The devil’s foothold

This is bad. This is heartbreaking and discouraging, and sobering. What a blow to the Christian community.

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) recently confirmed that their founder, world-renowned and well-respected Christian apologist and evangelist Ravi Zacharias, had apparently engaged in multiple instances of sexual misconduct while representing Jesus Christ as one of his most influential defenders.

Here’s where you can read of some of the allegations, and here’s the statement from RZIM disclosing that an investigation has revealed that the allegations are true, and even that conduct more serious than has been publicly reported has been uncovered.

I’ve been a Ravi fan since the very first time I heard him speak. Here’s what I said about him in a previous post:

Ravi Zacharias is an Indian-born Christian apologist who has spoken to government officials, military leaders, and university students all over the world, defending the Christian faith. He is a man of high intelligence, abiding faith, great humility, and genuine compassion for all people. He is also a communicator par excellence with a winsome style that is warm and approachable, and a crisp, definitive, British-Indian accent that just grabs your attention and holds it.

When he died earlier this year I re-ran the post and envisioned his welcome into heaven as the most glorious and honorable as anyone has ever received. Now I see it a little differently. And as I’ve been processing this awful news, I’ve noted a number of important things that I want to share with you.

  1. Ravi Zacharias’s bad behavior doesn’t affect the truth status of what he preached. What God has done through Jesus Christ is true irrespective of the character or actions of the one who proclaims it. I have no plans to remove the link on my sidebar to his ministry.
  2. It does affect his witness. Many will think, why should I believe a man who preaches a morality that he himself doesn’t practice?
  3. Ravi is the last person I would have suspected of falling into repeated sexual sin. The devil’s foothold in this world is wide and firm, and it is sex. None of us, not even the most saintly, is unsusceptible to its lure. We all need to be on our guard against this temptation.
  4. Zacharias is not the first Christian leader to fall into serious sexual sin and he won’t be the last. And every secularist, social justice warrior who condemns Ravi Zacharias but idolizes Martin Luther King is being inconsistent and hypocritical.
  5. The pages of Scripture are filled with records of flawed men being used greatly by God, and forgiven for their sins. King David, who committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed, was called by God “a man after my heart.” David was grieved over his sin and submitted to God’s discipline, never wavering from his faith in God’s righteous authority. Surely the same could be said about Ravi.
  6. Praise God that our deeds are not weighed on a scale to determine our destination after death. We are saved by faith alone, the genuineness of which is demonstrated by our works. Ravi Zacharias’s life in tireless service to God clearly and consistently showed his faith in action. I still believe he was welcomed into heaven back in May, but as a shamed and sorrowful servant who nevertheless produced fruit a hundredfold.

More is expected to be revealed in the coming months when the legal firm hired by RZIM completes its investigation. I don’t know that I’ll want to read it. I keep thinking about his family…his wife and children, and grandchildren. What damage his sin has wrought.

God, help us to be good.