What do I think about the news? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Yesterday, the report came out about Ravi Zacharias and can be read here. I did skim through it some last night to see the content mainly. I am thankful I did skim because going through it, I started feeling so nauseous over what I was reading that I thought I’d have to take something for it.
You see, Ravi had been a hero of mine for so many years. He was my first favorite apologist that I had. I remember the day I got to meet him and what an honor it was and I got to introduce Allie to him a few years before he died. Now I look back and wonder when did all of his trouble start?
Some people have compared him to King David. I mean, King David screwed up also. Right? Big difference. King David admitted he screwed up and this even when he was in good health. He publicly repented. Ravi knew he was dying and did no such repentance. When the 2017 charge came out, many of us thought it couldn’t be right because, well, Ravi wasn’t that kind of person. Now, it looks like he was that kind of person and the charge was right.
We saw the funeral service that was shared across the internet with people coming and praising Ravi about what a great person he was, not knowing that he took to his grave a huge lie. It is a betrayal of sorts that many of us feel about what Ravi did.
I read through the report feeling sick as I said and wondering when this man went wrong. This wasn’t just one isolated incident. This was a number of repeated incidents. This wasn’t just things done in a moment of weakness. We would condemn it, but it’s easy to understand falling into an affair in a moment of weakness, but when it’s done with premeditation and planning, such as Ravi having separate phones and emails not authorized by RZIM, it’s a different story.
So what judgment comes on Ravi? That’s not our department, and so I honestly don’t know. I wonder about it when I read passages like 1 Cor. 6. If this was his real lifestyle, can Ravi escape that judgment for it? I pray for mercy, but it is not my call. God owes none of us anything and if we know of his grace and flaunt it by living in a sin the Bible condemns, we have to realize there could be consequences.
So some takeaways.
First off, it made me even more sure to try to walk in sexual integrity. Don’t be alone in even an elevator with a woman you are not related to. Don’t go driving in a car with such a woman. Let someone else have access to your devices and know your passwords. Have accountability partners to help you in this.
Second, watch yourself to make sure you don’t fall into sin. I am very guarded in my private conversations with other women. I have women who are friends, but I will not ever consider them intimate friends in any way. My closest friends will always be guys. Getting super close to a member of the opposite sex except for in dating or marriage is dangerous.
Third, RZIM needs to change its name. Ravi’s behavior has unfortunately soiled the ministry and many of those connected to it who are personally innocent and had no clue will pay a price for it. Ministries do not need to be named after any one person save perhaps if you wanted to name a ministry after someone else well-known in ministry from the past.
Fourth, RZIM needs to do everything in its power to help these women who have been affected by the wicked behavior Ravi engaged in. Sexual abuse leaves a powerful scar on someone’s life and healing needs to take place. Any apologies need to be highly public.
Fifth, there will also need to be more financial accountability as Ravi used personal funds and perhaps some donated to RZIM to give gifts to these girls in exchange for gifts from them. People will not want to give to the ministry if they have no reason to trust where their resources are going to. It is fully understandable if many choose to not give again.
For those of us on the outside, there but for the grace of God go us. It is sad to me that I used to hold up Ravi as an example to emulate and now I hold him up as one to avoid. I have great pain especially for his grandchildren who will grow up hearing about the double life that their grandfather lived. These are the ones we should watch over the most.
As for me, I am working through this as well bit by bit. It’s been a very hurtful revelation to learn that someone you thought of as a friend was putting on a show. I do not think Ravi doubted the truth that Jesus rose from the dead, but I think he was trying to justify his actions and using ministry as an excuse.
I really know of no good way to end this kind of blog. I am just greatly disappointed in this man I once looked at. The best I can do is do my best to avoid being that kind of man as well.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
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