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'Ravi Zacharias: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing -- What will the Board and Leadership do?'

'Ravi Zacharias: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing -- What will the Board and Leadership do?'

SPECIAL REPORT

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
February 7, 2021

The scandal of Ravi Zacharias's multiple sins and immoral behaviours demands a full and frank confession by the RZIM board and senior leadership, and they should stop stonewalling.

VIRTUEONLINE has been following this story since its inception. We believe that the approach by Zacharia's denomination and board leaders has been less than forthcoming with a more corporate-style damage control, rather than Christian confession.

What has resulted is a profound scepticism among the public and wider evangelical audience that followed the apologist, resulting in a toxic culture of silence along with intimidation. This allowed Ravi's personal sins to fester and grow into a full-fledged national and international scandal.

A full report prepared by Miller & Martin referred to in the RZIM statement at the end of December is expected to come out this week. It will acknowledge the full range of Ravi's abuse of women. It will likely be explosive.

VOL believes the time has come for full disclosure and repentance by the board and his denomination, if the ministry has a future. Nothing less will satisfy the Lord's demands on the man and his ministry.

Some Christian publications initially accepted Ravi's explanations over the phone sexting and its legal resolution; but that is now just part of the massive cover-up of Zacharia's sins over many years. The mistreatment of the Thompsons, and the injustice of the Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA) needs to be opened up and the Thompson's take revealed to all.

A full and frank confession needs to be made and the air cleared. The stonewalling must cease.

If the board does not come clean and attempts at a cover up are made, others will make it public, including VOL. Only full confession can stop the dangerous drive to silence.

With stories already in circulation, it will be hard for the Board not to realize the public knowledge of character of the scandal and its broader implications for the evangelical community.

The broader public is already aware of the spas in Georgia owned by Zacharias and many are asking why an apologist needed to buy them in the first place. What exactly was the role of the Indian masseuse hired by RZIM, who travelled around the world with him?

Other questions will be asked about the overall governance of the organization and financial irregularities that might run into the millions of dollars.

Here are just some of the questions that must be fully answered:

Ravi exaggerated his resume, claiming education and doctorates he did not have.
The sexting scandal, already mentioned. The Thompson story needs to be told from their perspective.
The spa co-ownership needs to be explained and what went on inside the spas. There has been limited explanation involving sex, but more needs to be told.
Explanations need to be given for Ravi's family involvement in the ministry and their six figure salaries. Nepotism never works, it always leads to cover ups.
Touch of Hope and the question of a ministry employing a masseuse as a line-item expense in the budget. What did she do for Ravi?

The victims in the spas, those women who performed sex acts on Zacharias, must be told, payments made and where are they today?

Based on the evidence we now have, Ravi lied, deceived, and betrayed his own family, his team, and his supporters who funnelled millions into his ministry.

Those involved must resign. It is the only honourable thing to do. It should be accompanied by full confession and repentance; that includes those on the board and top leadership. Rebranding will not be enough.

The confession and desire for reconciliation must be personal, practical, and include everyone who was wronged. Around the world, Christians who have listened to Zacharias, including this writer have been caused profound dismay, even and including fellow apologists who are also victims. In some cases, their ministries have been undermined.

The overall scandal and the way it has been handled to date, has been blatantly hypocritical in light of everything the ministry claims to stand for. Christian integrity and truthfulness have gone out the window; the name of our Lord has been blasphemed.

Only a full and frank biblical confession can begin to match the scale of the tragedy for the Gospel, the Church and the name of Christ.

Read Steve Baughman's book on RZ here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43250808-cover-up-in-the-kingdom

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