"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Monday, May 17, 2010

Latest on Caner: Lynchburg Reporter Asks Questions, Caner HS Yearbook Info Surfaces

This morning, reporter Ray Reed of the Lynchburg News & Advance has published an article entitled "Dispute over theology, background led to Caner probe". Things are not going to get easier for Caner - this is just another step toward the main stream media taking interest in this story. And unrelated to Reed's story, yesterday a blogger posted pictures of Caner and excerpts about Caner's extracurricular activities from his high school yearbook that show perhaps he was more of a normal teenager growing up in Columbus, Ohio, than he was a devout Muslim with broken English who was "trained to do that which was done on 11 September".

Above is a picture, allegedly of Ergun Caner in a play at high school. He was an actor. Strange, since he testifies that as a senior when he accepted Christ his English was very poor, being a Turkish immigrant trained in Islamic Jihad. Ouch. But the "actor" - Caner playing roles, pretending to be someone else performing in front of a crowd...that is perhaps the first thing in this story that makes sense.

In his article, Reed presents a series of quotes from Caner, using mostly the FBC Jax sermon of November 20, 2001 and the Prestonwood Baptist Church sermon that same month (that was aired in April 2010 on the Focus on the Family radio broadcast). Reed also summarizes the questions about Caner's degrees and his claims to have engaged in apologetics all over the world through multiple debates of which there is no documentation. Reed is asking the right questions.

Caner still has time to diffuse some of the sensationalistic aspects of future reports if he comes out NOW, and gives a full explanation of what he has done, and repents. But when he instead makes himself to be the victim in all of this, and says that his role is one of being the FORGIVER of those who have "hated" him, it shows he has a long, long way to go. Here is Caner's explanation to his students at Liberty's "Campus Church" back in February 2010:

"I've been under attack for WEEKS, by groups that had nothing to do with each other than to join together to hate me together, you know? Could I have said things better? Sure. Could not have been as boisterous and loud? Yeah. Should have used notes instead of trying to be 'Mr. Fancy' and talk extemporaneously and mix up names? Sure. We may never agree on definitions, we may never agree on what constitutes, etc. etc. But I have to LEARN to forgive and move on. I hope you don't think less of me, but if you do: it must be nice to be perfect." Ergun Caner at Liberty Campus Church addressing Liberty students on February 17, 2010

I hope and pray Caner comes forward very soon to apologize and repent for his decade of deception, and begins to make things right.

47 comments:

mirele said...

Ergun trots out the "honorary degree" red herring to try and explain his D.Min from "Emmanuel Baptist University." I pretty much lay waste to that assumption here:

http://mmmirele.blogspot.com/2009/08/question-what-degrees-do-you-have-and.html

The pertinent quote is this (from Baptist Press, screenshot at the blog): "After receiving a B.A. from Cumberland College, Caner received the M.A. from The Criswell College, M.Div. and Th.M. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and completed a D.Min. at Emmanuel Baptist University and a D. Theol. at the University of South Africa."

Unfortunately the Lynchburg paper doesn't allow for comments on this article or I'd post this there.

Debbie Kaufman said...

"I've been under attack for WEEKS, by groups that had nothing to do with each other than to join together to hate me together, you know? Could I have said things better? Sure. Could not have been as boisterous and loud? Yeah. Should have used notes instead of trying to be 'Mr. Fancy' and talk extemporaneously and mix up names? Sure. We may never agree on definitions, we may never agree on what constitutes, etc. etc. But I have to LEARN to forgive and move on. I hope you don't think less of me, but if you do: it must be nice to be perfect." Ergun Caner at Liberty Campus Church addressing Liberty students on February 17, 2010

Is this the "apology" that Tim Rogers, CB, Peter was speaking of that he made in front of Liberty students?

If I were the students I would have questioned the double standard here. Is this taught in the ethics class at LU? Somehow I doubt it.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Debbie - can you point to somewhere that Rogers or Scott or Lumpkins refer to an apology given to the students?

Anonymous said...

Apology you won't see: I lied. Constantly, over and over again and gained position and profit for doing so. I am embarrassed and ashamed. Like the Bible says, your sin will find you out. I have been found out. Out of respect for those that trusted me, and out of reverence for Jesus who saved me, I am stepping down and will find other ways, humble and out of the spotlight ways, to serve Him. Good-bye."

Anonymous said...

Or, is it the apology of misspeaking he put online and then took down? I heard he apologized "privately" and that it is none of our business and everyone should accept it.

It is good to be king. Or should I say, it is good to be a little pope and send down edicts everyone must accept or be damned as sinners for daring to question the pope. (This is the position of Lumpkins, Rogers, Worley, Barber etc. which means it is the position of Patterson)

Thy Peace said...

AP News > Christian leader faces questions about Muslim past.
He told The Associated Press in 2002 that he was born in Sweden to a Turkish father and Swedish mother, who brought the family to Ohio in 1969, when he was about 3 years old. He said he accepted Christ as a teenager at a Baptist church in Columbus, and then pursued ministry, getting a degree from Criswell College, a Baptist school in Dallas.

I sincerely hope Ergun Caner does not use the above words to mean he had been truthful way back since 2002.

Can AP News corroborate the above either by a link or a printed piece that indeed Ergun Caner told AP News in 2002 the above?

Thy Peace said...

Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog [James White] > Associated Press Story Posted.
I would love to see a link to this material, personally. If that is the case, then isn't it ironic that the very conclusions we have come to in our inquiry into Caner's past is what he said to the AP in 2002? And doesn't this provide final and absolute evidence that all of his claims since then about Turkey, moving his arrival in the US back so he can become a jihad-trained Muslim from Turkey, etc., are false? I mean, if Ergun Caner isn't a good enough source for documentation on Ergun Caner, what, pray tell, would be?

Thy Peace said...

Christ Reformed Baptist Church [Tom Chantry] > Why the Ergun Caner Scandal Matters: a Plea to Pastors.
A few weeks ago I wrote at some length about the serious nature of the controversy surrounding Ergun Caner. As the Caner matter progresses from a controversy to a scandal I wish to address it once again. I am convinced that this issue is of the utmost importance, not only to Caner and to Liberty University, but to all Evangelicals. While Caner's misstatements have become unusually public, they are hardly unique to him. Every Evangelical preacher should seriously consider how this scandal has come about.

Dee said...

Several years ago I heard one of the pastors in my SBC church tell a story, in the pulpit, that he claimed to be true. It was one of those tear jerkers. Well, I happened to know that it was a fictional short story from a magazine and sent him an article from Snopes.

Well, he said he was glad that I did and was "surprised."Not surprised enough. Six months later I heard him tell the same story again, in the pulpit. So, I went to another pastor to discuss this. He said two things.
1. Well, this is the tradition that he came out of, telling emotional stories. So I asked if lying is OK so long as it is emotional and fits the sermon?
2. After grimacing, said pastor said, "You know I am going to have to talk to him about this." I guess he was seeing if I would back down. I said that I certainly hoped he would talk to him about lying.

So, is lying OK in the SBC so long as it gets results? Great Scott! No wonder Caner's lying is OK with some.

Anonymous said...

Are the parables Jesus told which are recorded in the bible, true stories?

Anonymous said...

This is hard to say and harder to believe but the responses of those who defend Caner are almost worse than Caner's lies.
We think the corruption is "out there." Out in the world, in the government, etc. I get emails almost everyday from my Christian friends about Obama or somebody. Folks let's face it: It's in here. It's in the church.
Can we face it? Can we admit it?
Former Anon: Please don't tell us that you are implying that Jesus lied? Has discernment died in the streets? Can you not tell the diff between telling a story to illustrate a point and making up lies about real people inclu yourself, with dates and claiming to be something which you are not? The fact that Caner responds with more lies and with self-pity just goes to show just how undiscerning the church really is. And he knows it too and is taking full advantage of our naivite and gullibility. Why not? It's worked for him for at least a decade already. Not just among audiences and the rank and file, but sadly within leadership too, who really ought to have known better.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Matt: I am pasting this comment here, looks like you erroneously posted it under the FBC Dallas article.
----------------------

Because of this scandal, I have it on good authority more mega church preachers are fact checking their sermon illustrations. (this is important because they rarely do their own research)

Now, if only they would fact check what they teach about the Word.

Matt

Anonymous said...

So it's OK to make up stories as long as they make a point? Just make sure you don't put in any identifiers such as dates, places or verifiable stuff?

Also don't claim them to be true (I agree on this) but since Jesus didn't claim them not to be, we can tell our tale and keep preaching / teaching?

Be like Jesus, right?

Anonymous said...

Are the parables Jesus told which are recorded in the bible, true stories?

May 17, 2010 2:34 PM

Are you implying Jesus lied about Himself? This is not about Caner using parables to make a point. This is about Caner LYING about HIMSELF as in embellishing his background in order to enthrall his audience as in From Jihad to Jesus.

"We think the corruption is "out there." Out in the world, in the government, etc. I get emails almost everyday from my Christian friends about Obama or somebody. Folks let's face it: It's in here. It's in the church."

Worse. It is in the leadership. The ones who claim they are your authority.

Anonymous said...

"Are you implying Jesus lied about Himself? "

I'm not implying anything, just asking. Are you avoiding the question or do you not have an answer?

Anonymous said...

"Are the parables Jesus told which are recorded in the bible, true stories?"

I think we have a winner for the worst analogy contest.

Anonymous said...

That's it! He just needs to say he was speaking in parables.

"In the land of Florida there was a certain young preacher..."

By the way, was it just me or does the photograph look like Freddie Mercury?

Louis

Anonymous said...

That's it! He just needs to say he was speaking in parables.

"In the land of Florida there was a certain young preacher..."

By the way, was it just me or does the photograph look like Freddie Mercury?

Louis

Anonymous said...

I'm not implying anything, just asking. Are you avoiding the question or do you not have an answer?

May 17, 2010 4:25 PM

The problem is your question has nothing to do with this issue unless you are equating Jesus' parables in the Word to Caner's lies about his OWN background. Just wanting more information about where you are coming from with your question.

How else should we take the question on this blog topic?

Jim said...

Caner did not simply "make mistakes" or committed some "misstatement" where he might have said things differently if he had notes. He has committed FRAUD. He presented himself as something he was not, in churches, in the media, and at Liberty University, for personal gain. When the "fix" was in, he presented himself as an academic, in order to gain a job at Liberty Seminary. However, his highest "earned" degree is is a Th.M. from Southeastern Seminary. Please, don't anyone attempt to convince me that he "earned" degrees from Emmanuel Baptist University, or the University of South Africa. "Earned" implies he devoted years to disciplined, doctoral study and writing...not that he took a few online courses and paid his money to the degree granting institutions. If Caner were in another profession he would be fired. If he were in the military, he would face a Court Martial. If he were working the streets, or going door to door, he would be arrested as a "confidence man" (Con-Man). This person is training the next generation of preachers? God protect them and God help the churches they are called to serve!

Wake said...

Anon - 2:34 PM

Yes they are true stories. A story it not necessarily by definition fact or fiction. It feels like you are baiting a hook. If you could provide the specific parable you are referring to, I believe a more educated answer could be given. That is, if that is what you are looking for.

Anonymous said...

"Worse. It is in the leadership. The ones who claim they are your authority."

==================================
Brunson's Mother's Day message was another scolding one about the "inside" membership being the problems of the church and emphasized how we must pray for those who have authority over us.

I wasn't impressed with Brunson throwing out the Horner's name from Dallas and went on to use them as an example of how "insiders" can throw darts at people. I found his public comment using the names of these individuals offensive.

I agree with the above's comment, it is problems within Leadership, not just those in the pews who stir up trouble.

I'd never tell Brunson any thing personal - he uses peoples names far to much in his public messages! He needs to restrain from that practice.

As far as Caner and it not being any of our business, sorry but when stories come out in the media like this, it is our business as it is tuition and the alumni monies who support Liberty University. A individual in Caners position should have a spotless reputation.

WishIhadknown said...

Par*a*ble
Moral or religious story

A short simple story intended to illustrate a moral or religious lesson

By definition, a parable is a story.

Not sure what your point is.

Jesus never represented the parable as being anything other than a story. Caner exploited one of the darkest moment in the United States history for personal gratification and aggrandizement. That was what was plainly shown on the videos.

Consider: A few years ago, a high ranking naval officer mistakenly wore a combat medal. He believed he was entitled to wear the medal because of his service. After being reported and learning that he, in fact, was not entitled to wear the medal, committed suicide. The reason he committed suicide was because he believed he had dishonored the uniform. So, at least some people believe an innocent lie is a very serious offense.

Anonymous said...

That's it! He just needs to say he was speaking in parables.

"In the land of Florida there was a certain young preacher..."

By the way, was it just me or does the photograph look like Freddie Mercury?

Louis

May 17, 2010 4:30 PM

A personal injury lawyer's defense.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Baptist Life Forums > SBC News and Trends > I am resigning as moderator of this forum.

Brethren and sistren, I [William Thornton] am resigning as moderator of the SBC News and Trends Forum.

Elisabeth said...

Aw, come on, anon at 7:05. Louis was being sarcastic. I think that was pretty funny, actually. ;-)

Slow to speak said...

1st Corinthians 9:20 says "When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ".

So whats wrong with "When I was with the Muslims, I lived like a Muslim to bring the Muslims to Christ".

Could all of this be because his skin is darker than yours?

Are you reaching Muslims by living like a Muslim?...God has used him to bring thousands to Christ...the message never changes but the Methods sure do!

Anonymous said...

Slow to Speak says:

"When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ".

There is actually nothing wrong with this . . . unless it is not true.

I actually am working in a Christian ministry with a former Muslim, a Persian woman who fled her native Iran during the Iran/Iraq war. She is working very hard to bring her Muslim friends to Christ. I can tell you this: She does not reach her Muslim friends by making fun of them. She tells them of God's love and forgiveness.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lindsay used to give an example like this: "Would you be happy if your spouse was 99% faithful to you"? His point being that we are to be 100% faithful to the Lord.
So should we be happy with lies and deception, used to make points in sermons? No matter how "well intended". It's still lies and deception if it isn't true whether it is a preacher or any other profession.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when preachers get away from the bible. They become self absorbed and ruin the message. If preachers would just PREACH THE WORD!!! Instead of preaching what the bible says, and what Jesus said, they put themselves in the position as being object of the sermon. I recently heard a preacher preaching about Ernest Hemingway as the most "all round" man of the 20th century. Pray tell what has Ernest Hemingway and his strange life and death by suicide, to do with the gospel. Preachers always get in trouble when they take their eyes off Jesus. Jesus is the way, the TRUTH and the life.

Anonymous said...

So whats wrong with "When I was with the Muslims, I lived like a Muslim to bring the Muslims to Christ".


Well, that is nice except Caner speaks to Christian audiences ABOUT Muslims. And his "debates" with Muslims seem to be a figment of his imagination.

It would be more like "when I imagined I was with Muslims, I imagined I lived like Muslims..."

But lets take your interpretation of Paul to it's logical misinterpretation:

When I was with prostitutes, I lived like a prostitute to bring prostitutes to Christ. So, see...it cannot possibly fit every situation.

Me thinks you had best go back and study a bit deeper what Paul meant.

Anonymous said...

God has used him to bring thousands to Christ...the message never changes but the Methods sure do!

May 17, 2010 8:58 PM

Actually, they don't. And how do you know what God has done? Because someone walked an ailse? Caner people are so puffed up.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Jax: I will try and find it although it wasn't the three you mentioned that I read it from. CB I believe mentioned that he has apologized to the students at Liberty. I had not heard that before. I was reading, not commenting so he did not say it to me. I will see if I can find it. It was in the comment section of the last SBCToday post on the Ergun issue I believe.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I do not disagree with Big Daddy. Guess what? Ergun Caner did not disagree with him either. That is why he repented and made a public confession before the student body at LU.

Comment #14 SBCToday Podcast 26.

http://sbctoday.com/2010/05/06/episode-26/

Douglas said...

"Are the parables Jesus told which are recorded in the bible, true stories?"

No, they are parables. They are stories that contain truth from every day events around them. They reveal truth to some and they hide truth from others. Some of the parables are very difficult to understand and others are straight forward and easy to understand.

Parables and Meaning
John Vooys
"A young man left the tiny island of Barbados in order to seek his fortune in New York City. He apparently did rather well, but refused to send money back to his destitute parents. Every time he got a promotion, his letters would boast, “Mom, I just got another feather in my cap!” After a while, however, his fortunes changed and he became poverty-stricken.

In his misery he longed to return home, so he wrote his parents asking them to send him money for plane fare. He received this reply: “You know all those feathers you talked about having in your cap? Well, just stick them in your posterior and fly on home!” (Adapted from Wickham 1994: A 16).

Here is a “prodigal son” story from the West Indies with an unexpected “punch-line,” yet it shows that parables are still being used to hammer home a point, and it also shows that they are just as fascinating to people today as they were in Christ’s day. {37}
" Continued here

THE PURPOSE OF PARABLES
Why did Jesus Speak In Parables?

The Parables of Jesus from the ESV Study Bible

Douglas said...

"Pray tell what has Ernest Hemingway and his strange life and death by suicide, to do with the gospel."

That all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. An exercise in futility. That it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. We are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Maybe in the nature of those sorts of things possibly I suppose?

Anonymous said...

Anon re: Methods. You must be joking. The method and I really dislike..... is when the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is called a "method". This is demeaning to Jesus and the Christian. Spreading the gospel of Jesus is not a "method". It is the Great Commission!! Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high, and then go preach the gospel to all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Therefore, God's plan is to preach the gospel rather than some other gospel. As a matter of fact if someone brings in another gospel you are to not listen to it because its a false gospel. So when someone implies that you need to do this and that in order to reach the lost FORGET ABOUT IT. Its not of God but of man. And Bible believers and discerners know what man gives you...trouble everytime.

Emotionalism doesn't work and is not part of God's plan!!!It only leads to "another gospel" which should be avoided at all cost. There is enough in the Bible to declare without "adding to it". Rev 22: 18-19: "Do not add to or take from this word".

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Tennessean newspaper publishes article on Ergun Caner controversy. Click here to read it.

Former FBC Insider said...

Louis,
Spot on!
I too thought the picture was of Freddie Mercury.

Like I've said before, Caner would make an excellent stand up comic. He is a good entertainer. Now we see it was an early interest of his. It's in his blood. Once you're bitten by that theatre bug it's hard to shake it. Makes a lot of sense to me.

We should nominate him for an Tony award for all the characters he's played on stage. Who could beat him on the current circuit?

Anonymous said...

There is a fallacy in Chrisitan pastoral cirlces (Warren is a big one) that Jesus used parables to help people understand truth. Not true.

The answer why Jesus used parables is here:

“Because to you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them, it has not been given…Therefore, I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, ‘Hearing you will hear and not understand and seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, and I should heal them’.” (Matt 13: 10 - 15 - emphasis added).

Ask yourself if your pastor is ignorant. HE could be charismatic and successful like Warren and still be totally ignorant. He could have seminary degrees and be ignorant. Who are you listening to? You certainly do not need seminary degree to know, understand and teach the Word. You do need Christ in you and the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Anonymous said...

We see how easily lies are accepted as no big deal. Remember when Louis Marshall state he did not anticipate ever working with the SBC? And then we found out he had been appointed to an SBC related foundation? Little lie...no big deal, right?

Instead of admitting he meant to deceive he parsed it and kept trying to change the subject. He does not even have on iota of shame. He thinks he is clever.

Such is the depth of sin that some wear proudly.

Anonymous said...

Douglas...Yes, possibly, but to call E.Hemingway, the most "all round man" of the 20th century!!! I think I could have found a better example.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone ever see the movie Shattered Glass about Stephen Glass, a reporter for the New Republic Magazine? The New Republic was forced to fire Stephen Glass for fabricating a lot of his magazine articles. He used a "faulty source" here, and a "lie" there, and made up story after story and passed them off as real. This is a true story which you can read about on the internet. The movie was old, I've only seen it in VHS tape not, DVD. The New Republic fired him. A magazine. Fired him. For "fabrications". Come on. This is a Baptist University. Uh, the last I heard, Stephen Glass is now a fiction writer.

Anonymous said...

I saw it. His writing was excellent and his stories entralling. He was very nice and everyoen loved him. But he was a total fake. And when he got caught he used the same type of excuse Caner used: I am not perfect but I guess you are all.

the old typical mantra we hear in Christian circles all the time: You cannot say anything about my sin because you are a sinner, too.

So, lets all get down into the pit together with our sin.

Anonymous said...

Stephen Glass was charming. Everyone was jealous of his "stories"

Douglas said...

"I think I could have found a better example."

Yes, you're probably right about that. He was a great writer but not a great role model, ending life in hopelessness and despair by blowing his brains out with his shotgun. What a mess. The ravages of sin. The depravity and radical corruption of mankind. Maybe we can all learn something from that. It does look like he may have suffered from some sort of depression or mental illness, possibly aggravated by physiological factors? Drunkenness would not have helped him any. Having a few drinks is not sin, it is drinking to get drunk that is. I am not saying that every one who commits suicide is damned to the lake of fire but one does sail very, very close to the wind so to speak. Who knows, maybe he was born again of the Holy Spirit of God in the last few days before he died but was too far gone to comprehend the reality of what lay ahead? A huge risk all the same. He will have no excuse before God though. None of us will. Fearful and dreadful.

MK said...

http://www.fakeexmuslims.com/michaelcanerthespeedster.htm