Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 (ESV)Most of you likely have no idea who Ergun Caner is, or what I'm talking about. If that's the case, I suggest you don't worry about this blog. Ignore it.
I just heard about the scandal with Ergun Caner. Sadly, this came as no surprise to me at all. A few years ago, the church we were at took our youth to hear him speak at a youth rally in Tennessee. The "acting youth leader" (we were without a staff youth leader at the time) was promoting Caner as some sort of larger-than-life spiritual giant, and said Caner was his favorite speaker/preacher at the time, which made me suspicious. I went home and began researching him, because I have kids in the youth, and was teaching youth boys at the time. There was a popular video of Ergun Caner getting tazed at a youth rally, and the discernment of the Holy Spirit immediately bared witness with my spirit that this man "wasn't right". The arrogant, prideful attitude of this man was evident, and I told my son that I had reservations about Caner, as well as other speakers at this conference, so we didn't go on the trip.
I later read of his interactions with those who hold to the "Doctrines of Grace". Caner made several disturbing statements such as:
I'm "Elected BECAUSE I selected". (sounds like works salvation to me). And
"Calvinists are worse than Muslims". Hmmm. Most Calvinists I know would certainly never say the same about an Arminian brother. Caner and his brother also ran from engaging in formal public debates with Dr. James White to address his disdain for anyone holding to the historic "Doctrines of Grace".
Take a look at this blog with some of Caner's disturbing statements from 2006. I can't confirm the validity of this site and I haven't verified the accuracy of the quotes, but I have seen the same ones elsewhere.
Ergun Caner's recent demotion and removal from his leadership position at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary is due to an "alleged" history of lies to apparently embellish his testimony, as if the Gospel is not enough! (oops, is the word "lies" too strong?)
Liberty Seminary chooses to call it "factual statements that are self-contradictory", and "discrepancies". (see the link to Christianity Today website below)
I'm not directly involved in Caner's situation, and it's in Liberty Seminary's hands to handle it as they deem best, but this got me to thinking on this subject...
So if you will, please permit me to deviate from the subject at hand for a while...
Today we seem to like to down-play and sugar-coat sin and call it by many softer, less offensive, more politically correct names.
Now, back to the Caner issue. I realize I deviated from the topic at hand, but that's ok, it's my blog-lol.
- A Lie is called an "embellishment, white-washing, exaggeration, fib, etc... and Liberty University is now adding one, "factual statements that are self-contradictory", and "discrepancies"
- Drunkenness is called an "addiction", "alcoholism", a "drinking problem", etc.. You can go to A.A. Meetings in nice little groups and talk about your "problems", talk about a "higher power", & now you can even get involved in your local church in Rick Warren's program to "Celebrate Recovery" from your "addiction, but don't you dare say you've been delivered from sin by the power of the Holy Spirit! No, they tell you you're "always an alcoholic"... Whatever happened to becoming a "new creature in Christ", "old things have passed away", according to the Scriptures? Whatever happened to Paul's words in Romans that "sin shall not have dominion over you", or being "more than conquerors"
- Adultery is called "an extra-marital affair", "a relationship", "a fling", "sexual addiction", etc... How quaint and charming!
- Homosexuality is called "gay", and an "alternative lifestyle". And rather than an "abomination", they're now condoning "same-sex marriages"
- Rebellion and disobedience in children is often called ADD, ADHD, Conduct Disorder (that's right, its a real diagnosis), or even ODD, which is Oppositional Defiant Disorder", and Dr.'s write a prescription (drug) for it. (I'm a medical professional, and yes, these are actual psychiatric diagnoses)
- And the list goes on and on and on.
- And, by the way, it seems to me that when people are involved in or caught in any kind of sin today they want to be portrayed as a "poor victim", and say they have some sort of "disorder", "disease", "addiction", "condition", etc. instead of facing up to the fact that they are a "guilty sinner" in need of God's deliverance, forgiveness, reconciliation, etc...(please don't misunderstand, I also am, as you are, a "sinner saved by grace" but once we're saved, we're instructed to "put off" those things which we once walked in, and "put on" the things of the Spirit, not wallow in worldly sinful deeds and parade them around like we're proud of them. And when we do fall back into sin on occasion, it should grieve us as a sheep in a mud puddle, and as a dirty sheep, long to be cleansed, rather than a pig in a mud puddle who loves it there and wants to stay there...)
Below is a link to Justin Taylor's blog, which I'm in full agreement with most of the time.
Here's his blog on the Ergun Caner issue.
Taylor has written books with John Piper that are most excellent, such as this one I highly recommend on the heresy of Open Theism.
Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the undermining of Biblical Christianity
And here's a summary article which I think is biased in Caner's favor, painting him as a "poor victim" rather than a "guilty sinner", with comments by Geisler and Ankerberg. (Although I occasionally read it, I don't endorse the views or opinions of "Christianity Today", as it seems to lean liberal on a lot of issues)
On one hand, a part of me wants to say to those who couldn't see through Caner "I told you so".
On the other hand, I need to make sure I'm not blogging from a prideful perspective myself.
1 Cor 10:12 (ESV) Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.Therefore, I'm going stop here for the day, and seek the Lord's guidance on anything further on the subject, though there is much more on my mind.
Meanwhile, I would love to hear your views on Caner, and any comments or perspectives are welcome.
7/13/2010 Update from Don
I have reviewed and prayed about this topic, and have concluded that there's enough out there on Ergun Caner without my further input. Meanwhile, I'll pray for Dr. Caner, and discuss the subject if and when I'm led by the Holy Spirit to do so, to friends, family, church members, etc. who are interested, but leave the rest to the more "seasoned" bloggers in cyberspace.
I think I got off-track from my usual style of blogging with this Caner issue, and need to return to where I started.
Thanks for reading, and have a blessed day!
Even as I close, the LORD just brought this scripture to my mind, and I, you, and every one of us all will do well to remember:
Num 32:23 (ESV) But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out.