White not only laid out clearly the decade long deceit of Ergun Caner, but he also explained in length how he himself became involved in the controversy. Fully understanding White's interest and purpose in helping expose the Caner scandal is quite helpful to anyone who might question the validity of White's claims concerning Caner.
At the bottom is the entire 2+ hour presentation. If you don't want to listen to the entire presentation, here are some highlights:
1. Pastor Tom Buck's Opening Comments
For those of you who have followed the Ergun Caner saga over the last 3 years, I highly recommend listening to FBC Lindale's pastors comments on the video that start at the 17:00 mark of the video, and end at the 25:00 mark. It is very significant to finally hear a Southern Baptist pastor call out Caner for his deception and fabrications.
In his comments, Buck explains why he hosted the event. He expresses his concern over the "fabrications" of Ergun Caner, and the removal of videos and bios as a part of the Great Evangelical Coverup. He expresses concern over Caner's latest Tweets categorically denying the charges and claiming he has been exonerated.
"It saddens me....that there are so many who have participated in the cover-up of this. And so tonight really is an interest in the pursuit of truth....I think this is an important issue to be addressed, has nothing to do with reformed theology, it has to do completely with whether the claims of Dr. Caner are true or not true....I found it also quite proper, or appropriate I should say that Dr. Caner gave his same presentation behind this pulpit, prior to me coming here. Many of the same fabrications were declared directly from here. So I think its quite appropriate to examine these in one of the places he stood." Tom Buck, 9/10/13
So my hat is off to Tom Buck for being as far as I know, the only SBC pastor to stand publicly and call for Caner to admit to his lies and deceptions. It is too bad that there are not 100s of SBC pastors who have the same concern Buck has for the integrity of his profession and his convention and for the Christian message they proclaim.
2. Caner's "Opening Statement" - 2006 Sermon from Thomas Road Baptist Church
I think White made a very wise decision in opening his presentation by playing a 10 minute excerpt of Caner's testimony that Caner delivered in a sermon back in 2006 at Thomas Road Baptist Church, with Jerry Falwell sitting behind him on the platform. I don't think I've ever seen this sermon before - and it shows that even in that very large venue Caner was not truthful about his background. This starts at the 32:00 minute mark of the video.
Caner has the same phony Arabic-sounding dialect as he preaches, declaring that he came as a missionary.
This sermon reminds me much of Caner's 2001 sermon in Jacksonville, with Jerry Vines sitting right behind him.
3. White's Response to a Question at the End
One of the most important parts of the presentation I think, that points to the opportunistic nature of Caner and the motives for his decade of deceit, is White's excellent response to a question about what brought Caner to his prominence? White absolutely nails it:
"Before 9/11, he was 'Butch Caner'. He just went by the name Butch. Very shortly, I'm not sure of the date, was it First Baptist Jacksonville?...shortly after 9/11 all of a sudden he is asked to speak at a very, very large Baptist church, and this story starts to develop. And because of the fact that it was post 9/11, I mean all of us are sitting around going 'How and why did they do this?' Here comes someone who says 'I was trained in this, I know this, it's my background, I'm a Christian now.' And there was a real thirst for that. He's not the only one who's done this, by the way, in the sense of cashing in on the hysteria and unfortunately ignorance on the part of many Christians....and that's why he still gets to travel and do the things he does."
Yes, Butch Caner became "Ergun Mehmet Caner" after 9/11 and with the help of the likes of Jerry Vines and Jerry Falwell Caner became an instant hit as gullible Christians (myself included) were seeking to make sense of the events of 9/11 in the context of our Christian faith. This is precisely why I was originally involved in this controversy on my blog - because myself and my family and extended family were present in that First Baptist Jacksonville sermon that launched Caner to stardom, as my pastor Jerry Vines nodded approvingly on the platform as Caner deceived Vines' entire congregation that day. It is too bad that Vines didn't do his due diligence in checking Caner out back in 2001.