Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Comments on the Founder's Blog concerning Ergun Caner

I made a few comments in regards to the Caner/Caner/White/Ascol debate. Truly it is incredible to me that Ergun has not specifically been called a liar. Rather the tone has been far more gentler. James White has simply referred to his statements as falsehoods.

Over and over James has been patient, a thing which I believe is in order for the man of God. Yet, I have not seen a serious call of repentance to this man for his sinful behavior in this matter (ie. his tone, demeanor, lying, and disregard for mutual respect for a man made in the image of God and, at this point a am careful to use the term fellow brother in Christ).

I posted a comment on the Founder's blog in light of this and it was removed by the administrator. Here is the comment.

Brother Tom,

Well, I finished reading the second set of emails from James' website and to be perfectly honest, and this is after serious consideration, it is obvious that you are dealing with someone who is openly sinning. That's right. I read over and over as James was bold, yet mild is simply stating that Ergun was promoting "falsehoods". How about plain out lying? Should we not call him to repentance for his lying and for his improper character? I mean, if "Christian Genltleman" is anything like what he is living, then, pray tell, what is a lost gentleman?

Remember the words of the apostle John, ""But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

I do not say this hastily, but Ergun Caner is a proud, arrogant man and his sin is all over him and apparent to everyone. It maybe that he is not yet fully converted.......I don't know, but it is apparent that he needs to hear the true gospel of grace and that may just happen in this debate.

So be encouraged brother. We will pray for you and ask God to grant Dr. Caner true repentance in this area.

Was that too harsh from their point of view? Seriously, the fact that men in the position that Dr. Caner occupies is held to a high standard or at least should be, not only in doctrine, but in character. He is to be above reproach. I also noticed that Nathan White's comments, which happened to be just above mine were also deleted. Maybe it's because he feels the same way. I would love to know what was said.

However, following my post was this comment by Sean:

We need to be careful about the speech on these postings. We do not have the right to question Dr. Caner's salvation. This is going too far. Let's heed James' warning in Chapter 3 about taming the tongue and seek to possibly correct a brother in love without making claims upon his eternal salvation. That is God's perogative alone, not ours.

Sorry Sean, but the Scripture speaks very clear to the manner in which Dr. Caner has conducted himself and seems unwilling to be corrected. Therefore, what am I to make of John's words in Revelation. Mind you, we are not talking about him lying and then repenting, we are talking about a pattern of it and it goes further.

Later on we were informed by Deb, who attends Liberty University that:

he prides himself on being popular with his students, and goes to enormous lengths to keep it that way. A friend of mine told me of a friend of his who hangs out with Dr. Caner outside of school, who was very impressed by the fact that he uses curse words on a regular basis, because it shows that he's not as "uptight" as some of the other professors. (Note: I do NOT condone the behavior of a Dean of a Seminary who has a potty mouth)

She said this in the context of speaking about Dr. Caner using the word "pimp" in addressing the issue of Dr. Falwell promoting the debate.

Again, what does this tell us concerning, not a novice in the faith, but a man who has been trained and professed faith in Christ? Does this look like being conformed to the image of Christ? I am not his judge and thankfully he is not mine, but honestly, someone should hold the keys of the kingdom before him and administer some discipline, if nothing else. So much for it being a good thing that TRBC is in the SBC.

In the end, I think I was merely saying what everyone else is thinking:)


Gordan said...

Right on, my brother.

I find this whole thing very disturbing, and maybe the most disturbing part of it is that it's not at all surprising. It is what many of us expected.

I applaud your desire to use the Scripture as the measuring stick by which to evaluate this.

I think you have been moderate and temperate. Yours is a very even analysis.

Mine is less so. I believe that Dr. Ergun Caner is an enemy of truth, an enemy of the Gospel. There is a difference between not understanding the doctrines of grace/having a hard time working through them after a lifetime of contrary teaching...and purposely distorting and opposing them and seeking to see them wiped out.

If Caner did not so loudly claim to be a disciple of Christ, there would be nothing in his public words or actions to make that case for him. I personally have serious doubts about his claim, for a man's actions are a stronger witness than his verbal confession.

Tim said...


I agree with your comments as him being an enemy of the truth. Personally, I didn't want to go too far out on a limb and simply point to the fact that since he was a former Muslim that maybe that has some bearing upon his ability to lie and be deceptive as well as, disrespectful.

He has been corrected several times for his very open attacks and deception, as well as, outright lies. The Scripture is clear and the record is frightening: He is sinning.

10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition,
11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.

Gordan said...

A funny thing I've noted in passing in all of this:

Dr. Caner debases himself, using language like "pimping," in an apparent attempt to show how him and with it he is.

Trouble is, he means by "pimp" to sell something aggressively. That's not how the youth use it all.

In the slang of today, to pimp something (like your car) means to subject it to a radical customization that costs a great deal of money.

What's more pathetic than a 40 year old prof trying to show how hip and cool he is?

Not much. But it doesn't help at all when said prof can't use the slang correctly.

Gordan said...

Oops. I meant "hip and with it" in the second paragraph.

Tim said...

well, at least he's par for the course.

He doesn't know how and when to use the term hyper-Calvinist, Calvinist, Arminian, and several other terms, including Baptist:)

I always thought that we seek to make disciples by calling them to a higher standard, not a lower one.

Nathan White said...


One thing that bothers me about the SBC is the over-sensitivity about this ‘salvation’ issue, or whatever you want to call it. People just get all bent out of shape if you dare question the salvation of them, or anyone else for that matter. I'm not talking about hostile language here, and I’m not talking about people who make no profession of faith, I'm talking about any suggestion of such towards any professing, fellow SBCer, no matter how serious their sin is. It's like, anyone who makes a profession deserves the 'right' to be called a Christian no matter what. If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a thousand times, “don’t you questions their salvation, that is between them and God”, or “that’s up to God not up to you” as if ‘you shall know them by their fruits’ has lost its meaning. Seriously, in my short Christian life I have seen ONLY 2 responses by people when their salvation is questioned: the one who is truly lost gets all offended and complains at how unloving and cruel you are, and the one who is truly saved looks like a Mack truck just hit them, and drowns in despair at what gave you that impression, and how they can check their life for sin. I have never seen a true Christian get mad when someone questions their salvation…because there is true humility there from the Spirit.

I think I’ll post on this :)


Gordan said...

Good point, Nathan!

I think the historic Protestant position has always been that if someone professes Christ, you give them the benefit of the doubt...IF their actions do not contradict that profession.

But you realize that if SBCers start down the road you're talking about, then what's really at the heart of the issue is the Sacred Cow of "Eternal Security," especially in the manner in which the modern Baptist doctrine perverts the "Perseverance of the Saints."

The whole Baptist identity is tied up in the idea that once you say a prayer, there's nothing in heaven or earth that can cause you to miss out on eternal life.

Don't go tipping that cow, brother. It weighs about nine million pounds.

Tim said...

Great points Nathan,

This is true and certainly was true in the assembly I came out of. As a matter of fact, it was seen as a great virtue to somehow "assure" someone of their salvation. That is simply the Holy Spirit's job, according to 1 John, not man's.

I did want to post on brother Tom Ascol's reply to my emails concerning the posting. In the end, he admists being too sensitive, but I understand that he knows, just as we do, that there are certain people who would not be objective in looking at this and seek to start all kinds of personal attacks against Dr. Caner. Here's the emails

On Jun 27, 2006, at 2:33 PM, timbrown@homewardbooks.com wrote:

> Tom,
> I noticed that you deleted my comment on your blog and I am curious to
> find out why? I assume it is because of a forthright call for
> repentance and the true gospel of grace to be embraced by Ergun Caner.
> Could you please advise me as to why it was deleted?
> Grace and peace in Jesus' name,
> Tim Brown

I deleted your comments in an effort to avoid letting the thread go head long into a bashing Caner opportunity. You made some excellent points, but crossed the line in declaring him to be unconverted. I hope you understand.

Thanks for reposting. I agree with you.

Press on,
On Jun 27, 2006, at 6:55 PM, timbrown@homewardbooks.com wrote:

> Tom,
> Thanks for responding. My spam filter must have caught it. I just
> wanted to correct the misapprehension that I said he was actually
> unconverted. Here is the quote that you might have took that way.
> " It maybe that he is not yet fully converted.......I don't know, but
> it is apparent that he needs to hear the true gospel of grace and that
> may just happen in this debate."
> Notice the words "maybe" and "I don't know". Final judgment of any
> man is up to God, but clearly Paul in his epistles and John in the
> Revelation are clear about the outward "practice" and overall
> character of men who live in the flesh (I don't necessarily buy into
> the constant carnal Christian argument).
> In any case, I know that we are concerned about correcting
> misunderstandings, that's why I wanted to email you this. Personally,
> Tom, I greatly appreciate you and James White. I admire the work you
> do and am thankful to the Lord for His graciousness in putting you
> gentlemen in the body to aid those of us who seek to help in the labor
> of the Kingdom. May God bless your efforts in this endeavor.
> By Grace Alone,
> Tim Brown

Thanks for your note. I was probably too sensitive on this when I deleted your comment. Another brother had posted a comment at about the same time saying that Caner was not a Christian. I was concerned not to give unnecessary handles to those who might want to dismiss the legitimate criticisms that were being made. It was a judgment call.

Thanks again for your pointing out to me the care that you exercised in your wording and for your encouraging words.

In Christ,

While I appreciate his graciousness in his reply, I do hope that he will take those statements a little more to heart in what he and Dr. White are dealing with in Dr. Caner. May the Lord grant them wisdom. I wonder if this is the real reason that Dr. White has stopped referring to Dr. Caner as "brother".