A Wise Email from a Christian Friend on My Recent Posts

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Personal

During the last four days several friends have written to me privately about the Ergun Caner controversy and my three posts. One friend, who has been deeply involved in sorting out a major battle revolving around the ministry that he serves, wrote a letter that I think is extremely useful. I have removed all personal references in order to avoid a new fire and spread gossip. This battle, which many would know about if I revealed the content, has also been largely conducted via the Internet. Thus my friend’s insights come from real first hand experience of the very thing I wrote about. Here is his letter (with some highlighting from me for emphasis):

Dear John,

I have followed the Caner mess a little. It does seem that he overstated his resume and perhaps invented some window dressing; not good things. However, the criticism easily gets carried away on the Internet and in other places. You are right about the permanent damage caused by gossip and slander and the fact that the whole matter does little good for anyone involved. I doubt if Caner can ever totally recover from what has happened. Of course, he does bear some of the blame—there is a lot to go around. If Caner is guilty of resume padding (a polite term for lying), and he probably is, then many of his critics are equally guilty of criticism padding and some may be guilty of soft-pedaling their commitment to the truth. Perhaps it's time for some Christian charity to cover all parties. I do believe that Caner is a sincere brother and should receive some grace from his brothers although he may have damaged the gospel among a very needy group; Muslims.

There are a lot of ongoing feuds involved and this only serves to fuel already smoldering hot spots. It heats up non-related matters between various schools of opinion.

I leave this personal letter to support the point I was attempting to make from the beginning. I doubt that the critics of Caner will be satisfied but I have said all that I want to say and will now move on to something without the flash and fire of this tempest.