The Lord Will Repay – JD Hall

Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. (1 Tim 4:14, ESV)

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I don’t ever mention someone in a post without praying for them by name. There are two individuals who I pray for daily: Mark Driscoll and Tullian Tchividjian. The reason I pray for these people daily is because I care for them and am concerned for their salvation.

Today, I’m going to add a third person to my list: JD Hall.

Now, unlike Mark and Tullian, JD is not a man of major influence. He is a man of significant influence in his small circles, but as far as national influence he is relatively unknown. JD is pastor of a church in Montana, hosted a podcast which was associated with a discernment blog called Pulpit & Pen, and still is a contributor to a podcast and blog called the Polemics Report.

JD is an angry man, and he lashes out against those who disagree with him. He is not above utilizing lies and deception to make his point, and once he has a target he relentlessly pursues that target with seemingly no limits to his aggression.

I don’t want to belabor the point or rehearse things too much, but here are two brief examples:

  • Lisa Cooper, wife of well known blogger and podcaster Jordan Cooper, once commented on a citation on JD’s blog that seemed unclear to her, and it resulted in a character attack which culminated with JD telling Jordan to get his wife under control.
  • An individual from Apologia Church offered his professional services at a discounted rate to a very small group of his friends. He happened to be a tattoo artist, and JD misconstrued this as though the church was hosting some kind of tattoo fundraiser. Furthermore, an owner of a local Pub offered to donate his proceeds of a particular beer sampler to the upcoming church plant Apologia was sponsoring, and this was not only also construed as a Beer Fundraiser, but was somehow connected to the tattoo instance to paint a picture that has been repeatedly disproved.

Recently, an episode of the Polemics Report sparked a Facebook discussion. I haven’t listened to the episode, and the content of the episode isn’t really important to this post. The title of the episode was Apologia Radio Goes After Dr. MacArthur. This sparked a conversation on Scott Lyons Facebook page. In response to a comment which accused JD of legalism —a sound accusation—and JD responded in a typical JD way.

Talk to Thad Pinch about legalism. Oh, you can’t. He’s in rehab.

Thad is an unfortunate case, and I don’t want to get into too many details beyond what is publicly and widely known. Thad comes from a background of drug addiction which he has been very public to discuss. Recently Thad had returned to that lifestyle which resulted in several deleterious effects, including the destruction of his marriage (due to repeated adultery) and excommunication from Apologia Church.

Thad has sought treatment in rehab for his addiction, likely with the help and direction of the leadership of Apologia (although that is speculation). Rather than celebrate that Thad is getting help, he decided to use this painful situation as a weapon.

When he was called out on it, rather than repent or acknowledge that he acted inappropriately, he instead continued to forward the false narrative of Apologia advocating that beer be purchased to support the church.

You think asking people to buy booze to support the church is encouraging responsibility?

Concerning the booze fundraiser, this occurred on the tail end of the ReformCon conference, at a pub, in which beer flights were offered in exchange for giving money for a church project.

While what he says about beer flights is true, and while ReformdCon was a conference put on by Apologia, the beer flight situation was not connected with ReformdCon apart from the fact that those gathering and participating were also ReformedCon attendees. The event in question took place after the conference ended. A private individual who owned a local bar made use of their property and services to raise funds. That’s it.

JD later accused Tanner Barfield, one of the hosts of the Reformed Pubcast (full disclosure, I am an admin in the Reformed Pub Facebook group, so I am not neutral on this part) of “throwing alcohol at the weaker brother.” The conversation escalated quickly from there.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Eph 4:29, ESV)

I think that that’s enough to make my point. If you are a person under the influence of JD, you need to recognize who you are following. JD is a mean and spiteful man, who has done great harm to the body of Christ with his lies and venom. He is a discernment blogger/podcaster who lacks any sort of discernment. His breed of pharisaical judgement is not befitting of any man in ministry. His temperament and character is literally a list of ways to violate Paul’s qualifications for elders.

For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent (pugnatious, contentious, ready to fight) or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. (Titus 1:7-8, ESV)

Not above reproach… check.
Arrogant… check.
Quick-tempered… check.
Contentious… check.
Not a lover of good… check.
Not self-controlled… check.
Not disciplined… check.

To those who have been the target of his sinful attacks… be assured that the Lord is jealous for the unity of his church, and JD will answer for his work of tearing it apart. Just as Paul encouraged Timothy that God would repay Alexander the coppersmith, so also will JD be held to account. Do not take things into your own hands, do not retaliate, do not sink to his level.

To JD… You probably won’t read this, but if you do know that I’m praying for you. This has to stop, for Christ’s sake, and for his body… and for you.

23 thoughts on “The Lord Will Repay – JD Hall

  1. Oh for crying out loud. Look. I understand you don’t care for what he does, but if you actually personally know JD like I do, you would hardly call him a mean, angry man. That’s just silly.

    1. Perhaps you should think about why you know him as not a mean, angry man… but nearly all of his dealings with those outside of his little circle disagrees with that.

      1. Have set under this abusive man for nearly 8 yrs……He has removed himself from any authority. Nearly the entire congregation has left, several people have shown him disqualified and they were eviscerated in a typical JD Hall manner.

      2. “but nearly all of his dealings with those outside of his little circle disagrees with that.”

        That’s because most of those outside his circle are generally wrong on the issues JD is going after them about. A lot like the stuff you are trying to wave away and dismiss mentioned in this post.

  2. The first two comments show why it hard to get to know someone just from their blogging, and why it’s equally hard to hold someone to account if you’re not known to that person in a personal way.

    I agree JD needs admonishment, and to be held to account by Christian brothers close to him. And when I say “close to him,” I mean people closer than I. I may recognize his venom in its online context, but I’m unable to balance it with a personal, intimate knowledge of the man, because I’ve never met him. I don’t tend to hold people accountable online unless we have already built up a significant relationship with each other, and I have a fairly good grasp that, if I say something to them in the form of rebuke, they would actually value my opinion enough to heed it if it’s warranted.

    Now when a person sets himself apart as a discernment blogger, it is right and acceptable for others to openly critique them, as they have already made their work open for public discourse, but it is still hard sometimes to know if you’re really able to get the whole picture when all you’ve ever learned of someone is merely what is available in print. There are a whole bunch of folks whose writings qualify as discernment material, but they also have other written work which allows us to see a better picture of the whole man.

    I’ve no doubt that JD has more than meets the eye, character-wise, as I myself have been subject to internet judgement for things which I’ve written, yet were taken in the wrong way because people who have never met me were unable to see the twinkle in my eye as I wrote, or whom have not read the totality of things I’ve written to gain a rounded perspective on my character. It is for this reason that I tend not to write open letters to people whom I think will: firstly, not read WHAT I’ve written, and secondly, not bother to CARE what I’ve written. I just don’t usually see it bearing much fruit… though I know the person whom the “open letter” is written to is usually never the actual intended audience.

    I do appreciate Tony’s willingness to pray for JD, as I think it’s imperative to do that for anyone whom we ourselves openly critique, and, as I said earlier, I DO think JD has set himself up as an angry, vindictive persona online. My question is really about whom should choose to critique another, and whether the open letter format is the right way to go about. I often feel that open letters are pretentious, and a form of self-exaltation, and it’s for that reason that I rarely make posts in a public forum to that end. But if it’s called for, and Tony obviously feels such a rebuke is warranted in this format, then we must all diligently pray it would be effective.

  3. It’s always interesting to see people use scripture in a weird context where it’s supposed to fit but the context of such scripture won’t allow for it. Unless you are comparing JD Hall to Alexander the coppersmith, be a good Berean and don’t take scripture out of its context. I have been highly and richly blessed by this humbles pastor’s work in polemics…

    1. It was an example of how Paul handled people who attacked and damaged his ministry and reputation. I am comparing JD Hall to Alexander the coppersmith, as someone who has done harm to the body of Christ by attacking other members.

  4. I know Jd, I’ve spent many hours in bible studies and such with him.
    This is what I know and from my view I see.
    He is just a man, his sins are many just as mine. He does speak without many fruits and that’s what finally got me to a point of stepping back to look at the whole picture. And what I see is many in his circle stroke his ego and feed off of him as he feeds off of them.
    He is highly educated, which isn’t wisdom. Those that used to adore his knowledge, many have turned and now are seeking to tell everyone how bad he is. Yet they don’t take any responsibility in creating this man. Meaning he didn’t just walk in and be so full of himself many let this escalate to a point that now if anyone seeks to challenge him it’s like trying to discipline a spoiled child.
    I’ve spent enough time with him I did not just drink down his kool aid I seeked for myself. But I also feel for him even as mean spirited as he has been to so so many, I trust the Lord will deal with him in His time not mine.
    To all those that can’t get enough of spreading more strife I pray that we all remember who we should be examing in the mirror and that’s ourselves.
    I am joyous to hear so many are praying for jd because he just as we all need as many praying for us!
    We all need more Jesus and no matter how great you think your understanding is it is very small in comparison to what the Lord sees and knows!
    We need to share bearing the Lord’s fruit!!!

    Galatians 5:22-23New International Version (NIV)

    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

  5. I fully agree… He started our wonderfully and grew and grew in his small church and circles until the constant lying, manipulating, and using others for his own gain and personal needs became so normal to him that he no longer had to try to be a God fearing and Godly pastor. He has his own major God complex. He expects people to nearly worship him and take everything he says and does as ok and worthy. His wife is just a much of a Liar. She uses people, especially those closest to her. They have a sad life and do not treat each other well. They treat thier family as they treat thier church members and friends. And sadly thier children are becoming the exact same way. They will do almost anything to get what they want, no matter the legality or morality of thier actions. There is never anything truly done out of goodness or kindness by JD or family…. There are ALWAYS alterior motives. ( no matter how petty). That being said… Anyone on the outside has seen the transition…. It took outside family to really help us realize how crazy he has become. From there it has escalated tremendously! Being under his leadership is practically cult like because you don’t realize it j less you dig into the legalities and behind the scenes things going on in his church that most members don’t get to see. Once you know that….. Everything becomes crystal clear…. More than a year after leaving, we STILL find out new details that make us almost ashamed I have ever been a part of it all. I truly think this man and his family needs many prayers and need to leave the town they are in. I truly feel they are no longer welcome and no longer doing things in the right way. Church started our being really family oriented, bbq’s and game nights, activities to really build friendships within the church. Soon those disappeared along with youth group and other fun things and church became only hardcore sabbaticals ( like 4+ hour intensive bible studies for youth instead of youth activities) wed nights replace youth group with an adult and teen bible study. And Sunday’s became angry in my opinion instead of fulfilling. The man can be an excellent speaker…. But he has lost his charm and trust in my opinion. Finances and they way other church matters are handled are questionable at best. Treatment of former members is horrid and ridiculous. And the demand and feelings that you HAVE to do what he asks you when you are a part of that church are overwhelming, he basically makes you feel like a worthless piece of dung if you don’t give 90% of your life and your family’s life to the church. Anyhow, off my soapbox… This article is great, please keep an eye on JD, as I think you are spot on.

  6. I understand Tony that and your YRR buddies over at the Reformed Pub and other various outlets don’t like people that dare tread on your “Christian Liberties.” But really? Can you please find some way to keep the Scripture you use in context. By the way, JD has been right on target & nailed everything he has stated in his blogs and on his very professionally done podcast. Tanner and Les should take some lessons.

  7. That is the most ridiculous article I have ever read. First of all you are WRONG about Jordan. I have found him to be one of the most compassionate men in the pulpit to date. He drove from Sidney to Helena to encourage my husband and I when we had a terrible situation in our lives. He is a great family man and he gives passionately to the body of Christ. Jordan is very discerning and he can see hypocrisy and he is brave enough to call it out as we are commanded to “expose evil.” Maybe you should take the rebuke and change my friend.

  8. Alot of times JD is blunt and straight forward with the truth. That rubs people the wrong way. Many times it is what need. Many times people are very sensitive and thin skinned. JD was gracious enough to allow me to room with him and his mutual friends at the shepards conference. He was unbelievably gracious and honest. He is passionate about the truth and Gods word. As a black man i felt no racial biased he treated me as a brother in Christ. I looked at the beer issue with Apologia and james white and came away agreeing with Pastor Hall even though i deeply respect and have learn so much from Dr. White. Mr. Arsenal i respectfully disagree with this article to put JD in the same catagory of Mark Driscoll is truly a low blow.

  9. That being said, while I acknowledge where I was wrong on the church booze thing regarding apologia, I am nervous about the libertineism of the YRR crowd and Reformed pub.

  10. Mr. Arsenal,

    With all due respect, your post is at best equivocation and at worst blatant misrepresentation of this entire situation. Perhaps Rev. Hall touched your idol, but you should repent, retract this, and apologize publically to JD Hall.

    1. It’s interesting how immediately after the discussion of “touching idols” he defended his wide his influence is…

      This isn’t about liberty to drink or not drink, it is about JD using someone’s fall into sin and rehab as a weapon against his perceived enemies, even if that involves lies and deception.

      Perhaps you need to think about your idols.

      1. Maybe I do. The difference here is that I haven’t nor do I advocate for the clear lack of wisdom that was shown in the whole apologia debacle.

        The situation, while heartbreaking, is relevant to itself. Perhaps wisdom would suggest that you quit running defense for, and they stop defending, Apologia’s libertine practices that clearly contributed to the situation.

        This libertine attitude was something I observed in the pub and something Christians should be careful of. Having freedom doesn’t mean flaunting it to your brothers destruction.

        Peace to you.

      2. You are clearly poorly informed if you think Apologia is libertine, or that I am “running defense” for them.

        We worship a God who is truth… JD’s lies have no place among God’s people.

  11. Tony,

    This post seriously lacks any real evidence that JD is a liar as you claim. I would hope in the future you do a better job laying out your case in detail before you post something like this on the World Wide Web for everyone to see. I especially don’t understand why you would begin the post by lumping JD in with two pastors who have fallen and avoided church discipline. I think there is a big difference in the situation involving those men then the situation surrounding JD. A better way would have been just to say you will be praying for him daily. You are implying, whether you mean to or not that he is guilty of the same thing(or at the same level) these other two pastors are. To make that comparison is unfair because there are obvious and substantial differences between the men.

    As for the comment about Tony “running defense” I think that might be a bit unfair. Seeing how Tony is familiar with the situation and admin of the reformed pub I don’t think it’s inapprorpiate for him to post about it.

    I also think that some of these comments are a bit suspect. It’s easy to sit at your computer under your first name only and hurl serious accusations without laying out a detailed case for those accusations.

    1. Bill, thanks for your tempered thoughts. I didn’t lay out an extensive case, because that had already been done. Check out the episode of the dividing line that I linked.

      1. If you know the Jordan that those who gotten to truly know him, not the different mask that he wears when he’s around those in public.
        But the real one you would see the small liar, that thrives in drama, that he is who could not be disciplined by anyone to point anyone with wisdom left the church and the congregation left too. Only leaving those that won’t challenge him in anyway.
        I’ve seen those say how kind he is yes and he was only that way with selfish motive in his heart. I once sat in study and he told everyone he has to make himself try and love others.
        Here again no NO fruit of the spirit working in him. Just knowledge just like the pharisees, who had no relationship with God other than selfish motives!
        That being said I believe God is a redeemer and He can if it’s His will redeem Jordan!
        Let’s pray for humility and love for ourselves and for others!

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