But one thing about Caner's preaching over the past year: there are hardly any sermons online. Even when he preaches at churches that do have sermon video/audio feeds, you won't find Caner's sermons posted.
And after listening to his latest sermon - preached at Brookwood Church in Burlington, North Carolina on June 26, 2011 - there is probably a good reason that you won't find publicly posted sermons.
Caner is still stretching the truth about his past, and is still trying to maintain his image of being a devout Muslim and Turkish immigrant and almost-terrorist. Of course he can't still make the claims of being a Jihadist trained in Beirut, or being raised in Istanbul learning of American culture by watching Turkish television...but he STILL is not being completely honest with his audiences.
So parents of FBC Jax, when Caner is with your young people at camp, don't be surprised if he uses it as an opportunity to mislead them about his past to rebuild his brand just as he did in this sermon. While Caner has the potential to do much harm to young unsuspecting Christians who trust their church leaders and parents to do right by them - having Caner in will certainly benefit your pastor who is Caner's co-author. Pretty sick stuff.
Some excerpts from last Sunday's sermon at Brookwood Church:
Actually, it was a kid raised in Ohio married a girl from North Carolina - big deal. So again, Caner is trying to plant the idea that he came here as a person who didn't speak the language, or that had a heavy accent, that he and "his people" were very hard to understand, and that it was his marriage to a country girl that allowed people to understand him when he speaks. If he were truthful, he would say that when he came here to the states he was two years old and has never spoken anything but English. Given that he has outright lied for years about when he came to America, if Caner had any ounce of integrity he would make it very clear when he came to America, which was in 1969 as documented here.
"Turkish, immigrant, Yankee. I know. Turkish, born in Stockholm, Sweden, but Turkish - immigrant, Yankee. Raised as a Sunni Muslim, got saved in Columbus, Ohio. Why in the world would I be telling you all this? Because I have heard and seen my people before - even Christians who come out of my background - and sometimes they're very hard to understand. [speaking now in a fake, heavy Middle Eastern dialect]: 'I am very happy to be here, thank you so much, take this as a spoon from my country, please pass it around, thank you'. Do you know why you can understand me? Seventeen years ago, God got me married to a girl from Brookwood church....Turkish, immigrant, Yankee, married a girl from Hall River, North Carolina."
No, his boys are not "half-breeds" - and I'm not sure what that means anyways. My wife is Puerto Rican, so my kids are half Puerto Rican, and I would never, ever call them "half breeds". That is nuts. His kids are not even half Turkish given that Caner's mother is Swedish. But at least Caner doesn't claim that they speak Arabic, as he did when he spoke to the Ohio Free Will Baptist men back in 2007.
"Now I'm the proud father of two amazing half-breed children. My boys who are half Turkish, half green-level (?)..."
"[complaining about having to get up early at camp to preach]: That means I had to be awake at 7 o'clock. Which means I had to get up before anybody else was showering which would be 6 o'clock. I'm up before Jesus and the Mexicans at 6 a.m. getting ready for today."Caner still making stereotypical racial references. Wonderful. What is interesting about the sermon at Brookwood is how little the crowd responds to his jokes.
"If you're a Christian grump you're a caffeinated Christian. I'm Turkish, we eat coffee."He's actually not Turkish. He was born in Sweden, and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He might like lots of strong coffee, but he is not Turkish.
"That's what they [his wife's family] call me: 'Butch'. My name is Ergun Mehmet Janel - Ergun Caner. They don't call me Ergun Caner, they call me Butch."
Sure, his family calls him Butch. That was a name that Caner used pre 9/11, as indicated here. He was known as "Butch Caner", or "E. Michael Caner." No, his name is not "Ergun Mehmet Janel" as he still claims. It is not even "Ergun Mehmet Caner". His legal name is "Ergun Michael Caner" and prior to 9/11 he pastored as Butch Caner or E. Michael Caner. Again, Caner can't avoid stretching the truth to further his brand of being the former Muslim.
Speaking about his conversion as a high schooler:
He speaks for Muslims and paints all Muslims as terrorists. Not all Muslims believe that they gain salvation by killing people. Again, Caner seems to want his listeners to think he was taught as a child that he needed to strap a bomb to himself to gain salvation."You see in Islam, we have atonement. That is why we kill ourselves and take you with us. That is why we get on buses, why we get on planes. We think that by shedding our blood it's gonna give us salvation....That Jesus strapped himself to a cross, and I would have to strap a bomb to myself."
There is little evidence to support that he was so devout that he couldn't eat ham, as written about here. His parents divorced when he was young, and his mother fought against him being raised in the Muslim faith. It is highly unlikely that his mother prohibited him from eating ham.
"That night we go to afterglow [night of his Christian conversion]. That's where everybody goes to Denny's I-Hop, Huddle House...I got to tell the waitress that I was saved, and I got to eat every piece of ham they had on the menu."
"My mom, she's a church planter in a place called Truth or Consequences, New Mexico....and if she ever shows up witnessing to you, you'll know it. Heavy accent, tiny little woman, smoking....ripping filters off of Pall Malls.... 'Filters are for wimps' [Caner quoting his mom using heavy middle eastern accent]. She'll be at your door "I want to tell you about Jesus" [again, in middle eastern accent].Only problem is, Caner's mother would not have a middle eastern accent. She is Swedish.
Anyways, why rehash all of this?
Because Caner is still not being honest with congregations. He is still preaching his stories in Southern Baptist churches, and worst: he is still preaching to young people. And First Baptist Jacksonville is giving him access to their middle schoolers and high schoolers for a week isolated at camp.
One would think that when he was caught red-handed lying for nearly a decade, that he would have an about-face and be completely honest, staying away from any stretches of the truth, and being absolutely clear about his past, particularly those parts that he lied about in the past.
But instead, it's more of the same.
But he does it all for Jesus, so it must be OK.