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.

Both Christianity Today and Associated Baptist Press have posted related stories.

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.

Share This