Friday, November 16, 2012

Ergun and Emir Caner and their Mom's divorce

According to Unveiling Islam, Dr. Ergun Caner’s parents’ marriage was doomed from the start. His mother was raised in Stockholm and educated all over Europe. His father was a Turkish immigrant with very different views. What is important here is that according to Unveiling Islam, Ergun’s parents divorced prior to their sons’ conversion to Christianity. There is a link in the description to the relevant portions of the autobiography.

The marriage was doomed from the beginning, a clash of cultures. Our mother was an only child, raised in Stockholm and educated all over Europe. By the time she was twenty, she had attended the Sorbonne in Paris, and had traveled the world. Father was from heartier stock. As the youngest child in his family, he had earned everything he owned and was steeped in Islamic culture. Their assumptions about marriage clearly clashed.

The divorce, which was finalized in America, was painful. As in most divorces, the children became the human “ropes” in a tug-of-war, torn between parents. A pattern developed of weekend visits between Columbus and Gahanna, in central Ohio. Yet even the wrenching experience of divorce could not prepare us for our father’s disavowal.

Entering high school, Ergun was a typical young man, except that he was a devout Muslim. Even through the divorce, our parents had maintained our rearing in the mosque. Each weekend, we would travel to Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio, where our father had helped found the Islamic Foundation. The mosque in Toledo was too far a drive, so the Foundation Center was established. Father did the call to prayer on occasion.

This was verified by divorce documents obtained by Jason Smathers. Ergun’s parents separated in 1975 and finalized their divorce in 1978. These documents are uncontested. In defending Ergun, Norman Geisler, noted:

Further, that Ergun was reared a devout Muslim is proven by his father’s testimony recorded in the divorce proceedings documents which ironically Ergun’s critic placed on the internet.

In another defense, he referenced the order of events. “After the divorce, he was raised by his mother who obviously had not disowned him since she was no longer a Muslim. But his Muslim father who had remarried did disown him.” Relevant portions are made available in the description below.

The Charge that His Family Did Not Disown Him When He Converted to Christianity as Caner Claimed that they Did.—It is true that after the divorce he was raised by his mother who obviously had not disowned him since she was no longer a Muslim. But his Muslim father who had remarried did disown him. This is the Muslim “family” to which he referred. This was very painful to him since he lived only a half hour away but could not even speak to him.

- In Defense of Dr. Ergun Caner: A Response to His Critics

OK, we all know the time line now. In 1975, when Ergun was about 8 or 9, his parents separated. In 1978, when Ergun was about 11 or 12, his parents divorced. Ergun later converted to Christianity somewhere in between 1981-1983, depending on which version of his story you go by. Emir and Erdem converted somewhere in between 1982-1984, depending on which version of their story you go by. The point is that the divorce took place 4 to 6 years prior to their conversions. Anyone who said otherwise would probably be lying. Cue clip from 2007.

If you are going to change the world, find you the Jewish equivalent of Bill Gates who can fund this movement. What ya talking to a poor person for? Strike four, she’s divorced. This Brittney Spears of the first century, five times, don’t you reckon after three or four she might think it’s her? Might be me?

Jesus said, “You answered correctly, five times, you had five husbands.” And in many churches, that’s the Scarlett Letter. Neither I have been divorced or my wife. Both our families have been through it. My Mom was divorced when my brothers became Christians. My Father left her, blaming her for our conversion. And when my Mom got saved, in 1991, there was nowhere she could serve, because our little church said that if you were divorced you can’t serve in any capacity. It is no longer the “Scarlett A”, but the “Scarlett D”.

Oh no! Surely there must be some other explanation for Ergun saying, “My father left her, blaming her for our conversion”. Come on guys! This is my 25th Ergun Caner video on this channel. You all know that I am going to provide multiple examples of Ergun making the same false statement over and over again. Then I will ask you which is more likely, that Ergun accidentally said his father punitively divorced his mother or that he said so purposely? So cue 2008. This clip was only five months later.

Strike four, she’s divorced. Jesus busts her, doesn’t he? He says, “You answered right.” “You’ve had five husbands.” This biblical Brittney Spears, has gone through husband after husband after husband. Don’t you think at some point she’d say, “Maybe it’s me?” But don’t you think that happens in the church all the time? We have sort of a new Scarlett Letter don’t we? My apologies to Hawthorne, but the big letter’s “D” now.

I’ve never been divorced. My wife’s never been divorced, but our whole family both sides decimated by it. And often in the church, the whispers the divorced hear, how, “Who are you?”

When my Mom got saved, because my father left her, because I became a Christian. When my Mom got saved, she couldn’t serve in the church where she got saved, because she was divorced. Jesus what are you talking to this divorcee?

This next clip is 12 months later. You will notice that I edited the clip with about a minute and a half before Ergun begins preaching on divorce. One, I like providing longer clips. They help you understand that I am not deceitfully giving gotcha moments. By all means, please listen to the unedited audio which I have linked to in the description below.

Two, I do hope you appreciate the irony. You will see what I mean in a moment.

Three, this is one of Ergun’s notorious youth events. These are teenagers that he is talking to. When I was a youth pastor, I wanted Ergun to speak to my youth group. By God’s grace, I am glad that he never did. Later on that day, Ergun will even tell the youth that at age 8, he was betrothed to a Turkish girl while he was still living in Istanbul, Turkey. Ergun, here, is lying to kids, kids that trusted him. How could he do this? Let us just cue clip 2009.

And we lie. Somebody asks you what kind of home you come from. Somebody asks you to tell the story. Somebody asks what’s your background? Somebody asks you what you struggle with. We lie.

Don’t you understand if God can get you through whatever it is that you are going through, that’s part of your story? And the reason that God kept you here to survive that was to help others who may be going through that? Don’t you understand that there are people you can talk to who would never listen to me? They would never show up to listen to a guy with a four hundred pound pumpkin head talk, but they will listen to you, because you have earned their trust. They will listen to you, if you tell them your story. Your scars become your story when you are willing to admit your weakness. That’s why he says, “We ain’t preaching ourselves, we preach Christ.” Your most effective witness will be before those people who know you, who know you and understand where you came from. Use whatever it is you deal with. Use whatever it is from which you came. Use it. Tell it. Be transparent. Don’t fake it and you will be astonished at the number of people who will listen to you. You have a story that God’s given you.

How many here, by a show of hands, come from a divorced background? Me too. We don’t talk about it, not in the church. That’s the new Scarlett Letter. I’ve not been divorced. My wife’s not been divorced. Everybody else in our family is. Not like our brothers, not Jill’s brothers, not my brothers. Our parents, Jill’s parents, her uncles and aunts, my uncles and aunts, everybody’s gone through it and when they come to church they feel like they got the “Scarlett Letter D”.

And so when I talk to those people and I say, “Let me tell you what my parents went through.” You see, my Father left my Mom, because he blamed her that we got saved. And those that come from a divorced background go, “I’m right there with you”.

In 2010, less than a year from the last clip, Ergun released his statement that he never intentionally misled anyone. I have provided so far three clips in which Ergun says he never intended for you to believe that his father divorced his mother due to her sons’ conversions. Do you buy that? You would expect with all the attention given to false statements like these; Ergun would stop making them in 2010. However you would think wrong. My next clip is from 2011.

My parents divorced, my Father blamed my Mom for our conversions. In 1991, with three boys as Christians, my Mom got saved, my Mom. My Mom is now remarried, a man from her discipleship group, who is now a supply pastor. Just got called to be an interim pastor, which is hilarious, which makes my Mom and an interim pastor’s wife. If you knew my Mom, you’d know how funny that was. Because if my Mom ever comes to your door, you’ll know it. Heavy accent, little woman, smoking, smoking, I mean chain smoking, pall malls unfiltered. “Filters are for wimps.” And she’ll do it witnessing. “I want to tell you about Jesus”.

Do you remember Ergun’s friend, Norman, who pointed out the divorce documents as proof that Ergun was a devout Muslim? Remember, he also noted that the divorce came before her boys conversion? Surely, he would correct Ergun? Nope, he’s right there.

Look if I had gotten married, if I ever show you a picture of Jill, she is a great godly woman, but my wife is hot, hot, hot. Like we stand side by side and people will go. All the time, all the time, Dr. Geisler will tell you.

The summer of 2010, he defended his brother saying, Ergun had demonstrated "unquestionable Christian character". This was just "a few incorrect statements". He said, "His character, integrity, and bold witness are truly an emulation of a shepherd's heart and an evangelist's passion." March 15, 2012, Emir referred to Ergun as "one of God's most anointed expository preachers".

I do not what you say, when one of your brothers lies publicly about your own mother. However, I definitely would not defend him as having “unquestionably character.” Perhaps, when someone lies about their mother, they are one of God’s anointed, but are they really one of God’s most anointed? Then again, does Emir even know?

Thanks for watching. Like the video if you like it. Subscribe for more videos.


"The Owl Named Orion" by 
"Light Banjo" by
"Monster" by Peach Stealing Monkeys from 
"The Bottom" by Josh Woodward from

Unveiling Islam Google Books

Norman Geisler's statements

"Ergun Caner’s Secret Biography" Witness Unto Me - March 30, 2010

"Ergun Caner 2" 2007 NW Baptist Convention - November 14, 2007

“God’s Word,” The Downtown Church: Bellevue, WA – April 19, 2008

"Ergun Caner Saturday Morning" Northwest Baptist Youth Ministry Student Conference - May 29, 2009
"Why I am no longer a Muslim" Mt. Airy Bible Church - May 7, 2011

Cited Links

Tim Lee's statements

September 25, 2010 article where Ergun says he did not lie.

The unedited Marine videos on Viddler

Unedited Marine Videos on Youtube

Ergun Caner's Apology

Norman Geisler's statements

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