So what now? Now that all of the evidence suggests that Ravi Zacharias was not just a flawed man, but an outright fraud; how should the people who have been inspired and touched by his messages respond to this information? There is no doubt that this man knew the scriptures. His teachings were on point. He never twisted the Bible to say things it did not, neither did he use it to manipulate his audiences for money or gain. His reasoning was solid, and and his mind was a gold mine. He was sharp. This guy knew his stuff.
Ravi’s chicanery was the way that he used his position to gain people’s trust, and then use that trust to manipulate them in pursuit of his own selfish desires. He used his position of power and trust to avoid accountability, and to groom and sexually exploit vulnerable women. There were red flags that in hindsight his organization is now recognizing should have alerted them. So manipulative was he that they believed in spite of those red flags, he was above reproach.
So the question stands, what now? Well as one popular YouTuber, Mike Winger pointed out, during Jesus’ ministry one of the disciples he appointed turned out to be a thief and a traitor. He was in charge of the funds that Jesus and the disciples had, and he used to steal from it.
As a disciple of Jesus, Judas was a full fledged participant in all that the disciples did. He was even granted the authority by Jesus to perform miracles. He broke bread with the master, sat close to him and knew him intimately, yet his heart was not in the right place with God. Those who were blessed by whateverJudas did still had reason to be grateful that God was merciful to them. The vessel through which the blessing came did not affect the message itself. So it is with Ravi Zacharias. We should be thankful to God for whatever we’ve learned from his teachings, and whatever we’ve gained. Separate the man from the message and keep on moving.
Jesus gave good advice when he dealt with the hypocrisy of the religious leaders in his day. He said ”The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you–but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. Lets followe Winger’s advice. He said now that we know who this man was, the church must separate itself from anything that has to do with his name.
As we process the utter shock and the disappointment over this scandal, remember his victims and all of the people directly affected by his alleged deception. the women he groomed to sexually exploit, the people close to him whose trust he took advantage of for years. Rememember his family who will be dealing with this for the rest of their lives. The man they loved and all thought they knew was a complete fraud. All of these people will need our prayers and the Grace of Almighty God to get past this massive betrayal and deception.
Jesus warned of stuff like this.