A MIND FOREVER VOYAGING THROUGH STRANGE SEAS OF THOUGHT, ALONE


This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.



The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

THE FONZIERELIAN COMPLEX

So I have this idea for a blog tonight, but I kept thinking I wrote about this before, so I do a search and nothing shows up, but I can't shake the feeling.

I watched a Dr. James White seminar from YouTube tonite on Ergun Caner and it made me very sad to watch.  I've been listening to Caner sermons since about 2002, when I first saw him speak at Ashburn Baptist Church in Orland Park IL.  I've never seen a preacher or speaker that could so totally have an audience wrapped in the palm of his hand as well as Caner could within 10 minutes.

And I always knew he would crash and burn.

I figured he would crash on cool, the Fonzierelian Complex, which is not an official complex, one I made up, but stay with me.  Fonzie was suppose to be the ultimate in cool, just like all those short jewish guys were in every high school.  But the trouble with cool is every time you do something really cool, to stay cool, you have to do something cooler; then one day you find yourself water skiing in your leather jacket jumping a pool of sharks - where jump the shark comes from in case you never knew.

And what I saw in Caner was a guy who pushed the envelope when he spoke, a little shock value today is old news tomorrow, so more shock is needed and then it blows up in your face - that is where I saw Caner falling.

Turns out it was a little more complex than that, turns out Caner started early down the path to his destruction.  It's easy to do, we all do it at times, we tell our story, we tell it again, we get a little bored with our story so we add a little embellishment to the story.  Then comes the next, and the next.

When 9/11 occurred, the media was hungry for someone that might help explain the Islamic mindset.  Now Caner was a Muslim, born in Sweden, came to the US when he was 3, was raised a strict muslim, and in high school became a Christian - you know, that is a good story.  But Caner started saying he was born in Turkey, not Sweden, then came more and more years in Muslim countries before coming to the US, then came stories of debates he never did, and the stories just grew and grew.

Once upon a time, like up thru the end of the 20th century, most men would have gotten away with this, but in the 21st century, with mp3's, youtube, and access to everything, his story started to unravel.  A man who rose from a small church pastor, to a traveling pastor in high demand, to a guest on every news network around, best selling author and next thing your know you are head of Liberty University.

And then all the stories and all the lies start to unravel, little by little till people smell blood and the only thing people love more than someone rising from nowhere is to tear that person down - it makes us feel better about ourselves when we can feed like dingos on the carcass of the rich or famous.

So the media pounced on Caner because we never had such a target with a made up past who could be dropped so far not named Obama.

So Caner is out at Liberty, but still had powerful friends who helped him along, preaching at churches, and teaching graduate school classes; then he is named Dean at a small struggling Baptist college in Texas and sudden he turns around the school into the black in one year.

The problem is, at no time does Caner ever step up, admit he was lying, telling tales, embellishing things to make himself more than what he was.  And, God was not through with him.

Maybe that is not fair to put it that way, but last summer Caner's 15 year old son committed suicide, I mean God did not make Ergun's son commit suicide to punish Ergun, did He?   I have no idea what that feels like to a parent - I get irritated when people say something like 'my uncle had alzheimer's and I use to visit him once a month on a sunday afternoon, I know what you went through" - golly that pisses me off to no end.  And I can't imagine and won't pretend to try what it felt like to Caner when his son killed himself - it's a pain that I cannot begin to imagine.  Six months later major heart issue.  And then to top that off, like another modern day tale of Job, Caner's announced they were getting divorced.  Infidelity involved, and if I read the paper correctly, not him.  Finally, he recently stepped down as Dean because he just can't deal with it anymore.

The man has lost everything.  His career in the toilet, his reputation in the toilet, his marriage in the toilet, his health is in the toilet, and his son is gone.  He is totally flushed.

Here is the thing, I like Ergun Caner.  I really do.  I heard him speak at Ashburn close to a dozen times. At the Men's Steak Fry, he sat near my dad and me and we talked quite a bit, we both lived in Dallas during the 1980's; he made fun of me for living on the north side with all the rich white folk, I said I was not one of the rich white folk but I like living there because you don't get woken every morning by the sound of Chevy's with bad mufflers.  I thought several people were going to have strokes when I said that but Caner gave a hearty laugh.

In the end, he brought much of this on himself.  It's a good example of why I don't like testimonies in Baptist churches.  Somebody gets up and says, "I accepted Christ when I was 16" and the next person gets up and says " I was a drug dealer running a chain of prostitutes and was shot one evening 6 times by rival gang members and as I lay in the street dying I had a vision of Hell and suddenly I saw Jesus and He told me I was doomed for Hell and I said Please give me another chance and so here I am".  It creates testimony envy.

Ergun got drunk on the fame and fortune.  He lost focus, like Arthur and the knights, he lost his focus on whom he serves.  He started serving fame and fortune, popularity, wealth, and now it's all been stripped from him.  If he ends up broke and homeless, he can move in with me.

Sadly, I see this ending one of two ways.  One is he is going to pass soon, a beaten and broken man.  Hopefully, though, he might spend a year in quiet, praying, reading the Bible.  No posting, no youtube, no tweets, just Ergun and God.  Then come out with a public confession, admit it all, lay it all out, confess, repent, and then maybe he can find a small church to pastor, a small college or high school to teach at, and serve God.  The world needs his voice in the pulpit, not his ego.

You know I've seen my share of hustlers
As they try to take the world,
And when they find their melody
They're surrounded by the girls.
But it all fades so quickly
Like a sunny summer day;
Reporters ask you questions
And may write down what you say.
So come on and play
the chords of love my friend,
Play the chords of pain
But if you wanna keep your song, no no no,
Don't play the chords of fame, oh no no.


Melanie  "Chords of Fame"