Answering Protestia and David Morrill Talking Shop

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Having now taken the lead at Protestia, David Morrill livestreamed a video on Thursday night answering the over 5-hour expose released the day prior by YouTube channel 'Servus Christi,' replete with first-hand testimony, police reports, and a chat transcript with a member of the leadership at FBC Sidney regarding the current situation there.

Morrill, though, in the Protestia response titled 'Answering our Accusers' is understandably concerned about donors and supporters of the organization asking hard questions in the wake of Jordan Hall's removal from both the pastorate and Protestia, only all the more as it becomes clear he's being investigated for both embezzlement and domestic violence.

But of course they didn't know about it, guys. They're all just volunteers. But they're doing exactly what JD would've wanted them to. And maybe that's why the small-town Eastern Montana church they were unofficially a ministry of didn't come to them first asking for their discernment ministry services before going to the police.

Let's do be reasonable, though. Morrill couldn't have possibly known. He lives in Arvada, Colorado. That's a full 1 hour and 1 minute further south than I live in Greeley. And, yes, I knew about these things even though I also live in Colorado. But that extra hour makes a huge difference to the signal strength of our interwebs and phone connections out here in the Rocky Mountains, let me tell ya.

Even if they had known, however, Morrill argues that the members of the staff at Protestia don't have a responsibility to hold one another morally accountable. They're too busy doing important stuff, like holding pastors, authors, singers and songwriters outside of Protestia accountable. Some discernment ministry.

Providing accountability and investing in knowing about one another's private lives ought to have been a basic requirement of involvement at Protestia from the beginning. Hiding behind excuses about not belonging to the same local church really won't do if in fact all of the participants are together members of Christ's Church writ large.

Or else what is their argument for calling balls and strikes on false teachers and blind guides across American Christendom if they couldn't or wouldn't even do it within their own organization?

Morrill is all over the place here. His argument keeps moving the goalposts. He found out in the papers just like everyone else. He didn't know the police were involved and investigating. None of them did! They're all just unpaid volunteers here, and did he mention he lives in Colorado? Just definitely keep tuning in and lending financial support because their powers of discernment are selectively activated when dealing with the indiscretions of people whose doctrine they don't like, and who they don't consider friends.

But riddle me this. How is it I knew more about the situation on the ground in Sidney, Montana than Morrill did when I also live in Colorado? The answer is simple. I have relationships with the people who are there. Those people know I care about not only them, but about the reputation and well-being of the Eastern Montana community I'm from.

Morrill wants to chalk the whole business up to doctrine. It's their Reformed theology. They're being persecuted. The only trouble there is that you can't make that claim stick when the express reason many current and former members of FBC Sidney put up with Hall's abuse as long as they did was because they held in common his avowedly Reformed theology.

And to answer the question of whether a false teacher should be just as accountable for bad doctrine taught as for persistently sinful and unrepentant behavior, we must look to the Scriptures. Jesus said of false prophets, "You will recognize them by their fruits." Dismiss that all you like by pointing out the sins of others, David. But God will judge between us. You see what you want to.

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