It’s NONE of My Business!

I have offended more than one of my good friends by my unwillingness to address certain topics, issues and people through the years. Some have wondered if I lack conviction or am afraid of confrontation. The first is seldom true – I’m a pretty opinionated man, more often described by those who know me as dogmatic (even belligerent) than wishy-washy. The second is a possibility. I do not enjoy conflict and I think the tendency to avoid conflict, while generally a good thing, has been one of my biggest struggles as a pastor.

But I do not believe that my unwillingness to address certain issues is simply a product of fear of conflict or a lack of principles. There is something more at work in my heart than that, a conviction that I believe is important.

Let me be specific. I would prefer to address general trends over specifics, but no one who reads this is going to be confused as to the topic. My thoughts here were spurred by the recent hiring Ergun Caner by Brewton-Parker College in Georgia as their new president and the controversy that has ensued. To say that opinion on Caner is divided would be an understatement. Those who oppose Caner do so with a passion that rivals my feelings when the Red Sox or Patriots win. And Caner’s supporters seem to do so without reservation, forcefully striking back against any who question or criticize him.

I have debated whether putting my opinion of Caner in this post would be productive or counterproductive. I am going to do so, not to open that “Can’er worms” (sorry, horrible pun), but because it will advance the point I am going to make.

I am convinced by the evidence I have seen that Caner created a mythological life-story, rooted not in truth but in expedience. He made a name for himself based on a false story. I think that, at best, he needs to repent of his in and at worst, he is disqualified from public ministry. I am convinced by the evidence Jason Smathers has put forward that Caner’s story was fraudulent.

There, I said it. I realize the irony of sharing my opinion in a post in which I will advocate that it is none of my business to do so. But I have a reason. I do not want those I address (and the bulk of this is directed at Caner’s opponents, those who share my opinion), to think I am simply defending Caner. If he was a candidate for the open position of Baptist Convention of Iowa Executive Director, you would hear me squawk (perhaps not on a blog, but at least to the committee!). If he were being hired by LifeWay or NAMB, I would write about it here. If I was a Georgia Baptist, I would have something to say.

But none of those things are true. Caner and I are not part of the same church. None of my offerings are going to support him or Brewton-Parker College. We are not part of the state convention. Our only connection is that we are part of the same association of autonomous, voluntarily-connected local churches known as the Southern Baptist Convention. That leads me to my thesis.

Ergun Caner’s presidency at Brewton-Parker College is none of my business. 

Twenty years ago, I’d have had lunch with some of my pastor friends and we would have talked about how we felt about Brewton-Parker and this hire. We’d have exchanged opinions and gone on our way. Now everything is different. I don’t share my opinions with a few guys around the table, but with hundreds, even thousands of people who read this blog. Now, we have the ability to bare our hearts and blare our opinions all around the world.

And that leads to two somewhat arrogant, self-important but common opinions:

  • We believe our views are of more significance than perhaps they are. We mistake the volume of our voices with the impact and import of those voices.
  • We believe that we have both the right and the duty to publicly express our opinions on every situation, especially against someone with whom we disagree or someone we believe has done wrong.

Those who have voiced their opinions against Caner have consistently presented their views as noble defenses of the truth. But I am convinced that much of it is more playing the busybody than the noble voice of righteousness. Essentially, I share the views of Caner’s critics, but question their right to publicly pronounce those views and the wisdom of doing so.

Where does the Bible give me the right to publicly opine on the presidential choice of a small college in Georgia?

1) Some have claimed it is our duty to publicly address false teachers. If Ergun Caner was promoting doctrines contrary to the gospel (and my people were aware of those doctrines), I would address them for their protection. But, while Caner has been somewhat forceful (to be kind) in his confrontation of Calvinism, he holds to the biblical gospel and is part of the family. I’ve not heard anyone accuse him of heterodoxy, only heteropraxy.

2) Some have appealed to our relationship as part of the SBC. But the SBC is connectional, not hierarchical. I have a kinship with (some) Georgia Baptists, but I am not part of them. We support missions together through the Cooperative Program, but that does not give me a voice in Georgia Baptist affairs.

3) Some have referenced biblical mandates to publicly rebuke sinners – and there are certainly such verses. But I would argue that the context of those verses indicates that the forum for such verses is primarily the local church. Again, if Caner had some impact on my local church, I would warn them and perhaps confront him. But he doesn’t, so I won’t. The context of those passages does not provide a general warrant for every Christian to public rehearse every opinion he has on every subject.

  • Paul’s instructions to Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:1, 2 Timothy 3:16, and 4:2 seem to clearly fall within the local church and preaching ministry that God had given Timothy. Part of preaching the Word is rebuking sin. It does not follow that this passage authorizes us to blog or tweet about another Christian we think has sinned.
  • 1 Timothy 5:20 says, “As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.” But the context seems to place this squarely within the context of church discipline and the proclamation ministry.
  • Titus 1:13 would seem to provide cover for those who engage in the ministry of public rebuke. “Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith…” But the context there is pretty clear. Paul was referring to the “circumcision party” and those who promote “Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth.” A few of the more ardent Caner opponents have questioned his salvation (a couple I have seen who tend to question the redemption and spiritual sincerity of anyone who does not share their theological perspective), but most are simply criticizing his sinful behavior. Caner’s false statements go to his credibility but not the truth of the gospel. He is not presenting a false gospel.
  • Titus 2:15, again, seems to be in a local church context and does not authorize social media confrontation of sin.

There is little biblical warrant to justify the public rebuke that we so commonly engage in today.

4) We have forgotten the biblical context of confrontation and rebuke. Two elements seem to be required for rebuke in scripture – relationship and authority. Rebuke in the NT is generally a product of authority. You never see the church at Ephesus issuing a proclamation confronting sin in Corinth. Paul, an apostle, having apostolic authority over the church, issued rebuke. Paul instructed local pastor/elders, Timothy and Titus, who had pastoral authority, to rebuke and correct. They had the right and responsibility to do so. But they were not issuing public proclamations about events a thousand miles away!

There is another element – relationship. Remember the words of Jesus to the lukewarm church of Laodicea?  “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” (Rev 3:19)  I rebuke my children. I publicly rebuke charlatans like Joel Osteen to my people, and am responsible to rebuke sin in the lives of my people needed. I have a relationship that gives me a forum for such.

Do I have a relationship with Ergun Caner? No. Never met him. Never exchanged a word, even an online word, with him. He and I are not in the same church or association. I have no affiliation with the Georgia Baptist Convention for whom he now indirectly works. We are both (now) part of the Southern Baptist Convention, but we are in connectional, autonomous, non-authoritarian bodies.

Do I have authority over Ergun Caner, or is he in authority over me? Nope. Not in the slightest.

Therefore, I do not believe that a public rebuke of him is either my duty or my right.

5) Vengeance is mine, I will repay! To all who are about to become former friends, let me wish you well and tell you I still love you! But while the rebuke of Caner is generally presented as a noble effort to confront sin in the church and protect the purity of the church, I suspect that something more than that may be at work – at least in some circles. I’m not making a blanket accusation, but am certainly making an observation.

People confront Caner about his background stories less because they are concerned about his background and more as a result of his harsh treatment of Calvinists and Calvinism. I would also say (to be an equal opportunity offender) that many have defended him for the same reason – they supported his attacks on Calvinism!

But  Paul told us to leave wrath in the hands of God and not to attempt to bring vengeance and justice on our own. If Caner is what I believe he is, then he has a bigger problem than me and my opinions, or anyone else’s. If Caner is what his critics believe he is, then God will deal with him.

Romans 12:19  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

Does that not speak directly to this situation?

6) Is there not some value in private instead of public rebuke? I know that many have argued (convincingly to me) that Matthew 18:15 does not directly apply to blogging. If I want to confront something someone has said publicly, I am not required to do so in private first. But, there is a value in making personal confrontation private. I could write a letter to the trustees of Brewton-Parker (which would likely land in the circular file). I could voice an opinion to the Georgia Baptist Convention, if someone would take my call. Private rebuke is better than public, most of the time. It is more likely to bring resolution.

I once wrote an article confronting an action taken jointly by LifeWay and NAMB (concerning WorldChangers).  By giving them a copy of my article in advance, and inviting a response, I was able to voice my concern, be heard and build better relationships with those I was criticizing than I had before. Private confrontation is actually more productive than public.

I think the same principle works for personal conflict. It is my habit to take conversations private when they reach a certain level of intensity. If I am going to talk about Ralph McGillicutty (or Ralph wants to talk about me!) then a private exchange on Facebook or email is a better place to have that discussion than in public on this blog or somewhere else. It not only honors Christ, but is more likely to lead to healing than public arguments.

I realize that I’ve offended pretty much everyone in this post. I’ve offended the Caner supporters with my opinions. I’ve offended the Caner opponents by questioning the spiritual right and value of their public rebukes. So, I guess my work here is done. But I’d love to hear your views of my biblical case against public rebuke in this situation.

I’m not interested in another “Caner is great/Caner is evil” debate. I will, as I have time, delete such comments. I’d like to invite discussion of the general topic of public rebuke, and when it is appropriate. What say you?

Comments

  1. Dave Miller says

    I am most definitely NOT interested in another discussion of the merits of Ergun Caner! Please refrain.

    The question here is about the biblical basis of public confrontation of Caner, or others in similar situations. Please respect that. Pretty please? With sugar on it?

    • Nick Horton says

      I tend to share your conviction that discipline for believers happens in the local church. Paul, in judging the sinner in 1 Cor. 5, instructs the local congregation to enact discipline. Matthew 18 happens in the context of the local church. Christian discipline happens in the church.

      I have opinions on recent events like Caner or Driscoll, but how can I possibly comment based solely on information that I was allowed to see, and without relationship as you so rightly pointed out?

      That, I think, is the central issue. Everyone wants to hold someone to account because we think our voice is the one that really matters. Trust the Lord’s discipline. Trust the local church carries out their duty. And if they don’t, what is that to you? The Lord is Sovereign.

      • says

        You’re right that this matter should have first been handled by Caner’s local church. He should have been disciplined by them, excommunicated if he didn’t repent. But church discipline has pretty much disappeared. And, anyway, that doesn’t mean we have to pretend that we don’t know what Caner said.

    • says

      That’s part of the problem. By dealing with the issue in the abstract you can pretend you have a legitimate point: that we’re supposed to ignore public sins involving whole institutions.

      The matters of fact matter. Please refrain from trying to suppress them.

  2. Dale Pugh says

    Then there is the group (among whom I am one) who have no opinion because we haven’t paid attention to Caner, Georgia Baptist politics, or Brewton-Parker College (sorry, CB).
    I’ve only heard snippets of Caner’s story. If he is, in fact, a liar, then Brewton-Parker is in for a rough go. But political affiliation and pandering usually has a way of silencing ethical and moral concerns, even within the church and its institutions.
    Should he or any other liar be confronted publicly? I agree with your assessment. My problem is with those who have both relationship and authority in such situations and yet seem to ignore the opportunity to set a higher standard for themselves, Christian institutions, and the church at large.

  3. says

    Dave,

    Two things strike me about this post.

    One, this would NEVER fly outside of *southern* Southern Baptist life. Outside of this “polite” circle, matters of frequent and public fraud are treated publicly and swiftly. Not in a “tit-for-tat” kind of way. But in the kind of way that prevents others from perpetuating these kinds of things. i.e. “Hey! I can steal money/lie/etc. and blame it on Calvinism and get away with it!” Sometimes I wonder if the secular world has a better sense of integrity than southern Southern Baptists…

    Second, Paul publicly addressed matters related to integrity anytime he named names in his frequently circulated letters! Not that this alone gives us warrant for doing likewise (Paul’s actions, per se, are not necessarily prescriptive), but it does certainly demonstrate that for the Apostle public rebuke is completely acceptable and often necessary. Considering that these letters were oft. intended to be circulated, I think we can confidently say that if blogs existed in Paul’s day, he’d definitely be blogging about it.

    Respectfully,

    Cody

  4. dr. james willingham says

    What is really said is the neglect of faithful Southern Baptists who went to the convention and voted before Caner was ever born, voting for the conservative position. One would think that carried some weight. All that matters, it would seem, is that one is in the “in group” and they will take care of their own. Tough luck, as the world says, if your not in the ‘in group.” C.S. Lewis had something to say about the desire to be in the inner circle that applies to this situation. What goes around comes around, and the folks who follow such agendas will wind up with egg on their faces one of these days. That is in this world. Out of it, orthodoxy and orthopraxy both have their place in the Judgment. Mr. Caner’s problem is that he equates the fatalism called Predestination of Islam with the Biblical Predestination of the Christian Faith. That is why he makes the really egregious errors that he made about the history of the Baptists in America. Just think of all those who are so sure that the Separate Baptists were not very Calvinistic and consider the fact that they were in correspondence with the Regular Baptists of the Philadelphia Assn., that Isaac Bachus wrote some of the strongest Sovereign Grace tracts, that the Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, organized in 1814 and having messengers at the Sandy Creek Assn. in 1816, had articles of faith that spoke of Christ dying for the church and not one word of His dying for the world and yet the first missionary of Southern Baptists to China, Matthew T. Yates came from that church. In fact, he was moderator at church business meetings in the 1820s. And the FBC of Charleston had Separate Baptist ministers for nearly 60 years who were Separate Baptists and noted for their stand on the Sovereign Grace issues. Really wish these folks and others would do some historical research. Plainly, they don’t. O yes, and on the internet one can find Silas Mercer, the father of Jesse, whose article on Election as an evangelistic doctrine, a circular of the Georgia Assn. is really quite good. Claims of knowledge are better than no research at all. Not.

  5. says

    And I realize you’ve addressed Paul’s letters above. But it seems that you haven’t considered that in 1st century AD this was perhaps one of the most public ways this could have been addressed.

  6. Steve Miller says

    “I have a kinship with (some) Georgia Baptists, but I am not part of them.” Not sure we’d want you. Oh, and I’ll see you at the family Christmas, Dave.

  7. Greg Harvey says

    1. I think your inset paragraph is surprisingly blunt. Let me just leave it at that.

    2. Southern Baptists have had since 1845 to establish church courts/tribunals that cross SB life. For lots of wise reasons, we reject that approach AND THEREFORE we accept the common, government-established justice system as our only final venue (on this earth) for SBs to resolve differences. The alternative is to do what we say that Muslims shouldn’t do and insist on church law and church-run tribunals. I realize some local congregations might have more formal methods for administering Matthew 18, but Southern Baptists as a whole have no such formal methods for resolving conflicts.

    3. Just because it isn’t my business, doesn’t mean I can’t ask for an accounting, especially from fellow believers that seem to at least skirting the edge of the playing field of COMMON ethics. And hiding behind Matthew 18 simply isn’t a response that is biblical.

    But do I really care? Nope. Got other things to do with my time.

  8. William Thornton says

    As a Georgia Baptist, I have an opinion on the matter. I tried to give it Tuesday but comments were slammed shut. I have mixed feelings. He was a controversial and somewhat risky choice by trustees. I presume that they feel that his star power will put the struggling school on more solid footing by attracting large numbers of enthusiastic, tuition paying students.

    Which brings me to your ‘none-of-my-bidness’ article. Since we operate on the celebrity system in baptist life, his increased profile among us is significant beyond Peach State borders.

    He is the college’s prez and for the sake of the school and present and future students, I wish him success. I trust that there will be no more bombastic and incendiary words. We need a loving, caring, humble, committed follower of Christ as a role model for them and as leader of the fine folks who give good service at the college.

    • JD Hall says

      “for the sake of the school and present and future students, I wish him success…”

      Good brother, for the good of soul, wish him repentance. For the good of Christ’s reputation, wish for the school a new president.

        • Christiane says

          I suppose we need to look at others with a great generosity of heart, as was modeled by Our Lord Himself, when He was among us.
          Remember, He desires from us a kindness towards one another.

          Looking at a person in a different light can do a lot of good. . . .
          can we find in them something we did not see at first,
          something of ‘goodness’ to celebrate for their sake (and for ours)?

          ‘You have to judge every person generously.
          Even if you have reason to think that person is completely wicked, it’s your job to look hard and seek out some bit of goodness, someplace in that person where he is not evil.
          When you find that bit of goodness,
          and judge that person that way,
          you really may (help to) raise him/her up to goodness.
          Treating people this way (may) allow them to be restored,
          to come to teshuvah (to turn towards the Lord).’
          (Reb Nachman of Bratzlav)

          Did Our Lord see something in people that no one else saw?
          Was He kind to them? Time and time again, the sacred Scriptures tell us of this.
          We need to understand this better, I think, for our sake and for those we tend to judge, so that we can live in imitation of Him.

          The key thing to remember is to do this with INTEGRITY.

          . . . and always with compassion for any person who has a great need of it in order to strengthen them to take those first steps towards reflection and repentance. When it tries, that is something the Body of Christ is good at doing for those within it in need of help.

        • says

          I think you are way overstating the extent to which people want Ergun to fall. What they want is the same thing that people want from Mark Driscoll- a sincere apology and an admission of fault.

          I have enjoyed Driscoll’s ministry for years, but the overwhelming evidence is that he is guilty of plagiarism. Whether it was intentional or the result of sloppy writing/editing is not pertinent. If your name is on it, you are responsible. He should admit he screwed up, the book(s) (since there is more than one instance) should be updated to give proper credit, and we should forgive him.

          Ergun should do the same because the evidence against him is mounting and has been doing so for years.

          I don’t want Ergun or Mark destroyed, but I do want them to be accountable- just like I would want to be accountable if I were in either situation.

          The problem, as I see it, is that both men are beholden to rabid fan bases who seek to defend them and make it almost impossible to recant. How strange of a day have we arrived at when pastors have “fan bases” and as a result refuse to confess and repent of sin, while they call upon their churches to do that very thing every Sunday.

          Strange and sad day.

          • says

            Where does the arrogance come from, from those who have nothing to do with Caner and decide that it is their place to hold someone else accountable for actions that do not directly affect them? People need to get over their selves. I am sure everyone has enough to deal with just managing their own lives without trying to manage someone else.

            It is not your business and not your place. And insisting so only further hurts the gospel. There is nothing productive in any of this.

          • Tarheel says

            I’ll also note that I too think Driscoll has a lot to show cntrition and repent for…the plagerism is one of them. I also think he should apologize to Johnny Mac and the security team at the strange fire conference, as his stunt there was nothing more than a troublemaking attention grabbing sideshow. He went there intentionally to provoke a confrontation and then tried to play the victim when called on it…

            Seems Driscoll and Caner have lots in common.

            Unrepentant (thus far anyway) lying, deception, fraud like behavior and then victim playing when attempts at accountability are called for.

          • says

            You’re right about Caner. I have no personal animosity toward him at all. Indeed, the issue is much larger than just him: that a man can lie his way into the presidency of a Baptist college.

            The Driscoll and Caner situations are not analogous. See my article on the Alpha and Omega site (originally posted at The Christian Post but apparently suppressed by a Caner ally): http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php/2014/01/02/mark-driscoll-ergun-caner-and-the-scandal-of-evangelical-integrity/

          • Tarheel says

            I have no personal animosity toward either Caner or Driscoll…

            I do think they’re at least a bit analogous in that they’re both (with good evidence) accused of lying and making money off the lies.

            Plagerism is lying just as much as Caner lied. I did not know about the apology….I assume future printings will include proper crediting?

            Ghostwriting is a different matter, and I think one of preference….however, as you pointed out Piper makes some really convincing arguments against the practice, and convinced me that it is, at minimum, deceitful.

            I’ll point out, Mr. Carpenter that Piper gave his thoughts on ghost writing months before the Driscoll scandal broke. It just got more play after it.

          • says

            Hi Tarheel,

            Except that there is no good evidence that Driscoll lied. Please see my article linked above. Plagiarism is lying if it is intentional. Two brief paragraphs were in Driscoll’s study guide on 1 Peter were obviously copied from a series edited by D. A. Carson. Is that wrong? Yes. It is a moral wrong? Only if it was intentional. Otherwise it is a mistake. And an editorial mistake is a far cry from a series of overt lies, told openly, over years, to gain significant positions of Christian leadership. I don’t believe the situations are analogous at all.

            Thanks for informing me about Piper. I didn’t know that.

  9. says

    Dave, like I said on Facebook, I still think the equation changes greatly if we see our job not as to “rebuke” Caner, but to publicize the problems so that a full picture of his character is known.

    I also wonder how this applies to the current situation with Driscoll. I’m someone who thinks (given some time), Driscoll needs to openly talk about what’s happened, apologize, set out steps to make sure doesn’t happen again, etc… And even though I’m not a part or affiliated with Acts29 or Mars Hill (though I am a fan of both in many ways), I think it is a good thing at some point, if Driscoll hasn’t addressed it yet, to publicly voice the need for apology and repentance.

    Do you think there’s a correlation in the two situations or are they too different to apply?

  10. says

    Well, at least you gotta love a post that offends everybody! I love it, Dave!!

    Thankfully, I live in Tennessee and not Georgia. Unfortunately, I don’t believe Ergun Caner will be satisfied with simply staying in state. It’s not clear to me that he’s been humbled. In fact, with these recent developments, I suspect he’s been emboldened. I firmly believe he’ll be divisive in the entire SBC and will sooner than later pick up his mantle of “intellectual pit bull of the evangelical world,” even biting those in his own SBC tent. Watch your throats!

  11. Dave Miller says

    Sorry, I’m going to be out of touch for an hour or two. Hope to get done with all that pastoring stuff so I can get back to what really matters – blogging!

  12. says

    Dave,

    I think you have put your finger on a very important and tricky issue here. I read an article the other day that made the statement: “Never discipline someone you have not previously discipled.” Though I think that statement may come across, in the way it is worded, as a bit extreme, I think there is an important kernel of truth in it as well.

    The exceptions (as you have pointed out here) have to do, as I understand it, with those in leadership positions. The Bible seems to single them out as especially accountable for their actions and doctrine (1 Tim. 5:19–20). Our typical Baptist system of autonomous churches and senior pastors tends to make rebuking elders a bit unwieldy, though. It seems to me that in the NT church there was a college of elders in the city church who mutually held each other accountable.

    One of the particular problems with the Caner case is the damage that it does to gospel testimony in general to non-Christians, and especially to Muslims. Yet, by the same token, whenever we openly fight and feud with each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, that damages our testimony as well.

    The question is not easy to solve, and I haven’t come to a definite conclusion yet myself. I am wondering if the example of Paul in Philippians 1:15–18, and his seeming lack of concern to directly confront those who were preaching Christ of envy and strife, not sincerely, seeking to add affliction to his bonds, has anything to do with how we should deal with cases like this.

    It is cases like this that sometimes make us wish we had a magisterium or a presbytery or some mechanism for adjudicating questions like this. But if the magisterium or presbytery goes awry, and even corrupt, there must be recourse to some type of principled dissent–and that brings us back again to the roots of Baptist ecclesiology, as I understand it.

  13. Chris Roberts says

    The biblical mandate to publicly rebuke sinners rightly extends to that sinner’s sphere of influence. Caner is not a local voice, despite his local position. Thus public rebuke is not limited to his local church.

    If he stayed home, spoke only in his church, wrote only for his college, etc, etc then it would be a limited issue. The reason no one is calling for public rebuke of Joe Blow in Podunk, Conn is because Joe Blow and his sins remains local. If those sins become public, systemic, and distributed, a more pronounced and public response is warranted.

    In Caner’s case, here’s someone championed by a particular segment of the SBC, someone who has been a public voice in several venues over the years, and someone who remains in unrepentant sin. There is more than ample biblical warrant for warning people about folks like him and in calling for his repentance.

      • Chris Roberts says

        Mike,

        Paul’s own example should suffice. In his letters he included warnings about specific individuals who might cross the path of his readers.

        • Dave Miller says

          One of my points had to do with authority. Paul had apostolic authority. I don’t. Neither do you.

          • Chris Roberts says

            What textual support do you have to claim that only those with apostolic authority can publicly call out dangers to the church?

          • Dave Miller says

            If you need support for Paul’s apostolic authority, I’d suggest reading 2 Corinthians.

          • says

            If you need support for the idea of confronting sin, I’d suggest reading Matthew 18:16ff.
            If you need support for confronting public sin of people who claim to be leaders of God’s people, I’d suggest you read Isaiah – Malachi, and Matthew 23.

            Besides, you’ve produced no scripture that commands us to say the public sin of a Christian leader, committed to gain leadership and in the pulpit, is something we are to ignore if we aren’t personally near to the perpetrator. You’ve argued from silence and for irresponsibility.

          • Dave Miller says

            Everything Paul did was under the auspice of his apostolic authority. Can you demonstrate that those of one church in one city were regularly rebuking those from other churches in other cities?

            Paul had relationship with AND authority over those whom he rebuked, or to whom he rebuked.

        • says

          Wasn’t it more that Paul publicly rebuked false teachers that would come into contact with them? I don’t know that it was just “sinners” that he publicly rebuked. I don’t remember any instances of him even rebuking people that are preaching with wrong hearts/motives or anything like that. In fact it almost seems the opposite (Philippians 1)

    • Dave Miller says

      Please confine yourselves to the discussion of the topic. Defending Caner or denigrating him are NOT part of this.

    • says

      You’re point is right and important. Caner’s sins are public. Indeed, they are so public they are now used by Muslims as examples of “Christian deception”. To not speak up against them is to help cover them up.

  14. SVMuschany says

    Having personally come out of an environment where I surrounded myself with people advocating the Prosperity Gospel, I always shutter when people bring up Matthew 18:15. One of the reasons why the Prosperity Gospel has so pervasively corrupted the “universal” church, is because the average person in the pews are not aware of the heresies that are presented in that demonic filth. They are not aware because true Christians are not doing enough to spread the word. I bet most people reading this forum have never heard of Todd Bentley before. Yet if you want to look back to what he was doing in 2008, you will see what I mean by “demonic” masquerading as Christianity.

    Now this is not to say that Dr. Caner is anywhere close to the level of Todd Bentley. Far from it. However, as Christians, we DO have the duty and obligation to expose those who knowingly and openly commit errors. Dr. Caner’s errors were public. Confronting those errors ALSO needs to be public. I have a strong distrust of people who hide behind “privacy” and “anonymity”. Public errors, especially those that are frequently committed over and over again, need to be openly exposed.

    Peter was teaching some serious errors in public. We have no knowledge of whether Paul went to Peter first in private. We do know that he took his issue with Peter public. We need to be careful applying the Peter/Paul situation to ourselves. But we also need to be careful not to be so passive against errors, especially when they are public in nature, that in our silence, we do as much harm as the person in error does themselves.

    • says

      You’re right. Good points.

      Miller’s argument — that we should regard issues of public sin that are not under our jurisdiction — is based on an argument from silence (that is, he can’t find any scripture that actually says that but reasons that whatever isn’t overtly called for in the Bible is prohibited) and is ironically self-contradictory: he’s rebuking us when we’re not under his jurisdiction (violating his own principle).

  15. Doug Hibbard says

    This, and a dozen other scandalous moments of similar basis though not as famous, reinforce the danger of our local autonomy. Somehow, some way, we need to deal with people who come into the ministry on a false narrative.

    In all honesty, I’ve talked to more search committees that dealt with resume fraud than I can count. But those frauds are in and out of pulpits all over the place. We need to squish those situations, sooner rather than later, and stop rewarding them the first time.

    And here is what I said privately to Dave about me reaching out to hit on a scandal at a distance:

    It will cost me absolutely nothing to pile on criticizing Brewton-Parker’s decision. I’m not in the GBC anymore, and we don’t have a vacancy at our 2 colleges in Arkansas. Dr. Caner’s friends don’t even know my friends, and my little church is blessed with the spiritual gift of severe stubbornness.

    It will cost me absolutely nothing to speak to that situation.

    But it will cost me to criticize a friend who let a search committee read “studied Master of Divinity at Mid-America Baptist Seminary” as if he had the degree. It would cost me to call out a pastor in my association for fraud (if I knew of any, which I don’t). It would cost me to engage in a dispute with a few great names in the Southern Baptist Convention hierarchy.

    And if I don’t have the courage, intestinal fortitude, G-U-T-S to do that, then I have no business getting involved in a dispute that won’t cost me a thing. Because I’ll hide from a responsibility to people I know by being busy fighting a dragon in Georgia that won’t eat them, and let a snake in Memphis sting someone I have a clear relational responsibility for.

    BPC has done something that, if it had happened with an ABSC school, I’d be burning up the lines with trustees and state Executive Board members to address. But when there are people who have sheltered abusers or who refuse to acknowledge problems right here, I’m busy.

    It’s not that it’s none of my business. It’s that I’m the linebacker on the weak side, assigned to blitz through the running back, and Caner’s a long pass down the sidelines. There’s a corner for that, and he’ll either handle it or answer for it. If I take a step off and the QB escapes, I’ll answer for it.

    There, sports analogy for you. From the book nerd.

  16. Christiane says

    WHEN a male is disgraced publicly (very publicly) and gets rehired twice by a denomination that removed an honest Hebrew teacher from her position at a seminary,
    we have to wonder just a bit at what IS valued more in the SBC?

    selling a lie everyone paid to hear ?
    or selling your own blood to pay your sick husband’s medical bills?

    When the proof is in the pudding, and the pudding is all over the Church’s face, what is there to be said? No words left.

    • Dave Miller says

      I’ve asked that people discuss the issue, not lob bombs and personal insults. Please follow the rules, Christiane.

      Your disdain and dislike for Southern Baptists is noted. But your ignorance of Southern Baptists is startling. Caner has NEVER been hired “by the denomination. ” He was hired by a college affiliated with the Georgia Convention.

      If you are going to m as keep such mean-spirited comments, please at least attempt to base them on facts.

  17. Dave Miller says

    The threading is ALREADY broken down. I think my cell phone is the culprit. It seems like when I comment from my phone, the threading gets all messed up.

  18. Bill Mac says

    When Bill Clinton was mired in his scandal, I watched every moment I could of the news, hearings, etc, even at work. It consumed me. I wanted him to fall and fall hard. But he didn’t. Despite everything, he won, and the seeming injustice of the situation choked me. Eventually I realized that I wasn’t doing Bill Clinton any harm but doing myself a great deal of harm. My attitude was tearing me up.

    My opinion of Caner is pretty well in line with Dave’s. But we have to move on. He was exposed and investigated. If (and I mean if) justice has not prevailed in his case, then God is the final judge. We can’t let this continue to eat us up.

    Besides, I think we can rely of our friend CB to knock some heads together at BP (in love, of course) if they need it, even those at the top.

    And we need to pray for BP and their success, no matter who they hire.

      • cb scott says

        Bill Mac,

        We do not have FOOTBALL . . . . yet. One problem is that the school colors are orange and blue. If I can get the colors converted to CRIMSON and WHITE, we may be able to field a team in the next couple of years.

  19. says

    Dave,

    Well said! While I do not believe the brunt of the accusations against Caner I do believe his behavior in going after others of which he disagrees is just as bad as the other accusations. As I have said none of this is our business. And, unfortunately I agree with the motivation behind those who insist on continually going after him. People should check themselves.

  20. says

    \\Rebuke in the NT is generally a product of authority.\\

    No, that is not true. Did Paul have authority over Peter? Or over Barnabas?

    Christians’ attempts to get Caner to repent are a product of our love in three ways:
    1) love for the truth, b/c he has deceived many and spun mountains of lies in public on a repeated basis
    2) love for Muslims, who look at Caner and figure they have no need to listen to any Christian
    3) love for Caner himself, who is DOING HIMSELF GREAT HARM. I personally think he is unregenerate, but even if he is indeed regenerate, he is still doing great harm to himself spiritually speaking. God is not pleased with him right now.
    If we love Caner, we will go to him to try to persuade him to repent. Repentance from sin is always the best thing we can do if we are sinning. We WANT him to be restored and walking in the truth! This is LOVING.

    \\But they were not issuing public proclamations about events a thousand miles away!\\

    This is wrong in four ways. First, Galatians:
    Galatians 2:But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. 5But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you. 6But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. 7But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised 8(for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), 9and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

    Second, ALL OF PAUL’S EPISTLES were addressed to people thousands or at least hundreds of miles away. And most of them contains some measure of rebuke.

    Third, Jesus rebuked 5 of 7 churches of Asia Minor in Revelation 2-3, and He is not physically present with them.

    Fourth, it doesn’t matter. They didn’t have e-communication back then. How precisely does distance matter?

    \\Do I have authority over Ergun Caner, or is he in authority over me? Nope. Not in the slightest.\\

    But do you love him enough? Do you love others enough?

    \\Therefore, I do not believe that a public rebuke of him is either my duty or my right.\\

    As if anyone thinks of it as a right. Please.
    Rather, it *is* a responsibility of those who love truth, Caner, and Muslims.

    \\I’ve not heard anyone accuse him of heterodoxy, only heteropraxy\\

    The “gospel” he preaches is flimsy at best. His preaching is shallow, full of crowd manipulation and histrionics, and mostly devoid of serious content.
    Even if that were true, we could say the same thing about the following:
    –an orthodox pastor like, say, RC Sproul, who molests children in his spare time but who has always preached deep, rich sermons that are totally in line with, say, the Westminster Confession.
    (NOTE THAT THIS IS ONLY AN EXAMPLE. I AM NOT SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT SPROUL.)
    That pastor should be disciplined (and imprisoned). And yet that is “only” an accusation of heteropraxy. The way we live matters a lot. Jesus and James thought that we show our faith by what we do.
    –the Confessing Church of Bonhoeffer’s day, who allowed the Holocaust to proceed without speaking out against it. Yet their doctrine was solid.
    Bonhoeffer rightly said: “We confess that, although our chuch is orthodox as far as her doctrine of grace is concerned, we are not longer sure that we are members of a church which follows its lord.”
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=605906569475361

    Finally,
    \\If Caner is what his critics believe he is, then God will deal with him.\\

    Ironically, the SBCVoices blogger expresses a hyper-Calvinist view here, much like “If God wants to save the heathen, He will do so without your help, young man.”
    God uses means. God is at work *already*. We are His hands and feet, and He is using us to call Ergun Caner to repent. His repentance would please God, and we want to please God, and we want Caner to please God.

    Refusing to participate in what God is doing here is tantamount to burying one’s head in the sand, and high-sounding words about how “this doesn’t concern me” are merely cover-ups for apathy.

    This author should also repent and bear fruit in keeping with repentance – retracting his article and calling Caner publicly to repent.

    • Dale Pugh says

      Read the post again–authority and relationship stand side-by-side in Dave’s post. Relationship lends authority. This authority is not an authority “over” anyone, but an authority “in” another’s life. That authority comes because I live out my concern and care for that person. I’m sure that Caner has such people in his life. The problem lies in the fact that none of them seem to be calling him to deal with these issues.
      Dave has nothing for which he needs to repent. Your indignation rings hollow.

      • says

        \\Your indignation rings hollow.\\

        It’s hardly indignation. I was just saying true things.
        And when you start talking about the “right to rebuke”, you’re not talking about relationship anymore. You’re only acknowledging part of the OP’s argument but not all of it.

        • Dave Miller says

          No, Paul had both authority over the Galatians and a deep relationship with them.

          Many of those who attack Caner (whether the facts justify it or not) would seem to be coming from a very different place, to say the least.

          No matter how much paint you slap on a cowpie, it’s still a cowpie. Calling it “love” doesn’t make it love.

          • says

            The point is that the *stridency* is not the issue, which is how you’d framed it.
            In fact, if I *hated* Caner, I would say nothing so that he would remain in his sin. And that would be great! B/c I hate him, right?

            I love him enough to use my valuable time to try to call him to repentance. Of course I don’t know him. All other avenues of approach to him have failed. I want to do my part. I want to see him restored to good fellowship (or saved)!

          • Dave Miller says

            Uh…yeah…right.

            Look, if love for a brother was your motive, then would you not seek an effective method? Who has ever been changed by bombs lobbed from a distance by an anonymous person?

          • says

            “Effectiveness” is a human, and useless, measure.
            What matters is living like Jesus and doing what He thinks is right.
            I’m not anonymous. These are not bombs. I am reminding people that Caner is a documented liar. That is indisputable. What matters now is what people do with that fact, but when people do sinful things with that fact, then I want to help them to see it (so they can escape) and others to see it (so they can avoid making the same mistakes you’re making).

          • Dave Miller says

            Since you hide your identity, I checked out your website, still have no idea who you are or anything. If there is a factsheet I didn’t see, I’d love to look it over.

            But here’s the thing: you seem to see yourself as God’s chosen agent to straighten out the world. You glory in getting blocked at other sites and you seem to have a VERY high opinion of your own views and arguments.

            But are they EVER effective? Do the Caner-types you confront ever repent? Do lives change? Do hearts melt? Do atheists see the light?

            Is your bluster about changing hearts?

            You claim that love for Caner is your motive, but if it is, then you would work for the spiritual blessing of the man. Anonymous bombs do not accomplish that work. They are ineffective.

            That ain’t love, sir (or madam).

          • says

            All of a sudden, this is all about me. I’m unsurprised but it should be pointed out that the problem here is Caner and his lies, and men like you covering it up or not caring about it. Nevertheless, I will entertain your questions for a while.

            \\I checked out your website, still have no idea who you are or anything.\\

            Understood, and no offense, but that’s none of my concern.

            \\you seem to see yourself as God’s chosen agent to straighten out the world\\

            No, not really. Just a man and abolitionist who loves truth, and Muslims, and the church, and Caner, enough to say true things even when it’s unpleasant.

            \\You glory in getting blocked at other sites\\

            No, not really. I call attention to that so as to point out their inability to discuss things rationally.

            \\you seem to have a VERY high opinion of your own views and arguments\\

            Because I think I’m right in this case? I don’t see how that follows. You think you’re right, don’t you? Wouldn’t that make you open to the same criticism?

            \\But are they EVER effective? Do the Caner-types you confront ever repent?\\

            I’ve never seen anything on the level of Caner’s lies, so I’m in no position to reply.

            \\Do hearts melt? Do atheists see the light?\\

            I’m not in the Holy Spirit’s place. Remember how Paul planted, Apollos watered, and others saw the growth?

            \\Is your bluster about changing hearts?\\

            I’m not blustering, and yes, it is about changing hearts.

            \\You claim that love for Caner is your motive, but if it is, then you would work for the spiritual blessing of the man\\

            Yep, and that has to begin with his repentance.

            \\Anonymous bombs do not accomplish that work. They are ineffective.\\

            Again, I’m not anonymous, they are not bombs, you have no idea whether they accomplish that work, plenty of other avenues have been tried, and you don’t know whether they’re ineffective.
            The only thing you DO know is that you don’t like my way of doing things, but you haven’t given a reason why that should influence anyone else.

          • Dave Miller says

            You are not anonymous? Great.

            Who are you, where do you come from? Tell me something about yourself.

          • says

            More about me.
            Do you know what the difference is between anonymity and thinly-veiled pseudonymity?

            Anyway, if you want to get to know me, feel free to email me or something. This thread is not about me.

          • says

            I’m unsurprised but it should be pointed out that the problem here is

            Where did you *ever* get the idea that there can only be one problem? It’s not at all uncommon for there to be problems on all sides of an argument.

          • says

            When you come on here anonymously and calling on me to repent for how I interpret scripture, I guess I wonder who you are and what gives you the authority to set yourself up with such apostolic authority.

            So, I went to your site to figure out who this guy (or girl) is. Nothing there but a lot of blasting of others and self-important posts.

            So, I guess I’m just wondering who you are.

          • says

            You, sir or madam, have every right to hide your identity.

            But I am less likely to pay attention to what you say if you won’t even tell me your name.

            So, I guess I am through with this conversation.

            God bless you, sir or madam.

          • John Wylie says

            Dave,

            It’s your blog brother, but quite frankly I would not put up with this sort of nonsense. I would delete his/her comments if they refused to identify themselves. Just sayin.

          • says

            \\I guess I wonder who you are\\

            That’s fine. You’re certainly entitled to wonder.

            \\what gives you the authority to set yourself up with such apostolic authority\\

            You’re expressing a false notion. Neither of us have any authority over the other. What matters is WHETHER WE ARE IN THE RIGHT. Jesus has authority over everyone.
            So, whoever is in the wrong in a given situation ought to repent b/c he violated the Word of God. Has nothing to do with authority.

            \\Nothing there but a lot of blasting of others and self-important posts.\\

            I entirely disagree with that characterisation of my blog, but you’re entitled to your opinion. I think you’re just loathe to criticise anyone, as evidenced by the fact that you can’t bring yourself to call even a man like Caner to repent in the face of huge mountains of evidence that he is an unrepentant liar.

            \\done talking to you\\

            That’s fine. I appreciate you hosting the discussion. I of course hold no animosity toward you despite your making this whole discussion about me. I hope you will grow in your discernment and fairness.

          • volfan007 says

            Awww, Dave, you know you can’t get rid of me. C’mon, Dude… you and I are cut from the same cloth. We’re like 2 big, Teddy Bears on a similar journey in life. And, if you weren’t a Yankee, we could be better friends.

            Besides, you KNOW who I am!!!

            David

      • says

        Who’s rebuking Caner? I’m told that many people have tried to approach Caner but for what I see on the internet, most are exposing him. That is, they are speaking to those who haven’t heard or for whatever reason don’t care, and informing them what Caner has done. I submit that if someone had so informed the trustees of Brewton-Parker, that would have been a very loving service.

        • volfan007 says

          BTW, with such concern over Dr. Ergun Caner, does you fake name stand for “Reformed Theology?” Is rhology short for reformed theology?

          Just wondering….and, if it is, are you also this concerned about Mark Driscoll?

          David

  21. says

    \\Caner has NEVER been hired “by the denomination. ” He was hired by a college affiliated with the Georgia Convention.\\

    I know. The problem is much bigger than just GA. Just look at how many people are defending him in SBC.

  22. says

    Dave,

    I have a brief question about this specific situation in regards to James White. He makes the point that he needs to keep talking about this to have any ground to stand on when debating and speaking with Muslims. They are aware of the man who lied about his background and who refuses to repent or even acknowledge the lie.

    In this situtation, where James’ ability to present the gospel to Muslims (even so far as being able to debate in a Mosque in a very Islamic area of Africa) is in danger, does the continued attempt to hide sin instead of repenting of it by Ergun Caner become James’ business? Or does he fall into one of the categories you mentioned above?

    This is an honest question and not an attack or debate. I am genuinely curious of your opinion based on your blog entry above.

    • says

      James white ability to share the gospel with Muslims is not in danger. Muslims will hate Caner only because he converted to Christianity. People make their excuses. None of the are legitimate.

    • Dave Miller says

      I’m not sure how Muslims are brought to the gospel by the continued hammering of Caner.

      If I was talking to a Muslim, and he brought up Caner, I would share my opinions. But I struggle to see how what is going on in social media helps the gospel process with Muslims.

      • says

        I would like to suggest that any Muslim who is familiar with Caner would at least not be able to plausibly charge me with hypocrisy, whereas y’all would be open to that charge.

  23. Debbie Kaufman says

    To those I have shown venom to over the years, I am sorry. I hope you can forgive me. What began as a sincere desire for the church to be pure , for Muslims to be treated as human beings first, and shown love as Joel Rainey has written about, became so much more and I am sorry. In it all I became corrupt with hate and vengeance. It consumed me. It wasn’t until I stepped back for 4 years and really, until Dave’s post on anger that I realized this.

    I found the best thing to do is what Dave has suggested. Pray. I think mostly for ourselves. God is God not me, not anyone else. I read some of the “discernment” blogs and see so much anger and hate that I used to think was justified, but see it going out of control. They write about every little thing that comes along, not all of it accurate. In the end Christ is again lost as our first love. I can’t hardly read these blogs anymore. I realize my writng was one. I ask forgiveness and reconciliation with those I labeled “enemy” instead of brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray that we become the people of Christ who love, not say we love with a sword, but truly love each other and above all are in love with Christ. When that happens, I believe sin takes a back seat and our desire for holiness(which, yes we are already holy in Christ) will return. I know it is beginning to me my desire. It has nothing to do with morals, but everything to do with love for those I disagree with and those of other religions who I now desire to come to Christ even more than I did before.

    • says

      Debbie, I can relate to your experience. I felt convicted to call out error (meaning serious theological error), and got drawn in by some of those “discernment” types as well. Like you, I stepped back and realized they were not in it with their right hearts, and seemed to have appointed themselves as God’s personal watchdogs.

      I agree with Dave’s post and his approach to this issue. Seeing the same “watchdogs” all over the Caner situation online once again, I am trying as well to mind my own business.

    • John Wylie says

      Wow Debbie,

      That is a very hard statement for anyone to have to make. It takes a big person to make it. I need to follow that example. God bless you.

      • Doug Hibbard says

        As much as I have learned about being grieved and agitated on behalf of others from you, Debbie, I hope to learn and practice grace from your example as well.

        Be careful in the rest of the sleet/snow in Ok. None of it got this far into Ar, so it must have stayed on you all.

    • cb scott says

      “I ask forgiveness and reconciliation with those I labeled “enemy” instead of brothers and sisters in Christ.”

      Debbie Kaufman,

      It is a done deal. We are reconciled.

      I ask you and all who frequent SBC Voices to pray for BPC students, faculty, staff, administration, and our newly elected president that we may be obedient to the mandate of the Great Commission, educate our students in accord with a biblical worldview and send them from us to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God, the Father in all they endeavor to do.

      In Christ Free,
      cb

      Dr. C B Scott
      Dean of Academic Support
      Student Retention Team Leader
      Faculty Member – Christian Studies Division
      Interim Vice-President of Student Services
      Brewton-Parker College

      Folks, this is the one and only time I have ever put my educational degree or vocational titles in print on a blog post or thread. Be assured, it will be the only time I ever do so. Frankly, I would rather be known among you all as a rabid Alabama football fan. However, as I read Debbie Kaufman’s comment, the desire to have peace with her overcomes me, so I want her to know I am serious in what I am saying.

      Debbie, may there be peace between us from this day forward. I pray God grants us both the sufficiency of His grace that it may be so.

        • Debbie Kaufman says

          Debbie, may there be peace between us from this day forward. I pray God grants us both the sufficiency of His grace that it may be so.

          Amen.

        • Dwight McKissic says

          Debbie & CB,

          Wow!!!! Christmas is here. Miracles still happen!!! I longed for this day. May God seal it with His spirit. My love, respect, and appreciation for the two of you is so great.

          Now, please allow me this light moment.

          If David, aka Volfan will now apologize to me for always calling me fat & using Robin’s Foster’s name in vain, this miracle will be complete. -:).????.

  24. says

    And….

    The threading has broken down.

    Folks, for clarity’s sake, if you are replying to a specific comment, name it and date it (you can copy and paste), as in:

    In response to Dave Miller at December 5, 2013 at 8:17 pm,

    I will not stay on-topic and will instead comment on the comment threading.

    Now, you can see what I am responding to.

    We do not know why this happens. Just that it does. Have a blessed St. Nicholas Day, everyone, and go punch a heretical bishop*, because that’s what Santa would do.

    *Just kidding. Not liable for your imprisonment.

      • Dave Miller says

        Again, I find the threading works when I comment from my computer, but not from my phone. Not sure why (Doug).

        And Mike, I’m sorry to see Cano go, but I’m glad the Yankees avoided giving a 10 year, 240 contract to someone who is 31. Not a single one of those contracts (except, perhaps, A-Rod’s first one – before they cracked down on steroids) has panned out.

        Grandy I liked too, but replacing is strikeouts in key situations will not be that difficult. Ellsbury is likely a huge upgrade.

    • Dale Pugh says

      And yet, truthunites, he states:
      “As low an opinion as I have recently had over the denomination [the SBC] to which I recently belonged, I have found I was still too bullish on it.”
      The old “If you can’t beat ‘em, leave ‘em” approach. Fine. No skin off of our noses.
      Add to that this little gem:
      “Second, this article from “SBC Voices” [With a link to this current post and its comments]. Of course, that website also hosts writings by unrepentant homosexuals who hop churches to escape discipline so why does this surprise me?” [I’m not really sure what you’re trying to achieve there. There are way more Calvinists posting here than unrepentant church hopping homosexuals, so what does that say about them? Guilt by association?]
      So, rhology, why even bother over here? You made your case over on your own blog. You’re simply repeating yourself here.

      • Dave Miller says

        By the way, the part about the homosexual was a bald-faced lie. We used to have a contributor who was a fully repentant homosexual who wrote about the struggles he had. I wish he was still writing for us.

        That part was just a flat out falsehood.

        • Doug Hibbard says

          I wish he was, too. There was wisdom and help in what he wrote about and how he said it.

      • says

        \\The old “If you can’t beat ‘em, leave ‘em” approach. Fine. No skin off of our noses.\\

        Which attitude only bolsters my conviction that SBC is deep in spiritual problems.

        \\There are way more Calvinists posting here than unrepentant church hopping homosexuals\\

        But there is one of the latter, and that’s a serious problem.

        \\why even bother over here?\\

        I am aiming to help some to see the truth, by God’s grace. If I wasn’t able to reach you, that’s OK. You seem hardened in your conscience. There are many lurkers to reach.

        • John Wylie says

          Look Dave,
          Please just delete this guy’s comments. You have every right. He is obviously just enjoying being an antagonist.

          • says

            Sheesh, John. I recognise I’m a guest here. If one of the admins asks me to stop commenting, I will. No need for the ban hammer.

          • John Wylie says

            Yes there is because you are just being a troll. That homosexual nonsense was beyond inappropriate. Dave has the patience of Job to put up with your blatant sarcasm and disrespect. Dave deserves better treatment than what you have been displaying. You would do well to remember that you are a guest.

        • Dale Pugh says

          Actually, rhology, there’s nothing wrong with my attitude. You want out of the SBC, then go, and be blessed as you go. You aren’t the first to whom I’ve bidden farewell, and you won’t be the last. You know nothing of me and my attitude, so don’t be so quick to judge. Your attempt to “enlighten” does fall on a deaf ear with me, that much is true. Am I “hardened”? Not at all, but I don’t expect you to see any truth beyond the end of your own nose. May the lurkers be wary.

          • Tarheel says

            I would defend Mr. Miller, but I fear it’s none of my business. ;-)

            Seriously, I know nothing of the “homosexual” charges levied here, but I highly doubt it’s true. I’ve also found Mr. Miller to be quite reasonably impartial and very fair in his moderation of this blog. That can’t be an easy task given that the vast majority of us who blog or post on blogs like this one do so because we not only tend to think we’re right 99.78% of the time, but we also think that we have a perspective that others need (and want) to hear. Plus, many of us are pastors…so taming this type of crowd has got to be, how do I say it, difficult.

            Despite the fact we have had a disagreement or two, I’d like to defend you, David Miller but again, it’s none of my business. ;-)

            (I’m attempting humor with the none of my business comments.)

          • Dale Pugh says

            Tarheel, you can go back and read Thom Hunter’s (I believe I remember the name correctly) posts for yourself. That’s who rhology is talking about.

          • cb scott says

            If Thom Hunter is who rhology is writing about in this thread, I make the following personal observation, not looking for any agreement from anyone and caring not one whit as to anyone’s disagreement:

            Thom Hunter came here and wrote under his own name. He shared things that only a born-again, true grit man who has been down some hard roads would write for all the world to read. He wrote with grace and dignity and an honesty that is rare among men. I have nothing but respect for such a bold man as is Thom Hunter.

            On the other hand, rhology writes here under the cover of an anonymous personality. He does not take true ownership of his words.

            According to the credos by which I live and am willing to die and meet God by, guess between the two of whom I would consider to be the real man’s man?

            Yeah, you are right. It is Thom Hunter, hands down in my book. And I will just let the devil take the hindmost parts with the rest of it.

  25. Charles says

    Sir, some thoughts on Paul and inter-church communication and the naming of names.

    1) It is intriguing that a lot of content in 1 and 2 Corinthians deals with a very depraved form of sin, without giving the name (which clearly must have been well known to his readers!). Paul writes with great anguish and also with great tenderness, speaks of his role in the matter and rejoices in the repentance of the man and of the whole congregation.

    2) It also seems clear, imo, that Paul asserted the claim that his writings were Scripture (as did Peter); and that he expected, in fact commanded that his letters be read in all the churches. And in his letters he does name liars and troublemakers and heretics. Therefore there is a powerful precedent for circulating the names of known enemies of the church and of the truth of the Gospel. The question becomes, what is the threshold?

    3) Glad you admit you are not an apostle; not everyone today shuns that title. However, the true church has apostolic authority if the pastors and elders and members are under the authority of the word. So the denunciation of heretics who project themselves widely both outside and inside the church, appears imo to be an apostolic and a necessary practice. There is no room for the modern, big-tent, nicer-than-Jesus way. That is corrupt. The letters of John, esp 2/3 John, are very helpful in this regard.

    4) If you are a shepherd, don’t you recognize that the wolf comes to KILL? Thankfully we can not see into one anothers’ hearts; but there is a standard of behaviour which denies the gospel and such a man is to be denied the benefits of christian fellowship. “With such a one do not even eat.”

    5) It strikes me that according to your own brief statement above that for the time being this man ought not to be called “pastor”, whatever he calls himself. Does this not degrade the value of your own name and ministry?

    respectfully,

  26. volfan007 says

    This one is for CB….I’m ashamed to put it on here, and I hate to add to CB’s pain, but this was just too good to not post. So, CB, please forgive me in advance…..

    ‘Twas the night after Auburn and all through the land, not a “Roll Tide” was uttered by a Crimson Tide fan. They used to be boisterous, they used to be loud, they used to be boastful, and cocky and proud. But they lost all their swagger, they lost all their swing. For one little second had changed everything.

    The score it was even. The clock had run dry. When Nicholas Saban then started to cry. He demanded a second be put on the clock. The worse that could happen? A miss or a block. But fate it is fickle, and greed has a price, and what happened next just wasn’t too nice. The previous kicks, wide left and wide right. So he put in a rookie, ’twas not very bright.

    The kick was a boomer of 56 yards, but the extra yard needed was not in the cards. And back in the end zone a lone Tiger stood. He caught that ol’ football, he caught it real good. He started to run, he heard the cheers grow. The Crimson Tide offense? Too fat and too slow. One hundred and nine, he ran for a score. If needed, he could have run one hundred more.

    The crowd it erupted while storming the field. The Crimson Tide’s season was settled and sealed. A cry of “War Eagle” soon echoed the Plain. Nick Saban’s expression was one of pure pain.

    And up in Ohio they shouted “Go Bucks.” For it gave hope to all, well, except for the Ducks. And in Tuscaloosa you could hear a pin drop. And in Tallahassee a tomahawk chop. For the night after Auburn, the Tide has no clue. The new boss in town wears Orange and Blue!

    • Tarheel says

      BAWAHAHAHAHAHA…..did you write that yourself….I’d love to post it on facebook, but wanna give credit if ya wrote it!

      • Volfan007 says

        Tarhill, No, I didn’t write it. So, share away on FB. I don’t know who wrote it.

        David

          • volfan007 says

            CB,

            lol…are you watching this SEC title game? Sweet sassy molasses, where’s the defenses? The SEC is usually known for great defense, but both of the Tigers are just going up and down the field like a coon dawg chasing a coon.

            David

    • cb scott says

      Vol,

      I hope the Bluetick Hound runs out in front of a Mack truck loaded slap full with chickens headed up I-59 from an Alabama poultry farm and all y’all can find left of ‘im is a dew-claw for the funeral.

      You degenerate heathen, you. How can a man of the clothe think up such a blasphemy and put it in print for all the FOOTBALL UNIVERSE to see? Do you not realize that most all true FOOTBALL Fans in the FOOTBALL UNIVERSE are in mourning, misery, and despair?

      I hope you realize that some FOOTBALL NATION from a Lesser Conference than the SEC might now become a false National Champion due to our misfortune of all of our kickers getting turf-toe of the “lefter side” on the same day!

      For shame, for shame. . . . and you a card carrying member of the SEC. The wonders of darkness never cease to amaze me.

      • Volfan007 says

        I know CB. I hung my head as I hit post. And, please believe me when I say that I am pulling for Sparty tomorrow, because a Buckeye loss will probably put the SEC winner back in the NC…..and rightfully so.

        David. :)

        • Doug Hibbard says

          Today, I root for Blue Devils, Spartans, and Tigers.

          Then I crawl into a hole and wait for next year.

          • cb scott says

            Doug Hibbard,

            I agree with every letter and word you have written in your comment with one minor difference.

            I have already crawled into a hole, waiting for next year. I crawled in just after a 109 yard unhindered touchdown run last Saturday evening, 11-30-2013, a day that shall live in infamy.

          • Doug Hibbard says

            If I had a second, I’d help you out of that hole.

            I’ve been in a hole since ULM came to Little Rock last year.

          • Doug Hibbard says

            It would have been the Ouachita Tigers, but the Heart of Texas Bowl was canceled due to ice.

    • Dale Pugh says

      Yeah, the Ducks kind of just imploded on themselves and I’m deeply depressed about it. So depressed that I’m almost certain that the Ducks will end up in the Alamo Bowl. However, even though I’m depressed about that, I’ll be looking for tickets to the game if they end up that close to me! Wooha! Goooooo Ducks!!!!

  27. cb scott says

    I would like to post a reminder here, realizing that it is now politically correct among many Evangelicals today, sadly even among Southern Baptists, to play down American patriotism. Well, the devil can take the hindmost parts with that also, in my not so humble opinion.

    Today is Pearl Harbor Day. A day when the nation of Japan attacked the United States. For which we did smite them hip and thigh and I am glad we did.

    Remember Pearl Harbor.

    May America stand ’til Jesus comes. May God bless all of our men and women who serve in our conventional Armed Forces and for those who protect this country in hard places as SOFs. May God bring all of our sons and daughters home soon who stand watch with their lives in harm’s way in bad places around the globe.

    God bless the United States of America and may Old Glory wave ’til Jesus, Himself stops the need for all flags of all nations.

    • cb scott says

      That should be “politically incorrect” rather than “politically correct” in the first sentence of my comment, although, I think it would be a wonderful thing if it were actually “politically correct” once again. Amen and Amen!

      • says

        I think you stated yourself correctly the first time. You said it is ‘politically correct’…’to play down America patriotism’. You consider playing down American patriotism wrong, and object that is is considered ‘politically correct’ to do so, right?

        Just thought I’d take a second to clarify that.

        Now back to experiments on rolling cleaning agents (Tide still seems remarkably behind).

        • cb scott says

          Ben Coleman,

          Thank you for correcting my incorrect correction about that which is politically correct.

          You are a scholar and a gentleman . . . except when it comes to the CRIMSON TIDE. At that point, you become a heathen like Dave Miller and David Worley who write bad poetry about great FOOTBALL NATIONS.

          • volfan007 says

            CB,

            I really thought you’d get a “kick” out of that little poem! If you’d take just a “second” to look it over real good, I think you’d see the genius of it.

            David :)

    • Dale Pugh says

      I watched a very good show on Pearl Harbor this morning on the History Channel. My dad, a WW 2 Marine vet, called while I was watching. At 90 years old his memory is a little fuzzy, but when I mentioned Pearl Harbor he immediately gained clarity of thought and heart.
      He landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941. He was 17 years old and never saw another Christmas at home until he was 22. He was at Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, and Bougainville to name a few key battles. I applaud him and his generation for their bravery and unity in fighting the enemies of freedom. I express my gratitude to every person who has served our nation and the cause of freedom. I proudly stand as an American Christian patriot and the son of an unsung hero.
      I agree with you CB, and would gladly stand beside you to salute our flag and sing our National Anthem–even if it meant having to do so at an Alabama game.

      • cb scott says

        Duckman Dale,

        Next time you speak with your father, tell him for me, thank you, if you don’t mind doing so. His story is similar to a man of whom I owe my life.

        • volfan007 says

          Tell him that the Worley family of TN thanks him, as well. We appreciate his service.

          David

    • cb scott says

      Yeah, I know. I watched it.

      All I can say is this; The state of Alabama excels beyond any other state in the union in three major elements of Americana:

      1). Baptist churches

      2). B-B-Q

      3). FOOTBALL

        • cb scott says

          Tarheel,

          I can understand how you, being a Tarheel, would feel that way. We don’t put petroleum products in ours as you guys do. It would be a foreign taste to anybody from North Carolina.

          I heard the EPA was about to shut down all the B-B-Q joints in NC because of cruelty to hogs and chickens because y’all drench ‘em in diesel fuel before y’all cook ‘em.

        • Adam G. in NC says

          Like I’ve said before…we use white garbage bags so folk’ll know where to put the white bbq sauce.

          Only a mixed-up alabaman would put mayonnaise on their pork. I guess it’s to cover up the horrible meat.

    • Les Prouty says

      CB,

      :). The Auburn Tigers will try to keep the trophy in the state of Alabama where it belongs.

      • Mark Mitchell says

        Can’t happen. As I am from Ocala Fla originally I am an SEC fan. But if Auburn goes up against FSU they will get their heads handed to them. They have no passing game and their running game was effective against that weak Missouri Defense but that will not happen with FSU. They might as well stay home.

        • William Thornton says

          Well, there you have it. Cancel the game…no, wait. Missouri and Auburn were repeatedly picked to fold. They didn’t. FSU played a weak schedule (they did do well against Clemson on the road, their best game), but is to be congratulated for beating that regular football powerhouse Duke to get to the big game.

          Maybe we should just play the game.

          I’d jump Alabama back up over auburn. I think they are a better team. Auburn is a bunch of thugs and dirty players.

          • cb scott says

            “I’d jump Alabama back up over auburn. I think they are a better team. Auburn is a bunch of thugs and dirty players.”

            William Thornton is a man after my own heart.

            ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!

          • Les Prouty says

            William, you were doing well there. For a bit. Mark above has obviously bought into what the experts have been saying all season. Auburn can’t win. Too one dimensional. No defnse. Blah blah blah. Hmmm. 300 yards rushing on arguably the best rushing D in all of football. The Tide. Then 2nd best D in the SEC. 550 rushing yds. Yep. One dimensional. Oh and a few nifty passes too. Auburn beats down the opposing defenses physically and in their heads. Happened again last night.

            So yeah, let’s let them play. All the “know it alls” will say Auburn doesn’t have a chance. We’re getting used to that. And then we just go out and defy all those experts.

            But then you went off the rails. Jump Bama back over the team that beat them on the field? Ha ha. And thugs and dirty players? Man. Jealousy in sports really brings out bizarre comments.

            War Eagle!

          • cb scott says

            It is highly possible, extremely, monumentally possible that the AUBURN NATION will be the next National Champions.

          • says

            I’m from Alabama too and understand the football obsession. I love football. Roll Tide!

            And I’m deeply offended that in the wake of a Baptist college electing a proven liar as it’s president we care so little that the comments slide into football. Do we really understand the gravity of what Brewton-Parker did and that it’s not just a problem with them but indicative of a strand within conservative evangelicalism? Do we understand how near to apostasy this situation is? It shows a complete lack of regard for truth, which is next to saying it’s a complete lack of regard for Christ.

            We ought to be raising our voices over this loudly and incessantly until not just that Caner is exposed and removed but that there is real reformation that would prevent this travesty from happening again.

  28. Bennett Willis says

    EC defenders are few and far between in the threads I have seen around the net–and in this one for that matter.

  29. Aaron says

    I am a GA Baptist and I do not know what to do. How about we invite a panel from the outside to review the Caner situation. We could get a couple of Methodists and Presbyterians to look over all the videos and discussions and offer an opinion.

    • Bennett Willis says

      David Miller is (as best I can tell) quite accurate in his description of the problem (the inset paragraph in the posting here). The independent documentation is thinning out due to both age and EC’s efforts.

      If you look at this link: http://babyloniansquirrel.blogspot.com/, you will find a lot of good commentary. You can click on Ergun Caner in the topics addressed (right side of screen) to sort out the relevant postings.

      But the trustees have spoken. EC can tend to the college and folks will soon let him alone to do better. It is just when he gets out of his spot that you get all the commentary–but he does this often. The lawsuit against Smathers and Autry is a fine example of something that was better left alone, in my opinion.

      • says

        That’s about it.

        Short of persuading the GBC Executive Board to escrow Brewton-Parker’s CP allotment over this, until next year’s GBC Annual Meeting you’re going to be trying to persuade the same trustees to undo what they just did. Which seems unlikely, given that we’re all pretty resistant to outside people coming in and telling us what to do. Whether it’s in the BFM or not, that’s a Baptist distinctive.

    • says

      Aaron, actually, just as Bill Harrell did for SBTS and SEBTS in 2011, you can cut giving of up to two entities in the GBC. In order words, you can still give to the CP, but tell the GBC that none of your church’s money should go to Brewton-Parker.

      • William Thornton says

        I don’t think we are at the place where fragmenting Cooperative Program giving makes any sense, especially considering that it is a shrinking sum already.

        Here in Georgia about two cents on every church’s CP dollar goes to Brewton-Parker.

        • says

          William, you may be right on the two cents comment since, in 2012, Brewton-Parker only received $1.12 million from the GBC and $1.76 million from the GA Baptist foundation which equals about 20% of their net assets.

    • cb scott says

      “We could get a couple of Methodists and Presbyterians to look over all the videos and discussions and offer an opinion.”

      Aaron,

      To what purpose would you desire Methodists and Presbyterians to give an opinion to trustees of a GBC institution?

  30. says

    That a proven and unrepentant liar is appointed the president of an ostensibly Christian institution is the business of every Christian. It’s a shame on the name of Christ and the duty of every Christian to speak up against it. Bringing out the over-whelming evidence of Caner’s fictions is necessary to show that a proven liar has been appointed the president of an ostensible Christian institution.

    • Dave Miller says

      I see no biblical justification for your point. In fact I think it runs counter to God’s Word.

      • Tarheel says

        Question Mr. Miller,

        I wonder how this issue is “none of our business” and shouldn’t be commented about….but the one you posted recently about the baptist school is OK.

        I happen to think both are important and appropiate….I’m just, respectfully, wondering how you’d explain the difference since you apparently see one.

          • Tarheel says

            I thought so, Mark. I’m not trying to be a smarty pants here, I just seek clarification.

            It’s seems that the standards of “relationship and authority” are not present with most (any?) of us in the school issue.

            Also, there’s a contention in this post that public “calling out” is wrong and and unbiblical…yet it seems that the very same things have been done in the other post.

            We’ve been told that it’s none of our business who is president at Brewton Parker, but it’s somehow our business how an administration at an unnamed school handles its decisions.

            Like I said, I think the “calling out” is equally important and necessary in both cases….I’m just curious how Mr. Miller justifies one case of exposing and rebuking and condemns the other.

          • says

            Tarheel: “I’m just curious how Mr. Miller justifies one case of exposing and rebuking and condemns the other.”

            Could it be something as simple, straightforward, and mundane as “personal preference” without prior thought to intellectual or theological consistency?

            Regardless, it’s a good catch on your part.

      • says

        You don’t seem to understand the issue at all. It’s not just that Caner as a private individual fictionalized his autobiography — as if he were trying to impress a couple of people at Denny’s after church. He lied regularly, publicly, and on the basis of that lie gained positions of leadership. Whole Christian institutions have become implicated in those lies by essentially refusing to call him to account for them. Those lies are now being used by Muslims to prove that Christians are deceptive. Go to some of the youtube pages on “fake muslims” and notice that Caner is the example of “Christian deception.”

        You are either part of the problem or you are part of the solution. By saying it’s none of your business, you are part of the problem.

      • says

        By the same logic, even if my position — that we actually ought to tell the truth! — is “counter to God’s Word” (incredible!), then that’s none of your business. You don’t know me and so have acted wrongly to rebuke me.

        In the future, — as long as you continue to believe the nonsense of this post — do not rebuke or counter the ideas or behavior of others unless you know them personally and have authority over them.
        touche!

    • Mark Mitchell says

      1Pe_4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.

      • says

        I will seek to obey that passage by not suffering for telling the truth about Ergun Caner! :)

        Of course, it’s not “other men’s matters” as I’m a Christian and what a Christian leader publicly does is one of my matters — and yours.

        • says

          John Carpenter: “Of course, it’s not “other men’s matters” as I’m a Christian and what a Christian leader publicly does is one of my matters — and yours.”

          I’ve been informed by others (usually political liberals) that President Obama is a Christian.

          Curious. Is it decent and proper to rebuke the actions, decisions, and words of President Obama when they’re contrary to God’s Word?

          • says

            Hi truthunites,

            By “Christian leader” I meant a leader of a Christian organization. So the president doesn’t qualify there.

            But I think from the Bible the answer to your question is “yes”: it is definitely proper to rebuke the powers; the prophets did it often in the OT. In a democracy, I would say it is even an obligation.

            But then how much more of a duty do we have to expose and rebuke sin in our own midst? We can’t be taken seriously when denouncing the lies of a political leader if we stay quiet about the lies of our own Christian leaders.

          • says

            But then how much more of a duty do we have to expose and rebuke sin in our own midst? We can’t be taken seriously when denouncing the lies of a political leader if we stay quiet about the lies of our own Christian leaders.

            You have a good point, John.

            As a matter of fact, charismatic Michael Brown is receiving a lot of recent constructive criticism for not exposing and rebuking the sins of Word-Faith Prosperity Gospel minister Benny Hinn when he was on a televised platform with Benny Hinn.

  31. says

    Miller’s argument — that we should regard issues of public sin that are not under our jurisdiction as none of our business — is based on an argument from silence (that is, he can’t find any scripture that actually says that but reasons that whatever isn’t overtly called for in the Bible is prohibited) and is ironically self-contradictory: he’s rebuking us when we’re not under his jurisdiction (violating his own principle).

  32. says

    Dave,
    It seems others have pulled this one out of the archives as it relates to your other post about Pharisees. I read over it again and it’s got me rethinking this issue again. I’ve never really felt satisfied with where I am on this question of when to talk/when not to talk/etc. So, here is one question that I have for you….and I think it’s maybe where I’m a bit unsettled.

    This isn’t specifically related to the Caner situation. I’d try to come up with an imaginary illustration but I think it might distract rather than help. Okay, so here’s my question. What should one do if those of whom it IS their business refuse to deal with the problem?

    Do we let it go? Do we sit back and pray? Do we speak up?

    I’d say that the answer to these is probably situational. Thoughts?

      • says

        Absolutely! Through every step. I know that I give lip service to this, but I’ve got to be honest and say that far too often I just trust in my own wisdom to solve issues.

    • says

      That’s an excellent question.

      One of the problems at the root of Miller’s mistake in the OP is his argument from silence. He can’t find any scripture that actually says that a public sin is “none of our business” but apparently reasons that whatever isn’t overtly called for in the Bible is prohibited. He seems to be saying that since there is, according to him, no example or command to publicly rebuke someone not under our authority, then we cannot do so. Bad reasoning. There’s also no command to drive a car or write a blog.

      Besides, the prophets are filled with examples of public sins being rebuked.

      • says

        I don’t think that Dave’s argument here is necessarily an argument from silence. You are correct that there isn’t a verse in the Bible that says “public sin is none of our business”. Nor do I really think that this is Dave’s overall point. His key point, I believe, is that in the Scriptures rebuke is generally given by those that have relationship and authority. That is a very solid point. And I actually agree with a Dave’s post as far as it stands. I don’t think it’s the only article or point that needs to be made–but I think the point that he does make is very solid.

        • says

          Hi Mike,

          I agree that Dave’s point that “in the Scriptures rebuke is generally given by those that have relationship and authority” is sound. But that’s just a stepping stone to his conclusion which is: therefore we ought not to expose Caner. His reasoning is an argument from silence because he can’t produce any scripture that says that but instead implies that since rebuke is generally done in relationship, we shouldn’t be “rebuking” Caner at all.

          Besides, almost all (if not completely all) of the people I see denouncing Caner are not rebuking him at all but exposing him to others. There’s a difference. And Miller doesn’t seem to discern that distinction either.

          • Dave Miller says

            John, I’m not reopening this – I’ve said my piece and frankly, as you give evidence, people do not read what I write or really attempt to understand it. They just gloss and then make up their own views and assign them to me.

            I’ve no desire to walk back into that maelstrom.

            However, let me make a clarification.

            I did not say that Caner should not be rebuked. I said it was not my job. I said that if he was hired at an SBC entity (which my offerings support) or if I were a member of a GBC church and my offerings supported him, I’d have something to say.

            Please either read my article or at least do not put words in my mouth which I did not say.

            I am not being drawn back into this – unless someone has a legitimate question based on what I actually said.

          • says

            Dave,
            I’ve got a legitimate question, brother and I’d really appreciate your thoughts on this. You don’t have to give them but as you know me I’m not trying to play gotcha. I seriously want to know how you’d answer so I can develop my own thoughts on this.

          • says

            Hi Dave,

            First, I can’t see that you’ve dealt with this issue at all. Have you? Have you, elsewhere, spoken up about Caner’s lies?

            Second, where have I put words in your mouth? For someone trying to argue that we shouldn’t rebuke people we don’t know, you sure are quick to do that with me.

            Third, I believe I understand your position perfectly: You seem to be saying that only those who have some kind of personal relationship with and authority over Caner should rebuke him. First, you’ve provided no scripture that says that. Second, you’ve ignored the fact that the over-whelming majority of people are not rebuking Caner but exposing him.

          • Dave Miller says

            John, if you want to discuss this, please deal with what I said, not how you have twisted what I said.

            I cannot and will not defend what I don’t believe and haven’t said.

            I might suggest you actually read my article, then we will discuss it.

          • Dave Miller says

            “Have you, elsewhere, spoken up about Caner’s lies?”

            In the article, John. In the article.

            I did not argue that “we shouldn’t rebuke people we don’t know”. I argued, from the Bible, that rebuke and correction are woven in with relationship and authority. Where there is no relationship and authority, we must tread lightly.

            I provided SEVERAL scriptures that back up my position. Disagree with my exegesis, if you will. But the fact you claim that I have offered no scriptures again demonstrates that you really didn’t read the article.

            It frustrates me to spend time writing an article, then have people argue with me when they give no evidence of trying to actually understand what I wrote.

          • says

            Hi Dave,

            Please see my point 2 above and then, PLEASE, now show where I have mischaracterized your argument. This is twice that you’ve accused me of that without any attempt to substantiate your accusation. Please do so now.

          • Dave Miller says

            Not sure how I can make it any clearer. I’ve explained myself, then you seem to just ignore what I write and keep on with your argument. If you do not read or respond to what I write, there is little point in continuing.

            But, so other readers might understand my point, even if you will not, let me reiterate what I have ALREADY said.

            1) You said that I said that Caner should not be rebuked.

            I said, “I did not say that Caner should not be rebuked. I said it was not my job. I said that if he was hired at an SBC entity (which my offerings support) or if I were a member of a GBC church and my offerings supported him, I’d have something to say.”

            2) You said, “For someone trying to argue that we shouldn’t rebuke people we don’t know.”

            I never said that. Never. That is a fantasy of your own creation. I am saying that in the NT, public rebuke such as many of the more passionate Calvinists like you want against Caner is best done by those with a relationship with him and authority over him.

            3) You accused me of not saying anything about Caner when I did so IN THE ARTICLE – which I still believe you never read – or at least only read in a cursory fashion.

            Frankly, pretty much everything you have said represents a misunderstanding – whether intentional or unintentional, of what I wrote.

            I spent a lot of time putting my thoughts down. If you want to engage me, then engage what I actually said. If you want to misrepresent me, you will find a large audience on Twitter and Facebook of people who hate me and will cheer you on.

          • says

            Dave,

            1. Now, you’ve mischaracterized me. I did not say that you said Caner should not be rebuked. I said, exactly what you said, that you said we have to be in some kind of relationship with him.

            I summarized what you said succinctly at 12:41 above: “that we should regard issues of public sin that are not under our jurisdiction as none of our business”.
            Now, why did you misinterpret what I said when I said it so precisely and accurately?

            2. Then you once again deny what you said and then say it again within just a few sentences: “You said, “For someone trying to argue that we shouldn’t rebuke people we don’t know.”
            I never said that. Never. That is a fantasy of your own creation. I am saying that in the NT, public rebuke . . . is best done by those with a relationship with him and authority over him.”

            Which is it? First you said you “Never” said rebuke should only be done by those in relationship with you and then you turn again and say just that again?

            3. Then you tip your hand: “such as many of the more passionate Calvinists like you want against Caner”. Ah, so you’re an anti-Calvinist and you want to make this a Calvinist vs. Arminian debate? If so, that would explain why you want to bury the Caner issue, because he’s embarrassing to your “side”. Is that really what is motivating your absurd article?

            4. I did NOT accuse you “of not saying anything about Caner when I did so IN THE ARTICLE.” That’s false. I ASKED you whether you’ve spoken up against Caner ELSEWHERE, a question you still have failed to answer.

            You’ve not once shown, despite now being challenged three or four times, where I’ve mischaracterized you while you have apparently mischaracterized me.

            You’re article depends on a leap of reasoning — the most glaring is jumping from positive commands to rebuke those we are in relationship with to the absurd conclusion that therefore the public sin of a Christian leader we are not in relationship with is none of our business. I’m sorry if you don’t like having that error pointed out. But the Word of God is plain:

            “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Eph. 5:11).

        • says

          Hi Dave,

          1. I asked you, “Have you, elsewhere, spoken up about Caner’s lies?” . You haven’t answered that question. “In the article” is not “elsewhere”. In the article you mention Caner’s fraudulent stories as a stepping stone to argue that we shouldn’t speak up against it.

          2. In this paragraph you first state you didn’t say something and then you state what you said you didn’t state:
          “I did not argue that “we shouldn’t rebuke people we don’t know”. I argued, from the Bible, that rebuke and correction are woven in with relationship and authority. Where there is no relationship and authority, we must tread lightly. ”
          Which is it? Did you NOT argue that we shouldn’t rebuke people we don’t know or that “Where there is no relationship and authority, we must tread lightly”?

          3. You provided ZERO scriptures to back up your position. You provided scriptures that shows we should rebuke people we are in relationship with. But that’s not the issue. The issue is whether we can expose the sins of those we are not in relationship with. You’ve provided no scriptures that say that because there are none that say that.

          Scripture says, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Eph. 5:11.)

    • Dave Miller says

      That is a tough question, Mike.

      Here’s the thing. The BoT of BPC did not ignore the information. They made an intentional decision, knowing all the information that was out there, to act in a way I disagree with.

      I’m still not sure that blogging about Caner’s faults is the noble act and the solution that many seem to believe it is.

      But if I was GBC, I would take action. Maybe I’d go to the convention with a motion to remove the trustees or something drastic like that. I’d make a motion or post a resolution. I would recommend my church withhold money from the GBC, etc.

      But I’m not GBC, so there is really little I can do. Public blasting of Caner only serves to make his supporters hunker down and defend. They tend to be counterproductive.

      Ultimately, though, the issue to me is that an autonomous Baptist body made a decision – one I think stinks. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last. Al Mohler has said things I disagreed with and Paige Patterson has done things I don’t like. That’s life in the SBC.

      I still think the SBC has a lot to offer and is has a great place in God’s Kingdom work. It is not perfect and has much room for growth and reformation.

      But the fact that a small GA college BoT made a bad decision is not the end of the world.

      I would counsel a lot of the anti-Canerites to remember God’s Word – “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” If we are right, God will act. Trust him. “Leave room for God’s wrath,” Paul said.

      Does anyone NOT know what I think of Caner? Only those who (like John) either do not read or misinterpret what I have written. But at some point, I just have to step back and say, “Okay, God, I’ve had my say. Now, it is in your hands.”

      This has been kind of stream of consciousness, but I can plead that I am still hovering on the brink of eternity with pneumonia.

      • says

        It’s really not a “touch question”. It’s an important question. But the answer is obvious: “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11.)

        I think that’s the applicable scripture to this issue. And I think lying to puff one’s cv is an unfruitful work of darkness that we are supposed to expose, and we should begin with our own. How can we “expose” the world’s “unfruitful works of darkness” if we won’t deal with those in our own community.

        • says

          What is your definition of “expose”, John? Does it mean “expose” until said person repents? It seems to me that the truth about Caner has already been exposed.

          • says

            I doubt that. There are many people that know nothing about him. Christianity Today will barely touch it, and not at all opine on it. The Christian Post may actually be suppressing stories about it. The Baptist Press doesn’t seem interested. etc.

            The most charitable interpretation of the Trustees of Brewton-Parker College is that they didn’t look into the facts and went along with whoever nominated Caner.

          • says

            Expose means to uncover something. To bring it to light. That has been uncovered. Now whether or not people are choosing to look away is a different subject altogether. It’s probably not our job to grab people by the neck and say, “look at this!!!”. That I believe is what many are doing with this situation.

          • says

            When a board of trustees selects a demonstrable liar as president there are only three options: (1) either the lies haven’t been sufficiently exposed; (2) they were too lazy to do their jobs and avail themselves of the exposure; (3) they are apostate and don’t really care about the truth.

            We can hope for #1 and so expose the facts so that they will know, loudly enough so that if #2 is the case they’ll take notice. If they really knew but still selected him, then #3 is the case and this whole issue becomes a monumental one of the very life or death of the church. But nothing excuses the absurd argument of Dave Miller that we should ignore it.

            Anyway, please note the facts of my first paragraph. The issue hasn’t been sufficiently exposed.

        • Dave Miller says

          I do not think “expose them” concerning the “unfruitful works of darkness” authorizes an incessant stream of social media attacks.

          NO ONE who reads social media is unaware of Caner (maybe there is one person somewhere).

          He’s been exposed. But not everyone agrees with the ardent Calvinist position on him.

          Just how much “exposing” must we do?

          Why not, having had your say, leave room for God’s wrath and leave it to him?

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