Tom Chantry has provided a rather lengthy, but very well written and thoughtful discussion of the Ergun Caner situation. Unlike most of what you read in the blogosphere, it has flow and style. You can start here, but be prepared to do something early 21st century people rarely do: invest more than 45 seconds on one topic! Chantry nails the real problems: 1) the cult of celebrity, and 2) falsehood in the “service” of the gospel. He likewise attempts, as I have, to warn the leadership of Liberty: the clock is ticking. You have little time left in which to do the right thing and bring much needed clarity to this situation. Full disclosure, no matter how painful, must take place before the reporters from CNN or NBC or ABC are camped on the front lawn of the administration building in Lynchburg. None of the questions can be ignored. If Ergun Caner lived in Turkey, both in Ankara and on the border with Iraq, the dates must be provided. Explanations of the legal documents showing him to have been in the US from about 2.5 years of age need to be explained. The order for the Caner boys not to be removed from the US from about age 7.5 for Ergun, in light of his oft repeated claim to have come here much later, immersed in Islamic, not Ohioan, culture (even to the point of having broken English), has to be explained. His claims about debating Islamic leaders in thirteen countries needs to be explained. Nothing can be left hidden, full disclosure is now the only way for a Christian institution. Once again, we pray Dr. Caner and Liberty will do what is right and begin the process of removing this blight from the witness of Christ’s church in the world, and to the Islamic people in particular.

Further, a note to those who are concerned about how the secular media is going to “spin” this story. Some are ready to sacrifice integrity and truthfulness in light of the fact that we all know the secular media will white-wash us all with Caner’s dishonesty and self-promotion. Some seem to feel it is better to lower our standards and “protect a brother” who has yet to repent, yet to ask for grace, yet to confess the truth, than to experience the unfairness of the men of the world. May I suggest this will only encourage others to follow in the path of self-aggrandizement and embellishment? That it will bring dishonor to the gospel of Christ, not only in the eyes of the world, but especially in the eyes of Muslims who are watching very carefully to see who will be honest here, and who will cut and run? “Yes, Christians speak often of their Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life, but when it comes to doing the hard things, holding the line for more than just a little while, standing up in the face of scrutiny and scorn, they don’t prove to have much faith.” No, that is not an option.

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