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
One of the worst discoveries that a wife could make is her husband’s porn addiction. Perhaps, the worst is her husband’s infidelity.
A few years ago, according to 1600 attorney’s that practice divorce law in California, 50% of all divorce cases involved a husband’s porn addiction.
But here is something else that is just as disturbing.
A wife’s chat room addiction that leads to acting out sexually on a video camera or setting up a rendezvous for a romp in the sack.
In one case, a married woman began chatting with a married man. Turns out that he lived right down the street. I saw this on the OWN network, (Oprah Winfrey Network) and that’s because she was dissatisfied with her husband. She needed that extra boost of another man and she crossed the line.
What’s sad is that a husband’s porn addiction is viewed by some women as the lowest form of betrayal, and it is. There are other women that do not mind porn, and furthermore, they watch with their husbands or boyfriends they fornicate with.
In any case, when discovery is made…..what do you do?
The first thing that comes to mind is understanding your husband’s or wife’s secrecy.
Secret means “not known or seen or not meant to be known or seen by others.”
As long as it remains a secret, the activity continues. But what we are finding in some places is that when the secret is out, because of the love for sexual sins, some men and women will continue because they believe in their hearts that they cannot do without it.
For quite some time, you’ve noticed certain signs.
Spending unusual hours on the Internet, on the job, doing “overtime,” disappearing during unusual times of the day. Catching wandering eyes. Reading certain articles and magazines with sex themes. Viagra. Condoms. All of these and other things are indications that something is going on. Unusual calls on the house phone caller ID. Your husband’s inattention to you and your sex needs.
Such inattention is determined by what may have taken place in the home that caused him to disengage in the normal course of the relationship.
Sadly, pastors are notorious for paying attention to the needs of other women while ignoring the needs of his wife.
Ministry is a minefield for a pastor’s marriage.
Long periods of silence and loneliness may not mean much, but it’s an undeniable starting point. When your husband or spouse is constantly angry at you for no reason. When a wife lashes out in anger because she hasn’t had sex in days, weeks, or months.
As with porn observed by men or women, it is undeniably connected to some form of acting out sexually. Whether it be solo sex, commonly called masturbation, sex toys, prostitution, adultery, or fornication. For a woman, it’s about satisfying her connection needs which will involve her giving up her body to satisfy that need.
The adrenaline of pursuing an outside relationship adds to the excitement that was lacking in a marriage but it is dead wrong.
Exploring other “options” violates the Word of God.
Notice what Isaiah said in chapter 1 and verse 18
“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.”
Even the Lord will reason with man. But look at what He said.
“Though YOUR sins…..”
In any relationship, there is error. However, there is also a way to resolve that error.
The love of God will always speak the truth. What we are not willing to do is admit that we are wrong. We circle the issue with issues that detract from the truth. So much so that resolution becomes something that seems unachievable.
How could we resolve a resolvable issue?
It is called the love of God.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, from the New Living Translation…..
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
What leads to porn and chat rooms is lust in the heart of men and women.
Lust is the demand to have what is forbidden.
This demand comes straight out of the Garden of Eden. The devil preached another word and Eve believed it.
Eve had lust in her heart. She just needed an excuse to justify her pursuit of lust in her heart. This lust, if not arrested and killed, will deceive you to justify deliberate ignorance of the known Word of God, and defiance of her husband. After she had a conversation with the serpent, the devil in the serpent deceived her, but at anytime, she could have walked in the opposite direction and ignored what the devil said. But lust was in her heart and then she proceeded to act on that lust. When she saw that the tree was desirable, she took of the tree and ate.
She gave to Adam and Adam ate.
Then their eyes were opened.
The command that the Lord gave Adam, and Adam gave to Eve, required team work, vigilance, and courage in order for them to stay alive. They both failed to watch each other’s back and they ended up counting the days of life they had left. Lust is what drives the sin sick soul.
Discovery of porn or salacious chat room activity is a lust issue that requires the couple to diligently apply the Word of God in order for lust to be completely broken.
The breach in the marriage is always preceded by a breach in the relationship with the Lord.
What we are discovering, and it was evident in my own life, is that when you get to the point of loving your sin more than you love God, there is no sin too dark that you won’t do unless you return to the Lord. We have used psychological explanations, spiritual counseling explanations, and do not get me wrong. They are good as long as the Word is central. However, the Bible identifies the issue.
Acting on the lust in the heart.
So when you discover your husband’s porn issue or if the husband discovers his wife’s salacious chat room activity, just understand that lust is at the root of the sin. Do not act out in anger. To exasperate the issue, even when you believe you are justified may not be good. Use good judgment. If you feel you need to address the issue, you have every right to do so. A breach in the relationship occurred. At the same time, it may be wise to pray (there is no length of time to spend in prayer, use your judgment), read the Word of God, particularly the Psalms, and then address the issue.
Get wise counsel. To have a friend to discuss this with is good but you have to believe that your friend could be trusted. You can’t utter or release all that is in your mind when it comes to discovery of your spouse’s salacious activity. Years ago, there wasn’t that much information about porn and salacious chat room activities. Now, there’s a wealth of information that you could glean from to help you deal with the discovery.
You are not alone.
Millions of families have gone through discovery.
I must reemphasize that the sin is wrong and you should not put undue blame on yourself. It is best to take responsibility when it is determined that, without a doubt, there was some contribution. But even if there was some measure of contribution, the bottom line is that lust was already in his or her heart.
From there, it is how you deal with it that will determine the recovery or destruction of the family nucleus.