Last week JD Hall, founder of the discernment blogs Pulpit & Pen and Protestia, was arrested and charged with a DUI. For the countless number of enemies that JD has made over the years through his over-the-top critiques and polemic attacks, it was the perfect opportunity to attack his credibility and apparent hypocrisy. Think about it, here’s the man who’s made a name for himself attacking so many pastors within the church in what many would claim is unfair and un-Christlike. Blog after blog was posted, seemingly rejoicing at the “moral failure” of this pastor from Montana.
I, myself, have been the victim of several smear pieces by JD and his team of polemicists, as have several of my close friends and family members. At the same time, I have several harsh articles about JD on my Christian site, The GateKeepers, as well.
In spite of our history, I’ve met and spoken with JD one time in person and a few times over the phone. Despite his reputation, I truly believe he is someone who is doing what the Lord has called him to do: Call out false teachers and confront error. He’s also been a strong voice within the church against the leftist direction our nation is heading, even when that means confronting his friends and contemporaries. In fact, I believe that JD was probably the strongest in his critiques of Pastor John MacArthur in the aftermath of his continued partnerships with woke pastors and leaders such as Albert Mohler, Ligon Duncan and many others. I’ve publicly commended him on that many times.
All that to say, JD is one of the good guys, despite my disagreement with many of his conclusions and attacks against particular pastors and Christian leaders. When I caught wind of JD’s DUI charge and began to see the many hit pieces and attempts to smear him by his enemies, I decided that it’s time that I throw in my two cents.
As is typical, it appears that the truth regarding these charges are not as it’s being portrayed in article after article. According to the statement released on Protestia, JD has a health condition that causes him to sometimes appear as if drunk: “JD suffers from medical issues related to severe vitamin D deficiency that can manifest in symptoms that mimic inebriation. This has been discussed a few times on the Polemics Report and is known to his close friends. Those who watch Polemics Report have seen this and have been concerned enough to ask about it, which we appreciate.”
If this is true, and I have no reason to believe that it is not, then there are ZERO moral failures by JD in regards to his arrest. This is a health issue, not a drinking one. The bloodthirsty bloggers going after him are showing that they are just out for blood. Think about it: they claim that JD falsely accuses the brethren and is just looking to destroy pastors… and yet, here they are doing the same thing based on false charges.
I also want to be clear that I do not think that there is any reason for JD Hall to resign as pastor of his church, and I am glad that his church refused to accept his resignation. There is no reason for him to step down as pastor… he did not sin and there’s no biblical disqualification from the pastorate on his part.
If JD’s health has deteriorated to the point to where his body begins to act as if drunk, I would not be surprised if his drivers license gets taken away until he can get that taken care of. However, that should be the extend of his “punishment.” There’s no repentance required, no resignation needed and no apology necessary.
Like I said earlier, JD and I have a history. We’ve gone at it with each other. Despite that, we are on the same team. We agree on virtually every theological position. We are in agreement politically, and both understand the importance of involvement in politics, but that the actual solution to our nation crumbling is the Gospel.
As such, our past is our past, but it doesn’t have to be our future. We are on the same team with the same mission, and this latest story is a nothingburger that his critics should be ashamed of jumping all over. As Christians we should care about the truth, and in this case the truth is that JD Hall does not deserve the attacks being directed at him.
Please join me in praying for JD, his family and his church during this time as they maneuver what’s being thrown at them. I pray that he comes back from this, gets healthy and jumps back in the good fight. And when he’s ready, he’ll have an ally in me.
Here’s the statement released by his church regarding this incident:
The following statement from Fellowship Baptist Church is made in response to the events of the evening of May 11th, 2022 involving Pastor Hall, and subsequent findings and decisions made by the church.
Pastor Hall tenured his resignation to the church Thursday after being charged with DUI on Wednesday evening. There was no alcohol in his system and he blew 0.0 on the administered breathalyzer. However, police insisted Pastor Hall failed the administered field sobriety test. Pastor Hall has suffered from documented vitamin D deficiency, which can result in poor coordination, slurred speech, word displacement, etc. This medical issue has been discussed openly for some time and has been the subject of our church’s prayers. Nonetheless, Pastor Hall felt responsibility for bringing the stain of rumor upon the church and thus offered his resignation.
The deacons and elders met yesterday and rejected his resignation in consultation with three well-respected and Godly pastors of other churches, as it was unanimously determined that, as no alcohol was used and Pastor Hall’s coordination/health issues have been well known, this unfortunate incident was not ministerially disqualifying. The deacons, elders, and consulted pastors were apprised of Pastor Hall’s prescription medication, health issues, and spiritual, emotional, and physical state, and expressed great concern for his health and overworking.
The Church Council met soon after and likewise rejected Pastor Hall’s resignation. The council determined Pastor Hall was exhausted, potentially addicted to working, and must rest, do nothing for 3 months, and change his phone number (to not be bothered by outsiders). Additionally, the Council determined that church elders will handle Pastor Hall’s responsibilities along with a former church member (who had moved away) and lay pastor. Church leadership will place Pastor Hall’s wife in charge of when after that period he is well enough to go back to work, in consultation with the elders.
Subsequently, the congregation was apprised of the situation in a special business meeting after services Sunday. In a unanimous vote, they likewise rejected Pastor Hall’s resignation and voted to affirm the Church Council’s findings.
Pastor Hall spoke to the congregation to say he would submit to their requests, would come or go at our pleasure, and agreed to remain in his office at our request. He cautioned us solemnly to be ready for what enemies of Christ would do with his situation and to brace themselves. The congregation spoke openly to assure Pastor Hall he should not be ashamed, that we do not care what the world thinks, as that we know the truth.
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