1 Timothy 4:12 (NKJV Strong’s)
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
Ravi Zacharias was probably one of the most prolific apologists of our times. He would say some tremendous things that really made you pay attention to see if you know your Bible as you should.
We were sadden to hear that Ravi Zacharias had passed away on May 19, 2020.
He was loved and adored for his ability, by the Holy Spirit, to exegete the Word and expound on passages of Scripture that many believers had problems understanding.
In just few sentences with insight from the Holy Spirit, passages of Scripture would unfold and come alive like turning on a light switch. His wisdom over the years have help many believers understand their faith in the Lord, and how to present a vigorous defense of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He is missed.
When I heard of the allegations of sexual immorality of Ravi, I discounted it when he accused his accusers of extortion. It’s instinct because of the accuser of the brethren. So like many believers we’ve taken what Ravi said as face value because of his impeccable integrity. When a man or woman has unquestioned integrity, Paul calls it “blameless.”
In fact, when the world can’t find or assign blame on you, it gives them a good indication that their life must measure up. Billy Graham had that kind of integrity to abstain from the minefield of sexual immorality.
There’s no question that the world tried to trip Billy Graham up but because he put safeguards in place, blame on sexual matters never found a place. Obviously, there’s other areas where Billy Graham was vulnerable and suffered for it, like his admission on the Nixon tapes about Jews, and other things.
But in this area of sexual immorality, Billy Graham is blameless.
After Ravi shared his defense, I thought that it settled the account. Then after he had passed away of cancer, it shocked the Christian world.
Later we’ve learned of a NDA, which is a Non Disclosure Agreement.
Much like what Harvey Weinstein made all his women he had sex with would do to protect Weinstein’s reputation and protect him from lawsuits.
It caught up with Harvey and he’s currently serving a prison sentence.
When ministers of the gospel engage in adultery or other sexually inappropriate behavior, even when it’s online solicitation, private chat rooms, and rendezvous at far or near hotels, because of their international reputation, such accusations is immediately challenged until the parties no longer agree to remain silent.
Since Ravi Zacharias died of cancer, the details are now coming out.
Luke 12:2-3 (NKJV Strong’s)
“For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.”
A man of God must remain above reproach because when the accusations start to come, your integrity is all that’s left. Once you lose integrity you lack credibility. Once you lose credibility, you’re disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:25-27 (NKJV Strong’s)
“And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty.
Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
Once you’re disqualified, there’s very little that one could do.
Many ministers, after they’ve sinned against the Lord and are exposed, they’ve lost their credibility and fight vigorously to regain it.
When I was in the world of pornography, the Lord warned me over and over again, until I exposed myself. I rationalized that if the Lord exposed me like He did David, I would be disqualified.
So I penned the book Secret Sexual Sins. It wasn’t as good as it could have been but I penned another book Secret Sexual Sins II, MOAB. It’s in this book that I reveal more about the sexual immorality infiltration of local churches.
One person put it powerfully, “If you expose yourself, you keep your job. If God exposes you, you lose your job.”
So in blogs, and podcasts, I began to put out my involvement in the vile sin of pornography and masturbation. Usually, and not with everyone, sexual addiction will take you to places that you thought you wouldn’t go. Keep you longer than you thought, and make you pay more than you’re willing to pay.
Millions of men and women are caught in porn and self gratification.
This isn’t to say that Ravi was a sexual addict. It’s highly unlikely. Paul admonished Timothy to remain pure, to be an example of purity before the people
You can’t tell people to be pure if you’re not pure.
As we reach the end of our journey, we want to be genuine and legit. We want to maintain our integrity and credibility. We want people to say at the conclusion of our lives that this man or woman of God maintained his or her integrity and is blameless.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NKJV Strong’s) Paul said….“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ravi died of cancer.
Without much thought, I put two and two together.
Paul said “If we would judge ourselves we would not be judged.”
Many will say that Ravi wasn’t judged, but are you 100% sure?
It’s instinctive to push a narrative to save the personal reputation of people, especially when your ministry or business is involved in millions of dollars. And when you stand in front of people, they have a certain expectation of you.
When you lose your hard earned reputation, when people walk, money walks with them.
They look at your integrity, they believe you, and they put stock in your credibility. Once this is attacked, nothing but an ironclad defense will salvage it. The NDA provided that deniability that preserved some measure of his reputation.
As long as the parties remain silent, and pay a little money, the alleged incident remains hidden. And even if you violate that NDA, the other party may hold themselves to the agreement for fear of being that aggressor in the agreement.
The Lord loves us so much that exposure is the last straw. When we fail to listen, or refuse to listen to the warnings of the Lord, the Lord will uncover us. Not just to bring shame on us, but to ensure that we come back to Him in repentance.
Because the most important thing is not the salvaging of our reputation, but the saving of our souls.
You can conclude what you want from this, but Ravi left way too soon. But now, with these new reports, we can see why he may have left us too soon.
Not only. was he was involved with another woman online, he denied the allegations. According to the report, he became a predator.
In the book, “Betrayal Of Trust,” there’s two kinds of pastors that engage in sexual immorality.
“Wanderers and predators.”
A wanderer is one that engages a single time of adultery. A predator insists on repeating his or her offense. Their obsessed with the success of engaging in sin.
Ecclesiastes 8:11-13 (NKJV Strong’s)
“Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God.”
When you lose being afraid of God, it’s very easy to sin, but sin always come with a built in consequence. No one gets away with it. We’re given space to repent because the Lord is full of long-suffering, mercy, and truth. But when we insist, it’s a matter of time before the Lord see that He’s about to lose you.
Ravi may have repented and regained his rightful place in the Lord, but to ensure that the Lord doesn’t lose what He sent His Son to die for, sometimes, according to Isaiah 57:1-2, He takes the righteous.
He crossed the line and the woman sadly didn’t stop it soon enough.
The woman in question can share the blame because you don’t have to answer every email or go to the chat room. Silence is another way to declining further contact that opens up doors to sexual encounters.
When you’re engaging online, you have to have clear established boundaries. Failure to maintain those boundaries, leads only to consequences that damages the validity of the gospel, and brings shame to His name.
You could read of the account from Christian Post here