"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Caner Interrupted - A Prominent Georgia Baptist Finally Speaks and Answers: Was Caner Really "Innocent Before the Consistory"

"Defiant before Pharisees, Innocent before the Consistory." 
Ergun Caner's self-description on his Twitter feed tagline

"I am aware of the videos and all charges you have mentioned. If I were to sin as Ergun has and been employed by FBC Woodstock I would repent publicly here and claim God's forgiveness. I like Ergun would be fired, he was. It cost him dearly and I feel it has humbled him." 
Johnny Hunt's direct reply to FBCW church member, January 2014 
---------------------------------- 

One of the untold stories so far of Ergun Caner's appointment last December as the president of the Georgia Baptist Convention's Brewton-Parker College, is the growing concern of Georgia Baptist church members as to whether monies they are giving to their local church are helping to pay the salary of a potentially unrepentant serial liar and charlatan as the president of one of their state convention's colleges.

If many of these concerned church members are just now beginning to look at the Caner controversy, they don't have to look very far on the Internet to see examples of Caner's deceptions over the past nine years in churches all over the country. The video evidence is out there for all to see, as well as credible news reports from both Christian and secular news outlets.

So the first level questions for many of the casual observers in Georgia who are concerned about their money possibly going to fund Caner's salary are: were Ergun Caner's lies that the videos seem to show just innocent "misstatements"? Was he actually fired from Liberty University for his lies, or did the investigation at Liberty, and another investigation at Arlington Baptist College and then at Brewton Parker - did these investigations "exonerate" Caner from any serious wrong doing?

If Caner was exonerated in these investigations, and if he really wasn't fired at Liberty, then a concerned Georgia Baptist might put his/her mind at ease and not be too concerned over the hiring of Ergun Caner at Brewton Parker.

But if Caner was NOT exonerated, if he WAS fired for having committed serious sin by purposely deceiving Christians after 9/11 about his past, then Georgia Baptists have a genuine right to be concerned over Caner's hiring by Brewton Parker, and rightly should demand that their church stop donating money to the GBC.

So who are we to believe in the questions of Caner's exoneration and sin? Who is speaking out on this matter?

Well, if you listen to Caner, he claims he says he did not sin, and he claims he was exonerated by Liberty:


The only thing Caner has ever admitted to are "pulpit mistakes" and he says flatly "I never intentionally misled anyone". In his official "apology" posted here, he doesn't admit to sin, only:
"For those times where I misspoke, said it wrong, scrambled words, or was just outright confusing, I apologize and will strive to do better."
In a September 2010 interview with the Lynchburg News and Advance, Caner downplayed the seriousness of the charges of lying and deceit by painting himself as the victims of "frustrated people" creating "edited videos":
“Every pastor in America, ask them if you can go through 200-odd hours of your sermons. Would they find where you said your kids’ names wrong or dates wrong? Yeah, of course. You just smile and move on....it takes more than edited videos to take me down.”
So it is crystal clear: From the days before the Liberty University began, to just after the Liberty University investigation was announced and Caner lost his job as president of the Liberty seminary, Caner admits to no sin, only harmless misstatements that anyone might make, and that he is the victim of bloggers, Muslims, and Calvinists.

But fast forward to 2013, and Caner still claims his innocence. He never has admitted to any sin and has not publicly confessed to misleading congregations for nearly a decade. In fact, he claims that the investigation at Liberty "exonerated" him.

In a Twitter exchange last year regarding his need to repent over the video and audio of his falsehoods, Caner says he won't repent for sins he did not commit.


In this tweet, Caner flat out says that the investigation of 3 schools found that he was "exonerated". To exonerate means an official body has examined the evidence, and cleared a person from any wrong-doing.
"It seems that Liberty is moving in a direction to say nothing further (on Dr. Caner). In that vein we at SBC Today will not discuss this issue any further. This matter is behind us and we praise God that Dr. Caner is exonerated as he is retained at Liberty on faculty." SBC Today Website, quoted by Wade Burleson.
So was Ergun Caner exonerated?

Norman Geisler says that the moral charges are unsubstantiated. Geisler says that the decade-long deception by Caner were just "factual misstatements" that we all make!
“Having examined all these charges against Dr. Caner carefully and having looked at the related evidence, I can say without hesitation that all of the moral charges against Dr. Caner are unsubstantiated. Further, no one had demonstrated moral intent on any of the factual misstatements he made (which we all make).” Norman Geisler
Even the very respected war hero and evangelist Tim Lee says the same. I wrote a blog article back in 2011 after it was announced by Arlington Baptist College that they were hiring Caner. I wrote that a reliable source within Liberty claimed Caner was fired. Tim Lee responded within my blog post, coming to Caner's defense, claiming:
"I was the Chairman of the committee that crafted the statement concerning Ergun. We never once found that he lied....It was Ergun's decision to leave. No on pushed him out. No one threatened him in to leaving. So you are wrong on this matter.". Tim Lee
Then there are the numerous statements of Peter Lumpkins, VP of Communications at Brewton Parker, and Tim Rogers, board member of the Traditionalist Group "Connect 316" ministry and pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in North Carolina. Both have claimed Caner's exoneration by "three independent investigations" at Liberty, Arlington Baptist College, and now Brewton Parker.

So that leads us to the question: who are Georgia Baptists to believe? Bloggers who have documented the video and audio evidence of Caner's lies and deceits from just after 2001 to mid 2010? Or should they believe the defenders of Caner such as Tim Lee, Norman Geisler, Peter Lumpkins, and Tim Rogers?

Was Caner "exonerated"?

Well, I am going to put forth another source - one that has the credibility to trump the bloggers and the Caner defenders on the matter of whether Caner sinned and needs to repent, and whether he was fired from Liberty for his sin, and whether he was exonerated, and if he decided to leave Liberty on his own.

That source is former SBC president Johnny Hunt. Johnny Hunt has the credibility to speak on this issue. He himself has quite a dramatic conversion testimony on par with Caner. Imagine the damage that would be done to the SBC were it found that Hunt made up his stories of growing up in the projects of Wilmington, North Carolina, beginning to drink at age 11, dropping out of high school to manage a pool hall. So Hunt knows the importance of the credibility of one's testimony.

And Hunt is not a Calvinist, blogger, or Muslim. Caner and his defenders have claimed the charges are a conspiracy concocted by Calvinists trying to bring Caner down, along with disgruntled bloggers and Muslims.

So Johnny Hunt has the credibility. I suggest that Georgia Baptists trying to determine if Caner sinned, if he was fired at Liberty for this sin, or if he was exonerated, listen to Johnny Hunt.

I am in possession of an email exchange between Johnny Hunt and one of the members at his church, First Baptist Woodstock, who is concerned about the possibility of FBCW monies going to the Georgia Baptist Convention and then to Brewton Parker and Ergun Caner.

The direct response of Johnny Hunt to one of his church members will be helpful to Georgia Baptists:
"I am aware of the videos and all charges you have mentioned. If I were to sin as Ergun has and been employed by FBC Woodstock I would repent publicly here and claim God's forgiveness. I like Ergun would be fired, he was. It cost him dearly and I feel it has humbled him."
Johnny Hunt was a Liberty University trustee at the time of the Caner investigation. And in a candid moment he admits Caner WAS fired, that he DID commit sin that required repentance.

Hunt says he is aware of the "videos and charges" - yet does NOT downplay them as just "misstatements" or "pulpit mistakes". Instead, Hunt refers to the videos as evidence of Caner's "sin", sin requiring repentance and dismissal from his place of service.

So there you have it Georgia Baptists. It is clear: according to Johnny Hunt, prominent and respected Georgia Baptist leader, Caner was NOT exonerated by Liberty University. According to Hunt, Caner did commit serious sin, and according to a LU trustee, Ergun was fired, and rightly so. When Caner and his supporters claim Caner just uttered "misstatements", that he was "exonerated" by investigative committees - remember the words of Johnny Hunt.

So now, Georgia Baptists, you can move on to the second question. Armed with the knowledge of Caner's sin and that he was NOT exonerated by Liberty, and that Caner has NOT publicly repented of this sin for which he was rightly fired by Liberty, then is Caner fit to serve as a president of one of your educational institutions?

And if not, what are YOU going to do about it? You have the power, actually, Georgia Baptists in the pew. You, Georgia Baptists, are the ones who can set this straight by having a conversation with your pastor and finance committee, and then using the power of the pocketbook.

Your collective wallets and revenue flows to Brewton Parker - THAT is the language that the leadership in the Georgia Baptist Convention understand. Make your voice heard.

23 comments:

Bennett Willis said...

I suppose that if EC was actually "fired" from Liberty that he has added to his errors by saying he is sinless (in this area) and exonerated.

Maybe there are more people around the SBC who would condem EC if they were asked direct questions.

Johnny Hunt seems like a credible person--like so many others who have condemned EC's use of the fabrication to move up in the Baptist world.

Bennett Willis said...

One thing for sure. When Ergun Caner proclaims his innocence, I feel obligated to disagree. If he wants things to be quiet so he can get his job done, he should stay at the job and ignore other stuff--like this posting, for instance. :)

Anonymous said...

God hardened Pharaoh's heart.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this seems pretty significant. Johnny Hunt is "kind of a big deal" in the SBC establishment. What will be interesting now is if now that this email exchange has been made public he tries to protect Caner by claiming it is "taken out of context" or something.

Anonymous said...

Judge ruled against Ergun in lawsuit over copyright of videos when he spoke to Marines.

http://www.witnessesuntome.com/2014/04/caner-deception-of-us-marines-video-footage-to-return/

gsethdunn said...

I don't think Johnny would do that. He is an honest man.

This is a timely posting. Ergun Caner lost his lawsuit against Jason Smathers today. The videos are back online.

CAPTCHA said...

It will be interesting to see if Hunt will claim that he (Hunt) misspoke or was mistaken.

Anonymous said...

And who even cares? What a waste of time and blogger space. Move on and find something that people actually care about.

Jordan said...

I, for one, care about Gospel credibility. Thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

I care about truth too. Thx

Anonymous said...

Johnny, I was with you until you said "and I feel it has humbled him." H-H-H-H-HUMBLED HIM?!!! If it has, then he sure has done a great job of hiding that humility publicly with a mask of unabashed arrogance.

Bennett Willis said...

In my opinion, EC has not lost the law suit until the ruling is that he has to pay Samthers' legal expenses. Until then, it is just "talk."

That said, this is a start toward what should happen. This was expected (but until it happens you can't be sure). So far, so good.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for telling the truth on this. What I can't understand is why the United States Government isn't taking some sort of action against him. Dr Caner was hired to speak to our Marines about Muslim Jihadist issues prior to their shipping off to war based on his credentials and expertise as a former jihadist and specifically in regard to his training as a suicide bomber itrained in an Egyptian jihadist camp - which never happened. Caner deliberately and fraudulently fabricated this elaborate terrorist background for prestige, fame and money. Profiteering from this enormous tragedy is profoundly insulting to those who suffered losses during 9/11, OEF or OIF. The US Govt relied on these representations to their potential detriment. Shouldn't we all have more concern for the safety of our valiant troops?

If a high school drop out claims to be an expert field engineer and then is hired by the US based on this expertise to instruct the Marines on how to construct bridges and transportation routes, that would be wrong. And dangerous. They might even be charged with stealing from the government. What Caner did went well beyond botching a few details in a sermon. It was beyond "sinning." Why isn't he being held liable for defrauding our government and potentially endangering our boys?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Bennett - it is a done deal. Caner WILL pay the legal fees, it just remains to be seen how much. Now Caner has a window of opportunity to show contrition and grace by withdrawing the lawsuit against Jon Autry.

Dr. Jupiter aka Dr. J said...


Religionists hauling each other into Caesar's Court. Shows us what?
That secularity is alive and well in the hearts of the True Believers? Who knows.

I guess it would matter if this was little more than a bush league scrimmage featuring a sagging denomination and a Johnny-come-lately hoping to salvage his celebrity.

Poor Peter Lumpkins. "An up or down vote." I wonder if he has located, let alone read, SACS's public notice related to their April 22, 2014 visit to BPC.

He knows less than nothing about SACS and has no clue how academics operate. An up or down vote indeed.

Worse case scenario? Accreditation with a five year report. BPC will have started its search for the second President following Caner by then.

Anonymous said...

Where does one find the sacs report you mention Dr J?

Debbie Kaufman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie Kaufman said...

Where in any of Ergun's talks does he talk about Christ or a walk with Christ? Take for example this speech he gave at Truett. He just does stand up with many, many stereotypes.

He has the audience turn to a passage of scripture, then gives a talk that has nothing to do with the passage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCaDLGXzFKI

Dr. Jupiter aka Dr. J said...

Anon -Asked----Where does one find the sacs report you mention Dr
April 19, 2014 at 11:49 AM
--------
There are no deep dark secrets relative to SACS. Their website offers up all info. status etc. related to schools in their charge. You can even call them with questions. I knew when the April 22, 2014 visit was going to be by simply calling SACS and asking.

http://tinyurl.com/q6uo4m8

As you can tell, there are three possible outcomes for BPC. Two are positive. There is no way on this good green earth SACS is going to pull BPC's accreditation. The question is ultimately and finally about financial sustainability. The GBC has provided that assurance.

(Sarcasm Alert) SACS only jerks good schools through a keyhole. At that point it is actually a peer to peer relationship which is always competitive. But, they know BPC is an academy. "Let's just hold our nose and do it."

Well, there ya go. Ask me for the time and I will tell you how to build a watch. :-)

Anonymous said...

WD,

Did you author this tweet which appeared about 12:50 on 4/20?

FBC Jax Watchdog ‏@fbcjaxwatchdog
Did you know @erguncaner is a solid worship leader here in Jacksonville?

Enjoyed worshipping with him this Easter. http://ow.ly/i/5iO3m

LA

An Attorney said...

Ok, "Truett" usually refers to Truett Seminary at Baylor University. The other place is "Truett McConnell" College.

Anonymous said...

I am beginning to wonder that Ergun Caner meant that he could have been training for jihad if he wanted to. Keep pressing him perhaps he might resort to it, Tom.

Anonymous said...

Here's an interview with the Pastor of Liberty. Make of it what you will
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZiUeVzWwxE