Ravi Zacharias: A Christian Call to Arms

Here are some non-biased article that give an honest account of what is going on at RZIM and the terrible scandal involving the late Ravi Zacharias. Take the time to read through the material before making decisions or condemnations.

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/february/ravi-zacharias-rzim-investigation-sexual-abuse-sexting-rape.html?utm_medium=widgetsocial

UK Zacharias Trust board to separate from RZIM, change name – The Christian Post

The Ravi Zacharias Implosion | The American Conservative

Ravi Zacharias

For many of us, the news about the late Ravi Zacharias was not only shocking but unbelievable. Ravi was one of the world’s leading Christian apologist and founder of the largest global apologetics organization in the world, RZIM. For over 35 years RZIM has worked to defend the Christian faith and spread the good news of Jesus Christ and His kingdom throughout the nations. It would be a sin to overlook and discount the effectiveness and hard world of RZIM and its many (innocent) employees who were not privy, or prey, to this scandal.

So, what do we, as the global Christian community, take from this apparent shocking revelation? I think there are a few theological takeaways and conclusions that we can draw upon to learn and grow from this experience in the body of Christ. I will list them as follows, in no particular order:

  1. “For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:22-23 ESV). For the Christian life, this is a staple. The current fall of Ravi and his sexual sins will be a cudgel for the secular world that will use this catastrophe to cast aspersions on the believing world as a bunch of repressed sexual deviants who espouse faith but practice hypocrisy. Certain aspects of this may be true but Christians realize that all men are sinners, born out of iniquity (Psalm 51:5) and rightfully deserving the justified wrath of God (Romans 1). It is only through Jesus Christ that we are reconciled to the Father (2 Corinthian 5:18) and justified through faith by His grace (Ephesian 2:8-9). This worldview that all men/women fall short of is not an accusation for Ravi’s actions but an explanation that everyone is guilty of sin and should be a sobering call to repentance and humility before we all take on the destructive task of killing the legacy of this flawed evangelist.
  2. “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffers for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself” (Ezekiel 18:20 ESV). Remember that RZIM, its leadership, and the family of Ravi Zacharias are not equal to the sins and crimes of Ravi himself. It is important to make a distinction between the perpetrator and his unintended victims. Everyone who followed this man, put their trust in his leadership, followed his spiritual direction, and supported his ministry are not (necessarily) culpable to his crimes and the Christian community should recognize this before we send the lynch mob. Christians are reasonable, forgiving, and patient in our cause for justice.
  3. “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17 ESV). This is a scripture that is all too often overlooked as beautiful prose or poetry; however, its theological implications could not be overstated. The truth, which is the embodiment of Jesus Christ, despite the ramifications of that truth, is what furthers us in our sanctification. J.P. Moreland apply writes: “The Christian mind is committed to seeking and finding the truth even if that truth is not what one wanted to hear. The Christian seeks to know and do the truth. In fact, in a certain sense, the believer’s commitment to the truth is even more basic than his or her dedication to the Christian faith in general or some doctrinal position in particular: If one came to believe that Christianity or some doctrinal belief was false, then one ought to give up the belief in question. By way of application, we should learn to listen to what our critics say about us even if we don’t like the way they express their views” [J P Moreland (2020). (p. 121). Love Your God with All Your Mind, Revised and Updated: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul. Retrieved from https://app.wordsearchbible.lifeway.com]. This is more geared toward die-hard fundamentalist members of the Christian coalition who refuse to believe that their leadership can do no wrong. This also is aimed toward the leadership in RZIM that knew this sort of deviance was going on and turned a blind eye. It is time for the truth to shine forth and consequences are damned. Repentance is needed, and RZIM seems to be in no short supply.
  4. “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’” (Romans 12:18-20 ESV). Christians are not the angry mob that we see coming from the left so often. We are not proponents of cancel culture, we are not advocating retribution, and we are not blood-thirsty avengers. Christianity means love, temperance, forgiveness, and justice. We trust in the Lord and His righteous judgment. Although, if the investigation shows RZIM culpability, those injustices need to be rectified in accordance with the law, and the victim should be heard, prayed for, and taken care of. Christians put our trust and faith in the sovereignty of God. Do not give the haters of religion rope in which to hang ourselves.
  5. “I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced” (2 Corinthians 12:21 ESV). One of the biggest lessons that can be gleaned from this controversy is the power and ubiquitous nature that sexual depravity still holds over humanity. The forces of evil are alive and hold a great deal of power in the world. Make no mistake that sexual impurity is at the core of the progressive lifestyle and its evil leaches into faith-based communities and ministries that downplay its influence. This is why liberal theology that denies orthodox Christian doctrines and the historical church opens its doors to this kind of treachery. Sexual sin and debauchery are at the core of liberal theology and should be expediated from our church communities at every turn. We are at war with the purveyors of evil and if you think that your church, ministry, clergy, husband, wife, children, etc.… are not susceptible to this level of temptation, just look at what happened to Ravi Zacharias.

Lastly, we should remember that how we react to this catastrophe should be done with grace, humility, and prayer. Remember; “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36 ESV). It is best to look for a posture of God’s glory than the downfall and sin of Ravi Zacharias. Ultimately God will judge this man’s life in accordance with the scriptures and will justly pass His righteous judgment, we will not. The fate of Ravi’s soul is in the sovereign hands of God, the creator. How we react to this situation will either bring glory to God or reproach upon the body of Christ, that path is up to you.

 

1 Comment

  1. Ravi isn’t the problem. Don’t get me wrong, this is a huge scandal. I’m not minimizing it. But he’s only one man. I think all of your takeaways are excellent and I’d add another one: Self-examination.

    The bigger issue is that there are a lot of us just like him. Not exactly like him, but close enough. We point our fingers at everybody else, but fail to to point them at ourselves. We profess to believe these great truths about God. Things like forgiveness, redemption, purpose, purity and ultimate meaning. We tell unbelievers how great it is to follow Christ and then all to often we don’t follow Him ourselves.

    Why should anybody choose to follow Christ if even his own followers won’t follow him?

    Of course, I’m painting with a very broad brush here. There are PLENTY of people who are following Christ faithfully. But any unbelieving skeptic would nod their head in agreement to what I’m saying here. It sticks, because there’s truth there.

    We all agree, I hope, that our lack of obedience doesn’t nullify the truth of the Gospel. But it does tarnish it. It would do us all good to take to heart Clement’s words:

    “For the Lord says, ‘My name is continually blasphemed among all nations’…Why is it blasphemed? Because you do no do what I desire. For when pagans hear from our mouths the oracles of God, they marvel at there beauty and greatness. But when they discover that our actions are not worthy of the words we speak, they turn from wonder to blasphemy, saying that it is a myth and a delusion.” (2 Clement 13:2-3).

    Our first response is always to point fingers at other people. The challenges facing the church are so great at this time. Ravi’s fall should be a call for each one of us to look in the mirror and ask the question: “Is Your name being blasphemed because of me?”

    Great post and I love the title of your blog “R Rated Religion” Nice

    Add all this into the mix of “Evangelicals are Terrorists” and it’s easy to see what’s coming. Public opinion is turning hard against the church. It’s only a matter of time now

    Like

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