Ergun Caner was apparently in San Diego, May 1-2, 2010. The following are some thoughts/reflections/comments on what he said at that time.
(07:17) As a boy, coming from Turkey, born in Stockholm, Sweden.
(07:55) Turkish background, Turkish father-mother, Turkish citizen, we come to America as Muslims.
(11:26) I'm the oldest of three sons, which means, in the Turkish culture, I'm the first one that's supposed to get married. So my father gives me the lecture on being married. And we come to America, now its my job to be the first one to marry an American. As a Turk and as a Muslim, you marry a girl and she becomes a Muslim, even if she never walks into the mosque.
(18:20) My assumptions were what I saw on television: Andy Griffith, Andy Griffith was American, and we came through New York. Mayberry and Brooklyn. Very little in common. And wrestling. I - my entire life - I know, it's odd - "President of a Seminary" - that's nothing, - being a president means nothing to me. When I looked at America, I saw it through the prism of whatever I saw on television. I thought Rick Flair was the mayor of America, I thought that - you a Rick Flair fan? - I thought Dusty Rhodes was the governor - I thought that was America. And that's my assumption, because that was my filter, and that was my grid. And everybody has a grid and everybody has a filter.
(39:55) They had, as I had, a glorious mullet that would cascade down my head. I had a foot-long Turkish mullet. Turkish hair is very kinky, and I would even have it permed so it bounced as one hair as I walked. I would blow-dry it upside down and I head a feather earring.
(11:46) We were raised the sons of a man who was so devout he did the call to prayer, a muezzin. Acar Mehmet Caner, my father. And we come to America - I've been sharing my testimony since I got saved, twenty-seven years ago. And yet, when YouTube became real popular in 2006, this - they - this Muslim guy out of London started getting video clips of me, and dissecting them. "He mispronounces this," I'm not Arabic. I'm Turkish. If you know the Middle East, a couple of you obviously do, cause ya'll've been there, there's Persian, there's Anatolian, and there's Arabic. And the Arabs are only 20% of the Muslims, world-wide. And everybody else speaks Arabic phonetically. It's like Catholics who memorize the Latin. You do it. You may not know what you're sayin', and you can do it reflexively. If you came from a Catholic background, and I just pop out a "peace to you," you just go "and peace be unto you." You do it in your sleep man, it came from your whole background.
(12:47) So the YouTube channel was Muslims. Hey, I've been dealing with that forever. And you learn to live with it. There's reasons you guys couldn't advertise, maybe the ways you've advertised in the past. There's things that I have to do, precautions I have to take. It's the way we live. Emir and I have to live this way, my younger brother.
(13:10) But about six months ago, about six - eight months ago, they got joined up. The Muslims got joined up with a Christian group to hate on me. Now that is painful, cause you don't see it coming. That's what happens in church fights.
(19:49) I went to my chancellor and I said, Chancellor, these guys have a website that's called "fakeexmuslims" something, says that my brothers and I were not Muslim. And it's by a Muslim who says, you know, for instance, "He speaks with a Turkish accent." well, really? really? Another one says, "I have absolute proof that his nickname is 'Butch.'" I tell everybody that. The people who call me Butch - you know - they're from my family - my wife's family. So I took it to the chancellor, and I said, "Chancellor, just because I'm accountable to you, I want you to see proof." He goes, "I don't need proof, you've been doin' this forever. You write books - do you really -" We write books under our own name. A lot of people in our world use a pseudonym to cover. I don't know if Shubat is a pseudonym, but Abdul Saleeb wrote a great book called, "Answering Islam." "Abdul Saleeb" means slave of the cross.
(20:45) We chose to write under our real names. So, we knew it was coming. We didn't that was [unintelligible]. So the chancellor said, "Look. Two guys become presidents of two colleges - two institutions, a college and a seminary - I don't think that you could pull that off."[end of quotation unclear] You know, they're looking for Mike Wernke moment. Yeah, they were. So much so, that the Christians hired somebody to go to Columbus Ohio where we lived and to the courthouse and this has been about three weeks ago and got my parents' divorce, separation, and appeal papers, and uploaded them to the web. My whole life is on the web. My gun permit is on the web, my - which I'm sort of happy about - but you can imagine how my wife feels when our whole world is on the line. You know, we've had to move three times in Lynchburg, and now we may have to move again.
(21:41) I didn't see that because, when it comes to flamers, when it comes to people you can't shut up, you have to shut 'em out. You can't shut 'em up, you have to shut 'em out. So I cut it out of my life. I blocked those people, I blocked [unintelligible] But it was my students that started coming to me. Goats. "Well, what are they saying about you?" I don't know. So I went back to my chancellor. My chancellor said, "Have you seen what they uploaded?" "Nope." "Ya need to see it." "Why" "Because they proved your point." What they uploaded was our father's saying he has land and property still in Turkey, that we have Turkish passports, that we are Turkish citizens, that in the divorce he wanted us to still be raised in the madrassa, to still follow the holy days, and it proves that we were Muslim.
(22:23) So, I go home to my wife, who is not happy, to say the least. And I said, "Looks like the flamers are piling on, but they may have proved our point, so they may go away." I am an idiot. Flamers never go away. They got eight hours a day to sit on the computer, because they don't have a life.
(32:10) As I entered into high school, I looked different, acted different, was different. I'm Columbus, Ohio, where my father builds the mosque on Broad St. It's still standing, the Islamic Foundation. Trust me, the haters put up the pictures. You can see where my dad - you'll see pictures of my father! There is Acar Mehmet Caner, standing next to the imam.
(32:35) We were in the mosque, like some of you were in church. Some of you were in church because you had a "drug" problem. Drug to Sunday School, drug to church, drug to Wednesday nights, etc. Right? Right? You went every time, Mom and Daddy made you come, right? That was us in the mosque. I knew nothing about you Christians, couldn't have cared less.
(32:53) One boy. One kid. Jerry Tackett was an apologist. Starting in our freshman year, going to our senior year, Tackett wouldn't leave me alone, wouldn't let me out of an excuse, and wouldn't shut his mouth. Every time he told me "Come" and every time I told him "No" he didn't mark me off a list, and go away. He just kept coming.
(37:44) Jesus strapped himself to a cross, so I wouldn't have to strap a bomb to myself.
(38:00) So, in that church, I got saved. In that church, that night. I'm free from scales. The youth group goes out to eat, as all youth groups did back then. Went to a waffle house, huddle hut, Dennie's - whatever. I took off my keffiyeh, told the waitress that I was saved, ordered some ham. I know - I don't lack ham now. Then I go home and tell my father that I'm a believer in Jesus. Now, it's the last day that I see my dad until his death. And as - oh - and as gracious as you are for thinking "oh, that's hard - oh, that's horrible," no. In the Islamic world, when they can't argue with your points, they argue with you, right. Ad Hominem instead of Ad Hoc. Here's the simple point they can't argue with. In Islam, conversion to anything makes you murtad. And in thirty-six countries, at least thirty-six countries - you are put to death for your conversion, including Turkey, where converts who owned a Christian bookstore were killed, just recently - a couple years. It happens. So my dad was doing an act of mercy.
(39:30) Next thing I know I'm in college, a year later, both of my brothers get saved. All three of us through the work of one apologist - one friend - one kid. One person who took the time and met me in the marketplace, and met them in the marketplace.
(41:47) In '91, my mom got saved. My mom. My mom. This little woman, adopted in Sweden, dark, heavy accent, I got to baptize my mom, which is amazing, and my mom now lives in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
(43:06) In 1995, my grandmother got saved. Our first book, Unveiling Islam, was dedicated to her. Maria Eleonora Lindberg. She's the one who adopted our mom. Our grandma moved to America, never learned a word of English, lived here twenty years - plus twenty years. And watched as her three grandsons get disowned, watched the family go through divorce, watched the horror that that entails. And she's living in Wood, North Carolina, where I met me wife, and my brother Emir was working with me, we were both in seminary at the same time, serving at the same church. And these ladies in the church blew up Scripture that she could read, large enough and led my grandma to Christ. Emir got to baptize our grandma.
(41:01) The way that Mohamed described the life a jahid, the martyr, is that if he gets to the 100th degree of paradise, he's the only person in all of Islam who's assured of heaven.
(41:48) What does the female jahid - what does the female martyr get?
(51:40) Being from the Middle East - he's more olive skinned, darker than me - because again I'm Anatolian - I'm a Mongol [Mongrel?] - a more Asiatic Muslim.
EC makes a good point against Legalism around 8 minutes in.
(16:34) I fight vehemently with hyper-Calvinists who think that Christ only died for them, and thus, he didn't die for the world, and they qualify that. But - so - hyper-Calvinists are still saved, they are still my brothers.
(23:16) The big evil thing is Catholicism and the icons. (fake voice)"Well they had icons, and the Greek and Roman churches split over the use of icons in worship" (normal voice)Yeah, I get it, but you're forgetting that this is the dark ages. And the reason the dark ages were called the dark ages was 'cuz after the fall of Rome, education fell on the backside, 'cuz everybody had to separate into city-states and nobody could be educated and they had to survive - and everybody stopped learning how to read. So - how do you tell the Bible - how do you preach the Bible to a people who can't read? Icons. That's how they did it. That's why, if you go into churches, and you see these monstrous stain glass windows. That's like the middle ages. They would tell the stories by showing the picture. In other words, Icons - they may be bad now, people kissing them and thinking they've the spirit of Gregory in it or whatever - but it started out as the Vacation Bible School method. It was the flannelgraph. It was holding up of an icon to say "this is the story of John."
[37:57] Thank you for listening to a towel-headed kid for two days, God bless you.