AD Robles Apologizing to JD Hall

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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 today which was intended to speak to the current situation surrounding JD Hall of Sidney, Montana.

In his episode - which is not very long, but you can watch it here - AD explains that addiction to Xanax and other substances is no joke. He personally can empathize with what Jordan is going through. Nevertheless, despite AD's support, the claim is made that neither he nor anyone else could have known JD was addicted to Xanax, or for how long.

To argue the 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 influenced by a 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.

But what does Paul write instead which should have been instructive here?

"Therefore an overseer must be..."

  • above reproach
  • the husband of one wife
  • sober-minded
  • self-controlled
  • respectable
  • hospitable
  • 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, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church?
  • not a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil
  • well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil

If you were looking in that list for anything specifically about Xanax, Vitamin D, or Asperger's, you didn't miss it. That's because the items that are listed not only ought to have, but did in fact, cause elders and deacons at FBC Sidney for years, and myself besides, 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 who shared platforms and lent credibility that prevented local accountability by their proximity combined with ambivalence.

Regretfully, that seems to include AD Robles as well now.

More could have been known if there had been an appetite to know and to act before know. Unfortunately, what seems to be happening with JD Hall's associates one by one is that they are recusing themselves conveniently on the grounds that they either knew nothing or else talked with him privately long ago, then left well enough alone.

Again, that will not do, and that is not the model we're called to in God's Word.

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