Saturday, July 31, 2010
Guthrie is the worst: he is incoherent at times, contradicts himself in the same articles, and lashes out in vitriol and anger at Caner's critics.
Thomas Twitchell has written an excellent blog comparing the Caner defenders to those of Clinton, and points out the latest Guthrie lunacy in his latest attempt to defend Caner by falsely accusing James White of "bearing false witness", otherwise known as "misspeaking" to Guthrie and other Caner defenders..
Click below to read Twitchell's article, it is a great one:
Thomas Twitchell Blog: "Tim Guthrie Winning Truth? Surely You Jest"
Thursday, July 29, 2010
If this is true, and I understand that it is, even one more reason why I like Wright - some other reasons I gave here.
Here is the link to the Wartburg Watch article, which as of this writing has 24 comments:
Perhaps There is an SBC Prez Who Cares What the Little Guy Thinks
Wouldn't that be something if our new SBC president was willing to meet with someone of little stature - at least as far as the SBC power brokers are concerned - who shares the concerns expressed on this blog and other critical SBC blogs?
What if you had a meeting with Bryant Wright, and wanted to express some of your larger concerns about our convention? What would the top 3 things you would like Wright to address?
My top 3 would be: 1. addressing every concern that Christa Brown has been callling for in regards to tracking sexual deviants and creating a means by which victims can be heard and helped and not shunned; 2. A call for complete financial openness and transparency within the SBC and SBC churches so we all know where our money is going; 3. A system by which misbehaving Baptist pastors are held accountable and disciplined by a board of their peers, like most other professions have. The interim LBTS president called for this years ago.
Go to the Wartburg Watch article above and comment, or feel free to comment here!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
One of the more recent Caner defenders to go public is Mac Brunson, pastor of FBC Jax, as his defense was posted on Stormin' Norman Geisler's site last week. Brunson is Caner's close friend, and co-author. At least Brunson doesn't blame Muslims and Calvinists, and Brunson does mention Caner's "sorrow" and "grief".
Below is another Caner video; some new footage not seen until James White put it on his blog last week. It is Caner at Harbor Light Assembly of God, Freemont, California, on September 22, 2006. It contains the standard Caner yarns and tall tales mixed with racial stereotypes: came to America as he was getting ready for college, learned English from TV, he never drove a taxi or worked at 7/11, came as a "missionary", prayed on a rug in the high school bathrooms - you know, those typical "misstatements".
But Caner tells a new one: his "madrassa, his training center" was in Beirut.
That is interesting. He led FBC Jax to believe he was "raised in Europe" and trained there in Islamic Youth Jihad when he came to America...but now the training center has moved to Beirut.
Memo to Norm Geisler: this whopper is an easy one to explain away on your website, as you see there is a restaurant in Toledo, Ohio - where Caner moved after he came to America - called the "Beirut Restaurant". It has been serving fine Middle Eastern cuisine since its establishment in the 70s. So perhaps his "Islamic Youth Jihad" in Toledo one time met at the Beirut Restaurant for a meal on the 39th day of Ramadan, thus it is not a lie to say that his training center was "in Beirut." He did not say "Beirut, Lebanon" - thus it's obvious he meant "in the Beirut Restaurant". I know that sounds like a stretch, but hey, I'm just trying to help Stormin' Norman out. I'm sure he can use a little assistance now and then. At least I'm helping out more than Craig D, who is content on bashing James White over and over again as a means of defending Caner. Maybe he and others should instead do some real research to help Geisler out.
One more eye-popping claim by Caner in the vid. It seems he took the liberty of throwing his deceased father under the bus, saying that his father came to America with multiple wives, and that he lied to authorities saying they were his sisters! Imagine that, saying that your dad committed the crime of polygamy, when nowhere in any divorce papers was this mentioned. If his dad WAS a polygamist and lied about it, why on earth would he want to tell that story to the public? I know, it was all for Jesus, right?
Taking a step back, I have some larger questions in all of this, as this is growing into the Great Evangelical Cover-up.
- How did Caner's embellishments get started and why did it go on for so long? Why were these fibs not nipped in the bud by those in authority over him at the time?
- Who was his pastor when he started spreading these tales after 9/11 who might have been able to counsel him and discipline him about lying?
- Where did Caner work, and who was his boss at the time, that might have had opportunity to speak to Jerry Vines before and after Caner's FBC Jax sermon in November 2001?
- Why was the due diligence on Caner not done by the heavies in the SBC to confirm his testimony?
- Who knew or suspected that Caner was fibbing after 9/11, and who did they tell?
- Or did NO ONE have any idea that he was lying about his past? Are we to believe that NO ONE that knew Caner pre 9/11 knew that he was fibbing on the preaching circuit?
- Did he preach at his home church after 9/11, and did he embellish his story with those there that knew him pre 9/11? If not, why not?
I will ponder those questions in coming posts, so stay tuned.
And now, here is the latest episode of "Caner Gone Wild":
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Funny thing is, Scott had to listen to an excellent sermon on lying by pastor Mac Brunson.
This was like Bill Clinton showing up to hear a sermon on adultery.
How appropriate Scott had to listen to a sermon on lying. Scott has been successfully blasting his fellow-Republican Bill McCullum with misleading attack ads, and has taken a double-digit lead in the race. If Scott wins this primary against McCullum it will all but ensure a Democratic win for the Florida governorship, as there is no way Scott will get elected governor in a general election given his troubled past.
You see, Rick Scott was the hotshot back in the late 80s and early 90s who built the nation's largest hospital chain and then saw it all come tumbling down when his company, Columbia/HCA, was found to be defrauding Medicare. Scott was forced to resign, but walked away with millions in cash, and hundreds of millions in stock.
It is really unfathomable, that a millionaire who made his dough when the company he was leading defrauded taxpayers of billions of OUR OWN money, is using that money to blast a guy like Bill McCullum in false attack ads. How fitting though that he had to listen to a hard-hitting sermon on lying, as his company did lie and mislead Medicare to boost their profits.
Are we Republicans and conservatives in Florida really that gullible to give this guy a shot at the governorship? I'm no fan of Bill McCullum, but the fact that this guy has a double-digit lead over McCullum is troubling, and shows that money can buy just about anything in politics. McCullum does have a decent record of public service, and here comes a guy with hundreds of millions and a history of leading a company that defrauded our government and he is headed toward buying a victory in the primary.
Interestingly, news reports are saying that at least one person present for the FBC Jax service today approached Scott and asked him to stop his attack ads against Bill McCullum.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Read Jeff Brumley's article in the Times Union today on the latest news of the Jacksonville City Council prayer policy:
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Sounds great. I don't have a problem with that.
And look at the bright side: it will finally allow Don Redman to get what he wanted a few months ago: finally Don will get to hear a Muslim praying in the City Council chamber "to his god"! Remember, one of the attorneys from the General Counsel's office stepped in to save Redman from himself, and the man did not have to pray as Redman asked.
Be careful what you ask for Don - you wanted a Muslim to pray to his god in City Hall, looks like your own actions finally will help make it a reality!
But here's a thought for the City Council:
Part of Jack Webb's new prayer policy should be that any professional religious man or woman invited to offer the city council's opening prayer, will be required to sit and stay for the rest of the council meeting. Yes, if we grant you the opportunity to pray, take a seat in the front row, and listen to the entire council meeting out of respect for the city - and maybe silently pray during the meeting. This will allow that religious leader to get a better idea of the needs and struggles of the city of Jacksonville, so they can then take something back to their religious institution and see how they might help meet the NEEDS of the city - and maybe allow them to put some feet to their prayer.
No pious "Here I am, here's my prayer, see ya later!"
And the person should agree NOT to make a show by asking their followers to go to the council meeting JUST FOR THE PRAYER. Make a show of your prayer, and we'll not ask you or anyone from your institution to come back.
If the pious pray-er doesn't have time to sit down and stay for the entire meeting, get someone else to pray. If their time is too precious and they can't stay, then let them find something else to do that evening other than praying at City Hall.
If they will use the opportunity to make a statement ABOUT prayer by having a showing of their faithful followers for the prayer, we don't need them to pray. The opening prayer is not ABOUT prayer, it IS a prayer.
And let's hope the religious men who pray, including Mac Brunson, can learn one thing from the politicians: when politicians show up at FBC Jax during election time to get recognized from the platform during the service by Jim Whitmire, at least they have the courtesy of staying for the entire service and they hear the message from the preacher.
Imagine if they just showed up to get recognized, and then left because they were just too busy. Even worse, if they brought an entourage with them, and they all stood up and left after they got recognized. Think FBC Jax would recognize them next election cycle?
Can't the pious pray-ers return the favor to the politicians at City Hall and stay for the entire "service"?
Just a thought.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Clay Yarborough, FBC Jax member, Jacksonville City Councilman, and the new council "Chaplain", has selected his pastor Mac Brunson to be the first minister to say a prayer at the City Council under new council president Jack Webb's rotating-faith-prayer policy.
That is fine and dandy, one would expect Yarborough to select the high-profile Brunson for such an honor, since he is a member of his church.
But Brunson apparently is going to use this opportunity given to him not just to pray, but another chance to flex the FBC Jax political muscle by having his church members actually show up en masse in the council chamber just for the prayer.
During the Sunday July 18th evening service at First Baptist Jacksonville, Mac Brunson announced to the faithful that he is the man selected to pray at the July 27th City Council meeting.
But then he made an unusal request: he asked the entire congregation present to show up at the City Council chamber, to silently walk into the chamber for his prayer, be present to hear his wonderful prayer in Jesus' name, then silently walk out. The purpose he says, is to send a message to the city that "this is a city of prayer."
Then, Mac says he doesn't want it known that his church is showing up!! He says the church would edit the sermon to delete this announcement for broadcast. But the Watchdog did catch wind of it, so we'll put it up here on the blog for others to read about it and comment.
Maybe Mac should just humbly show up, not let anyone know he is coming, and certainly not attempt to make a spectical by calling for all of his church members to come. Just pray in Jesus name for our city and our leaders. Pray for the financial shortfall our city faces and the need for sound fiscal policy in city government.
Then quietly leave and let the City Council do their job.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
At Least ONE of Caner's Publishers Has the Integrity to Call for a Caner Explanation of His "Misstatements"
"We are saddened by the controversy that has risen as a result of the self-contradictory statements made by Ergun Caner over the years. And, we are concerned that the allegations surrounding his statements have not yet been adequately addressed by him, and we are hopeful that he will personally respond to them soon."
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Well, Anthony George was the speaker at a revival meeting at North Central Baptist Church in Gainesville, Florida June 20-23, 2010. Many of you know that Calvin Carr has been the pastor of North Central since he left First Baptist Jacksonville in 2007.
In one of his sermons at the North Central revival a few weeks ago, Anthony George gave a very moving testimony of the kind of preacher Homer Lindsay was. He spoke of how Homer Lindsay was in stark contrast to what George called the "hip hop" preachers today in the SBC who seem to be going through a mid-life crisis. Lindsay was the opposite of this - a man who was out of style, but still connected to people by teaching them to love Jesus and love people, and through his life showed them that Jesus was real and alive.
Listen to the five-minute clip below for a true and humorous rememberance of a pastor who was taught to love Jesus by Homer Lindsay and went on to became a fine pastor.
He was just a guy who loved Jesus, and loved lost people, and his life's mission was to tell them about Jesus, and to preach the bible in a very plain fashion.
In other words: Homer Lindsay was the absolute antithesis of the modern day megachurch pastor.
He pastored his flock. He didn't travel to speaking gigs week after week. He didn't go on the SBC preaching circuit. He never sought any glamor or recognition. He never wanted to turn his fame as a mega church pastor into book deals of his latest sermon series - in fact what books he did write were really just copied "booklets" given away for free in the foyer of the church to anyone who wanted them. He viewed Jacksonville as his primary mission field. He did broadcast the entire services live on TV as a means to reach people and serve shut-ins, but he didn't seek to produce 30-minute TV shows of his sermons for broadcast on phony-baloney hair channels like INSP or TBN.
When considering the state of the SBC: maybe Lindsay SHOULD have gone on the preaching circuit just a bit, and maybe he should have gone to the seminaries to speak to the next generation of pastors more frequently.
Then maybe the SBC wouldn't be in the mess it is these days if more pastors were emulating his example, instead of acting like rock-star, jet-setting celebrities out to make a buck and build their own family brand name.
And maybe we would have less of the mega church wannabe pastors who empower these celebrities by defending their sins and excesses and licking their boots every chance they get.
Thank God there STILL are some SBC preachers more like Lindsay, some even at larger churches. It's just that we don't hear much about them - they aren't in power at the SBC and they're not on the preaching circuit - they are busy pastoring their flocks.
"Is the Iron Still Swimming - Part 1" - September 30, 2008
"Is the Iron Still Swimming - Part 2" - September 30, 2008
Monday, July 12, 2010
There is some irony in the timing of this article for residents of Jacksonville. While the paper reports on the front page that pastors are encouraging people to fork over 10% of their money to God during these tough times, the paper has also reported in the last few days of how the city of Jacksonville is going to hike our property taxes by nearly a tithe (9%) to fix the city's financial ills - while simultaneously cutting city services.
The church says "fork it over" because the Bible says so...the city says "fork it over", because, well, we have the right to take it. Amen? Amen!
As I have blogged here on this site over the past year, the doctrine of "storehouse tithing" is one that is not supported in scripture, and in my opinion is often misused by pastors to get people to fork over 10% of their money to their church. Instead of preaching New Testament grace giving, they teach Old Testament tithing.
In the article, Brumley cites an example of Mark Brunnell, the former All-Pro quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaquars, who recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy because of some investments gone bad. According to Brumley, even though Brunnell is experiencing "financial woes", he is tithing 10% of his $1.55 million salary to his Jacksonville church.
I think to be fair, readers of Brumley's article should understand just how dedicated the Southern Baptists and other evangelicals are to this doctrine of tithing. It's not just a recommendation, it is a rock-hard, biblical principle that must be adhered to by faithful Christians.
Here are a few examples that Jacksonville readers might be familiar with:
First Baptist pastor Mac Brunson has stated that Christians are absolutely obligated to give at least 10% to be in a right relationship to God and the church - that church members are expected to give a tithe when they become members. Just last fall Brunson has gone so far to say he believes our economy is in shambles precisely BECAUSE Christians are not tithing.
Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, has accused his non-tithing members of driving stolen cars, living in stolen homes, and sending their kids to school with stolen money. Gaines also said that tithing may be a requirement even for a person to get up and sing a solo, as he doesn't want "Betty the bank robber warbling for Jesus." Go to the hyperlinks, and hear it for yourself. One more twist: for your tithe to qualify as a biblical "tithe", it must be given "undesignated" to the church, according to Gaines. Ugh.
And there are others. This blog has examined the tithing issue very closely over the past year.
About tithing in difficult times: absolutely Christians should continue to support their churches financially. But it might be shocking to some non-Christians, that Christians would still be giving 10% of their income to their churches while at the same time they can't pay their creditors and must file for protection under the bankruptcy laws.
Is that really the Christian thing to do?
But this is precisely the advice given by Dave Ramsey, one of the premier financial experts and regulars on the evangelical church speaking ciruit, who when asked by a listener if they should reduce their tithe to get out of debt answered:
"No, I wouldn’t stop my tithe. I wouldn’t reduce it. It’s a tenth. I tithed all the way into bankruptcy court and all the way out. These are a loving Father’s instructions for His kids."
I wonder if Mayor John Peyton and the city of Jacksonville will take that excuse when it comes time to pay property taxes:
"Sorry, I had to pay my tithe to the church first. And, oh, I needed to buy my Jaguars season tickets so we can continue to pay our athletes millions each year."
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Check out the video below of someone impersonating Ed Young, Jr. doing a rap video of his tag line "Whole Nutha Level".
Pretty impressive, the guy looks and sounds remarkably like Ed Young, Jr.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Here is Pinkham's article:
Submitted by Paul Pinkham on July 7, 2010 - 2:52pm
State Attorney Angela Corey won't have to give a deposition in the case of a First Baptist Church blogger suing Jacksonville police and a state prosecutor for exposing his identity using investigative subpoenas.
U.S. Magistrate Monte Richardson ruled Corey doesn't have to testify about the inadvertent destruction of the subpoenas and related information during an office relocation. Richardson noted that one of her assistants already has testified about the destroyed documents and that Corey said in a deposition that she has no firsthand knowledge of the case and what knowledge she does have was presented to her by her staff.
Richardson said Corey's testimony isn't essential to the case and the information she could provide can be obtained through less burdensome means than deposing a sitting state attorney.
Blogger Tom Rich sued after he was exposed as the author of a blog critical of First Baptist leadership via subpoenas obtained by a police officer who is a member of the church with help from an assistant state attorney in 2008, before Corey took office.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Last week Liberty University announced that Daniel R. Mitchell (picture at left) would be the interim president of their seminary, replacing Ergun Caner, who we all know is no longer the president as of July 1st, 2010.
I've never heard of Mitchell before - apparently he is an academic dean and professor at Liberty's seminary - but several bloggers sent me a copy of a very insightful 1988 article written by Daniel R. Mitchell entitled "Disgraced Preachers - The Word is Malpractice" (.pdf file of the article is here). Although written 22 years ago around the time of the Swaggart scandal, it is more timely today for Baptists than it was when he wrote it. Mitchell's article focuses not on just sexual sins committed by preachers, but those who violate codes of trust and honesty - "purity AND credibility" as he says in the quote above.
"Malpractice" is the term we use to describe incompetence, or reckless acts by professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and engineers that hurt people. Mitchell advocated back in 1988 that the term be applied to ministers who violate the trust given to them by the church.
Here are some notable quotes from Mitchell's article:
"Malpractice is the term we must also apply to professional ministers of the gospel who violate their trust. Preachers who raise money for themselves and not the work, who use people instead of serve people, who lust for power and sex and status, and who use their platform to satisfy their greed violate the code of the spiritual elder (1 Tim 3)."And this one, referring to a "crisis in confidence" created by undisciplined
"We must correct the crisis in confidence that is generated by the present situation. More is at stake here than just the credibility of the offending preacher. When we fail to impose discipline, fallen preachers drag every minister of the gospel - indeed the gospel itself - into the mire with them. Legitimate preachers and church leaders must call each other to accountability and demand compliance with God's standard for ministry."Mitchell goes on to say that many local congregations "...[do] not have the inclination of the power to oust its wayward pastor..." and thus they do nothing to discipline the pastor.
And thus, we have blogs. Blogs I believe have filled the void that exists for accountability amongst the Baptists - a void that does not exist so much in other protestant denominations. That is what Christa Brown's blog is about, and so is Tiffany Croft's blog: holding pastors accountable in a religious system designed to have minimum accountability for its ministers allowing them to continue in their misdeeds. I would imagine when Darrell Gilyard is released from prison, there will be no "defrocking" of his credentials and no formal statement of his repentance or oversight of his restoration process - but he will likely just go to another church.
That may well happen, but thank God Tiffany's blog will be a voice of accountability and warning, as will Christa Brown's - and others - when that day comes.
I have long said that if there were blogs when around when Bob Gray was doing his dirty deeds at Trinity Baptist Church, the powerless would have had a voice early on and the damage he did here in Jacksonville would have been reduced by some measure. If there was a blog about Darrell Gilyard back in the late 1980's and early 1990's, perhaps some of the folks at Shiloh Baptist Church would not have been so trusting of the "man of God" Gilyard - for he came from a religious system - the Southern Baptist Convention - that was powerless to remove his credentials as a minister.
As I blogged about in 2007 in the early days of the Gilyard scandal, there WAS a voice to hold Gilyard accountable when he came to Jacksonville in 1993. His name was Pastor Harvey; but Shiloh church leadership successfully silenced him through legal processes. And before too long Gilyard was back to his old tricks. Too bad Pastor Harvey didn't have a blog back in April 1993.
As Mitchell says:
"We must view failure to maintain these standards as ministerial malpractice worthy of public censure and/or removal from ministry. The crisis in confidence threatens us all. Failure to take appropriate action will surely lead to continued widespread skepticism."Amen.
And failure to maintain these standards will most assuredly lead to widespread blogging.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Geisler needs to let it go. The Liberty University investigation was completed, they found him to have lied, and they demoted him. Every time he tries to justify the "decade of deceit" by Caner, I will roll out the November 2001 Ergun Caner sermon at FBC Jax. And I roll it out again.
I was there when he preached it, I've spoken to many others that were there, and we all had the same impression from his sermon: this man whom we never heard before was a terrorist, a "Jihadist" trained in Europe, who came to America to commit 9/11 style attacks but was saved just in the nick of time. Caner purposely led us to that conclusion. He cleverly deceived 10,000 worshippers with his story that day, while our pastor Jerry Vines sat right behind him nodding and amening, affirming his story.
That day we were duped by Ergun Caner.
Boy, were we were gullible.
We trusted our pastor to not allow a man to deceive us behind the "sacred desk", yet that is exactly what happened.
We believed Gilyard's story in 1987 about being homeless, living under a bridge, but it was a lie.
We believed Caner's story in 2001 about being raised in Europe as a Jihadist trained to "do that which was done on 11 September". Actually, he was trained to be an average midwestern boy like I was.
But it was a lie. His sermon that day started with a lie of his name, telling us: "My name is Ergun Mi'kael Mehmet Giovani Janel". He claimed to have spoken a "different language" than English as a high schooler. He claimed to speak poor English as a high schooler. Geisler does not deal with that.
He fooled us with his fake Middle Eastern accent when he pronounced "Europe" and "America."
Geisler needs to write a post explaining the entire farce of a sermon at FBC Jax, if he is to provide a complete defense of Ergun Caner.
So keep on defending him, Geisler. Or just let it rest, and let's see if Caner asks for forgiveness from those he has fooled.
Friday, July 2, 2010
"They [Liberty] couldn't give the bloggers a win, you don't want to give the bloggers a win because all that does is give them credibility and embolden them. You can't let bloggers look like they have any credibility at all. And remember, whenever somebody talks about bloggers - and by the way I'm one of them - they don't ever address the content of the bloggers' points, they always instead go to an ad hominem argument where they basically say 'Listen, these bloggers, they're a bunch of people in their 40's who live in their mom's basement and probably sit on bean bag chairs in their underwear eating Cheatos all day...these are people who are malcontents and really mentally unstable.'
They never deal with the content of the arguments brought up by bloggers, instead they always go with the ad hominem....If they canned Caner that would have been seen as a big, big win for bloggers and people who are supposed to be non-credible."