Ergun Caner is the current President of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. LBTS is a part of Liberty University, the world’s largest Christian university and my alma mater. Caner has recently been under attack (read the Washington Post story and the Christianity Today article) from bloggers and others who say that he has been lying about his Muslim background. As someone who has heard Caner speak in person, I can say that he does indeed indicate in his sermons that he had an extensive Muslim upbringing, being taught daily from the Quran in a madrasa in Istanbul.
Who is to say if Caner has been caught in a string of lies? A few bloggers? Please. The point is that at this moment, no one knows for sure. Liberty University has opened an official investigation. I recently met with a pastor who telephone Caner to offer him encouragement. Caner informed him that he was the first pastor to do so. How tragic.
Caner then explained how it would take him 2 hours to tell his Muslim background story from beginning to end. In a sermon, he gets to tell about 4 minutes of it (I would guess). So in pulling many different 4 minute tidbits from a 2 hour narrative on dozens of different occasions, isn’t there some chance that someone (a blogger) could get confused? That maybe, just maybe, someone could think they’ve caught someone in a lie, when in fact all they’ve done is miss the 4 minutes that should be inserted between the two they already have?
This pastor told me that Caner feels confident that he will be vindicated. And when you have men of God like Elmer Towns saying that “It’s not an ethical issue, it’s not a moral issue”, I would tend to agree.
The picture above is of me shaking Caner’s hand on Saturday as I received my diploma. But that’s not the point. I told him “I’m praying for you. Behind you all the way”. And I meant it.
Two thoughts in closing:
1) Is this not America? Innocent until proven guilty anyone?
2) James 1:19