A spokesman for the family of Ergun Caner, whose son took his life July 29, said they are encouraged over a statement of repentance by a Montana pastor who has faced criticism for several exchanges with the youth via Twitter.
“We’ve kept our ears close to the public chatter on social media surrounding the untimely death of Braxton Caner, son of Dr. Ergun and Jill Caner, including the most recent pronouncements of contrition by Montana pastor Jordan D. Hall,” said Peter Lumpkins, vice president of communications at Brewton-Parker College in Georgia where Caner has been president since December.
“Know we are encouraged Rev. Hall finally admitted his social media attack on a fifteen year old boy was both inappropriate and sinful,” Lumpkins said in a statement to Baptist Press today (Aug. 12).
“We’re further encouraged Hall has vowed to back away from his relentless character assassination of Braxton’s dad, Ergun Caner. Finally, we hope and pray Hall’s public contrition about his sinful harassment of the Caner family will inspire other cyber-bullies in several states including Arizona, Florida, California, Virginia, Georgia, and even foreign countries like Canada to learn from Hall’s experience and cease their harmful and sinful attacks upon the Caner family. It’s time to stop social media abuse.”
JD Hall, pastor of Fellowship Church of Sidney and one of the leaders of a group named Reformation Montana, addressed the exchanges with Braxton Caner in an Aug. 11 podcast titled “A Final Word On The Braxton Caner Saga.”
On July 2, Hall had written in the last of three Tweets challenging the moral content of some of the 15-year-old’s posts: “Because of your age, I’ll discontinue our convo. But if you ever want to speak or seek truth about your dad, email me.”
Hall also posted a subsequent blog titled “On Caner’s Son.” The post, which has been removed from the Internet, reflected challenges Hall had been waging against Ergun Caner, a former dean at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and popular conference speaker who often told of being raised as a Muslim before his conversion to Christianity.
Hall, in the podcast, though doubting that the Twitter exchanges with Braxton Caner contributed to the youth’s suicide nearly four weeks later, stated that he is “unequivocally, completely broken” over the circumstances.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press