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.
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.