This post is not about Ergun Caner, or Johnny Hunt. But before I get to what it is about, a few notes on what it’s not about. As you probably know, Johnny Hunt, of First Baptist Church of Woodstock, has invited Ergun Caner to fill his pulpit in July. What does this mean? Think about it. There are thousands of professing believers in that church, who have for better or worse entrusted some measure of oversight of their souls to Johnny Hunt. What does Pastor Hunt do with that tremendous and fearful responsibility? He invites a man in open and unrepentant sin to preach to the people for whose souls he will give an account, of course!A man who has lied and lied and lied some more. Caner lied in Dr Al Mohler’s face in public. He lied to untold thousands of Christians in public and on TV such as the John Ankerberg show. He lied to United States Marines, thus possibly putting their very lives in jeopardy. He used disgusting and filthy language in doing so and frequently uses very offensive terms about Muslims and Arabs. He lied to publishing houses like Kregel Publications, who published his book Unveiling Islam, thus enriching his own bank account by his deception. He sued fellow believers, righteous pastors, to cover up his own sin. He pretends to speak Arabic and instead just spouts gibberish in public. He acts with hatred toward his own brother. He thus has grievously wounded many evangelistic outreaches to Muslims, who watch with disgust as American evangelicals buy his book and invite him on the air, to their conferences, to their seminary convocations, to the presidency of their Bible colleges, and to their pulpits. He has been called on this, asked to repent, called to repent, pleaded with, many times, in private and in public. He is in open, unrepentant, grievous, repeated sin.
Will God look with favor upon Pastor Hunt and upon FBC Woodstock, as they not only stand idly by but actively seek such a man
out and let him preach? They shouldn’t even let him be a member unless
he publicly repents and confesses his sin, let alone preach from their
pulpit! I shudder to think at God’s sentiments toward this action and
toward those who made that decision.
Here is what this post is about.
I would like to propose an act of Christian service. Indeed, of
worship of the Lord Jesus, of good to fellow professing believers, of
benefit both to the universal Body of Christ as well as to the specific
visible local church, FBC Woodstock. Pastor Hunt has failed his
congregation. The leadership team has so far failed to rise up and put a
stop to this foolish wickedness. The congregation has not (yet) arisen
to call for an unconditional disinvitation to Caner and indeed a public
rebuke and call to repentance, yet of course they are far less to blame
than Pastor Hunt himself is, who clearly controls the invitations for
his own pulpit.
If it should come to pass that this situation remain unchanged up to
the very Sunday that Caner is scheduled to spew his nonsense at FBC
Woodstock, without opposition, Christians who love the Word of God should rise up, show up, and speak up.
Members of FBC Woodstock, I hereby exhort you to call your leaders to repentance. Do it in love, of course. That goes without saying. True love obligates you not to turn a blind eye to sin. Do it. And if they will not repent, take a hard look at what the New Testament says you ought to do about it.
Members of other churches in the area, I exhort you – love your neighbors and the household of faith enough to make known your unwillingness to let sin rule the day.
Christians everywhere in the area – do not let the secular press and the world system do your job for you, of exposing evil in your own house.
If the leadership will not repent of inviting Caner, take to the streets outside FBC Woodstock,
peacefully but with firm conviction. Think about ways you can
communicate not only to those who choose to go in to sit under the
teaching of a man who gives every indication that he does not know Jesus
but also to the watching world that you love Ergun Caner and the people of FBC Woodstock too much
to let this evil go unopposed! Use signs. Hand out pamphlets. Raise
your voice to passing cars. Invite your whole church body out for this
act of worship to the Lord Jesus. Sing songs of praise to Jesus while
doing it. Teach the Word of God right there on the sidewalk. Ask your
elder(s) to lead the way in this exposure of intolerance of unrepentant
sin, of leaven within the Body of Christ.
If this seems like a radical step to you, consider that the Lord
Jesus twice violently overturned tables on the grounds of the Temple.
Consider that Jeremiah preached repentance from outside the gate of the
Temple because he had been excommunicated and barred from entry to the
Temple grounds, but refused to disobey the word of the Lord. Consider
what your silence means. Consider that the opposite of love is not
hatred, but rather indifference, and that’s exactly what you would be
communicating not only toward Caner but also toward the people of FBC
Woodstock and Pastor Hunt and the leadership team if you were to remain
silent and just go about your normal business on that day. The opposite
of love. The opposite of fulfilling the law. And why? Because you might be seen and recognised and you’d be putting your reputation on the line? Because you might lose friends? Because you are afraid? Because you are too occupied with your own Sunday morning rituals to go to the aid of those who badly need your voice and your call to holiness?
Why do it this way? Well, do you have a better idea? Why haven’t you
implemented your better idea? Is it not the case that many, many avenues
have been explored, many solutions sought, and still this unrepentant
liar finds his way to elevated positions, to fill the air with his worldly nonsense? Is it not the case that while the case against Caner is indubitable,
there are those who simply don’t care? Why don’t they care? It is
because they have bigger fish to fry, in their minds, than truth and
justice. This is wicked, and we ought to oppose Downgrade in the pastorate.
If Hunt and his team will not respect truth, might they respect a
show of love and sacrifice and outrage against the acceptance of sin
within the Body of Christ? There is only one way to find out.
And once you’ve found that out, I pray you’ll be stimulated to think
deeply about other kinds of things the church ought to be doing, is not
doing, and ought to repent of not doing, and that you will take loving action.