Saturday, June 05, 2010

Is There an Ergun Caner Failblog Entry?


All of the following quotations (obviously excluding the linked material) come from a sermon titled, "The Greatest Day in Church" apparently preached Calvary Chapel Old Bridge (Old Bridge, NJ), on January 25, 2009 (sermon available for sale or free for streaming here). I understand this is the church of the same "Pastor Lloyd" whose interview with Caner we recently addressed (link to discussion of interview). References in parentheses are to the approximate starting place of the clip from which I'm quoting. There is just so much here it is hard to organize it. However, I have tried to organize it. It includes many, though not all, of the apparent embellishments we have seen. The time stamps are approximate, and the transcription is my own. If you find errors in it, please alert me.

Ironic Comment of the Day - Winner

(5:30) "I can't - I don't tell jokes. I tell stories all the time, but I can't tell like set-ups, like 'a man walked into a room ...'"
  • Sadly, it seems this point about telling stories is true.
Ironic Comment of the Day - Runner Up

(20:55) "I've now written sixteen books. Big deal. My books ain't nothin'. I don't think I've read sixteen books. I'm an idiot. If I got a PhD, anybody in this room can get a PhD. I've been teaching for ten years. For some reason, people started buying my books. I was like, 'ok.' They say, 'We want you to write on this,' I was like, 'Man, I am only going to write about what I am passionate about.' 'No, no, write this! We'll give you money!' 'Dude, I wouldn't buy it, if I wrote it.' My books mean nothing. Because most of you in this room have had a greater impact and will have a greater impact on the kingdom than I ever will."
Name Claim

(2:45) "My full name, Ergun Mehmet Caner"
  • We've seen official documents where his name is listed as Ergun Michael Caner.
100% Turkish Claim (With English in Brooklyn and Warrior Training Claims)

(22:35) "I am 100% Turk.

(1:00) "I am an immigrant, I'm Turkish, 100% Turkish, for which I usually have to apologize, because we have horrible atrocities that Turks do, all the time, but I came to America through Brooklyn, NY and learned English at Aquinas (some Brooklyn folk? yeah!) and then moved to Ohio (I'll tell you a little bit about that later) but moved to Ohio and then became a Christian. I was a Sunni Muslim and a jahideen not a mujahideen, not a holy warrior, but I had not made it that high, but I was a jahideen when I got saved."

(34:15) "Jesus strapped himself to a cross, so I wouldn't have to strap a bomb to myself."
  • It's unclear how Caner, whose mother is Swedish, can be 100% Turkish.

  • Note also the claim to have learned English in Brooklyn at "Aquinas" before settling in Ohio. Since Emir Caner was born in Ohio in 1970, and since Ergun Caner must have been 3 years old when he attended "Aquinas" in Brooklyn, if the story is true.

  • Note the claim to have been a "jahideen," and apparently on track to be a "mujahideen." It's hard to disprove this claim, but if there were folks training to be "mujahideen" in Central Ohio, we assume that the U.S. government would probably want to be aware of this. (UPDATE: a number of readers have pointed out that the -een ending is plural, and at least one has pointed out that while there is a real Arabic word "jahid" it is a verb form of the word for "struggle." If I've correctly understood Arabic grammar on this point (see here, for example), the "mu-" in "mujahid" is a prefix that turns a verb relating to warfare into a participle for the person who does the warfare. Thus, removing the "mu-" does not appear to be a qualifier meaning "holy," such that it could be removed to express a lesser type of warrior. Of course, I await someone whose Arabic knowledge is greater than my own to confirm this.)
Father with "Many Wives" Claim (and half-brothers claim)

(39:20) My father had other wives, Amen [responsive to clapping presumably about the brothers' salvation, not the alleged polygamy] My father had other wives, but from our mother all three boys, Ergun, Erdem, and Emir - all three born again - all three married to hot Christian wives."

(43:10) "My father had other wives. My father died in '99, never accepted Jesus. I have half-brothers and sisters who don't know Jesus."
  • We can only find evidence that Caner's father had two wives: Caner's mother and a woman that Caner's father apparently married after Caner's mother was divorced from Caner's father.

  • We can confirm that Caner has two half-sisters from Caner's father's second wife, but we cannot identify any half-brothers. Indeed, while the Caner's are mentioned in their father's will, no other male offspring are mentioned. (link to will)
Racial/Ethnic Comments

(2:30) "I married a southerner. We are the ultimate mixed marriage."

(3:30) "Her Father is from Possum Kill, NC, so you can guess he was thrilled when the towel-head showed up at the door to date his daughter"

(5:10) "You eat squirrel brains, you redneck. You eat innards and call them 'chit'lings,' you can eat this. " (reportedly his words/thoughts in response to his father-in-law's suspicion of his cooking)

(6:55) "We have two beautiful, wonderful, half-breed children. [childrens personal info omitted] They ignore me in two languages." (In another address, he identifies the two languages as "Turkish" and "redneck" - 10:20 at the link.)

(9:15) "I thought, 'There's a black man with a question!'" (pretend scared voice)

(22:35) "And I know there's two types of Muslims that come to America. One type running away from Islam and those that are coming to propitiate it. You've seen the ones who are running away. Usually, they come to America - they're in love with it - they wear the tight polyester pants. Come on - I've seen my people - you ain't gonna embarrass me by any of these things. We got the one eyebrow - we've got it slicked back. We've got our designer impostor perfume on. And we tryin' to make our move - we tryin' to mac. We're like, 'How you doing beautiful woman, come dance with me, dance with me. No, no, my name is Kanye - come on dance.' That wasn't us."

(40:30) "One church - one Pastor - one's pastor's wife: Yuki Miller was from Japan. Clarence met her when he was overseas. They were a mixed marriage too. And Yuki was this tall. Couldn't understand a word she was saying, she'd start praying, we do a prayer thing at night, all join hands, and she'd start: [using exaggerated far-east accent]'Heavenry Faddah - we thanka you fo [unintelligible] today.' Man, I didn't know what she was saying, but she was talking to somebody I wanted to know."

(46:35) "Thanks for listening to a towel-head."
  • I don't think Caner actually has any antipathy or hatred either for southerners or those of his own or other races/ethnicities. Nevertheless, it is surprising to see such a volume of these sorts of comments. Sadly, some of the "Caner haters" have drawn some very negative conclusions from these sorts of comments. My advice to Caner is to discontinue these. (In another clip, you may recall, Caner even refers to White people as "crackers" about 3/4 of the way through.)
Sexual Comments

(39:55) "All three married to hot Christian wives. You go to Facebook (R), man. Look at pictures of my wife. My wife is fergalicious, man."
  • I am glad he loves his wife and finds her attractive. I can't believe that folks think it is appropriate for him to be suggesting that folks ogle her on Facebook (R). I've never seen his wife, and I'm content to take his word for it, as to her physical beauty. I would again, however, encourage him not to make a spectacle of her.
Debate Claims

(9:20) "I'm a professor. And most of the time in my life I'm with hostile crowds, as you could tell with debate. You can go on iTunes (R) and get all my debates for free. No subscription or anything, you just type in my name. And you'll see, I debate anybody. And I teach apologetics, that is defending the faith, specifically to hostile crowds, to world religions. Global apologetics is defending Christianity in light of near eastern, middle eastern, far eastern religions."

(10:10) "And so, most of the time, I'm not with fellow believers. Only when I'm in the classroom. And even there, I tell the students, we bring them into our classes, for interviews. We bring in Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and such. And we do these debates. And I rarely get to talk about how I ended up here."
  • We've previously looked at his debates, and found that all we could locate were rather tranquil interviews (link to discussion).

  • Note that Caner even seems to acknowledge that the "debates" are just "interviews" in his classrooms.

  • Where is the evidence of Caner debating in a "hostile" crowd? Perhaps he has done so, and there is just no evidence of it, but it is very strange that there is plenty of evidence of the interviews and none (that has come to my attention) of him debating folks in a hostile environment.
Dressing Funny Claim (And "last day I saw my father" claim)

(31:50) "Tackett goes, 'Here he is!' Like you've got to point out the boy in the dress, right?"

(35:05) "In the middle of the sermon, when I felt he's talking right at me, I stepped out and walked to the front. And there Clarence was, handkerchief in hand - preaching '(vocalizing of preaching rhythm) - What?' There's this boy standing in front of him in full gear."

(23:40) "We wore keffiyeh ..."

(36:40) "We went to Afterglow, that's where all the youth went out after church, Denny's IHOP, etc. I took my keffiyeh off, told the waitress I was saved, ordered ham. I'm all about my ham. And I go home, and I told my father, 'Papa, ishulaha umuduru hai esus isa ibn ara turrah,' Jesus is my Lord and savior. And it was the last day I saw my dad."
  • There's no evidence that we can find that Caner ever wore keffiyeh - in fact his high school pictures make him look like a pretty ordinary kid. (see the discussion here)

  • Also, it is not typical for Turkish Muslim laymen, even in Turkey, to wear keffiyeh and robes, as far as we can tell. Watch the recent Gaza relief flotilla funerals and notice how, aside from the clerics, everyone is dressed in basically Western clothes.

  • Finally, the "last day I saw my dad" comment isn't accurate. Caner saw his father again before his father died, according to his own testimony elsewhere. That's very sad that he was cut off from his father for many years, but he is slightly embellishing by claiming it was the last time he saw his father.
Grandmother Claims

(42:00) "In 1995, at almost the age of 100, my grandmother got saved. My mom is a church planter in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Grandma, five foot tall and shrinking. Meanest woman on the planet. Anyone else got a mean grandma? They beat the livin' tar out of you - anyone else? Grandma wouldn't negotiate. Grandma wouldn't do time out. Grandma would do knock out - choke out, black out, that was my grandma. When my grandma got saved, someone blew up the Koran-the the the Bible, like - her Koran was large print - they got the idea and they said, 'ah' - they got our big Bible, they blew it up, they led her to Jesus. Emir, my youngest brother, got to baptize her. Stood in the waters with her - started crying. I'm sitting in the crowd, weeping. Erdem weeping. Our wives weeping. Mormor, grandmother, looked up at Emir [sound effect] smacked him. Smacked him in the baptistry, 'Do it!' That's what she said."
  • The accusations of physical abuse by his grandmother strikes one as a little extreme. It has the sound of an exaggeration, though how could anyone know?

  • What is especially odd is that "mormor" is the Swedish word for maternal grandmother, yet Caner suggests that this grandmother had a large print Koran.
Came to America in 1978 Claim

(23:35) "And when we came to America in '78, through Brooklyn, we settled in Columbus, OH, to build mosques. "
Conversion Senior Year or Later Claim

(22:35) "I am 100% Turk. That's not as important as telling you I lived 18 years of my life as a Sunni Muslim."

(27:25) "Jerry Tackett was an obnoxious kid trying to earn an AWANA badge. I don't know - I mean I don't know what it was. But beginning in my freshman year, and going until my senior year, Jerry Tackett never took "no" for an answer. For three and a half years, almost four years, Tackett kept coming after me. 'Dude, you want to come to the lock-in? Dude, you want to go roller skating? Dude - fifth quarter, hotdog hog-out, pizza pig-out,' all those youth things that people do. 'No, no, no.' Freshman year, Sophomore year, Junior Year, 'Leave me alone!' I have my prayer rug in the locker room and I'd roll it out and I'd be praying and my forehead to the ground and I'd come back up and there he's standing, 'Hey!'"

(28:40) "Going into my senior year, I figured I found the way to shut him up. I said, 'I'll go with you to your church, if you come to the mosque. So this high school senior, this seventeen year-old boy named Jerry Tackett walked to the mosque on Broad St. in Columbus, OH, walked in with a Bible in his hand, and a 'Jesus Saves' t-shirt."

(30:20) "I was trying to be anonymous, sit in the back, and there comes Tackett, and there comes his friends, and there comes all these youth. Four years they'd been going on me and they never gave up."

(39:20) "I was in college, eight months later, my phone rang. I discovered that both my brothers had gotten saved. My father had other wives, Amen [responsive to clapping presumably about the brothers' salvation, not the alleged polygamy] My father had other wives, but from our mother all three boys, Ergun, Erdem, and Emir - all three born again - all three married to hot Christian wives."
  • From what we know, Dr. Caner graduated from Gahanna Lincoln High School in the spring of 1984 (link to discussion here). Based on the apparent fact that he was born in late 1966, he would have been 17 years old when he graduated.

  • Conversion at 18, therefore, would be during his first or even second year of college.

  • Caner's senior year was in 1983-84. When we've heard him give a date for his conversion, the date has been November 4, 1982. That would be the the first part of Caner's Junior year, not his Senior year.

  • Eight months after November 4, 1982, would be July 1983, the summer before Caner's Senior year.

  • The illustration above is taken from one of Caner's yearbooks. The caption in the yearbook states: "While on the foreign langauge hayride, junior Ergun Caner gets bombarded with hay. The hayride was an annual event held at Kitzmiller Farm in New Albany." Compare that illustration also to Caner's claims about dressing funny, above. Note that American hayrides are typically a fall activity, when the hay is harvested. So, it may be that this could have been taken after November 4, 1982, or before it. Perhaps Ergun Caner will stop by to tell us when the hayride actually took place?

  • Finally, we've elsewhere seen Ergun's brother Emir claim to be saved in November 1982. They seem to agree that Ergun Caner was saved even earlier than his brother, Emir. So, it's unclear whether in fact the date of Ergun's conversion perhaps should be his sophomore year, instead.

  • The 1982 date, interestingly, can also be derived from 1995 date for his grandmother's conversion and the following quotation, i.e. 1982 plus 13 years equals 1995.
(44:10) "It took four years for Jerry Tackett to get to my heart. Five years for my brothers. Another nine years for our mother. Another thirteen years for our grandmother."

Radical Devotion Claim

(23:30) "My father's name is Acar Mehmet Caner. I say it out loud, because just telling the story you don't get to do that often, and most Muslims who are Muslims have never met a murtad. I am a murtad. I left Islam, I am a believer in Jesus Christ. My father was an ulima in the mosque, an ulima is a scholar. And he was an architect by vocation. And when we came to America in '78, through Brooklyn, we settled in Columbus, OH, to build mosques. That is exactly what my father did until the day he died in 1999. We were not the casual Muslim, we were not the comfortable Muslim, we were the devout. We wore keffiyeh, we spoke Arabic and Turkish, we read the Koran, we fasted 40 days during Ramadan, we lived by the rules of halal and haram and mushbu, the dietary restrictions. We prayed five times a day facing Mecca, you know, "Bismillah r-rahim wahamdullah al r-rahim." We didn't look like you. We didn't act like you. I didn't dress like you, and let me be very clear with you: I hated you, because I was raised to."

(1:00) "I am an immigrant, I'm Turkish, 100% Turkish, for which I usually have to apologize, because we have horrible atrocities that Turks do, all the time, but I came to America through Brooklyn, NY and learned English at Aquinas (some Brooklyn folk? yeah!) and then moved to Ohio (I'll tell you a little bit about that later) but moved to Ohio and then became a Christian. I was a Sunni Muslim and a jahideen not a mujahideen, not a holy warrior, but I had not made it that high, but I was a jahideen when I got saved."

(34:15) "Jesus strapped himself to a cross, so I wouldn't have to strap a bomb to myself."
  • We've seen the warrior training claims above. The only evidence that has been presented, apparently to substantiate it, has been called into question. (link to discussion)

  • We've also addressed issues of how Ergun looked and dressed above.

  • It's hard to justify Caner's claim that only rarely gets to tell his story. At any rate, I've heard his story told many times.

  • There's no evidence that we've seen to support Caner's claim that his father was an ulima. Perhaps he was, but we cannot see any evidence of that.

  • I would love to see some evidence that Caner's father actually built mosques. It may be true that he helped in some way, but I cannot find any evidence that he actually served as an architect even for the Islamic Foundation on Broad St., although I have tried to find confirming evidence.

  • While Dr. Caner's father undoubtedly spoke Turkish, and while the essential Muslim prayers are in Arabic, we don't have any evidence that Caner actually spoke Turkish and Arabic. In fact, we have some evidence to the contrary.

  • It's not possible that the Caners fasted 40 days during Ramadan, because Ramadan doesn't last 40 days for Sunni Muslims (or for anyone - it's a lunar month, which means it is never more than 30 days long). Wouldn't a former devout Muslim know how long Ramadan was? Perhaps it's just an error of memory, which is what I thought at first, when I had only seen two instances. (see the clip embedded below) With this third instance, however, I am finding it hard to believe that it is simply something that Caner has forgotten.

As far as I can tell, halal and haram and mushbu are the three categories into which a particular food can fall: permitted, forbidden, or (in essence) maybe. I'm not really sure if "mushbu" is a standard term: the first hit I got for it in the literature was John Ankerburg et al. quoting Ergun Caner (link). The terms halal and haram, however, do not refer just to dietary rules but to rules for life generally.

Arabic/Turkish Knowledge Claim

(36:40) "We went to Afterglow, that's where all the youth went out after church, Denny's IHOP, etc. I took my keffiyeh off, told the waitress I was saved, ordered ham. I'm all about my ham. And I go home, and I told my father, 'Papa, ishulaha umuduru hai esus isa ibn ara turrah,' Jesus is my Lord and savior. And it was the last day I saw my dad."

(23:35) We wore keffiyeh, we spoke Arabic and Turkish, we read the Koran, we fasted 40 days during Ramadan, we lived by the rules of halal and haram and mushbu, the dietary restrictions.
  • We have no good reason to think that Ergun knows Arabic, as I've mentioned above.

  • It's not clear which language or languages Caner is trying to speak in the first identified clip. It does sound a little like the pseudo-Arabic that Dr. White and his tutor previously critiqued (link to critique).
Conclusion

This sermon was an absolute mess. I had hoped to take a break from Caner-related stories for a while. However, upon having this sermon brought to my attention, I realized it should help to illustrate to Caner himself and to his supporters that this goes beyond an occasional discrepancy or an accidental one-time misstatement. Instead, this looks more like a pattern. Unless there is some good explanation - and we have not seen any explanation from Caner - it is hard to see in what positive way could interpret these comments from Caner.

For me, the truly sad thing is this. I greatly appreciate Caner's speaking abilities: he's a great orator, in my opinion. I also think he has an amazing testimony underneath all the embellishment. A lot of what Dr. Caner writes and says is very good. Despite the fact that a significant portion of this sermon was about Caner's life story, Caner drives home the message of the need to evangelize, and I am in full agreement with him on that.

These comments that Dr. Caner has been making, he has been making publicly. If they are not true, he really ought to repent and seek the forgiveness of those whom he has misled, regardless of the reasons he had. Please be clear as well, I don't think that Dr. Caner had bad reasons for what he did. I think, as the first quotation I provided above illustrated, he just likes telling stories, because he thinks they help illustrate the point and make it memorable.

I don't know his heart, and I am saddened both by the rabid "attack the messenger" response from folks like Peter Lumpkins and by Caner's own hesitance to come clean, as he appeared to be starting to do in February. I pray that God will bring repentance (if it is called for) and healing to Dr. Caner, and that God will enable those Christians who are upset at apparently having been misled to forgive Caner.

-TurretinFan

37 comments:

Fredericka said...

I wonder if the forty days fasting isn't back-contamination from the Bible. Jesus fasted forty days in the desert (Matthew 4:2); Elijah fasted forty days (1 Kings 19:8); Moses fasted forty days (Deuteronomy 9:9). So maybe when he thinks, 'fast,' that 'forty days' just pops in, from the Bible. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think children have to fast during Ramadan anyway; they are exempt, unless they want to participate. If he became a Christian at age 15, there would only have been a couple years he would have been expected to fast during Ramadan (i.e., not eat during the day but pig out at night). So this is how Ramadan was lengthened to forty days: he does not have much memory of it (if there is anything to remember), and the 'forty days' intrudes from the Bible?

Coram Deo said...

TF,

Do you think when he referenced Muslims who come to America to "propitiate" Islam Caner actually meant to say "propogate"? Of course this is a very minor peccadillo, but the statement as spoken makes no sense. I thought maybe it was a transcription error on your part, so I went back and listened to that section, and he did say "propitiate". Yes, yes, I know; how could I have doubted you?

Also shortly after this comment he claims his father was a "Ulema". I know you've touched upon this topic in other threads, and maybe it's only my poor understanding of Caner's enunciation, but according to wikipedia an Ulema is a Muslim scholar, especially a lawyer of shari'a.

I noticed that you didn't pick up on this claim in the transcript; is there a reason for that?

In Christ,
CD

Fredericka said...

"Thanks for listening to a towel-head."
He is trying to make people feel guilty, playing the race card. But in the Columbus, Ohio mosque pictures, the Caner children appear sandy-haired. Would such light-haired children have heard these racial epithets? To judge by the mosque pictures, the children would have been difficult to place in terms of ethnic origin, but most people probably would have guessed south-eastern European, not Turkish, certainly not Arab. Evidently Ergun's hair darkened later, though not Emir's. Or maybe it's reverted; who knows, maybe he has to shave his head because otherwise people would be bewildered by the racial epithets he claims to have heard. This is a little like a healthy person rolling along in a wheel-chair to garner sympathy; he's a half-Swede claiming to have suffered racial discrimination in America.

Fredericka said...

"...but I came to America through Brooklyn, NY and learned English at Aquinas (some Brooklyn folk? yeah!)"
'Brooklyn' is difficult to decode. Is it just local color? Does he travel around the country and say, 'I came to America through Albuquerque, NM' and 'I came to America through Abilene, TX'?

natamllc said...

A couple of things I would note and speculate on now that I have read this thread.

First, a personal digression that might help in understanding the many wives and half brothers and sisters issue being raised in this thread?

My father married a woman who had a daughter by a previous relationship. They then had two children, my half brother and half sister. These three children were then made a part of the marriage to my mother. He divorced his first wife and held custody to his step daughter and his first two children after divorcing her; then marrying my mother out of convenience for them.

With my mother, my first full sibling, my sister, died shortly after birth due to some physical complications at birth. My mother gave birth then to my next oldest sister, then my older brother, then another older sister, then me. So by the time I came along, my dad had been married twice; to his first wife; and to my mother. I knew about his first wife's daughter and of course my half brother and sister only by way of conversation because when I was born those three were already gone from the household. He then divorced my mother and she then had a relationship and had another girl, my second half sister. My dad remarried. He married a woman who had two sons, "my step brothers", from her previous marriage. I knew and met my half brother and sister and the steps from afar.

So Ergun's situation could be like my situation; his father, Acar could have had three wives like my father. Maybe Mr. Acar M. Caner had more than three wives with other children?

We have established he had two and children from both; three boys with Monica Inez and two with the wife he married after divorcing Monica in Ohio? Monica remarried also.


My second issue from this thread is this: as for the discipline by the Grandmother, that Ergun refers to, maybe it isn't the Swedish grandmother? I have noted in another thread combox that when I spent some time visiting friends in Sweden I learned that Swedish law prohibits corporal punishment by parents and presumably grandparents too? It might be that there is a "second" grandmother, the Turkish one, mother to Acar, that is in this scenario that we have overlooked, missed, or or or because it has never been made public?

So, concluding, Mr. Acar M. Caner could have had a wife in Turkey with which came forth children? And these children are 100% Turkish? It's speculation? It's plausible that when Mr. Acar M. Caner immigrated to Sweden he brought with him his Turkish mother? When he remarried to Monica Inez, a Swede, her mother also became a part of the family, too? When Ergun came along he came into a Swedish/Turkish household with two grandmothers? And when the Caner's left Sweden to come to America so his father could build mosques, Monica's mother came along with Acar's and they all made it to Ohio; one father, two grandmothers, one Muslim grandmother who sternly disciplined Ergun and one who did not because she most likely used sound reason to discipline grandson because it was against the law to use corporal punishment in Sweden and her Swedish disposition would not use corporal punishment on her grandsons?

Which leaves us looking at funeral records then to see if a Turkish woman, Dr. Caner's "turkish" grandmother, died in America and then was subsequently shipped back to and buried in her homeland?

If this is plausible, then it makes since that this "Turkish" grandmother would leave off studying or holding to her mother religion, Islam, and the Koran, in her nineties, in favor of the Biblical Christianity the Holy Spirit would have sanctified her into?

Which, then, brings me to my next point, which has also been addressed in earlier threads. Swedes are generally Lutheran. Lutheranism is the State religion in Sweden and all high religious holidays are done at the Lutheran churches. Well, that's another story? Where is Ergun's Lutheran grandmother buried? :)

natamllc said...

I am now listening to the message from the church in New Jersey.

I have been to New York and New Jersey.

I just spent a fair amount of time with my son at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. That Army base is on the Kentucky/Tennessee line.

I have been to New Jersey more than Kentucky or Tennessee. I did visit my nieces who lived in the Memphis, Tennessee region for a period of time.

I can tell you I had more difficulty listening to and understanding those in New Jersey than in either Kentucky and Tennessee.

And listening to the clarity of Ergun's message and the response from the audience, they didn't have difficulty understanding him?

Hmmmmmmm, what is there to relearn in the Carolinas or Kentucky? I have been to both North and South Carolina too as well as Georgia and Mississippi. Of these states, it was only in Mississippi that I had a bit of time following what they meant, but not in North or South Carolina, Kentucky or Georgia.

Ok, now, well when in England, there I had a real hard time in that place where you would have a really hard time understanding English! :)

Coram Deo said...

For what it's worth (very little I'm sure) based on all the objective data I've personally seen and/or read, I can only conclude that "Ergun Mehmet Caner" is a lavish persona created by Ergun Michael Caner in the post-9/11, doctrinally ignorant, generally Islamo-phobic, and highly "cult-of-personality-ish" SBC.

Obviously I'm not the first one to posit this theory, but this seems to be a case where Occam's razor cuts most cleanly.

I must also admit that I don't share TF's apparent heartfelt sadness over this whole sorry episode. Maybe I lack his maturity, but it's very difficult for me to muster any sympathy for someone who should have known better.

Did Ergun really think he could get away with his charade forever?

Did he not realize that his self-contradictory sermons, radio appearances, articles, et al were being videotaped, recorded, and transcribed?

Did he really believe he could reinvent himself as someone else, and that no one would catch on?

Did he come to believe his own lies?

Ergun is tangled in a web of deceit of his own weaving, and the verse that keeps coming to mind is Numbers 32:23b; "...be sure your sin will find you out".

When someone is accidentally shot while cleaning a gun that they thought was unloaded, it's a tragic accident; but when someone is shot while playing Russian Roulette...

I do think the collateral damage resulting from Ergun's sinful selfishness and haughty pridefulness is tragic. The shame he's brought upon LU, his family, and those who trusted him is very real, and will not go away anytime soon.

It's now up to LU to do the right thing and discipline Ergun appropriately for his own good, and for the good of the institution. Let's pray they have the stomach for it.

In Christ,
CD

Fredericka said...

Coram Deo, he flim-flammed Jerry Falwell into believing that 'son of a ulema' bit:
"On February 4, to the surprise of thousands of Liberty University students, I arose in a convocation service to announce that Dr. Ergun Caner, a converted Sunni Muslim and son of an ulema (Muslim scholar), was to be the first former Muslim to become the dean of an evangelical seminary in the United States. In fact, he will become dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary on the campus of Liberty University, the school I founded in 1971."
quoted from article,
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2005/2/11/175210.shtml

Fredericka said...

On that little video clip, he seems to equate "a lunar month" with a 40 day month. Can he possibly believe a lunar month is 40 days long? If that were the case, the Muslim year, of twelve lunar months, would be 480 days long! He says "Muslims are lunar." He is lunar.

Coram Deo said...

"he flim-flammed Jerry Falwell into believing that 'son of a ulema' bit:"

Fredericka,

With all due respect to the departed Dr. Falwell, he wasn't notable for his discernment.

But to be fair, I think Ergun has flim-flammed a large number of people with his embellishments, half-truths, and outright lies. Whether calculated or uncalculated makes little difference in the end.

I think E.C. is the poster child for pragmatic, ends-justify-the-means type of evangelicalism typified by vast swaths of the SBC.

But after all, when the salvation of souls depends on people liking you so they'll like your Jesus perhaps desperate times call for desperate measures.

Some have already pointed this out, but perhaps the saddest spectacle of all is the maligning of Christ's good Name, and the exceedingly poor witness resulting from Ergun's living a lie for so long.

It's time to come clean, Ergun.

In Christ,
CD

Turretinfan said...

As to the "local color" question, I believe I recall him saying something similar in a sermon in a southern church, though perhaps I'm mistaken. By similar, I mean I think he also said "Brooklyn" in that other sermon, since was not the first time I had heard this. In the other instance, I think he listed a street number instead of saying "Aquinas," though (again, if my memory serves me ... someone should research this, if they want to know).

-TurretinFan

natamllc said...

CD

I know TF can share his heart's feeling quite well.

While my own deceitful heart is being buffeted by Truth, I have some verses that bring me to having heartfelt emotions for Ergun and Emir and those who have been duped by them, both within and without the Church world. Not only that, I have a fear that torments me because of these verses:


Pro 24:9 The devising of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to mankind.
Pro 24:10 If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.
Pro 24:11 Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
Pro 24:12 If you say, "Behold, we did not know this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?
Pro 24:13 My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
Pro 24:14 Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

Now, while my emotions swing, I still have hope and here are some verses that cause me to hope for a "glorious" outcome from this whole fiasco you rightly say Dr. Caner has woven by himself:

1Co 1:1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes,
1Co 1:2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
1Co 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I have a firm confidence in you CD that you are quite familiar with the church at Corinth? Why then does the Apostle, who had a "hands and spiritual hands on" relationship with them start out by edifying them considering them to be God's "Saints"?

If that is not enough, how about the charge he gave Titus regarding the Cretans?

Tit 1:11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.
Tit 1:12 One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."
Tit 1:13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,
Tit 1:14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth.
Tit 1:15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.


Maybe TF hasn't been as sharp as you in rebuke or criticism of Dr. Caner, but you certainly will agree with me he has attempted to silence Dr. Caner by his throughly thorough work published on this blog by highlighting the shameful things Ergun has repeatedly said of himself and has taught to others?

It is misleading of him to continue that self spun persona that will be his undoing, some of us agree?

I also concur with these verses as well:


Pro 26:22 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.
Pro 26:23 Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel are fervent lips with an evil heart.
Pro 26:24 Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart;
Pro 26:25 when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart;
Pro 26:26 though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
Pro 26:27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
Pro 26:28 A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Lightwalker said...

As for the 100% Turk comment, is it possible his mother was a Swedish Turk?

A good friend of mine in high school was an exchange student and that is what he said he was. He looked nothing like a Swede, his family (at some point prior to his birth) had moved to Sweden from Turkey.

Turretinfan said...

As to "propitiate" your guess is as good as mine. I had to listen several times to be sure he was using that word, because it does seem totally inappropriate.

Probably "propagate" is correct.

Anonymous said...

@Fredericka, you said:

"’Thanks for listening to a towel-head.’He is trying to make people feel guilty, playing the race card. But...the Caner children appear sandy-haired. Would such light-haired children have heard these racial epithets?”


I am by no means a defender of Mr. Caner's actions, but I don't doubt that he and his brothers can identify with the epithet in question. I was taunted with names like "terrorist" and "sand N" throughout high school because my father is from the Middle East, despite the fact that I have light-brown hair and pale skin and might seem in other respects an even less likely target for such terms than the Caners (e.g., I'm a female, half-Swiss, US-born, no Muslim relatives or ancestors, speak only English, etc.)

@Lightwalker,
You raise a good point. Sweden is Turkey 2.0, from what I understand.

MS

Turretinfan said...

"As for the 100% Turk comment, is it possible his mother was a Swedish Turk?"

His maternal grandmother apparently spoke either only, or at least primarily, Swedish.

I guess it would be hard to rule out every possibility.

For example, Caner's mother could have been adopted from Turkey.

Turretinfan said...

Regarding the 40 days, my primary guess is that he's getting it mixed up with Lent, which is 40 days.

natamllc said...

I would like to note the "fasting" during Ramadan.

While traveling to Europe and Africa with a Shia and Sunni during Ramadan one year, the Shia Muslim was quite religious about "not" eating anything from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.. But after 6 p.m. all through the days I was with them, which was about 20 days, we went to dinner. Sometimes I paid, sometimes the Shia paid and sometimes the Sunni paid. And the planning as to "where" we were to eat was all through the day! :)

Also, the Sunni kept the 5 prayer times more religiously than the Shia. Hmmmmm? I couldn't make head or tails of these supposed "devout" Muslim men!

And, on the last day, as I understand it, it's the time to exchange gifts with one another! It's like gift giving at the holiday some celebrate known as Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Somehow I think Ergun is laughing all the way to the bank.

He must think evangelicals are a bunch of jerks to believe all his "Arabic"--and I guess until now, they were!!
Godith

Coram Deo said...

"Regarding the 40 days, my primary guess is that he's getting it mixed up with Lent, which is 40 days."

Poor Ergun...he sure seems to get "mixed up" a lot.

Ramdan/Lent; Turkey/Sweden; speaks Arabic/doesn't speak Arabic; came to America as a toddler/came to America as a teenager; disowned by entire family/disowned only by father; father had many other wives/father had one other wife; was trained "jahadeen"/was a typical Midwestern teenager; wore traditional Muslim dress/wore typical Midwestern teenager clothes; was tased/wasn't tased; was devout Sunni Muslim/evidence indicates not a devout Sunni Muslim; AWANA friend led him to Christ/Swedish granny led him to Christ; conducted multiple debates across many continents and languages with all types of religious apologists and even one psedonymous Christian writer (Abdul Saleeb)/did not conduct multiple debates across many continents and languages with all types of religious apologists and even one psedonymous Christian writer (Abdul Saleeb); Toh-may-toh/Toh-mah-toh.

The important thing is all the good stuff he does, right? So let's try to focus our energies on that and stay positive, 'kay?

'Kay, move along folks, nothing to see here...

In Christ,
CD

Debbie Kaufman said...

I really appreciate all the work you have put into this Turretin, but I have just one issue. Those who have taken issue with Caner's bigoted, and yet that is the right word, bigoted remarks are not haters of anything but Caner's bigoted remarks. Not only should all human beings expect to not have a Christian use the phrases and words he did about other races, sexes, but it is used in reference to black people, Mexicans, all races, he's not discriminatory in the races he uses in this type of rhetoric.

To call those who call him on it Caner haters is not only to dismiss the ones we should be listening to as well but you just called Dr. McKissic who is black a Caner hater, and I doubt he would agree with you. It bothers me that you seemingly dismiss this almost as much as Caner's dishonesty. I hope you really think about that and change your attitude in this.

Coram Deo said...

To call those who call him on it Caner haters is not only to dismiss the ones we should be listening to as well but you just called Dr. McKissic who is black a Caner hater, and I doubt he would agree with you. It bothers me that you seemingly dismiss this almost as much as Caner's dishonesty. I hope you really think about that and change your attitude in this.

Debbie,

I can't find any reference by TF to anyone named "Dr. McKissic" on this blog. Could you point this out? Perhaps the statement was made in a combox elsewhere?

Also, unless my reading comprehension is suffering tonight, I took TF's reference to "Caner haters" in "quotation marks" to be a derivative reference to the ad hominem inveighed by Caner's staunchest defenders against anyone and everyone who points out his numerous contradictory statements. If this is the case, then perhaps your outrage is slightly misplaced.

Am I reading that reference correctly, TF?

In Christ,
CD

Turretinfan said...

DK:

I didn't have any specific person in mind when I referred to "Caner-haters" - just generally a small subset of the folks out there who seem ready to think the worst of Caner (e.g. if he sneezes, clearly he's trying to employ biological warfare, or something like that). I don't think Caner is a bigot, but I'll try to keep an open mind about it.

I didn't mean to suggest that everyone who has taken issue with Caner's remarks is a "Caner-hater."

I have no idea who "Dr. McKissic" is, and I certainly didn't intend my comments to be directed him, since I'm still personally unaware of his comments on the situation.

-TurretinFan

Coram Deo said...

TF,

Thanks for the clarification. I was a bit taken aback by D.K.'s assertion since I've been following E.C. saga with some interest, and I'd never seen you impute any motives or make any comments referencing the individual named by D.K.

In Christ,
CD

Ankarite said...

I don't really have time to read the whole post now... But having just started in, one thing strikes my attention: the use of the word "jahideen" as if it is a rank on the way to "muhajideen" My primary foreign language is Turkish, not Arabic. However I do know a thing or two about Arabic. Unless I'm greatly mistaken (always possible), the "een" on end of "mujahiddeen" is an Arabic plural ending... And the "mu" prefix and the word structure indicate an adjective used as a noun - "those who engage in jihad" ... To call oneself a "jahideen" I suspect, makes non-sense in Arabic.

A quick glance at Wikipedia corroborates the statement about the plural meaning:

A Mujahid (Arabic: مجاهد, muǧāhid, literally "struggler", "justice-fighter" or "freedom-fighter") is a person who is fighting for freedom.[1] The plural is mujahideen[2] (Arabic: مجاهدين‎, muǧāhidīn). The word is from the same Arabic triliteral as jihad ("struggle").

Sameh said...

P.S. There is no such thing as a Jahideen. And there is no variant of Mujahideen (Mujahid . sing) that can be made to indicate an initiate Mujahid.

Turretinfan said...

I think I'll add a minor update about that to the post.

Turretinfan said...

Just added the following update:

UPDATE: a number of readers have pointed out that the -een ending is plural, and at least one has pointed out that there does not appear to be any real Arabic word "jahid." If I've correctly understood Arabic grammar on this point (see here, for example), the "mu-" in "mujahid" is a prefix that turns a verb relating to warfare into a participle for the person who does the warfare. Thus, removing the "mu-" does not appear to be a qualifier meaning "holy," such that it could be removed to express a lesser type of warrior. Of course, I await someone whose Arabic knowledge is greater than my own to confirm this.

Sameh said...

Hello, I'm an Arab Muslim. Allow me to shed some light on how the issue of the word Mujahideen.

The word "Jahid" does exist, but it's a verb form commanding one to "struggle", "Yujahid" (present form) meaning "to struggle, and "Jahada" past tense meaning "Had struggled" and it encompasses a wide spectrum of ways to struggle in the way of God. From the psychological to the struggle on the battle field. Fighting as a way of "Jihad: noun simply meaning struggle". BTW, Jihad in the battle field in Islam is considered the "lesser" Jihad. In Islam the highest form of Jihad, is "Saying the truth to a tyrant ruler"...

Adding "Mu" like you explained turns the struggle into "one who struggles". The "een" part is to make it plural, but depending on it's location in the sentence you might need to add "oon" instead.

There is no derivative word that I know of that means "lesser" Mujahid in the Arabic language all together. Although there is a rule in Arabic that can be used to derive a "smaller" form of any object, like "Kitab" meaning book can be transformed into "Kutayyib" to mean "booklet". I guess one could apply that rule to Mujahid but it's certainly not "Jahideen" (That in Arabic is an adv (for the plural) meaning "done with hardship")

Sameh said...

With regards to Ramadan being a 40 days month, I'm convinced he was not merely mistaking it for the 40 day fasting of Jesus described in the Bible. In the clip he seems to make a point of trying to show how the Lunar month is a 40-day month as opposed to the Christian calendar, when in fact the lunar month is a 30 day month also. He's trying to make it look as if the Muslim culture (even their calendar) is so different, to make people hate it more. The problem with Ergun's claim isn't that he's claiming Muslims fast for 40 days, but that he think the months in the Muslim calendar consists of 40 days, which is a huge mistake for someone claiming to have been an ex-devout Muslim to make.

Turretinfan said...

Sameh: Thank you for educating me. I have updated my update.

Thy Peace said...

Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. Blog > ATTITUDES TOWARD RACE IN SBC LIFE.

Ergun Caner made condescending and stereotypical remarks concerning the Black Church in a sermon preached at First Baptist of Jacksonville, FL. Caner’s observation certainly would not be true of the Black church that I pastor and the majority of Black churches that I’m aware of. Yet, his remarks were met with approving laughter. I don’t believe that he would have made those same remarks in a Black church. Caner essentially said Black churches do not put the preacher up to preach until about 1:00 p.m. That’s not true. Black churches, according to Caner, take up “twelve offerings”. That’s untrue.

Anonymous said...

"I really appreciate all the work you have put into this Turretin, but I have just one issue. Those who have taken issue with Caner's bigoted, and yet that is the right word, bigoted remarks are not haters of anything but Caner's bigoted remarks. Not only should all human beings expect to not have a Christian use the phrases and words he did about other races, sexes, but it is used in reference to black people, Mexicans, all races, he's not discriminatory in the races he uses in this type of rhetoric.

To call those who call him on it Caner haters is not only to dismiss the ones we should be listening to as well but you just called Dr. McKissic who is black a Caner hater, and I doubt he would agree with you. It bothers me that you seemingly dismiss this almost as much as Caner's dishonesty. I hope you really think about that and change your attitude in this. "

What?

I am trying to figure out where this comment is coming from. I did not read any of the accusations above in this blog post. Exactly what attitude are you to change?

And why would this McKissic guy be involved in this blog post? I see someone gave a link but what does this have to do with the accusation that TF called this McKissic person a Caner Hater?

Very confusing comment.

Ankarite said...

Caner's statement that his father was "an ulima" (ulema) is also a misuse. Ulema is plural ("learned men") and refers to a class of people - Islamic scholars or clergy. The singular would be 'alim. To say "my father was an ulema" is like saying, "my father was an elder board" or "a group of scholars." Again, this seems to me like someone who knows some terms about Islam, but has not used them in his personal, everyday speech in Turkish or Arabic. Also the things he says he told his father (when he told him he had believed in Jesus) definitely are not Turkish and don't seem to be Arabic either. I suspect Caner has assumed his audience is so ignorant of Islam, Turkish and Arabic that "anything goes" and he just makes stuff up.

Ergun Caner Conman said...

Ankarite,

Ergun Caner is so bold of a liar to use made up words assuming thousands upon thousands of his listeners and readers are ignorant fools. This guy is so arrogant a liar thinking that all Americans are fools. He should be fired from being a Baptis pastor and a seminary president, also sued by a group of people and churches for being intentionally deceiving them for many years. He belongs to used auto dealership business or snake oil salesman. He is just a low down Baptist preacher.

natamllc said...

One of the ironies here, especially with photo above of Ergun is the verse: " build with ...., hay, & ........".

Fredericka said...

"Regarding the 40 days, my primary guess is that he's getting it mixed up with Lent, which is 40 days."
Six of one, a half dozen of the other. Lent is forty days (probably) because that is how long Moses, Elijah and Jesus fasted: "In determining this period of forty days the example of Moses, Elias, and Christ must have exercised a predominant influence, but it is also possible that the fact was borne in mind that Christ lay forty hours in the tomb." (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09152a.htm) Maybe that is something he learned at Aquinas Pre-School.