Dr. David Thiessen is an educator, writer, pastor, and speaker. His books can be found at theoarch & other articles at theologyarchaeology
The reason we are still writing about this topic is that other people keep writing about it. In the Christian Post the other day, one author wrote about the hard questions in this issue.
We took a look at those hard questions and felt that our previous series on this issue answered them a lot better than the ones given in the article. One example is:
What do we do with Ravi’s books and teachings?…
Zacharias’ publisher has pulled his books from sale. His ministry has pulled his YouTube videos. I think this is right. Profit shouldn’t be made off an abuser’s work, and victims shouldn’t have to watch their abuser being adulated online anymore.
The response we made to that question and answer is that one, we already discussed this topic in a more detailed manner. Second, the author is wrong simply because one, Mr. Zacharias is not profiting from the sale of his books. He is dead.
Two, he is not profiting off of any alleged crime. His writings are all spiritual and turn people toward God and Jesus. That author also takes that concept from the secular world, not God’s word.
Third, we do not like the last reason he gave in that quote as he is promoting sugar-coating the world because someone’s feelings might be hurt. Well, the alleged victims must learn that the words Mr. Zacharias spoke were from God, and the world still needs to hear them.
We do not hide the words of God just because someone is going to be upset. The church has already tried that with the LGBTQ community and that strategy has not worked either.
We did not respond to the RZIM pulling of his sermons from YouTube as we did not see it earlier and that too is a big mistake. Hiding the words of God is not biblical nor right.
There were other questions we had not addressed in the comment section under CP and we will look at them now.
I came to faith through Ravi Zacharias. Is my faith based on a lie?
No, it is not. It is Jesus who does the saving and he used Mr. Zacharias to bring you to him. Your faith is not built on a lie simply because it is built on Jesus alone.
The vessel may be imperfect but the salvation is real if you meant what you did. If we based faith on the imperfections of man, no one would be saved as no one is perfect.
Can I trust any church leader again?
You can but as we have said many times throughout the years posting at this website, you ultimately have to double-check Christian leaders’ words because they may make an error.
There is no biblical call to have blind faith in Christian leaders or any human. You have to check their words with scriptures to make sure you are being told the truth. The Bereans did it with Paul so you have no excuse not to do it (Acts 17:11).
Peter tells us to make our own calling and election sure, so you need to do the work and make sure you are on the right track and getting the spiritual food you need.
Then you have to remember that, those Christian leaders who do sin, may not have done it to you. You do not have to rebuild any trust in those people who have not sinned against you.
One Christian leader who fails does not spoil everyone.
How could Ravi be so fruitful while living such a duplicitous life?
Maybe he wasn’t. Maybe everyone else is lying and he is telling the truth. After all, except for us and maybe a few others, everyone else is ignoring the testimony of those who were RZIM assistants and masseuses.
They said they saw nothing but professional behavior and that Mr. Zacharias did nothing wrong. But such testimony is ignored and trampled on as it does not fit the narrative they want to have about Mr. Zacharias.
God punishes disobedience, and we see that taking place at the first battle of Ai, David’s adulterous affair, and other leaders of God’s people. What was God’s punishment for Mr. Zacharias?
Then in a post over at one of two websites owned by our friendly nemesis, we have some comments to look at.
To be clear, I do not advocate for automatically assuming the accused is guilty. That’s never been my position, despite the claims of some. I also do not advocate for assuming the accuser is lying, or out for personal gain.
He is right, too many people have automatically assumed that Mr. Zacharias is guilty and based their conclusions on the words of others. We looked at the report, we looked at other articles and we do not see where he could be guilty and we have made our position and defense very clear.
Nor is he wrong that the accusers are to be automatically seen as lying, but given the nature of the case, the evidence, and past testimonies in similar cases, does anyone remember the Kavanaugh confirmation, women do lie and the evidence is twisted.
Also, since the investigations were not conducted in a biblical manner, we can distrust the results and conclusions. No one is to blindly support a conclusion or report simply because a prestigious law firm conducted the investigation and wrote the report.
Without God’s help, the report is just another secular viewpoint without supporting verifiable evidence. We have gone through that report as well and written about it so there is no need to rehash what we have already said.
My view is that Mr Zacharias’ alleged victims would not come forward for fear of either being ignored or shamed, as is unfortunately typical for many victims of sexual assault. This matter is being pursued now to offer the victims closure, and peace of mind. It is happening because the truth is the truth, irrespective of when it comes to light. A person’s death does not mean their behaviour in life is suddenly off limits for discussion or criticism.
While he has a point, he is also wrong. The legal system is built upon the fact that the accused gets to face his accusers in court. You cannot use a secular principle in one area of the case where it benefits your point of view and dismiss another when it does not.
As for closure and peace of mind, those are topics best left for another day. They are not legal issues that need to be resolved and for the alleged victims to achieve those states, they either need to confess their sins and say they were lying or forgive Mr. Zacharias.
Bashing and falsely accusing a dead man will not bring those issues to anyone’s lives. As for the last line in that quote, the behavior has to be proven true first and the final report did not prove it.
Finally, there is this website on which we made a comment or two. He seems to be convinced of Mr. Zacharias’ guilt and did not keep an open mind. An activity most people on that side of the issue have done.
Our final comment to him was
It is best that you point your fingers at yourself and your own sins. Then seek Jesus and ask for forgiveness so you can be in heaven when you die. You do not get to heaven pointing fingers at others and calling them names.
Which is a comment made to all those who have attacked Mr. Zacharias and have done sinful things as well as made sinful comments. Our goal in this issue has been to keep people from sinning as well as defend a man who cannot defend himself.
Hopefully, that comment will help achieve those goals.
© 2021 David Thiessen
David Thiessen (author) from Philippines on August 11, 2021:
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on August 11, 2021: