It has taken me a few weeks to process what we have been learning about Ravi Zacharias and the allegations against him. The most recent statement made by his ministry is that they were heartbroken to find the allegations to be true. A video by Vince Vitale on Instagram seems to indicate the ministry as it stands will be dissolved but there are no specifics given.
From everything I have read, it seems there were concerns that should have brought red flags to his fellow workers in the ministry but Ravi seemed to have a credible answer to every question. It has been heartbreaking to read and watch the leadership of the ministry as they say they should have looked into a past allegation more carefully rather than take Ravi's word for what happened. It is easier now to look back and see cracks in the foundation of his life that were not so apparent at the time.
I took a course in spiritual gifts when my daughter was very young and one of the truths we were reminded of each week was that every gift God gives us has its' own inherit weakness. We must be just as careful to avoid the weakness as we are to use the gift (or gifts) we have received.
That is shown here since Ravi's gift was definitely an ability to communicate and answer the deep questions of life. He also used it to deflect questions when friends and coworkers noticed something seemed not quite right.
It is not only that he had a fall from grace after his death but the
depth of the sin he withheld from others is shocking to so many who
admired him. It is like he was two different people, putting on one face in public and an entirely different attitude in his private life away from family and friends.
The only reason I am writing about my own feelings is that I have recommended his books through the years as some of the best available on the subject of apologetics. The sad things is, that is still true. The research and knowledge put into the books, many times with co-writers, are just as good as they were the day before the allegations came out.
Of course, any books he wrote about living a moral life has to be looked at with sadness as well as skepticism now. However, I still have his books about apologetics in my library. I think once the shock wears off, it will be easier to use the books as one would use a textbook or other reference book.
Having said that, he has left a terrible number of people who have been victims of his abuse. The women who are sexual abuse victims are obvious and need the prayers of every Christian. The leadership of RZIM have said that they will make certain they are given every resource, including financial, to begin to recover.
However, there are the victims who are his co-workers and those who had admired him and his gift. We need to especially pray for the hundreds of employees of the ministry around the world who are now shaken and have an uncertain future. We don't know if his family was aware of any of this but regardless if they were or not, they need the prayers of the Church right now.
When a Christian leader as well known and respected as Ravi Z. fails, the sound of that fall is as if one of the tallest trees in the forest has crashed. The sound waves can be felt far beyond the immediate area and in the instance of a world renowned leader... far beyond the shores of this country.
While I was absolutely shocked when I first heard about this, when I began to read some of the results of the study and what those red flags were that people who knew him should have noticed (it is easier to see them in hindsight), it reminded me once again that as followers of Christ, He is the only One who deserves our admiration.
How often do we as a Church put a fellow believer up on a pedestal and when that idol falls, it has far more significance than it really should in our Christian walk and our beliefs. We have seen it happen over and over and over again in the past decades.
It is only Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. Everyone else are simply humans who live in a very flawed body. I have learned to give forgiveness and grace but to also be careful. It is a good lesson to be reminded of in such a sad way.
I have no desire to look into this any further but I wonder when the cracks in Ravi's character first appeared. When did he begin to make excuses for his behavior? How could he rationalize with that brilliant mind the sins which he was committing? Did he become so proud that he didn't think what is done in the dark would come into the light as the Bible promises?
If the tragedy of Ravi Zacharias teaches each of us anything, it is how easy we as humans can deceive ourselves into thinking we will get away with those things God demands we stay away from. There is a reason our Father in Heaven warns us against playing with fire. In Ravi's case, his legacy has been burned to the ground.
Please forgive the rather sloppy prose today but it was too difficult to make these words flow easily. I think it just reveals how hard they were to write.