If Ergun Caner has not intentionally misled anyone about his Christian testimony, then all us Conservative Christian Republicans owe Bill Clinton an apology for calling him a liar over his infamous "I never had sexual relations with that woman" remark.
Clinton attempted to mislead us over his sexual relations with Lewinksy. On purpose. Because he had much to gain by misleading us.
As the discussions continue over the truthfulness of important parts of Ergun Caner's testimony about his upbringing as a Jihadist, a terrorist trained in Europe, even descriptions of himself as a "hardened terrorist" - it is helpful at this juncture to look at what his defenders are calling his "apology" regarding these multiple inconsistencies.
The defenders of Caner say he already has apologized. They say this is an attack on Caner for his views on Calvinism, or his fundamentalism. They say the bloggers are liberals. It's an effort by Satanic Muslims do "bring him down". Caner himself referred to the bloggers who are holding him accountable "small band of professing Christians" (we know what that means: a bunch of insignificant nobodies who aren't really Christians, anyways).
Caner has repented, his defenders say.
Here is the part of his statement on SBC Today under the heading "MISSTATEMENTS":
Every minister has made pulpit mistakes. Being called a “liar,” however, is a serious charge, especially when it is made by Christians. That would indicate that (1) the accusers can know the motives of the accused person’s heart, and (2) the accused person intentionally misled people.
I have never intentionally misled anyone. I am sure I have made many mistakes in the pulpit in the past 20-plus years, and I am sure I will make some in the future. For those times where I misspoke, said it wrong, scrambled words, or was just outright confusing, I apologize and will strive to do better.
I point to the sermon at FBC Jax on 11/20/01, and I make the charge that he intentionally misled Jerry Vines, and the good people of FBC Jacksonville. He claimed to have been "raised in Europe", until the age of 15 to be in "Islamic Youth Jihad", and that he "was trained to do that which was done on 11 September". His pronunciation of "Europe" and "Ah-mee-di-cah"...his mentioning of learning to speak English in Brooklyn, and that at the time of his salvation near the age of 18 that he spoke broken English.
All of that, taken together, in the context of a sermon right after 9/11, I submit was intentionally misleading the people of FBC Jacksonville.
It wasn't a "misstep".
It wasn't just "scrambled words".
It wasn't "confusing".
It was crystal clear. He painted the portrait of himself, in the FBC Jax pulpit, as that of being a trained terrorist who came to America to kill us.
Yet as documented in he and his brother's own book, they came to "Ah-meer-di-cah" when Caner was 4.
Caner was 4 years old when he moved to Columbus.
Yet he made me, and others that day, believe he came at the age of 15 as a trained, Islamic Jihad terrorist.
When will Caner publicly apologize to his Christian brothers and sisters all over the SBC for his intentional misleading of people about his upbringing? I don't think its coming anytime soon. He has taken cues from his good friend and coauthor Mac Brunson, apparently - when Mac slandered me by calling me a "sociopath" and "mentally unstable" in the Florida Times Union last April, he never apologized. Never retracted or clarified his statements about me...but 6 months later, from the pulpit, he said his remarks were a "stumble" - a victim of a reporter who put his "stumble" on the front page.
Caner "misspoke". Brunson "stumbled".
For two men who love to preach hell fire and brimstone and repentence and church discipline for recalcitrants and their own critics - what a poor testimony that they can't come clean and apologize for their public words that harm the cause of Christ.
But these are the crazy days of the SBC in which we live.