Archive for the ‘Ergun Caner’ Category

I understand that my opinion of the Ergun Caner controversy isn’t boding well with friends I have over in the Non Calvinist camp, but I can not apologize for the facts I have studied that have led me to a clear and convincing conclusion that Caner’s consistently changing stories are so bewildering that I could not in good conscience recommend such character as an example to be followed by students eager to learn God’s ways in their Christian walk.

As a former paralegal and intelligence analyst, of the many inconsistencies I’ve discovered in my own research of Caner’s claims was Caner’s claims to have been raised a Jihadist until he was 17 years old (although this video says he was 15 when he converted) : and the lack of the US intelligence agencies’ responses to that claim. Certainly, if Caner would have been interrogated by agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agencies (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA) or Homeland Security,  INTERPOL, or in Israel, Mossad, this would have been an incredible boost to his resume, and added credibility to his claim that he had in fact, been raised a Jihadist.

Since Caner claimed to have been raised Jihadist, this means that the sentiment would have been a familial goal. That being the case, every intelligence agency worth its salt would have wanted to question Ergun, and know the extent of his father’s involvement, if any, and if such intention still exists. They would have wanted to know who his trainers were, the locations of the Madrasas in Beirut (especially Beirut, since Hezbollah has many operations in Lebanon and is funded with millions of dollars by Iran), the identities of the leaders of any particular cell operations and where they were located, how many contacts did his father have, etc. If Caner was “raised” a Jihadist, then his father in coming to America would no doubt have had a specific plan, possible targets, and many Jihadists wait several years in order to implement such schemes at opportune times. Thus any information that could have been gleaned from not only Caner, but his brothers, mother,  father, and friends, would have been of extreme relevance, value and importance to intelligence agencies. Just because Caner converted, does not mean his past would cease to be relevant to intelligence agencies. On the contrary, it would become even more relevant because there’s always a possibility that the conversion could be a way to hide in plain site.

However, not once has Caner ever mentioned being detained or interrogated by any intelligence agencies, nor has he ever mentioned that anyone in his family has ever undergone the same. This would be HIGHLY unlikely and contrary to every known protocol among intelligence agencies not to thoroughly interrogate the Caners once Ergun declared publicly (even once to a group of United States military troops) that he was raised a Jihadist.

Furthermore, although most terrorist cells operate in small groups, once a cell has been compromised, those at the top of the food chain of that cell go to extremes to “tie up loose ends”. And because Jihadists use various intimidation tactics, they would have wanted Caner to know that  his actions in converting cost the lives of those whom he was trained with; yea they would have bragged about it, and used it as an example of what happens to those who defect. None of this is ever mentioned by Caner.

It also begs the question as to what extent any threats still exist. If Caner was raised a Jihadist, he was not raised in it alone. Now I affirm that Christ can save anyone (Heb 7:25), and I don’t want to cast doubt on Ergun or Emir’s conversions, but being converted does not eliminate the potential threat that could still exist. Even though Caner’s conversion was long ago, it is not uncommon for terrorist plots to take several years to come to fruition. As such, Ergun and Emir Caner would owe it to the citizens of America to cooperate with intelligence agencies in confirming their Jihadist plots and connections because the plot (if any) may have changed players, but that doesn’t mean the plot itself has changed, and the fact that Caner has been completely dishonest about his testimony should raise great alarm as to whether or not there may be a remaining threat if he was truly raised a Jihadist.

I don’t know why this issue has not been raised by those defending Caner, and even seems to be a matter that has been unnoticed by his opponents. I believe that Ergun Caner owes it to the American citizens and the intelligence communities to confirm whether or not any potential threats still exist. I’m sure that Lebanon would also appreciate knowing where these training centers are located so they could determine if they are still in use, and if the same people are still involved. That would also certainly be valuable information to US and Israeli intelligence. If the Caner’s father was building mosques inside America, and was an admitted Jihadist, where did the funds come from for the building projects? and did the Imams of those Mosques share the same sentiments as the Caners?

Ergun Caner has opened a can of worms with this side of his testimony and I believe there are several important issues that need to be resolved so that the citizens of America (and wherever else he trained for these Jihadist purposes) can feel safe in knowing that Caner has done all he can to insure that there will be no collateral damage as a result of his defecting from his childhood purpose, or that whatever crowd he was involved with is no longer a threat. But the fact that, as far as I have researched, Ergun has been completely silent about intelligence efforts to determine the extent of his involvement and whether or not there are any remaining potential threats is a very odd omission in his testimony.

Perhaps those reading this will yet believe Caner’s testimony. But in light of the afore mentioned factors, are you willing to take the chance that you could be wrong?

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One additional note on Caner’s claim is that he stated to have been shocked at the 911 attacks. If he was trained to do exactly what was done on 911, converted or not, why would he be shocked? The 911 attacks should have come as no surprise to him.

*The claim that Caner was trained as a Sunni terrorist in Beirut is an odd claim in that the only known Sunni terrorist camps in that area are at that time were Al Qaeda, the rest are Shiite Muslims, Hezbollah in particular.

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By Dr. James Ach and Dr. Elisha Weismann

As independent fundamental Bible believing Baptists, we avoid most other denominations due to several doctrinal differences that we believe mandates separation from such believers. However, we still acknowledge many of the truths that some of them espouse to, and still consider many of them Christian brothers and sisters. Nevertheless, there are times when the actions of some churches and their leaders and supporters have an impact that affects us all.

We started this website after the scandal surrounding former pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Jack Schaap, was arrested and convicted of child molestation. While we were still in America, we saw how the scandal affected the credibility of many Baptist churches across the US. Baptists had doors slammed in their face when out door knocking, and several new Facebook groups (“Do Righters”) were started that gained thousands of followers, and many of those groups are now a virtual haven for atheists and skeptics. One man’s actions turned several thousand people into critics, skeptics, atheists, and fundamentalist bashers. (We have dealt with facts beyond that generalization elsewhere, so don’t go into a tizzy about commenting us that it wasn’t just Schaap.)

The scandal surrounding Ergun Caner is beginning to have the same effect, even here in Israel (thanks to James White constantly reminding the Muslims about it for the last four years). Although it has not been so prevalent a topic as we have seen in America, there have been more than one occasion when we have attempted to witness to Muslims in Jerusalem where Ergun Caner has been brought up. It has already been dangerous enough with some of the work we have done (and hence why our personal information has been kept private) without the problems faced with this added scandal.

In our opinion, if Ergun Caner was to be tried in a criminal court with the testimony given by him in videos, and publicly written statements by him, he would be convicted of perjury.

We fear that many of his supporters are supporting him out of the fear that since the majority of his attackers are Calvinist, that it will somehow lend credibility to them as a group if Caner concedes to their accusations. Now those who follow us on here know we are just as much opposed to Calvinism as most of Caners supporters, and we are by no means a fan of James White, who has been undoubtedly the loudest opponent against Caner. But, James White has a point, and regardless of his other faux pas, I believe it is to the detriment of all of the churches involved to ignore this issue’s importance. Anytime any popular “religious” leader is involved in a scandal, it is always used as fodder against the rest of the church. Now we can’t be expected to police every little action or stupid thing some pastor or church member does, but we need to at least address the ones we can, especially when they have the potential to ruin the reputation of Christians on such a large scale.

We are going to view the following facts as we would have when we were both working in the legal field.

The Investigators Defense

This is probably the number one defense that others have offered for Ergun Caner. The problem with this is that, to our knowledge, we don’t know who the investigators were, and specifically, what they were looking for. Investigators always begin with a “hunch” which often leads to additional evidence. Or, they have a few very specific questions and suspicions that are the hallmark of the case, and the investigation begins by building a view based upon certain facts relevant to what the investigator believes is necessary to prove the case.

If the investigators were not specifically looking for deliberate lies, then their ultimate findings will be “we find no fault”. Furthermore, it also depends on which lies they were looking at. If the only matter they investigated is whether Ergun Caner was untruthful about the date of his arrival in the United States, then a simple acknowledging by him that a mistake was made would lead an investigator to conclude that their was no deliberate misconception. But we don’t know what they were looking for. 

As an independent investigator, I would have to conduct my own review of the facts and questions if the full report from the previous investigator is not available or disclosed. I could not simply rely on the conclusion without knowing how they arrived at their conclusion, because I need to know whether or not those conclusions can survive cross-examination in court. Investigators some times have biases, and I need to be able to prove my investigator a credible witness before I put him on the stand.

Therefore, we could not simply rely on the conclusions of these investigations without knowing their qualifications for investigating these kind of matters, what evidence they considered, and what kind of questions  they asked.

Apparent Cover Up of Information

This matter above all else, is what sold us on the scandal. When we first located Ergun Caner’s bio, this is what is now posted on his website, and pay close attention to what we have highlighted in bold:

Ergun Caner is a Professor & Apologist at the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School in Lynchburg, Virginia. Raised as a devout Sunni Muslim along with his two brothers, Caner converted in high school. After his conversion, he pursued his call to the ministry and education. He has a Masters degree from The Criswell College, a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Theology from the University of South Africa. [1]

However, we decided to use a website that maintains a permanent cache of information on websites. The following was Ergun Caner’s biography in this same section as above as follows from July of 2009:

Ergun Mehmet Caner (B.A., M.A., M.Div., Th,M., Ph.D.) is president of the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School at the Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Raised as the son of a Muslim leader in Turkey, Caner became a Christian shortly before entering college. Serving under his Chancellor and President, Jerry Falwell Jr., Caner led the Seminary to triple in growth since his installation in 2005. A public speaker and apologist, Caner has debated Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and other religious leaders in thirteen countries and thirty-five states. [2]

The first issue to notice is

a) Caner’s initial bio stated he was raised the son of a Muslim leader IN TURKEY. This information is removed from the recent bio. If the contention was that Caner simply lived there for a short time, or merely visited there, why not correct the mistake by revising the bio to read “was raised in Ohio, and born in Sweden”. Why doesn’t the current bio reflect where he was actually born? It is common to include place of birth in bios, and he had already listed it once, but not only is the information now different, but any information about his birth place is totally missing from the bio altogether.

b) The original states that Caner has debated Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and other religious LEADERS in 13 countries and thirty-five states.

(i) One of those who he listed as debating was Shabir Ally, although he has at least now conceded that he never met Ally. But we find it highly unlikely that with as popular as Shabir Ally is in the Islamic community, that a person who claims to have been raised a devout Muslim and speaking Arabic would confuse his name with someone elses. That would be akin to us being raised Jewish confusing Moshe Dayan with Chaim Weizmann, or claiming to have debated James White when it was really Norman Geisler.

(ii)There is not one single report, video, audio program, witness of any debates or formal debates. Others have defended this statement as simply that he may have had an argument and mistook that for a debate. As a person trained in apologetics, we find it hard to believe that he could misconstrue what “debate” means, and considering that he listed it as a credential on a biography, it is simply too illogical to conclude that he did not intend to convey that he  had actually had formal debates, just as he said, with religious leaders in 13 countries, and thirty-five states.

We have also seen that lawsuits that have been filed demanding the removal of videos and internet articles. Why remove them if the truth about your testimony is actually in those videos? If they were “doctored”, then leave them there because they would serve as exemplars to any future “doctored” videos. And, if they were “doctored”, then simply produce the original. Filing a lawsuit, and claiming that videos were doctored implies you can produce the original testimony. Otherwise your complaint would be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Why not produce the original testimony and compare it with the “fake” videos? That would shut James White up permanently (well, maybe not permanently).

There are a number of other anomalies in what we have seen. And keep in mind, this is not based upon ANY information from James White or his crowd. It is no secret how we here, as King James Only Bible believers view White’s views and vise-versa. This is based on our own independent research. These facts alone that we have presented would be enough for us to obtain a warrant for probable cause if we were to try this as a criminal case in court, and deliberate embellishment was a crime.

Now we have clearly shown on here how biased James White has been, the cruel antics of his followers and down right vile tweets, and White’s selective prosecution of those outside of his Calvinist circle (see our article titled “Where was James White” and “Response to James White”) [UPDATE/CORRECTION-Since JD HALL has clarified that he did not intend to state that Al Mohler was complicit, we will be removing those argumentative points when we get a chance] However, even a broken clock is right twice a day, and even though we believe White to be broken in several places doctrinally, he’s right on this one.

If you believe that Calvinists have a bad habit of twisting simple commonly understood terms like “love” “all” “world” etc..then don’t do the same thing to Ergun Caner’s testimony. Would we expect White or Hall to ever repent or apologize for any of their actions? I doubt it, they haven’t so far, and probably never will. But if you want to prove that these Calvinists are dishonest and use misleading rhetoric to the detriment of potential converts, then stop giving them an excuse to point fingers at those of us who oppose their doctrinal views and are trying to engage them in a battle for the truth. Will White and others use it against him forever if he concedes? Probably. White still uses out-of-context quotes from Dave Hunt even after the man has been dead for quite some time now. But who cares about their opinions? It is right to either correct their errors, or confront the accusers and set the record straight, not because James White and his ilk say so, but because it’s simply the right thing to do before God. Caner can still have a productive ministry just as David did, but not if he keeps avoiding this matter, and others continue enabling him to do so.

I understand this will not earn us any brownie points, but the name of our blog is Do Right Christians. Doing the right thing is doing the Godly thing no matter what it costs, and let God sort out the fallout. We are not going to compromise what we believe just because we might lose a few friends over it. And if that’s why any of you are afraid to admit the obvious, then who do you fear more, God or men? Acts 5:29