"I was the Chairman of the committee that crafted the statement concerning Ergun. We never once found that he lied". Evangelist Tim Lee, May 19, 2011After nearly 11 months of silence since Liberty University's investigation committee demoted Ergun Caner and issued their confusing statement about "factual statements that were self-contradictory", the head of the committee that drafted the statement has finally spoken publicly and clarified the committee's findings.
Evangelist Tim Lee was apparently the head of this five-person committee that investigated Caner, as he admitted on my blog last week.
Lee posted numerous statements on this blog in response to my May 18th blog post concerning the departure of Caner from Liberty last week to Arlington Baptist College. Lee posted in my blog comment section in an attempt to refute the claims of my source for the information in my May 18th post entitled "Inside Story: Ergun Caner was Finally Shown the Door by Liberty Officials".
And unbelievably, Tim Lee said at least twice that the committee did not find any instances of Ergun Caner lying. He characterized Caner's deceptions that have been chronicled on the Internet over a 9-year period as "misstatements".
WD readers can browse the comment section of the May 18th blog post for Lee's comments, but I've hyperlinked the comments here for easier access:
Lee Comment #1
Lee Comment #2
Lee Comment #3
Lee Comment #4
Lee Comment #5
I do want to highlight a few of Tim Lee's remarks out of the above, and give some commentary.
In Lee's Comment #1, Lee says that they never found Caner to have lied, not even once:
"I was the Chairman of the committee that crafted the statement concerning Ergun. We never once found that he lied. There was 5 men on the committee and 1 eventually removed himself leaving us with 4."Lee then says again, on behalf of the entire committee, that they never found him to have lied, but only to have "misspoke":
"We, the committee never found one instance of Ergun lying. We did find numerous instances of misspeaking. He was rebuked and reprimanded and I can promise you much more careful about what he says and how he says it."I find this hard to believe that they never found one instance of lying. A very prominent faculty member who was on the committee with Tim Lee contacted me personally during the investigation to obtain complete copies of Ergun Caner's November 2001 sermon at FBC Jax, and the complete set of sermons preached in 2007 at the Ohio Free Will Baptist men's retreat. These sermons contained multiple lies, not "misstatements". Lies like he was raised in Europe, trained in Islamic Jihad, that he learned of American culture by watching television in Istanbul as a child, etc.
Also, the obvious question: why would "misspeaking" require someone to be "rebuked" and "reprimanded" as Lee says the committee did to Caner? This question is especially relevant when Lee characterizes Caner's misstatements by relating them to one of his own, where he simply crossed two words:
"I spoke at Liberty University last year on Veterans Day. I have given my story hundreds if not a couple of thousand times. In front of 10000 people that day I said ' I stepped on a 60lb mine and it blew me several feet in the air ripping both of my bodies off my leg'. Now the mine didn't rip both of my bodies off my leg as I only have one body.It ripped both of my legs off of my body. I had said it right hundreds and hundreds of times but that day I got it wrong. My children were listening back in Dallas via Internet. They were in the floor with laughter. "Would this simple misstatement require Tim Lee to be rebuked and reprimanded? Of course not. This is absolutely NOT what the 9 1/2 years of Caner deceptions were about.
Sadly, Tim Lee portrays Caner as the victim:
"I am extremely proud to call Ergun friend. There are times when he might have been better to have had an affair or to commit a homosexual act or to rob a bank. I believe the brethren would have been more forgiving."
This is so twisted. Ergun Caner lied to the congregation at FBC Jax in November 2001 right after 9/11 to portray himself as a former terrorist and this was the beginning of nearly a decade of deceit in churches all over America. Videos for sale of Caner's testimony even as late as April 2010 portrayed Caner as a "former terrorist". Caner is not the victim. In fact, it was Caner's friends who went on the offensive and mercilessly attacked James White who was the most vocal minister calling for Caner to repent. But Tim Lee does not address that pathetic aspect of this saga.
What Tim Lee's comments tell us is that it is no wonder the committee has maintained 11 months of silence. They know that to defend Caner, or to defend their confusing statement issued last June would just raise more questions, and further subject their university to criticism.
My May 18th post ended with this statement:
"And we can at least be thankful that he [Caner] is out of the SBC, and that some folks at Liberty in the end did the right thing. "
I stand by everything I wrote in that article, but I do retract that last statement, thanks to Tim Lee's explanation that the committee did not find any lies. Apparently they did NOT do the right thing, according to Tim Lee. Investigatory committee, I tried to give you credit, but Tim Lee would not let me.
The king still has no clothes.