People have been asking about the credentials of Ravi Zacharias for several years resulting in little to no response. The recent allegations of sexting brought about a quick public response after emails and text messages between Mr. Zacharias and a woman were made public on The Spiritual Sounding Board.
I have on occasion listened to the daily radio/podcasts program Just Thinking with Ravi Zacharias over several years. I’ve recently had my 8th and 9th grade sons listening to it too. Just Thinking reaches the “questioner” and the “thinker” through knowledgeable answers. Ravi Zacharias strives to remove cultural and intellectual obstacles in order to present an unobstructed view of Christ. I believe he has one of the most brilliant minds of our time. He has been known for years as a man of grace, wisdom, logic and boldness.
When I read the published email responses between Mr. Zacharias and the woman in question my heart sank. I do not want any impropriety to be true!
Is it possible? Yes, anything is possible…for any of us. We are all sinners—made from dust.
To my knowledge, Ravi Zacharias has not denied the emails were from him. He only denies the intent behind them. He insists the woman purposefully set out to extort money from him which I believe is completely possible. There are people intent on destroying Christians and/or their ministries. There are also people pursuing financial gain.
On the other hand, it could be as the writer of The Spiritual Sounding Board questioned regarding the mode of operation when men go looking for their next sexual quest. Was this woman being groomed for someone else’s sexual gratification?
Here are my questions about the case if it was all one-sided: Why did Mr. Zacharias respond to her first correspondence? Why did he respond to other correspondence? Why, when she told him in an email, which I have read, that she was going to tell her husband what she had done and beg his forgiveness, did Ravi ask, “Are you going to tell him it’s me?” Why did he ask her to refrain from telling her husband until he, Ravi, was able to discuss the matter with her? Why did Mr. Zacharias tell her? “If you betray me here, I will have no option but to bid this world goodbye, I promise.”
‘Betray’ implies exposing information that no one else knows; revealing secrets; being disloyal, giving evidence. If he had said, “I will not allow myself or my ministry to be treated this way. This is a matter for the police. If you want to say anything else to me it will have to said through our attorneys,” he wouldn’t have people guessing as to what is truth and what is false. The mention of suicide also concerns me. It is straight from the toolbox of an abuser. It’s how they maintain power over another person. I’m not saying Mr. Zacharias is an abuser, but the comment does cause concern.
I believe it would be wise on the part of the RZIM board to seek help from professional, Christ-centered counselors Patrick Doyle or Leslie Vernick for their perspective on this entire situation. Either of these counselors could quickly get to the truth and impart logic, wisdom, and application to bring forth healing.
As someone who ministers to women on the receiving end of unfaithfulness and abuse I can say I’ve heard about every spin imaginable from husbands caught participating in something they shouldn’t have been doing. Denial, justification, spiritualizing, minimizing, rationalizing, blaming, believing their own rhetoric, lying. Unfaithful people can lie so much they can’t keep their lies straight. Abusers are different from someone caught in unfaithfulness for the first time. An abuser believes every word that comes out of their own mouth. That’s why they are so convincing.
UPDATE DECEMBER 8, 2017: The original post on The Spiritual Sounding Board has been removed at the request of the woman involved in the case so you can no longer read the written correspondence that went back and forth between her and Ravi Zacharias.
Christianity Today published a response. You may read the response here...Ravi Zacharias Responds to Sexting Allegations, Credentials Critique
Ravi Zacharias: Statement on my Federal Lawsuit: Facebook post
Article by Ministry Watch: Empowering Donors to Christian Ministries: Ravi Zacharias Faces Critics…an article to balance the Christianity Today article.