The unrepentant Ergun Caner continues his comeback.
As you see at left, Ergun Caner is on the platform while Richard Land is inaugurated as the new president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES).
And then, starting tomorrow Caner is a featured speaker at an apologetics conference hosted at SES, and presented by Ravi Zacharias' International Ministries.
Why a seminary would want to feature Ergun Caner - a man who build a fortune and a reputation based on documented lies about his background - on the platform as their seminary president is inaugurated, is way beyond comprehension. Caner not only has never explained or publicly apologized for his decade of deceit - he is now even suing a pastor for posting on the Internet one of Caner's most egregious offenses, posing as an Arabic-speaking man who was raised in the Middle East while speaking to our Marines during a training session.
I suppose this is just another example of the sorry state of modern evangelicalism. Truth and honor in leadership is not important. Christian virtues of asking for forgiveness and telling the truth no matter the cost are not what are valued in Christian leaders. What is important is whether the man is talented story teller, can he draw and work a crowd, and can he raise revenue. And Caner is a good friend of Norman Geisler, one of the founders and former president of SES. So THAT is important too these days: who do you know.
I couldn't help but notice this irony of Caner speaking at the conference being presented by Zacharias: read this featured quote of Zacharias on the conference webpage:
"In Christian engagement, the goal is to win the person who is of the other worldview - not to destroy the person." Ravi Zacharias
Someone forgot to tell Ravi about Caner's history of uttering racial and ethnic slurs to audiences. He has spoken ugly stereotypes of Muslims, blacks and Hispanics - all to get a laugh and entertain his audiences, under the guise of being an olive-skinned "minority" himself.
Caner is not a person to put forth to help persuade people of other worldviews concerning the claims of the Christian faith. To the contrary, Caner himself is an obstacle - especially to Muslims.
Perhaps if Ravi Zacharias had seen the Ergun Caner tweets below from earlier this year he might think twice about sponsoring an apologetics conference that includes Ergun Caner. A conference whose goal is to help lovingly "win" people of other worldviews - should not include Ergun Caner. Caner is the antithesis of this strategy - as the tweets below demonstrate:
This,my friends is why I left the SBC denomination years ago and will never go back. The good old boy network and corruption was just too much for me to stomach.
The choices are to admit that you have used bad judgment regarding having EC as an associate or to ride it through.
There don't appear to be any penalties to riding it through in the Christian world. No one notices except people who lost their respect for you as soon as they recognized the "quality" of your "friends." These people don't like you anyhow (now) and won't ever do anything for you in the future--so they don't matter.
Richard Land was emailed last week with a description of the Caner situation including his current lawsuit against an SBC pastor.
Those tweets ensure his reputation as a supreme dufus. What an embarassment to the church and to all who follow Christ. What a jerk! Talk about a bad witness. Is it possible that people like Land, et al, are not aware of this guy's twitter life?
Gather signatures. Contact every station manager across the country which carries Zacharias' radio show.
Provide a brief, cogent summary of Caner's objectionable actions (along with supporting links).
Inform the manager that if Zacharias does not specifically withdraw his tacit approval of Caner's unrepentant deceptions, then advertisers will be contacted.
SBC Stupid. SBC is a waste of time. SBC is a waste of resources.
SBC sucking oxygen from those really trying to do ministry.
I am plastering this because I hope one day someone from the SBC "upper class" will do a google search and see what many honest, intelligent, Christ loving, southern people have been and are beginning to think of the SBC.
This piece jolts me and not really for the EC reason you wrote it.
Thoughts...1) Your right to use "good ol boy" to describe because as of the last two decades specifically it has become a group of overweight, lazy, butt kissing OLD Boys attempting to convince each other they are good! (People deserving of honor are Always busy about their work /shun the accolades/ and often hear attaboys 2nd&3rd hand) VS example- I spent over 10 years at FBC Jax and sat thru countless "honor" services listening to Old stories about Old "has beens" recieving newly created "awards" and money (Butt Kissing) while the entire song service and message was focused on basically "How Great Thou (insert name) Art"! Usually so poorly staged that the youth and young adults walk away wishing theyd just cash in their chips and go on to glory! FUNNIEST was the farewell service for the "interim music minister" that somehow he ended leading himself...for himself!?!
2) Most pstors Ive heard explain why they are a part of SBC sound like the same argument as keeping your old land line in your house. Well.. Its a good thing...its always been there...not sure we can do without it...it gets all the "junk calls" I dont want to really bother with. Whatevver!
3) If we do it for the pastoral perks (insurance, etc) isnt that the same reason for unions? Cant God just take care of each pastor thru their own church? I dont know but I dont think the apostles had a union. Just sayin.
Ok... Willing to be told Im wrong if theres a good argument but otherwise Thats why you get the weird "link ups"! Really? Ravi and EC together in thought? Very sad :(
Wow, Ergun is the gift that keeps on giving ammo against the church to its detractors, whoever they are, but especially to Muslims.
This also shows that our big name guys are far too big and popular to have any time to vet the speakers they are choosing to consort with. Or maybe they just don't care.
I think the whole thing with Ergun Caner's "comeback" is about timing. His few loyal supporters who have the power to get him speaking and teaching gigs are getting old. Norm Geisler is in his 80s. Paige Patterson is in his 70s. Richard Land and Tim Lee are both almost 70. The powers that be at ABC are in their 70s and 80s.
I hate to sound morbid, but these guys are mostly retired and, while they still have a lot of clout, they don't have much time left. Every single speaking engagement or teaching position that Caner has had for the last three years has come directly from one of these men. Without them, Caner would have nothing.
And Caner ain't no spring chicken himself. He's almost 50! And all he really has going for him is his persona and backstory.
He can't tell his fake stories anymore, and as he gets older and fatter, the whole cool, immature, UFC/WWE/Affliction act will be less effective at drawing crowds of young people.
He lost so much in the demotion from Liberty, and he's got another 10-15 years before retirement, so it's now or never.
The reality is that most churches(if not all)are built on deception. I've been to many different churches, charismatic, reformed,non-denom, baptist,etc. Their thinking is the same even though their doctrine to some degree is different.
"...as he gets older and fatter, the whole cool, immature, UFC/WWE/Affliction act will be less effective at drawing crowds of young people."
In that regard, he reminds me of this woman in our apartment building. She is a widow in her late 60s. And while not bad looking for someone her age, insists on dressing like someone in her 20s. Because of her own vanity, she often is a pathetic sight to behold.
When I look at these men, I see powerful businessmen/con men. They pretend to speak for God, and ignorant people actually believe they do. They make money off these people. They are the middleman between the average person and God. I say cut out the middleman.
I guess people keep listening to their speeches because they seek comfort or a show or love a good speech about how screwed up the world is. These guys tell them that they are right and the world's wrong, and if they just please God by tithing, attending church, witnessing, etc. that all will be well. It makes you wonder if there is a God simply because lightening doesn't strike them as they're speaking!
Just a note to a few of the above commenters: Southern Evangelical is NOT an SBC school. Arlington, where Caner works is not an SBC school. Richard Land is no longer employed by an SBC entity.
There is a lot that can be said about SBC guys and Ergun caner, but not related to this particular incident.
Josh - true. But Caner is a product of the SBC. He was brought into the limelight in 2001 without verification of his background by Jerry Vines. He is SBC through and through. Richard Land is an SBC lifer. They ARE the SBC.
And fact is, SBC church after SBC church continues to promote and support Ergun Caner by having him into their church to preach.
Richard Land is even worse than Ergun Caner: stopbaptistpredators.blogspot.com/search?q=Richard+land
I am sure Aesop, of the fables fame, would allow him on stage too. Since the whole premise and enterprise is based on bulls..., why not put the chief bulls...er, up on the stage. I mean think about it, those men all came to power and wealth by telling lies, right? So how they can judge their homeboy for doing the same?
Absolutely, Watchdog. SBC'ers are guilty of foisting Caner upon the world, and allowing him a place to continue speaking, even now.
I just wanted it to be clear to some of the commenters that SETS is not an SBC school, and while supported by individual churches, neither of these guys is paid by the SBC.
Josh - agreed.
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