Back in the summer of 1976, Neil Heath (now my Macon, Ga., neighbor) and I were part of a team of students working at Bambi Lake Baptist Assembly in Michigan. One task was to assemble a large metal building — now used as a garage if still standing — with nuts, bolts and handheld ratchets.
There was lots of time to pass so, on one occasion, Neil and I tried to see who could come up with the most dramatic testimony of Christian conversion. (Our own stories were a bit on the dull side.)
However, we were joking — just passing the time. We didn’t take them to the campfire services at night.
But apparently embellishing one’s story of moving from darkness to light is so advantageous to career-building that it can just grow and grow.
Perhaps suspicions should have been raised much earlier about Mike Warnke’s leap from Satanic High Priest to Christian comedian. Even Neil and I could not top that one. Turns out Warnke had a greater imagination and sense of self-marketing than the two of us.
Now the seminary president at Liberty University — who along with his brother have become rising stars in Southern Baptist life as formerly devout Muslims and experts on Islam — is being faced with serious discrepancies in his ever-evolving story. In fact, Ergun Caner has given different public accounts of even the nation of his birth.
It’s one thing to embellish — add a little drama — to a silly story one tells to friends. But when talking about ultimate Truth — the one that sets us free — it sure seems proper to at least tell the honest-to-God truth.
Executive editor / publisher at Good Faith Media.