The Rise and Fall of J.D. Hall
I’d never heard of J.D. Hall until a couple of years ago.
He crossed my radar with the publication of a book called ” Help! Arminians Are Giving Me Nightmares Again”.
I’m a Calvinist, but I don’t believe such hyperbole is helpful in theological discussions.
The hyperbole got Hall a lot of attention and a lot of new friends who were more famous than he was.
He was in the club now.
That club was the ‘elite” of the Reformed Baptists and Calvinistic non denoms.
Soon he was invited to speak at conferences and hosting his own where his new friends came to speak.
The problem with getting in a club is you stay in the same way you got in.
Today, that means being a champion of one viewpoint and excoriating those who don’t share it.
To keep the attention, you must always have someone to excoriate that the club leaders are excoriating too.
You prove your fidelity to the faith of the club by how often and how harshly you condemn those whom the elite condemn.
You must be faithfully against something, as well as for something else.
Hall was very faithful.
In harassing young Braxton Caner he was harassing Ergun Caner by proxy…and Ergun Caner had been a deserving target for a long time.
Surely, this was the work of the Lord.
No, it wasn’t.
It was immature, cruel, and unworthy of a Christian minister.
It inflated the reputation of a man at the expense of the reputation of the Savior.
It reflected a heart set on “truth” and utterly devoid of grace and mercy…which is always a half truth…which is a lie.
J.D. Hall has gone silent these days…which is a state he should get used to.
None of us know whether or not he contributed to a young mans death by suicide…that’s beyond our knowing.
We can assume that his actions did nothing to help him.
What all of us in social media should understand is that we all could be in his shoes…that often the thinnest of lines separate being a reformer from an abuser.
We all should pause and reflect on whether we’re doing God’s work, God’s way.
The price of admission to club membership can be your very soul.
I’m off to make my own application…