The Ravi Zacharias revelations, which are by no means new, bring up a topic I discussed earlier this week.
I talked with Benjamin Wheeler, Megan Ann Jones Ady, and Kyle Henderson about the problems with the lack of an appropriate apology from the sexual abuse situations at the Willow Creek church and Bill Hybels.
The Ravi Zacharias story came out just before Christmas (interesting timing), and it smells similar to the above discussion. There is nothing particualrly new to these allegations about Ravi Zacharias, but the ministry waited until the late Ravi Zacharias was gone (he died in May 2019) before they dealt with the issue in any significant manner, and still it appears to be way too little, way too late. ChurchLeaders.com covers some previous accusations. It should be noted that RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries) has responded to these allegations, although, reading their response one is led to believe that these kinds of accusations were a surprise to the ministry leadership. As seen in the Churchleaders.com article above, this is not possible, and is mildly deceptive at best. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution RZIM is calling for “any other potential victims to come forward.”
Hopefully, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries will deal with these accusations of sexual misconduct in an appropriate manner, but only time will tell if they will apologize and offer any necessary restitution for this scandal. Being part of a cover-up that appears to span at least 5 years may end up being part of this story as well. You can contact RZIM at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christianity deserves a witness worthy of its founder. Every now and then, throughout church history, the reputation of the church burns to the ground, but something has always risen from its ashes. Could this season be another example of the same pattern? American Evangelicalism is certainly reeling from the last four years of scandals and political attachments. I do hope something rises out of the ashes.