December 29 - How the mighty have fallen!

December 29 - How the mighty have fallen!How the mighty have fallen…(2 Samuel 1:25).

Maybe it was somehow congruent that a year unlike any other in our memory would conclude with such gut-wrenching news.

Two days before Christmas, the global board of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) released this statement:

In August 2020, allegations of sexual misconduct were made against our Founder, Ravi Zacharias. Unfortunately, Ravi had died several months before we first learned of these allegations, so we were unable to explore them with him directly…However, while the investigation remains ongoing and is not expected to be completed until January or February, yesterday we received a brief interim update on the investigation... Sadly, the interim investigation update indicates this assessment of Ravi’s behavior to be true—that he did indeed engage in sexual misconduct.

This is crushing news to many of us who have appreciated Ravi’s ministry in evangelism and the intellectual defence of the Gospel (apologetics). He has been active in such ministry for almost 5 decades.

Ravi was born in India, but emigrated around the age of 20 with his family to Toronto in 1966. He obtained his undergraduate education at Ontario Bible College (now Tyndale University) and began international ministry in South Vietnam with American soldiers in 1971.

This latest confirmation of the allegations against him must be absolutely devastating to his family and those from around the world who worked with him and developed the deep bond of trust that results from engaging spiritual battle together for the cause of Christ and the Gospel.

And it’s a reminder of our own human frailty and proclivity to moral failure.

The words above from 2 Samuel chapter 1 were part of David’s lament as he grieved the slaying of Saul and Jonathan at the hands of Philistines in one of Israel’s most demoralizing wars. King Saul had been highly respected and represented such potential as Israel’s first human monarch. His reign had begun with promise. It ended with such bitter disappointment, loss, and uncertainty.

But better days were ahead.

In an age when the profile of Christian celebrities is heightened by social media and the ready online access to text and video content, the church of Christ has sustained body-blows when those proclaiming the biblical Gospel have failed to live up to the ethical standards of God’s Word.

And, too often in recent years, these well-known figures have been forced to step down from their platform under a prominently conspicuous cloud of suspicion, shame and disappointment.

Clearly the Lord Jesus – calling on those who lead His people to live out the highest standards of truth and justice – would be displeased.

But before any of us is tempted to align with those heaping scorn on Ravi and others, let’s bear in mind the words of our Master when dealing with the accusers of the adulterous woman:

If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her (John 8:7).

The Lord remains sovereign and ultimately in control. His eternal purposes will never be thwarted. While He chooses to use us, His objectives will be achieved even as we perform below His standards and fail to live up to His ethic.

Takeaway: Let’s be praying that the Lord will choose – in a way that only our omnipotent God can achieve – to somehow glorify His Name through these distressing and heart-breaking developments.

About Us

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. - Galatians 3:28 The community at Bethel includes a wide range of ages and backgrounds. Young and old, families and singles. By God's plan of redemption we were all brought into one family as brothers and sisters in Christ, given a mission to reach into our world and make disciples for Him. We trust you will find at Bethel a friendly, loving group of people striving to live for Jesus Christ. Whether you are visiting for the day or trying to find a permanent church home, you are welcome to join us as we together seek out Him.