Updated, 20 February 2021. It is with a heavy heart that I am writing this after reading the deplorable facts late last night from the report gathered by the lawyers who was appointed by RZIM itself to carry out the investigation behind Ravi Zacharias’ sexual misconduct. The document read over 13 pages had one clear message – that in the end, we should toe the line with God’s word to only worship Him alone and nobody else. The fallen nature of Ravi Zacharias, purported to be the greatest apologist of our time, drives home the point so vividly lucid, accurate and on point about why we should only celebrate God, not men!
Personally, to think that I have heard his podcasts just like I’ve indulged in my home church’s weekly sermons especially during the hot season when I first began to walk the faith diligently from around the fourth quarter of 2007 has now placed me in a very awkward position because like many, not only did I profess to fancy what this fella preached but I also went to the extent of sharing his messages to many out there. To have finally found this truth that Ravi is no more than just a sexual predator and a liar that has betrayed our belief system and our faith in the Lord is one of the most detestable things I have ever experienced as a believer. It’s so vile I actually felt like throwing up!
Call it entertainment, call it carnal sin or call it manly desires, whatever the term maybe, Ravi has become the biggest traitor now known to man of this faith which we have come to learn and practise, and unfortunately sometimes to the encouragement of his preaching. To have now found ourselves in a quandary because of his rebellious nature behind closed doors and under the sheets while probably just before then or after those hideous moments he has called on strangers and unbelievers to come to Christ from the pulpit just makes it that much more disgusting to the whole malicious saga that has hurt so many people including his very own family whom he declared his love for on stage whenever he got a chance to. What then are his children and wife to think about this outright insidious behaviour when he was on the road for days on end preaching the gospel to many only to cheat everyone including himself and God as he spent time with women and grooming them to execute his lusty desires for pleasures that definitely falls within the sinful category no matter what instrument one uses to measure them with.
To this end, I must submit to the Lord that what I read in the scripture this morning during my increasingly rare devotions due to my very own indiscipline from John 4 had one crucial point that rings audibly loud right now! We, until the eternal end, must worship in spirit and in truth because God is spirit.
John 4:24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
With Truth, we shall aligned with God. He would mediate our cases, petitions and prayers according to truths, and of course grace. In stark contrast, He will certainly not process our desperate calls through lies and deceits because they go against the grain of His holy message.
Not in anywhere found in the Bible was adultery promoted or explained to be an honourable act. Adultery behind the watchful eyes of the public so one can satisfy their animal instincts and desires are also not consented by the Lord our God. How then did Ravi think his acts of cajoling women to do against their will, to go as far as touching to compelling them to masturbate him and also to have the funds from his sanctuary of practice at RZIM fund his personal pursuits of keeping women may be allowed by God? Did he not read and understand how King David had crossed the line and till today has become butt of jokes believers like us have to endure with right now? Did he not understand that the concept of “getting through the needle was easier for those who follow God” is also something that he as a preacher must abide by closely and that he’s not exempted from because before the Lord our God, we are all equal as His children? Did he think he will be pardoned just because he has preached the gospel for decades and impacting lives in the millions around the world?
As time passes and as our faith grows and deepens with the Lord, I can only say that at all times, whether in doubt, in joyful moments, at the brink of failure or at the height of our success, we must never forget to return to His Word and measure again if we have strayed far from it. I confess, that I am not spotless and have still innumerable items that I have to grapple with and seek for His clearance and forgiveness but I dare say that when we think too highly of ourselves, it is the bright red alert that is blaring out there to call us to come back to the feet of Jesus and learn and hear from Him once again lest we too fall like many before us.
In no better way to say this, if you have been hurt by Ravi like me, let’s just move on from here knowing that when God called us to worship Him alone and nobody else, we must always remember that He had a reason for this. This fallen episode is just one of the many that has in recent times given a bad name to Christianity.
Let this pass and let us continue to invest our faith and prayers in our mighty God, not men, not preacher, not a beloved pastor or priest and definitely not on any sentimental and sensational showing of why preachers must be uplifted into celebrity status. We are His children, behave like one!
For reference of the case, please refer to:
- RZIM’s open letter about the investigation and report
- Report of Independent Investigation into Sexual Misconduct of Ravi Zacharias, 9 February 2021
Below is the original blog posting I wrote upon the demise of Ravi which I now wish I had not written!
Can one be overcome by emotions with the passing of a man whom he’s never met?
Ravi Zacharias, apologist, evangelist, a bible teacher, whatever name you label on this man, it comes up short when you learn of how far the man has come.
I have learnt of his passing this morning through some of the whatsapp messages that came through. I am halted in my steps for the day just thinking, how profound this man have been in impacting my life even when I have not met him but to have only seen him on facebook on several occasions many years ago and subsequently, listening to his RZIM podcast, chiefly “Let My People Think”, diligently in the past 3 to 5 years.
- I have listened to Ravi when I felt like crumbling.
- I have listened to Ravi when the day seemed too much to bear.
- I have listened to Ravi when I couldn’t lift the burdens on my heavy shoulders.
- I have listened to Ravi when I was overjoyed.
- I have listened to Ravi when I was driving.
- I have listened to Ravi when I was riding the train.
- I have listened to Ravi when I was walking.
- I have listened to Ravi when I felt anxious.
- I have listened to Ravi on my way to meeting clients, friends and families.
- I have listened to Ravi just going about my daily errands.
- and I have listened to Ravi almost everywhere, and definitely through the darkened valleys and the brightened mountain tops.
Ravi Zacharias, a teacher like no other, has most certainly nailed a scar in my flesh for if not I would not need a moment to myself after learning of his passing. Even if momentarily, this is my mourning of a man I never truly had the chance to meet. But the deep vacuum left is unmistakably tangible.
It was just last evening when both my wife and I shared about the consequences of death of a casual friend to our daughter. We narrated that it is often the case when we cherish not the person who is alive until they are gone, by which time the loss we feel will bring back memories of the past, and sometimes this includes the painful episodes and regrets that we can do nothing about. Little did I know, it was a narration to myself with the big news of today.
Through Ravi’s messages, there have been teachings you cannot find elsewhere. One of those that left a lasting imprint is how God stopped Abraham from taking Isaac’s life but did not stop it when Jesus was on the cross because it must come to the point of “It is finished”.
I also remember how Ravi so eloquently answered a question from the floor about soldiers instructed to go to war that resulted in many deaths and whether that was not guilty or sinful for the President who instructed so.
It would be difficult to forget too how he carefully framed the facts around Islam and Allah with Jesus and Christianity; he did the same with Buddhism and Buddha, Hinduism and Ganesha and the likes, and how he was eventually embraced by a Muslim leader at the end of their meeting before the man uttered those words of brotherly love, “Ravi, you are a good man.”
The many philosophical quotations he inferred like those of CS Lewis and some names escape me now have been nothing short of phenomenal and dare I say life changing. There was a media man who was for the most part and atheist or agnostic almost his whole life only to regret in his own personal preferences when he finally found Jesus at the tail end of his life.
There was a brother too from Vietnam (I think) who rejoiced in cleaning up the sewers because through it he found pages of the Bible. These pieces of God’s message were the only hope he clung on to to our Lord Jesus Christ. He and Ravi had a time together ministering and remains the only man whom Ravi said had a distinct way of calling out to “Ravi”.
But the best of his messages cannot be pinpointed to only one because with every confident channelling of his thoughts, they are laced with grace, mercy and love of Jesus Christ, even when it was met with the unbelieving enquiries from the attendees. These were and are realisations that we as believers ought to embrace and be convicted of just as deeply as Ravi had.
As the Lord has taken Ravi home, I find it difficult to put it into words how I truly feel except for just explaining at length how my journey with the Lord has been when he was “around” through the podcasts. I believe there is still so much left from Ravi had he recovered from the rare cancer that he was laden with in his last days. But in submitting to the sovereign Lord, we have to bid adieu to this great teacher.
May the Zacharias and the RZIM family continue to be inspired by this one man who has been extraordinary in all his undertakings and how sacrificially he has championed for Jesus in the five decades long of his ministry. May God bountifully bless you and our prayers are with you.
Ravi lives on in my memory!