The Two Deaths of Ravi Zacharias

Like you, this story makes me sick to my stomach.

Ravi Zacharias died on May 19, 2020.  His legacy died on February 11, 2021.

I do not feel sorry for the legacy of Ravi Zacharias. I feel sorry for his victims who will be scarred for life.  I feel sorry for all those who work for his ministry believing he was a man of integrity. What he did is as deplorable as it is shocking. (You can read the official report regarding his crimes here.)

***This is yet another example for why I recently posted my blog titled, ‘Keep Your Pastors Accountable.’ You can read that blog here.

This tragedy will serve as yet another reason for non-Christians to reject the Christian faith.

This is a a precisely why Lee Strobel is revising his book, The Case for Faith, (one I’ve read more than once) so as to discard his interview with Zacharias.

Some don’t agree with Strobel. They cite the truth that the Bible is full of biblical leaders just as culpable as Zacharias. The argument goes something like this: King David was an adulterer, liar and murderer, yet was described by God as a ‘man after God’s own heart.’ So why ‘cancel’ Zacharias if God didn’t cancel David?”

If we’re honest, this is actually a good question.  I’ve had a few of Zacharias’ in my library for years.

So, this tragedy begs the question, “When a Christian leader like Zacharias is exposed for actions so disgraceful and reprehensible should we jettison everything they’ve said and written?”

I think the answer lies with the individual.

Strobel wisely defended his book’s revision by writing,

“The difference is Ravi never showed repentance. [My] book is for spiritual seekers and I don’t want his hypocrisy to be a stumbling block to them in considering the evidence for Christ.”

I agree with Strobel.

Personally, although I’ve learned much from Zacharias over the years, I won’t be quoting him anytime soon. Or, perhaps ever again. The stench that now accompanies his name will likely remain for quite a while. Hence, anything attributed to him will smell of disgust and betrayal. (This is the same reason we don’t hear anyone these days quoting jokes made famous by the once-beloved Bill Cosby.)

Had he not recently passed away, Zacharias, like Cosby, would almost certainly eventually be charged, convicted and imprisoned.

Much has been written since Zacharias’ crimes have been exposed so I won’t fill up space here with offering further personal comment.  What I will do is link for you the best editorials I’ve read.   All four perspectives are excellent:

  1. Responding to the Ravi Zacharias Sexual Abuse Revelations
  2. Apologetics After the Two Deaths of Ravi Zacharias
  3. Enraged by Ravi: The Wreckage of Ravi Zacharias
  4. What Do We Make of Ravi Zacharias?

Again, as I wrote in my blog linked for you above, never – ever – place your faith in a human being.  We are all desperately flawed and, as such, capable of the most wretched of sin.