Wednesday, May 18, 2011 

Emir Caner Should Apologize for Tweet: UPDATED!!


On Monday, Dr. Emir Caner, President of Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, GA took to his iPhone to tap out the following tweet:

The military discovered a large stash of pornography in bin Laden's compound. I was unaware that Islam had its own Acts 29 Network.
It's hard to imagine the president of a Southern Baptist college, which is supported by the Cooperative Program ($1 million a year in fact), would stoop to such levels as to place on his Twitter account such an unChristlike statement.

There has been some reaction and backlash to Caner's tweet, but from my standpoint not enough. I am thankful for Danny Akin's tweet yesterday:

@EmirCaner I love you my brother & I am proud of U in so many ways. You a better man than your bin Laden/Acts 29 tweet.
My hope is that Dr. Caner will recognize his error and how it hurts the Body of Christ and causes division and seek to rectify this wrong by apologizing and removing the tweet from his Twitter page. If you join me in calling Dr. Caner to apologize, please say so in the comments. I hope to direct a trustee or two of Truett-McConnell to my blog tomorrow.


This morning, Emir Caner posted the following statement to his blog:

I have come to realize over the past few days that Driscoll's vulgarity is far too serious an issue to simply put out a satirical tweet. While it is easy to find Driscoll crossing the line (see articles by John MacArthur and Cathy Mickels) it should not be likewise with me, and for that I apologize.
Soon after seeing this I was contacted by a few pastors who expressed their displeasure with Caner's statement. While speaking to one such pastor, I was contacted by Mike Dorough, Youth Pastor at Second Baptist Church, Warner Robbins, GA, and current Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Truett-McConnell College. He noted that Emir Caner had asked him to call and hoped that his statement would be sufficient.

I informed Mr. Dorough that no one that I have spoken with was pleased with the statement. Mr. Dorough's words were that it was more than he had expected Dr. Caner to say and that he had spoken to others who felt the statement was sufficient.

After a tense, but (I believe) God-honoring discussion by both of us, we parted ways without any resolution, but (I hope) without any ill feelings. Mr. Dorough is a fine man and I appreciated very much his call to me. However, during the discussion one area of disagreement we had was on whether or not I should have blogged about this incident.

As I indicated to Mr. Dorough, Dr. Caner's original inappropriate tweet was public and thus his call to repentence should be public as well. Mr. Dorough brought up the principle of Matthew 18 - a passage that I believe is very essential for us as Christians to understand. I explained to Mr. Dorough that Matthew 18, when read properly speaks about private sin ("if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone"), not public sin. The two passages that show us how to deal with public sin are Galatians 2 (where Paul confronts Peter publically) and 1 Corinthians 5 (where Paul calls out a couple engaged in sin that is publically known). Again, because Dr. Caner's actions were performed in the public domain, a public call to repentence is necessary.

Now, having read Dr. Caner's statement and his tweet, what do you think about his apology? Is it enough? How might Dr. Caner's statement been more conciliatory and satisfying to his brothers and sisters in Christ that he harmed?

About me

Paul was not interested merely in the ethical principles of religion or of ethics. On the contrary, he was interested in the redeeming work of Christ and its effect upon us. His primary interest was in Christian doctrine, and Christian doctrine not merely in its presuppositions but at its centre. -- J. Greshem Machen.

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