The title of this post is the Merriam-Webster definition for the word “exoneration”. I used “exoneration” in the post announcing the completed investigation of Dr. Ergun Caner. In this post I would like to explain to our readers the thought process that went into that announcement.
First, I placed the announcement there without any consultation of the other managers here at SBC Today. That post was my doing and I accept full responsibility. I know that Brothers Wes, Scott, and David have taken some serious attacks on their characters and for this I am sorry. It was never my intention to place them in such a position as to have to defend their integrity as others have hammered away.
Two, the response of some to my use of the word “exoneration” has been less than stellar. Many have castigated SBC Today for the use of that word. I find the use of the word has provided fodder for the grist mill of the blog world that looks for any opportunity it can take to attack us here at SBC Today. One person went as far as to call Brother Scott out to separate himself from our group. In his statement he also expressed that he “loved Scott Gordon” thus, he implies that the doesn’t “love” the rest of us. I find that person’s actions appalling in his attempt to separate friends. Another person went as far as to compare us to “Baghdad Bob“ One would find it interesting that the one comparing us to Baghdad Bob is the same person that said he was praying for Dr. Caner. However, he then posts two more posts slamming Dr. Caner. One in a veiled attempt to call attention to celebrity preachers and the other in a veiled attempt to apply Liberty University’s honor code to Dr. Caner. He then acknowledges his penchant to tie everything to Dr. Patterson, as his comment is in response to another person who points to Dr. Patterson’s leadership in Dr. Caner’s life.
Three, allow me to inform you of my thought process in using this term. I checked the definition before I used the term. If one looks at the definition and then looks at the statement released from Liberty University, one has to admit that exoneration is not a stretch. Why? Notice what the statement says; “the committee found no evidence to suggest that Dr. Caner was not a Muslim who converted to Christianity as a teenager…” This was the initial charge leveled at Dr. Caner, but was later changed to Dr. Caner was not a devout Muslim. Dr. Caner’s not being a Muslim is something that has been challenged from the very beginning, and is still being challenged. Dr. Caner, after the committee has exonerated him, is still being charged with this by the very one who caused all of this hoopla in the first place. Also, the committee said; “…that Dr. Caner has made factual statements that are self-contradictory.” The committee did not find that Dr. Caner “lied”, they found that he made statements of fact but sometimes had wrong dates, times and places. These are the same as “mis-statements”, of which Dr. Caner apologized publicly and we ran that statement here on SBC Today. Thus, I used the term “exoneration” because according to the statement released by the committee from Liberty University they cleared him from accusation or blame.
Fourth, the committee’s words and actions do not mesh. The issue that everyone points to is that Dr. Caner was “demoted” from President to Professor. One blogger even claims to have insight that Dr. Jerry Falwell Jr. insisted on Dr. Caner being retained as professor. If that blogger is correct, and has that kind of behind the scenes access at Liberty University, then LU needs to seriously examine their staff. When an egalitarian has that kind of connections in a complimentarian university there will be serious troubles in the future for Liberty. Whether Dr. Jerry Falwell Jr. insisted or not is not the issue. Liberty has taken an action that appears to be tied to their investigation. However, that action does not express the words of the statement. How can one be found to have apologized for mis-statements that were not lies, and found to be factual about one’s background, but does not get a renewal of a contract? And the contract that one does get is a contract to continue on in the position of teaching these young minds? The statement and actions are dichotomous at the least.
Allow me to close by saying that I am finished commenting on this issue. I will allow the comments to be open for you to question me and call me to task for my use of the word exoneration. These comments are not going to venture down the road of Dr. Caner’s mis-statements. For that reason I will remove statements about Dr. Caner and his mis-statements. I will only allow comments that address my use of the term and my thoughts posted in this post.
I want to thank Brothers Wes, David, and Scott for their patience with me and their graciousness in expressing their differences with me. I love these men and appreciate their hearts as we continue together to expand the Kingdom of God.