Monday, September 23, 2013

From Islam to Christianity - Part 1 - Ergun Caner - 2 November 2009

A transcript of a program titled, "From Islam to Christianity - Part 1" by Ergun Caner, dated November 2, 2009, can be found at this link (link). I would love to check the accuracy of the transcript, but it seems to be hard to find original audio of Ergun Caner's presentations these days. Here are some interesting comments attributed to Caner in the transcript:
And in Acts 16 Paul and Silas and Luke they set out on the second missionary journey. The first place they go is my country, Tyrus is on the western shores of Turkey. I'm an eastern Turk, toward the Kurdish regions.
Now, we know that Caner was born in Sweden and came to America as a young boy. But let's set this aside for a moment, to look at some other comments.
Somebody stuck around for me. I came here as a missionary to you. I didn't know Christians. I thought you hated me. Everything I ever learned about American Christianity I learned in the mosque from my imam or from my madrassa, my training center. And so every other place I'd ever lived I lived there as a majority person.
I always lived in a majority Islamic countries. Then I come to America. My father was a muezzin. I'm the oldest of three sons to his wife, this one wife. He had many wives. I came as a faithful and devout Muslim.
Every debate I've ever had with a Muslim, "Oh, you do not understand Islam. Oh, you need to understand the Arabic." What's next? That was my language before English. English is hard.
Notice the claims he makes:

  • that he came "as a missionary."
  • that he "always lived in majority Islamic countries."
  • that his father had "many wives."
  • that he has had enough debates with Muslims to describe them as "every debate."
  • that Arabic was his language before English.

Are any of these claims true? Recall that Caner's "statement" said:
As for the countless other volleys aimed at discrediting the work I do, I am unsure how to respond. If my pronunciation of Arabic phrases is not correct, then I apologize. The language of my lineage is Turkish, not Arabic. Even Arabic dialects differ regionally, such as Jordanian and Egyptian. Indeed, 80% of the Muslim world does not speak Arabic, so I doubt anyone will be fully satisfied at this juncture.
So at the end of your life you've got to be 51 percent righteous to make it into paradise. That's why I had a prayer rug in my locker in high school in Brooklyn, New York and then Columbus, Ohio. I would roll my rug out and five times a day, three times in the high school and then twice other times.
When did Caner go to high school in Brooklyn, NY?
I kept telling him no. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Finally he invited me to a revival. And so I walked in to Stelzer Road Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio in full gear with a coat on.
What gear?
They didn't call me names. They didn't call me towel head, camel jockey or sand n*gger. See, I got called that other places.
Kids are mean, but why would they call him any of those names, given that he apparently dressed normally and wasn't an Arab?
I got to do two things as a new believer in Jesus. One, took my keffiyeh off and I told the waitress I was saved. And number two, I ordered every piece of ham - I went home and told my father. I said, "Abi, I am born again. I'm saved." It was November 4, 1982 and it was the last day I saw my father.
Why was Caner wearing keffiyeh? That's not typical for Turkish Muslims. Also, "abi" sounds more like Hebrew "Abba," than like a Turkish word for "father."
In 1991 my Mama got saved. In the baptistry took off her hijab.
Why would his mother have been wearing a hijab? (see discussion here)

This seems to have been something of a "canned" sermon by Dr. Caner. You can see very similar excerpts here (link), from a sermon with the same topic, but preached a few years earlier.

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