11 May 2010

Gnats, Camels, Forest,Trees- Praying for Liberty University

There are many posts and many opinions on the net regarding Dr. Ergun Caner and the veracity of his testimony and curriculum vitae. I have written an open letter to Dr. Caner here on my blog. I am of little consequence and my blog is not one that is well read. That seldom stops me from speaking my mind here in my blog and it is not going to stop me today.

Having worked in Student Development in a Christian University, I am passionate about education. In my office I had 1 Timothy 1:5 posted on my wall to remind me of my purpose. "But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." The point of being educated is to be able to discern right from wrong; truth from error. For believers a good conscience is not only one that is clean but one that does its job; keeping us from sin and when we do sin-leading us to repentance. Truth and repentance are necessary components of sound faith. The point of being an educator is developing these qualities in our lives and in the lives of our students.

I understand that an investigation is being done by folks at Liberty University regarding Dr. Caner's statements. I pray they will not to lose sight of Paul's admonition to Timothy as they begin their investigation. While it will be difficult to remove the raw emotion, personality conflict and doctrinal conflict, the truth can be found. My fear is that the pressures of running a university and the unpleasantness of the task will make their job more difficult, so I am praying for those involved in the investigation. I am praying for the rest of the faculty, staff and the students at Liberty also. This is not an easy time for them. Mostly I am praying for Dr. Caner.

Best case scenario? That Dr. Caner can clear up these inconsistencies. If he can, I have to wonder what wisdom could be found in waiting this long to do so. This situation has stretched on for far too long. If there were answers that could bring clarity to all this, what besides stubbornness or pride would keep Dr. Caner silent? And are stubbornness and pride of this sort desirable qualities for a seminary president?

I have been critical of some who have been involved in revealing these apparent inconsistencies of Dr. Caner's. It seems at times that this has become a gladiatorial event. I take no pleasure in it at all. I find it unbelievably sad. Yet if Dr.Caner is going to be president of a seminary, if he is going to take upon his shoulders the responsibility of teaching young minds and equipping them in the service of our God, then he must be willing to be confronted, exhorted and encouraged to do so in a God honoring fashion. Surely a seminary president must meet the qualifications of a deacon in 1 Timothy 3. Embellishing truth may make good story telling but it does not meet any of the goals Paul listed for Timothy.

Worst case scenario? The folks doing the investigation will not provide answers for the legitimate questions that have been posed. That staunch supporters of Dr. Caner will continue to see this as a bunch of Christian bloggers siding with a Muslim blogger to attack Dr. Caner. That legitimate answers will not satisfy some people on either side of this debacle. Mostly, the worst thing I can see happening is that repentance and restoration will not occur. That was the whole point of confronting Dr. Caner- not to humiliate him or degrade him. None of us like to have our inconsistencies pointed out to us, but if our speech and actions are contrary to our profession of faith- it is not loving of our brothers and sisters in Christ to ignore it.

There are many places to go and read about this, I couldn't begin to link you to all of them. If you'd like more I suggest you use your favorite search engine. Mostly I would beg you to pray for this situation.

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