Wade calls on Jonathan Falwell, Jr. and the trustees of Liberty to do the right thing, to publicly address the fabrications of their seminary president, and Wade believes Ergun must show humility and admit what he has done and apologize to those he has lied to.
Wade also says near the end of his post:
"I hope Dr. Caner keeps his job at Liberty."
I believed the very same, until this week.
I believe Caner should resign, or Falwell should send him packing.
Why have I changed my view on Caner keeping his job?
After I listened to Caner's 4 sermons preached in February 2007 at the Ohio Free Will Baptist Men's Retreat, I realize this guy has an incredible tendency to view people according to false stereotypes, and has used the pulpit to spread them.
A guy who would speak this garbage as a Christian minister has no place in an institution of higher learning, and much less a place in a church behind a pulpit.
How can the head of a religious school be a man who speaks derogatorily of just about every minority group using false stereotypes, whipping his audiences into laughter? Is it because he is a self-professed "camel jockey" or "towel head" that he things he has the right to perpetuate these stereotypes?
His four sermons at the Ohio Free Willers retreat was laced with jokes about women in general, ugly women being dogs, older women in churches pushing their "mutant granddaughters" on single ministers, Hispanics at Liberty pimping his truck using stolen parts, skinny "pixie" airhead girls at his seminary infatuated with their weight, Turkish women having better mustaches than Turkish men, Mexicans who "come here in the back of Chevy's"...and we know his false stereotypes of black and Hispanic worshippers at FBC Jax last June.
He even said this about "women behind the pulpit" to the hoots and hollers of his male audience:
"Dr. Caner, do you believe in women behind the pulpit? My answer is well, yeah, of course, how are they going to vacuum back there unless they get behind it....[laughter, and hoots and hollers].....and that's going to be in half of your pulpits next Sunday. FEEL FREE!!! I LOVE THAT LINE!! But you know one line like that shuts it all up, 'cause they're not going to talk about it, and they're not going to talk to you for a while, which is good, which is good."
I wouldn't send my daughter to a Christian school where the head of that school says such things about women. Might go hear him at a comedy night club or watch him on Leno, but hearing him say this as the head of a seminary where women, blacks, Hispanics, and others go to get an education? How long would Bernie Machen last at UF as the president of the school if he said this stuff? Heck, how long would Urban Meyer keep his job if he said such garbage?
Keep in mind, all of these stereotypes he spoke in 2007 and 2009, AFTER taking the helm of Liberty's seminary. And he spoke these in front of a group of mostly pastors and lay leaders. And its posted on the Internet for all to hear.
And lastly, let's face it: his entire fabrication of being a Muslim who was in the Islamic Youth Jihad, lived in Istanbul and his dad coming here as Islamic "missionaries"....its appears to me to be an attempt to stereotype ALL Muslim immigrants in our country...that they should all be feared because they are here to convert us and to strap bombs to themselves and blow us up.
I've thought about this, and after hearing the incredible lies and exaggerations spoken by Caner about his past, I don't believe that his dad was a devout Muslim, or that his dad brought his family here to be Muslim "missionaries". I think for Caner to tell that story is to demean the memory of his father. I believe the more likely story is that Ergun's dad, an educated professional, came here to live in a country where he could raise his family in freedom, where his boys could get an excellent education in Columbus, and then attend colleges and get degrees and pursue their dreams in this wonderful country. And they sure did, and good for his dad in bringing his family to this country.
I don't buy into this stereotype that Ergun Caner seems hell-bent on perpetuating about Muslims in our country. Most of them are peace-loving, family-loving citizens who work hard and want the best for their families. They are not "missionaries" to come here waiting for the signal from bin Laden to strap bombs on, which Caner seems to imply he would have done if not for accepting Christ. I don't think for one minute that any training Caner got at his mosques, or that he received from his dad, was to train him to be a terrorist. And I don't think his dad was a polygamist, as he implies in his sermons about him "having many wives".
Don't get me wrong, I hope that all Muslims in our country would hear the gospel and find redemption in Jesus Christ, but we will never win them to Christ by fearing them or stereotyping them as terrorists waiting to happen.
And we will have a much more difficult time winning Muslims to Christ when we elevate a man like Caner who the truly devout Muslims look at as an absolute JOKE, a guy who has lied about his Muslim upbringing to create a good testimony that gullible Christians will cheer - and we as Christians KNOW he is lying, and do nothing. Isn't our message to the Muslims that Jesus Christ is the way, the TRUTH, and the life? The TRUTH? How can the Muslims hear our message when we are not interested in the truth?
And then Muslims look at the leaders in Christianity, our pastors, men trained in Christian seminaries - guys like Tim Guthrie, and David Worley, and Peter Lumkins and others - these men of all men should have the spiritual foresight to see the harm that Caner is doing - and doing to the very cause these men have devoted their lives to! Not only do they not see the harm, they actually have gone after and mocked and ridiculed those of us Christians who dared to stand against these lies of Ergun Caner in their misguided attempts to protect one of their own.
So I say to Jerry Falwell, Jr...cut ties with Caner. Give him a generous severance package, let him go find in modern Christianity where his true calling is. He is a gifted speaker, no doubt. I don't doubt he is a true Christian, but he needs to find another Christian vocation. Maybe it's to be a traveling preacher/comedian like Dennis Swanburg, or to be a pastor once again, or to be a teacher at some school. Or maybe continue his writing career.
But the head of a prominent Christian seminary?
I think his lack of truthfulness, his willingness to spin a yarn about details of his past that never happened, and his penchant for using the pulpit to perpetuate false stereotypes makes him completely unsuitable for THAT position.