On May 19, 2019, the evangelical world mourned the death of Ravi Zacharias, beloved Christian apologist, who died of cancer at the age of 74. On February 11 of this year, the evangelical world mourned again – this time over the results of an external investigation hired by his former ministry detailing proof of a secret life of their founder. Ravi was guilty of sexual abuse, extramarital relationships and even rape. Hearing of the moral failure of someone we admire is painful. We feel angry – betrayed. What should we do?
Some argue it should have been kept quiet. Hardly the counsel of the Apostle Paul. As for those [context church leaders] who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear, 1 Tim 5:20. Paul says we should fear. What occurred scares me – and it should scare you. If we think we’re beyond any sin, then we’re deceived already. Our old nature is ruthless. The next time we are tempted by a “private sin” – look beyond the temptation to the consequences. Sin will be judged. But we should also grieve – mourn with the victims of this scandal and weep with Ravi’s widow and children who were unaware of his secret sins. If you, yourself are harboring secret sin – repent. Now. Flee to Christ who offers forgiveness.
My old Bible college president would say to us students, “Few men finish well.” Those words haunt me, and they should. Mk 14:38, Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” O Lord, may we finish well.