(Back to the post! Their reasoning: none of these accusations seemed in-character for the great apologist they knew and loved. Ravi Zacharias died this past May of a fast-acting, malignant cancer. Oh, that represented the very least of his offenses. In the process of going down that way, to fame, to popularity and power, he … I told her that motivated reasoning might be going on in her thinking, since her employers made their living selling the things. Please consider becoming one of my monthly patrons via Patreon with Roll to Disbelieve for as little as $1/month! "But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning." It’s hard to imagine him holding back in other countries if he couldn’t keep his hands to himself in North America. That was 25 years ago. It’d be even easier if they can mimic the cadence of evangelical speech and use Christianese jargon. ... You can either believe it is from a real loser who likes making up stories or I am the Christian leader who spoke to the three spa people and writes at such length because I care about Christian ministry, values, and integrity. “Apologies should be as far reaching as the damage.”. He was a popular man and rose to become the Prime Minister of Canada. (Also Instagram, where I mostly post cat pictures.). The Dream MLK Had (Won't Belong to Evangelicals). Evangelicals’ shows of piety all consist of performative and transactional behaviors. The conservative voice and Christian content is being silenced more and more. Scroll down to WARNING. -. An unhappy 17-year-old locked himself in his … Like all apologetics businesses, they exist more for current Christians than anybody else. You can also support this blog at no extra cost to yourself by beginning your Amazon shopping trips with my affiliate link — and, of course, by liking and sharing my posts on social media! Born 26 March 1946 in Madras, India, to a woman of the Nambudiri Brahmin caste and a Christian man of the Boatman caste. Zacharias founded Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in 1984, and "launched a global team of nearly 100 Christian scholars and authors who continue to … <3. Among them is Carson Weitnauer, a specialist in online outreach for RZIM’s Zacharias Institute. Even a true-blue follower who even questions a powerful leader can expect the full retaliatory brunt of the tribe’s rage. “New allegations have been raised against the recently deceased and well-known apologist, Ravi Zacharias. Some sexting grossness? NEXT UP: The lessons authoritarians learn about kindness. RZIM spokesperson Ruth Malhotra told The Associated Press that the organization’s senior leaders, including CEO Sarah Davis — who is Zacharias’ eldest daughter — and President Michael Ramsden, were declining to grant interviews until after the law firm’s investigation concludes. Dad was a very important man and was very busy. I asserted there that tracts are a hopelessly inefficient recruitment tool that exist more to fleece existing Christians than to recruit new ones. Ravi Zacharias must have been so relieved to close that chapter of his life. Ravi Zacharias tells the story of a man who went to School in Wheaton with Billy Graham and later entered into politics. Yesterday (May 16, 2020) I was contacted by two students, both Christians, who were at OBC with Ravi … “Looking at your future, Ravi Baba, you will not travel far or very much in your life,” he declared. One measure of his stature in Christian circles: Vice President Mike Pence spoke at his memorial service, lauding him as a great evangelist “armed with intellect, girded with truth and love.”. She thought tracts were super-duper useful and powerful. “That’s what the lines on your hand tell me. In a statement posted online on Dec. 23, Thompson and her husband thanked RZIM employees who questioned the organization’s handling of the case. In the process, the firm said, “We have found significant, credible evidence that Mr. Zacharias engaged in sexual misconduct over the course of many years.”, “Some of that misconduct is consistent with and corroborative of that which is reported in the news recently, and some of the conduct we have uncovered is more serious,” it added. It wasn’t until this year that he realized the truth: As I studied this information carefully — again and again and again — it slowly dawned on me that Ravi had personally and repeatedly lied to me and others in the ministry about his relationship with [Lori Anne Thompson, the 2017 accuser]. To top off the dumpster fire of 2020 comes a story that is also not even really news anymore: a big-name evangelical leader turned out to be a prolific sex abuser. This misconduct is deeply troubling and wholly inconsistent with the man Ravi Zacharias presented both publicly and privately to so many over more than four decades of public ministry. NO VIDEOS! In his book Jesus Among Other Gods, Ravi Zacharias tells the story about how God, the Master Weaver, sovereignly works to … That said, it’s a very typical story in evangelicalism by now. The AP is solely responsible for this content. Zacharias easily evaded that one. Who’s even surprised these days when a big-name evangelical leader turns out to be a sex abuser? The conservative voice and Christian content is being silenced more and more. Thus, anybody can act like a true-blue evangelical in their presence and be taken for the real deal. He writes, “I was ministering in Vietnam in 1971, and one of my interpreters was Hien Pham, an energetic young Christian. Evangelicals have no way whatsoever to figure out the actual truth about anything related to their religious beliefs. It faces calls from within its own ranks to change its name, pay reparations to any victims and oust some top leaders, including Zacharias family members. .] They clearly hope that nobody will blame them for anything they’ve done (or more to the point, failed to do). He painted his accuser as a fan who’d gotten totally obsessed with him, though he did sorrowfully confess to entering into a long private text conversation with her. But some things? In this essay, he describes how excited he was, as a young, bright-eyed evangelical lad, to start working for RZIM. Recom… He grew up in Delhi. The Ravi Zacharias story came out just before Christmas (interesting timing), and it smells similar to the above discussion. Completion of the report, and its promised public release, is still weeks away. Join Marsha West on MeWe. RZIM’s leadership initially challenged the claims, asserting that the allegations “do not in any way comport with the man we knew for decades — we believe them to be false.”. Writing on his blog, he said his faith in the organization’s leadership has been shattered. Indeed, recently Ravi Zacharias’ ministry/business told donors the news. In 2017, the famous late apologist, Ravi Zacharias, claimed in a Christianity Today (CT) article that a Canadian woman had sent him “unwanted” nude pictures in an attempt by the woman and her husband to extort millions from Zacharias. These accusations paint the picture of a powerful man in a very authoritarian organization who’d clawed his way to the top and now intended to enjoy every bit of the power he’d amassed. Leaders alike protect each other and can be reliably expected to value their organizations/churches/ministries/businesses’ interests far above the safety of those leaders’ flocks and employees. It faces calls from within its own ranks to change its name, pay reparations to any victims and oust some top leaders, including Zacharias family members. ... Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia. The Story Behind the Ravi Zacharias Allegations (Part 2): ‘Cursory’ Investigations and More Accusations. Regarding RZIM: The first time I ever heard of RZIM was on the comment section of a Christian post years ago, maybe 2012 or 2013. not to question any excuses, claims, and testimonies they hear, Yes, I want the Patheos Nonreligious Newsletter as well, Identity Politics vs. Transactional Politics. In recent months, the organization has been plunged into crisis, precipitated by a Sept. 29 article in the evangelical publication Christianity Today asserting that over a period of about five years, Zacharias sexually harassed three women who worked as massage therapists at two day spas he co-owned in an Atlanta suburb. If you like what you see, I gratefully welcome your support. Hooray Team Jesus! RZIM made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon in an update to its staff, donors, and supporters. RZIM expects to release the investigation’s findings in the next month or two. But when it comes to evaluating the behavior of their tribemates and leaders, they’re even worse off. Once upon a time Ravi Zacharias claimed to hold some very impressive academic credentials. Some lady who worked for RZIM in some capacity got very snippy at me in response. [Source]. But there’s another piece to this puzzle of how Ravi Zacharias got away with sex abuse for years. He started a business ministry called RZIM, or Ravi Zacharias International Ministry. Today, let me show you exactly how evangelical leaders like Ravi Zacharias get away with heinous abuse. There has been heavy pressure on RZIM from its British affiliate, the Zacharias Trust. Cuz there are a lot more Ravi Zachariases in their ranks. He also filed an extortion lawsuit against the accuser, made her sign a non-disclosure agreement that silenced her for good, and acted like he was being totally persecuted by Satan himself for being soooooo Jesus-y. In fact, Brad donated a substantial amount of money to UCB Canada, the country’s largest Christian broadcasting network. The Most Interesting Stories About Ravi Zacharias - Ravi Zacharias #ravizacharias #ravizachariassermons #ravizacharias2020 ** Thanks You For Watching! The investigation began after multiple women came forward in August 2020, alleging that Zacharias … As mentioned, a few months after the death of Ravi Zacharias, more accusations surfaced from the spa employees. Narcissistic Rage: Of Game Admins and Presidents (LSP... Franklin Graham: Impeachment Support = Biblical Jews BETRAYING... Just Jesus Harder: The Perennial Big Solution to... Don't dick around with cupcakes in Egypt. Ravi had built a sizable empire with his ‘Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.’ With charitable status in Canada and the US (at least), he had amassed millions of dollars in donations. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, RZIM (Ravi Zacharias' Evangelism Business), Beliefs vs. Ravi Zacharias Denies Accusations of Illicit Online Sexual Relationship, Credential Misrepresentation; C&MA Denomination Decides Not to Discipline Ravi Zacharias Over Credentials, Alleged Illicit Relationship ‘Now with Jesus’: Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias dies at 74; Allegations mount in 2017 Ravi Zacharias illicit online relationship scandal Some booksellers have pulled Zacharias’ books from their offerings. Oh wait...", "I'm not sure I see a path where, as long as elections are still FPTP, ...", "For today's piece of useless trivia, the earliest historical event which can be accurately dated ...", "A President Harris may support it, though.". And Jesus doesn’t seem to be interested at all in warning the flocks about these predators in their churches. When Ravi Zacharias filed the lawsuit against his 2017 accuser, he communicated with his business ministry in ways that characterized her behavior as “Satanic attacks.” As a worker for that business ministry, Carson Weitnauer completely accepted this characterization. Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through The Conversation U.S. He started in the Defense Ministry, and after several other positions, ended up in the Home Ministry. The disclosures already have had tangible impact. They alleged that when Ravi Zacharias came in for treatments there, he sexually harassed them. Several radio outlets, including Moody Radio — one of the largest Christian networks in the U.S. — have dropped RZIM programs. This blog exists because of readers’ support, and I appreciate every single bit of it. Ravi Zacharias traveled a lot for business. They said for years, he’d come in, expose himself to the workers, and fondle himself in front of them. Megan Briggs. Carson Weitnauer wrote a post on Reasons for God titled: A Catastrophic Betrayal: The “Greatest Apologist” was the Greatest Fraud. NO POPUPS! The accusers had worked at these spas. Yes indeed, the rumors about their deceased Dear Leader are true. The law firm summarized its investigation, which included dozens of interviews, as well as review of documents and electronic data. They tell a story of a man who was so powerful that he knew he could bat away any allegations against him just through the sheer force of his reputation and network of protective fellow leaders. Ravi Zacharias died this past May of a fast-acting, malignant cancer. Behavior: Evangelicals’ Redefinition of ...". We moved to Delhi when I was four years old. This time, their tone sounds very different: Sadly, the interim investigation update indicates this assessment of Ravi’s behavior to be true—that he did indeed engage in sexual misconduct. However, various misconduct allegations have trailed along in his wake for years. “The only way I can see the public credibility of this organisation being restored is for there to be a brand-new Global Board of Directors and Global CEO, none of whom are Zacharias family members, and to file Form 990s ... for the years they haven’t been filed.”. Carson Weitnauer almost experienced it himself, as he writes: Yet the day after I asked her [Ravi Zacharias’ daughter, one of RZIM’s leaders] a series of questions about the non-disclosure agreement between the Thompsons and the Zacharias estate, two senior leaders challenged me on the propriety of my questions. Zacharias dropped his extortion lawsuit in November 2017, and the parties eventually reached a private settlement. This exchange with a hypocrite was literally the first time I’d ever heard of RZIM — and it’d be a while still before I found out what the “RZ” part of the name even meant. He had worked as a translator with the American forces, and was of immense help both to them and to missionaries such as myself. Also please check out our Graceful Atheist podcast interview! NEW YORK (AP) — A posthumous sexual misconduct scandal involving the man who founded, in his own name, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries has placed the global Christian organization in a wrenching predicament. They say the leaders have discussed the option of “rebranding,” which would likely entail a change of the organization’s name, but the employees are pressing for additional steps, including reparations and a leadership overhaul. During his lifetime, many evangelicals regarded him as a great apologist. Such a conversation would have definitely looked improper to his tribe no matter what he did during it, so he apologized to his fans. However, various misconduct allegations have trailed along in his wake for years. Neither their leader’s predatory behavior nor RZIM’s reaction surprises me in the least. His mother was from Madras while his father was from Kerala. My story of faith and belief, like many others, cannot be told without some admittance of wandering to and from that faith, in and out of God’s presence, walking with and without Father, Son, or Spirit. #RaviZacharias #ChristianhumorThe links of all the sermons are listed here:1. A posthumous sex scandal involving Zacharias, who founded the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries has placed the global organization in a wrenching predicament. They’ve all been trained to protect their leaders above even themselves, and they’ve also been trained not to question any excuses, claims, and testimonies they hear. See, he had much bigger skeletons in his closet than that. Thank you. The Ravi Zacharias Rebirth Narrative. "As Christian philosophers and apologists who have respected Ravi Zacharias, we have been deeply troubled and grieved by Ravi’s documented sexual misconduct against women," the letter opens. I doubt we’ve heard the last accusations, either. Evangelicals just adore Ravi Zacharias. However, they made an interim statement on December 23rd on their official website. According to Zacharias, before her marriage, Swiss German missionaries had spoken to his Brahmin ancestor about Christianity and she had converted and had been made an outcast by her Brahmin family and community. There’s more, and it is all really awful. That’d be the very least I’d expect of evangelical leaders. The The Roys Report released devastating news last week that Ravi Zacharias, the famous apologist who died May 19th, 2020 “befriended, groomed, and then initiated a sexting relationship with a married woman, Lori Anne Thompson. She contends that Zacharias groomed her to participate in secretive communications that eventually included sending nude photos of herself. Stay informed by signing up to receive CRN’s need to read articles. Also going public with criticism was Max Baker-Hytch, a philosophy instructor at the University of Oxford who has worked for several years with RZIM’s Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics in Britain. 1 Tim 5:20. Lori Anne Thompson’s 2016 Allegations Against Ravi Zacharias Lori Anne’s husband, Brad, was a “huge fan” of Zacharias and his ministry prior to meeting him in person, according to a close friend of the Thompsons. RZIM and his family responded to those accusations in a predictable way: They insisted all of the accusations just had to be false. The only way evangelicals can ever tell someone’s faking is if ultra-strong, ultra-conclusive evidence comes out contradicting their image of that person. That’s probably why his accusers emerged after his death. In Britain, a network of student-led mission teams operating on university campuses has asked RZIM-affiliated speakers to withdraw from upcoming events. In disclosing the interim findings, the RZIM executive committee members described themselves as heartbroken and expressed remorse on behalf of those victimized by Zacharias. In his quiet, soft voice, Linus quotes the story of Jesus’s birth from Luke 2:8-14 (Linus likes the King James translation): And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. But then--record scratch!--she brought everything to a screeching halt when she deconverted in her mid-20s. You... AN EGYPTIAN woman who created cupcakes with sexual imagery was reportedly detained... TODAY IS A TRULY HAPPY AND WONDERFUL DAY!!! ), Come join us on Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Twitter! I sense a hint of plausible deniability going on here, too. More humbling and embarrassing was the realization that the public evidence was sufficient for me to have pieced together the truth in 2017. NEW YORK (AP) — A posthumous sexual misconduct scandal involving the man who founded, in his own name, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries has placed the global Christian organization in a wrenching predicament. Zacharias had been entangled in some previous controversies over how he had publicly described his academic credentials and over his claim, later challenged in legal proceedings, that he was the target of an extortion scheme related to sexting and sexually explicit photos. “Our investigation is ongoing, and we continue to pursue leads.”. When Ravi Zacharias was a cricket-loving boy on the streets of India, his mother called him in to meet the local sari-seller-turned-palm reader. Another of his employees, a man working for RZIM, offers us the same picture painted from a different angle. My PayPal is firstname.lastname@example.org (that’s an underscore in there) for one-time tips. . Davis, in an email obtained by the AP, wrote to RZIM staff on Dec. 23 acknowledging that the developments were likely to have caused “grief, confusion, disillusionment and anger” and asking that they refrain from speaking to the media while the investigation is underway. As a result, it is completely, utterly, and in every single way impossible for evangelicals to tell a hypocritical predator from a sincere, decent-hearted TRUE CHRISTIAN™. In his autobiography Ravi claims that he was chosen to preach at his graduation from the Ontario Bible College in April of 1972. 2. By. But on Dec. 22 the law firm submitted a dramatic “ interim update ” to RZIM’s executive committee, which made it public the next day. She even volunteered in church (choir, Sunday School) and married an aspiring preacher! They possess no critical thinking skills, which means they cannot evaluate truth claims at all, except to measure them against whatever they currently hold to be true. Such information about nonprofits is normally accessible to the public via IRS Form 990s, but RZIM has not disclosed a Form 990 since 2015; Malhotra said it became exempt from filing after asking the IRS to reclassify it as “an association of churches.”, “The board’s continued secrecy, not only to the employees they oversee, but also to the public who rightly want full accountability, has irreparably damaged the board’s credibility,” Baker-Hytch wrote Dec. 20. If true, it revealed that his RICO lawsuit was a malicious attempt to bully his victim into silence, and that Ravi had perjured himself in the effort. I don’t think very many fans of Ravi Zacharias did. Then, Weitnauer writes, the new 2020 accusations came out against his onetime idol. I guarantee it. And just to cap off this shit sundae with a C. diff cherry, here’s the worst part of all: Predators who can fake evangelical sincerity well will go much further up the ladder of power — and faster — than Christians who try their best to realistically and authentically live out their faith. See you tomorrow! Dr.Ravi Zacharias: 18 funny stories said by Ravi, The Greatest apologist of our time… Jokes of Dr.Ravi Zacharias, the Greatest Apologist of our time…Sarcasm at its best Rate this: Church and ministry leadership resources to better equip, train and provide ideas for today's church and ministry leaders, like you. Zacharias founded his international ministry, known as RZIM, in 1984, with a mission to engage in “Christian apologetics” — defending Christianity with powerful intellectual arguments. In 2017, Christianity Today reported on various academic and credentialing claims Ravi Zacharias made that aren’t true. However, he didn’t investigate the matter in 2017, much less piece together his idol’s wrongdoing and self-serving dishonesty. Religion News brought us their official statement in September: “We, the family and ministry teammates of the late Ravi Zacharias, can say the allegations now being made against Ravi do not in any way comport with the man we knew for decades—we believe them to be false,” the statement said. (See endnote.)). Last thoughts: I bet any one of our community members could walk into any evangelical church next Sunday and convince every single person in the pews there that they’re lifelong, firm, and fervent tribemates. “We were targeted, groomed, exploited, malevolently litigated against, falsely accused as elaborate extortionists,” the statement said. Hiding information that might paint a big-name evangelical as a sex abuser and predator? In a letter to its staff on Dec. 23, the trust’s board members said they were urging the U.S. leadership to issue a “profound apology” to any victims and commit to “reform radically the governance, leadership and accountability of the RZIM organization.”. “It was a great honor,” he wrote. Ravi Zacharias in The Real Face of Atheism, at p. 105. CRN has a list of professing Christians to mark and avoid (Rom 16:17-18). In a statement given to ChurchLeaders by RZIM and published to their site on September 25, 2020, concerning the 2017 lawsuit Zacharias filed, the … Even now, his family and close associates seem completely gobsmacked, just utterly mystified that the Ravi Zacharias they knew could possibly have done such terrible things. Nor does he care about protecting the sheep from them. Also, send me the Nonreligious Newsletter and special offers. Scroll down to WARNING The Ravi Zacharias Sex Scandal: A New Personal Statement. (FaithWords, 2012), pp. Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) says that an investigation into the conduct of its founder has uncovered "that he did indeed engage in sexual misconduct." I just wish it bothered evangelicals at all that they can’t tell predators from prey, hypocrites from true-blue believers, and lies from truth. The ploy and the lawsuit both worked grandly. His cult-like following was totally taken in by his fake godliness. Now a comfortable None, she blogs on Roll to Disbelieve about psychology, pop culture, politics, relationships, cats, gaming, and more--and where they all intersect with religion. Ravi Zacharias, Why Jesus? And strangely, Jesus didn’t tip any of them off about the truth of the new accusations, either. A few months after the death of Ravi Zacharias, three women came forward to accuse him of long-term sexual harassment. Truth One: Evangelicals protect their own. “I have felt a sickening combination of revulsion and grief.”, RZIM staff members “have been badly misled by our secretive board and senior leaders,” he continued. The explanation effectively absolved Zacharias of wrongdoing in a major sexting scandal and preserved the reputation of Zacharias and his $40 million … It also means punishing and silencing their accusers by any means possible. The story is false. The discrepancies between Thompson’s account of the situation and RZIM’s account don’t end there. One employee claimed the great apologist had masturbated in front of her more than 50 times and often demanded naked pictures of her. There is so much that cannot be undone. My Dad worked for the Indian government. Along with those allegations, they also reported on a sex-abuse accusation against him. Zacharias’ wife, Margaret, is listed as vice chairman of ministry; their eldest daughter, Sarah Davis, as executive director; and their younger daughter, Naomi Zacharias, as vice president for a grant-making division called Wellspring International. October 16, 2020. Three women who worked at the businesses, located in a strip mall in the Atlanta suburbs, told Christianity Today that Ravi Zacharias touched them … “RZIM must change its name, remove Ravi’s material, repent for its many failures, and provide a restorative response to the harm that Ravi’s victims experienced.”, In a follow-up post, Weitnauer asked if the board would resign “to acknowledge their failure to provide accountability to Ravi Zacharias for more than a decade.”.
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