Talking Shop About JD Hall and Answering Our Accusers

We discuss the recent revelations concerning JD Hall and offer a clarifying discussion on the scope and mission of this ministry, as well as what the Bible instructs us to do when facing “guilt by association” accusations.

28 thoughts on “Talking Shop About JD Hall and Answering Our Accusers

  1. I’m extremely disappointed that rather than stop calling folks freeloaders they are doubling down.

    Parachurch ministries have no basis in the New Testament. Nor does extracting money from the saints and exposing them to lewd ads in the name of Mammon have any basis in the New Testament.

    Repentance is a gift from God and I pray He would be gracious to you, David.

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    2. Your ignorance is disheartening, and your accusations are manifestly false. First, a parachurch ministry would consist of any ministry not directly operated by an organized church. The apostles engaged in parachurch ministry as they traveled, evangelized, and taught. Missionaries are parachurch ministries, as are apologetics, education, food bank, and crisis pregnancy centers. By your logic, all must close down.

      Believers are all called to be Gospel ministers – teaching, praying and serving one another whether from within the church, at home, or on their own. Have you ever found yourself praying for or helping a neighbor in need? Sharing the Gospel, perhaps? That’s a parachurch ministry. Bible studies need no official church sanction – in fact, such a demand was at the core of the Protestant Reformation. The reformers insisted that there was no mediator between God and man except Jesus, and we will continue to study the Word inside and outside the church.

      Nobody here is “extracting” money, especially not for the purpose of greed or accruing wealth (the common meaning of Mammon) – in fact, I have never taken a dime from this ministry. I said so repeatedly in the video. Again, “freeloader” is a tongue-in-cheek term of endearment – and honestly, if a bit of light ribbing and teasing gets under your skin this easily, you’re going to have a much harder time with the *actual* hate the world will direct at you.

      For those concerned about the “lewd” ads (which again, are chosen by ad server algorithms), we have cut the ads down to almost nothing, with the banner ads that who up being served by a Christian ad server).

      1. Mr. David,

        This is a mere moving of the goal posts. While I can appreciate the appeals to other parachurch ministries and history, it’s merely begging the question. May the Lord judge between you and I, and May the Lord be gracious to you.

        Grace and peace.

        Sincerely,
        CS

      2. Mr. David,

        “Your ignorance is disheartening, and your accusations are manifestly false. First, a parachurch ministry would consist of any ministry not directly operated by an organized church.”

        I think your definition of a parachurch ministry is overly broad. I would define it as “any formal, organized ministry not directly operated by an organized church, or under the authority of an organized local church.” We can meet in the middle if you’d like and use Wikipedia’s definition:

        “Parachurch organizations are Christian faith-based *organizations* that work outside and across denominations to engage in social welfare and evangelism. Parachurch organizations seek to come alongside the church and specialize in things that individual churches may not be able to specialize in by themselves.”

        “The apostles engaged in parachurch ministry as they traveled, evangelized, and taught. Missionaries are parachurch ministries…”

        Local churches are assemblies of saints in the NT per Romans 1:7. They’re part of the household of God in 1 Tim. 3:15 and overseen by elders (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9) and are served by deacons (1 Tim. 3:8-13). Missionaries, church planters, disciples, were all sent by churches. You can see that in Acts 13:1-3, Acts 15 and Luke 10. There are qualifications for officers in local churches. There are no qualifications for those involved in parachurch ministries/organizations (I’m going to use this term interchangeably), other than those which are self-imposed. There is no biblical accountability, calling, etc.

        “… as are apologetics, education, food bank, and crisis pregnancy centers. By your logic, all must close down.”

        As far as apologetics, education, food bank and crisis pregnancy centers all needing to close down by my logic, that would be fine if they can’t come under a local church. I’m not a pragmatic person, and you shouldn’t be either. We should start with what God’s Word says irrespective of the results. But this may be a fundamental difference in our thinking. Protestia been structuring content for views and using other such methods to drive traffic to your website and monetize clicks. Protestia has been operating using worldly methods for some time now.

        “Believers are all called to be Gospel ministers – teaching, praying and serving one another whether from within the church, at home, or on their own. Have you ever found yourself praying for or helping a neighbor in need? Sharing the Gospel, perhaps? That’s a parachurch ministry. Bible studies need no official church sanction – in fact, such a demand was at the core of the Protestant Reformation. The reformers insisted that there was no mediator between God and man except Jesus, and we will continue to study the Word inside and outside the church. Nobody here is “extracting” money, especially not for the purpose of greed or accruing wealth (the common meaning of Mammon) – in fact, I have never taken a dime from this ministry. I said so repeatedly in the video. Again, “freeloader” is a tongue-in-cheek term of endearment – and honestly, if a bit of light ribbing and teasing gets under your skin this easily, you’re going to have a much harder time with the *actual* hate the world will direct at you.”

        I’m going to set aside your claim that ‘believers are all called to be Gospel ministers’ as you’ve already demonstrated your willingness to move the goal posts on one occasion. I will openly disagree with you that fulfilling the Great Commission is a parachurch ministry, for our Lord Jesus Christ gave that commission to His church (comprised of us as believers).

        Again, the problem with a Bull Dogmatic Bible Study is that the teachers aren’t accountable to anyone in a way that is commended to us in the Holy Scriptures. Elders of local teachers are to be apt to teach those in their flock as undershepherds, or ‘underoarsmen’ more exactly. We are to submit to our elders and to learn from them. Elders are to be called and qualified by their local churches. There’s no biblical basis for a self-willed, self-called person.

        On the subject of ‘extracting money’, you’re quite literally calling brothers and sisters in the Lord ‘freeloaders’ if they don’t contribute monetarily to an unbiblical parachurch ministry. Even if it were truly a term of endearment, which it isn’t, and you should be ashamed of calling good evil and evil good for suggesting it is, the fact that it has led to fellow believers stumbling, even if they are truly weaker brothers, is enough of a biblical warrant for you to stop and repent immediately. Your job is not to desensitize your brothers and sisters in the Lord to the wiles of the devil and the hatred of this world with a self-meted bit of ribbing and teasing.

        As for the lewd ads, a little leaven leavens the whole lump. The money isn’t worth ensnaring fellow servants of our Lord Jesus Christ who have made a covenant with their eyes.

        In Christ,
        CS

        1. I’m really finding it hard to believe your issue with the term “freeloader” is in good faith, especially considering the “weaker brother” strawman you erected. The (frankly minuscule) possibility that there are “weaker brothers” who don’t understand the term as teasing (no matter how many times we explain it) does not necessitate that we stop using the term. By your standard, anything said or done in good nature/faith should be halted the moment someone claims they are stumbling. “Desensitize to the wiles of the devil?” You have to be kidding me. By your logic, I should simply claim that your characterization is causing me to stumble, and your should stop and repent, right?

          “There are no qualifications for those involved in parachurch ministries/organizations (I’m going to use this term interchangeably), other than those which are self-imposed. There is no biblical accountability, calling, etc.”

          This statement smacks of Romanism. There are ministerial qualifications for every believer. They are not self-imposed (or more accurately, self-determined), they are determined by scripture. Biblical accountability comes in the form of mutual submission (Ephesians 5:21), discernment of others (1 John 4:1), and appeal to the truth of the Word (Hebrews 4:12). Every believer has equal access to God, and an equal right to minister in the name of Jesus. The implication that any Christian other than an elder or deacon has no calling to minister and has no accountability is directly contradicted by scripture (Proverbs 27:17, Hebrews 10:24-25, James 5:6).

          “Again, the problem with a Bull Dogmatic Bible Study is that the teachers aren’t accountable to anyone in a way that is commended to us in the Holy Scriptures. Elders of local teachers are to be apt to teach those in their flock as undershepherds, or ‘underoarsmen’ more exactly. We are to submit to our elders and to learn from them. Elders are to be called and qualified by their local churches. There’s no biblical basis for a self-willed, self-called person.”

          You have an ignorant and legalistic view on teaching. My teaching of the Bible study is held to account by the brothers and sisters participating in the study (see 1 Corinthians 14:26 for clear instruction on the cooperative nature of worship). You mention that elders are to be qualified by their local churches, but are these churches not made up of regular believers? How are we to trust the calling of elders and deacons if we cannot trust the members of the church? Every believer has equal access to the Father, and is therefore called to minister – this is not self-will or self-calling, it is calling by the Spirit. Christians are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 5:10) called (Galatians 1:15) to ministerial purpose and good works (Matthew 5:16, Ephesians 2:10).

          Church accountability begins with individual believers (Matthew 18:15), not hierarchical ecclesiastical structure (“coming under” a local church). In other words, no believer needs the permission of another believer or church to minister in the name of Jesus. Eldership is a functional distinction, not an ontological one. The New Testament is replete with example after example of the equality of all believers – the ground is level at the foot of the cross. You seem to think that Protestia is illegitimate because it is not a ministry commissioned by a local church, but what is your current rebuke of us if not you ministering outside the sanction of your church? Did you secure the permission of your church leadership before rebuking me or teaching me? Is possible your standard (which happens to condemn hundreds of Godly ministries) is legalistic, illogical, and not scripturally supportable?

          While I can’t readily discern what church you belong to from your novel ecclesiastical views, note that the position I am drawing from above is traditional, orthodox teaching reinforced by Luther, Calvin, and every confession we list on our about page.

          1. Mr. David,

            I’m a Reformed Baptist, and a member in good standing at a local Reformed Baptist church that is fully subscribed to the 1689 LBCF, as am I. I am cut from the same cloth as many of the folks might be who are on the other side of this issue. I can assure you I am not doing this out of a spirit of contention, ignorance, ulterior motives or ill intentions. But you seem to have some very strong personal and intellectual commitments that you are unwilling to reconsider.

            I’m not approaching this for a Romish perspective at all, but you seem to be unwilling to hear anything from me.

            Perhaps the Lord in His mercy will send another brother to discuss these matters with you. Take care, Mr. David. Be wary of the implements of Saul. Protestia doesn’t need them for you to slay Goliath.

            Grace and peace.

            Sincerely,
            CS

  2. Similarly, charging folks or even encouraging them to attend an online Bible Study outside of the context of their local New Testament church has no biblical basis.

    I’m firmly persuaded that just like HeartCry and so many other charitable organizations that if the LORD intends to bless your ministry that He will provide. You shouldn’t need to resort to pressuring and name calling your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in the hopes of generating revenue.

    We’ll give an account one day of every idle word. Protestia, David, I encourage you to prayerfully reflect on the concerns others have shared over the past few weeks rather than simply double down and stay the course. The juice may not be worth the squeeze in the end.

    1. I totally agree. I paid for one year through Patreon right before all this began to break loose (and no I don’t buy and didn’t buy then that Jordan’s problems were related to a Vitamin D deficiency.) I regret that now. I can be called a freeloader, but then I don’t want to be fooled again. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my money back. That’s okay. I don’t want to pay for something that deceives people or resorts in the evil name calling that we aren’t supposed to get down in the gutter like the demons occupy.

      1. This seems suspicious to me. Before any of this broke they still had the same style of polemics, so if you had a problem with the name calling why would you have subscribed in the first place?

        The sins of JD are not the sins of everyone that works for him. We are to be held accountable for what we do individually. Do I think they sometimes overreach in their rhetoric towards others? Sure. But at least someone is willing to stand on God’s word and call out church leaders that deceive with smooth words. I’d rather have the truth spoken harshly then lies spoken gently.

        1. To support the ministry and to get access to articles and videos. JD was the face of this website and Pulpit and Pen.

          1. David, If the premise of your argument for JDs eventual return to the pulpit is: ‘no sin with evidence of genuine repentance is a disqualifier’, then what difference will any newly discovered sins make? They, too, are subject to genuine repentance. I don’t follow the logic. Thanks.

      2. Hi Susan,

        I can’t seem to find a Susan Jones in the list of patrons, either current or canceled. If you’ll send me a Facebook or Twitter message (or message Protestia’s Patreon page) with the name the subscription was under, I’ll make sure you get a full refund for what you contributed. Thanks!

        1. JAE, My premise (discussed in the Tuesday episode) is that we have to be very careful when claiming someone is *permanently* disqualified. Such a claim should be accompanied by the conclusion that the person can never again be above reproach (this instances exist), and of course the fact that a church has no interest in calling the person as an elder or deacon. New sins being revealed may reveal false repentance or further violations of the biblical qualifications for official church ministry.

  3. Any lewd ads you are receiving are based on your own browsing history, that’s how these ads work.

    The people that do this work need to be compensated. How many emails have you sent to YouTube asking them to allow Protestia to be monetized, or do you only criticize without trying to help? It’s not how I would raise money, but I am not in their situation and I doubt the little money they are raising is allowing them to fly in private jets, David isn’t even getting a salary at all.

    1. I am a female whose browsing history consists of discernment blogs, conservative news, pet supplies and the weather. I do not shop for clothes online. I frequently see rated R ads on this site with women showing deep cleavage and disgusting, very revealing clothing. There is nothing in my browsing history that would attract these ads.

  4. With great respect, Mr. Kevin, I do not browse for women’s clothing. Nor would my browsing history have anything to do with how the models of women’s closing pose in a photo that is embedded within the ad.

    Furthermore, my earlier points stand. A parachurch ministry is without any biblical basis, as are Bible Studies conducted by such a ministry. They ought to be esteeming others as better than themselves, and instead they are calling saints names.

  5. @JAE – Great point. My understanding is that the qualifications for an elder are to be blameless and above reproach, among other things per Titus 1:6-9. It is well established that some sins are so grievous that while a genuinely repentant believer might be restored to fellowship, they may not necessarily be qualified to be restored to eldership or the ministry.

    1. @JAE – Where it becomes a gray area, or better said, an altogether unbiblical one, is in the instance of a parachurch ministry, as such a ministry isn’t accountable to anyone in a biblical sense. Many parachurch ministries seek to portray some semblance of accountability by appointing elders in good standing at various churches to a board of directors or similar, but again, this has no biblical basis or scriptural warrant.

  6. Mr. David,

    I’ll respond point by point to your lengthy reply and try to bring the Holy Scriptures to bear where applicable.

    Mr. David,

    “Your ignorance is disheartening, and your accusations are manifestly false. First, a parachurch ministry would consist of any ministry not directly operated by an organized church.”

    I think your definition of a parachurch ministry is overly broad. I would define it as “any formal, organized ministry not directly operated by an organized church, or under the authority of an organized local church.” We can meet in the middle if you’d like and use Wikipedia’s definition:

    “Parachurch organizations are Christian faith-based *organizations* that work outside and across denominations to engage in social welfare and evangelism. Parachurch organizations seek to come alongside the church and specialize in things that individual churches may not be able to specialize in by themselves.”

    “The apostles engaged in parachurch ministry as they traveled, evangelized, and taught. Missionaries are parachurch ministries…”

    Local churches are assemblies of saints in the NT per Romans 1:7. They’re part of the household of God in 1 Tim. 3:15 and overseen by elders (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9) and are served by deacons (1 Tim. 3:8-13). Missionaries, church planters, disciples, were all sent by churches. You can see that in Acts 13:1-3, Acts 15 and Luke 10. There are qualifications for officers in local churches. There are no qualifications for those involved in parachurch ministries/organizations (I’m going to use this term interchangeably), other than those which are self-imposed. There is no biblical accountability, calling, etc.

    “… as are apologetics, education, food bank, and crisis pregnancy centers. By your logic, all must close down.”

    As far as apologetics, education, food bank and crisis pregnancy centers all needing to close down by my logic, that would be fine if they can’t come under a local church. I’m not a pragmatic person, and you shouldn’t be either. We should start with what God’s Word says irrespective of the results. But this may be a fundamental difference in our thinking. Protestia been structuring content for views and using other such methods to drive traffic to your website and monetize clicks. Protestia has been operating using worldly methods for some time now.

    “Believers are all called to be Gospel ministers – teaching, praying and serving one another whether from within the church, at home, or on their own. Have you ever found yourself praying for or helping a neighbor in need? Sharing the Gospel, perhaps? That’s a parachurch ministry. Bible studies need no official church sanction – in fact, such a demand was at the core of the Protestant Reformation. The reformers insisted that there was no mediator between God and man except Jesus, and we will continue to study the Word inside and outside the church. Nobody here is “extracting” money, especially not for the purpose of greed or accruing wealth (the common meaning of Mammon) – in fact, I have never taken a dime from this ministry. I said so repeatedly in the video. Again, “freeloader” is a tongue-in-cheek term of endearment – and honestly, if a bit of light ribbing and teasing gets under your skin this easily, you’re going to have a much harder time with the *actual* hate the world will direct at you.”

    I’m going to set aside your claim that ‘believers are all called to be Gospel ministers’ as you’ve already demonstrated your willingness to move the goal posts on one occasion. I will openly disagree with you that fulfilling the Great Commission is a parachurch ministry, for our Lord Jesus Christ gave that commission to His church (comprised of us as believers).

    Again, the problem with a Bull Dogmatic Bible Study is that the teachers aren’t accountable to anyone in a way that is commended to us in the Holy Scriptures. Elders of local teachers are to be apt to teach those in their flock as undershepherds, or ‘underoarsmen’ more exactly. We are to submit to our elders and to learn from them. Elders are to be called and qualified by their local churches. There’s no biblical basis for a self-willed, self-called person.

    On the subject of ‘extracting money’, you’re quite literally calling brothers and sisters in the Lord ‘freeloaders’ if they don’t contribute monetarily to an unbiblical parachurch ministry. Even if it were truly a term of endearment, which it isn’t, and you should be ashamed of calling good evil and evil good for suggesting it is, the fact that it has led to fellow believers stumbling, even if they are truly weaker brothers, is enough of a biblical warrant for you to stop and repent immediately. Your job is not to desensitize your brothers and sisters in the Lord to the wiles of the devil and the hatred of this world with a self-meted bit of ribbing and teasing.

    As for the lewd ads, a little leaven leavens the whole lump. The money isn’t worth ensnaring fellow servants of our Lord Jesus Christ who have made a covenant with their eyes.

    In Christ,
    CS

  7. I will say the same thing to you as I said to J.D. Hall years ago when it was still Pulpit & Pen. You spend all your time telling people what you are against. You should be spending equal amounts of time telling them what you are for and sending them to sound teachers to counter the appalling number of apostates within the visible church. Sound doctrinal and theological teaching is just as important as polemics and apologetics. When all you do is rail against false teachers, and offer nothing of biblical substance in return, you leave a vacuum that is just as dangerous as the false teachings. Your “Things We Like” page would fail to qualify as sound Biblical sources for anyone seeking doctrinal bedrock. I will just take one of them and say that it displays, even without digging beyond it’s main page, a number of problems equal to, if not worse than the false teachings you rail against here. Berean Babes. Really? The name itself is both offensive and irreverent. There is no such thing as a “Prophet” today. That office closed when John the Baptist died. There is no such thing as an Apostle today. When the last Apostle that was a witness to Jesus while he was alive died, the office was closed. So you are promoting a site which is teaching false doctrine, while claiming to be against false doctrine.

    Your site is rife with clickbait. That doesn’t send a good message. I realize you have to pay for the site somehow but having to constantly kill pop-ups is annoying.

    You have no accountability. You do not answer to anyone. As a servant of Christ you have to be accountable to someone in a higher authority if you claim to be working under the auspices of a church. You can’t skate on that requirement simply because you run a website. You are claiming to disseminate truth but you do not answer to anyone. This would be one of the reasons that Protestia/ Pulpit & Pen has Jumped the Shark, as they say, at this point.

    It’s great fun to point out error in teaching, and constantly find someone to roast, but there has to be a focus on something more. When I found your page “Woke Church Newsletter Invites Congregants To Help Pay for Abortions and Abortion Pills” yesterday and saw who it was that was “Pastoring” the Boise Cathedral of the Rockies I was in stunned. The Benjamin Cremer who runs that fake church (I will not put “Reverend” in front of his name,) is my cousin Greg’s son. He started out by going to Nazerene Seminary in Kansas City. I told my wife, not long after he began pastoring his first church and started talking about “relevance” and “the poor” that he would go full-on Liberal one day. It didn’t surprise me, but it did sadden me that a person I know, personally, is leading his flock astray. That does not mean I should spend endless hours on a website pointing out his flaws. Do we need Polemics? Of course we do. But they have to be balanced by something else of equal POSITIVE weight.

    1. Mr. David Cremer,

      Well said. God bless. Lord willing Mr. David Merrill will be willing to read and receive some of this feedback. I think anyone in his situation and with his personal and intellectual commitments could find themselves stuck in defense mode, especially given the polemical nature of this particular parachurch ministry which Mr. Merrill has inherited.

      Every type of suggestion or feedback from brothers and sisters in the Lord that has been published, both on this thread and the original thread about JD, as well as the YouTube video this thread links out to, all of them have been flatly rejected or refused for one reason or another.

      The gentleman won’t stop calling Christians names for goodness sake. Anyway, this will be my last comment on this website. The time has come for me to shake the dust off of my feet. I pray the one of you other brothers or sisters in the Lord will persevere and prevail with Mr. David Merrill.

      2 Tim. 2:3-4

      23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

      24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

      May the Lord bless you all who are recommending change that Protestia is so sorely in need of. I will be praying that it will be brought back under the authority of a local church who will take down the lewd ads, add a positive section to point folks to Christ and stop using the weapons and armour of David – the worldly methods employed to draw clicks and generate revenue, etc.

      Sincerely,
      CS

  8. That Mr. David will cease using the weapons and armor of Saul* in Protestia’s battle against apostate Goliaths…*

  9. Mr. Morrill, why the square-quotes around “lewd”? Would you be willing to upload screenshots to this website which I have taken of these lewd ads that have been featured on this website? Upon loading this page just now I was presented an ad for Wellness Guide 101 with a half-naked woman in a strange stretching position. Do people really need to see that on your website? I do not understand your rationale for these ads at all. Whether an ad server claims to be Christian or not is irrelevant. What matters is what actually is displayed to the end user. You make the assumption that the ONLY option for ad revenue is reliance upon ad networks that choose their own algorithms. Wrong. What’s stopping you from selecting only specific companies and services personally vetted by you and hosting their ads without relying upon these ambiguous “ad networks”? That’s how websites used to advertise, and many still do. “It’s an ad network” or “they decide their own algorithms” is no excuse. If you cannot guarantee that all the ads don’t blaspheme God, glamorize immorality, or point to false doctrine (all of which I have seen), you have no business whatsoever utilizing those ad networks. You say the money is needed; okay so why then go to the devil? If you need the money, then acquire it God’s way, and he has already warned you not to put stumbling blocks before His children.

    1. Hey John, you can send any screenshots from the site you find objectionable to me and I’ll certainly review them for acceptability. I have yet to see any lewd ads on the site since we made sweeping changes to the ad system on the website last week, but if there are still issues I’ll be happy to investigate. DM me on Twitter @coconservative7 or find me on Facebook and message the screenshot there.

  10. I have long felt that Protestia is one of the most essential US Christian websites although I did see JD’s flaws and feared that things might go in a worse direction with him. I hope you will keep going, with a less sectarian approach.

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