AD Robles, like Jon Harris at Conversations That Matter, is someone I’ve appreciated work by from a distance. That said, he doesn’t know me and I don’t know him. But I do know he published a podcast episode yesterday which was intended to speak to the current situation surrounding JD Hall of Sidney, Montana.
In his episode from yesterday – which is not very long, but you can watch it here – AD explains from personal experience that addiction to Xanax and other substances is no joke. He can empathize, then, with what Jordan is going through.
Nevertheless, despite his support, the claim is made that neither AD nor anyone else could have known Jordan was addicted to Xanax, or for how long. Therefore all parties concerned are absolved of responsibility for having failed to intervene sooner, as the reasoning goes.
To answer this point, we need to go back to God’s Word – particularly the qualifications for overseers and deacons which the Apostle Paul writes in the New Testament to both Timothy and Titus. Thereby we’ll see that the question of who knew when whether Jordan’s behavior and way of relating was disqualifying by virtue of an unknown Xanax addiction, Vitamin D deficiency, or Asperger’s Syndrome is really beside the point. There is nothing in the Biblical text about any of these, after all.
But what does Paul write instead which should have been instructive here?
“Therefore an overseer must be…”
- above reproach
- the husband of one wife
- able to teach
- not a drunkard
- not violent but gentle
- not quarrelsome
- not a lover of money
- able to manage his own household well
- with all dignity keeping his children submissive
- not a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit
- well thought of by outsiders
If you were looking in that list for anything specifically about Xanax, Vitamin D, or Asperger’s, you didn’t miss it because it’s not there.
The items that are listed, meanwhile, not only ought to have caused, but did in fact cause elders and deacons at FBC Sidney for years to raise alarm bells about the qualification or lack thereof of JD Hall for the pastorate.
The fact that said warnings were either missed, ignored entirely, or else not searched out at all is a sad indictment, I think, on the current talking points coming from several national figures online. Like AD Robles, they shared platforms with Jordan and loaned him a credibility that made local accountability more difficult by their proximity combined with support or else ambivalence.
But the simple truth is that more could have been known by them if there had been an appetite on their part to know, and then to act and speak accordingly.
Unfortunately instead, JD Hall’s associates online are now excusing and recusing themselves one by one, and too conveniently, on the grounds that they either knew nothing or else talked with Jordan privately long ago, then left matters well enough alone.
Plausible deniability cannot be had by them here, however, when it’s considered that I published warnings in 2017 and 2020 at On The Rocks Blog as a native of Eastern Montana about the barriers to local accountability, explaining in my two articles and several podcast episodes besides how the elders and deacons at FBC Sidney had themselves been “church disciplined” right out of that church when they tried to bring accountability and admonishment to Jordan Hall in his local church.
Again, as with Jon Harris and the F4F crowd, this will not do.
This is not the model we’re called to in God’s Word. And of course, the likes of AD Robles didn’t have to take my word for it. But they could have easily found my articles at On The Rocks if they had looked for them, and then just as easily looked into the allegations I alluded to in those articles. Such would have required their thinking more holistically about the health and holiness of the church than concerns about social justice, CRT, and Wokism, of course. But that would have been a blessing to us all, I dare say.
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