What do you say? How, where does one even begin to write on the following topic? It is so painfully disappointing that it is difficult to even begin.
Ravi Zacharias was a staunch defender of the Christian faith. He was a man of supreme intellect who was never afraid to engage with opponents of his belief. Ravi espoused the idea that faith in Jesus Christ, and the account of his life, crucifixion, burial and resurrection was not just a matter of belief, but was based on sound evidence and reasoning. He argued that if God does indeed exist, it is not beyond God to make a divine intervention in human existence to demonstrate who he is in a powerful indisputable way.
Zacharias spent his life making the case for Christ and his message. Many people came to faith in Jesus Christ through the ministry of Ravi Zacharias. Many others were strengthened or renewed in their faith because of Zacharias’ influence.
If you’ve ever heard Ravi Zacharias speak or seen him in any of his videos, he came across as a caring, honest, gentle man of quiet strength, character and integrity. As one person put it, his name was synonymous with integrity. Sadly however, it appears that Ravi’s life was a lie (it pains having to say this). Ravi occupied a place of high esteem and admiration as a disciple of Christ in a darkened world.
After accusations of sexual impropriety came out about Zacharias after his death, the organization that he led launched an investigation into the claims made against him by numerous women. Findings of the investigation proved to be much worse than anyone could have ever imagined. The evidence strongly shows that the beloved and revered apologist lived a deceitful, secret doubld life all the way up to his passing almost a year ago.
When revelations of Ravi’s secret life first started to get exposeed, many of his admirers immediately jumped to his defense, and his organization also defended him rigorously. There’s no way this could be true…right? Not Ravi!
The revelation that “yes Ravi” has been so devastating, disappointing, and surreal that people are shell shocked. It is a shot to the heart, unlike any Christian scandal that has unfolded in decades. This is such a blow that some people are describing it as the worst Christian scandal ever. It is that bad.
Ravi Zacharias was not your run of the mill snake oil salesman, televangelist selling a gimmick. Ravi was the real deal for sure, a tower of light, earnest, sincere, truthful, a man of integrity, just doing God’s work, trying to enlighten people to the truth of Jesus Christ, using reason to bring them to faith. Ravi had gravitas.
Well, all the indicators suggest that Ravi Zacharias lived a duplicitous life and did everything in his power to conceal it.
Ravi Zacharias was not the man whom so many people thought he was.
It would be easy to address this by simply saying that Ravi was just a man, and that no man deserves the adulation that people poured on him. That may be worth examining, but is it simply about that, and saying that Jesus should always be the main focus, and not sinful men? While all of that may be true, the truth is that followers of Jesus Christ have an obligation to live their lives in a manner that reflects who Jesus is. Paul the apostle in addressing sexual immorality, and some other issues, in one of the early churches where one person was messing around with his stepmother said something note worthy in his letter to that church. Paul said to the people, be imitators of me as I am of Christ. Jesus himself said to let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and know that you are my disciples.
Think of the crushing blow it is to the many who were inspired by the life they believed Ravi Zacharias lived. Think about the wreckage to his family and what they are going through in the aftermath of the investigation’s findings. Think of the many people who will forever turn their backs on the to the message of th Jesus Christ. Think of the many women who Ravi allegedly used his power to prey on for his own sexual gratification.
It is true that Jesus is the one to whom we all should look as the ultimate example, because it is he who never fails. People understand that human beings fail, but people must be able to look at followers of Christ, and leaders in the church as examples to the church and the world. It is always disappointing when the followers of Christ, especially the people like Ravi Zacharias do not live up to their calling.