Dear Ergun Caner, A Few Questions

This article was originally posted at my site. I’m married with three children, an SBC pastor, a PhD student at SBTS, and an average Southern Baptist. I’ve authored two books. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and YouTube.

Dear Ergun,

I hope this letter finds you well. I’ve followed your ministry over the years. I’ve heard you speak live, and I considered having you speak at a youth rally for my youth group in 2004. I still have the “Speakers Request Form #1.” My youth group attended Winter Xtreme several years where we heard and enjoyed your sermons. You’ve made a difference in my life at these events. I also had you as a lecturer for Baptist History at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. You and I are brothers in Christ. I’ve always respected you as a fellow brother in Christ and a mighty preacher of the gospel.

I’ve read your public apologies for some misstatements you made about someone you claimed to debate in the past (Source). I understand how easy it would be to say the wrong name. I’m sure I make misstatements in the pulpit on occasion. I can’t imagine being recorded all the time and thousands of people examining and checking every word I say. Occasional misstatements and mistakes should be expected (Norman Geisler defends some of your misstatements here).

There are, however, some questions that remain unanswered–questions about statements you’ve made about your childhood that seem to be non-factual. There’s no way these statements are mere misstatements. A few examples are included in the video below:

(At 00:48) You claim in this video that your training center was in Beirut. But, evidence has been provided to the contrary, arguing that you came to the United States around 2 years of age. Thus, here’s a few questions,

1. Were you trained as a Muslim in Beirut where your madrasa was located?

2. When did you come to the United States, roughly–1978 or 1969?

I don’t need proof from you. I don’t need documentation. I just need your word; I just need you to answer these two questions because evidence has been provided that says you’ve lied about these things. Your affirmation of your original statements, however, will be good enough for me. I wish you well.

This article was originally posted at my site. I’m married with three children, an SBC pastor, a PhD student at SBTS, and an average Southern Baptist. I’ve authored two books. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and YouTube.

Comments

  1. says

    Good grief. Maybe we should use our blogs for more constructive uses other than gossip about Ergun Caner. And if we have issues with him call him in person and private. This behavior is sad and unChristian.

  2. Daniel says

    I don’t believe that I’ve ever defended Jared, but here goes.

    Camer’s words are public: you could even argue that his definition of his upbringing is what drives public interest in him; why can he not be questioned publicly?

    Every time Caner’s name comes up we are chastised for gossiping. Gossip is spreading rumors that are either unfounded or simply malicious in nature. Asking Caner to clarify his own statements is not gossip.

    Now to deter from defending Jared’s post. I’ve not listened to many of Caner’s sermons, but many that are available online are crude. His willingness to mock and deninigrate others simply to amuse his audience is repulsive.

    • says

      I am not a defender of Caner. I do not support his behavior in the past. But just who’s business is it in dealing with Caner. Who has the responsibility? Certainly not the blogosphere. Gossip can be untrue and or true. Truth of the statement does not determine whether or not it is gossip. Posts like this are nothing but malicious.

      Blogs are lit up all over the place about this. Just who put you in charge of holding Caner accountable or answering these questions? The only people who need to be concerned with doing that is the people who have to deal with him directly.

      When a brother is down (ie has fallen through some moral error) we need to be saddened and prayerful. Not go after him in this manner. Does anyone seriously believe Caner is going to show up here and give an answer?

      Then why create posts like this if we know that will not happen? Doing so only put into question the motives of those who do it.

  3. Daniel says

    It was reported last week that Caner is being considered for a position in a state Baptist College, thus the renewed interest, specifically mine. I can’t presume to answer as to why specifically that Jared posted this. However I can say that I am glad it was posted because there are individuals tasked with making decisions who should be asking these questions, and they may need this encouragement to do so.

  4. says

    It’s been announced. He is the new president of Brewton-Parker College.

    Rest assured the trustees and the search committee had all the common knowledge, history, etc. that any of the bloggers have. More, in fact. They have made their decision.

    It’s time to stop acting like Baptists and start acting like Christians.

    • says

      We certainly do not want to indict every Baptist by this poor behavior but does anyone truly think that the trustees of that college are just waiting to find out what this blog has to say about this? Seriously what is the true end of posts like this?

  5. Ron F. Hale says

    Dear Jared and SBC Voices,

    On a day when one SBC college in Georgia is celebrating the announcement Dr. Caner as their new college President — you run this article on SBC Voices.

    You have betrayed the spirit of everything the committee voted on this summer under the leadership of Dr. Frank Page.

    Let this article me a “marker” that you can’t forgive, forget, and walk toward a harmonious SBC.

    As a sitting 2nd President of the SBC, you have no shame as a positional leader of our denomination.

      • says

        Jared,

        You claim the purpose of this post is to clarify “the timeline of his childhood.” An interesting claim but also an unpersuasive claim since you already had it posted on your personal blog which gathered 100+- comments, comments including some from both me and James White. Why you think clarity would be forthcoming here when you decidedly refused to consider accepting any response there remains puzzling at best. It remains fairly clear that for some reason you’re incorrigibly and intentionally perpetuating moral indictments against now a sitting president of a Georgia Baptist institution. Ron Hale is spot on: this is completely and utterly unacceptable coming from a sitting VP of the Southern Baptist Convention.

        Georgia Baptists had all the information and more that you, Mohammed Khan, and James White had. Georgia Baptists thoroughly vetted the information. They weighed your questions in the balance of reason and sober consideration and found your speculations wanting. They even faced the controversy head-on in the press release.

        And, in spite of your, hereiblog, fbcjaxwatchdog, and James White’s attempts to sabotage the due process Caner went through to become the president of Brewton-Parker, he retained a unanimous decision from the trustees. Dr. Caner is president of our school.

        Now you expect the public to believe you’re posting the same piece after Dr. Caner was elected president that you posted before he was elected president all in the name of an innocent, completely unbiased regard for clarity. Unutterably naive and thoroughly ridiculous.

        With that, I am…
        Peter

        • says

          Peter, if Caner has been “exonerated” in private, then make the evidence public. That’s it. I honestly don’t wish Caner any harm. If there is evidence that will exonerate him, I’ll support him. Please show the evidence; please provide the timeline. I’m not talking about speculation; I’m talking about a timeline that clarifies the numerous misstatements Dr. Caner has made about his own childhood.

          • says

            Jared,

            That’s the problem. You don’t know what you want. You said in your main post, “I don’t need proof from you. I don’t need documentation. I just need your word.” Now you ask for “evidence.” This is why your purpose statement is completely irrational. And, I gave you on your site answers. Did you accept them? No. And, if Ergun Caner called you on the phone and said precisely what I told you, would you accept his words? No. You wouldn’t.

            And, for you to now ask for “evidence” that would “exonerate” him after you said in the OP you’re not looking for evidence demonstrates, at least for me, proves it. And, it also demonstrates there’s more at play here than you’re willing to admit.

            Again, for a sitting VP to perpetuate moral indictments against Georgia Baptists’ newest college president remains unconscionable. You want to talk vision? Fine. Dissent. You want to discuss Calvinism? Bring it on. The problem you face is, you want to talk morally smear. Talk about watchblogging! Sweet Georgia peaches.

            With that, I am…
            Peter

          • says

            Peter, Dr. Caner has not clarified his specific misstatements. You didn’t provide a timeline or clarification. You provided speculation. Speculation doesn’t answer the questions.

            Only Dr. Caner can provide the timeline to clear up his misstatements. That’s all I’m asking for is the timeline. I wish Dr. Caner would post a public timeline that exonerates him.

      • says

        Yes. It’s posted on my blog and SBCToday. The problem, however, is two-fold. A) James White and crew (Moore, Lamprecht, FBCjaxwatchdog, et al) wouldn’t accept it. In fact, James White offered a line-by-line “response” to it; B) Dr. Caner will not apologize for something he did not do. That is, create a fictitious life. As for the first, I find morally deplorable. Who in their right Christian mind would parse a person’s sincere apology for misstatements, wrong dates, confused names, and/or conflated timelines, etc. Sweet heavens do we really want to parse people’s confessions? As for the latter, I don’t blame Caner. White and company allege he made his life up for profiteering purposes. Dr. Caner will never, ever confess to such because he most certainly did not do it. Three schools vetted his life record. They tested the speculative theories of James White and Mohammed Khan built exclusively upon unnecessary inferences from alleged contradictions which critics insisted made Caner a moral fraud. Indeed an independent private investigation firm contracted a team of professional investigators to thoroughly sift through EC’s entire life. They found nothing…nothing which substantiated the allegation of lying, fraud, or deceit. And, the video Jared posted emphasizes this finding in the last quote they cited: “We never once found that he lied” (3:25).

        What they found were some discrepancies of misstatements, wrong dates, confused names, and/or conflated timelines, discrepancies for which Caner unequivocally apologized, but nonetheless discrepancies which offered no proof whatsoever that he intentionally wanted to deceive anybody. To reduce discrepancies to deceit, lying, conspiracy, and/or dishonesty is a strangely similar strategy skeptics employ when they attempt to show the gospel writers were woefully contradictory and therefore cannot be trusted.

        It’s time to stop persecuting this man by morally smearing him when all the evidence that exists are thoroughly subjective claims based upon definitively unnecessary inferences from the evidence cited. Sober Christian men like Norm Geisler, John Ankerberg, Ron Rhodes, Paige Patterson, and Joseph Holden have vouched for Caner’s testimony not to mention Kregel Publication’s public vindication and support of Ergun Caner.

        With that, I am…
        Peter

        • says

          Peter, Dr. Caner has never publicly clarified specific public misstatements. We still don’t know the timeline of his childhood. All I’m asking him to do is to publicly clarify his public misstatements.

        • Tarheel says

          “Dr. White is not in his Christian mind because he parsed Caner’s “confession”. Please!

          Have you never, watchdog Peter, parsed someone’s statements especially those that that you believed to be phony or contrived?

          How about consigned guilt by association.

          Or made assumption from silence?

          I think we all know the answer to those questions. I guess only those in their “right Christian mind” would do such. (“Right Christian Mind” AKA; Peter Lumpkins and all who agree with him.)

  6. Bennett Willis says

    I’ve kept up with this blog discussion for several years. My opinions are based on numerous clear and well documented examples of EC’s own statements as compared with numerous clear and well documented examples (several by EC himself) that absolutely contradict other of his statements.

    We are talking about statements that cannot be simply “misstated.” We are talking about beneficial (yet apparently fictional) statements that EC has “ridden” to very “high places” in the Baptist world.

    This is not an issue of gossip. So long as EC and friends ignore the contradiction between facts and beneficial fiction, the issue won’t go away.

      • says

        Mark… so, it’s gossip to question Caner’s public statements, but it’s not gossip for you to question my public statements about Caner’s public statements? So, it’s gossip to publicly question a brother’s public statements, but it’s not gossip to question a brother’s public statements about a brother’s public statements?

        You’re undercutting your own argument by your actions.

          • says

            I assert that most if not all of those who believe it is their job to hold Caner accountable by gossiping on their blogs are Calvinists who are just bitter. This attack dog Calvinism has go to go.

          • says

            Mark, This has nothing to do with Calvinism, but has everything to do with obedience to Scripture.

            Caner’s misstatements are public. The proof for his “exoneration” is not public. Therefore, he needs to publicly exonerate himself. I’m just asking for him to publicly clarify his public misstatements. That’s all.

          • says

            Mark, your anger is showing.

            I don’t see a logical correlation between Caner’s sin and the debate over Calvinism. If indeed there is some hidden correlation, whose responsibility would you say that it is to hold individual Calvinists accountable?

            I found Jared’s open letter to be respectful, humble and, well… open. Frankly, the mess over Caner can be mostly dispelled by Caner himself.

          • Bennett Willis says

            There is (in my opinion) NO possibility that EC will ever answer the questions that Jared asks. That would wreck the whole foundation of his life for the last years. It would throw all the people who have supported him under the bus. It won’t happen.

            Mark, while you may not think it is any of my business how EC choses to frame his existence, I feel it is. If he is going to put Baptist (or Christian) in his c.v. and speak at Christian events, I strongly feel that the facts of his life and the statements that he makes about his life (and testimony) should be in agreement with each other. Because when he goes and says, he is speaking for me and what I believe also.

          • Greg Harvey says

            I have a hard time justifying the use of Matthew 18 to protect a public figure from responding to critics, myself. And I have to admit that I wouldn’t tolerate this from public politicians. Not sure why it should be tolerated by sectarian politicians.

          • SVMuschany says

            Tim Rogers states “We have always know that you had a hard time believing the Scripture. What is new?”

            It is comments like this that makes me disgusted to be apart of the SBC.

          • Bennett Willis says

            If he can’t be honest about where he grew up and when he came to the US, how can I believe anything that he says about Christianity?

            How can I expect anyone to believe anything any of us say about Christianity if we allow EC to make up stories about his life (and spread them abroad, and benefit hugely from them) without protesting?

          • says

            Bennett,

            Why don’t you trust three separate committees that have investigated him? Is it because you are not the one that in a position to ask the questions? So you take your gossip to the internet in an effort to destroy a brother in Christ!

          • Bennett Willis says

            I wonder if the hard questions were asked and true answers received. Apparently EC can make the case that testimony enhancement is not important–because no one can deny that this has happened and it does not seem to matter.

            However I have read many comments by EC’s friends and have concluded that group truth is much more powerful than facts. Actually, this has reduced my puzzlement in many cases so it has been helpful.

          • Chief Katie says

            Brother Bennett, you aren’t near as angry as I am. God Bless you for standing for truth.

          • Chief Katie says

            Bennett doesn’t need to do anything.

            Depositions will soon be given and the whole ugly, entire truth including Caner’s despicable sexual harassment statements will be out there for all unbelievers to see. What a day that will be for the SBC. What do you think unbelievers are going to say about the way this has been handled? It surely doesn’t put our faith in a good light.

            Here, go read the lawsuits yourself. Shameful and unbiblical. It’s deplorable.

            http://fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/

          • says

            Bennett,

            More perpetuation of falsehood. You make claims in general terms and expect to be taken seriously.

            But like you I’m convinced yet quite convinced in another way: nothing short of Ergun Caner stating he manufactured his life will satisfy James White, Mohammed Khan, and those who buy into their speculative unnecessary inferences. That’s it. A complete draining of EC’s testimonial blood is all that will satisfy. So be it.

            Hence, for that reason, ya’ll can have at it. You, Jared, and his hacking crew can spend all the time they wish on this thread. I’m certainly done. I appreciate many who’ve logged on to dispute Jared Moore’s moral indictment of our (Georgia Baptists’) new president. And, I wish them the best in their courageous attempts here though my doubts run high they will accomplish even a little. Far too much vindictive hate exists when people repeatedly go after another’s moral integrity to destroy his or her testimony.

            Fact: Dr. Caner is president of Brewton-Parker College. The trustees are elated. I remain quite sure most all Georgia Baptists are fully satisfied. Hence, we will now move on to educating a new generation of young men and women under-girding the liberal arts-biblical studies programs with an unapologetic Christian heritage from a decidedly convictional Baptist point of view.

            With that, I am…
            Peter

          • Chief Katie says

            FACT, Ergun Caner is a serial liar who is now behaving outside of scripture regarding suing other believers in court.

            Defend him all you want, but that won’t change the truth or Caner’s actions.

            Depositions are coming. I hope you are ready.

          • Bennett Willis says

            Not angry, but just puzzled. But I’m easily puzzled so I don’t take it seriously.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Tim: Dave didn’t write the article so you can use it as a weapon. Good grief. On this,we should look inside of ourselves.

            As for people who keep hiring Caner, it boggles my mind as the evidence is clear. I think people are using Caner for their own purposes, maybe to draw a large crowd, as much as Caner uses people.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            I read Dave’s article and thinking about another conversation we had, had to do some real soul searching. I had to confess things in prayer that I saw in myself as anger which I tried to pass off as righteous anger, but it fit Dave’s article to a T and was sin. It was anger. Not righteous anger but anger. Destructive mostly to me and my walk with Christ. I never read it to be used as a weapon against others, but it was used as sword against myself. And this topic was just one of the anger issues I have that I need the Holy Spirit to not only point out, but get rid of.

          • says

            Jim, don’t you know? ALL bad things correlate to Calvinism. Those guys are evil I tell you! Always plotting against people with whom they disagree. The reason we haven’t found Jimmy Hoffa is because those Calvinists are the only ones who know where he is, and they ain’t tellin nobody. They plotted the Kennedy assassination too! They also framed Roger Rabbit.

            Yep, those Calvinists are bad news….they, and evil unicorns are taking over the world.

          • Chief Katie says

            I assert that as a person who defended your right to spout your words, that Caner owes the military an apology. Not just to the marines but for all the women who served honorably. We don’t deserve to be belittled by Caner’s shameful language. If you don’t want to hold him accountable for this type of harassment, then the SBC is in far worse shape than I knew.

            Let him refer to the “mangina’ towards the women in your life and see how it feels.

      • Chief Katie says

        It was MY business when Caner was telling all those lies to the marines. I served in the U.S. Navy in the gulf and I know full well that Caner didn’t just misspeak. He lied and he continues to lie. But one of the things he said was not just mocking, it was foul and from the pit of hell. He was describing tight dress on men and referred to men as having a “mangina”. What a despicable thing to say. It wasn’t funny, but it is clearly sexual harassment.

        Now he has taken to suing Christian Pastors in Federal Court for posting videos that were obtained from FOIA. There is also evidence that he took out a criminal complaint against the Pastor at a Baptist church in Texas.

        Jared, good on you. You did the right thing. If Caner wants to repent and get right before the Lord, I’ll absolutely oblige. But he is still lying, even to the point of suing Pastors to cover up his open box of lies. You just touched the surface.

        Caner knows how to seek restoration, instead we have people covering up for him.

        If I had a child considering Brewton–Parker College there is no way I would allow it if Caner was there in any capacity.

        Oh yes, Mark Mitchell it is MY business.

        Jared, be careful and make sure you can document everything you say or you’ll be on his list of Pastors to sue, despite the teaching of scripture.

        God Bless,

        Chief Katie

    • Bennett Willis says

      I missed the comment by Bob Cleveland. As he points out, the trustees had access to all the information that anyone who cares to look has access to. They chose to ignore it.

      I don’t see how. Maybe there are just not any good candidates for this job. But that is their business and they have spoken. Now they will live with it.

      Personally, EC would have not been a choice I could have tolerated. How you can chose to have as the president of your college a person who chose to rewrite his history to benefit from 911, I don’t understand.

      • Bennett Willis says

        Something that I find extremely interesting about this discussion is how some people can defend their “group truth” against facts.

        And/or say that facts don’t matter.

        But I suppose that I see this all the time so I should stop being puzzled by it. After all, of what real value are facts. Of what real value is character.

  7. Dave Miller says

    I would like to make my position clear about this.

    1) I am not much of a fan of Ergun Caner.

    2) I absolutely HATE discussions of Ergun Caner – they are seldom productive.

    3) I refused to publish this post last week, but told Jared that if Caner was elected president of Brewton-Parker, as rumors had indicated, he could publish this.

    4) This morning, I told Jared he could publish it himself, since this decision was made.

    As I said, I am not a supporter of or a fan of Ergun Caner. I also believe a lot of the discussion of him is based more on anger and grudges against him than of anything else. (See my previous article on anger). I am not specifically leveling that accusation at Jared, but it is more general.

    I think a lot of the “we have to hold him accountable” rhetoric hides personal animus. That is an opinion. Again, that is a more general observation, not specific too this article.

    Anyway, from this point on, I will completely stay out of this, except to shut off discussion if it becomes angry or belligerent.

  8. volfan007 says

    @macbrunson: When serving Christ don’t be surprised when critics attack. Be concerned if they don’t! Get over the criticism and get on with the ministry.

  9. volfan007 says

    One trustee summarized the vote: “We didn’t consider Dr. Caner in spite of the attacks; we elected him because of them. He has endured relentless and pagan attacks like a warrior. We need a warrior as our next president.”

    • Bennett Willis says

      He has also endured relentless “attacks” by concerned Christians who cannot reconcile his statements with facts from the public record–or with other statements that he has made, for that matter.

  10. Jim B. says

    I really hate commenting on blogs, and it took me a while to convince myself to do it again here. I also hate talking about Ergun Caner, but here goes.

    First, let me state I am a Southern Baptist, and not a Calvinist.

    Second, my job requires that I interact with Muslims and I see it at a great opportunity to share the Gospel with a completely different people group without having to leave my job, family and safety of home by traveling overseas. The IMB resource http://www.lovingmuslims.com has been an invaluable resource to me.

    The fact is that many Westernized Muslims with an internet connection are familiar with Ergun Caner. I hear about him every time he makes the news for whatever reason.

    The fact remains, as Jared pointed out, there are unanswered questions about inconsistencies in Ergun Caner’s story that have been ignored.

    There are also mean, offensive tweets and comments that Dr. Caner has made toward Muslims that are still on the internet that he has not apologized for.

    Every time I see the issue of Ergun Caner come up, it’s always portrayed as Calvinists vs. whatever, typical SBC politics being played.

    Whatever side of the SBC fence you may find yourself on, may I suggest you unite around the Gospel and the mission to the Muslim world, get Ergun Caner to spend 30 minutes answering a few questions and apologize to Muslims for his hateful comments, then get back to doing whatever God has called you to do.

    • says

      Jim, I appreciate your position. Thanks for your work with Muslims; they are a group who are dear to my heart. I have had the privilege of interacting with them internationally. Fortunately, I haven’t had to field any response to Caner’s statements in those interactions, but I understand how they hinder the work.

    • says

      Jim B.

      I have tried to be silent here on Voices because I spent my time over at Jared’s blog already trying to point out the inconsistencies of those who are constantly attacking this issue.

      Your comment “get Ergun Caner to spend 30 minutes answering a few questions” is one that really is ludicrous. He had an independent investigative committee at Liberty sit down with him for more than 30 minutes answering more than a few questions. They sent their report to a trustee committee who spent more time asking questions. He went to Arlington Baptist College where a search committee investigated what the committee at Liberty reported. He sat again for more than 30 minutes answering more than a few more questions. He now has been voted on by a 21-0 unanimous vote to come to Brewton-Parker College. Before he was voted on he sat for another investigative group that asked more than a few questions and he spent more than 30 minutes answering those questions. This last group is a Baptist school in Georgia and is considered a Southern Baptist School where neither of the former two schools receive any Cooperative Program Funds. This last group is made up exclusively of Southern Baptists and we have an elected VP questioning the insight and investigation of Southern Baptists.

      Thus, this absolute pre-occupation on Ergun Caner and him giving answers to everyone whatever they think he should answer is ludicrous.

      • says

        Tim, Caner’s misstatements are public. His exoneration is not public. It’s time for Dr. Caner to exonerate himself publicly. I’ll support his Presidency then.

        • says

          Jared,

          For you to say that Dr. Caner needs to exonerate himself publicly is preposterous. You will never support his Presidency. It is obvious that you as an elected officer of the SBC has now publicly tried your best to ruin someone that 21 Southern Baptists have investigated and said there is nothing to the charges that you and your tribe have tried your best to destroy. Hey why not place that picture of you and the chainsaw back up so we can at least see the real you. You are publicly saying that the Board of Trustees at Brewton-Parker are a bunch of dummies because Dr. Caner will not answer to you.

          • says

            Tim, Nope. I’m not saying anything about Brewton-Parker.

            All I’m saying is that Dr. Caner’s misstatements are public. His correction of these misstatements should be as well. Dr. Caner’s correct timeline of his childhood should be posted publicly in order to correct his public misstatements.

      • Jim B. says

        Tim, before I listen to anything you have to say, you will have to answer one question.

        When was the last time you had a conversation with a Muslim person about the Gospel?

        If you continue to refuse to answer my questions, that is your prerogative. But if so, please refrain from addressing me in the future.

        Whatever your answer to my question, I do not wish to play SBC politics with you. There are 2 billion lost Muslims in the world today, with thousands moving to the US each year. If you have a theology that allows you to ceaselessly comment on SBC blogs while supporting a blatant hindrance to SBC missions toward Muslims, you have a defective theology.

        • says

          Jim B.

          Just yesterday! Thank you for trying to spiritually raise your arrogant self above everyone. My Dr. has an assistant that is Muslim and I carry on a conversation with her all the time. Has she ever heard of Ergun Caner. No she hasn’t. Your position is absolutely preposterous. And oh, I live in the Charlotte, NC area and run into Muslims all the time. Thank you.

          • Jim B. says

            That’s wonderful news, Tim. Despite your faulty reading of my heart, I asked because I want to see if you can empathize with my situation. I trust you can, as an evangelist and pastor. We are of the same theology, so that the motivation of my dissension. In fact one of my mentors was recently a guest speaker at your church!

            I was asking because I live and work in the heart of SBC country, Nashville. I work with Muslims who are IT professionals who are extremely tech-savvy and have been instructed about Ergun Caner from their Imams who have frequent direct dealings with SBC, its churches and pastors. The mythos of Ergun Caner is used as deflection and rejection of the Gospel. If only my situation were preposterous!

            When I was in elementary school I learned that the best way to learn about something is to ask questions. As I grew older, I learned that in your quest to find answers, you should ask questions to determine the credibility of the source.

            For example, when I heard about the accusations against Ergun Caner I started asking questions. When I started watching his videos, I asked whether they were original or edits. When people posted legal documents that contradicted Caner’s story I asked whether they were authentic. When Dr. Caner started suing people to have original unedited videos removed, I asked why he would do such a thing.

            Now you enter the conversation with detailed knowledge of private conversations of which you were not a part. Consistency and logic require me to ask what you know and how you know it.

            On Jared’s blog, I asked 8 questions and received 0 answers.

            In the absence of dialogue, I must make logical assumptions based on all the available credible sources of information.

            Here’s another more questions for you: As a Christian minister and SBC pastor, do you agree with and endorse the hateful statements Ergun Caner has made toward Muslims? Would you use the terms “towelhead” and “sand ni**er” in the presence of the lady in your doctor’s office?

            To save you the time of having to discern my heart, the reason I ask these question is to find common ground upon which to establish the missiological need for Ergun Caner to address my and others’ questions, specifically because he is a hindrance to sharing the Gospel with Muslims.

        • says

          Jared,

          You are trying your best to destroy a newly elected president of a Southern Baptist School. You are the same chainsaw waving wild-eyed Calvinists that wants to rid the SBC of anyone that is not a Calvinist. Keep it up, you may succeed

          • says

            Tim, I’m not interested in destroying anyone. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I don’t want non-Calvinists or Calvinists to leave the SBC. Caner has made public misstatements. He needs to clarify these misstatements publicly.

  11. Les Prouty says

    Jared,

    It is perfectly acceptable to publicly call for clarification on something like this. His statements are public and a public call for clarification is the right way to proceed. I’m sure others criticizing you have publicly called for public clarification or retraction from SBC leaders in the past. Al Mohler comes to mind and statements he has made.

    Carry on brother.

  12. says

    I was going to let this go but it us just absurd. Where does one get the notion that just because anyone has made claims publically they anyone and everyone gets to call for his accountability publically. Please by all means show some scripture to support that.

    When in the SBC has it become acceptable to ignore scripture and just set up any old standard they want?

    Just who are you all that Caner must answer to you?

    Just who are you all that this is any of your business?

      • says

        Really? Paul went on a public forum of any kind and indirectly rebuked Peter? I do not think so. And I have not gone to my blog and gossiped about you. You are having a problem here making illegitimate comparisons trying to defend the indefensible.

        • says

          Mark, Paul rebuked Peter publicly in front of those nearby… then, he wrote about it publicly in a letter. How more “public” can you get in the 1st Century?

          Also, you’ve made numerous statements on social media talking about “gossiping about Ergun Caner,” but you’re evidently fine with gossiping about those who gossip.

          Just so we’re clear, I don’t think you’re gossiping. Neither am I. Public statements demand a public response.

          • says

            Ok well you will just have to hang on to your poor comparisons. I am dealing with you directly. You are sitting from the cheap seats far far away. Maybe you just need to go pick up the phone and deal with him directly. Of course that does not make an interesting blog post does it.

            And by the way Paul dealt with Peter directly. We need leaders in the SBC who are above this kind of behavior.

          • says

            Jared you know better than that. The point is if you think it is any of your business (and it is not) then you need to deal with him directly. Not lobbing accusations from a distance on your blog. Call him, drive over there, whatever. What you are doing here is is not direct and it is a cheap shot.

    • Chief Katie says

      Sure, you show the scripture that gives Caner the biblical stand to sue Christian Pastors in federal court.

      Seer how that works?

  13. aaron says

    Sad day as a Georgia Baptist.
    When people truly apologize and repent we move on. The people who have admitted steroid use in baseball are the ones we forget about but the ones that keep on lying stay in the crosshairs. Ergun could have made this go away a long time ago but he has chosen to sue and keep up the front.

    .

  14. says

    If Caner wants to regain widespread credibility, he needs to address this issue openly. Otherwise, he’ll have the respect of his cheerleaders and very few others.

    Just like Mark Driscoll needs to openly address the plagiarism charges and evidence.

    It may be that both situations are not as bad as they seem from the outside critic’s perspective, but without being addressed, they will continue to linger as dark clouds over the respective ministries.

  15. Tarheel says

    Dave Miller said;

    “As I said, I am not a supporter of or a fan of Ergun Caner. I also believe a lot of the discussion of him is based more on anger and grudges against him than of anything else. (See my previous article on anger). I am not specifically leveling that accusation at Jared, but it is more general.

    I think a lot of the “we have to hold him accountable” rhetoric hides personal animus. That is an opinion. Again, that is a more general observation, not specific too this article.”

    Perhaps with some. While I admit I am “put out” with EC….I can say unequivocally that my interest in seeing him come to repentance is NOT vengeful, retaliatory, or anger driven.

    I do not think it unreasonable or somehow off limits to ask of EC that as a preacher of Gospel and teacher of those who studying to do the same that he wear as a badge of honor humble repentance instead of one of steadfast defiance in the face of what certainly seems to be, blatant sin.

    I think it is agreeable to everyone, no matter where one might fall on the overall issue, that part of EC’s appeal and demand was/is based in part or in whole on the “Muslim” part of his bio…and consequently that part of his bio has contributed to and often increased his speaking fees, salaries and honorariums. So if those parts of his ‘story’ were intentionally falsified/glorified/exacerbated so as to increase that appeal and promotion so to speak…I contend that this would amount to fraud…I know that is harsh…but I am not sure any other way to say it.

    The sins we are talking about here are not inferences made based on an opinion or personal affability or a difference in theology….no these accusations are based in clear cut easily provable (and deniable, BTW) acts of biblically defined sin. These accusations are clearly black and white; Did intentional falsehoods, not misspeaks or mixing up of dates, pervade his messages, conference talks, Marine seminar, etc… or not?

    I would like to see this issue put to bed too…I contend that it can be, pretty easily too …but that in large part is not up to his many reasonable accusers but that outcome rests with EC himself.

    I will admit that not all accusers are reasonable, but his straight up dealing with this openly and honestly would go a long, long way with most of his accusers…and I KNOW it would put the issue to bed for me.

  16. volfan007 says

    It’s been my experience from the past that the people, who have been obsessed with taking Dr. Ergun Caner down, are the 1) liberals; 2) Muslims; and 3) Extreme Calvinists. All 3 of these groups hate Dr. Caner, because he has spoken out so strongly against liberalism, and Islam, and Calvinism. So, in my opinion, all the pious sounding calls for Dr. Caner to come clean, and fess up, ring very hollow. It sounds more like a witch hunt stirred by vengeance.

    And, with that, I’ve really said all I want to say about this….really, I’ve read too much, and said too much….much more than I wanted to….actually. So, bye, everyone. I’m done. I really don’t think conversations like these are doing any good for the Kingdom of God.

    David

    • says

      David, that’s a logical fallacy.

      I’m not a 1) liberal, 2) Muslim, or 3) extreme Calvinist. Dr. Caner has made numerous public misstatements. Yet, he has not publicly clarified these misstatements. He made the misstatements publicly; he should clarify them publicly. We know the misstatements, but we don’t know the correct timeline. If Caner will clarify his misstatements, I’ll support his Presidency.

      • Tarheel says

        Vol,
        I fit in none of those categories either.

        Think about this….

        In my experience those who so relentlessly defend EC, or call for comments urging accountability to stop are hyper non/anti Calvinists. Further, I do not see how pastors condoning on the internet for the world to see open sin – all for the sake of a “like minded” brother who is very vocally ardent in his attacks against Calvinism as being good for the kingdom of God.

        (See what I did there?)

        (I posted that to illustrate that the argumentation you used could be turned around. It was only an example.)

        • says

          Tim, No, I don’t believe that. I believe all babies that die are elect. They’re guilty in Adam. I believe God in His grace and mercy, due to the finished work of Christ, saves them. All babies that die in infancy are part of the church due to the grace of God and Christ’s atoning work. That’s what I believe.

          • says

            Jared,

            You just affirmed what I said. If there are babies that are “elect” then logic dictates that there are babies that are the non-elect. Thus, a non-elect baby will die and go to hell. You affirm the non-elect spend eternity separated from God in a place we call hell. According to your theology God’s election is completely his choosing. Now you are saying that God’s election is dependent upon the time of death of a person.

          • Bennett Willis says

            This is a typical Tim approach when he has lost the discussion. Based on my observations, it is better to just let him rant on without reply.

    • Jim B. says

      You can add to that 4) Evangelists to Muslims.

      I doubt I would have ever heard about Ergun Caner unless he was brought up in the context of Muslims pointing out his hateful comments toward other Muslims.

  17. says

    Peter Lumpkins says above that “Georgia Baptists had all the information and more that you [Jared Moore], Mohammed Khan, and James White had. Georgia Baptists thoroughly vetted the information. They weighed your questions in the balance of reason and sober consideration and found your speculations wanting.”

    No sir, Peter, that is not accurate. A handful of Georgia Baptists, namely the 30 or so trustees of BPC (if they are indeed all GBC’ers, which I doubt), but that hardly constitutes Georgia Baptists. I could easily find 30 or so this moment who are sickened by the announcement. I already personally know a handful. So, don’t trot out your triumphalistic hogwash that Georgia Baptists did this and that Georgia Baptists did that in calling Ergun Caner to be the next president of BPC.

    You regularly fuss about the presidents of SBTS, SEBTS, and MBTS for theological/ideological reasons, yet they are above reproach in their character. However, here is a man in Ergun Caner that you probably agree wholeheartedly with theologically/ideologically who is in no way above reproach and has never sought public forgiveness, and you are cheerleading him on. Very telling, indeed!

    • says

      Ben,

      Are you really believing your own rhetoric? In all of this the only negative calls received by Brewton Parker were all out of state. In all of this no one has accused anyone that has attacked him as unrepentant, unregenerate, or lost in any way. But everyone who has continued to try and bring reason to this conversation has been accused of being dumb, ignorant, and even lost. Peter Lumpkins has been called unregenerate, Ergun has been called lost, and even I have endured some of the language of being unregenerate. Heck, Peter and I have a website dedicated to destroying our character and we are nobodies. Ergun has a name and you and every else will not rest until he “answers your questions”. He has sit through three schools and their background checks. Guess what? He doesn’t owe you anything. Not one iota does he owe you, Jared, or anyone. Get over your arrogant self and let this go. God will straighten it all out in the end. I can’t wait to see your face when you get to Heaven and God has placed you under the charge and accountability of Dr. Ergun Caner. What are you going to do then? Tell God, ‘now wait a minute Ergun has to answer two questions. Yea, I bet that will happen.

      • Tarheel says

        Tim said;

        “In all of this the only negative calls received by Brewton Parker were all out of state.”

        There ya go again with the ‘insider trading”…how do you know that? Are you on the board At Brewton Parker is Peter?

      • Aaron says

        Tim.
        I personally know there were people in Ga that called to express concerns. Where in the world are you getting such bad information?

        • says

          Aaron,

          You sign on here in an anonymous name along with Tarheel and then ask me if I am getting bad information.

          Yea, you keep believing I do not know what I am talking about. Here is a little insider information for you. Keep your eye out for Liberty University they are about to announce someone that everyone here knows. When it happens I expect a full public apology for calling my “bad information” into question.

    • dean says

      Ben, to be fair, Tim Rogers through the years has defended the trustee system Southern Baptist have in place. I remember many blogs written about Dr. Allen as he was being elected president of MBTS. Calvinists lined up one after the other to defend the trustee system. Once Dr. Allen was elected I have heard very little in way of attacks on him. I remember many non-Calvinists lobbying the trustees to consider other candidates. Once Dr. Allen was elected the general consensus was to support our new president.

      Ben, the GBC did not give you the privilege of naming 30 trustees. Their nomination process came up with these 30 trustees, therefore the GBC has chosen Ergun Caner as the president of Brewton-Barber College. You seem to have contempt for the trustees who have elected a president you do not like. I would ask if you have called one of those trustees and allowed them the opportunity to educate you on the matter.

      One can type in the words David Hankins and then Jason Allen on the search feature and read the threads surrounding them. It will become clear that most people love the trustee system when they appoint their guy and deplore the trustee system when they do not appoint their guy or refuse to fire someone who is not “in their camp.”

      • says

        Dean,

        It is the trustee system that we live within. Once the decision is made it is a done deal. I spoke with Dr. Jason Allen at the convention in Houston and told him of my support for his administration. I will certainly express my disagreements with him, but I support MWBTS and our President.

  18. Louis says

    This is just awful.

    I don’t know the Caners. I met Emir at a Convention once with Paige Patterson.

    I can’t remember all of the allegations, but from what I do remember, there were some things that Caner said that were not true, according to the public record.

    If there is a private record where these things are resolved and explained, that should be made public.

    But my sense of things, from reading Katie and another post or 2 on here, is that the untruths are out there, just unanswered or explained.

    This reminds me of the entire Clinton saga. It was eventually proved that Clinton did not tell the truth. But it came to no end. His supporters saw the good side of Clinton and forgave or minimized the failures. It’s that simple.

    Caner is no Clinton. That facts are different in many ways. But they have a common element. That being that Mr. Caner has said things that were untrue in various public forums.

    The places that have hired him, and those who have defended him, do so because they truly admire him as a person and his gifts, which apparently are significant, and because of the larger questions of what Caner espouses and believes.

    I have no problem with people who want to do that any more than I do with Clinton admirers who want to move on and focus on other matters.

    There are those who will be disappointed with the public presence of Caner at another educational institution. Some are non-Christian. Some are into Reformed theology. Some are not.

    This topic will not go away any more than the topic of the blue dress and the meaning of “is” will go away. It’s just in the minds of some, there is a desire to embrace the man and his mission that is greater than the desire to dissect the past. And in the minds of others, past untruths remain a constant barrier and a question until resolved.

    And that’s where we are.

  19. volfan007 says

    Retweeted Steve Gaines (@bellevuepastor):

    If you spend more time criticizing your brothers in Christ than you do telling people about Jesus, you should reevaluate your priorities.

  20. says

    Jared,

    Dr. Caner personally owes you exactly jack squat. He’s been vetted three different times, including at least once by a team of professional private investigators whom Caner tortuously endured sifting though everything they could find on his past life. Over the past few weeks, he was vetted by a group of trustees made up of prominent, established pastors, professional educators, and private businessmen who sifted through the same, depressing, nauseous insinuations you’re now posting, including James White and Mohammed Khan’s claims. No one wanted clarity and answers more than they. Conclusion: they unanimously voted to install Dr. Caner as the next president of Brewton-Parker College.

    For you to self-righteously imply our Georgia trustees left moral stones unturned in the vetting process neither helps clarify your confusing purpose for re-posting the same morally indicting piece here after Caner was elected president that you posted before he was elected president (from sabotaging his election by perpetuating unjust moral indictments to questioning both his election and the trustees by perpetuating unjust moral indictments?) nor fits a sitting Vice President’s role by stirring confusion. And, know that even though Dave Miller and I have had our rounds about lots of things, both theological and denominationally political. I remain confident, however, he’d never use his office of VP he held to inject this kind of vindictive, perpetuation of unjust moral indictment toward a sitting president of any of our national or state institutions, ultimately creating far more confusion than cooperation.

    It furthermore insults Georgia Baptists and especially the institution’s trustees by continuing to insist Caner communicate and/or answer to you about questions, questions already vetted time and time again. Consult you own posted video, Jared: “We never once found that he lied.” Yet you curiously suppose the two questions you ask somehow slipped through three vettings, including a professional team of private investigators.

    With that, I am…
    Peter

    • says

      Peter, Dr. Caner’s misstatements are public. His exoneration is private. Every person who has heard Dr. Caner’s misstatements are owed his clarification of these misstatements. It’s time for Dr. Caner’s exoneration to be as public as his misstatements.

  21. says

    Men and women, I think the rhetoric being displayed on both sides is telling. Let’s have a godly discussion. Let’s not sin in order to expose the sin of another or to protect the innocence of another. Let’s disagree as brothers and sisters in Christ. When we defend our arguments in ungodly ways, we undercut our arguments and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  22. Tarheel says

    Joel said;

    “Jim, don’t you know? ALL bad things correlate to Calvinism. Those guys are evil I tell you! Always plotting against people with whom they disagree. The reason we haven’t found Jimmy Hoffa is because those Calvinists are the only ones who know where he is, and they ain’t tellin nobody. They plotted the Kennedy assassination too! They also framed Roger Rabbit.

    Yep, those Calvinists are bad news….they, and evil unicorns are taking over the world.”

    BAWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!

    (we need one of those little laughing emoticons, Mr. Miller!)

  23. Greg Harvey says

    SVMuschany: it’s ok. I understand why you would say that, but I’m not angry about his comment. The SBC isn’t a theocracy and his is just one opinion among many in a congregational polity. Each Baptist is given the responsibility of reading and understanding Scripture and it’s nearly impossible for one person to isolate and demonize another who handles Scripture accurately. If I don’t handle it accurately, I deserve his comment. If I do, his comment is irrelevant.

  24. Tarheel says

    There are 30 trustees, and either Peter or Tim said that the vote was unanimously 21-0 ….so did 9 trustees just miss the meeting electing the new president or did they abstain from the vote?

  25. JT says

    Sad.
    I was JUST looking at colleges online last night; one of them being Brewton-Parker; trying to narrow down the search for my child.
    Needless to say, we will no longer look at Brewton-Parker as an option.

    Caner is not the type person I would hold up as an example to my children of someone who is living a godly life. Why? For the very reasons brought up in this post….he has NEVER publicly corrected/apologized for the lies he told. “Mis-speak” is being used in place of “untruthfulness” which actually means “lying”.

    For the record; I am not a liberal, I am not a Calvinist.
    I am someone who lives overseas and works in Christian ministry; aka missionary.

  26. William Thornton says

    I’m a georgia baptist, as is peter l. EC is a somewhat risky choice. I presume that the college is going for star power and name recognition. I have mixed feelings. The college has had a difficult struggle.

    While Jared should be more circumspect than normal in his blogging as an SBC VP, I have no problem with his asking questions. Those who object may certainly ignore him. If he didn’t ask, others would and probably will.

    The other Caner is already head of a second of the three GBC schools. It is a decidedly traditionalist place.