Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More Questions in Search of Answers

I have a friend in Ireland who has, along with Jason Smathers, been responsible for gathering much of the information that has confirmed that Ergun Caner has been “embellishing” his testimony. I’ve listened to way more Ergun Caner audio recordings than I ever wanted too, but I probably haven’t listened to a tenth of what my friend has.

While my friend has gathered all of this information, he does not blog. He also wishes to remain anonomous. So, in light of yesterday’s Focus on the Family broadcast, while I have no intention of A Squirrel in Babylon becoming a “Caner Watchblog”, I did want to bring you the following information from our guest blogger.


More Questions in Search of Answers

by Squirrel’s Friend in Ireland

Ergun Caner has been a popular speaker at hundreds of events and has related his Christian testimony numerous times on audio, video and in book too. Ergun has claimed that although he was born in Sweden he was 100% Turkish.

Emir, his youngest brother, is similar to Ergun in that he too has entered academia and speaks at many events. Emir Caner has told his testimony several times in audio recordings that are available on the internet.

One such testimony was contained within a sermon preached apparently on Sept 20, 2009 entitled “Isaiah 9:2-6; The God Who Draws Near”. In his testimony Emir states, “I am Turkish, my father was Turkish and my mother is Swedish.” He then goes on to state that he was born in America unlike his two older brothers. His name, Emir Fethi, was chosen by his father and it apparently means “The Prince of Islamic Conquest.”

Emir also speaks that his parents came to America to build mosques and his father Acar was the architect of the mosque in Columbus, Ohio. However there is some new material presented because he reveals his mother came from a Swedish Lutheran background and was a convert to Islam. However Emir reveals on her arrival in America she soon rejected Islam in favour of universalism and became a hippy and effectively Karen Carpenter became her god. This appears to be what is at the root of previously documented disputes with her husband Acar over the religious upbringing of their sons. The boys’ grandmother was also Swedish Lutheran but Emir describes her as having pluralistic beliefs.

Emir makes mention that at one stage his grandmother was in a nursing home while he was pastoring in Wood, North Carolina but he believed he should invite her to come and stay with his family. His reasoning being that his grandmother took care of him for many years. Whether this was because of the marital breakdown is not specified but it would not be surprising if it had occurred because Monica, his mother, was working. According to Emir, his grandmother could only speak Swedish.

For the three boys Emir says American culture was somewhat alien and they used the television to acclimatize to it. Emir specifies that the 3 American cultural reference points they used on TV were the Andy Griffith’s show, wrestling and football. This differs from Ergun’s account played on the April 22, 2010 Dividing Line where Ergun states that Andy Griffiths was a window on to American culture when they lived in Turkey.

The Caner boys’ Swedish grandmother and their mother became Christians after the boys did. The boys’ father Acar rejected his sons because of their new faith but eventually news broke that he was dying of cancer and so the three sons paid a final visit to see him. Emir reveals that Acar was pleased to renew acquaintance with his sons but he was obstinate that the name of Christ could not be mentioned and he presented them with Qur’ans.

It is interesting that Ergun blots this detail out of his testimony about how devoted the family were to Islam. Ergun has said that his mother continued to wear the hijab the Islamic head covering until she removed it in the baptistery on the occasion of her baptism. The puzzling aspect of this is that if she had rejected Islam for a hippy lifestyle then why would she continue to use Islamic dress? Is this aspect of the Caners’ upbringing omitted as it suggests they may not have had such a strict Islamic upbringing as Ergun has previously stated?

Well, there you have it. More questions the need to be answered. The thing that gets me is the ongoing defense that is being mounted on behalf of the Caners. At Grace and Truth to You, Pastor Wade Burleson wrote on Monday, “The notion that there are no integrity issues that need addressed in Ergun Caner's background is ludicrous. The evidence is irrefutable. Only sycophants and ignoramuses in the Southern Baptist Convention will deny that there is a problem.” And, “Some pretty high profile people have pushed the Caners to the top of the academic world and the speaking circuit of the SBC. If the Caners' integrity is in question, either Ergun's or both Ergun's and Emir's, then there will be some pretty embarrassed high profile Southern Baptists.”

In Pastor Burleson’s comment thread, I wrote:
You know, I can "get" the Caners and LU buttoning up like turtles and hoping this goes away. Embarrassment is one of the hardest things any of us ever have to face. Especially when we've done it to ourselves.

What i don't get is guys like Tim Guthrie who, in the face of such overwhelming evidence, keep hanging it out in public. Reminds me of "Baghdad Bob" – "There are no (BOOM) American troops (Sound of aircraft & bombs) in Iraq, let alone (Sound of tanks driving by) in Baghdad!"



The evidence is mounting & questions continue to be asked. These questions are not going to go away without satisfactory answers. Doctors Caner, we are waiting.

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