal who was giving away a car to promote Easter at his church, Revolution. If you go back and read the comments, you will see that Trotter was pretty much unwilling to join our conversation, yet instead chose to egg us on and tell us to “keep it coming” with our criticism and attacks, as he labeled them.
Well in light of recent developments, I’d be careful what you wish for David.
A few weeks ago, I received an email from an SCP reader that filled me in on what’s been going on in David’s life and church. Several people, close to the situation and church, report that Trotter has left his wife after having an affair with another married woman in the church whom he is apparently still in a relationship. He has resigned his position at the church and has moved on to another entrepreneurial venture.
Below, I’ve provided links to the sites that share the story. They seem fairly consistent and honest, but I will let you read them and draw your own conclusions.
Since leaving his church and, from what I can gather, his wife only a few short weeks ago, David has not been a shrinking violet. On his personal website, he posted pictures of him and his new girlfriend with their children all together playing in the pool and hiking…just another new blended and happy family. On the site he wrote:
As I think about the season of life that I’m walking through, my heart is filled with hope, anticipation, love, peace, longing, and grief. May the photos that appear each day allow these same emotions to emerge in your heart once again as well.
When I saw these pictures (one with his girlfriends’ head on his shoulder and another with his girlfriend holding his son), I was shocked. It was a bold and brazen display showing a lack of sensitivity for his wife of so many years. It was not only in bad taste, but it was also bordering on cruel and unusual punishment. (About a week ago, the pictures on the site were removed – so either a sense of decency crept in or possibly his lawyer suggested such actions might not be in his best interests moving forward).
I have thought long and hard about what I should say, if anything, about these developments in this man’s life. I don’t know David Trotter, or anyone in his family… so why do I care? Originally, I was going to write an open letter to David (much like the one I did to Ted Haggard) encouraging him and admonishing him to not lose heart in the midst of this season of life he is facing. Looking back on that letter, I think it certainly applies to David Trotter as well. I hope he will read it.
However, after seeing his personal site and this damaging attitude that he has displayed publicly on the world wide web, I just couldn’t in good conscience muster up the decency. I am not sure what it is that occurs in the life of someone when they leave their family to pursue another relationship… but from what I have observed first-hand it is the ultimate in selfishness – call it temporary insanity. As I wrote in my journal recently about this very subject:
In meeting your needs at the expense of others needs, you have to “turn off” thinking about how your actions effect the other person. You might feel sadness or pain at hurting someone later, but in the moment of choosing what is best for you, you cannot consider the other person’s feelings. There’s a certain disconnect that occurs at that very moment.
Feeding of an ego at the expense of other people’s pain becomes a vicious and destructive cycle. Once you venture down that path, there is no turning back. Things will never be the same again. David Trotter knows this first-hand now better than anyone.
At the same time, I believe that David (and again I speak from personal experience) in many ways, feels more at peace, fulfilled and happy than he has in years. While I am sure he is sad at the pain he has caused, there is probably a sense of freedom that has enveloped him in the midst of no longer having to live a dual life. I no doubt imagine that David feels that, in many ways, his life is better than it was prior to this coming to the surface. And on several levels that might even be correct.
His level of ego and selfishness, once hidden behind doing the “Lord’s work”, is now being lived out in the open for all of us to see. Even now on his personal website is this quote that speaks volumes:
“The mark of a great player is in his ability to come back.
The great champions have all come back from defeat.”
Certainly Trotter has shown that he is a great player. I knew that from the very first day I was introduced to him regarding the car giveaway. But, for even one moment, thinking that he was a great champion on any level in his prior life as a pastor is an inflated ego gone mad.
This story has captivated me since I heard about it. I can relate from so many angles. Mostly, I keep coming back to the Trotter I observed approximately one year ago on this site, and honestly, I wasn’t surprised that it has led him to this point. However, I am a bit surprised at how he has reacted to it.
There’s no judgment in these statements. Just an honest opinion from years of observations.
What guys like Trotter don’t understand is that although I am critical of pastors and churches in my writings here on SCP, it’s because I feel I often know them better than they know themselves.
David, I am almost certain you are reading this and I want you to know and believe this – the Stupid Church People site was created by guys like you for guys like you. Take your mask off and stay awhile. You are welcome here anytime…just check your “pastor ego” at the door.
NOTE (4/28/08): An email from a reliable source informed SCP that the reason the pictures were taken down from Trotter’s personal site was that the woman had ended the relationship and returned to her family.